Tuesday, March 19, 2013

DIY: Black, White and (Now) Red All Over

 Emkay, this may sound strange coming from the crazy art teacher who wears sparkly fishnets to school, but I actually have a vague idea of what is inappropriate work attire. In fact, according to excelle.monster.com's 25 Things a Professional Woman Should Never Wear, I'm 74% professional. Ahem. Their list was pretty lame though. For starters, they are obviously early 21st century haters. I mean, what did Paris Hilton ever do to get this list-creator to diss the following:
  • Juicy Couture track suits and uggs. Seriously? Nobody is still wearing that except Pam Anderson. Hey, Pam Anderson, Bay Watch called. Oh no, wait, no they didn't. Because 2001 is over.
  •  Crocs and fanny packs. Wear this and not only will you no longer have a job but suddenly birth control is no longer necessary. Two birds, one stone.
  •  Wallet chain, torn jeans and clothes worn yesterday. Oh, I see. Now we're pickin' on the grunge era. Next you'll tell me flannel is out.
  • Flannel. What?!
  •  Face Tats. Seriously? Who has a face tat that isn't Mike Tyson? Although I was asked just the other day if my cat eyeliner was tattooed on. It isn't. Right now.
One thing on the list that I do agree with was not showing too much skin. So when I slipped on this dress I purchased from Modcloth not too long ago, I knew it didn't pass the tasteful test. Hello, pale mid-thigh! And I was super bummed because did you see that fabric? It features cats! In the news! Doing human stuff!

Being tallish, I've dealt with this too-short-attire problem before (junior high flashback: "Hey, Stephens, where's the flood?!"). My solution with dresses is adding a band of fabric on the bottom. My wingin' it way of doing this is to measure the width of one side of the bottom of the skirt, cut two pieces of fabric that width, sew those two pieces together thus creating a circle. That circle of fabric is then pinned to the hem of the dress, right sides together and sewn. I then hem the skirt. You can see more examples of that with my Hot Air Balloon dress and my Eiffel Tower dress.
Me, circa 2011. Back when I was still watching Baywatch reruns.
After adding the tomato red fabric to the bottom of the dress, I decided I needed more red to balance it out. That's when I had a flashback of this thrifted Target dress redo from a couple years ago. Here's what it looked like in it's original thrifted state:

Kinda nice because of the sweet bird fabric but mostly boring. After taking up the hem on this dress. I decided to add the bow and the little coral detailing at the shoulders. Recalling this redo, I decided to put a bow on Modcloth cat dress as well. Wanna put bows on things? Here's how it's done:
You begin by creating...what looks like a pair of little boys briefs. Ew, scroll down.
Ah, that's better. So, begin by deciding how wide you'd like your bow to be. Then double that. And add an inch. Decide the height of your bow and add an inch for hemming. Fold under 1/4" top and bottom and hem. Then create a circle by sewing right sides together.
Using needle and thread, create a hand basted stitch. Don't know what that is? It's a very wide stitch as seen above. That kind of stitch is good for gathering. The wrinkles in my fabric show how I've been practicing my gathering skillz. Once fabric is gathered to your liking, knot thread.
As you can see above, once that was complete, I added a folded in band of fabric for the loop around the middle of the bow. This was hand stitched (ugh, I hate hand stitching. What is this, 2001? Pam, gimme a hand here, would ya?!) and attached to the belt.
Oh, shoot, the belt. I forgot to take photos  of how that was created. Sorry. Here's the beginning stage. After pressing these folds down, I added a fusible stabilizer to give the belt some beef, folded it in half and stitched all the way around. Once the bow was hand stitched into place, I added a snap button closer.
Me in all my belted glory. With cats! In the news! Doing human things! Yes, like a good episode of Bay Watch, it bears repeating. 
Pretty sure a crinoline wouldn't make the list of appropriate attire. Nor the sparkly fishnets. But I never claimed to be 100% pro.
The rest of the outfit details: black top and necklace: Target; sparkly fishnets: TJMaxx; shoes: Dolls by Nina
And just in case you were wondering what professional fashon faux paus I did make, that'd be the following:
Oh well. Can't win 'em all. 


  1. Nice save! The red really helps :) I have a too-short dress that I need to salvage (with that being said... WTH, I am 5'2", how is anything too short on me?!?!). I was considering just making some poofy ruffly bloomers and pretending like I meant things to be that way, but maybe I should look into adding a hem band. Hmmm...

  2. Ahh the perils of the tall, I do not know this well but thought I would empathise with you! I am of average height, but do not like short things, apart from short people, they are ok. The cat print is awesome, my friend eeked out loud at it, she too is a cat person. I love that you make everything your own, maybe you should give Pam a call? Ask her what the hell she was doing on dancing on ice!!

    Jerra xx

  3. I LOVE your cat refashion!! That print is so much fun...'cat fight over new eatery' lol!


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