Wednesday, July 31, 2013

DIY: Butterick, Who's Yo Mama?

You ever have one of those annoying sensations that just won't go away? You know, like a little tickle in the small of your back that you can't seem to reach or one of those rouge runaway hairs you feel somewhere on your face but you just can't find. OR, this one's the worst, what about a wedgie that manages to get more friendly than a proctologist?

 Oh, oops. Did I just go too far? Or maybe too close to home. I promise I didn't know this post was gonna head south so quickly when I began. My bad.

But I tell you I was going somewhere (other than south) with that there intro. Because this Red Hot Vintage Floral Fabric has been that unreachable itch, that fantom hair, that borderline sexual harassment wedgie all summer long.

Seriously. It started way back in May when I was working on my Star Wars dress. I spied this lovely piece peaking out from my Mount Fujiyama o' Fabric. And it was all, "Hey! Look at me. I'm gorgeous." and I'm like, "Wow, you are pretty sweet. But doncha think calling yourself 'gorgeous' is a little, I don't know, arrogant?" To which the fabric was like, "Look, if you don't think you are up to workin' with somethin' as amazing as me, that's fine. But let's not pretend I wouldn't make a pretty smokin' dress."

And that there sparked the unrelenting urge to find the perfect pattern to marry with this beautiful, albeit a pinch egomaniacal, fabric. 

(BTW, have you noticed just how much time I spend talking to inadament objects? Dunno what I'm talking about? What about here, here and, oh man, here. Geez, I need to get out more. Or start taking my meds. That'd probably help.)
After some serious online pattern digging, I found The Perfect Partner for my Red Hot Vintage Floral. I mean, look at that cut, that detail at the neckline, that big-drapey-hankie-thingie. It was like a match made in sewing heaven.

Then I saw it. The name of the maker at the top of the pattern envelope. And I went all Jerry Seinfeld and spit out the words with such venom and hate that I almost scared myself:

"BUTTERICK!"
That's right. The above is an accurate portrayal of my relationship with Butterick. You might recall my ever-so-slight (ha!) frustration with said pattern-maker here. In fact, I do believe I made that scrunched-up, buck-toothed mouse face complete with Wicked Witch of the West hands more than a dozen times whilst attempting to solve the riddle that is a Butterick pattern. And every time it stared right back at me with those dead-Newman-esque eyes and that smirky smile. Oh, how I loathe thee, Butterick.
(BTW, not that it would ever happen anyway, but I'm almost positive that these blatant Butterick-hatred posts are gonna make it so said pattern-making company never contacts me for an endorsement. Whatcha think?)

My frustration over the vaugeness of the directions became so great that I even started fantasizing about tracking down ole Mrs. B and asking her why, just why were her designs so great and her directions so bad. And then I realized that this pattern is super old and that I'd probably have to find Mrs. Butterick Junior if I wanted any sort of contact with my nemesis. And THEN I realized that she'd probably be just as cryptic with directions to her house (because I wanna see this evil face-to-face...which makes me think I shoulda titled this post "Butterick, WHERE'S Yo Mama?") as her maw was with sewing steps: "Oh, you know. Just drive a while and then turn at that stoplight. The one on that corner. It's a white house. On a street. With a yard. You'll find it if you're not an idiot..."
BUTTERICK!

Or, rather: BUTTERICK, JUNIOR!

One particularly difficult evening whilst attempting that big-drapey-hankie-thingie, I decided to google this pattern and see if anyone out there might have a word of advice (or an address, perhaps). And that's when I found her: Professor Pincushion. In this 80 minute tutorial, she walks you through the entire pattern and explains every single step. It was like the heavens opened up and I could hear the angels sing (which, it turns out, they like to sing G'n'R. I KNOW RIGHT, how rad is that?!) That's not even a joke, she's really that awesome. AND she's got these amazing sparkly gold fingernails that she  uses to accentuate her explanations which I have likened to Glenda the Good Witch. If she were only a set of nails.
Now I gotta admit, I still had to watch her create that big-drapey-hankie-thingie about two or twenty times before I got it. Which made me think that ole Prof Pincush could really make it big if, after a dozen replays, she could just reach her Glenda nails through the screen and do the hard stuff for you. Seriously. Are you listening, Professor? Because if this idea appears in your next tutorial, Ima gonna expect some royalties.
All moaning and groaning aside, I am pretty excited about this dress. Even with help, this pattern definitely was a challenge that put my severe lack of skills to the test. I still can't believe I managed to pull it off. With a whole lotta thanks to Professor Pincushion. And now that that annoying wedgie is finally released (ewww, sorry! But I had to do some sort of tie in with the beginning of this post. It's called Closure, reader. Deal wit it), I've two other dress-itches that I gotta scratch. Both involve amazing art-teachery fabric that I'm super stoked about. AND speaking of Super Stoked...
Me and my nutty outfits have found their place in SchoolArts Magazine! If you are an art teacher, then you know this is one of the best art education mags out there. AND, if you found this blog because of the magazine, welcome! I promise this blog is normally about much more than wedgies (haha, no it's not). For diy-details on the outfits above, just click on the following linky-loos: Applique Pencil Skirt; Gnome Dress; Embroidered Eiffel Tower; Paris Dress; Painterly Dress; and, lastly, Crayon Felted Hat and Skirt (with painted shoes!).

Stay tuned for some upcoming photos of my nearly complete art room!


24 comments:

  1. HAHA you lost me a zillion times during this post but I couldn't stop laughing! The dress looks amazing and good job for sticking with it!

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    1. Sorry, I lose myself at times. Thank you for your kind words, I'm kinda stoked about this insanely arrogant dress ;)

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  2. Such a babe dress! That fabric was a perfect match. Please tell me you're planning on taking that dress on a hot date. She deserves it, trauma aside ;)

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    1. Yes! While hubs is outta town, the boyfriend is taking me out in this lil number ;)

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  3. I've been coveting that pattern for a while, but this is the first time I've seen it made up. Looks fab, and I love the drapey skirt bit! (There must be a better term for it - maybe 'side flounce'?) And good job for getting featured in the magazine - you deserve it!

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    1. Well, I say go for it. The pattern would be a snap for a pro like you :) And thank you!

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  4. Landgirl7/31/2013

    Much deserved publicity for you and your mad outfits. And that DRESS IS A KILLER. I drool. Well done.

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    1. Thank you! I drool too. But only when I'm sleeping ;)

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  5. That dress is incredible! I love it! I especially love the the little pleated piece at the hip! Great job! :) p.s. it looks really nice on you too! :)

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  6. That Butterick pattern is really great. So elegant!

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  7. Bahaha oh butterick, you never make our lives easy! But the plus side is you got an amazingly gorgeous dress for all your troubles. That fabric (although slightly arrogant) was totally right about itself. It's stunning! Nice work :)

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    1. Thank you! Butterick is evil...but I'm currently attempting a Vogue pattern...which, as it turns out, is much much worse! Ah! Wish me luck!

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  8. Glad we were able to help! You must of missed the button on our video player. If you push it, I will say, "here, let me just do it" and then I reach through, snatching the fabric from your hands,(like The Ring, but not as scary) Oh well, maybe next time. ;) That is one red, hot mama dress. Love the fabric. :D

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    1. "Like The Ring, but not as scary", haha!! You are hilarious! And I'll most definitely be searchin for that button on your next tutorial! Thanks again, you are awesome!

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  9. Hahn! Love this dress! Vavavoom! Congrats on the feature...so much fun!!

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  10. Fabulous dress! And congrats on the mag feature too!

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  11. Love the dress, LOVE the fabric, love the Seinfeld/Newman references, and love the post! And Love School Arts, too! Congrats! LOVE all around!!

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  12. One more thing... I am in love with the wall behind you in the dress photos. Can you tell me - is it a a series of paintings? Stretched fabric? Wallpaper? Simply fabulous!

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    1. Thanks, Phyl! It's a group of three large canvases (maybe 5' X 2') that I started painting a million years ago. It's based off a postcard from Japan. I really outta finish it one of these days!

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  13. Love your dresses! You're the 1st fellow Southern girl I found in the retro dress blogs! (I'm from Gulfport, MS).

    Cecily
    stylebycecily.blogspot.com

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  14. I really like the way the fabric you chose for this dress hangs and falls. What kind of fabric is it?

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    1. Hi! Thank you :) It's 100% cotton, vintage fabric. I picked it up at a thrift store years ago. It has the feel of vintage flour sack fabric. I hope that helps!

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)