Wednesday, February 12, 2014

DIY: A Purrr-fect Valentine's Day Dress (and Sweater!)

If you happen to be a teacher, and/or the proud owner of school-aged children, then you know come winter: EVERYONE loves a Snow Day.

Especially the teachers. 

And if they tell you otherwise then they are Big Fat Hairy Liars who only speak such untruths to convince you that they simply adore having your child in their room day after day after OMG-is-it-STILL-ONLY-WEDNESDAY day. Don't get me wrong, Ima teacher and I love what I do...but I also love a little surprise break once or four times a winter season. 

Now those of you that happen to live everywhere but Tennessee have gotten more snow dumped on you than Antarctica. Here we've had na-freakin-da. It's been goin' just north and south of us like we're covered in some sort of invisible force field. And for that reason, things have gotten real desperate in elementary-school-land...
But more on that in a sec.*

For now, let's keep this DIY train on track, shall we? 

I found this totes amazing kitten-n-hearts fabric last spring at JoAnn's. I scooped up the only three yards just knowing that it'd be the The Purrr-fect (sorry, I had to) Valentine's Day Dress, second only to last year's Poodletastic Valentine's Day Number. I decided to go with this vintage McCall's 6221 because it's pretty simple and super cute. Says me. If you've been reading this nonsensical blog for a while and you have a good memory, you might recall the barbequed version of this here dress (blog post complete with Barbequed Banana Bread. Check it.)
I did forget that this dress needed to be lined and I thought a coupla seconds of just forgetting about that step. But, in an effort to be a Big Girl Sewer, I sighed, stomped my foot and made the lining. Which took me all of 45 minutes with one bathroom break and three separate EMERGENCY chocolate breaks.
Now, I don't know exactly what went wrong with my measuring and cutting but this dress is very well fitted in the waist. Like, no-more-emergency-chocolate-breaks well fitted. I don't recall the other dress I created from this pattern being so I'm guessing that the pattern shrunk. I've heard that can happen. When you eat a lot of chocolate. Ahem.
Now since it has been a chilly, albeit snowless, winter, I can't go around wearing no sleeveless dress. I scooped up this sparkly sweater at the thrift store recently with intent to felt it. But then the kittens spoke to me and said, "screw felting, stitch me on that tacky sweater!" (they are very mouthy cats, fyi) and I was like, "um, okay."
Dude, this applique bit took less than 45 minutes with a possible chocolate break or five thrown in the mix. I simply cut out the rectangles and adhered 'em in place with some Stitch Witchery.

Set my sewing machine to zigzag and adjusted the width and length between stitches. Now I do have a computerized machine but I could do this very same applique stitch on my ole manual Kenmore.
Penny for your thoughts, kitty? 

"Ima gonna eat your face when you are sleeping."

Wow. Just. Wow.
Outfit details: sweater and belt: thrifted; tights: Target; shoes: Modcloth, old; crinoline: Amazon (it's one of those cheapo costume ones); heart hair clip: made by me
*So just how did I manage to get all this dress -n- sweater making done? Well, I tell ya, it was lookin like it wasn't gonna happen until yesterday when I had a serious talk with a 4th grader as he was getting on the bus:

4th Grader: Mrs. Stephens! For a snow day, I know what to do!

Me: Yeah, yeah, I know. White crayon on the window sill, pj's inside out, flush ice cubes down the toilet (shaking my head with a sigh)...I hate to tell ya, dude. None of that stuff works. 

{For you non-teachers out there, this is the stuff of Playground Urban Legends.}

4th Grader: (stepping onto bus) No, no, that stuff doesn't work. You gotta sleep with underwear on your head! I promise we'll get a snow day if you do!

Me: Really?! Like, REALLY? (bus begins to pull away) But wait, WAIT! DOES THE UNDERWEAR HAVE TO BE CLEAN?

Um. So. I never got my answer. Let's just say, hypothetically, I slept wearing both kinds, just to be safe. 

And...I got my Snow Day/Sew Day. Which I say was worth it.


  1. On your head, Ey? I'll go for it needs to be the washed version! :) Send some of that magic bubble that's protecting you all up here to NJ!!! We are on Snow Day 6? See i've lost count! We are closed tomorrow as we are looking at 12-18 inches of the white stuff...(sigh) It's supposed to snow all night late tonight into tomorrow night-early Friday morning... I'm thinking delay on Friday... It's been so Snow Day crazy the past couple of weeks I forgot that Mon/Tues school is closed for President's Day! we are going to be in school until the very end of June again this year...(blek!)( with no AC )

    1. 12-18 INCHES?! Oh my goodness, do you even know what would happen if we got that here?! It would be Snomagedeon (sp?). Good luck with all that...and I'm hoping you aren't in school all summer long!!

  2. Love this dress! And even more so your witty writing! I continue to burst out laughing while reading this!

  3. I absolutely adore that dress! As well as all your other themed-outfits. I definitely need to learn how to sew!!! I'm a new fan of this blog, but I'm definitely hooked! 12-16 inches is unheard of down here in ol' Mississippi, but we've managed to have 4! Snow days this year. Though my 6th grader is unhappy because where we live is just above and below the lines.

  4. Anonymous2/13/2014

    I'm definitely in love with that Modest dresses. So stunning!

  5. I LOVE this dress! And I was laughing out loud at the psycho personalities you gave your kitties.

    1. I mean, let's be honest, kitties be craycray ;)

  6. We have been in the same bubble. Except I'm in north Louisiana. Everyone north south east and west of us got snow and ice off and on for weeks and we got NADA! Then this week SURPRISE two ice (it never really snows here) days!

    Nothing clears your mind like two free days. Weekends don't count because usually everyone has plans but now I'm feeling refreshed and ready for the rest of the year!

    1. I AGREE!! There is nothing better than being given a ticket to a day of freedom! Especially when the hubs still has to report to work and you have the entire house/day to yourself. It's a glorious perk of teaching, no doubt :)

  7. You'll all be counting your blessings in those snow free lands when you are out of school in May. But you'll have to send all the rest of us good wishes. Right now it looks like we'll be in the classroom until June 24th in western Massachusetts.

    1. OUCH!! I'm pretty sure we get out May 24th...and I'm happy for that. So sorry you'll be in school for what will feel like forever! Can't they just scrap the entire year and call it a loss ;)

  8. The dress you suggested in the blog is perfect for my darling. It gonna make her scream wow for sure. thanks for providing such a wonderful dress idea. Can you please provide some of the beautiful valentines day images for my love.


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