Thursday, February 19, 2015

DIY: A Colored Pencil Dress (and Bolero!), Many Dif Ways

I know what you're thinkin', "Holy cow, Stephens, another stitched dress?!" (by the way, teacher buddies, don't you love how the minute you became a teacher, every other adult in the school addresses you by your last name? I mean, the only other time I've been called "Stephens" was when I forgot to feign cramps during P.E., walked onto the volleyball court and promptly got whacked in the head with a volleyball. Tho I vaguely recall a "Look out!" before "Stephens" which obvi did me and my molasses reflexes no good.)

Wait. Whut wuz I saying? 

Oh, yes. Another dress. 

Weelllll, don't hate me because I'm so athletic, hate me cuz I scored an entire week off! That's right, y'all. That snow day I mentioned on Monday morphed into a glorious thing called a Snow Week which is just as glittery, sparkly and absolutely divine as it sounds. Especially since we've got built-in days so we won't have to make up for lost time. And especially-especially since this dress has been an UFO (UnFinished Object) in my sewing room for the last coupla weeks and now I can scratch it off my never-ending list of UFOs (y'all. There are so many UFO's up in my sewing room that they are thinking of filming the next X-Files movie in there).
But enough of this rambling (guess who hasn't left the house in 4 days nor spoken to anyone besides the cat and her hubs?!), let's talk dress, y'all! 
So when I showed you this dress, I tole ya that there were three more from the same pattern in the works. This here's dress #2! I've never worked on three dresses at once before and I gotta say, I kinda liked it. The progress was a lot slower, obvi, but I liked working piecemeal like that. I did manage to screw up the pleats every single time on every single dress but, you know. When you work with limited brain capacity, you come to expect such things.
The fab fabrics I used were the pencils by Alexander Henry and these scribbles by Ed Emberly. Super cuteness, right? In fact, Anthropologie used that pencil fabric in navy for a skirt they sold last year. I love the color palette of this light green fabric, it's feels very retro to me.
For this dress, I opted to go sleeveless mostly cuz I didn't have enough of the scribble fabric. Which is cray because I always over buy my fabric. This is also how the dress is supposed to be worn. But as you mightah noticed in the early snaps, to make it work with the bolero, I did something a lil different. 

Das right, y'all! I made a wee jacket to go with my dress! I decided I needed a new outfit for the art teachers conference (NAEA for those of y'all in the know) in New Orleans where it might be a lil chilly without sleeves. AND everyone knows a jacket is all kinds of professional-looking which I'm hoping to fool people into thinking I am when I present a whopping four times. Yikes! In reality, I should prolly be working on my presentations...good thing my Magical Totally Professional Looking Jacket will fool folk! 

"Golly, Janet, what was that presentation even about?!"

"I have no earthy idea, Eunice, but it sure was professional. I mean, did you see that jacket?!"
Not to mention, it's reversible, y'all.

 And I kinda dig it with a lil faux lapel, don't you? It's like a lil peak-o-pencil, know what I'm saying?
 Here's how it's supposed to be worn without the faux lapel. It's a lil too blue with this ensemble. Not to mention between the jacket and the waistband I do look a lil bull-fighter-esque. Toro! Toro! 

Like I said, reversiBULL. It's all coming together now, riiiiight? 
 So the pattern I used was that vintage number shown above. It's called "Advance". Not to be confused with "Advanced" which I would never use. The silly pattern did call for me to do some hand sewing and I was all "whuuuuut?" and the pattern was all, "yeeeeeesssss." But I had to lay down the law. It's 2015, I ain't hand sewing nuthin when I got a machine that can do it in a blink. So my bolero is all sorts of top-stitched where it isn't supposed to be. But whateves, tis the reason I ain't advanced. 
 By the way, tell me honestly, does this look like I have red toilet paper accidentally tucked into the backside of my dress? Well, does it?! A good friend would be honest with me, ya know.
But wearing it this way, with the straps criss-crossed (will make ya Jump!Jump!) around the waist and tied in the back works best when wearing it with the bolero. Says me. AND I kinda dig this look all on it's own. But that's because I'm all about the big fat belt. 

And there ya have it, folks! I promise I won't share another dress post for at least a couple of days (ahem). Until then, stay warm, buddies! 

 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png


  1. Love the crayon dress and bolero! And dude. I made that same bolero pattern. AND made it reversible, too! (I never blogged about it last summer.) Except I don't think I even noticed if the pattern had instructions to make it reversible, I totally just winged it on my own and sandwiched one in the other and topstitched it all down the front opening, too. Mine is black on one side and vintage fabric that's mostly like a red bandana print on the other. I think you'd be proud. ;-)

    1. Hey Girl! OMG, I was just lurking your blog last surprised I didn't stumble upon our Twin Bolero! So funny we both opted to make it reversible...the pattern calls for a lining but, look at us, we took it to the next awesome level! SO glad that an expert stitcher like you top stitched as well, there just ain't no way Ima hand stitchin. Ain't nobody got time for that. Well, I do but I just ain't gonna. I'll have to go back to lurking and find your bolero! xo~

  2. Love the jacket! I'm too short for most dresses but I would definitely wear the jacket - that scribble fabric is great! I finally got a sewing machine but it's been just sitting in the box for two weeks because I'm scared to start... Maybe you could offer another sew along for something simple like say, a hankie? ;)

    1. I know, I love the scribble fabric. And loved it all the more when I found out it was Ed Emberly! There's a whole line of fabric inspired by him (not sure if he actually designed it or what). YES! Another sew along has been in the works for a while...I need to get on that! And you can tooootally handle more than a hankie ;)

  3. Anonymous2/20/2015

    This is the cutest ever! It's totally cool. You inspired me to buy a sewing machine you know. You've convinced me I can make cool stuff - but since I'm direction dysfunctional I bought a beginners, easy machine, that just zigs and straight stitches. I'm going to make me some pillow cases and copy a sweet top that I bought from a gal in Nashville, whose name is Elizabeth Suzann, check her out. Anyway I got all over confident when I went rollerskating for the first time in 40 years and only fell down once. Now, I think I can do anything, and you aren't helping in the confidence category. via. there is a great little shop that actually looks a lot like a bikers shop in New Orleans, it is right down the street and on the same side as Central Grocery, so really cool shoes for good prices and dresses and stuff you might not imagine you would find there. check it out and then cross the street for your Beignets and coffee! hope carr

    1. Hey Hope! You can totally sew, friend!! And I never use anything other than my regular stitch, those fancy stitches are way overrated! I started with a cheapo Kenmore when I started stitching several years ago. It's whatever works, right?! You have fun! You'll have to email me your finished pieces, I'd love to see them!

  4. GOOD GOD WOMAN i love it when you sew! i mean, i love it all the time around here, but you know. i have a soft spot for sewin'. your top stitching also looks pretty dang perfect so you might need to up your level....

    1. Aw, thanks, friend! I love hearing from you, you're like my sewing idol! I love it when I sew too...Me thinks I need more snow days in my life ;) Thanks for tearing yourself away from Mr. Mars and popping over to say hello ;) xo!

  5. As I have said before. Crazy good! You, hero. I bringing amazeballs back! AMAZEBALLS!

    1. Aw, thanks buddy! And right back attcha!


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

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.