Monday, February 28, 2011

Best and Worst dressed at the 2011 Academy Awards

Everyone looked lovely last night. I saw much fewer misses than at the Globes, although I will list my three big disappointments at the end.

First, here are my favorites...

Marisa Tomei in Charles James

Hilary Swank in Gucci

Jennifer Hudson in Versace

The fitted gown made her amazing body look even more amazing.

Halle Berry in Marchesa

Natalie Portman in Rodarte (Appropriately, Nat gave Rodarte, the design house behind Black Swan's lovely costumes and a snub in the costume category, a nod by wearing their piece and thanking the sisters in her acceptance speech.)

The color was lovely and the shape flattered her baby bump and showed off her incredible pregnancy cleavage. Are you seeing those things? She must be up to a C cup!

Florence Welch in Valentino

The dress stood out from all the rest and, in my opinion, was a risk well worth taking.

Hailee Steinfeld in Marchesa (Marchesa was owning the carpet last night!)

Sandra Bullock in Vera Wang

I can't decide which part of Sandra's gown I love more, the front or the back.

Mila Kunis in Ellie Saab

This gown was my third favorite of the night. Mila definitely came dressed like a winner, not a snub.

Runner up for best look of the night:

Helen Mirren in Vivienne Westwood

Hardy a surprise as she is always one of my favorite on the red carpet. She knows just what shapes flatter her body and show off her incredible ageless beauty.

But my very favorite look of the night was...

Cate Blanchett in Givenchy

She looked like a piece of Greek art. She looked incredible. I am absolutely gaga for this dress.

Now, on to the disappointments of the night...

Michelle Williams in Chanel

I love Michelle Williams and I love Chanel but this dress just didn't work for me for the Oscars. Although Michelle's hair and makeup looks incredible, the dress was a little boring and even slightly... matronly? Not a winner.

Another disappointment:

Scarlett Johansson in Dolce & Gabbana

The color was lovely and the dress fit her well, but the confusing array of different textures around her neckline was distracting and ultimately messy looking.

But the biggest disappointment of the night was...

Amy Adams in L'Wren Scott

The dress alone was fine, quite lovely even, but the Cartier necklace that someone styled with it was so wrong as to through off the entire look. Not only did the color of the jewels not make since, but the big necklace lying on top of an already-sparkly and high neckline was just a disaster. Amy's crowded neckline reminded me of one of those women (often librarians) who wear gold chains on the outside of turtlenecks. Crowding a high neckline with a big necklace is just a fashion-101 no no!

But in the end, even with all the breathtaking gowns and the hideous disappointments, what mattered to me most was that The King's Speech beat the pants off The Social Network in every major category, and, since it did, I slept like a baby last night.

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Tentative designs for Paris-themed aprons

I mention earlier that I'm going to participate in the Paris-themed apron group project on Angry Chicken's ongoing Tie One On apron-making madness. I'm super excited. last night I ordered two kinds of fabric on Etsy and today I sketch my ideas for the two aprons I want to make.

Here are my plans...

Apron number one:

Details: black piping on apron's edge, mock Peter-Pan collar, heart-shaped pockets

Apron number two:

Details: apron gathered at waist, rickrack edging


Well, I'll start sewing when the fabric arrives. Hope you enjoy following along!

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

A few of my favorite things

When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feel so bad.




Peter-Pan collars


Nav rattan korma

Mint green

Braided crowns


Rocking chairs on porches

Lace collars

Cappuccinos and biscotti

Sailor dresses

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Themed apron making with Angry Chicken

One of my favorite sewing bloggers, Amy Karol of Angry Chicken has been leading some awesome apron-building project with different themes. The most recent ones being apple cider, circus, peppermint candy, and Alice. Super cool stuff. The latest theme is Paris, and I fully intend to participate. I'll keep you updated as I sketch an idea, shop for fabric, and create the apron.

Here are some small samples of the apron galleries.

Apple cider:


Peppermint candy:


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The making of the Lolita Dress and the Tea Dress

I made the Lolita Dress today and nearly finished the Tea Dress. All I have left to do on the Tea Dress is adjust the front darts a bit and sew on the two decorative buttons. I might change the sleeves a little too. I don't love them as is.

Here's how my sewing went today...

I started with the Lolita Dress. First, I ironed fusible interfacing to the facing pieces.

Then, I sewed darts int he front and back bodice pieces.

After sewing the bodice pieces together at the shoulders and sewing the yoke pieces together, I sewed the yoke to the bodice neckline, sandwiching black piping in the seam.

I sewed solid yellow bias binding to the arm holes and sewed the bodice up the sides.

I sewed the skirt pieces up the sides and hemmed the skirt.

I gathered the top of the skirt using my favorite method.

I sewed the skirt to the bodice.

Then, I sewed the skirt up the back from the hem to the base of where the zipper would start and hand basted the rest of the way up.

After ironing the based seam open, I sewed in the zipper.

Then, I sewed the facing onto the neckline and ironed it under.

I hand sewed two decorative buttons to the front and voila!


Next up was the Tea Dress. I started by ironing fusible interfacing to the collar pieces.

Then, I sewed darts in the bodice pieces.

I sewed the sleeves at the shoulders and sewed up the sides and the sleeves.

After sewing three sides of each collar piece and flipping them right-side-out, I ironed them flat.

Then, I topstitched around their edges.

I sewed the collar to the V-neck of the bodice, sandwiching it under the facing.

I sewed the skirt and zipper in the same way as with the Lolita Dress.

Look at all the scraps!

Almost done:

This was the first time I worked with silk chemise, and, while it wasn't so hard in some ways (the slipperiness didn't make sewing seams all that hard), it was difficult in unexpected ways (the darts are a little bumpy and need to be fixed.) It was a long day though, so I decided to get some rest and attach the changes another day.

I hoped you enjoyed seeing my progress!

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