Copycat Challenge Inspiration

Hello everyone!

Have you heard about Peneloping’s Copycat Challenge? If not, you should go check it out.

In short, here are the rules:

  1. Choose a garment as your inspiration. Make sure you reference it and acknowledge where you found it. Pick several if you want!
  2. Make it the way you want with your own touch and style.
  3. Blog about it! Tell us what pattern(s) you used, what inspired you about the item you chose, how you styled it, whatever you want!
  4. If you don’t have a blog and want to participate, send us an email and we’ll add it to the submissions post for you.

So here is my inspiration board for this challenge:

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I want to use the skirt (and maybe waistband) from the burda dress pattern because I love the tulip skirt on the first ANDie dress, and for the top I want to use an newish knit top and embellish it with lace like in the second ANDie dress photo.

So here’s what I need to do:

  • Trace burda pattern
  • Purchase trim and zip
  • Cut out fabric (and try to match those plaids!)
  • Sew together
  • Take awesome photos
  • Blog and submit!

The best part: we have until the end of September to submit! 😀

Good luck to everyone who is taking this challenge!

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Photo Sources:

Angels Never Die Dress 1

Angeles Never Die Dress 2: I originally screencapped it last year from vente-exclusive.nl and can’t find it anywhere on the internet anymore. 😦

Burda 09/2011 Dress pattern

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The not-so-retro dress

This retro-inspired dress jumped out at me immediately when I saw it in the Knipmode magazine in April. I wanted to make a dress for my Grandparents’ anniversary party in May, and I knew I wanted to make this one (and you can make one too from this PDF pattern). It has deep pleats in the skirt and the top has kimono sleeves. There is also a side zip that you can’t see because it’s invisible. I mean, really invisible!

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I made this dress while I was in Canada in May because I of course procrastinated, but with good reason, because I was working on my thesis all day everyday up until I left. You may recall I also finished off this dress while I was in Canada. But this one I had to make from scratch.  And I was going to do it right! Muslin and everything. I bought my fabric online before I left and took it with me. However, I had to get a few supplies from the local fabric shop, which I found out got WAY more expensive from the last time I went there. Since the muslin fabric was going for $15-$20/m, I settled on some plain cotton from the bargain basement, which was still $5/m. I just got 1m to muslin the top of the dress.

So I just sewed up the top from the pattern as-is. And it was clear that I needed to make adjustments! It barely came below my chest! And not having bought very much fabric, I had to improvise big time. I think I ended up slashing across the bust and underbust and adding 2cm at each slash. I moved down the front pleats and tightened the back pleats with the help of my mom. It was great to have someone to help because I’ve never done for-real adjustments on a muslin before! It was a really good experience and I wish I’d taken some pictures to show you all, but instead we’ll have to make due with the finished photos.

So I finished the muslin in about one evening. Then the next day, when I went to cut out my super awesome printed cotton fabric, the pattern didn’t fit!!! I was freaking out a little bit, but that quickly subsided because it meant that I got to go fabric shopping again (with my sister’s discount card, no less). I chose this beautiful printed cotton (cotton lawn? not sure) and got some bias tape to match (because I did not have time to mess around with making my own). After pre-washing and drying, I got down to business. Cut out the pattern and started sewing.

My friend, who also took these fabulous photos, helped me make it because it was just a few days before the party and I needed to get it done fast. So I sewed and she pressed. And everything went well until I had to attach the skirt. I thought I correctly adjusted for the new pleats, because the waistband attached easily to the top, but I was WRONG. And after a few hours of sewing, I was not in the mood to do any maths to try and attach the skirt to the waistband. The next day, I was able to fix it. No biggie. I attached the invisible zip using a universal invisible zip foot from Unique brand. And it worked perfectly! You can’t see that zip at all! *jumping up and down* I finished off the dress the morning of the party by hemming the skirt by hand using a herringbone stitch, my new favourite hand stitch by the way.

Uncomfortable model pose

And best of all, it fits. It really fits. I couldn’t be happier. The only thing is, I forgot that my grandmother does not like purple (it’s mostly green, right?).

A big thank-you to my friend for taking the photos and letting me borrow the props (parasol, pipe, hat, hair flowers). And those sexy Guess shoes I got from my cousin.

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It’s been a crazy july, guys

Hello everyone. Again I’ve been neglecting my blog, however I think I’m not the only one because it is finally SUMMER and we are all going on vacations and spending time in the sun. Amiright? Myself included. I went back to Canada for a couple of weeks, this time with Mr. Livana, who hadn’t been there for 3 years, since my accident. So he figured it was high time he showed his face. So it was less of a vacation and more of a howmanypeoplecanwevisitin2weeks? Let me tell you, the trip did not start off well (for Mr. Livana).

Wait, let me back that up a little bit. About a week before we were scheduled to fly, my hometown, Calgary, FLOODED. I don’t mean a puddle in the street. I mean, like, thousands of people being evacuated and houses floating down the river, flooded. I mean, making international headlines flooded. The whole downtown (city center) was flooded, with some places without electricity or phonelines for weeks. Luckily, most of my family is “poor,” thus not owning riverfront property. Only two family members were evacuated, and didn’t sustain damage to their actual property, though one was without electricity.  My sister also works downtown and wasn’t able to work for quite a few days, and once she could go to work, they had electricity but no phone lines.

Highway 1, the main highway running through Canada, was partially washed away in the direction of the mountains. And we were planning on driving to the mountains with my friends the weekend after we arrived. But construction workers worked day and night to get the highway open to non-commercial vehicles within about a week, so we were ok to drive! Which was great, because the Canada Day long weekend (the weekend of July 1) always brings a lot of traffic into the mountains.

Our friends had to work until late, so we didn’t get on the road until 22:00 on a Friday. But it was good because most of the long weekend traffic was  gone.  Mr. Livana had volunteered to drive that night, and we made it to the Days Inn in Golden within about 3 hours. When he got out of the car, he said “I don’t feel so good” and when we got to the hotel room, he continued to say that until he ran to the bathroom. He threw up several times that night, including once in the sink when he woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t quite make it to the toilet. Poor Mr. Livana’s weekend was also ruined by the fact that he needed to find a bathroom about every hour to empty his bowels. His diet consisted of pedialite and immodium for much of the trip. It’s really too bad, because we stayed at an amazing resort in Kelowna, in an apartment/condo for the four of us complete with kitchen, a large tv, bathroom with jacuzzi tub connected to our room, and the pool a stone’s throw from our balcony.

But we did end up doing some fun stuff, like visiting Mission Hill winery and having a fancy dinner there. That’s where I wore my new Kelly skirt by Megan Nielsen patterns, which I paired with a Banana Republic top that is not unlike the Datura blouse by Deer and Doe patterns (which makes me want to make one now, but I can’t because the pattern is out of stock until the end of July).

The skirt is made out of a dark grey fine corduroy. And the pockets are lined with the New York fabric from my Ginger skirt. I will not say that this skirt was a dream to sew because it WASN’T.

This project had its ups and downs all around. The first few steps were a breeze, just sewing straight lines to attach the pockets to the front, and sewing the side seams. Oh yeah, I was flying. But then I didn’t follow the instructions, which no where tell you to tack down the pockets, but I did it anyway thinking I was smarter than megan nielsen. So when it came time to set in the pleats, I couldn’t figure out why it was bunching up the *&?% pocket. Until I let out the basting at the top and then it was a breeze again. (this also happened over at Ginger Makes while making her sister’s Kelly Skirt).

Then when I was attaching the waistband, I didn’t pin down the pockets, so I caught one of them in the bloody stitching and had to unpick a good chunk of it. *TACK DOWN YOUR POCKETS PEOPLE!* And by the time I sewed down the waistband, not all of it was caught on the inside, but I stopped giving a shit and just left some of the raw edges sticking out. GAH.

And those button holes…. *^$#@^ All I can say is at least I had the foresight to practice first. I hadn’t done a buttonhole in years, so I figured I better make sure it looks ok. That was a nightmare. Mostly because I think after 10 years it’s probably about time I get my machine serviced. I couldn’t get it to do the ends right. So after about 8 attempts, I figured out that I needed to change the width to do the ends, which worked on MOST of the buttonholes in the end. But there is one buttonhole in the middle that has a really fat line because my machine didn’t want to turn back to the narrower width apparently. So, yeah, my machine should probably go in for a checkup sometime soon.

This winery had amazing food, which cost as much as a night at the resort, but since we don’t do it every week (or every month, or EVER), it was a delicious treat that we all thoroughly enjoyed. We got the matching wines for each course as well. It was the last night, so Mr. Livana joined in, guts be damned!

Things started to look up the following weekend. We had a BBQ at my (soon to be) brother-in-law’s place near the mountains on Sunday, then we went to Drumheller with my parents on Tuesday. I wore my Kelly Skirt again, this time ‘dressed down.’ But I must say, it did not travel too well. Sitting in the car for almost 2 hours and the top and bottom button both came undone. It was uncivilized! But it looked pretty cute, no?

 

But the next day we got some really bad news. Mr. Livana told me that our kitty was going to die. Before we left, he had been having problems eating and going to the bathroom. We took him to the vet and they said he was pretty healthy except for a blockage in his intestines and an inflamed kidney. They gave him laxitives over a weekend, gave us some antibiotics and sent him on his way. So while we were in Canada, he got a bit better, then stopped eating again. Mr Livana’s parents were taking care of him, and took him to the vet only to find out that his kidneys had shut down and that he was going to die. It was devastating. We made the decision to put him down before he got any worse. They could have kept him alive for the next few days until we got home, but his quality of life those last few days would have been nothing. Our poor little kitty was only 2 years old. Coming home to an empty house was hard. We both miss him a lot.

Korban, our little kitty

Korban, our little kitty