Week 12 – Mad Men Inspired

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The Facts

Fabric: socks

Pattern: self-drafted

Year: current

Notions: buttons and thread from stash

Time to complete: I think I finished this one while watching Skyfall

First worn: N/A

Wear again? N/A

Total Cost: $5 for all materials

Interesting fact: Not directly related to the week’s theme. I mean, there are several characters that could have inspired this, but not quite like how it turned out. Also, I apologize for these challenges being out of order. I am trying my best.

I  have watched and enjoyed the show Mad Men. However, I tend to binge watch shows on Netflix and Mad Men can get to be a little intense if I watch too many episodes at once. With this in mind, I tend to choose shows with a lighter hearted storyline over the darker tones of Mad Men. In fact, I initially had heard about this show because of the sewing blogs that I follow and I ended up watching it a lot because of the fashion that the characters wear. I love seeing the styles evolve as the years go by and I love the matching ability of Betty Draper as well as the plaid ensembles that Peggy wears.

So while I have seen the show and drooled over its fashions, I have neither watched any episodes recently, nor have I done any research to see what I could find as inspiration to make an outfit. On top of that, I have been making items for the show that I will be vending at on May 24. I also managed to pick up additional hours at work, so my time that I would be using to work on the sewing challenge has been sucked up by everything else that I am working on and finishing up.

On the other hand, since I have been making items, and most of them seem to involve some sort of hand sewing, I felt that I had to share some sort of blog post this week. I don’t want to look back and think that I missed a sewing challenge because I did something silly like choosing sleep over sewing. So here it is, my sewing post for this week.

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This is a view from the center front. The thing sticking up in the middle is its dorsal fin. Not visible in the picture is the tail. I do realize that it looks nothing like any shark ever.

I started working on this plush awhile back. I’m not sure what I was thinking I was making when I started, but when I saw the components together I heard a voice in my head say, “I’m a shark!” I guess this means that I am officially addicted to that webcomic that I have been reading and the next step is to make a tinfoil hat. I will spare you the emotional rollercoaster by not telling you the title of the webcomic. I know it seems cruel, but I am trying to help you. However, if you feel like you can handle the flowy capes, the science, and the city on fire, then comment on my facebook page (either Sew Late at Night or Mrs. Uncommon Geek) and I will tell you which webcomic I am talking about.

If you like my plush and want to see more of it, or some of my other creations, then come on out to Ye Olde Yellow Cabaret tomorrow, May 24 in Dayton, OH and see what monster or minion you want to take home. I will also have books, old photos and other things available for purchase. If I have some time before the show, I may even refashion a new top for the event. I hope to see you there!

Happy Sewing!

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Week 9 : Make Do, Make Anew

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The Facts

Fabric: dress from sample sale

Pattern: self drafted

Year: current

Notions: Thread, elastic

Time to complete: about 2 hours

First worn: Not yet

Wear again? I should get a lot of use out of this skirt this summer

Total Cost: $10 for the dress, thread from stash, elastic reused from dress

First, some history. Back when I was in high school, my mom worked for a women’s clothing catalog. Every so often, there would be a sale where employees could bring up to 2 guests and they could purchase clothing from the catalog at a super discount price. Selection would vary as the stock would include samples, overstock, customer returns and defective merchandise. For anyone willing to dig through racks of clothing and tables of shoes, deals could be had. Years passed. The catalog company got a new CEO. The clothing sold began targeting a younger crowd. Most importantly, the outside company responsible for organizing the associate sales discovered e-commerce. The associate only sales became more and more open to the public. Not widely advertised, but that is why it is important to sign up for their mailing lists. The merchandise decreased in quality and it was much harder to find the really good deals that had previously been available.

In present day, things have balanced out. My mother has retired and has been for a few years. The outside company that does the associate sales has expanded and there are a few brick and mortar stores in the Columbus, OH area, pop-up sales that happen in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas, as well as the ever successful online stores. I purchased this dress for $10 at one of the pop-up sales. Not bad for something that retails at $88. Anyway, since my mom doesn’t work for the catalog anymore, and since I can’t afford their clothes, I am really not familiar with their merchandise. So I did not notice that this dress was missing its halter neck piece. All I noticed was that the dress, for all its supportive elastic, did not want to stay in one place. When I tried it on at home to confirm fit, I had to constantly pull up the top of the dress.

I did love the idea of this dress back.

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I threw the dress into a pile of things to modify later, and today it got transformed from a dress that doesn’t quite work into a maxi skirt for any occasion. I cut off the top of the dress and removed the elastic. Then, I reattached the elastic in the cut portion of the bottom of the dress, creating a waistband. Thus, a skirt was created.

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Happy sewing!