Monday, June 13, 2016

Gowns for the Gawds!


I have to say, this has been a great adventure.  It was fun creating the various looks for the challenges. It was mind numbing trying to figure out what was best and anticipate what great work the other ladies would submit.  I really wrestled with my submission.  In the end, while I loved what I did and think it was perfectly fine, I thought just before the submission that I should have submitted something different.  Something bolder.  And bold did indeed win.  The winner make a beautifully big gown that was eye catching.  I came in second place but I had a ball.  I started with McCalls 7047 and made a few adjustments.  I altered the neckline and added a split (cause my daughter told me to do it! LOL).  The lace along the bustline and on the train is hand-sewn (as in I sat on the floor all night long and sewed it by hand!!)

The lovely young lady in the middle had the winning gown.  But all the ladies (there were 10 when we started) did a phenonmenal job with each submission!

The submissions of the final three contestants

Unconventional Challenge Done!

Well, I settled on two options for the unconventional challenge.  I decided I would make a dress out of bubble wrap and one from CD's.  I loved them both! I could not decide which one to submit and so I sent photos to friends and asked them to help me select.  Half my friends chose the bubble wrap and half selected the CD's.
When we were told the next challenge was unconventional, I was totally uninspired and wanted to tell them that I was resigning.  I have never done anything like this and didn't think it make any sense.  Why make something that you could nto wear?  But I love a challenge so once the ideas came, I was completely invested.
I learned a lot in the process.  Here is what I learned:  CD's don't break! In my mind, I was going to wrap them in a towel and release my frustrations with a hamnmer.  Didn't work.  So, then I had to figure out how to get them into workable pieces. Cutting them was the answer.  So, I spent a good bit of  time cutting CD's into various pieces.  Then I went to work on my jigsaw puzzle dress!  This was REALLY fun when we went out to take photos.  Two iconic Memphis landmarks, Stax and Sun Studios were my choices.  The tourists at both places marveled at the dress when they realized what it was.  This was great fun!

But because I am a tactile person and this idea was in my head and needed to be realized, I made two garments for this challenge.  The other garmet was a bubble wrap dress.  I had seen dresses made from bubble wrap, but I had not ever seen one painted and definitely not given an ombre effect.  So, that's exactly what I did.  Painting the dress was super easy and fun.  Putting the dress together so that I could actually wear it was DEFINITELY not easy and made me want to cry a few times.  So, in my mind, I decided on the style -tea length party dress. I figured I could sew the pieces together.  Well, that didn't work because the plastic wouldn't feed through the machine.  Now, after the fact, I realized that I had in fact purchased a presser foot that would have worked, but I completely forget about it because I have never used it (I purchaed it because I was planning to make a leather purse!) So, the wheels are still turning in my head and then I decide that if I used shipping tape to join pieces that would work. It did, but the tape just wasn't staying together.  So, I said, well, maybe after putting the tape on the seams, I could sew the seams for added stability.  Whalah!! That seemed to work.  Except....the tape was sticky and the gumminess gummed my needle which then prevented the thread from feeding through!  FRUSTRATED!!!! But undeterred, I just kept replacing needles until I got it to a point that I could wear it and it didn't fall apart.

Then, it was time to paint.  I knew I wanted it to be purple because I had these fabulous purple pumps that were perfect accessories in my opinion.  I painted it the same day of the photoshoot because I was leaving for New York to see my daughter the next day and would be in NYC at the time the photos were to be submitted.

Because nothing can be simple for me, once the dress dried, we were headed to our chosen shoot location; the fountain at Tiger Lane.  Here is when I realized another problem.  The paint (white) flicked off like snowflakes every time you touched the dress!!  OMG, So, as I put the dress on at the location, paint was all over my arms, back and neck.  We tried to wipe it off as best we could, but close ups show me looking like a glitterball!!!

But, in the end, it was all worth it.  I LOVED how great these photos turned out and I thought the dress was really cute.  I used silver electrical tape for the belt.  And did you catch the suble reference - BUBBLE wrap and bubbles of water cascading behind me?  LOL.  I am silly, yes it's true!

And I did make it to the FINALE!  The final category was Ball Gowns! Stay tuned!