I am so gloriously busy finishing up projects for Burning Man that I really shouldn’t be starting any new ones. But in the middle of working on one new costume I realized that I needed a pink and gold top hat. Yes, I could have definitely found one at the Beautilities store around the corner, but I also knew I could make it myself. And so, voila, the $1 top hat!
I made it out of scrap cardboard, which of course I got from Fabric Planet (EVERYTHING I make comes from that store, even if it’s using trash). I used hot glue and some packing tape to keep the cardboard together. The base was a little rough–you could see the seams and bends of the cardboard very easily– so I covered it with some foam shelf liner I had lying around.
The hat was then covered in this AMAZING mirror gold that I suspect is actually vinyl wallpaper (wouldn’t it be fabulous in a powder room?). I can’t get over how beautiful the reflections are, but unfortunately it scuffs very easily. For the top I cut out a spiral from a gift bag, which I just can’t wait to see under the lights of the Sensatron on the playa!
The pink glitter lycras are scraps from a new bodysuit I’m making, as is the ruffle gold. I added on some Mardi Gras beads, and the flower applique came from Fabric Planet as well.
Now that I’ve got that lagniappe project finished, I’ve realized I need a pink and gold light up cane. We’ll see about that one.
I usually don’t make clothes for my niece, figuring that my mom supplies everything she needs. But I recently found myself with some scraps too small to make anything for myself and too cute to trash.
Based on measurements I made Allia a sundress from my circus stripe fabric. It turned out to be a little tight and short, but it does look great on her, especially since she and I made some leggings together. Allia sewed the leg seams herself on my machine. She also picked out the elastic on the legs and waistband, and said the blue stripe fabric leftover from some tops makes her feel like Alice in Wonderland.
I’d also saved some pink satin with glitter from a superhero costume that was just enough to whip up a skirt. Again, Allia sewed the sides and did about half of the hem before asking me to take over. She also designed the pocket, based on a sewing bandoleer I’m working on for Burning Man. She drew the whole thing out and picked out shiny lycra scraps for each part.
Allia also put her mad design skillz to work on her loyal friend Scout (she told me once that at nighttime it’s pronounced Scoot). Using a coiled S I had lying on my worktable and a short piece of elastic she made a lovely flapper headband. After Scout’s glamor shots Allia touched up some scratches on her eyes and nose with glossy black paint.
This was Allia’s first time on a machine and my first time sewing with a kid. It was fun to make her designs come to life, but there was an unexpected challenge in being supervised by an 8 year old. She wanted to keep me on task, and kept asking innocent but irksome questions like Are you sure that’s right? and I don’t think that’s the way to do it, as well as giving me pointers such as You should look at my drawing some more before you cut that fabric!
All in all, it was fun and great to see how excited the whole thing made Allia. I’m looking forward to making her a birthday wardrobe from some fuchsia sweater knit I’ve been eying at Fabric Planet!
The name for this dress comes from the colors and the amount of time it took me to complete! It was completely worth the work, especially when Jason and I went up to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve. What an amazing place, perfect for an afternoon of flowers, photos, and a cool bottle of rosé.
This dress has my favorite shades of yellow! It’s so much fun to wear, and of course very comfortable. The skirt is made out of a sheet that has an awesome floral paisley pattern with hidden hearts. I’ve had that fabric for about 3 years, never sure exactly what to make out of it. In February a friend’s tenant gave me the white fabric. It was also a vintage sheet that had been torn in half. It has yellow roses and curls and it couldn’t be softer. It’s an awesome juxtaposition with the first fabric, from the color balance to the formality of the design. I made bias tape in a silky marigold fabric, slightly darker than the yellows in the sheets, which gives the design some structure. It was the only material I bought for this dress, bringing to total cost to about $2.
I was planning on lining the bodice because I was afraid the white would be too transparent. I spent hours getting the pink cotton to fit just perfectly, only to eventually realize that there was no way I would get the lining and the white fabric to line up perfectly. It turned out that the white fabric was thick enough that you can’t see through it, and I don’t even need the extra support of the lining to wear this dress without a bra. It’s also cooler without the extra layer of fabric, and this way I get to feel the soft white fabric against my skin. I’m sure this would have been easy to do if I’d used a pattern, but damnit, I didn’t want to use a pattern!
I’ve got front and back darts that make the bodice fit perfectly but still gives me room to move and wiggle. I put in an invisible zipper at the back (from my mom’s stash), and just about got the print to line up on either side.
The pockets are made out of the same silky polyester as the bias tape. They are set into the side seams of the skirt, which are slightly forward. Like always, I made sure that they are deep enough to carry bottles–this time wine fit! They completely conceal cans, which is important since there are open container laws in California. Although I designed it as a sundress for riding my bicycle, it also works great at night with tights and a cardigan.
Check out this video I made cataloging our day in the flowers!