Puffy piles of pretty

20 Oct

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Upping the Rhinestone content on the Butchart Gown in preparation for the Snowball Classic next month.

Seattle Star Ball 2014

7 Aug

It was a hot one.   Like really hot, hot, hot.   At least by our feeble West Coast standards.  It was the kind of hot that even though we were in a chilly air conditioned ballroom, the sweat from dancing was still damp after sitting in the chill for over an hour waiting for results.  For those unfamiliar with competition etiquette, it is considered bad form to change out of costume until after the awards are presented, so after basically sprinting indoors off and on for an hour or so, the ladies pull off their shoes, the guys rip off the soaking jackets and we wait.

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Then we get really, really cold and start putting (mostly wet) clothes back on and wait some more.

If we are really smart, we take photos before the results.  Especially wise when one is moving up a category for the first time!

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We did ok in spite of feeling a bit inadequately warmed up and Bill pulling a calf muscle part way through.  We were not a bit intimidated by the idea of a floor full of faster moving Novice and Pre-Champ dancers.  Perhaps we should have been….

Nevertheless, we came 5th in Senior II Open Novice Standard (not last!) and 6th in Senior I Open Novice Standard.  Last, but with just a few non-last place marks.  This is how one adjusts expectations when moving up.  LOL.  Third in  Senior I Gold Standard which was very close to a 2nd place.  The tie had to be broken by some magical algorithm that, as it is math, I won’t attempt to explain.

Then, we take photos:

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Hair – get the hair!

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My ballroom sister Candy, also with a new dress and fancy new hair.

And then the silly photos.

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The new gown performed really well and I am excited to get working on it again – finalize the way the floats connect, get some rhinestones on the skirt and a few other little details.  should be gorgeous-er in time for The Snowball Classic.

Oh – one more thing!  Since this gown has lovely flowers in the organza over skirt and the rhinestone flowers on the top look more like fireworks, I am naming this one The Butchart Gown after the fabulous Gardens that have amazing flowers and a breathtaking fireworks display every Saturday night throughout the summer.

Done enough to wear – magical day.

27 Jul

Finally at the DAY!  Done enough to wear.  If an emergency competition broke out tomorrow, it could be safely worn.  Of course there is still work to be done!  Of course some things are attached with safety pins!  But this is all par for the course.  It is a great feeling to imagine the dress as it will look out on the floor.

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We, the Design Helper and I, have gone with the wispy, feathery bits of floats that seem so popular now, plus some ribbons, which are fun

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I think perhaps a few more to add some volume are called for.  Will know better when we get some video of the dress in action at practice.

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More rhinestones are in the mail.  Will be adding more dark stones to the top to make a better contrast and something will be added to the skirt.  Not sure just what yet.

 

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Drat – still seeing the belt overlap.  Something will have to be done with that.

That’s it for the sneak peek!  Hope to dance this lovely dress in Seattle very soon:-)

DIY hair ornament – Claire’s hair jewelry hack

26 Jul

Ah, the old “take the photos and never do the blog post trick, eh?”  I took these in May and just found them following some hair ornament conversation on Pattern Review.  I wanted a bigger ornament for several reasons – to cover the insertion point of the hair piece and any messy hairdressing I may have done there, to make adding the ornament quicker and to make it easier to put on and take off.

Here’s what you need: an inexpensive hair comb like this one from Claires  , some coordinating hair swirls  or other lovely bits of whatever, bathtub caulk that dries clear, scissors, pliers, bag to cover your kitchen cutting board, heavy powermesh fabric or something similar – pleather might work, plastic knife or popsicle stick for spreading, elegant wig stand (mine is a yogurt tub holding my pressing ham (covered in plastic) and it works quite well, iPad, bluetooth speakers to listen to Stuff You Should Know and other education podcasts while working.

 

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After deciding the general shape and cutting several layers of power mesh, spread the tub caulk on the mesh as evenly as possible.  Let it dry for at least several hours.

Cut the little corkscrew backs off of the individual ornaments and arrange them on the backing.  Secure them with globs of caulking and allow to dry. Trim the backing when it is all dry.

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Put a line of caulking on the comb and set the new piece in place.

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I suspect I supported this in some ingenious way until it dried.  Finished piece with the hair piece.  No photos yet – hope to get them at the next competition!

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One little weird glitch is that the caulking reacted with the metal and it is a lovely turquoise now.  I would perhaps give the comb a few coats of clear nail polish to prevent that next time.

A box of linen thread

18 Jul

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Who doesn’t need a 12 spool box of No. 35, 3 cord white Barbours Linen thread?  They are all intact so I couldn’t test it to see if it is even useable.  It is just so gosh-darned cool looking!

Lovely little dressform

16 Jul

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Such a little cutie, just sitting in the thrift shop and only $5.  It is a Perfect Fit Ajust-o-matic dress form made of heavy card stock.  If you zoom in you can see the little slots where you adjust for the Perfect Fit!

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Back view.  This lady was petite, but had a long waist and teeny, tiny hips.

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I desperately wanted to bring her home with me, but just could not justify the purchase.  Brilliant concept though, as it could have been flat packed, assembled by the owner and has quite a lot of adjustability.

My rule for such purchases is that if it is still there the next time I go in, I can buy it.  I somehow doubt she will still be there the next time I go a-thrifting, but you never know.

A Google search turned up an ad/article about the Adjust-o-matic.  Read all about her here.

Two birds

14 Jul

I have been playing with McCalls 6571 for loose fitting pants for ballroom practice.  I made a test pair, a working pair that I made from wicking fabric and I LOVE them.  They are nice and cool and don’t look too horrible with the black oxford style practice shoes I usually wear.

But I wanted something dressier, yet not quite as dressy as this skirt and top. A friend had given me a chunk of slightly stretchy pinstripe that I thought would look great, but it didn’t stretch anywhere nearly enough.  Hmmmm….  So I cut out the pattern with 2 1/2″ margins all the way around (except length) and made up a muslin out of an old sheet.  It kinda fit!  So I made up the pants, took them in a bit along the sides, which effectively made a side seam and was quite sure I would have to put a zipper in the back.  Nice surprise – they slid on over my hips but weren’t too wide at the waist.  a nice wide elastic in the waistband made a nice fit all around.  Yay!

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The magenta top and chain belt are bargains from Ross:-) I asked on Pattern Review about how to wear the belt over the top and have found through just wearing it around the house that it just stays put and looks pretty good.

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And yes, I know the shoes are undone.

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