Done enough to wear day!

14 Feb

Well, this gown and the yellow studio do not play well together, but here it is. There will be another float on my right elbow, proper hair (the real fake hair – this is the fake fake hair), makeup, earrings and, as always, a strong possibility of more rhinestones, but this is the general picture.

Fingers crossed for an injury free practice today, so there is a possibility of competition next weekend.



5 Dec

Figuring out how to get rhinestones off an old gown is an interesting challenge.  There don’t seem to be any instructions anywhere on how to remove jewel glue and no ideas even for a solvent that would work.  The only person I knew who had tried to de-jewel a gown had soaked pieces of the dress in water and laboriously picked them off.  Sounds too hard to me!

But as I slowly cut the Disney Princess into strips of stones, I noticed that small stones would almost fall off if the fabric was pulled tightly. It only works well for stones under 20 ss. Larger ones will come off, but the foil backing almost always pulls away.  Fine if you want clear stones, but keeping the AB effect is nice.

So here is the strip of fabric with small stones:


Give the strip a bit of stretch:


And a bit more:


And more:


Be careful not to break it (but sometimes it will anyway):


If you are lucky, the stones will just pop right off the fabric:


But even if they don’t, you can now run a thumbnail along the strip and the rest will tumble off.

I did this in front of the TV with the strips in a giant plastic mixing bowl to catch the stones.  They do tend to fly around, so the bowl worked well as a catching device. Perfect for watching ballroom videos on YouTube.  I recommend some Strictly Come Dancing – the UK version (original) of Dancing With the Stars.

The process with larger stones will be coming along soon.

Yay! They arrived!

26 Nov

Rhinestones appeared yesterday. I am now very busy. That’s it.

Disco ball? N0 – just a dress.

23 Nov

IMG_0406There are little treats that come along with making a ballgown. Looking up from the machine to see the sun has hit the junk collecting err…. cutting table in just the right way to light up the whole room in a very delightful way is one of them. This photo doesn’t really do it justice, but sunshine in November is a rare and wonderful thing, so I had to act quickly.

Here is the object responsible for creating the fabulous effect:


The really cool thing was that as I moved, the dress shifted and the lights danced around.  Kind of a private, indoor Northern Lights!

The stone pattern is evolving and sort of traveling around the dress and in spite of what appeared to be loads and loads of rhinestones in the tins when I started, I had to order more.

The wonders of the postal system:

Date & Time
Status of Item
November 22, 2015 , 7:59 am


Vancouver, CANADA

Your item departed a transfer airport in Metropolitan Area, Vancouver, CANADA on November 22, 2015 at 7:59 am. The item is currently in transit to the destination.

November 21, 2015 , 6:21 am


November 20, 2015 , 4:06 am

Processed Through Sort Facility

November 20, 2015 , 2:21 am

Departed USPS Facility

November 20, 2015 , 2:21 am

Arrived at Sort Facility

November 20, 2015 , 1:40 am

Arrived at USPS Facility

November 17, 2015 , 1:24 am

Arrived at USPS Facility

November 17, 2015 , 12:09 am

Accepted at USPS Origin Sort Facility


You can see that, after it was shipped Monday, the tiny package of rhinestones  has spent time in Bothell, 3 days in Seattle (no doubt hitting all the trendy eateries and bars…) then took off for LA.  More party time? Avoiding the Arctic Outflow Air?  Who knows. Maybe it will be here tomorrow.  OMG, I could have walked to Bothell and back quicker than that. I’m sure there are good and logical reasons for all of those steps, right? Le sigh!

Watching Snowball is better than no Snowball at all.

11 Nov

After a mad dash to finish the new dress, it was deemed last Thursday to be definitely not ready. Problem #1. Back into the sewing room for it and back into the dress bag for the magenta dress.

Off to Vancouver – walking on the 5 pm ferry so we don’t have to drive and park in downtown.  Problem #2. Guess what? There are now so many walk-ons that we barely made it on to the ferry.  They actually threatened to cut off walk-on passengers! While dining sensibly in the buffet with ballroom friends we found there, we realized that the city buses might be clogged and backed up and running late. Since we really wanted to see the Under 21 World Champ Standard event, we bit the bullet and got tickets for the cushy coach line bus, which would take us downtown in style. They even have free on-board wi-fi now!

The Under 21s were fabulous of course, and we stayed late to soak up all of the atmosphere, as well as connecting with  dance friends.  This meant a minimum 6 am start for me for hair and makeup, but this is what a comp weekend is all about, right? I do hate it when my ipad alarm tells me it will go at 6 am “today” though! Oh yes, Problem #3 we discovered when we heaved (hove?) ourselves into bed that there was a serious problem, which, not wanting to investigate at 1 am, we didn’t find out until Saturday morning was a broken off leg on the bed.

The preparations went smoothly in spite of a weirdly slanted sleep, we got to the venue and warmed up. As many of our first rounds go, it was bumpy and kinda crappy. I was so relieved after a collision near the end of the Quickstep that my fearless leader went straight to basic quarter-turn plus chassez so I could catch my breath. Sadly, right after I said a quick “thank you,” he announced his calf had done its thing again. We don’t really know if it is torn, knotted or what, but when that calf gets tight, we know it is in imminent danger of “blowing” and it did. No more dancing for us! Problem #4. And we didn’t make the next round anyway….

After that the weekend went splendidly for the most part! The dancing was magnificent, the friends and acquaintances were great fun and we had a couple of memorable meals. We were surprised Sunday night however, to find that Vancouver does indeed roll up the streets on a Sunday night. A beautiful clear, warm night on Robson Street is usually a good opportunity to party and have fun, but since it was all of 11 pm, we had a heck of a time finding somewhere to eat and have our celebratory beers.  Happy to say that after attempting several of our usual haunts and being turned away, the Cactus Club on Robson not only let us in and fed us, they have a late night happy hour! Whoopee! It would make a great SNL skit – 10 Seniors out on the town.  Among us we have at least 3 heart conditions, one artificial knee, glaucoma, 3 asthmatics and Bill hobbling along on his sore leg. All so we can go crazy and paint the town red on our 1 or 2 beers each and just share the appy please, since we don’t want to eat too much before bed. We really are that old now, folks.

So many new ideas for the dress that I now have time to finish. Next projected date of completion will be Quest for the Best in Seattle in January. Stay tuned.


26 Oct

Yes, the magic moment has arrived.  The first crystals have been placed.  Only several thousand left to go.





Sparkle organza – ugh!

25 Oct

Really – whose ridiculous idea was this?



Really awful, horrible, stupid idea. Those pretty little glittery bits are chunks of something really solid, which are chewing up my scissors and machine needles. They make the fabric hang weirdly, so I ended up chopping off huge amounts of length. The serger needles bump around them so the rolled hem I was making kept pulling off the fabric, making little loops that are perfect for me to catch a heel in.  All in all, fabric purchase fail.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that I found this out the last time I used it and blithely ignored all those problems in my desire to reuse the fabric for speed and cost-savings. The best part is that it is now chopped up into so many small pieces, I will never again be able to try to use it!

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