Saturday, March 12, 2011

Birthday Outfit Update #2: The Fabric Whisperer

Fabric Whisperer, don't we wish. We had all the fabric. The machine is out and humming softly, like it's saying under it's breath, "Pack it up now bimbos; we both know you can't make squat". And we were stumped. We even used the tried and true method of picking up the fabric, rubbing it against our faces, and saying to it in a super-fake Spanish (it could have been French, it was really bad) accent, "Fabric, speak to me! Tell me what you want me to do with you! What do you want to become?" We stopped short of spreading it all over the floor and rolling in it. It's funny how they don't like when you do this at Jo-Ann Fabrics. Whatever, bitches! We needed some inspiration!

By the way, Shrimp said the fabric spoke to her and told her I should do all the sewing. Damn mouthy fabric.

After last Wednesday, all I'd managed to do is finish taking out the seams in baby Mary's pants but that's as far as I got. But I knew that this Wednesday, or "Shrimp Day", we would have to put some major effort into these outfits if we want them to actually be worn for this year's birthday party. Well, and not just worn, but stay semi-put together. We have this vision of the girls going down the slide at their party and pieces of the outfits flying off like beads at a Mardi Gras parade after the underage girls oops, lost their tops! So I got up early- we're talking like 8 am- and got some work done before my real job.

I thought we weren't going to get anywhere unless we started playing with the fabric so I set out to make ruffles. I didn't know what we were going to do with them yet but I knew they'd get used. I picked what I thought would be a good width using the common professional sewing method of 'who-the-f*-knows-ology' and then folded it back and forth so I'd have 4 strips of the same width. At this point , your iron is your friend. That is not a phrase you will ever hear me say outside of the sphere of sewing. But in sewing, it makes things so much easier if you have nice crisp creases to use as cutting guides. I repeated the same with the pink fabric and then cut them out so I ended up with 4 strips of each fabric.

That was pretty much all I'd finished before I had to start working so when Shrimp got here, I put her on ruffle duty. Here she is, slaving away. It took her like 10 minutes to thread the needle.

We first ironed over a tiny bit of the edge and sewed hems on all of them using an over lock stitch with hot pink thread. Then we changed our stitch length to the longest possible and sewed at the top of the unfinished edge and using the tails of the string, we gathered the fabric until we had the ruffles the length we thought we needed.

Shrimp figured any extra we had could be made into a bikini top because hey, those bounce houses get kinda hot! And when I say bounce houses, that's not a nickname for her boobs. I mean the bounce house where they'll have the party. Although I'm sure all the dads would enjoy the show. It might be the first time we get to make money off of a kid's birthday party- dads, bring your singles! We don't take coupons.

Then we decided to just go for it and start with the pants.

We want them to be capri pant length so I cut 3 inches off Mary's pants first. I cut an extra inch off after this picture. And you know my feeling about the difference an inch can make...
We opened the pants up by taking out the inseam so that we could sew on what we needed to and then just sew them back up at the end. Taking the seams out of the sides would not have worked for this project. Then as we were trying to figure out how we were going to try to use the lace, we put it over the pants and said, "Holy crap, that's so tacky! It is ON!"

Hot cha cha! We were trying to figure out what order we'd put the ruffles in at the bottom of the pants and came up with this-

Can't you just hear the Macarena in the background? They are going to look like either little Latin dancers or court jesters. But they will be adorable! If you can't get away with this stuff when you're 2 & 3, then when else are you going to do it? Unless you want to end up on the 'People of Wal-Mart' website, which isn't really a bad life goal. Hey, it's something!

For the shirts, we're thinking of surrounding the cameos with a ruffle and then doing a lace band around the waist to kind of look like a belt with a bow in the pink fabric.

This was as far as we got on Wednesday. Now comes the fun part- construction. Check back to see how that goes. It should be funny since Shrimp is a little, um, 'rusty' (super sucky) on the sewing machine. I told her I was going to have a sewing class called 'The Extra Critical Instuctor' since all I pretty much did was stand over her shoulder and go "Are you STILL threading that needle?" or "You do know that you can press on the pedal to make it go faster, right?" or maybe a few "Yeah, that's great- if you meant for it to look like that." Can't you see why she loves hanging out over here so much?

Oh, and I promised Shrimp I would put in a 'Shrimp Speaks' section in my blogs so that she could give her side of the story, which will probably be delusional but should make for good reading!


Country Mouse said...

love it Anna---can't wait to see the finished product!

abitmiller said...

The pants are outstanding

Anonymous said...

"Shrimp Speaks"? I love it. Can't wait to hear what that lush has to say.