The Five Hour Evening Gown

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My fancy boyfriend works for a fancy company that had their holiday party at the Field Museum. Last year I wore a dress I made in college, which is lovely, but other folks were wearing floor length gowns and I was insanely jealous. No one told me I could wear a gown! Now that my prom days are behind me, there really aren’t that many opportunities for a country bumpkin like me to get formal. When evening wear is an appropriate option, expect me in a floor length gown. The petit hiccup was, being 20-something and the portrait of a struggling artist, my stock of Elie Saab and Valentino gowns is limited to, uh, none. On top of that I had three days to come up with something that would be fabulous enough to impress all of my boyfriend’s impressive colleagues.

So, I took a late night trip to Joann’s and bought $15 worth of black stretch velvet and I just started cutting out shapes.

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Shape one.

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Shape two.

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I sewed one seam up the back and then attached the two together. Then a problem……

I guess the issue with not having a fully formed plan and cutting first is that you run out of fabric. Yeah. I didn’t really think that one through… the how do I make this stay on me thoughts came a little late in the process. This back isn’t what I would have done if I had had all the options, but it came out better than I thought it would. I cut some of the length off the hem and made these straps.

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It ended up being much less of a low back on me than on the form. Which is maybe a good accident considering I ate a lot and danced pretty hard.

This dress turned out to be so much more elegant than I expected it to and total it took me about five hours! I wore my five hour evening gown very proudly and topped it off with my favorite pair of earrings. Here are some photos from one of the most fabulous of evenings! Happy Holidays all my fellow crafties!

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Please excuse my selfie, I was proud of my sudden ability to curl my hair!

Please excuse my selfie, I was proud of my sudden ability to curl my hair!

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There’s that baldy!

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Check out the beautiful beaded purse from the 30s my mom gave me at Thanksgiving!

A girl can't wear stilettos when grasping across the African safari! *cough* exhibit.

A girl can’t wear stilettos when traipsing across the African safari!
*cough* exhibit.

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Dan and Meg’s Sue selfie! Featuring a pair of sparkly earrings made by yours truly! Aren’t they cute!

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LBD and sparkly earrings. We are so Audrey.

Ah hey Sue!

Ah hey Sue!

:*

Bejeweled Visitors

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I am blessed to have so many generous, talented and dear friends. Three of them, Arlene from SC and Sweet Hannah and Kelly from IN, came to visit last weekend and we had a fabulous time! The four of us went to brunch (duh), then Millennium Park where we got caught in a sudden storm and took refuge in The Art Institute where we stayed until it closed, then a block party undeterred by the weather where I played some music with my cousin, then to a The Boxer (the play I recently costumed), then back to the block party where everyone had retreated to their beds and forgotten the four table long buffet. The day concluded with the four of us, fork in hand, stuffing our faces with abandoned cakes, cookies, BBQ sliders and trays of mayonnaise based salads. On top of that, it was Kelly’s birthday. Too. Perfect.

Here is a photo of them struttin’ round Chicago wearing my jewels! *swoon*

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Stop. They’re too beautiful.

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Thanks for the glorious weekend ladies!

New Pretties and Summer Lovin’

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I hadn’t seen my boyfriend Ricky in three months! Three months too long! After having been apart for most of the summer while I was working in Charleston and traveling, we reunited in Denver, CO. Obviously, the first thing we did was go to brunch. (Our first date was a brunch date and it definitely set a precedent for the relationship to follow). We ate at Snooze. So delicious and totally worth the wait. I would highly recommend it. Especially the Bloody Mary’s. Drink ALL the bloody Mary’s. 

Since my boyfriend hadn’t seen me in so long I felt like I needed to put my best foot and outfit forward. I had recently found an adorable floral dress at the salvation army and I needed some summery earrings to match. This is what I came up with…

There he is! He liked the earrings too.

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Look! My boyfriend is back!

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Had to remind him how cute I can be.

Romance.

Hell Yes to This Dress!

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You guys, I made a wedding dress!

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About a year ago my cousin Beth asked me if I would make her wedding dress. I honestly can’t remember how it came up, but I immediately and obviously said yes to the dress. It was without a doubt the greatest undertaking of my sewing career –and let’s be real, I’ve made some serious shit–The dress is up-cycled from a very 1990s-boxy-polyester-nightmare. I used it as an understructure and for the base fabric of the corset. The rest of the fabric is silk and purchased — white chiffon over cream organza with Chantilly lace around the hem and belt. Something old and something new, right?

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Alright lace! Time for your close up!

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Can you see my hand stitching? Yeah… I didn’t think so.

Oh and I added a liiiiiiittle surprise! SOMETHING IS BLUE AND IT’S THE LINING!

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Muahahahaha! She was so surprised!

I toiled away for months and hundreds of hours and just when I was about to give up all hope a gorgeous dress magically emerged from my tears. Hahaha! And I would do it all again a million times over for my sweet and beautiful cousin Beth.

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Isn’t she lovely?!

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I love the cute little bow in the back! Haha, and the iPhone shadow!

More photos to come! I have been waiting to write this post for months and I just couldn’t wait any longer.

Sneak Attack Friendship!

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Today I left Jordan a little surprise on his desk!

See post : Jordan Bishop and the Game of Ties

I miss small towns because people don’t lock their houses and you can do casual bike-by’s to see if your friends are home and want to come out and play. That wouldn’t really happen in Chicago — travel an hour, ring your friend’s doorbell, no answer, get back on the train, and go home. Ew. Also, when people leave their houses unlocked you can play pranks on them. Tehehe. Although I wasn’t feeling very pranky today. Just friendly.

Check out these GEMS! They are so terribly wonderful!

PS. That’s a homemade carrot cake cupcake. Um-hmm.

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Jordan Bishop and the Game of Ties: Sneak Attack Friendship

Jordan Bishop and the Game of Ties

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Dear Jordan.

Dear Jordan the adventurous dresser.

A little over a year ago I bought my dear friend Jordan a tie. It is this burnt-yellow-70s-paisley-atrocity that many would assert belongs in a landfill, but from the moment I saw it hiding behind its fellows at the salvation army, I knew it belonged around Jordan’s neck. This tie was the inception of one my favorite life games. Like follow the french people, find the oldest thing in the museum, and order coffee using names like Wheatheart and Medusa, find the tie and buy it for Jordan is a surefire way of entertaining myself.

Life games; the way to live.

A little over a year later Jordan’s gifted-thirfted tie collection is from four different states, rummage sales, thrift stores and nicked from theater stocks. I plan on playing this game until Jordan tells me he has run out of friendship or closet space. Hopefully neither will happen.

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