Halloween Phail Special: Ghostly Hatred!

Raine is so upset at this boring outfit that she is crying...

So as usual, when I don't like I an outfit, I just have fun with photoshop with the images.

This outfit was originally made to be worn with jeans and boots, but the top ended up looking so Spring/Summer that the seasons didn't fit together, so I reused a flowy white skirt from another outfit.

I still hate it...

And so does Raine....

Space Cadet - Not Lost Anymore!

I'm finally (hopefully!) coming out of my slump with a "Lost In Space" outfit that was for the first time, not inspired by a human character!

No it's not Robot B9, but the spaceship itself. Back in the early days of sci-fi TV shows there very often seemed to be these curved beams in the hallways of the ship's interior, usually painted orange, with holes cut out of them.

So you can see in the detail of the top, I did subtle cutouts on the curved bands around the armholes.

And... Well, other than that, it's just a nice little urban dress that would be comfortable to wear. It's made out of stretch cotton jersey with faux suede trim. This was originally just supposed to be a simple underdress with a jacket being the main focus, but the jacket turned out a little too cartoony and costumey since it was bright blue and heavier on the suede to the point it looked a little cowboy-ish. I liked the dress by itself, so here it is!

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Burnett Week Part II: Trina is a Tramp. What?!

I had fun with this one because the skit that this one-day dress was inspired by still makes me smile like an idiot no matter what I'm doing or where I am!

Carol once did a musical number for "The Lady is a Tramp" on her show, dressed like a nerd. For no reason! I remember laughing hysterically the whole song the first time I watched it, I couldn't even hear that she actually did a great job singing.

Check out this video to see the original scene!

So, obviously, I did not do a nerd outfit, but I took the stripes from the TV outfit and changed it to a long skirt and the old brown skirt was made into the top. This type of dress is what I would imagine Carol's character was thinking she was wearing. If I had given myself more time than one day to create a multi-peice look, I would have made a coat to echo the shapes of the sweater that she was wearing in the skit. Maybe some time in the future!

You might have to look a little close at the detail, but the turtleneck has an interesting gather pattern. I didn't want to do something plain, since I have used turtlenecks a few times before. So I did a little dart manipulation technique to make an asymmetrical gathering that travels diagonally across Trina's bust.

The skirt is make from a funky 70's pattern stretchy fabric that is VERY see-through. I had to make a slip underneath to keep the outfit decent which you can see a little in the pictures. I'm so glad that I got to finally use that fabric and I wish there was a way to show how it swings and bounces when it gets moved around. Trina refuses to let anyone see her walk, though. She's shy.

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Burnett Week Part I: Carol Says Hello

Last, week, I lamented that I could not do one of my heroes, Bob Mackie, justice due to the subject of the challenge. So this week, I wanted to take one of the fabulous shows that he used to costume, the Carol Burnett show, and bust out a little three-day collection.

Every week, Carol used to come out on the stage and turn the lights to the audience so they could ask questions. It was one of my favorite parts of the show because she was so funny playing with them and also she would come out wearing a great Bob Mackie gown that would normally be not fitting for an actress performing comedy to wear, but she always pull it off.

It was partially because the outfit was glam, but not too glam, which is a testament to the designer. It put her on a higher level than a regular woman, but kept her still approachable, like she wouldn't mind if someone walked up to her and asked if they could touch her dress to feel the texture of the shiny fabric.

For the top of this dress, I bravely opened up my "special vintage" fabric box to use some very old lame' fabric that I got at a garage sale. (I'm sure it's more valuable than what I paid for it) Other than the stripes that are inset to the material, it is very see-through, so I had to adjust the position of the largest stripe very strategically as I drafted a bodice that gathered and pleated into the diamond-shaped center.

The skirt is very simple with a slight pull-up in the front. There is so much going on on top, I did not want to make the bottom too active. Looking back, I could have actually complicated the skirt a little more, so I will be sure to do that next time.

Run, Carol! Run!

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Jetson Collection I: Judy Jetson is Ready for Blast Off

Eeep! I'm re-using a wig so soon again! But how could I make a Judy Jetson and not have her with white blonde hair? Would have been simply erroneous!!! Erroneous!

I designed this outfit for a popular high-school/college age girl that everyone likes. She dresses nicely and neatly for school (remember when people used to do that? One can only hope that the trend will return before 2062, the year in which The Jetsons is set) and takes care of her clothing and hair.

I didn't necessarily want to go with Judy's Hot Pink/Mauve color scheme, but I did want to make sure I nodded at her triangular collar, which was pretty much a standard with the female characters on the show (the male characters, even the male dog, usually had circular-plate shaped collars).

I could have made a more standard collar, but as we all know, really big collars automatically makes things high fashion and impressive! (The secret is, though, big collars like that are not only just as easy to make as normal-sized collars, but they also can hide flaws that might be underneath! Don't tell anyone!)

This outfit was almost trashed. My original plan was to build another signature sleeve example to add to my portfolio. As you know, I love the look that I make with the large bishop sleeves sticking out of a short sleeved jacket. It's not something that I see around, although I do see a lot girls doing double layering of long sleeved tee shirts worn under short-sleeved tees.

Anyway, the jacket came out looking costumey (or cartooney? ha!) and did not look like it was meant to go with the blouse. It also did not look like something that I could see a girl wanting want to wear to school or even to walk down the street, so I called PHAIL!

But after I came to my senses and saw how I could not just ignore such a cute skirt, I told myself that I could use some practice making tailored jackets, and since I had plenty of this great fabric left, I went for it.

So first I replaced the blouse with another mock turtleneck. They are in fashion again, you know....

And did a quick misses' tailored jacket which ended up looking clean and well-made! Excitement! I like when things go from Phail to Phabulous!

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Jetson Collection II: Jane's Night Out

This week's challenge involved using a divorcee's wedding dress to re-create a new look for her, basically a "first date after the divorce" outfit.

I was not about to go out and buy a wedding dress just to take it apart, (even at thrift stores, wedding dresses are not cheap!) but I remembered a friend gave me her old bridesmaid's dresses, one of which I have already used, and lo and behold, one of them was purple, just like Jane Jetson's staple outfit, and the outer fabric was futuristic-looking semi-transparent shiny crepe! Score! Thanks, Sara!

I knew that I had to do a nice dress for a lady "of a certain age" for Jane, while still making it known that she still has a very nice body.

After much mental deliberation, I decided on a criss-cross halter to echo her original triangle-shaped collar, and made use of the old dress's liner fabric to create the double-layered skirt that cartoon Jane's outfit had. Sorry, I decided against the purple tights, though. I know you're disappointed. Take this time to cry and I'll be here when you come back.

Here's the make-it-work time. I hated this dress when I first finished sewing it. You can see in the picture to the right, the original placement of the the skirt. Boring! It just hangs there and there's really nothing "designer" about it. The liner underneath looks like it was hemmed incorrectly rather than being intentionally longer than the outer skirt.

I started taking pictures anyway, resigning myself to the fact that I wouldn't have to worry about putting this one in my portfolio and at least it had only taken one day to make.

Then, in a fit of "No! I can't just let this be unimpressive!" I pulled up the sides and attached them asymmetrically to the waistband, and it created more fullness, more shine, and more interest! Sounds like a commercial for Pantene! Thank you, Easter Bunny!

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Jetsons Collection III - Rosie's Revenge

This week was a tough one for me. There are SO many reasons why this pop-star performace outfit was destined for phail, but let's start with the positives!

Conceptually, there was a lot about this outfit that stemmed from Rosie's maid outfit. The grey material of the jacket is obvious as a base inspired by Rosie's metal robot body. The ruffles at the collar and the cuffs are also meant to echo those in the cartoon version. The extra wide peplum looks like an apron. So those are the givens.

If you look closer, you can see that there are grommets/rivets placed in various places on her jacket, and the sleeves are meant to look like they are disconnected and being held on by buttons, just like Rosie's arms are being held on by the large red buttons above her biceps.

So on to my feelings about why this is not good? I start with the actual TV challenge. I do not care at all for Aggie. I am not inspired by Aggie. I would never care to make a garment for Aggie because I think she is rude. So with this outfit, I did not have in my head an outfit for Aggie, but for another pop tartlet that I like much better, Rhianna. She has a daring fashion sense and is not afraid to wear something with no pants.

But here's the thing. I LOVE Bob Mackie!!! He is my hero because has done a LOT of design for old TV shows, and SO respected in the fashion world. I want to be like him! So next week, I am dedicating myself to do a collection inspired by a famous show that he used to dress.

Disappointments with this most recent PR episode aside, and my lament with the grey fabric being more difficult and wrinkle prone that I would have liked, and the fact that I discovered too late the white material for the ruffly blouse had a mild case of mildew, the fault in this outfit lies with me in the end. I wanted to make an outfit that was over the top and stage-not street- wearable. And although this outfit is definitely not understated, it needs to be much more grand and awe-inspiring.

All a learning experience, though! Better to learn from mistakes so you know how to better your product next time.

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Little House Of Nellie, Now in INC!

This week's challenge was to design two outfits for the INC brand, which is exclusive to Macy's. INC is a line of clothing that I would describe as "young city professional with an edge."

This work was also supposed to be done all in blue, but I don't always have the luxury of going shopping with a $100 budget for each of these exercises, so I used what I had available, and I have been waiting for an opportunity to use these two fabrics for a while. They were good finds!

I chose "Little House on the Prairie" for this TV inspiration. Seems strange, doesn't it? Not really, though. I feel like the character of Nellie Oleson today would have grown up to want to be a bitchy business woman like her mother, but still want to dress in frilly, ruffly garments like she did as a spoiled child.

Ruffles ARE NOT used to hide flaws. They add visual interest, femeninity, and romanticism when used correctly, thank you very much. Chew on THAT, ruffle-haters!

This top is convertible, as you can see, and can be worn with or without the belt/sash. I like it both ways. Raine is excited to be holding a purse. That is the only way she is tolerating being a bleached blonde for a week.

Also, be sure to click on the pictures to see the larger view. There is a cool pattern on the pants that you can't see too well in the small pictures!

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Little House of Laura: The Country Girl Remembers The Easy Life

Everyone knows that Laura grew up to be Laura Ingalls Wilder, first a teacher and then a famous author, so as a grown-up, she would probably be dressing a little more professionally than this, but on the show (at least when Melissa Gilbert was still little and show was still good) she was labelled a "country girl" from the first time she met Nellie at school.

So I went with the country kitchy vibe and gave it a Behemian 70's translation. Bohemians are poor, and so was the Ingalls family.

Laura's child costumes all seemed to have similar features, whether they were her play clothes or her Sunday best: square cut front with a round collar, gathered dirndl skirt (a simple rectangle of fabric gathered into the waistline), and gathered/puffy sleeves.

I could go into the reasons why all these aspects were appropriate to the period and social class, but I'm sure it would bore you. Let's just say that it has something to do with the fact that Laura's mother made all the family clothing.

This is again for the INC challenge. This line is from Macy's and it also seems affordable (compared to expensive designer outfits). So this dress is very simple (HA! Read "Simple" when I made a similar dress a little over a year ago and it took three days! OMG! Same wig!) and actually photographs more fancy than it looks in person, which is fine with me!

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