CTW, Ready to Romp: Not-So-Juvenille Hipster

I hesitate to say, "Romper Room," because in the service industry, that is the term used when there are too many families with children in the restaurant.  So I'm just going to bundle any juvenile educational programming inspirations into "Children's Television Workshop."

I wanted to make a dress quick quick quick.  I have a record of making a lot of separate pieces.  Even the gown that I did most recently was a two-piece, and wanted to challenge myself to do something speedy and easily constructed without being too simple-looking or boring.

So sleeves and pants were out, and a halter neckline and a skirt was in.   I can't say that this romper dress is Simple.  I can't just put out a potato sack with a belt!  But the whole thing, including designing, drafting, and mocking, took less than 12 hours, which is really fast even considering I also re-drafted and mocked the skirt after a first failed attempt.

I have learned in the past that adding too many extras, like pockets and buttons, to a garment made with fabric that has a busy print on it, the details disappear, so I found a way to make this busy print work for me rather than against me.  See how the pleating has made the stripes look like they are changing direction?  That's because I used my new fascination with drafted pleating to give the printed pattern a new dynamic without having to cut and sew on a new piece of fabric.

The Love Boat: Julie McCoy Announcing Fun and Fabulousness on the Lido Deck

I don't know why I didn't make something like this until now. I've had in the back of my mind doing a dress for Julie McCoy inspired by not only her blue and white uniform, but also by the famous Pacific Princes logo.  Throw a little bit of Charo in, and I love it!

As many of you know, evening dresses aren't always my strength, which is surprising because I do like making things that are really fitted, and evening gowns are exactly that, just long.  Of course, I couldn't make it easy on myself and do a one-piece...

The bodice is supposed to look like her uniform jacket, with the opening of the "collar" exposing the "shirt" underneath.  I really like this effect and it's was kind of difficult to accomplish, which makes me extra grateful that it turned out well!

The super-wavy double skirt took a LOT of fabric, but looks amazing in motion, I wish I could show you how Trina twirled sashayed around the room during the fittings. 

By the way, did you play the video of the Love Boat Theme Song I posted?  Needless to say, there was more than one selection to choose from when I searched for the opening credits, but the one I posted was the very first one I played.  Halston, Bob Mackie, Gloria Vanderbilt?  All in one?!  I didn't need to search for ANY other choice in video to post.

Sushi Ra - Obi Insanity!

I told you that Raine's Alter ego, Sushi Ra, was going to be seen again someday!  And this time, she's wearing two wigs and a hairpiece. Because everyone knows, Big Hair plus Big Shoulders makes everything else look smaller.


          I had to find a way to use the rest of this cool sushi satin, so I decided to make a roundabout kimono.  I designed at first a more literal kimono because I like the two layered effect of the "collar" and thought it would make for a good change for a cool color combination, but in the end thought that making an actual kimono would not only be obvious, but not original, so instead I changed it to something else.

This blouse's insane sleeves are definitely the standout of this outfit, don't you think?  They are inspired by that big pillow thing on the back of the kimono belt, called the Obi, or more specifically, the Obi Jime.

The shorts again employ my newly discovered excitement for "drafted draping."  Yes, it looks a little diaper-ish, but the baggy pleated look is in right now and I finally figured out how to do it while not ruining the shape of the backside.  The secret is that it's not baggy because it's loose, it's baggy because I chose where it was going to stand away from the body.

Wild Kingdom: The Earth Goddess Makes a Grand Entrance

I call this a Grand Entrance jacket, meaning it only gets worn when making a bold statement upon entering a party, or walking on the red carpet and getting your picture taken, but you want to take it off before even thinking about sitting down.  It's not that the jacket's not comfortable, it's that the pleating is so deliberate, it will be ruined if crushed, and you can't iron it.

 There is something jungle-y and natural about the choice of fabric.  The jacket's crinkly nature and tiny pinstripes remind me of tall, dry Serengeti grass, and the simple dress underneath is beige with a shiny tiger stripe print, so, yes, the design came first, then the TV inspiration focused it.

When you first see this outfit, one might think, "Oh, noes.  He has gone over to the drapy dark side..." but this outfit is drafted drapy, meaning I didn't just throw a piece of fabric on a dressform and fold and hope for the best.  I actually made a pattern and mathematically controlled the angles that each pleat would fall and therefore created a symmetrical and evenly balanced garment that never would have been possible if I had just pleated fabric haphazardly.  I am very happy with the result and even looking at this picture of final flat pattern makes me happy!  Would you think that something like that ends up looking like something like this?

Angie: Finally!

Finally, after three duds, I make something that I like!

I you watched the video of the opening theme credits from the second season of, "Angie," (because if you're like me, you can't get enough of that song!) I was inspired by the "Apple Throwing" jacket and hat that Donna Pescow is wearing and also by the outline that appears around the opening title.

Yes, this is the same material that I used for the suit I didn't like a while back.  It is actually a woolen blue and white houndstooth, but appears grey when you actually stand back.  Well, this time, the color change wasn't a surprise, and I actually wanted it to look grey, so it worked out.

This is another one of those deceptively complicated pieces that you have to do a lot of work on to make it look this simple.  Those curved stripes?  Not easy...  I considered for a moment doing the stripes to edge the collar to really make the extreme asymmetry stand out as well as edging the cuffs to show how they are bigger than the arm.  In the end, I am glad I was not willing to put in the work, because it would have been stripe overkill and looked cheesy.  Yay for editing!

Oh, and Raine is looking very smug that she got to play Angie, although Leonora got her revenge already because I originally made a pair of shorts to go with this outfit, but didn't like them, so Raine had to borrow a pair of Nora's jeans.  And they didn't get washed first...