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Craft Rage

...Making a mess of things since 1973


Pink Abomination / Deep Fried Moths

I think I had a breakthrough.

The Pink Abomination, (AKA giant transvestite skating costume) is kicking my ass, and I finally figured out why. They say the definition of insanity is doing the exact same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. Hey, I never claimed to be sane. I've tried editing the pattern for the bust area in a number of ways, and none of them work properly, so maybe I need to stop trying.

The last time you saw the top of the dress, it looked like this;

I had converted the bust gathers to bust darts, then realized that this, in addition to the repetitive floral pattern over the bust, REALLY make things look bad. And there's no getting around this - there is NOTHING I can do with those flowers so that they aren't either directly over my lady-lumps, or else just sitting between them.

Here are all the things I've tried so far;

Following the pattern exactly
Massive monoboob (where two become one because there isn't enough fabric), along with wicked underarm gaposis

Adding 2" of length along the bottom seam to give more chest room
Baggy gathers that sit right under the breast line and make me look like gravity has been particularly cruel.

Doing an FBA on a pattern without darts (which I made up as I went along, because I couldn't find a tutorial on the 'net)
Strange curved seam at the sides, moderately...lumpy appearance of excess fabric.

Redoing bodice #2 and changing gathers to darts
Monoboob again, plus gaposis under the arm, which only went away when I made a really awful-looking seam from the underarm to the bust point. That's the picture that's shown above.

The Bottom Line
I like everything about this dress except for the front of the bodice. It's high-backed, which I like, and the length of the skirt is pretty good. I'd like the skirt to flare out a little more, which I think I have the skills to do just by cutting the skirt a bit wider. The only problem is the bust area.

I think I might try draping a bodice for myself - I have a dress dummy and all the right materials, so what I think I might do is remove the front of the bodice, pin the whole hot mess to Clarice (too much Silence of the Lambs), and then see if I can drape a simple halter. I'll probably try it with the lace, just to see if folds make the flowers less boobcentric, but I'm starting to think that leaving the lace on the skirt and doing the whole top of the bodice in just the satin would be perfectly fine.

Once again, I'm REALLY glad I went out and bought pink fabric for this test dress. If I'd have experienced failure on this level with the silvery green fabric I intend to actually use, I'd probably have given up and bought a dress by now. It's kind of an expensive muslin, since it's the same fabric as my actual dress fabric, just in a yucky color, but honestly, it's still cheaper than giving up.

Deep Fried Moths
In my last post, I mentioned that I'd just returned from the lake. Every year, we try to get out with the Hotness' family - his older brother and wife (I'll call them Fred and Wilma) and his younger brother and wife (I'll call them George and Judy). This year, Judy is very pregnant with the Hotness' new niece or nephew, so it was just the Hotness and I, Fred and Wilma and their two boys, and Wilma's parents.

I come from a hardcore camping family, as does the Hotness, so I'm used to a certain level of discomfort while camping. On past camping trips, we've mostly tented, and as much as I enjoy actually camping, I LOATHE setting up and taking down, particularly since taking down always seems to happen in the rain.

This trip, however, was our first trip with our new (to us) 29 foot travel trailer. We bought it late last year as insurance salvage - it was written off due to "hail damage" which in this case, equates to five, dime-sized dents across the top and a small crack in a fiberglass panel at the front of the trailer, invisible to the naked eye.

We paid less than $2000.00, and the thing has an awning, a working fridge, stove, and oven, a full bathroom including a little tub, a king sized bed and AIR CONDITIONING. Yes, AIR CONDITIONING, all caps, and maybe even some exclamation points!!! Gaylen and Marjie, you mentioned that you aren't really into roughing it, but I think you'd both enjoy doing it this way!

On Friday, it hit 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 Fahrenheit) before 12:30 in the afternoon, so we cooked brunch outside, then went inside and sat in the air-conditioned shade and had a leisurely meal. That night, it was still pretty warm, but over the course of two days, the Hotness had caught enough fish to feed six adults and two children (his limit plus reeling in mine - I'm an indifferent fisher; I love to sit in the boat and fish, but I could not care any less about actually catching a fish).

My future sister in law Wilma has magical fish fry powers - I'm not sure how she does it, but she's like the Macgyver of fish batter - she can take a few seemingly unrelated ingredients and turn them into deep fried heaven. Of course, if you deep fry bear turds, I'd probably eat them with gusto, which in part explains my large rear end, but I digress.

Each of us fired up the camp stoves and started cooking - she did the fish, I did the chips. Halfway through the process, the Hotness decided we couldn't live without a lantern on the cooking table. Wilma and I eyed one another doubtfully, but the Hotness couldn't be talked out of it. Until ten minutes later, when Wilma and I were living a scene from a horror movie in which moths descend on you and...uh...flap their wings at you. Okay, so it wasn't really all that scary. Until the moths started landing in the hot oil. They really crisp up nicely, but I doubt they taste very good.

It wasn't quite as horrific as Camilla's spider (thanks, by the way - I've been dreaming of giant spiders for two nights, now), but it WAS pretty gross.

Anyway, I'm off to try to figure out how to drape a bodice. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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Blogger thesunbrellastore Says:

Thank you very much for your nice information.

Sunbrella Fabric

Blogger Marjie Says:

Yeah, take the lace off the bodice. Also, did you try 2 or 3 smaller darts 1/2" to 1" apart? It might make the line nicer. Also, I often have to do the "dart from the side" thing to avoid armhole gap.

Blogger camillaknits Says:

Can't help with your stitching crisis, but if the 'monoboob' is big enough, will anyone care? I'm guessing you'd be the hit of the eveining. I can leave you with this, though. Growing up near Lake Superior, with black bears running amok, this was a popular treat, and I still make them, though my kids have never seen actual 'bear turds'...
Bear Turds (no-bake choc. cookies)
assemble/pre-measure before starting, as you have to work quilk-like, but here's the gist of it:
boil for three minutes:
1/2 cup milk (whole milk is best)
1/2 cup butter (real, not oleo)
2 cups sugar (I mean it)

remove from heat and stir in quickly:
2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 cup coconut, flaked or shredded
1/2 cup chopped nuts (peanuts, walnuts, and pecans all work well)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutched cocoa if you like the milder flavor and darker color.

Mix well, drop by spoonsful onto parchment paper, cool, and kiss your waistline goodbye. This is a small-batch recipe. (That's just to make you feel better when they're all gone in two days.) Happy sewing. Sorry about the spider-shivers... you should see the ones in the yard! Cami

Blogger Moxie Tonic Says:

I agree with trying the halter style instead - I think a style that "lifts and separates" would be much more flattering.
Have you considered only using the lace overlay on the skirt and leaving the bodice without? Perhaps there is enough going on, on top without the addition of the busy lace pattern. Then you could add some interest around the seam between the two with a tie or sash... Did that make any sense?

Blogger Paula Says:

I enjoy your writing so much. The humor you inject into your posts keeps me laughing for days. By the way, I gave you an award on my site. :-)

Blogger Kristin Says:

You are killing me as usual with your rapier wit.

I agree with removal of the offending lace floral boob markers and going with satin. A v-neck or halter would be ever so flattering and may eliminate some of the issues you have been having.

P.s. I got sidetracked by a quilt contest and have not made the dresses yet, but I did buy a boat-load of fabric so I can make a few (dozen).


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