Hot! Cha-Ching!



Fabric: Stretchy black thrifted fabric/ Upcyled Animal print tank
Pattern:  McCall’s
Year: contemporary
Notions: invisible black zip ( (should have done the Mena test)
Time to complete: about 5 hours
First worn: May 26 out to the local casino with hubbie.
Wear again? Oh yes!
Total price: $1.00 for jersey knit tank!





 First of all, I had a hard time deciding what to make for Viva Las Vegas this week. After looking through my stash, and researching Viva Las Vegas sites on the internet, I decided that I would put the playsuit, I was considering, on hold as a back up, and I went on a search for animal print. I didn’t know exactly what I would do with it, just that I had to have some. My thrifting adventure led me to a simple little stretch top that I thought I could combine with something else from my stash. Amazingly, I had the perfect piece of black stretchy polyester that would work fine. I looked through all of my patterns and pulled any that might work nicely with two colors of fabric. McCall’s 6460 turned out to be just the right look. I cut the tank to make the bodice and used the original neck and arm holes. I was able to piece together trim for the bottom, plus make a hair fascinator, all out of the silly little thing. I’m so happy with how it turned out that I just might have to insist of a real trip to Vegas so that I can strut around in it!

Saturday night after dinner, my husband asked if we were going to go on a photo shoot. It was already 7 o’clock and the light was going fast. I told him about my idea to go to a casino and have some slot machines in the background. It was a crazy idea, both us aren’t really into going to the local casinos because they are always so smoky and it’s really just not our cup of tea. However, for the sake of the dress and The Sew Weekly, we both decided to get out of our comfort zone. We thought about going to the one right in town, but I didn’t want to run into any parents of students I might have. What a place for a conversation about how their child is doing in school, right? We drove to the next town over, so that we might be more anonymous. The last time we happened to stop by this casino was about 20 years ago! It hasn’t changed at all.

My husband was so sweet, I know he felt awkward taking my picture, but he did it just the same. After dropping twenty dollars into the slot machine–hmm, how much fabric could I have purchased with that?—we had several passible photos. Before long, we were approached by Security and told not to take pictures and that we had to erase them. We slipped out soon after that, and even though I said I would, I didn’t erase! Bad girl, right? Well, what do you expect from a wild, hot, smoking, gambling grandma?  Be brave and take risks. Adventurous sewing to all!

One for the road! "You drive, honey."


Hair Fascinator

Dress in daylight



Barbara is a resident of Northern California. She loves to sew and has pledged not to buy retail clothes for the year of 2012. That means she has to make her own, or buy it at a thrift store. I hope she doesn't spend too much on fabric. When she shops for fabric her eyes light up as she imagines the possibilities! She's like a kid in a candy store.


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  1. Ooooh lovely, I have that pattern, now you have spurred me on to get it cut out.

  2. I cannot tell you how much I adore this dress and your complete naughtiness taking photos….and keeping hem….for this challenge. That’s real dedication. I applaud you and the husband…..and I’m seriously going to have to make myself a similar dress, I love leopard print! Well done, love it all!

  3. Oops ‘keeping them’ not ‘keeping hem’, sewist’s Freudian slip

  4. Maybe you were fixated on the hem of this Tempest – I love that little strip of leopard print on there! Finishes it off beautifully.

  5. You are the BEST wild, hot, smoking, gambling grandma I’ve ever known – I LOVE LOVE LOVE this dress on you! How fabulous that you used an animal print and that sassy little dress pattern – totally perfect for this challenge!!

  6. I agree with Kimberly-very sexy Barbara. I love this pattern and think it’s cool that you repurposed a shirt.

  7. Barbara, adorable dress. Just perfect for Viva Las Vegas challenge.. Looks great on you. Happy sewing.

  8. VERY cha-cha!! I’m not surprised you were asked to delete the pics, casinos are cranky about that kind of thing but kudos for your bravery : )

  9. LOL, I love that you took pictures inside the casino! When I first saw this I was like, ‘No Way, Jealous!!’. Way to live on the edge :) The dress looks so nice and it’s allure is only enhanced by the Casino lighting :)

  10. Love it, it’s so sassy! And technically the dress cost you $21 ;) Great job on getting the casino as the backdrop too – perfect!

  11. Oh ShaRon Stone move over, Barbara is in town and she’s feeling lady luck tonight!

  12. I love the animal print detail, especially on the hem. It’s actually inspired me to fix the slightly-too-short-hem problem I’m having with my next project. Awesome job!

  13. This dress is stunning on you Barbara. Way to rock the leopard! I can’t believe you how far you stretched that thrifted tank… and then got photos in the casino. Very inspirational.

  14. Haha! I love that you had to drive a town away and to go to a casino. I hadn’t thought of them not wanting you to take pictures, but that makes perfect sense. Great dress. It’s an adorable pattern – I’m going to have to add it to my wish-list.

  15. Want this dress! My turn!

  16. What a fun adventure! I especially love the hair piece. The pattern reminds me of the Colette Macaron.

  17. I love your dress!! I like the mix of the two fabrics and that you repeated the contrast at the hem. What a great mini adventure tale, too. I love that your hubby is so on board for your photo shoots! Yay for supportive spouses!

  18. I was wondering if anyone would venture to a casino. How picture perfect :-) Fantastic use of that pattern! It looks great!

  19. It was worth every minute of your date with Ace, your husband. His shots are quite good and you look Vegas sexy.

  20. Thanks, everyone for all the lovely comments! It’s very much appreciated.

  21. Love the animal print accents. Funny how Vegas lends itself to animal prints. I think it’s extra cool that you went to the darkside for this challenge, Barbaba. Don’t worry though..are lips are sealed. What happens during a Sew Weekly Challenge STAYS in the Sew Weekly community ;-)