The “When I Grow Up I Want To Be Harper Finkle” Dress
Fabric: Sparkly red knit something found at local Goodwill store $3.99, green brocade left over from an Elf costume made many moons ago.
Patterns: Simplicity It’s So Easy 3728.
Notions: 2 packs of Cousin Jewelry Basics black beads $5.58, thread.
Time to complete: 12 hours.
First worn: 10th June 2012
Wear again? Yep, though a bit cautious about where, I don’t want to lose any pips.
Total Cost: $9.57 (£6.14)
The challenge: “TV Inspired: Based on a character from TV, past or present”.
This is the first of 3 weeks of tight finger-crossing hoping that modern technology will allow me to still get posts about Sew Weekly Challenges in on-time from afar.
I must explain, I’m not here. I’m currently on holiday (translation for Americans: vacation).
So what you’re reading is actually something I wrote last week in preparation. I’ve planned, sewn and written posts ahead of time but rather than just take pics quickly in my garden, I’m hoping I can get some shots in more exciting locales during my time away to be slotted into these pre-prepared posts. (I’m not sure yet, this might mean that I’m going to have to use iPhone pics over my DSLR camera. Sadly PicMonkey doesn’t work on my iPhone/iPad though because of flash-lackage, so I’m trying out VSCO Cam for the first time, plus Instagram for my usual sneak peeks). But this might mean the quality of the photos might be a little suspect for the next few weeks….bear with me.
Aaaaanyway…how does one choose just ONE TV character to inspire an outfit? My initial list included:
- Wonder Woman (I always wanted to be Wonder Woman, I had a serious crush on Lynda Carter in the 70s) – but anything I made quickly risked looking to Halloween costumey, I’d rather think about this one for longer and perhaps make something less costumey, more fashiony….do you like my inventing of words?
- Hannibal Heyes (another one of my crushes in the 70s, Pete Duel as Hannibal Heyes in Alias Smith and Jones. He was always impeccably dressed by the show’s costume department) but this would not only involve making trousers, but making my first ever pair of trousers and though I’m building to this challenge, I didn’t want to attempt it in a pre-holiday rush.
- Something Doctor Who related – well I’ve done a Dalek, and Amy Pond, I’d really like to try my hand sometime at a Femme Doctor, probably the 3rd, Jon Pertwee’s Doctor (can you tell by any chance I’m a child of the 70s?) but again, I’d like to do this well and a velvet suit, frilly shirt and cape needs careful planning.
So, I needed a TV character that I could make quickly but still do it well (especially as I’ve had to make the pieces for the upcoming Vacation and Summer Trends challenges before being without a sewing machine for weeks).
As it’s school hols (translation for Americans: summer break), my TV has obviously been hi-jacked by little people. And this is where my inspiration for this week came from.
There are some TV shows that Melchett my youngest (9) watches that I cannot abide….Suite Life (in hotel or On Deck) does my head in; How to Rock, A.N.T. Farm, Victorious, Jessie – what’s with all the SHOUTING?! Nope, can’t watch those for long before I want to throw something at the screen. Sponge Bob…. AAaaargggghhhhhhh (sorry, I can’t abide Sponge Bob, I think they must spray it with something to repel grown-ups from watching it). The same goes for Big Time Rush (who are also some of the worst proponents of SHOUTING!)
But a few I can cope and even secretly like: Phineas and Ferb, Good Luck Charlie, Drake and Josh and this week’s inspiration: Wizards of Waverley Place.
I don’t know what it is about WoWP, but even though it’s a kid’s show, it doesn’t seem to aim low. It’s a proper sitcom. The grown-ups also seem to have a role rather than just be caricatures to prank. But ever since I started watching it, one character, and her dress style stood out…..Harper Finkle:
She makes her own clothes (allegedly she can make 20 a day, 40 if her Dad isn’t using her sewing machine to make a saddle), she loves bright colours, often seen in circle skirts that have mad patterns or embellishments on them. Michael Kors would explode at her levels of matchy matchingness. Best of all she says that she’s rewired her brain so people’s insults about her loud outfits come across as compliments. I like this lass!
And often, especially during season 1 and 2….she uses fruit as her theme – how on-trend is that?! She’s worn and/or used prints featuring grapes, cherries, watermelons, oranges…..I’m sorry, tangelos…..as well as cupcakes and a marvellous pretzel dress, where she bedazzled the pretzels.
But as far as I could remember, she hasn’t done strawberries. And that’s what I decided to do, especially as I’ve been wanting to make something inspired by this season’s Moschino Cheap and Chic Strawberry dress.
I’d scored some suitable sparkly knit material at my local Goodwill store recently, made a shorter version of the Simplicity It’s So Easy 3728 maxi dress (as I didn’t have enough fabric to make a maxi anyway) and glued & sewed lots of black acrylic bead ‘pips’ on it.
To be perfectly Harper I knew I’d need a headband, and did toy with the idea of a jug of cream and bowl of sugar…..but to celebrate this fruity muse to all individualist quirky dressmakers I decided to cover an old headband in matching fabric and glue on to it the Sew Weekly logo pin cushion (another score from a thrift store/charity shop for 49c). I’m not totally sure how functional this is going to be….ask me next week how many times I’ve stuck pins in my head….
By the way, if we’ve taken the pics I’m slotting into this post as I’ve planned….yes, this is Las Vegas!
Watch out over the next few weeks for a few more surprises…..