The “Just Not Ugly Enough” Outfit
Fabric: Red chenille sweater from Goodwill charity shop $5.99 (£3.72), lots of scraps from stash, 1 yd cotton fake fair isle knit reindeer & fir tree fabric $3.99 (£2.48).
Pattern: applique on sweater freestyling whilst watching Christmas movies, skirt: New Look 0136.
Time to complete: 9 hours (so far).
First worn: 3rd December 2012.
Wear again? Skirt: deffo, lots over next few weeks. Sweater: hopefully if it cools down a bit.
Total Cost: $9.98 (£6.21)
The challenge: “Winter”.
Winter. I can’t take winter seriously anymore. When we lived in the UK, I used to expect snow, rain and wind in winter. Going for walks, getting mud on my boots, hurrying back for whisky in my hot chocolate. And did I mention snow…..lots of lovely snow:
You might think I’m looking back on all this with rose-tinted glasses, but if you ask Mr D and my kids you’ll find out I’m not. We lived out in the middle of nowhere in a hamlet of 6 houses, accustomed to losing electricity and being snowed in (there was method in our madness having three fridges).
Then I moved to the USA. And to Phoenix, that doesn’t really have a winter. It just about manages an Autumn/Fall. So I have to make do with inflatable snowmen on the front lawn and green forests on my sweater:
I’m currently writing this wearing a sleeveless t-shirt and above skirt…..but the tights, boots and jumper had to get whipped off straight after the photos because I was melting. The things I do for you Sew Weekly! I suspect lots of this week’s posts are going to be the same….the down-underers are in their summer, the west-coast-americaners are probably experiencing low 80s (27C-ish) like here and I heard on the news that many cities in the Rockies, Mid-West and South of the USA are 10 to 30 degrees above the average for December. I will shut up now because I know all of you in the UK are attempting to throw soggy wellies at me and our German friends will be too once they clear their snow.
So just as I’m cunning bringing snow to Phoenix via inflatables (and we also have companies here that sell snowballs! A good friend bought a whole cooler box of snowballs for a party earlier this year and we had a snowball fight in the intense sun, it was wacky)…..I thought I’d be cunning by making a faux winter skirt that I can actually wear in 82 degrees….how fab is this fabric:
And yes, I had some scraps of Peanuts’ A Charlie Brown Christmas so I had to put them in as pockets on the skirt….they make me happy :)
The fair isle pattern of the skirt looks all wintery but its a cotton, so I can definitely wear it whenever I want to here. I probably should have made a pencil skirt to make it even more convincing as a knit, but I had enough in the yard to make an A-line one, so I did.
As for the sweater (I’d call it a jumper as we do in the UK but the Colonials would think I’m talking about something with braces, either dungarees or a pinafore dress, and I’m not even getting into the suspenders vs. braces translations…..), well, I’ve always wanted a Christmas Ugly Sweater and have scoured charity shops for years looking for one. It never occured to me until doing the Sew Weekly that I could upcycle my own. I’m so dim.
I bought a plain red chenille sweater from a Goodwill shop, and appliqued various green fabric Christmas trees onto it….zigzagging the edges with purple thread because this is a Tempest-project after all, the more colours the better. In my efforts to use every single stitch on my sewing machine by the end of the year, I tried some new ones out on the green velvet tree in yellow and orange threads, and I sewed some leftover braid from last week’s dress on some green t-shirt cotton. The gems are some of the many, many I have left over from burlesque costumes, I’ve used gem tac glue on them because it’s not as brittle as hot glue and you have a little time to more them around.
The snowman (because I had to have a snowman) is circles cut from a white t-shirt, zigzag stitched in place (amazingly with tasteful white thread), and I embroidered an orange carrot nose onto him with my machine, glued on googley eyes (because everything is made better with googlely eyes)….but as you can see he’s pretty ‘armless at the moment (ho ho). And that’s also why this outfit is called the “Just Not Ugly Enough” outfit…..it’s a work in progress. My snowman needs arms embroidering on, and perhaps a hat applique, and I’ve got tiny flashing lights to add, and jingle bells for down the sleeves, and that collar, beautiful shape though it is, needs some faux fur or at the very least tinsel sewing on it.
But that will have to be done on evenings in front of the telly, watching all the Christmas movies lined up on my dvr (my faves being Die Hard, Home Alone, Elf, Gremlins, It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, A Muppet Christmas Carol & Scrooged) because I need to get moving on a stupid amount of black tulle. Yes, you heard me right, next week I’m doing black. Yes, me. It’s theme re-do week…..and my Music challenge didn’t muster up last time, so it’s time to put down the jingle bells and pick up the anti-static spray.
Meanwhile, here’s our other inflatable on the lawn. It’s meant to be a reindeer rolling Santa up into a snowball….I’m saying nothing…