Monday, February 25, 2013

Prom Dresses at Dazzling Dress Rentals

If you haven't recently been prom dress shopping for yourself or your daughter, let me see if I can use a few words to describe the experience.  Time consuming and headache inducing.  I will follow up with a few words to describe the dresses.  Sleazy, expensive, sleazy, poorly made, and did I say sleazy?

My daughter and I spent at least 12 hours looking everywhere, including vintage and consignment stores to find that perfect dress.  The new dresses run about 200 dollars with the more modest skin-covering styles running upwards of 300 dollars.  More fabric I guess for the modest dresses!

Sadly, I did not have time to make a dress since I am such a pokey Joe when it comes to sewing.

Discouraged I thought it would be a good idea to look in the local classifieds,, for used prom dresses.  Same problems as above.  People definitely over-value their used items.  While doing a little on-line browsing, I came across an add for Dazzling Dress Rentals in Riverton.  Was I willing to drive 15 miles from my house to see if there was any decent dresses for my daughter?  You bet.

This business was in a large outbuilding next to the owner's home.  It had hundreds of dresses in all the sizes you could imagine.  And we found it.  Finally.

My daughter tried on several blinged out dresses until she finally settled on this dress of layered lace and netting.  It originally didn't have the straps but the owner sewed them in for free!  She said she didn't charge for modesty.  There is also a small hoop that we rented underneath.  I would have preferred a little more sleeve, but after all our shopping, I would have been happy with a burlap sack as a shawl!

Not only were there a million varieties of dresses, also for rent were shrugs and jackets, shoes, accessories, and matching ties for the boys. 

How much did this set me back? $75 for the dress and $10 for the hoop.  You may be thinking that this is still a lot for one evening.  However, the boys spend about as much renting a tux, so I happily forked it over, thrilled that I wasn't spending $300 on a dress she would likely never wear again.  

Not only did Dazzling Dress Rentals have a large variety of dresses to choose from, the owners were always friendly.  They certainly aren't lacking for business. Every time I went there, once to try on dresses, once to pick it up, and once to drop it off again, there were always several girls trying on gowns.  We even bumped in to Shawn Bradley, former player of the 76ers and Dallas Mavericks, shopping with his daughter.  (I had to throw that makes me almost famous!) I guess I'm not the only one who has experienced prom dress shopping frustration!

I will certainly rent from there again.  That is if I don't decide to make a dress.  In that case, I'd better get started now!

Dazzling Dress Rentals

Hair by Miranda at Super Cuts on Ft. Union
(Photo does not do the do justice!)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pajamas and Progress

The other morning son walked into the house after being picked up from a slumber party.  He was still in his pajamas.  I was shocked as I saw what he was wearing.  The bottoms were at least eight inches to short.  "You wore those?" I cried in horror! "No big deal, Mom.  They're just for sleeping."  Yes, it's a big deal.  I don't want to look like a bad mom, and after all, it is all about me, is it not?

Enter It's So Easy Simplicity A2052 pajama pattern.  

Now I probably could have taken the time to draft a pattern, but sometimes convenience it worth the $1.97 I spent on this pattern.  I even made it less time consuming by omitting the pocket, tie, and silly little button hole to put the elastic through.  I just left the casing partially opened for elastic insertion.  So now there were only two pattern pieces to deal with.  

Not only that, I stacked the two flannel prints on top of each other, cut, and surged away. The whole operation took less than two hours for two pairs of pajama bottoms.

My son wouldn't let me take a photo of his extraordinarily short pajamas that he was wearing before.  Party pooper.  It was pretty funny.

The only thing that I didn't like about this pattern was that it didn't mention that elastic was needed.  I assumed that the tie was threaded through the casing.  Luckily, I had some elastic on hand to do the job.  

In other sewing news, I would like to do a quick progress report on the jacket I have been working on.  I recently read of one blogger, Jane, who is making the same jacket describe her progress as "slogging away."  I feel as I am doing just that, slogging away.  (Unlike Katrina who whips up a tailored dress in 7 hours from start to finish.  Check it out on her blog.)

I set in the sleeves about three times to get rid of those pesky puckers.  In the end, having read everything there was on the subject of setting in sleeves, I settled for some very little puckers. 

I also learned how to make a sleeve head that goes inside the sleeve to give it some shape at the shoulders.  Here is mine hand basted into the sleeve before sewing.  Is is made out of muslin and interfacing.

The next time I post about this crazy jacket, it will be finished by gum!

Have a lovely week!

Linking with Plum and June via Better Off Thread and Salt Tree

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Grapefruit Olive Oil Pound Cake

Did you read that correctly?  Yes, grapefruit and olive oil.  This is from one of my favorite cookbooks that I have mentioned before, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, US & Canadian Edition Cover

This was a fabulous recipe with the exception of the skills of the cook, me!  

The first problem I had was that the cake fell in the middle.  Sometimes this is the fault of the cook and sometimes the fault of the recipe.  Most cookbooks do not have recipes that are adjusted for high altitudes, and this may have been the problem.  I certainly wouldn't want to blame myself, because coming up, there is more to blame on me.

Before one makes and pours on the glaze, the cake is perforated and a grapefruit syrup is poured over it while it cools.  While making the glaze, I thought it might be a little too thick so I added extra grapefruit juice.  Now it was a little too thin!  You can even see the perforations marks in the photo. 


I made half a recipe of the glaze with the correct ratios to fix my mistake.  


Overall, it was a delicious treat and everyone gobbled it down. 

4 and 1/2 out of 5 stars!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day With Mrs. Foster

Ahh, junior high school.  The years of awkward crushes on that cute kid who sits next to you in class.  The years of one social insecurity after another.  In junior high Valentine's Day can be a bear!  Especially when you wonder why your crush doesn't notice you and only seems to have eyes for the cheer leaders or student body officers.  But never fear junior high students, come to Mrs. Foster's class for some stress relief.

This year I brought a giant jar of candy kisses to school and told the kids that if they wanted to get a kiss, they had to give a kiss.  This was met with the expected reactions of "gross," and "Ew, that's disgusting!"  I put their fears aside and explained that a 'kiss' was a compliment and if they wanted a chocolate kiss, they had to give a compliment.  I can't tell you how many times I was told how fabulous I looked today, which was true of course, but the kids have never mentioned it before!

Here is the equation that greeted my students as they walked in.  It took them a while to get the Valentine's Day message in the answer. 

We listened to 80s love ballads as we worked, and my assistant tried to film me dancing to Wham.  I quit displaying my great dance moves before her filming commenced thus stopping her from posting to Facebook.  Call yourselves lucky my dear Facebook friends.

A student brought me these flowers. Sweet.

And here is Kissakiss Volcano made for me from the candy wrappers.  Not quite as good of a gift as the flowers but creative none the less. 

I guess Valentine's Day in junior high isn't so bad after all.

i <3 u

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

January Blocks

I'm participating in Pile O' Fabric's Skill Builder on-line Block of the Month.  It is very modern and I love it!

I decided to use up some of my stash by picking one color theme for each block.

There will be more than orange and black as to avoid the Halloween look.  There is an edge on the right side of the black and white block, but it is hard to see with the white binding strips.  I am going to try and do the quilt-as-you-go method of quilting.  I will let you know how this goes.

Lest things get a too modern, I am also doing a Western block-of-the-Month with Quilts Etc.  For this I actually go to the store early Saturday morning once a month, enjoy the company of other quilters, and ooh and ahhh over the show-and-tell. The Western look isn't totally my style but I enjoy the process.

The barbed wire print is kind of cool, don't you think?

I am taking suggestions on how to get the photos of the fabric that are more clear.  Let me know what I should do---about the photography that is!

Linking with Plum and June at Bold Goods.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

McCalls 5523

It is wonderful to start a project and finish in a decent amount of time.  It motivates me to get busy on my harder, time consuming projects.  McCalls 5523 skirt pattern was such a project.  

The wool is a remnant from Yellow Bird Fabrics.  It is sooo soft and   easy to work with.  Because of the looser weave of this fabric, I chose to line it. 

I didn't make a muslin since skirts can be simply adjusted while sewing, and I could take it in easily.  But there was no need to tweak anything.  It fit right from the pattern.  When does that ever happen?

However, when I got dressed to take the photos, I put on, shhhhh, control-top pantyhose, and the skirt was too big in the waist.  Since I consider myself somewhat boxy in the waist, let me just say that again.  The skirt was too big in the waist.  My waist was what? Too small?  It's not often I can say that.  Indulge me. 

I used hem tape that I purchased from a fabulous yard sale last summer.  I love the way it looks.  

I also love the little flounce in the back.  

McCalls 5523: 5 out of 5 stars.

The sun was too bright today with too many shadows to take decent detailed pictures outside.  I'm not complaining.  This is the first weekend we've seen the sun in months!