OMG! Modern Shark Dress!! ca. Now

Three posts, and I’m already diverging from what this blog was intended to be. Oh well. These things happen. I present to you “Modern Dress in Blue”, inspired by years of heavy soaking wet denim.

Entering the Shark Encounter at Sea World, San Diego

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to sit in the soak zone at Sea World, hit Splash Mountain at Disneyland… if it gets me soaking wet, I’m there! But I also love jeans. And if you’ve ever worn soaking wet jeans, you know, they get heavy. And not just like, “Hm. This is uncomfortable.” It’s more like, “AHHHH, the sheer weight of the water is pulling my pants down, and why can’t I move my legs???” It feels like you’re in a bad dream and something is chasing you, you just can’t move your legs, no matter how hard you try. So as I sat in front of a sewing machine stitching up a rose-print black dress (pictures on their way, I just need to find an appropriate vintage setting for said pictures), I thought, “I should just make a light cotton dress to wear, something that would dry quickly and easily.

I also wanted to make a fishy dress to wear to aquariums and Sea World and other such places, and out of this, my soak zone friendly dress was created. It was originally knee-length with an off-the-shoulder ruffle, but then I ditched the ruffle and replaced it with thick straps (you can’t really tell from the pictures, but the straps fold in the back like a kimono. This happened because I took the scrap fabric from the sides of my A-line skirt and used those as my straps. Also, it creates kind of a faux-sweetheart neckline). Then I shortened it, because, let’s face it, the print is slightly overwhelming when it covers your entire body.

In front of an ancient shark jaw

This is also my first dress sans-pattern, thanks to the dress form my best friend Mandi got me! Let me tell you, it is soooooo much easier when you don’t have to pin it together on your own person and then try to remove it without stabbing yourself. Also, while I still suffer from pucker zipper, I managed to hide the zipper better this time. Note to self: Crazy prints hide zippers that pucker. You’re too distracted by orange sharks!!!
Overall, I like this dress. Two people actually complimented me on the dress, and Cisco says another woman said she wished she had this dress as she walked by us, but I didn’t hear it. Still, I trust him.
Of course, the greatest test was sitting in the soak zone. I got wet, and by the time the show was over, I was dry, which is pretty darn impressive! Way to go, shark dress. Way to go.

Published in: on May 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm  Comments (1)  
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Blue Star Sweater and Brown Pants ca. 1943

In front of the train at Disney's California Adventure

┬áSo this is a dual post, of something I finished in December but only just got to posting. In fact, I have three new dresses to post too, but for now, these are the pictures I have, so let’s stick with, MY PANTS! And my sweater. Pants first, they take less time.

SIMPLICITY LIES. They say 12. They do not mean size twelve. They mean, “This only fits anorexic twelve year olds.” At least this pattern didn’t fit me, so I had to modify it, which I realized I am incredibly bad at. Probably didn’t help that this was my first foray into machine sewing in about 4 years, so I had to keep redoing seams over and over. In any case, after a lot of hard work, I finished the pants, which hit me right at the start of the rib cage, which is perfect for the thing I really wanted to highlight here, the sweater!

The sweater is made from a real vintage pattern I found online from a website in New Zealand (little plug,, and unfortunately I did not recognize the yarn weight or the needle size, so it was all about math and reworking the fair isle pattern to fit my new reduced number of stitches. The puffy sleeves took the longest, to be sure! Especially because the sweater itself hits so high, and I have arms which are long and awkward (I do believe I was made to brachiate through life), the sleeves took more yarn and more time than the rest of the sweater!

On a Pacific Electric Red Car at the Orange Empire Railway Museum

The sweater seemed to go over well at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, CA (Dear Deceptive Boyfriend, I have since realized Perris and Paris have little in common), where they were doing a night-photoshoot of all their Pacific Electric streetcars. For those of you who know my dearest darling Cisco, you know he loves streetcars, so we showed up in vintage clothes for this event, and ended up being the only ones who did so. So now he and I are on the cameras of photographers all across SoCal, and I got my first foray into the life of a model. My cheeks hurt by the end–now I know why they all look so angry! It hurts to smile for long shutter exposures OVER and OVER again. Of course, my fantasy-oriented brain turned me into Heidi Klum and I managed to survive the ordeal by being a perky little fashion-opinionated German woman in the deepest recesses of my mind. So the event was great!

I have no doubts that I’ll be spending more time at the OERM, most likely in more vintage attire. And thus, you will see many a picture! Keep checking in, I do have three more dresses to upload, and soon, I’ll have even more! Thanks for stopping by!
Published in: on March 30, 2011 at 11:57 am  Comments (4)  
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