I’m roasting some pumpkin right now so the muffin man and I can make some pumpkin muffins tomorrow. I mentioned pumpkin muffins to him last Monday night, but forgot to roast pumpkin that night. The next morning he asked “I make pumpkin muffins?” And I had to tell him that Mama forgot to roast the pumpkin, and that we could make another kind instead. He asked for apple muffins instead which was perfect because I had plenty of apples. Tonight he asked me again “I make pumpkin muffins?” so I figure I have to actually deliver this time.
Julius’ memory has become incredibly good. You’d think a toddler would have a memory of about 5 minutes prior, but Julius has a mind like a steel trap! The other day Will and Julius were heading on a grocery store adventure and I told Julius as he was leaving, “remind Dada to get avocados”. (They were the only reason I needed him to go to the grocery store.) He didn’t acknowledge me. Will said that first they stopped at the gas station, and then eventually pulled into the grocery store parking lot and Julius shouted “ABOCADOS”. Color me impressed.
Julius also remembers what I dressed up as for Halloween, which I consider very impressive. If you read my blog post last week, you may also remember that I was Princess Peach, my favorite female Mario character. Aside from the wig and a couple accessories, my entire costume was thrifted and upcycled. I found the perfect size and color prom dress at my local thrift store for $9.99. The only problem was it was covered in embroidered flowers and beading. I also found a perfect dark pink sheet to compliment the dress for $5.99 in the linen section. Finally I found some cute earrings that look similar to Peach’s for $1.99. (I have worn these about half a dozen times outside of the costume so I consider these a complete win!)
After I got my booty home (I mean the goods, but I guess also my butt), I got to work on the dress. What to do about those flowers and beads? At home I had discovered that the inside of the bodice was lined with exactly the same material as the outside. Win! That almost never happens. Usually they use cheap, lighter material. This meant I could just disassemble the bodice and flip it inside out. I removed all the beads and sequins to make this possible.
Next I seam ripped the bodice off the skirt of the dress. This meant stitch ripping down the sideseams where the pleated waist belt was, then along the waist seam where the bodice attached to the skirt. To completely flip the bodice inside out I also had to completely remove the zipper. The advantage of removing the bodice from the dress was I could also now completely remove the shiny overskirt.
Next, I reassembled the bodice in reverse. I turned the whole thing inside out then re-stitched the side seams. Then I turned the whole thing right side out again and pinned the bodice to the skirt, with the lining now facing out.
Before I stitched the skirt to the bodice, I stuck the whole thing back on my mannequin and draped Peach’s pleated peplums using the sheet I’d purchased. The sheet was a queen sized and 90″x108″. From the top of the sheet, where the 3″ thick hem was I cut a 24″ strip. I then cut that in half to form two 20″x45″ rectangles.
Next I finished the unfinished end of each rectangle, opposite the 3″ thick hem, with a 1/2″ rolled hem. I then draped the fabric on each side in a sort of “u” shape with the 3″ thick hem on the outside. I next made 3 large pleats on each side of the “u” and adjusted it until it sat just right. When I was satisfied with the result I took it off the mannequin and stay stitched it to the waist of the skirt by hand. Finally I reattached the bodice to the skirt, sandwiching the pleating inside.
Next I reattached the zipper.
I had great plans to add puffy sleeves to the dress, but I was running short on fabric, so first I decided to tackle the bottom hem. Peach has a strip of dark pink fabric on the bottom of her dress, so I was going to use the rest of the sheet for that. The dress was way too long for me, and I wanted a 5″ bottom hem of pink so I cut about 10″ off the dress. The hem of the dress had something I had never seen before. It had a 1″ strip of plastic horsehair type material, that kept the hem perfectly puffed out and stiff. I had been worried about how the sheet material would look as the hem of the dress since it wasn’t as rigid of a material as the thick satin of the dress. This pretty much solved my problem! Unfortunately this meant removing the plastic horsehair braid from between 2 layers of stitching. This took a solid hour.
When I finally got the horsehair braid free, I then cut 3 6.5″ wide strips from my pink sheet. I determined the length of each by measuring the length along the hem of each of the 3 segments of fabric making up the skirt then adding 1″ to each for .5″ seam allowance. I stitched the 3 pieces together to form a big loop. Next I hemmed all along the bottom of the loop in a .5″ rolled hem. I rolled the hem up one more time, then placed the horsehair braid in between. I did one final stitch to hold it all in place. Finally I matched up the seams of the loop to the seams of the skirt and stitch the skirt to the pink hem (right sides together).
At this point I had a bunch of extra fabric that I was planning to make into puffy sleeves and a high neckline. I even drafted it out of scrap material. Eventually I decided the dress looked really great already so I ran out of steam. The next day I found the perfect turquoise pendant from Michael’s, but it was $13, which was the same price I paid for the entire dress! Luckily I had a 50% off coupon, so I decided to bite the bullet and get it. I stitched it on and called it done.
Overall, it would have taken me far less time to make the dress from raw materials from my favorite fabric store, but it would not have been nearly as puzzle-y, and certainly less environmentally friendly!