Hooray, it's here! I'm so excited to have made it to the finals of So You Think You're Crafty, and I want to thank everyone for their votes so far! For my wild card project, I decided to make myself a complete outfit, (it's actually my first new outfit since moving to Korea almost 8 months ago, since I am too tall and big for Korean clothes, I have one sweatshirt I bought here that I had to get in an extra large, and it fits me like my regular size small in the US would, except my wrists hang out. A LOT.) I wanted to make something that really encompasses my style and philosophy in making things, so this outfit is a combination of my own original design, along with a cardigan knockoff from Anthropologie. (I am personally really attracted to fine fabric and detail work; and I also love the challenge of making something for a lot less than I could buy it for in a store.) AND I am so excited to have the weather starting to warm up, so I can finally wear something that isn't a coat, so without further ado, I present my Wild Card project, a Springtime Dress and Cardigan (goodness I hope it's more exciting then the name!!!)
The cardigan was inspired by the Felted Flora Cardigan at Anthropologie, (the picture on the top right is Anthropologie's version.) At Anthropologie, this cardigan is $138 and made from cotton; my Cardigan began life as a plain beige, 100% cashmere cardigan that I got at a thrift store for $8. I used 5 different colors of wool roving to needle felt the flowers and leaves onto the front, and I changed out the buttons for a set of 1930's, mother of pearl buttons that were still on the card, (I'm not gonna lie, it sort of hurt me to take them off the card...) I am so pleased with how this turned out, and I actually like the colors on mine much better than the pinks of the Anthro cardigan (and seriously it's cashmere and the whole thing cost less then $15, that's a $123 savings over the original one!!!)
I have a very difficult time finding dresses that fit me off the rack, I have a thin rib cage, but I am unusually busty (something I try to minimize the look of) and I am tall for a girl (I'm 5'9") So in designing this dress, I really wanted to make something that looked like it could have come from a great boutique store, (the one's that never have anything that fits me) without directly referencing any particular dress. The fabric is a luscious green rayon, with beige leaves, and orange and mustard colored birds in the print. I bought this fabric a few months ago here in Korea at the fashion fabric market (it's called Dongdaemun) without really knowing what I was going to do with it (actually my husband picked it out) and when I made it to the finals I knew it would be perfect for a spring dress! All of the materials in this dress cost less than $20.
The fully lined bodice is done in a crisscross design, with gathered shoulders and a wide band at the waist. The band at the waist has random pin-tucking done in different angles and directions creating subtle texture; elevating the dress from ordinary to extraordinary in its detail. (Well, at least I think so! I am a huge fan of fabric manipulation rather than always adding extra trims.) The dress is closed by a hidden side zip, and the lace at the hem comes from a vintage slip I picked up years ago at an antique store, attached to the bodice as an underskirt. The leather belt is held in place by 2 hand embroidered loops on the sides (another old school technique that I feel like makes a couture difference when making clothing.)a plaid vest for his birthday in matching colors, and my son an outfit for Project Run and Play in the same beige and greens, so I just need to get on making an outfit for my daughter, that I already bought the fabric for at the same time I got my dress fabric!) And best of all, I really feel like I encompassed my true crafting style of making something of quality, for less then I could get it from at a store (less than $35 for the whole outfit!!!) that is uniquely my own.