It Overtakes Me {22 Aug 10}

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The Chevron Tower in Houston, TX

I’m still making my way through Gala Darling‘s past posts, so some of these might seem repetitive if you’ve been following her for a while, but I’ve added my own in there, too. 🙂 Here are some treasures I found this week.

I don’t understand a word this blog says, but the pictures and videos make me happy.

Suffering From Shopping Shame is a fanTAStic article from Stylish Thought. This “condition” does actually have name after shopping. It’s called Cognitive Dissonance, which is pretty much the guilt you feel after shopping, but she’s talking about before you even spend the money. The article is very well written. Her blog is adorable, too. *Subscribe*

This dress on Jak and Jil … *gasp.* This is one of my favorite blogs. The shots he takes are amazing!

These pictures of New York in the 70’s are super fascinating. The first ones don’t work. Scroll down and they’ll start working.

What’s Your “Plan Z”? is a great article. It’s such a great attack method. Especially for those of us that would like to start our own business. Love this!

I’m Under Arrest for What? 50 Bizzare U.S. Laws ~ I always love these. … Really, Idaho?

Kim Joon’s Naked Body Art ~ I agree with the rest of the title. It’s probably NSFW, but definitely amazing.

On Private Sales, Gambling and Dangers of Innovation ~ Sorority Life, Farmville, Mobsters, Cafe World and any other Facebook game fans, take note!

Le Bardot ~ Look at this shop I found! The store was featured on Sense of Fashion on Friday. This dress can be worn 5 different ways! Look at this picture. … Those 3 looks are the same dress! I can totally see myself wearing the one on the right. How would you wear it?

*Sings* I fly like paper, get high like planes… Paper plane art installation. Love. ❤

The Celebratory 2010 FIFA World Cup T-Shirt is pretty well done. 🙂

Where can I fly for how much? Just type in your city and see how much it costs to fly … wherever you want. I’ve put in Houston because that’s where I would fly from. You put in your city.

Videos:

The video in this article about the moving rocks in Death Valley is really interesting!

The video in this post is insane. (Of course, the Dean Martin song at the beginning made me love it that much more!) Talk about advertising overload. Watch out for the language.


I loved 500 Days of Summer.
This is how it would look as a thriller.

FanTASTIC commercial!
I just saw it on TV and had to share!

Go to 2:26 ... It came on the one the other day.
Such a great show!

My mom and I used to watch Home Improvement together. Those were good times. 🙂


LOVE this video!
Even though it has nothing to do with the song.
If only I had the money:
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It Overtakes Me {15 Aug 10}

New here? (Welcome!)

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I’ve been on Gala Darling a lot this week, so a lot of these are from her past posts. They’re worth sharing again, though. 🙂

Who You Gonna Call? ~ Brilliant. You have to watch it. I am in total support of this! Here’s what Gala said when she posted the video (not sure where she got this from): “The New York Public Library invited Improv Everywhere to perform at the library as a means of cheering people up in the face of budget cuts. IE agreed and decided to perform as the Ghostbusters.”

The Power of Color over at The Cool Hunter is amazing. There should definitely be more color in this world. (Actually, the whole site is amazing and you should go explore it now. 🙂 )

While we’re on the subject of color, Color Survey Results are pretty freaking funny. Honestly, I just looked at the charts because I didn’t have time to read the whole thing, but I still loved it.

Lights On, Lights Off… Chanel Lightbulb Shoes at the Beckerman Bite Plate ~ You’re kidding me with these shoes, right!?!? Crazy.

7 Incredible Natural Phenomena ~ Super interesting. Goats in trees? Black Sun? Craziness.

The Real Life Lichtenstein-Cosmic-Girl ~ At first I thought it was tattooed. But no, it’s just makeup. (This site is amazing, too. Look around!)

The “Flowers from the 90’s” dress at The Novel Hut. ~ I love how she says in the first line “Saved by the Bell is calling and you better answer!” As soon as you see this dress, you’ll know why! I swear I saw it on an episode of Saved by the Bell. Plus, you have to read the rest of the description. I hardly ever do, but this one was pretty descriptive. It’s worth reading all the way through.

50’s Style t-shirt dress by Double Zero at The Novel Hut ~ I just think this is adorable. A black 50’s style t-shirt dress … it’s something you can just throw on and go! So adorable. Too bad I’m not a Small.

peace love sarcasm ~ You gotta go to this blog! Or at least add her on Twitter. She’s freakin’ hilarious.

Gala Darling’s Shelf ~ Love it! It’s super Gala 🙂

F*ck Yeah Paris ~ Love. Love love love. I’m thinking studying abroad in Paris is a wonderful idea. But I can’t afford it right now. Maybe I’ll start a fundraiser! I’ll call it “Help Melissa Go To Paris” … Sounds like a fabulous idea.


Craziness!

Asparagus and Shiitake Mushroom Design

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A couple weeks ago, One of my readers mentioned they would like to see a design inspired by Shiitake Mushrooms and Asparagus. I spent the last couple of weeks thinking about how I should do this design. While searching for images, I noticed the beautiful underside of the mushroom and thought it would make an amazing skirt.

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The most difficult part was the asparagus. At first, I thought about a one-shoulder dress with the top of the asparagus as the top of the dress with an empire waistline. Then I didn’t know what to do about the area between the skirt and the waistline. I knew if I made the skirt with the material I was thinking about, it wouldn’t look good up that high. So, I needed to rethink the bodice. When I sat down to draw the design, it didn’t look good as a one-shoulder dress so I added the other strap. The neckline has a jewel neckline (high neck) because that is what asparagus does – it gets smaller at the top.

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I also faded the green into the brown so it wasn’t such a harsh color combination.

Here’s the final design:

The top part is made of green tear-shaped diamonds like the ones on the right in this picture. The fabric on the bodice is a dark brown color so the brown peeks out from anywhere where there is not a diamond. The skirt is made from a light material that is rolled in the same way Fortuny used to twist his dresses to give a texture like the mushroom has underneath.

Let me know if you have any other requests or questions about my designs.


Cleaning out my closet

It hurts to let things go. Especially things that mean so much to you.

Sometimes though, it’s for your own good. Either you need the money or you just don’t give it the attention it deserves.

Today, I decided it was time to clean out my closet.

Before

After



I decided to pack up a few things that I don’t wear anymore to a resale shop to sell to a good home. They looked so sad all packed away in their bags.

My favorite item I sold was my Betsey Johnson dress. I love it, but it’s just not my style anymore. Plus, I don’t love the way it looks on me. All the stores really wanted it but only wanted to give me $15 for it. It’s a $400 dress, so I had to do a little bargaining to get what I wanted for it. Luckily, the sweet girl at Taxi was able to work with me. R.I.P. My favorite Betsey Johnson dress. I had fun with you.

When taking the photo of the bags above, I pulled the windows back with my layered necklace I got from Target recently.

How pretty does that look??? Here’s a close-up

I love the way that looks! 🙂

Also, while shopping, I found these amazing shoes (and of course, we all know how much I love my zippers!):

I couldn’t buy them, though. That would have been most of the money I made right there!

Even though I did sell some things (5 to be exact. 1 bag, 1 pair of jeans and 3 dresses), I still have a lot more stuff I don’t want! If I posted it on here, would anyone be interested in buying? I’m also thinking of redesigning some of the things in my closet. If I do that, I might be able to sell some custom made pieces by me. Would anyone be interested??? Let me know! 🙂


Project Runway inspires me …

So, I was watching Project Runway yesterday (since it came on the night before … Ahh! I’m late! I know!) … and this chick came on and started talking about crooked zippers. “Yes you can! You can have a crooked zipper! Embrace the crooked zipper!” … So I started thinking about crooked zippers. … And then, oh yes, I took it that far. (Yup – those are all zippers.)


New straps for my dress

Hey guys!

Remember a few days ago when I said I spilled my box of straight pins? Well, that’s because I was making over this dress.

The straps had been broken for a while and the dress was just sitting in my closet. Even before they broke, they weren’t very functional. Yes, they held the dress up, but they were way too small and weak for me. So, they had needed to be redone for a while. I figured with no money, a working sewing machine, and leftover fabric from an old project from last quarter, it was time to fix the straps.

First, I picked a silk, but it wasn’t heavy enough against the chunky crochet, so it just didn’t work right. Also, the dress is pretty heavy. I knew if I would have used silk, the ends would curl and it would look more worn out then it already does.

I ended up with this Pique fabric. Pique refers to the weaving in the fabric. So, it kind of looks like a checkerboard pattern on the surface. If you look at it from the back side, it has a diamond look to it. This side could actually be used, too. I call it the summer side and the winter side. The summer side reminds me of a smooth, woven basket and the winter side reminds me of a chunky knit sweater. Either way, beautiful. 🙂

Pique is usually made of something like cotton. This particular one is made of cotton and polyester, so it’s pretty strong, but still has a little bit of a stretch, which I needed for this dress. It never really deserved those small, limp straps.

I cut it from one selvage (the ends where the fabric looks different) 2 1/2 times the width I wanted it to be. Then, I folded it over so the “summer side” was on the inside – since this was the side I wanted to show. I pinned it in place and stitched straight down the side so it looked like a long tube.

You may have noticed I was using white thread. That’s because that is what was in my sewing machine already and I was lazy. I knew it wasn’t going to show anyway.

After I stitched the side, I got a little lost in the project and completely forgot to take pictures! So, the rest of this post, there will be no pictures until the end. Sorry about that! 🙂

So I took one side of my strip and attached a safety-pin to it. I put the pin back through the hold it was attached to. The pin helps guide the fabric through itself to turn the fabric right side out. This is also a good trick to use on your hoodie or drawstring pants. When the string comes out, attach a safety-pin to one end and feed it back through the hole. The pin will help you find the end of the string and pull it out when you get to the end. Thank you, Martha Stewart. 🙂

Once I did this, I put the end of one strap where I knew I wanted it on the front of the dress and pinned it. I then put the dress on and looked in the mirror to see where it should be attached on the back of the dress. I pinned that in place, too.

After pinning the first strap in place, I took the dress off. I measured the end that wasn’t already pinned to the dress against the strap that was already in place to make sure I had enough fabric to make another strap. If you don’t have enough, you need to make another strap at this point.

I cut the strip about an inch below where I wanted my first strap to end and repeated all the pinning I did with the first one. You still have to try the dress on when you’re doing your other strap so you can make sure it would fall on the body right.

After making sure everything looked right, I hand stitched them into place. I don’t like using a sewing machine for this part because they make the stitches show. I was using black thread for this part, so it doesn’t show on the front of the dress at all. When hand stitching, I pulled the thread all the way through the Pique fabric and only picked up a few strands from the yarns in the crochet. Here is the final result:

I love the way the straps look now. I will probably add a few things to the dress later … like a button at the end of each strap. That would help bring a little color to the dress. 🙂