Thursday, October 25, 2012

An Epic Weekend with Fabulous Ladies!

Friends, this past weekend was seriously epic.  Saturday was spent napping (I love napping) and finishing the Glinda dress for Rob's three year old niece who currently LOVES The Wizard of Oz:

I used McCall's 6381 for the pattern, eliminating the long sleeves and making sheer sleeves out of the netting.      I'm not going to mince words here: the netting was a pain in the ass.  The sparkly dots managed to gunk up 10 (!!!!!) needles, effectively destroying my stash of needles used for sewing delicates, as well as two heavy duty needles that were used for attaching the skirt to the bodice.

I had bought some pink sequined trim to add to the dress, mainly to use as cuffs for the sleeves, but it also worked perfectly on the bodice.  I originally was just going to make the dress with the satin foundation and the chiffon over-skirt, but the netting adds a great deal of pizzazz to it - something every little girl needs (even if it makes Aunt Meg cry)!

 I cut four sleeve pieces and doubled them up, right sides together, to create the epic puffs of wonder below.     The edges were gathered and the pink sequined cuffs were added.  

The skirt layers were attached to the bodice separately as it was impossible to gather and stitch to the bodice all at once.  I encased the layers of seam fabric in some bias tape on the inside of the bias so Jojo wouldn't get scratched by all of the netting.  All inside seams on the bodice and each seam on each skirt piece was French seamed - lots of work, but I'm hoping it will help the dress to last - especially that chiffon layer!  It was shredding in my hands.

 Each skirt layer was hemmed separately for a more princessy look - Jojo can pick up each layer and swish around the neighborhood to her heart's content :)

For a little extra, I made Rob's sister a bow clutch for her birthday and sent it along with the dress.  Not as sparkly, but just as fun, I think. I used leftover pieces from the Nautical Ginger skirt.  Scrapbusting, FTW!

Sunday began with a most delightful breakfast companion:


Debi sent me a message saying she was going to be in Chicago, and as we were both free Sunday morning, we met for a most marvelous breakfast.  I seriously love Debi - she has a kind, fantastic heart, heaps of talent, and is a fabulous lady to share a cup of tea with on an Autumn morning.  Next time, Debi, I'll come to your hometown and we can have a cup of tea there.  I think that would only be fair, right? :)

After leaving Debi, I journey north to meet with the oh-so-fantastic Michelle of Will Knit for Food:

Confession:  I was totally nervous about meeting Michelle.  I mean, have you seen her blog?  She knits the MOST BEAUTIFUL things like socks, wee little cardigans, and sweaters (which she then models on the streets of Dublin #jealouslikewhoa).  She also sews!  She's a complete package of awesome, so I was a bit intimidated by her at first.  She made me feel at ease by being crazy kind and giving me a present that was so geektastic, there are no proper words for it but SQUEE:


We are meeting up tonight for some more knitting adventures, so I'll be investing in some needles to start these lovelies asap!

On Sunday, we met at Windy Knitty, and that place is just wonderful!  Their yarn selection was so vast, and so well organized.  It was like a very colorful, soft kind of heaven.  We had exceptional service and conversation with the two shop owners/assistants - there was much laughter as we (read: everyone who has completed a project larger than a cowl - not me - I still got to laugh, though!) compared projects and talked about the upcoming Vogue Knitting Live!  (I'm not going, but it sounds like the best thing ever.) After purchasing some skeins for upcoming projects, we departed and headed for the nearby Sifu.

Sifu was a disappointment.  We perused their selection, which was scattered around the shop, and we weren't even greeted or acknowledged, even though we were obviously interested in browsing.  There were many people gathered in the back (apparently for a brunch?), but I got the feeling that I was very much an outsider when I attempted to see what was going on.  We left without making any purchases, and though we had been looking forward to a possible Sci-Fiber Friday in the future, I am thinking I might pass on that idea.

We were still itching for some yarn, so we headed to Sister Arts Studio.  I love SASI, but I'm totally biased because I've taken all my knitting classes there and Donna and Alexis are fantastic teachers.  I walked in with my project needs in hand, and Donna led me straight to the yarn I needed.  Donna was able to assist even though she had an event with at least 10 children happening in the front and back of the store.

After Sister Arts, we were in need of sustenance because yarn shopping is exhausting :)  Off to Starbucks for cool refreshments, conversation... and cookies.

And then we took silly pictures, because that was the only proper thing to do!

Stupid sunglasses.  I was crossing my eyes, too, but you can't tell.  Blergh.

A kind passerby took this awesome photo of me squeezing my new friend.  I'm hoping there will be many more photos like this in the future!  And more silly face ones, too - those are equally important.

Here are some shots of my yarn purchases:

Windy Knitty: Black Berroco Vintage for the Bright and Breezy Kimono

and some gorgeous green Rowan Lima for the Miss Marple Scarf (Sister Arts Studio).

After Michelle and I parted ways for the day, I headed home to prep for a night out with Lauren, a great friend from high school!  We walked on Navy Pier and then came back to my place for dinner, wine, toasted marshmallow milkshakes, and lots of great conversation about the world today :)

All in all, a marvelous weekend with fantastic ladies!!  Hooray for meet-ups and days filled with conversation :)

Have a fantastic day, all!


  1. What an awesome weekend. And those are indeed epic puffy sleeves of wonder! What a great gift for a little girl.

    1. Oh! And are you going to make the Tardis Socks? They are totally fun and socks aren't as hard as people think.

    2. I'm so excited that you say socks aren't as hard as people think, because I am definitely one of those people that is nervous about socks! I love the idea of wearing Tardises (Tardisi?) on my feet so I think I will definitely be attacking this sooner rather than later.

  2. Epic puffs of wonder, indeed! I love your turn of a phrase. The wee one has no idea how lucky she is to have you in her life. :) It looks like you had the perfect weekend. I look forward to seeing your knitted wonders. And how was that Toasted Marshmallow shake?

  3. Oh how awesome that you got to hang out with Debi! Isn't she just the best?

    That Glinda dress is going to make your niece so incredibly happy -- it's seriously everything I ever wanted in a girly dress when I was that age!

  4. So, if you ever decide you just have to relive the experience of sewing that challenging fabric, you know, for the challenge, and you happen to want to make it not in your size but maybe the size of some other blogger out there, I would be the happiest person in the world to receive a giant pink puffy sparkly Glinda dress anonymously in the mail. Barring that, I love seeing the pictures you posted and think you have the luckiest niece in the world!

  5. That pink dress is so cute! I feel your pain on the needle front. I once sewed with fabric that had jewels glued onto the front of it and I snapped about 4 needles before I realised I should cut off the jewels that lied near the seam line. It only just worked but it almost cost me my sanity.
    Lucky you, getting to meet Debi and Michelle!

  6. Hey lady! My friend Mandy owns Windy Knitty! It's my favoritest store in the world:) I'm so glad you liked it there!!!!!

    We should have a knitting date sometime soon. Would love to see you and some of your fabulous knitting creations!

    1. OMG. We should meet at a Windy Knitty knit night!! I was thinking of going next week if you're interested??

  7. you must be the best aunt ever! that dress is amazing!

  8. My heart just did flip flops for the Glinda dress you made for you niece! I mean, I imagined that it was going to be adorable, but it totally exceeded what I had imagined. I am so excited you had as much fun as I did! It's definitely the beginning of something wonderful!

  9. Wow, what a fantabulous sounding weekend!! You're so lucky, getting to meet Debi.

    That Glinda dress - wow. Just, wow. It's so gorgeous! I bet her parents will find it hard to convince her to wear any of her other clothes for the next few months, haha!

  10. Oh my gosh! The Glinda cute. She's going to look darling. For future reference (and you might've already tried this), you might want to try using Sewer's Aid on your needle when sewing with that type of fabric. I made a dress from heat sequined fabric for 4-H about a hundred years ago, and that's the only thing that got me through it.

  11. You met Debi?!?!?! I'm jealous! And you are so sweet to sew up that dress, it's beautiful! Your niece will have a very memorable Halloween because of you!

  12. YOU MET DEBI FRY?!?! OMG!!! So fabulous!!!

    I adore the Glinda dress - definitely a labour of love and much appreciated by Miss JoJo, I'm sure :)

  13. FAB-LOUS day! And you should TOTALLY come to Scotland!

  14. It was nice meeting you I'm glad you had fun at Windy Knitty.

  15. What a lucky girl your niece is! That dress is fantastic.

    Thanks for the link to the Miss Marple scarf too, it's really cute.

  16. Looks like you had a fantastic weekend :) And I'm totally going to copy you with the Miss Marple scarf - super cute! I'm just torn as to what color... hmm...

  17. What a cute dress! Your niece must be over the moon! Love it! And I'm glad you had such a fun weekend! I'm STOKED about your tardis socks-- knit fast!!!!!

  18. You must be the Aunty of Epic Wonderousness! I feel like running in horror from fabric like that - but you are a big brave girl and won the war on fancy fabric!

  19. OMG! So. Much. Fun.

    P.s Your Glinda dress is too cute. I just bought some very similar sparkly netting to make my daughter a Cinderella dress (It's not for Halloween or anything, she told me she wants to wear it every day. She is 2) and I didn't even think about how much of a pain the sparkly dots would be to sew. I guess I should go buy extra needles just in case.

  20. Epic weekend indeed! When blogging worlds collide! Love the Glinda dress, I want one for myself ;)