When Carolyn and I set up camp in the lace shelves at Mood Fabrics NYC over a month ago, I couldn’t help but pull every technicolor bolt out for a snapshot. Carolyn quite rightly reminded me: Oooooooooona. We’re here for everyone else.
I am not the best listener. She had to remind me of this repeatedly.
But I abstained! I did not walk out with my own lace that day! (The promise of Lazzara’s pizza helped.) Instead, I let the bolts simmer in my head for a week, and returned to find this crazy pink and orange diddy hanging out in the fancy lace section. Putting on airs, for sure. This poly assault on the senses did not belong in the Fancy Lace section. I carted her lovingly over to Silk Prints, and found her mate in this jungle boogie cacophony. (Did you click the link? Oh, do. Please do. Otherwise how will you see the folly of my ways? That’s a zebra colored cheetah with butterfly wings. For realz.)
After I made my drunken picks, I emailed Carolyn with utter joy: I’m going to look like Willy Wonka! Three weeks later, still eyeing my intended match folded on my sewing desk, I realized with utter dread: I’M GOING TO LOOK LIKE WILLY WONKA.
Yeah. Well. Something had to be done, obviously. I had set myself the goal of two lace posts, and a Kalkatroonaan does not like to accept defeat. Enter six iterations of this lace. At one point it was attached in flatlocked pleats to this pale-as-ice blue ponte knit (meant, bien sur, for leggings). It was the definition of overworked. One could even call it underpaid. Then a memory of Janine’s excellent comment on my feathery skirt came floating back to me: “Note to self: KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).”
Simple! My kingdom for simple! Yes, the built in columns in this candy hued lace wanted to fall into pleats. But they didn’t have to be hammered into submission position. You would have thought I’d used a saws-all and cement mixer to make this dress. I wish I’d snapped a photo before coming to my senses and severing the parts, but alas, a Kalkatroonaan also does not care for incriminating evidence. After amputation, I attached a soft lavender lining to the skirt, and folded over a waist band, inserting a nice wide flat elastic. The gathered waistband relaxed into instant pleats, with no work whatsoever. Oh, the hours of cursing wasted.
Although some of those hours were not for naught. This lace pattern runs vertically to the selvedge, with selvedge edges being nothing special. I say this because I heard fairy godmother Susan Khalje in my head, her teachings at a Mood Lace Seminar echoing back: pay attention to the pretty bits and include them in the garment. Before the amputation, I spent several sessions handstitching the side seams together into a disappearing act, and I carefully trimmed a long column of leaf motif and handstitched it to the hem of the dress. Of course it’s a beginner’s crack at it, but I think it kind of looks like the edges were made that way, non? I AM EXCEEDINGLY PROUD OF IT, YO!
I cropped the top just enough to show off the waistband. I find that, on me, if you can’t see the waistband on gathered skirts, I suddenly have no waist. Ooooh hey, guess what else I don’t have? A C CUP. Tell that to my new bra. This Burda tank top fits, I swear. But not when I’m having delusions of grandeur.
Speaking of grandeur, I got so caught up in the lace aspect of this March challenge, wanting to make something spectacular with a fabric I’ve always adored playing with, I forgot to listen to the yardage in hand. It was amazing how it fell into place when I stopped trying to make it extravagant. Now I’ve got a great staple in my closet!
(Yes. In Kalkatroona, this is indeed a neutral staple. See: Willy Wonka. And see this online lace for your own sugary treat.)