Friday, May 10, 2013

Holy Cow it's May

Time has been flying since I started working at the nursery.  I love it there and I absolutely love being swamped between the two jobs and trying to make things work with Rob and looking for my mom's lost cat, but it leaves less and less time for things like knitting, working out and sleep. Yesterday I met my aunt for dinner and I beat her to the restaurant and it occurred to me as I pulled out the perpetual sock in progress that it was the first I've knitted in days- and that's really weird. And oddly okay.

So let me show you my big project right now- it's a dress. At the nursery we are having a fashion show at work where a local boutique comes in and dresses up a bunch of models in clothing that's appropriate for working in a garden, we hand them a houseplant and send them down the catwalk. One of the people putting together the fashion show had seen a dress form made of chicken wire with real flowers blooming all over it forming the "fabric". And that's how she wanted to finish the fashion show.

Scott, our marketing guy and one of my best buds at work instantly said "that's a Paige Project!" and I was given a budget and a deadline for a dress made of flowers.  Artificial flowers though- he wanted to use it as a display after the fashion show was finished. I was a assigned a model, given her measurements and set on my way.
I figured I would make the dress in 3 layers.  The first would be an opaque fabric, light but sturdy and green for the background.  I chose a plain jane quilting fabric. I essentially made a tube top with some heavy duty elastic on top that flared out for the skirt.  There isn't much shaping to it because I didn't want to spend hours and hours on the bottom layer.  She will wear it for an hour- tops- and this will work just fine.
The next layer that went on was a big fat roll of tulle in a neon green color.  The original goal was to attach a netting and loop the flowers through, but I couldn't find one heavy enough plus I ended up using flower garlands instead.  It does provide a little extra something between the fabric and the flowers and I think it was a nice detail.
Next came the flowers.  I was making a top of plain pink flowers and then making a big full skirt of azaleas and gerbera daisies, and was going to break it up in the middle with a sparkly orange belt/bow. I spent a lot of time listening to Pandora and tacking on flowers, but it was coming.  And Scott our marketing guy was thrilled to see every little progress picture and that really helped me keep working on it in a timely manner. 
I also had a very helpful assistant throughout the whole project.  She's going to be a very sad cat the day the dress leaves the living room floor. 
Here is the dress, ready for it's test run.   I'm not the person who is going to be wearing it, but I put it on anyway and had Rob take some pictures so I could look for bare spots. I only found a few and fixed them quickly, and took the dress to work the next day. 
*The belt is a little low on me.  I figured that since our model was over a foot taller than me, the belt would hit her exactly right.  It turns out our model is the leggiest woman in the world and I had to get rid of the belt entirely and fill that spot in with more flowers.  Which I had to buy more of. And wait for them to get here. And I'm stuck. 
So here is the dress now.  I need one more length of azalea garland and about 20 minutes and I'll be finished.  When the model tried it on, Scott and I agreed the skirt needed to be fuller from the inside, so I need more tulle to make her a big poofy slip too. I'll try to make it to the fabric shop today so that won't be a big deal and hopefully those flowers will arrive today so I can turn it in tomorrow or Sunday, have it off the floor and collect my paycheck. And I'm totally cutting the orange belt fabric up and putting it and the green leftovers in my next quilt because I'm cheap like that. 

So that's been my main project for a while now.  I also have a really big trade show coming up for Good For Ewe, and time not spent on the dress or working at the 2 jobs is spent preparing for that.  I completely lucked out though- and I have so many fabulous knitters and and crochet-ers helping me with the little yarn samples for the trade show.  I've still got to make the actual set, and that will be more sewing than knitting, but I'll get there.  I have a set up in mind, and I'm hoping to start next week.  I'd love to be done before I leave for Paris on the 28th so it's one less thing to come back to. I'm also knitting a few little things for the display but those are the least of my concerns.  They'll fit in a carry-on if they need to. 

I've also made a trade with a guy at work for a table for my trade show.  You can rent big plastic table for $150 for the 4 days you are there.  Or you can buy one for a lot less than that, and since the show is only 4 hours away I'll be driving and not shipping it there.  I am concerned about space issues, so I wanted a smaller, round table- like a Bistro set, without the Bistro price. Then this guy at work was showing me some of the things he's made lately- he's a wood worker when he's not selling trees (which doesn't sound Kosher to me but whatever). So I mentioned that I would like a little table for my trade show and he said he'd make it.  I asked my price and he said he would do it all from reclaimed wood and use the tools he already has if I would fix a couple pairs of torn shorts for him.  

I am clearly the winner in this deal. I will need to buy patching fabric, thread, and heavier-duty needles, but that's going to be way cheaper than a table.  And it will mean that every single thing in my booth is handmade, and to me, that's really cool. 

I do have one more little project- my Halloween cross stitching. I finally joined last month and last month my free book was The Great Gatsby.  The movie comes out today and I wanted to re-read the book before I saw the movie, and it was free on Audible if you join.  So I joined.  Plus I get a new audiobook every month and that's well worth the $15 a month membership. And the real reason you're getting that story is because I cross-stitched most of the time I was listening to my book, and I hope I get to keep up this stitching/reading thing for a while.  I can totally handle a book a month! unfortunately, Gatsby was a really short book and I didn't really get that far in the project. 
And shot! It's small but it's organic and it's all mine!