Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gifts Are Made

I didn't do as much gift-making this year as I have in years past because, honestly, the Christmas spirit is missing around here. A bit of a story that leads into what I did make... The Thursday before Thanksgiving we got the news that Eric's best friend since middle school had died suddenly. It was quite a blow. His kids all came to spend time with their dad because they knew how upset he would be. He very much enjoyed the company, of course, and while they were here both girls asked if I would make them socks. I agreed to because they were so good with their dad when he needed them most. The yarn for Meg's socks was easy to decide on, thank goodness.
The yarn was a gift from a House Cup friend a few years ago - it was waiting in the stash for the right project. I love how it knit up! The colors are beautiful together. Erica's socks took a bit longer - nothing jumped out at me. I finally came across a skein that I'd dyed a while ago.
It took a bit longer to knit these, too, because I couldn't believe how nice the yarn looked. My final handmade gift is a bit different.
They will hold lip balms and are for my brother's girlfriend's daughters. I don't know the girls very well, unfortunately, but they are both very sweet. I hope their mom doesn't mind them having glossy lips! I finally got around to putting our tree up yesterday. I then discovered that the box of ornaments, a big Rubbermaid tub, had gotten a lot of water in it when the basement flooded. I spent the afternoon throwing away so many ruined decorations. Worse yet, my star has disappeared. I made it thirteen years ago when the kids and I began our life without their dad. It was beautiful - cardboard, glue, and all of the glitters that I'd collected when I worked at the craft store. I'm heartbroken that we don't have it any more. I don't even want to decorate the tree now - it's in the corner in all its prelit glory, naked. Come January or so I'll start collecting glitter again to make a new star. It won't be the same, of course, but maybe this time I'll go with a silver, iridescent, and soft blue color scheme. Okay, enough with the down stuff! I have socks to wrap in the shiny purple paper that I had to get. (All of our paper was destroyed, too, so I got new rolls last week.) Tomorrow is the last day of school before Christmas break. Know what that means? Sleeping in! And probably rereading The Blood of Olympus - I love Rick Riordan's books so much. Did you know that his next series is Norse gods and mythology? So excited! So, tell me about your holiday plans and favorite books and crafts and stuff. I'll be back soon!

Monday, December 8, 2014

An Early Gift

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from etsy showing things I might be interested in. I get them from ebay all the time but don't open them to avoid temptation, but I was curious. It contained something I was very interested in - a vintage Halston ultrasuede shirt dress in my size. I closed the screen and pouted because, well, I'm broke and shouldn't have looked in the first place. A few days later Kerry and I ware chatting about random things and I told him about the dress. He said I should order it and it would be his Christmas present to me. A relative had given me some money (not through Go Fund Me, that's for the kids), so I ordered it. It came Saturday. I opened it with careful excitement - this is the dress that Halston sold 60,000 of for around two hundred dollars in the early 70s. I couldn't wait to see what vintage high-end looked like!
It's beautiful. The color isn't something I would normally get, but it will go with everything. The ultrasuede fabric is dreamy - soft and smooth. It looks like this dress wasn't worn much - no areas that are aged-looking. The tag was unattached on one side, as the listing said, but that's okay and easily fixable.
I was eager to see what the inside of this baby looked like. Right away I saw that the buttons are the cheap plastic kind. Kind of surprising. They're backed, though, unlike something I'd get new. When I got to the seams, though, I wondered if perhaps I was duped.
It looks like something I would make. I know the ultrasuede doesn't fray, but I was expecting something more - and the obvious notches really made me think that this had been handmade by someone and a label sewn in - some older patterns sometimes included a label. But! I came across these tags
that confirmed to me that this is, in fact, a real Halston dress. According to the union tag it's from after 1974. I was about 5 when this dress was made! One of the things that I really like is the attached belt
that won't get lost...although I had thought of wearing the dress with a cardigan over it and using the belt around both. Oh, well. Why are there no pictures of me modeling it? Well, it's a bit snug. I had hoped to wear it to my court appointment on Wednesday, but now I'll work on wearing it on my birthday in three weeks. I'll just exercise a bit more and eat less homemade toffee (yum!). I will wear the heck out of this dress! I did a bit of looking around for fabric to make some more versions. Holy cow can it be expensive! I found some on that's affordable and comes in some great colors. Maybe with some birthday money I can order a few yards. I need to learn how to copy this dress, though. anyone want to come teach me? I think that, with this style and my wrap dress, I can party like it's 1975 every day! On a related note, I've watched American Hustle so many times just for the clothes. I don't even pay attention to the story. It's all about the dresses, baby! Have you seen it? Okay, that's all for today. I have some gift knitting to finish that I'll show you later this week - and court to psych myself up for. Wish me luck!