Sunday, October 24, 2010
October Refashion Challenge III - Refashion #21 :: Bella
This time I started out, again, with a crewneck sweater that's been sitting in my closet, unworn, for several years now. Like the blue sweater, it's a bit large on me:
Anyways, as I was thinking about what new type of refashion I could tackle for my third crewneck, I was inspired by the black color to make this refashion very classic and simple: black and white, light embellishments, and a ballerina neckline.
Hehe, my dad only managed to catch one eye! Serves me right for tilting my head. Anyways, this was quite simple to pull off. I simply removed the ribbing at the neck, then I put the sweater on and measured where I wanted the neckline to reach - in this case, I extended it about 1" width-wise in either direction then curved it down and blended away to the front center. In the back, I lowered it about 1.5" and made a similar curve. The fact that it perfectly echoes my clavicle is, between you and me, the happiest of coincidences. I took the sweater in about an inch on each side, and narrowed the sleeves, too.
Courtesy of Sigrid's recent tutorial, I used some bias-cut silk ribbon to finish off the neckline by simply encasing the raw edge and handstitching in place. I got two sizes of buttons: one set to set off the neckline, and one set to hold my turned-up sleeves in place, as before:
Remember that huge fuss I made about handmade wedding wear? In the end, I wore this sweater and black slacks, set off by a pair of faux pearl studs, a peacock feathered headband and my hair pulled back in a bun, and a ring/bracelet set from my aunt. Very black and white. Very "erg, it's an outdoor wedding in a foggy part of California and the weather forecast calls for rain, I would rather be warm than fancy." Very "let's be honest, that gray dress is a tad too small and it has no stretch, I'd rather eat comfortably than be fancy."
Given that it was the Ritz Carlton, I was probably the most underdressed person there, although I like to think that personal style counts for something, so maybe we'll say "understated." And though I was ultimately happy with that choice, it did create a fair amount of hand-wringing on the night before the wedding.
The thing about Silicon Valley is that it holds enough people who don't think twice about dropping hundreds on an outfit, that whenever a fancy-type social event pops up on the calendar, it gives me pause that my handmade garments are somehow "good enough." Meaning expensive-looking enough, meaning fashionable enough, meaning ... well, meaning that they don't even look handmade, if I'm honest with myself. It's a strange type of inferiority complex, made stranger by the fact that I've known the bride and groom for almost 15 years, known my circle of friends who attended for over half my life.
Honestly, nobody who really knew me would care what I wore so much as the fact that I was there to share in the happy occasion, and as I stood there fretting on Friday evening, I realized I just needed to get over my insecurities and figure that if I just stepped into the room with confidence, nobody would even see the clothing I wore, just the smile on my face and the happiness in my eyes, happiness that these high school sweethearts were finally tying the knot after 10 years.
And maybe some people did point and whisper, but whatever. This is just who I am. And OK yes, maybe my mom does have a point that I could keep an eye out for some fancier black pants [and that, no, I can't just add fancy decorative trim to existing black pants ... she totally knows me, as she's the one who pinned in this sweater at the waist and arms] ... and OK yes, maybe next time I won't finish my outfit the night before the wedding [actually, I didn't even get the sleeve buttons in place in time] ... but I am happy I stuck to the plan and didn't resort to my high school Homecoming dress, if only because that's what I wore the night the bride and groom went to their first school dance together. Although, hm, now that I think about it, maybe that would have been poetically fitting ...