Sunday, April 21, 2013

Day of Silence and a DIY

Friday was the national Day of Silence, which is a student-fueled protest against the silencing of the LGBT community. To participate, you go the day without talking, which is surprisingly difficult. Most of my friends and I only did it through the school day, though, since we had the play that night, and some of them needed to say their lines, and some of us needed to be able to instruct people with their costumes or props.
To celebrate, my friend Rachel (with the help of the LGBT club at school) organized a "Silent Tea Party" in the small outside theater by the cafeteria. It was really cool, because we all got dressed up like we were going to a vintage, classic-style tea party (most girls in frilly, fancy dresses, and the boys in suits with bow-ties and top hats), then we sat on a picnic blanket that I brought, and drank tea and ate finger sandwiches, all without saying a word. We all got little cards to pin to our clothes that explained why we couldn't talk, so that we wouldn't get in trouble with our teachers. Most of the teachers were really supportive of it, and didn't call on us or anything, and whenever I needed to ask a question, I just wrote it down and signaled for someone near me to read it for me.
I  wanted to look nice a tea-party-y, so I finally altered one of my dresses the night before. I've actually been meaning to for more than a year, but I keep forgetting. This is what I wore, and I'll put a DIY for my dress after the pictures:
Outfit Details- Dress: DIY (Forever21), Belt and Tights: Forever21, Hat and Crinoline: Vintage, Shoes: Borrowed from my mom, Teacup: #Anthropology
I kept seeing all of these cool heart-cut-out dresses for a while, and then I saw a picture of this dress on Pinterest (from Ruche, but it's no longer in stock), and went "Wait. I have basically the same exact dress, just without the cut-out." Like, seriously. The same dress.
I got my dress on sale for a couple dollars at Forever 21 in 8th grade, because I fell in love with the fabric, but it was just really awkwardly fitted. The chest was always kind of tight, but the waist was completely loose, making me look kind of box-y, but I still wore it a lot with a belt for a while.
On Thursday, I took it in, then made the cut-out. You can probably find much better tutorials for heart-cut-outs, but here's how I made mine:
 I started out by taking my own measurements, and those of the dress. I found that the waist of the dress was about 5 inches too big, so I'd need to take in the 2 side seams and 2 front darts by about an inch each. I turned the dress inside out and folded it along the side seam. I pinned it in place, making sure that the lining was lined up with the outside.
 Then, I sewed a new side seam, with about half an inch to an inch seam allowance. Be careful to only do it following the existing seam if the dress is too big all over, because I realized I'd made the chest smaller than it needed to be, and had to rip out half of the seam to redo it. I didn't get a picture of it, but I also did the same to the front seams.
 I turned it right-side-out, and folded it along the zipper (zipped up), lining up the center-fronts. I pinned it in place (to make it easier for cutting, and also to keep the lining and outside lined up), then sketched out half of a heart in pencil.
 Still pinned, I cut out the heart
 One side at a time, I pinned the cut edges in, so that they were folded over two times (so as not to fray later, but you could use some of that anti-fray solution)
 I very carefully sewed along the pinned edges, using a small seam-allowance, but you could probably use a bigger one if you needed to
 After doing the same to the other side, I put the triangular-shaped fabric above the heart over each other, and sewed on buttons. For mine, I didn't even need button holes, because the neck-hole is big enough that I can put it over my head without unbuttoning it. You should check first, though, before you sew on the buttons, especially if you're using a high-neck dress.
I really love how my dress turned out, and for the show that night, I was supposed to wear dark colors, but I just switched the purple belt for a black one, took off the crinoline, put on over-the-knee charcoal socks, a gray plaid blazer, and my cat shoes. I really liked how that outfit looked, too, but I got home at like 10:30 or something so I didn't really want to take pictures.
I hope you're all having a glitterific day!

1 comment:

  1. Your DIY-ing skills are totally amazing! Whenever I try to sew something with rounded corners it ends up all lopsided and stuff....Anyways, it's so great that you participated in Day of Silence! I couldn't participate this year because I no longer live in the US, and it wasn't an option at my school. Sigh. Love your dress!