the making of a bridesmaid dress & a wedding!!

my dear friend sara got married on 25 march, and i was lucky enough to be one of her bridesmaids. i was supposed to wear a pink dress, and as usual, i dreamed up a dress but then couldn't find anything that quite worked. cobi and i tried going to new york to find the perfect pink silk shantung, but didn't have any luck. finally, my sister and i headed down to chinatown and stumbled on a watermelon fabric. there wasn't enough, so i had to modify the pattern slightly. it still came out well.
i am always fascinated by processes. so, here's some pictures of the process!

i started off by laying out the pattern on the lining and silk. all the pieces were then cut out, and i pinned little labels on each piece (1 right = piece 1, right side) so things didn't get confusing, and so that i was sure to use the 'right side' of the silk and that everything matched. nothing is worse than finishing the dress and finding out you've sewed a right-side to a wrong-side. reading the directions was key: normally i like to blunder my way through projects, but i only had one shot at doing this right and was gonna be damned if i screwed up beacuse of my hubris. i read each direction carefully and, as dad always said, measured twice and cut once. i did my best to balance confidence with hubris, and it worked pretty well.

penelope was kind enough to supervise the sewing and cutting, chewing on the fabric edges and chasing thread when needed. every night, she re-arranged the sewing table by batting anything she could onto the floor, just to watch it fall. i wore the special kathryn-shirt that rd and ben made for my birthday - it has special powers, and i needed 'em.

carefully sewing the silk - the hardest was yet to come, and i struggled royally with the boning at first. the zipper went in alright, but i was dumb enough to try putting the boning in the front seams (curved for the bust) first, instead of doing the (non-curved) side seams. this was the first project for which i'd used boning, and i have to say it was a lot easier than i thought. next time i plan to have some masking tape on hand to hold the boning in place - it will make it easy, i can sew through the masking tape, and then just tear it off without having to struggle with pins or (as i did) simply winging it by going slowly and holding the boning as i needed.

the lining and dress itself, waiting to be united in some nice even seams. as you can see, i barely made it in terms of thread. i started using different colored thread on the boning and non-visible seams in order to conserve the matching thread for the hems and sewing the lace together for the ruffled petticoat that was attached to the bottom of the lining.
my outfitlast minute preparations
and, the result with my cute little green shoes. i got a pedicure with pink to match the dress, and also covered a headband with the pink fabric. i couldn't find any reasonably priced green jewelry to match, so i made a necklace and some earrings to match. maybe i'll post some close-up pictures of those as well. some observations:
  • the boning of the dress was well worth it, especially for the shape and bit of support it provided.
  • i was worried the shoes didn't match, but tying the color in with accessories was key
  • patience, patience: the only time i started making mistakes while making the dress was when i was tired and had been working on it for hours. from now on, as soon as i make a mistake or get frustrated, i need to put everything down and return to it after a good night's sleep
  • the pattern, fabric, and notions were $75. i spent about 14 hours on the dress - so if you have more money than time, i would recommend just buying a dress. that being said, the sense of satisfaction i get everytime i look at it is worth a whole lot. it was just the fabric i wanted, and i was able to tailor the fit to my figure - it's hard to find things that fit just right
and, the wedding:

the bridal party!
me, sara, christine, and joey (the man of honor)

completely lovely. sara looked fantastic, and the ceremony and reception were very sara & chris; not too formal and just right. it's always nice to see someone who is in love with your friend - it's like it gives you an automatic connection: "hey, i think she's awesome too!!". in different ways, but you know what i mean. anyhow, i'm not gonna get all emo right now, but it was really wonderful to be there and spend more time with chris.

when i got there i had some nice time to spend with sara, and we got to just relax and chat at the swanky corporate apartment we stayed in. i also got to hang out with joey and run errands and he understands about alone time, and chitty-chat with christine, which was really nice. i love visiting NC and wish i could do it more, though i am excited because i'll be back in august for my ex-boyfriend potatoes' wedding. fortunately sara and chris are going as well, so i know the trip will be super-fun. you can visit sara & chris' wedding photo page for more pictures. oh, weddings - so much fun! i could really go on - the bachelorette was awesome, and sara's friends are so nice and were hospitable and helpful, the reception was great fun and we danced and drank and...you know...one of those fantastic weekends that i desperately freakin' needed.


i hate to be the one to tell boo that we're jewish.

boo loves to pretend that he is one of santa's reindeer:

on the mend...

so i have been sick as a dog this week. i was doing fine until tuesday evening, when i was horribly stricken with something mean. my fever didn't get below 102 until thursday morning, and at it's peak it reached 104. as an adult, fevers that high are rare, and i think it cooked my brain a little. now i am just left with a garden variety cold, and the feeling that my body is recuperating from a long illness. i lost five pounds and let the cats fend for themselves while shayne was gone. now that i am mostly better, i spent a chunk of the morning cleaning up cat poo. i think they managed to get every room in the house.

Happy bday momin the midst of this, my mom had a birthday. while last year my sister orchestrated a great little flickr project... this year the best i could do was a weak little phone call in the morning. it might not have been the most exuberant birthday greeting, but my mom knows i love her and that she is often in my thoughts. happy belated birthday mom!

on a random side note -- i am getting very interested in how unknown strangers find the blog. this is such a little personal account of life at the casa, that they must find it strange. so, for the first half of the month of march, here is a partial list of google image searches that have brought folks to the blog:
  • nekkid
  • tasty deserts
  • naked kate
  • letterpress printing
  • blondie brownies
  • nice house on the beach
  • dancing chicken
  • franklin, tennessee
  • barn smell
  • see down her shirt
  • gardening hat
  • marinating
  • jesus sculpture
  • penelope pumpkins
i think this shows that, if nothing else, this blog is an eclectic mix. and that the casa must be a damn interesting place to live...


mormon country

yeah, that's right - i went to utah this week. i went to visit one of my oldest and dearest friends, who luckily works in a ski store and got me free rentals and lift tickets. thanks, malik! you're the best...around!! nothing's gonna evah bring you down!! i skiied at 3 different mountains in park city (park city, deer valley, and the canyons), read 5 books (including the last 3 dark tower books by stephen king, good stuff), and watched 2 movies (star trek: nemesis and underworld... nemesis was great, underworld was just as crappy as i expected, but mildly entertaining nonetheless).

the skiing was amazing - this is a full mountain picture of the canyons, which was probably my favorite mountain. the trails are all set back from the village/condo part of the resort - you have to take a gondola over a huge canyon in order to get to the slopes. it's also the biggest of the three mountains, but because of the terrain (lots of canyons, just as advertised), it felt the smallest. it took me a while to get the feel of it after not having skiied for 7 years, but once i remembered how to shake my hips (the fact that i'd forgotten proves that i don't get out enough these days), i was just fine. as i left park city, a huge storm hit, dumping about 31" of snow over 3 days. i bowed my head and apologized to mother nature for all the complaining i do about new england snow.

good company, good skiing, good books. but most importantly, i managed to avoid all the mormons, returning just as heathen as i left. which is good, because i've been informed that if i turn mormon i have to live in the basement. and it's scary down there.


some recent casa accomplishments

well, we've had a very busy weekend here at the casa. friday night, casa-friend dan had a party at his beautiful new house. kate, shayne and i headed over to bring greetings, bad champagne, and homemade mac n cheese. i'm particularly impressed that i pulled the mac n cheese together, having been out of work sick on wednesday and thursday, and a shitty day back on friday.

regardless, i rallied and we trooped over where i had a fantastic time seeing CL people, and getting pretty tossed and stoned. i never smoke pot, so i'm always particularly entertained with myself (and everyone else for that matter). i told the party stories of stupid things done while drunk, including playing 'nails'. this involves a tree stump, some drunk friends, and a hammer being tossed in the air and caught, with a rapid whack on someone's nail. it's the best freaking game ever; i only wish we had a stump in the backyard. i could be found every summer night, inebriated with a box of nails and some cute boys, standing around a stump.

anyhow, shayne and i got trashed and kate stayed sober, and we trooped over to marc's house. fortunately he had cupcakes for us to eat, unfortunately he only had gin with a weird sports drink as a mixer. shayne and i, always the troopers, didn't let that stop us. and: it was weirdly good. we headed home, where i passed out in bed after sending someone a text message. i can't remember what i wrote, and i didn't save it, but the rather ...er... curt response would indicate i got some things off my chest. oh, kathryn, you're such a funny girl! hahaha. anyhow, i woke up face down with all my earrings in, hair still all done, socks on, but no pants. *shrug* it's beyond me.

saturday was spent sleeping and washing dishes. saturday night my dear friend alison and i went out to a nice sushi dinner. we caught up, and had a really nice time. the trouble started when we headed to charlie's kitchen, where we ran into a bunch of friends upstairs at a table. they're a bunch of dudes who tattoo for a living, and they like to drink. they particularly like to do shots, ordered in rounds, for the entire table. alison was bright enough to leave after a few beers and two shots, but i decided i needed to finish what i started. more shots, more cape codders later, i was pleasantly hammered and decided to go help my sister downstairs (she was bartending). she gave me water till everyone had cleared out, and i washed the bar top and helped clean up, then went home. it was a fun night!

which brings us to today. i met my friend joe for coffee at 10:30. we had a nice chat, and caught up. i walked him to work and then headed home. napped, sat, smoke cigarettes, and did a lot of thinking. i've had some weird personal stuff going on lately - i'm pretty confused, and things can't get worked out for another few days due to scheduling. it's definitely got me in really bizarre headspace, and if i sit and think, i drive myself insane.

so, i cleaned the oven. for three hours, with a toothbrush. i just sat there in my sweatpants and shirt from yesterday, scouring the goddamn oven. i took all the knobs off and thoroughly washed them, i soaked and scoured the burners, the pans, everything. it was really therapeutic. and i felt accomplished. not wanting to quit a good thing, i did the following things as well:

  • washed all the kitchen rugs
  • scoured the dishrack
  • washed the microwave, inside & out
  • washed the fridge
  • cleaned all kitchen surfaces
  • put out all trash and recyclables
  • washed both penelope's dishes
  • washed penelope's little orange placemat
  • cleaned penelope's litter box and put in new litter
  • swept
  • washed the floor
  • dusted and swept the living room and dining room
  • swept the bathroom
  • washed the bathroom floor

needless to say i'm sitting pretty fuckin' pretty over here at the casa. once the floors dry i'll clean the bathroom, and then go to bed. or get started on the bridesmaid dress. or the invites for the bachelorette. fuuuuck! i need a personal assistant.