Sequins, shoulders and a show! | This WONDERfilled Life

I wouldn’t say I’ve been in a creative funk…but I haven’t been as “prolific” as I thought I would be…especially since the music world has been a little slower than usual (or at least compared to my action-packed January/February) and considering the kids have been off of school for two weeks.  Did you catch that…my kids have been home with me, all day, every day, for TWO WEEKS!!! I had lists of cleaning, organizing, music making and creating that I just knew I would get done…then I remembered about taxes, my sisters memorial scholarship was due (Super and I are part of the panel that adjudicates applicants) oh and then there was the four days I was incapacitated due to the stomach flu – the horror that was our house with three out of four of us sick…well…I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

The reality is I did get somethings done…I got almost all of Bubba’s potty trainers cut out. I almost finished our taxes and I submitted my ranking for the scholarship this morning.  I also cleaned up the yard, finished cutting up the tree trimmings for sojo burning this summer and we organized all our lumber that was stored under the back of our house…no small feat.  As awesome as all that is I have REALLY wanted to sew some new things for myself and with Easter, a second birthday and a horn packed April on the horizon I had resigned myself to the idea that I wouldn’t have the time.  But this week I MADE the time and I am so glad I did.

On Thursday night Super and I watched our usual evening show after the kiddos go to bed.  ChicagoTonight is a local news show on PBS. It’s always interesting and ranges from politics to raising chickens in an urban setting like Chicago.  That night they had on songwriter extraordinaire, Alan Menken aka “The Guy Who Wrote The Little Mermaid”.  Menken is an icon for Super and me, his music was the soundtrack to our high school years and our early “courtship” – seriously “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Aladdin was our song for years… He’s doing a cabaret type show through out the country and it turned out Saturday he would be at Chicago’s Auditorium Theater (an icon in and of itself).  Well as soon as we heard that he was doing a show, playing his tunes and talking about his career we knew we had to go.  I quickly put in a request for a sitter and we patiently waited almost 24hrs to find out if the agency had one for us.  As soon as we had the kids sitter settled and some awesome seats purchased (in the balcony, left side - which is the keyboard side for non-musical peeps – a must when seeing a pianist in concert) I knew that I wanted to take some time and make ME something nice to go out in. 

I had been eyeing Made for Mermaids new-ish pattern, Women’sDeanna Dolman for a while.  I purchased it when it first came out but hadn’t even printed it yet.  Friday as we waited to hear if we had a sitter I managed to print, tape, trace and cut out the pieces. 

I bought this gorgeous floral, double brushed poly from Knitpop in February.  I wouldn’t normally have bought it but I saw several makes from fellow Mermaids and Pirates and I really liked the scale of the flowers, then I saw it was on sale for $2/yard and I scooped up 4 yards. I barely used a yard for this top.  

I also nabbed  the 6” wide, stretch black sequin trim at $1.50 a yard - so all said and done this top cost me about $5 to make…no joke.

I knew I wanted to dress up the off the shoulder cowl option of the Deanna but I vacillated on doing it with this top for a few reasons…I was under a time crunch AND I hadn’t sewn this pattern up yet. I usually try and do things as written on the first go round.  But after looking at the pattern I decided to go for it.  The top itself is simple.  I thought the last top I made by them (M4M) was a little baggy on me so I retook my measurements and happily cut out a size smaller than I have made in the past…guess my working out has been working 😉

I followed the directions in the pattern but for the cowl I used the sequin trim.  I have sewn with sequins once before, last year when I made this awesome navy, M4M Mama Clairein a mini sequin fabric.  For that top I did not remove the sequins, and just chunked through them on my sewing machine.  My serger did not like sewing thru them so I knew that this time around, with real, full size sequins I would be time ahead by removing all the sequins from the seam allowance.  This added about an hour or two to the project.  (Seriously, without this fancy sparkly cowl this probably would have taken me about an hour from print to finish.)

I used the top part of the cowl pattern piece (the arched or curved part) to cut the shape from the 6” wide trim.  I used my PAPER rotary cutter for this.  DO NOT use your good fabric rotary cutter or scissors.  The hardest sequins to remove were those in the seam allowance along the curve because you are taking off sequins from different sew lines.  The ones removed from the top seam allowance were much easier because to get my ½” seam allowance of clearance I just removed the top two rows of sequins. 

This process is super messy…and they stick to everything.  I have yet to vacuum my craft studio, but I did vacuum our living room twice after I was done, and Bubba still managed to find a stray sequin here and there.  I sewed the side seams of the cowl on my sewing machine with a straight stitch and then took it to the serger to clean up the edges and promptly broke both needles…I don’t know why…but I took that as an omen to not sew sequins on my serger anymore.  I added a zigzag stitch to the edge of the seam and trimmed back the seam allowance on both sides of the cowl. 

You can't even see where I removed the sequins after I sewed the side seams together!

When sewing the cowl to the neckline of the shirt I used the lighting stitch and I opted to not trim the allowance back as I thought it might help it to lay better.

The only disappointment in my finished shirt was that my split hem didn’t turn out the way I wanted…and I may take it apart and fix it later! HA! But that issue was all me, not paying attention and doing exactly as the directions said. 

I was happy with how this turned out.  I felt so good about myself and so fancy going out in sequins to a show!! I had planned to wear this with jeans and boots but I couldn’t find any clean jeans! I guess we’re still not caught up from the stomach bug but thankfully this musician always had black bottoms!

The show itself was great.  We both felt lucky that we had the money and means to make it happen.  Seeing/hearing that in person was special for us and we both left the show excited and inspired to continue being “makers” and to encourage our kids in whatever strikes inspiration in them. 
If you’re a fan of musical theater or anything Disney from the last 30 years do yourself a favor and try and see his show.  You will love it.

And if you’ve been on the fence about the M4M Deanna Dolman don’t be…it’s an easy sew with a beautiful outcome.


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