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Saturday 2 August 2014

Miz Bagg's poser video, new garbage shirt maxi, and more

My new feather boa. It's been too frigging hot to dress like a non-colour-fast bird but my new character, Helen, didn't give a flightless flying feck. Helen is the host of my new YouTube series called Helen's Hot Hauties - as in Haute Couture (hauties pronounced hoe'-tees). Think of it as VOGOFF in motion, with an exuberant host. Those are stills from video footage but Helen wears glasses now.

Episode 1 features a selection of Miz Bagg's award-winning original poses in a segment I'd pieced together before I thought of Hot Hauties. Sadly, most of Helen was chopped; there was no room left. Ah well, she's only the host who explains everything. More than a minute of me in video is simply too fabularsenic. I'm not sure where I'll take HH, but I can say: talking to myself in public with grand animation set a new record of shamelessness.
And this is Hat Attack #13, is it true? Thirteen?! And here I am in a hat.
This photo was dark so I had to up my levels all around, but you get the idea. I love cloches and I wore this blue cotton one, which I bought retail years ago, for most of my inspiration walk today; I had to take it off and ruffle my hair in the breeze once in a while. I also felt invisible under this hat with my shades on, but I enjoyed slinking around in Spy Mode. Thanks, Judith of Style Crone, for the party, Hat Attack #13. Her hat collection is incredible. 

I'm also linking up to Sheila's Shoe Shine at her blog Ephemera. There's a good view of my hairy thrifted D&G shoes in the photo below.

BUT GUESS WHAT I'M WEARING!! You'll never guess. It's a dress I made! I'm am so excited I had to make a drainage hole in the bottom of it. 
I got a new serger, a special gift from O. I had been having trouble with knits on my regular sewing machine. I tried sandwiching the fabric with paper, taping it, using interfacing, stabilizers, starching, zigzagging, stretch stitching, every single trick to stop that annoying ruffle. It would also have helped if my machine had a presser foot pressure adjustment knob, but NON! Soooo.... Hahahah! 

My serger is a Brother "Lock 1034D", less than $300. It arrived pre-threaded, and after untangling the mess I just started sewing. I'm going to use this thread until it runs out. 

This dress is made of three garbage shirts, a navy blue regular T on top, a darker navy golf shirt turned upside down, collar and buttons removed and pockets turned into sleeves near my knees, and a khaki T-shirt, also upside-down with the collar removed and sleeve turned into drainage hole. I finished the piece off with a bleach pen, inspired by Megan Mae's recent bleach projects.

I was feeling very angsty about the Machine so I just. started. sewing. The freedom! Aaaah. Breaking the learned no-no of sewing without a plan felt like writing in library books with black marker and folding their pages over and dribbling coffee and food all over them. Now that I have done sewing like this and didn't get heck or have to pay a fine, I'm committed to doing more. I'm scouring the house for more garbage T's. 

I am so pleased with this garbage shirt maxi dress that I feel like a writer who has first-novel writer's block. Can I live up to this mess again?! A huge hug to all my sew-sisters out there - you know who you are - for inspiring me to take this next step with the Machine.
If you're still reading - yes, this is a packed post - a reminder to watch the video, Helen's Hot Hauties, with Miz Bagg's award-winning poses. I hope you too try these poses out at home. 

Finally, THANKS, EVERYONE, for your VOGOFF submissions! As I suspected, I had quite a few come in these past few days. It's going to be the best issue, a bit different, as it should be, and hopefully worthy of our collective efforts.

See you in the funny papers. Who used to say that? I hope you're all finding inspiration around every corner. I look forward to visiting you.


  1. You are such a wonder! I love the creativity of your dress, complete with drainage pockets (how marvelous). Thank you for linking up to Shoe Shine! Is it Hat Attack time already? Dear god, must figure out something for my head for tomorrow's bash.

    Disgusted with my slackful self for not getting to be Hautie in Vog-Off this time 'round. Count me as best-of-intentions, though!

  2. Woo's in the game good now Mel! The Machine is quite the Pandora's Box, I can feel it. And, I laughed when I read that you plan to sew with the same thread until it's gone...I know the feeling, but you WILL surrender to Dressew's colourful spools of thread. Yep, you'll cave, and then you'll be creating colourful art with serger seams. Okay, I'm off to smell feet now....??

  3. hahahaha...double frig sow cow....oh my gawd, you crack me up!

  4. I'll have what she's having, which must be the quintuple espresso. You are on wheels - video, VOGOFF, sewing, serging, bleaching, blogging. Whew, I'm tired just thinking about all the energy bouncing off those walls! Your creativity knows no bounds (and neither do your alter egos). I love that last picture of Helen. She looks like someone I'd like to drink Bellinis with.

  5. Hot Hauties is brilliant! Miz Bagg's poses made me giggle out loud. Love the creativity of the t-shirt dress. I sometimes sew without a clear plan. I get mixed results. About half the time it's perfection and the other half the time it goes in the garbage. Go big or go home!

  6. Oh the gorgeousness! I love Loretta garrotting herself with her cape, and the arm-preferrers contesting the foot pose!
    You may have peaked at the beginning...that dress is uber wonderful. Why don't all dresses have a drainage hole? So practical!
    Can't wait for VOGOFF.
    XO JJ

  7. A drainage hole! That is really funny. I love it. Oh my goodness, Melanie + sewing machine = magic. I'm pretty certain that Helen was my 7th grade home ec teacher.

  8. Ooh! I am excited to meet Helen, she's rather a fabulous creature in her electric blue feather boa! And of course the poses are inspired as always. I will work on perfecting my Double Frig Sow Cow, but I already have Bod girl Seduction down pat.
    And a new sewing machine, more excitement and creative seamstressery! I admire your newfound freedom, Melanie - I am all tied up in Doing It Properly and learning better technique, while you just sew, and make something fabulous! I need to loosen up, don't I? And I don't even know what a serger is, so I am really showing myself up as a novice. But you've got me motivated, I might look through my fabrics and patterns today and make a start on something. It might even have drainage holes! xxxx

  9. You rock like a hurricane, you do. Fabulous dress, incl. drainage. Ready for anything!! xox

  10. I just love you, Melanie!!! You make me laugh.
    My serger is a mess--took it for repair but its the dam presser foot and new one is just too dear. Im glad to see you had so much fun with yours! 💛

  11. Oh Melanie, congratulations on serging ahead! You are the Hautiest Hautie that ever did Haute in that sassy self-made silhouette with all its decorative drainage and MMD-inspired bleach pen drawings. Smell my foot, Brutus! Bee Gees Barrel Roll! I will definitely up my posing game, very special thanks to Hot Helen and Miz Bagg. Utterly fabularsenic indeed, I could barely breathe. Beside myself with excitement for the next issue of VOGOFF. xoxo

  12. Oh my, so much fabulousness at once, I'm dizzy. Haute Helen is anti-sublime, and the award clip of au current fashion poses is to die for. But the piece de resistance, puleeze, is your sergemaximusteedress. Genuis on the fly, with paint and bleach markings of archetypical significance. Magnificent.

  13. These are funny papers! Yes, I love that expression for the Sunday comics. So 60's.
    I am so very impressed with your sergings. This dress is amazing! Fantastic idea to create a drainage hole.....especially great to wear this any time you may not be near a bathroom for several hours. Like maybe walking around Stanley Park.
    Don't you love the freedom of serging? Knits are sew easy now like you said. I think it's a must for restyling garments. One of my favorite alterations I just did was to change a regular old cardigan into a shrug. Any shape you want! Doesn't get any better than that I tell ya, well, except this dress.

    I'll go check out the vid now!

  14. sergers Yeah! I'm already missing the big ass industrial one that's at my old job.

    lovely video

  15. Ms Helen is a total Hot Hautie! and Miz Baggs' posing course is brilliant! of course I have tried the Twirly Smack-ems straight away, dangerous stuff, but only for the gifted of course!! hehe!! your sewing creation is inspired and amazing, I don't know what a serger is, but it sounds pretty wonderful especially when it gives you such freedom to create ps love your cloche, I love them too! x x x

  16. I just love you.
    And I hope Ms Helen will be on your blog more times. Her show is hot!
    And the sewing went pretty darned well. I very much liked the drainage hole.

  17. Dahling, it's mahhhhvelous. Oh you are going to have SUCH fun with the serger! (I have one out rusting in storage in my garage...I know...the HUMANITY!!! but alas no time or space to let it dance.)

  18. Oh God, I soooo needed a laugh tonight, and the video was priceless. Thank you, Helen. A serger - how wonderful! When I first scrolled through the hat attack photo I was thinking what a cool skirt you were wearing. This is a true Melanie creation, and if I saw one in a shop, I would buy it. Serge on, Baby.

  19. 1. You on video. Bizarrely and fabulously mesmerizing. I may dream about those images tonight. I may need to watch it again just to be sure I do dream about those images tonight :D
    2. You ROCK the sewing machine!

  20. "Winning Poses" was pure entertainment with my morning coffee. Thank you Mel! This entire post has me enthralled. Helen, "Winning Poses," and your serger creation! Thank you for sharing your cloche with Hat Attack! I was thrilled to see you pop up in the headwear parade.

  21. You are so dang silly! Loved Helen and all her poses. Your creativity is everywhere it's everything it's all around, it's larger than life! The new serger is kick ass and the garbage dress is the shit! Can't wait to see the next issue, I'm just sorry I didn't get my shit together to contribute. Next time!

  22. OOOOOOOH!!!!! From head to toe, you are one of the best. I can't decide if I'm more entranced with the blue boa (and your expressions) or the Amazing TShirt Dress. Superb. I'll have to start sending you links to crazy DIY's and upcycles, although you'll be creating your own, for sure. I have to check out the bleach pen etc. over at MMD! I like how it unified the pieces.

    I'm about to explode with ideas and inspiration. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All I want to do now is sew.

  23. Helen's expression and the boa- love them!
    You make me laugh about using the same thread on the serger I do the same with my sewing machine, I'm as blind as a bat - threading the needle drives me to distraction. (Is that like an overlocker? They are buggers to thread, I know!). xxx

    1. A serger is another name for an overlocker, four threads to fark around with. I'll have to double up on my reading glasses and have extra drinks standing by.

  24. Hot Hauties and dress with drainage: too much, too much blinding wonder to take in all at once. The dress is a triumph. (Does the drainage hole also operate automatically if there's a surfeit of 'fabulous' that might otherwise cause a minor explosion?)

  25. You are so crazy! where do you get all your ideas? You level of creativity is incroyable!
    I wish i had idea like that! I love the video so much, i think it's the best one so far -
    I can't wait to see Vogoff, sorry i didn't submit anything, i was not really into it, i'm just getting back my creative mojo after those long months of not completly owning your brain!

    This dress is a stroke of genius, you just got the serger and bang A Creation! I have yet to sew another elastic waist skirt and it takes all my energy, lol! How long did it take you to do that wonderful dress?

    Big hugs and take care my friend


  26. I am giggling with GLEE over those first pix! They will be my official cheer me up pix on a shitty day! Your eyes are SO gorgeous, and you use them like a vixen! XXX

  27. Oh what a fabulous dress! Every dress should have a drainage hole! Who needs Depends when you have a drainage hole? I have begun sewing and am also tackling jersey fabric. My sewing machine claims to have stretch stitches in it's repertoire, but I am not used to using them so I'm still just practicing on scraps before I take on my actual projects. Rejected stretchy clothing items are in a pile and waiting.

    Those are the best poses ever and I will have to study them and practice because my posing game really needs a step up. Or two or three steps. So far I have only mastered posing for introverts.
    Looking forward to Vogoff!

  28. Your video is SPECTACULAR! I love it! Unfortunately, I can only admire your penchant for perfect poses because I generally end up being photographed in a seated position.Likewise I envy your sewing skills. That's a killer dress and truly unique enough to walk down a runway! Brava! ;-)


  29. Love the electric blue boa and well done on the dress! Looking forward to Vogoff!

  30. I like all your designs. I have particularly liked the feather boa more. It is engaging to transport one’s self into the quality of life; to see how a crafty person has thought before us, and to what noble crown we have at last.Maths Term Paper Writing Service .


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