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Sunday 22 February 2015

Simple minded

The resting bitch face. Get used to it because, like it or not, it appears to have hijacked my neutral face. Feck this aging shite! Do you recognize the beast I'm wearing? Bwa-ha-ha. That's the twin of the coat I spied through the shop window the other day when I broke my oath to quit thrifting (seen also in previous post). Clearly I couldn't split up the family. This one is a rich burgundy colour, which reminds me: the photo quality is shite too. Can I blame that on aging? I went into a metal-head store today, The Rock Shop on Granville St., to check out their full lineup of Manic Panic hair colour. Although my bitch face made me feel welcome, peering scientifically into their showcase with my magic loupe cancelled that out. I didn't buy anything...yet. You bet your ass I'm linking up to Patti at NOT DEAD YET!!! Style for her Visible Monday party. We're gonna bust this grin wide open. Yeah.

my journal sketch of this outfit. i want that mole-rat-dog-cat.

And if you love Desigual dresses you might want to look away, considering what I've done in my latest DIY.
I call this "Teacup." I turned one dress upside-down and sewed it to a right-side-up dress at the hem, chopped off the top and sleeves of the bottom dress so my feet could fit through, and put in a back slit so I can walk, which is helpful. Then I serged the raw edges and reinforced the top of the slit with that square bit you see above. The upper dress remains in original condition but I threw on the hacked-off top of the bottom dress for this photo just because. I didn't finish the bottom edge of the top because I like the raw quality.

It's taken me decades to be able to attempt something like this; what I mean is, to feel free to make mistakes, even to make garbage. It's such a relief!! My best work in upcycling and other creative pursuits comes from this approach. Letting go. It doesn't always work and sometimes I really end up with garbage, but I'm very satisfied with this project and the teacup shape. I haven't worn this piece out yet; I just wanted to show you. I'll probably style it a bit differently on top and throw on some jewels. Of course, this approach wouldn't work if I wanted to sew something tailored from scratch. Maybe that will be the next goal.

The dresses are courtesy of:
Remember, Ariane, when you sent me these way back? I'm not the quickest to post, and it took me until now to figure out how to style them, but I eventually get there. Thanks so much for providing me with these colourful dresses bursting with inspiration. 

And finally,
Tonight is the Academy Awards show. Here's what happened last time I watched an awards show, as sketched in my journal.
Instead of watching, I am putting together this post. But since we do have more chips and the show lasts forrrever, I might tune in later. 

Does fear of perfectionism make you verklempt? all tied up in knots? unable to dig in and get messy? I hope not, but, man, it's sure hard to shut up that pesky inner critic. 

Have a great week, everyone. 


  1. I'm going to rename the resting bitch-face - when you wear it, it's the "I B Gnius - I don't have to smile" face.

    Yes, I always get verklempt about making mistakes. I need to get over that. I need to remember your teacup dress. I need to remember everything you have taught me so far, swami, and I need to watch Downton Abbey now, not the Oscars.

  2. I love Desigual and I very much love what you have done to your dress!!

  3. are a genius!. I love Desigual, but I like yours better. Don't you love the freedom that comes with detaching from the outcome? One of the unexpected benefits of aging...

    I have Manic Panic in red and'em!

  4. Whaaaaaaattttt!!!! I didn't think Desigual could get any've killed it here Devine Ms M! As Margy says, pure genius! GAH! I'm speechless...and yes, your last paragraph is me in a nutshell. Note to self...MUST get messy! I'm with Val...just watched Downer Abbey.

  5. Excellent! Indeed, your restyling is particularly suited to Desigual as they started out making clothes from fabric remnants and refashioning, way back when they were a fledgling company. I used to have a skirt of theirs made from mismatched upholstery fabric, many moons ago. And your upcycling here is indeed even better than the dresses were before.

  6. RADOSTIN: That's interesting about how Desigual started out. You can still see how they love to put different things together in their designs. The upholstery fabric skirt sounds right up my alley.

  7. I wrote a post about shutting up that inner critic a couple of weeks ago. And of course since then, that inner critic hasn't shut up. Of course.

    I love seeing your sketchbook. More sketchbook please!

  8. I like that doggie too. The closest you will get to it is a Bedlington Terrier, I think.

  9. A coat made from burgundy muppet skins, a Desigual Frankenfrock, and some of your sketches - I'm happy. The "who are you wearing?" sketch made me laugh!
    Yes, I need to get better at having a go and not worrying that I'll get it all wrong. I don't have particularly marked perfectionist traits, but I don't like being really shit at things and making a horrible disaster of stuff. I think a fear of wasting good fabric often holds me back from sewing - I should just make things out of awful fabric so I don't care (but then I wouldn't want to wear it, would I?!) xxx

  10. I will never be able to see a shaggy coat and not see you!
    Your Desigual dress is freaking cool. I'm always amazed and awed at your creativity.

  11. Don't you
    forget about me

    Sorry couldn't help myself.

    I have been to one of those stores once - when I happened to be in MN and went to that Mall of America place.

    Love what you did there - brings to mind a harlequin! Yes! And love the sketchbook - more please!

  12. Oh! Fantabulous dress-making Melanie. I love your teacup shaping. Creative genius splicing those two pieces together like that. And sketches too. I do love them so.
    Aging! I've got at least a decade on you, yikes. Nuf said.
    My inner and outer selves have no problem with diggin' in and getting messy. Although I do get myself in trouble with existential angst, like what's the use, etc.

  13. I have a resting bitch face two, and every bit as expressive as yours! I think you did a fantastic job with your Desi dress and the coordinating shoes. Thanks for sharing with Visible Monday, you rock. xox

  14. In recent photos of me, I have noticed that I don't have "resting bitchface" but what looks like a very strained grimace. I think I need to go back to resting bitchface.

    I can't believe there are two coats like that. It's like Papa Bear and Mama Bear. Soon you'll find a short version to complete the family.

    Words cannot express how much I love what you've done with the Desigual dresses. I don't know what I don't experiment more with stuff. I do have perfectionist tendencies, but I think it's also a time factor.

  15. Ooh, what colour of Manic Panic were you contemplating? I love the shaggy Muppet coat - all of the Muppet coats! And I think you improved those Desigual dresses by leaps and bounds of the imagination! Fabulous!

  16. I like Curtise's description of your new dress...Desigual Frankenfrock. I think that would make a great label name.

    In the first photo I thought, "Whaaat? What has happened to Melanie? Why is she so sad?" Then I went down to your new Franenfrock and realized you'd been hiding out with the folks from Cirque du Soleil swinging on ropes and flying through the air.

    LOVE the sketchbook and that "who is she wearing" is brilliant! You really need to be selling prints or cards on Etsy.


  17. I have serious Resting Bitch Face and I don't even care. Teacup dress is amazing!!! You HAD to buy that shaggy coat!

  18. Your Desigual Mash-Up is definitely greater than the sum of its parts. Awesome! I hear you about the Resting Bitch Face, and now that I'm getting those marioniette lines mine's becoming more pronounced.

  19. I love what you've done with those Desigual dresses, they look better than ever! The coat is also a delight. I too find it very hard to split thrifty couples up so I'm glad to see your two coats are able to live together! XX

  20. You have once again got me thinking in a different direction - combining two thrifted outfits!

  21. Dye your hair icy blue for me please. Ok, bye thanks.

  22. So much in one post! Firstly, the dress you've created is so wild, unexpected, inventive -it's amazing! I have not owned a Desigual piece yet, but I would probably be afraid to use scissors the way you did. But that's creativity and freedom, the true meaning of the words. Yes, sometimes garbage (NOT in this case at all!). I came to the same conclusion you did. I've created a couple of wonderful, complicated, daring things keeping in mind that I actually am not a profi, don't have any certificated, and at any point someone can appear and say that I'm just a big old fake. But that's creativity and true genius, I believe. It's not in what we are born with as majority believe - it's what we dare to make out of what we are born with. I still sometimes think that someone will come to me and say, what - a writer who does not even know grammar!? There are so many voices in our heads which correct us and essentially suppress our freedom to live creatively. But that's probably a little too much for one comment. I stop here and just say at again - you look incredibly gorgeous, creative, wild, beautiful! Oh, and the burgundy furry coat is perfect!

  23. Melanie you have BIG talent to create new dress!
    Respect ! kisses

  24. That illustration is genius! Ha ha!!!!
    The dress is really amazing! Clever you.
    Ha, the coat is 'The lion the witch and the wardrobe gone wild thang!!!'x

  25. "Who is she wearing?"
    WHO is she wearing?
    Every time I think about your Academy Awards sketch
    my shoulders start wobbling in mirth again. So brilliant.
    And love what you've done to create the psychedelic reflected prism shape with the two dresses. Looks like it's straight off the LFW catwalks darling. Straight off.

  26. No matter how hard you try you are still perfidiously perfect - bitch face or no bitch face.

  27. Yup, thought the coat was brownish. And both those dresses are so gorgeous - a shame to cut either one up... Inventive what you did tho' Didn't watch the Oscars - then I realized Ralphe Feinnes (I know I misspelled that!) was being nominated. Ah well...

  28. You have me speechless! The coat, your creativity, your wit, your eye for design. I love your hair, by the way, and I also love your beautiful facial expression.

    The "Teacup" dress is brilliant. Glorious honoring of Ariane's gift!

  29. The coat is fabulous though definitely it doesn't look rich burgundy on my screen. Anyway, I can imagine in that colour it is even more fabulous.
    The teacup silhouette is a brave and interesting choice, looks couture-ish

  30. Great improvement on the dresses. I like Desigual because of their colourful clothes, but I don't like it because there are too many of them.
    You have turned it around to something exclusive. Well done.
    And buying that brown coat too will give you lots of options. Your outfit tends to go towards my style (heaven forbid haha). So I like it, but it is very simple for you. Well... Sort of. The coat is flamboyant enough.

  31. never heard of that company before. Love what you did to the dresses.

    About the Oscars, Downtown Abby came on, I had to go.

  32. There's no excuse for a bitch face with a coat like that! How do you do it? Not one but two? My skinned Smurf is getting lonely!
    Great job on that Frakenfrock, love the shape and yep, being rash and just doing it is the only sewing I do. Might not stand up to scrutiny but it makes me happy.
    Your sketches are astute and fabulous. You should sell greetings cards. xxx

  33. I swear you have created the new silhouette 'the teacup'! I bet there is a version of this design in the next 12 months on a catwalk and we will all shout 'plagiarist' because we know where it all began! I think your design is blooming brilliant, I LOVE creating shapes in outfits, letting go has produced a piece of perfection.
    I didn't watch the Oscar's, I am having a thing with RuPaul Drag Race at the moment, I'm obsessed with transformations! ps love your coat, I think you are so kind, it's only right you keep the family of coats together x x x

  34. The Resting Bitch Face is our reward for a life well-lived. NOW we can inspire fear; impossible in our sweet girlhoods.

  35. Holy sh*t that dress is amazing <3 Stunning job! I'd wear it in a hearbeat. <3 This also goes without saying, but that coat is magnificent!

    - Anna

  36. I love the Rock Shop! Whenever I come to Vancouver, that store and Salmagundi are must-sees for me. Oh, and the Button Store on Homer. And Dressew. Lots of must-sees, I guess.

    Apparently, I also suffer from verklempt - I just didn't know there was a name for it. I like the Desigual much more after your improvements. :)

  37. So edgy, sharp and all the other words Google translate is suggesting.

  38. Hi Melanie,So nice to find your comment in my comments form.
    It took me ages to relise the perfectionist I was and the impact of perfectionism in my life. I feel lot more free now to take chances and make mistakes.
    Well,on to your outfit, The first one is can I say perfect? And the second one is so clever!!!Never could think of it!!! HugsXXX Angie

  39. I too am developing a new resting face. Is our inner demon showing? Maybe as we age we lose the veneer and show our true cynic!
    Actually I think we become more childlike and carefree, witness your muppet coat and teacup dress!
    Go Melanie!! xo Jazzy Jack

  40. I love the fabric of that brand but not necessarily the shape so in my opinion you've made it better, and made it more you. I seem to have lost my inspiration/gumption in the sewing category due to butchering to unwearability too many times. Ho hum....

  41. You are brilliant! From where I sit (lie actually) you seem nothing short of uber talented and genius, damn funny, supermodel in a not tall sort of way, and I even like your resting bitch face much better than mine which I have had all my life incidentally and cannot blame on age. I have tried, at various times in my life to be you, and reading your blog has confirmed it for me. I most definitely am not. I will just tune in and live vicariously. LOVE the dress! xoxo

  42. Girl you are my own private rock star. And oh if only i had such a cool resting bitch face! Great post, as always! xx


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