Friday, April 9, 2010

I Anthropolo-gized.

Anthropolo-gize: to do one's best to transform something ordinary into something extraordinary and look like it came straight from Anthropologie!

Finally, my iPhoto program cooperated and I was able to get these pictures uploaded. Here's us in our Easter duds from last weekend:

Oh yeah, matchy-matchy all the way this year.

Here's the story:

I originally ordered this dress from Anthropologie.

(I apologize for the tiny photo, but it's not on the website anymore, not even in the sale section, so all I could do was copy the photo from my account of past orders.)

Anyway, for the price, I wasn't thrilled with it, so I decided to return it. In the meanwhile I had ordered fabric that I hoped would coordinate with this dress to make into ties for my guys. (Ah, I'm such a poet.) So now I had the issue of no Easter dress in the cards for me and pink floral fabric for my men. Yep, I'm that awesome.

So I did a little digging in my closet and unearthed a dress from a few years ago that I hadn't worn in a while. Basically it was an Anthro-knockoff that I had found at one of those teeny-bopper stores, Charlotte Russe maybe, and since I had missed out on the original Anthro dress (which I think was a couple hundred bucks), I snatched it up for twenty bucks or less. I wish I had the picture of the Anthro original to show you how closely it resembles the original, but I don't. I do remember that it was a very popular dress that year.

Now the thing about Anthro-knockoffs is just that -- they are usually quite cheaply made, and this little dress was no exception. There was no pretty lining, and the adjustable spaghetti straps broke the second time I wore it. Not great, but at least on the outside, it really looked like the original, and since I had saved at least $150 or so by purchasing the knockoff, well, that was good enough for me. Besides, the original wasn't available at the time anymore, so I couldn't have bought it anyway.

Time to use my noggin'. I snipped off the spaghetti straps, made new wide halter straps out of black cotton fabric I already had (which is so much more flattering anyway than those spaghetti straps), added two rows of ivory crocheted trim to the bottom (a total of $3 from JoAnn's), and pinned on a silk flower corsage from this other Anthropologie dress in my closet...

...which just so happened to match the peach color in the tie fabric perfectly. Love it when that happens. So on my end of things, Easter cost a little sweat equity and $3. (And yeah, I know, it doesn't exactly seem like that peach flower pin would go with this dress, but it did. It came pinned on smack dab in the middle of that green silk cumberbund part. I thought the dress looked better without it.)

For the ties, I used these two tutorials from the Purl Bee. Ties are rather painless to whip up, but they do involve a lot of hand sewing. And a word of caution, the Father's Day tie (the adult size) was not exactly what I had planned on when it was almost finished. I assumed it would end up being a standard tie width since the tutorial mentioned either slimming it down to make it a mod skinny version, or adding width to make it extra wide. I was wrong in my assumption because the original "middle" size version was very skinny, in both my opinion and that of my husband's. He didn't look too sure of the skinny tie I held up in front of him, and since it was bad enough I was going to make him wear a pink floral tie, I knew I had to fix it. So I opened it up and added a strip of fabric along the back to cover where the seams wouldn't be meeting up perfectly to make it wide enough. My advice is that, if you make the adult size tie and want it to be a regular width, add some width to it before you cut it out. How much, I don't know -- I'd have to figure that out myself when I attempt this a second time. The little boy's tie ended up being perfect, though, with no adjustments. I can't remember exactly, but I think I bought a yard or a yard and a half of fabric for the ties (and had some left over), so they cost me a total of somewhere around $10 for both.

I cannot even tell you how many compliments both of them got on their ties, and the best part is, no one suspected that they were homemade. My husband likes his so much that he wants a few more! And I think the little guy wants to pick out his own fabric for at least one more. Score!

Not bad for new Easter duds for the whole family that cost less than $15. Not bad at all!


LJ said...

I love that second picture of you! How cute are you with that smile and pose? You look like a 50's housewife all dressed up for a dinner party. Pass the martini! :)
Happy belated Easter. Beautiful fabric you used for them ties!

Country Dreaming said...

Very tricky.
Looking great.


Nadra said...

Your guys did look dapper on Sunday morning. I didn't get to see you though. Love the pics.

Baloney said...

You make me wish I could sew. You look gorgeous!

The Busters said...

LOVE the ties!!! Dapper, indeed!! I have such a soft spot for that four year old. He could wear trash bags and I would still think he was as cute as can be. :)

Rhonda said...

Love the Easter outfits, especially the great price tag(s) on them!

More importantly...I wanted to be the first to tell you...I copied this straight from the Utica Square FB fan page:

"Utica Square is proud to announce that Anthropologie will be opening in the old Harold's space! We are anticipating a Fall 2010 opening! We are so excited!!!!!!"

So...awesome, yes?

Cheryl Arkison said...

Awesome! You all look great. I think my Hubby would outright refuse the matching set, but we have girls, so he doesn't have to worry about that!

Amy said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Easter duds!

Your dress is absolutely FAB!!!

Heather said...

you crafty little thing! those dresses are so pretty, you look great!

I am excited we're getting our own anthro here...but more for the house wares. I just cant bring myself to spend the $$ on the clothes. But half price dishes? Ah, that speaks my language ;)

A Nerd and A Free Spirit said...

CUTE. OMG I LOVE the ties. I don't think I saw them on Easter. Hey have you heard that we are getting an Anthro at Utica Square? Because I have heard that but I haven't really had a reliable source confirm it...


Lisa said...

So cute Val! Love the changes you made to the dress (super cute) - and the boys look great in the ties! :) You are so talented!

@nnie said...

girl, you ROCK!!!!