Waist Stays and Weddings

Two weeks ago, I had the great fun of traveling up to Chicago to see one of my close friends get married! Her elegant and classic taste had me scrambling for the perfect dress to wear to the occasion. Good news: the dress was already in my closet. Bad news: it was strapless...and I can't keep up strapless dresses. I blame it on my long waist.

As the day approached, I found myself web searching for the best method of making a strapless stay put. I hear tape. I heard rubber glue. I heard (in my own head) the sigh of frustration as I hiked my taped and glued dress up for the umpteenth time. And then I heard waist stay and extended boning.

Don't get me wrong; I am a supporter of bandaids. But when it comes to an option that might suffice or one that will ultimately solve the problem, I vote problem solver! By extending the boning and adding a waist stay (a loop of ribbon that hooks around the narrowest part of your waist and is sewn to the bottom of the boning), I could allow the dress to sit on my waist, simultaneously eliminating slippage and taking strain off of the zipper. I followed Jenna's tutorial and voilà! The dress could withstanding jumping and dancing and raising of arms! Even raising my arms above my head while I jumped and danced!! Problem solved.

I did make three edits to the tutorial:

1. Minimize the Hand Sewing:

Instead of hand-sewing my hooks and eyes, I opted for a bra mending kit that provided me with two size options and no hand-sewing.

2. Flatten that boning.

Following Tasia's instruction on Sewaholic, I soaked my boning in boiling water for ten minutes to allow the plastic to relax from its curled state and then pressed the pieces under a book for another ten minutes to ensure flatness.

3. Keep the anti-slip from slipping.

Somehow the boning I purchased had "anti-slip" cords wrapped around the plastic boning. When I removed the boning from the fabric casing, I had trouble getting the cords to not slip and unravel. Worse, as I fed the boning into the channels of my gown, the cords would bunch up.  My simplest solution was to dab a little elmer's glue on the ends to hold it in place, and that worked like a charm.

It's that easy. (And bear in mind that I am not a clothes sewist.) If you have a structured dress you absolutely love that simply doesn't stay up, I would encourage you to try this! It took me one Saturday morning, and now I have a go-to favorite dress that I feel comfortable wearing to swish away the night. Absolute win.

Settling and Sitting | rice pack time

As I've settle into life as a graduate student, I've done just that: settled. No more dancing for a couple hours in the evening or walking to and from classes, hiking to the dining hall for meals or going on evening strolls with my friends. I just sit. I sit and read papers. I sit and summarize them. I sit and listen in class. I sit and review the lecture after class. I sit and prepare for group presentations. I sit and hear other people give them. Don't get me wrong; I'm loving grad school. It's just my back that isn't so much. Apparently it doesn't like sitting as much as me.

Well, it came to a head a couple weeks ago when I could barely sit still through our women's Bible study with the twingeing pain, so I arrived home and set to work. It was rice pack time. I followed SewBon's Hot and Cold Pack Tutorial and simply switched out the handles for ties. Now in just one minute and forty-five seconds standing by the microwave, I can have a cozy heating pad to tie around my lower back. And I get to enjoy my fabric every time I pull it out!

citron hot-cold rice pack over chari back with white ties by Lovely and Enough

citron hot-cold rice pack with white ties by Lovely and Enough

citron hot-cold rice pack with white ties by Lovely and Enough

citron hot-cold rice pack with white ties by Lovely and Enough

citron hot-cold rice pack with white ties by Lovely and Enough

Tutorial Review:

The tutorial has lovely photos to follow, all the perfect measurements, and is quite simple to complete! I struggled a little filling each compartment with rice as I went. The rice kept slipping into the line of sewing and making my lines jagged and ugly. I pulled it out once or twice and decided to sew the lines and fill later (since there are little gaps at either end). This worked, but I spent quite a bit of time shaking rice through little cracks and mostly ended up with it weighted at either end of the pack. As I use it, this becomes more emphasized. I would suggest filling each section a little less full as you go and sewing almost all the way, leaving perhaps a centimeter at both ends. Even with these little difficulties, I've been seriously considering whipping up another one that I can leave in my office at school. The rice pack really does work like a charm!