Saturday, February 5, 2011

Challenge - Bargaining - A Slip Dress

 My blogger friend over at Just A Little Southern Hospitality
blogged about this challenge.  I was intrigued so I went to Colorado Lady's blog where I read more about it.  It's really very simple.  Just write a REAL letter/note/etc...once a month to a person, then put a REAL stamp on it, and take it to the post office and ACTUALLY MAIL it!  We are all so busy and with email, texting, facebook, and all the other electronic devices we have these days, people are not sending nearly as much real mail.  I know I LOVE getting mail!  I know my Mother LOVED, LOVED, LOVED getting mail, especially after she was in assisted living and later in the nursing home. She was a very faithful card sender!!!!  My children and grandchildren can attest to that, as can all of Mother's friends.  Okay, I've gotten off the subject.
              First, Fifth, Forever             
       Just click  on the link below the button to go to this blog to learn more. 
         I love to write real letters so this will be an easy challenge for me.      

Now, on to something exciting that happened to me this week.  At least it was exciting to me.  I have been wanting a dress form for a long time.  I don't sew for myself because I feel it is too hard to get things to fit.  Back when I was a teenager and before I had children, I was easy to fit, but not anymore.  So..................................when a photographer friend of mine asked me to make a special drape that young pregnant girls could wear while she photographed them, I thought that now was the time to buy a dress form.  I mean, I pretty much had to have one in order to make this work seeing as I don't have a young pregnant model around here.  
First, I called the JoAnn's that is over an hour from here.  I was told that they had a few dress forms left over from a big sale they had last year.  I have seen their dress forms advertised in the $100 range.  When I asked how much theirs were now, the girl told me that they started at $219 and went up from there.  Okay, so I'm not spending that much on a dress form that I mainly want for making this drape and for SOMETIMES sewing for myself, in between making stuff for my grands.  The girl did tell me that I could use a coupon.  They have quit sending me their emails and flyers.  She told me to go on-line and look for one.  Of course, there wasn't one that would work for a dress form.
I decided to take my chances and just GO to Knoxville (I was going to visit my brother who lives near there anyway) and see if maybe they had some coupons in the store or. if. maybe. I could talk them down a little.
The following conversation was very amicable. 
Me:  I need a dress form and have seen that you sometimes sell them for around $100.
Salesclerk:  Yes, but they are not on sale right now.
Me: I know, but I do know that the ones you have in stock right now are some that are left over from a Blockbuster sale you had a few months ago.  I also know that you don't usually even have them in stock.
Salesclerk:  Do you have a coupon?
Me: No, but I did look on-line and couldn't find one that would work.  I used to get your coupons, but I don't anymore for some reason.
Salesclerk: That's probably because you didn't use them enough. (whatever?)  Would you like to talk to a manager?
Me:  Yes, thanks.

Me: to manager - I said pretty much the same thing I said to the salesclerk.
Manager - Go back and get the one you want and bring it up here and we'll work something out.

I got the one I wanted and took it to her.  She scanned it and said, "You can have it for $136." 
You could have knocked me over with a feather!  Of course, I said I wanted it.  That was $110 off the sticker price.  That just goes to show how much they have stuff marked up to begin with, but hey, I don't care!  I was very happy, to say the least!
Here she is!  I will have to pad her in a few places to make her figure more like mine, but she's not too far off.  I guess I'll need to think of a name for her.  Any suggestions?
Here she is draped with the black satin crepe that my photographer friend bought for our project.
I actually have the drape finished, but I want to show it to my friend for her approval before sharing it.  I may just wait till she has some professional shots on a real model before I share photos.  This photographer is not "just" a friend.  I taught her three wonderfully smart and talented children.  AND.......she is an awesome photographer.  She did the photos for one of my daughter's weddings, and they are beyond beautiful!  She has also taken photos of our 4 oldest grands.  The deal is that I would make this drape and she will do more grandchildren photos - if we can ever get them here long enough!  She thinks she's going to pay me $$ too, but she's not. I'm definitely getting the better end of this bartering!

Another friend, who is about to become a grandmom for the first time (any day now), brought this slip that had been her mother's and asked if I could use it to make a dress for her granddaughter.  This is a half slip, so there's not a lot of fabric, so I have bought some more white batiste.  This slip is also cut on the bias, so I'm not sure if my idea will work, but I'm going to give it a try.  There's not enough here for smocking, so I'm going to leave it all in one piece and pintuck the bodice part, making soft pleats or gathers for the skirt.   I have a couple of handkerchiefs, that will coordinate well with this slip, that I may use for the sleeves. 
Here yo can see some of the details on this slip.  The embroidery is done by hand.  I wish it photographed a little better.  Maybe I need to get my photographer friend to give me some tips!
Here's a photo that is a little more clear, but not much.  As you can see there is a slit up the front that is bordered with lace.
It just happens that I have some lace that matches very closely.  I don't have a photo, but I have cut apart my lace and stitched it in between the lace bordering the slit, to close it in.  Does this make sense?  I'll post photos when I finish so you can see what I mean.  I am hoping that this works well.

Here are some fabrics that I have bought to make some of my grands' Easter clothing.  The khaki fabric is for both Little Men for their pants.  I plan to make them blue shirts and knit coordinating sweater vests for them.  I will make ties, too.  The pink with the brown toile print is for Miss R.  She said she wanted her dress to be pink with bunnies and hearts.  I don't think there are any hearts, but there are bunnies.  I first thought I would use a solid pink with picture smocking, but when I saw this, I just had to get it.  I love it.  I will probably use brown thread for smocking and brown piping to accent.  The purple is for both Lil'E and Lil'B.  Lil'E, who is 3 1/2 told me she wants a purple dress with sleeves and a bow in the back.  I thought these were very reasonable requests.  Whew!  She also said that her 6 mo. old sister, Lil'B wants purple, too.  This fabric is a linen with some polyester or rayon incorporated into it, so that maybe it won't wrinkle too badly.  I don't have Miss J's photographed, but I bought some sky blue cotton batiste for hers.  She said that she either wanted sky blue, Easter egg yellow, or faded pink.  I'm glad I found her first choice.   Miss K and I need to get on-line to look at dresses from one of her favorite stores to figure out what she wants.  She said she wants blue that is kind of like turquoise, but not really!?!   I'm about halfway finished with a sweater for Miss K, and then, I'll start Miss J's, on which I plan to learn the cable knit stitch.


Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Julia, what a great post!!! Not only did you score on the dress form, but making the slip into a dress is genius!! I'm glad you are joining in with the letter writing challenge. I think it's a wonderful way to touch someone's life. Be sure to go over to Coloradoladys blog and link up with her linky post.

Claudia said...

Congratulations on the great deal! Good for you! It pays to ask, doesn't it? Yippee!


Jeannie B. said...

Hi Julia, I should have read your post before I answered your question in my comments on my blog. The fact that you are using a slip that is not a baby slip and making it into a slip is different. Read my comment on my blog, but I would make it about 18" long.

Dharma said...

Congratulations on getting your dressform!!! It isn't it just great when things work out for our good! I look forward to seeing the Easter outfits.

sewing spots said...

You have a lot of fun projects going on right now! Have fun with the new dress form.

gwensews said...

Wow, good for you, Julia, scoring that dressform! I bought the same one, when they were on sale at Christmas time. I call mine "Dolly". She's a wench! she wears a bra, sometimes without anything over it.

Coloradolady said...

Oh, so glad you are joining in with my FFF project! I think this will be fun as the year goes on.

I am so impressed at your deal on that dress form. That is such a great buy. "Delilah" came to mind when I saw her!!! LOL

Aminat said...

You got yourself a good deal, congrats...

Kim said...

congrats on such a great deal on the dressform!! I made one once from duct tape- I don't know how accurate it is though-I never finished the dress I was making. Sewing clothes is not my strong point :) What a funny day that was when my Mom helped me to make it!! I love the fabric for the kids Easter clothes- you have a lot going on! I can't wait to see progress on all of this :)

MushyWear said...

I've been thinking about getting a dress form too. I'll be curious to see what you think when you use it for yourself. How neat you got such a bargain.

Favorite Posts

big list of sewing blogs

Big list of Sewing blogs - I'm in, are you?
I'm listed in the big list of sewing blogs Sponsors Advertise on
Julias Sew Sweet
How to Sew
Place your vote for Julias Sew Sweet and find more How to Sew at

Attitude of Gratitude Award