i’d describe my current state as mildly discombobulated.  the little bosses are back in business and have been dishing out orders for a solid week now, but the transition was gradual as their return was marked with a family reunion and my folks stuck around until early this morning.  i actually have an entire post written to summarize the past month, but the pictures from my various adventures are in all different places and it was starting to really stress me out to get that post squared away as time continued to tick by without showing my face here.


look, there it is.  while the subject matter isn’t incredibly original, i *do* have all the pictures available for my second take on a darling ranges dress.  sorry to bore…ironically, i must have about 10 new garments completed between the original darling ranges and this one, but again, the pictures.  so, bear with me.  no alcohol, no phil collins.  here are the minimal details on what adorned me in my first and likely last trip to sin city.

i’m as surprised to write the following as you might be to read it, but i just returned from las vegas at midnight last night.  how and why i found myself there for 24 hours involves borderline unwelcome surprises and free plane tickets among other things, but is altogether too long a tale to disclose at this juncture.  under the guise i would be traveling a short distance via motor vehicle for a nice adults-only dinner and slumber party, i cranked out a second darling ranges to wear for the occasion with some shirting i recently impulse purchased on sale from fabric.com when i was buying material for new curtains in my craft room.


when it arrived, i can’t say i was surprised it was on sale…i’m a real sucker for ikat (which i recently learned is pronounced “ee-kot” and not “eye-cat” as i and everyone i know erroneously believe, but i’m going to keep saying eye-cat to fit in, nasal midwestern dipthongs and all) and i liked the purple color.  shirting was a real bonus since it’s lightweight with nice drape.  only after washing and pressing did i appreciate that in addition to the ikat pattern, there’s some background batik thing going on that makes the fabric look wrinkled even when it’s freshly ironed.  like, the pattern *is* wrinkle.  you can really appreciate it around my bum here, which looks like i just arrived after a long and sweaty ride sitting cross legged in the bed of a pickup.  i did not, for the record.  there are also little white spots spraying off the ikat that constantly tricked me into brushing nonexistent crumbs off my chest.  leaving the house wrinkled and covered in crumbs is nothing new for me, but it might not quite epitomize the manufactured glamor of the vegas strip.

IMG_2034anyhow, the dress came together very quickly this time around, as these things tend to happen.  i know i said that before using the pattern again, i’d finesse the bust darts a bit more and take some fabric out of the skirt to make it less full on the rump.  i did neither of these things.  under the tight deadline, i was willing to accept average bust darts, but happily, the soft drape of the shirting (vs. old bed sheet) and the thinness allowed one dart to sit really quite nicely, and the other is still an improvement from the previous rendition.  my stitches didn’t trail off quite enough and it puckers ever so slightly on one side, but between the three conflicting patterns going on in the fabric, it really can’t be easily perceived.


let’s just throw some more patterns in the mix, shall we?  that wallpaper is cool.  anyway, it’s starting to sound absurd, but again, i really did *try* to match the pattern at the seams.  in fact, i cut extra fabric in the skirt to account for seam allowances and everything.  somehow, i failed more miserably than ever before, and ended up with *extra* fabric in the skirt rather than removing some width as intended (btw, there is no center back seam of the skirt; it’s just sitting that way in the belt in the picture of the back of the dress).  just enough time had passed for me to forget how it’s pieced together, and i allowed extra at the wrong places.  alas.  the shirting is thin, so i ended up folding the extra into the button plackets to even the score.  obviously, i made this version sleeveless, which reminded me that in addition to matching patterns, i also need to invest some serious time into getting arm and neck bindings to lay flat.  mine always seem to pucker.


and…that’s it!  it only took me about two days to make the dress start to finish.  it’s light and breathable, so while not incredibly glamorous, it was certainly comfortable as possible to walk around outside in the 110 degree weather.  i wore it to our nice dinner and again to brunch the next morning (searching unsuccessfully for good photo lighting, of course), and i think it was appropriate for both.  plus, i’m stoked that i used the same pattern twice.  i love a good value and investment.

again, i have intentions of a roundup post covering the past month, but i have some recon to do with various photos, a lot of different themes to tie together, and to somehow not sound like a total spoiled brat while i’m describing what it’s like to have zero obligations for an entire month.  we’ll see if i can pull it off, since there are many things that i know will never make it here if they aren’t thrown in a monster post.  but for now, i need to address that both children are jumping and yelling in their beds 30 minutes into nap time.  IMG_2073

13 Comments on what happens in vegas

    • well, it’s sunday…i imagine if you start now you might have one to wear to work later this afternoon. i’m sure it will look adorable on you like EVERYTHING ELSE does.

    • i’m glad we agree on the incorrect pronunciation. ha! my hair. i have been blessed with hair to match my personality–low maintenance. to achieve this style, i slept on it, went on a plane, took a sweaty walk, spent the rest of the day at the pool, and slept on it again. then i put a bobby pin in it to keep it out of my face. voila. i didn’t know anything about this trip so i packed nothing to tame my hair but a single bobby pin. glad you like the dress! super comfortable.

  1. Woohoo! Vegas, baby!
    The dress looks stunning on you. Great job on the construction and your choice of fabric is perfect! I can’t wait to see what you’ve sewn AND your Tahoe trip!

    • the construction is a little questionable, but the fabric definitely looks better from a few feet back/in photos than close up. i really have to save up energy to post on all the crap i made over the month! and i have to find the picture of us!

  2. Lovely dress, Ashley! The photos are gorgeous, and you’ve had quite the jet-setting life these past few weeks! I love that style on you and the ikat looks chic from my vantage point :-)

    • thank you, sanae! if it gets your stamp of approval, i’ll consider it a success. but, i would have loved some of your navy ikat for this project! oh my gosh, the jet setting, i know. all my years of vegetarianism and eating locally and using public transit and showering far less often than is probably acceptable in our culture have been totally erased by my air travel this month :( i have fully replaced my carbon footprint!

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  1. […] always manages to produce some cute little things for the kiddos, as well as a birthday dinner and surprise trip for me, both requiring new dresses (obviously).  i did pretty well with the matchy match bean […]

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