Wild Thing for World Book Day

Where_The_Wild_Things_Are_costumeI think I may be subject to mass mum-hate if I proclaim a love for World Book Day. But I do. (Eek!) Don’t get me wrong, I get my knickers in a knot as much as anyone else but I secretly relish the challenge. After all, it involves a must-do sewing project. And that’s always a good thing.

My daughter was very clear about what she wanted to be this year. I’ve come to realise recently, how very grateful I am for people who think for me. I constantly have head soup! Someone thinking on my behalf is better than doing the dishes for me or hoovering the stairs. I’d even go as far as saying that it was better than someone cleaning the bathroom for me. Not that I know what that’s like but you catch my drift?

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Anyhows, youngest dort was dead set on Max from Where The Wild Things Are. Easy I thought. A white onesie and we are sorted! Not. Not when youngest dort has other plans, like a white onesie in a faux fur of the furriest kind. I kid you not, this stuff is horrid and has left serious evidence throughout the whole house!

Where The Wild Things Are costume

I’ve never attempted one of these before and certainly didn’t have a go-to pattern but this is where I can justify my 3 year collection of Burdastyle magazines.

Low and behold in January 2013’s edition…. a wookie jumpsuit! Thank you Burdastyle. Really. Thank you!!

wookie costume

The only problem I had was that the size only went up to age 8. My daughter is 9 but a good 4 inches taller than a regular 9 year old! And so I cut and spread and taped and so properly graded the jumpsuit pieces. But then I looked and shook my head in disbelief at the sheer size of the pattern and took out an inch and a half.

Well you can guess the rest. The first test garment was too small. But no biggie because it was only a tester and better still made the basis of a Thing One costume for her bestie! Bestie’s clever mum did a very fine job of sewing on the the all-important detail as well as taking care of  the gorgeous Hermione Granger!

Thing One costume

So once I added those inches back in I just cut and sewed… and got fluff everywhere!
The good thing about this stuff is there is no necessity for neatening of seams, no hems and no need for careful catch-stitching. I actually did double interface the ears with sew in canvas to make them stand up but not be too stiff. The zip was surprisingly ok to sew in, by hand but trimming the fluff so as not to catch on the teeth was really annoying!

Where The Wild Things Are costume

I can’t take all the credit for this one. LMO made and hand painted her own fabulous crown and check out that wonderfully fluffy tail. A tail that Max himself would have been soooo proud to wear. Mr Ooobop himself took on this task while I was at work. He chose the fur and shaped it perfectly before stitching it with his own fair hands. I am so uber impressed.

Where the Wild Things are CostumeI think we can safely say that Little Miss Ooobop was suitably impressed too! And what better place to hang out after school than the local park, in the trees, being photographed by her multi-talented dad!

Where The Wild Things Are costume

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Where The Wild Things Are costume

Hope your tales of World Book Day were as fun!
And wishing you all a lovely sunny weekend wherever you are.

(One can dream!)

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ooobop! review: Burda Style January 2014

Burda Style Mag January 2014

I had secretly planned to make the December 2013 issue of Burda, my last review. It takes an age to put together. And if I’m ever to make a new years resolution, it must be to claim back more time for more sewing. But it proved to be a rubbish plan. And it appears that I am indeed a love-struck addict of  all that is Burda Style magazine!

So here I duly kick off with some snuggly 2014 fashions of the faux furry kind…

faux fur burda Jan 2014

As much as I want to, I can’t possibly  dive into one of these projects. My pattern is traced, my fabric ordered and delivered and my instructions await for a vintage 50s masterpiece. I just need some time… and space! Boy will the pinned pattern pieces take up a whole of the living room floor!

Have well and proper earmarked that little furry cropped jacket, though (above, bottom, left) . I can totally see myself in it! (innit!)

Happy New Year is the next section. Reporting a bit late for a New Years Eve number but really some goodies here for any party any time… or just any time really!

party clothes burda January 2014

Loving the batwing waterfall top (1st row, 2nd col) which comes with an ‘easy to sew’ verification. I’ve just got a few tension issues to sort on my newly inherited overlocker and I am well on my way to knocking a few of these beauties out, I tell ya!

The o-so-cute bustier (bottom row, col 1) is a fabulous party separate. In a quality shiny black, it would rescue any old skirt or trouser in a jiffy. But it would be exceedingly traitorous of me to detract from the Georgia dress before I’d even started!

Another ‘easy’ option is the cerise one-shoulder dress (row 2, col 2). Big attention seeking effect incorporating scant sewing time equals massive win!

Now I’m forever trying to stray from all that is monochrome. It doesn’t make for a very colourful blog, for one. But how can I ever move on when such striking temptation is blatently bowled in my general direction?

black and white burda january 2014

I love the neat mod look, I love the fat stripes of that jacket in the first pic and I love how the skinny stripes behave in the long sleeved jersey shirt. Some interesting points of gathering to achieve all that psychedelia! Thinking this may well be a job for my overlocker too!

Now even if I hated each and every one of this issues patterns (which I don’t, obvs), I would pay double the cover price. Double I tell ya! Just to get this Master piece pattern of ultimate gorgeousness….

aquilano rimondi dress

Such a flatering shape. I love the neck. I love the colour. I love the contrasting leather. I will make this dress. At some point!

Now I’m not really one for fancy dress. But Burda certainly does us proud each and every time there’s an excuse for dress-up. No exception with this months selection of saloon characters, superheroes and exotic animals from the jungle, the sea and even the circus! Take your pick. Creative costuming for the whole fam!

role play burda jan 2014

And if mermaids and snakes don’t do it for you then feast your eyes on all that is classy and plus size.

plus fashion burda jan 2014Burda love a bit of Asiatic influence and I’m personally loving the black and the red (obvs) but I’ll leave the rest of the commentary to you, my lovelies.

Here’s hoping that 2014 buys us all some more precious time to sew some more wonderful creations. Love and luck and the very best of health to you all. Now go party your lil sock off!! xxx

ooobop! review: Burda Style December 2013

Burda magazine december 2013

Good grief! How did it get to be nearly Christmas? How do I get to be so not ready every single year?

Well thank you Burda Style magazine for the memory jog but I’m not sure I have enough disposable hours for many more makes before the big day.

I am sorely tempted by your cover dress though. More on that further down.

Merry Christmas is the opening section. Of course!

Burda magazine december 2013On first sight all looked a little uninspiring to be honest but on closer inspection there are some nice surprises. The long-sleeve top (top left) is made of lamé jersey. A very simple make, made all the classier with some glitz. The polka dot dress next door is a chiffon overlay dress, gathered at the waist, over a slinky satin bustier dress with spaghetti straps. I rather like the surprise of that one. And the pink crepe dress (bottom row next to the terrible peplum skirt) makes a beautiful shape (or would do if the hem was trimmed even!) It has a wonderful pointed yoke at the waist and a deep inverted pleat in the skirt. Lovely sleeves and a cute row of black buttons on the right shoulder. I approve!

Now back to that terrible peplum skirt. I don’t know what to say about it really. I just don’t think it works. No integration. No added flare. Just makes the body look cut in half! Just sayin’!

The next section is called Cruise Collection. For those already looking forward to summer! If anything, the garments here are more Christmassy than in the Christmassy section!

Burda magazine december 2013

This is my favourite bunch this month. Buttery washed silk, organza, satin and chiffon. Yes to private stash of all those fabrics and colours please! The cover dress looks even better here (bottom row, 2nd column) It’s a short sleeve version of the polka dot dress in the first section. I’m guessing you could make one underdress and have different overdresses for different occasions! (says me with ardent fear of sewing with chiffon!)

Free Spirit is the next section. Lots of paisley and fine fabric:

Burda magazine december 2013

This amount of opulence isn’t normally my bag but I keep coming back to the gold metallic jersey evening dress. Not sure where I’d wear it. Might have to invent a night out! Either that or strike a pose down at the Southbank with a hat at my feet!

The check bouclé trench coat (bottom right) looks right cosy though. A little bit of Vivienne Westwoodesque styling never goes amis!

Passion for Detail is the next chapter. And I so wish I didn’t have a headache.

Burda magazine december 2013All a bit much for me, sorry! Except for the wrap skirt with exposed zip (top row, 3rd col). I like that! In fact I might like more of this section if the crazy wallpaper didn’t do my head in so much!

Just take a looksy at this cute crocheted bag. Isn’t it sweet? It’s ages since I crocheted and I don’t even think I did it right the first time, but this is thick yarn and big hook with only 16 rows to contend with. I can feel a little Christmas holiday train journey project coming on.

crochet bagAnd hooray! A man project! Well, just a little token one :-/

mans tieLoving the couture-style silhouett of the designer style outfit, below.

talbot runhof dressAnd finally we reach the plus fashions. Businessy and feminine this month. The flounce dress in a wine coloured duchesse is my favourite here. After saying that opulence wasn’t really my thing! I’m not sure I would personally be so bold but I do think it is very striking.

Burda December 2013

In other news. I have bitten the bullet and ordered my coat fabric. I think I will be giving Joseph a run for his money. It truly is a fabric of many colours! I will keep you posted as and when it arrives. I’m a little bit excited and a little bit nervous. But most of all very freezing and so totally in need of a coat!

Keep warm folks and see you real soon! x

ooobop! review: Burda Style November 2013

Burda cover November 2013

Good morning Burda lovers! The sky is blue, the sun is streaming through my window and it’s hard to imagine that we will all be battening down the hatches in preparation for a freak storm tonight. Quite frankly the idea of being house bound for a few days suits me just fine. Mustn’t forget to pop out for emergency supply of spools! 😉

I’m going to start with the cover image because that’s where I gave my first ‘ooo’! Ice-blue wool fleece. It’s just one of the fabric options I’ve been mulling over for my coat, when I eventually get to it. I didn’t really clock the style – it looks fine on the cover – but I think the unfortunate stance of the model in the top left image below, kind of ruins the class and brings on the tent!

This first section is all about Grey. (Even though that coat has an ice blue hue about it on the cover!) I wish I could wear grey with conviction. It does look dramatic, moreso than black, because you can actually see the detail in the cut and style. But it just accentuates my deathly palor. I don’t mind being ‘pale and interesting’ but when people ask if you are feeling ok more than once in a day, you know there’s an issue!

I’m intrigued by the strides (middle row, first col). I love that wrapped-look from the front view. I almost want there to be tails behind. But that amazing mirror prop only serves to highlight how ‘unusual’ they are from the side. Steals every ounce of flattery I’m afraid.

The blazer (centre pic) is a great wardrobe standard. It’s made in a twill weave wool here. Nice and heavy and great paired with skinnies.

And I really like the biker-style jacket in ponte jersey with leather sleeves and trim. (row 2, col 3).

There’s a strong likelihood of an overlocker joining the family soon and so the world of knits is becoming more of interest to me. I have a side-cutter attachment on my machine which doesn’t render the process impossible but it’s just really slow compared to the formula one skills of an overlocker! And I’m just imagining how delightfully speedy that two-piece jersey set would be to run up. It’s an ‘Easy’ one too! In case you think, as I did that its a long sleeve top with under arm air holes, I can confirm that its a sleeveless cowl-neck tank with a separate long-sleeved bias-cut shrug. (col 3, row 1)

Burda 11-13 Grey garmentsIt is heading for that time of year when we need to add a little sparkle to the dark winter nights and days. And party season will be upon us before you know it. So although I’m not favouring much in this next ‘Metallic Mood’ section, it’s inspiring enough to make me go on a treasure hunt for some shiny fabric.

The little cropped jacket (2nd row, 3rd col) is not dissimilar to the Vogue jacket I made recently. Excepting the flared sleeves. And I think if I could get past that fabric it would be a cute cape-like addition in wool or silk.

The skirt, (3rd row, 3rd col) has the same laid in pleats as the strides in the first section, but I can’t see a side view here to see what happens. The gold lamé is a good distraction and defo a new fabric consideration though!

burda 11-13 metallic garments

I need no encouragement to make black clothes. It was my ‘colour’ of choice before sewing and I only sew coloured things because I think I ought to veer away from black. Because black is boring, no? Actually I don’t think it is boring and there’s a part of me that wants to revert to black every winter. The other inner me just fights it off all the time!

And so here temptation is laid before me once again in the shape of the inevitable LBD’s.

I love the idea of a massive silk flower added to an otherwise simple and classy dress. (row 1, col 1) and I really want to incorporate some cotton lace into garments. If I can find some, that is! Looks great on the bodice section of that dress (row 1, col 1). No sweaty pits either!

The line drawing of the fitted dress (row 3, col 1) didn’t sell well to me at all. I didn’t see the point in sewing quite so many sections together unless one is doing some serious colour blocking. But if the effect is a sophisticated dress which moulds to the figure, such as this one. I’m sold!

I quite like the coat dress with it’s low cut V-neck and front snap fastener band too (3rd row, 3rd col). Well, that is of course if somebody would sew on those little darling snap fasteners for me. Serious pet-hate!

I’m not quite sure what’s going on with the crêpe de chine dress (3rd row, 2nd col). It is fundamentally the same as the coat dress but with gathering at the vertical seams and leg of mutton sleeves. A bit too much pouffiness going on for me. Apparently this dress is reminiscent of the ‘wirtschaftswunder’ era. Learn something new every day!

burda 11-13 black garments

Alessia Giacobino is the highlighted designer in this issue. I find these mini Burda features inspiring as I never studied fashion so never had any prompting to delve into the lives of designers. Guilt always overcomes me when I confess (or not) to not having heard of a certain designer. And I love it when I come across one that I truly love. I googled some more on Alessia and I really like her classy, flattering and surprising designs. I’ll leave you to do your own recce. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Burda has supplied patterns for this designer-style outfit below. Imagine how luxurious that washed silk blouse would feel. I think the flounce would annoy me in the front. Would much prefer it at the side. But I do appreciate the detail, nonetheless.

Alessia Giacobino blouse and skirt

It always surprises me, how drawn to campus style I am. I am neither the age or of the leaning towards these fashions so I can only assume that Burda sells them well or that students have properly upped their game recently!

Let’s start with the dress (row 1, col 1). Not dissimilar to some of the summer dresses I have made this year, but with the addition of a midriff (how I love a midriff), a low V-neck, long sleeves and made with a delicious mousseline (a very fine, semi-opaque fabric similar to muslin, apparently). So actually quite different, really! But I do love it!

I also love the cowl neck knit dress (row 2, col 3). Mostly because anything in tartan/plaid makes me go ‘ooo’ right now. And because I am dreaming of being behind the spools of an overlocker soon!

I don’t wear strides. Mostly because I have never found any to fit properly. But if I get the inclination one day, I will definitely be fashioning some like the ones in row 2, col 2.

The wind is starting to pick up now. We’ve got ghostly ‘wooooos’ whispering round the windows. So that’s why I guess I’m being drawn away from ‘classy’ and towards the ‘practical’ of the odd hooded-scarf (row 1 col 2). It’s not knitted but sewn from a knitted fabric and it has pockets too! Might need an overlocker for that one too!

burda 11-13 campus style

Sophistication is definitely the theme for the plus fashions this month. Loving the star-shaped darts in the wool jersey dress (row 1, col 2). The neckline is lovely too and the shoulder line is really sharp. The dress in row 2, col 3 is pretty much the same but with a different neckline, creating a less formal but nonetheless still stylish look.

The tie-waist dress (row1, col 3) is very flattering too. Or is it that I’m just sold on the idea of animal print angora jersey?!

burda 11-13 plus fashions

The kids section is great as always. A great selection of fun, versatile staples for little girls. But what about the boys? Not that I have a little boy but it does seem a little unjust to leave them out.

I’m also a little bit miffed as Little Miss O sits outside these sizes. I tried to make a pair of shorts from a very small ladies size recently but of course the proportions were all wrong and though they fit round the waist, they were massively massive elsewhere. So perhaps I need to attempt to scale up the shorts pattern (row 3, col 1) to see what happens. The dress is super cute too but I am sad to say that most 9 year olds seem to have ditched the dresses for now.

burda 11-13 kids clothes

Well the sun has gone in. The ‘ooos’ are getting a little more howly so I better get finding some patterns… I mean battens!

Keep safe and warm everyone xxx

Burda birdie drawstring top

blue bird drawstring top

I knew I’d make another one of these. I just needed another metre of fun chiffon and this little birdie print was perfect. All totally synthetic of course but I’m learning not to be such a fabric snob in my old age and hey… you can’t argue at £2.50 a metre!

I had a couple of issues with the last one I made, namely the size of the armholes. It transpires that this was partially due to the stretch in the other fabric because the alterations I made – namely ditching the side seam allowance and raising the underarm point by 1 inch – have made a larger difference than anticipated. But its all good and there will be no fashion faux pas when wearing this one!

blue bird drawstring top

Advisable to seam the sides with French seams. It gives a very satisfying finish but the instructions provided are otherwise very simple to follow.

Below is a pic of the back view as requested. Exactly the same as the front, in case you thought I might have the ability to rotate my head a whole 180 degrees! And you also get to see the print a bit better here too.

blue bird drawstring top back view

Actually. Maybe they’re not birdies. Maybe they are the little fluffy bits from a dandelion clock. Hey ho. Cute all the same!

Since my last post, the instructions for the pattern are free to download from Burdastyle here. It’s called the Summer Tank 05/2013. If you are not already a member I can assure you it’s worth the registration with this site. The gallery is constantly being updated with inspirational uploads from fellow sewists and there are plenty of other free pattern downlads available among the great ones you can purchase.

Thanks as always to Mr O for the great photography. He snapped these literally in seconds this evening. That birthday camera was worth its weight in gold! 😉

Princess Jessica’s Prom Dress

I think I have kept you all in suspense for quite long enough. This evening is Jessica and Tom’s leavers prom and so I am allowed to reveal the dress I have been working on for the last few weeks.

I was feeling a bit poorly today so Mr Ooobop, like the knight in shining armour he is, set off with his new birthday camera without sparing the horses. The following photos are some of the loveliest he has taken. And I think you will agree that the beautiful subjects contribute somewhat to the awesomeness too.

Meet Jessica. The most wonderful 16 year old daughter of my friend Tina. Can you now picture the pressure that was to create her a prom dress fitting for such a beautiful princess?!

Jessica having hair styled

Jessica having hair styled

Tayla Harris was in-house hairdresser for the evening and styled Jessie’s hair beautifully. Complete with little jewels to match her necklace.

Hair jewels

Hair jewels

And ooo… look. A cheeky first glance of the bodice! Such a tease, I know!

Hair styled with jewels to match necklace

Hair styled with jewels to match necklace

With make-up, hair and outfit complete, enter Jessie’s Prince Charming – the lovely Tom. I’m so pleased he liked his tie. He didn’t really have much choice in the matter, bless him. It was delivered seconds before this photo was taken. I only finished it this morning! And here we also have a side view of the prom dress. I’m getting there, honest!

Tom's arrival and receiving the tie

Tom’s arrival and receiving the tie

The tie was made to match Jessie’s sash as you can see. And Tom did a much better job of tying it than I did!

Tom putting on his tie

Tom putting on his tie

Tom looking more like Prince Charming every minute!

Tom looking more like Prince Charming every minute!

So now they were both dressed to impress, Mr O worked his magic and took some awesome shots of them together. Don’t they look adorable?

Jessica and Tom

Jessica and Tom

A beautiful portrait of the prom Princess and her Prince

A beautiful portrait of the prom Princess and her Prince

I would love to be a fly on the wall tonight and take a picture of them dancing together. The dress is a circle skirt underneath 10 layers of gathered polkadot tulle so you can imagine just how twirly and frothy it would be.

A little dance to limber up!

A little dance to limber up!

Jessie came to me with a firm idea of what she wanted and luckily for me there was a very similar pattern in one of my old Burda magazines. I’ve got quite a hefty collection now. It’s always a joy to go through back issues and see patterns you didn’t notice first time round. But this one was on the money! The only thing I had to do, knowing how standard the sizing works, was to do an FBA. And I had to learn how to do it pretty quick!

prom dress idea

Thankfully for me, and for Jess, I had recently come across a great set of instructions on the By Hand London site. These totally took the fear factor out of the whole process. And I learned so much. Not least of all to come down 2 sizes for Jessies petite body and then doing an FBA. It took just 4 fittings to get it right but oh it was so worth it.

Side view of the dress

Side view of the dress

The strapless bodice section of the dress is boned. For good reason! This was a first for me too. Though I did discover some fantastic boning in my local haberdashery department that sold pre-cased boning. I just had to sew it directly onto the open seams.

The front and back have rouched tulle stretched across 2 panels

The front and back have rouched tulle stretched across 2 panels

The front and back have rouched tulle stretched taught across 2 panels. I love the way they ‘butterfly’ out from the centre seam. And I love how classic and timeless they both look here. Reminiscent of the 1950s.

Full skirt. 3 layers.

Full skirt. 3 layers.

The tulle overlay is ivory in colour and works so well to soften the pink. Kind of like a frothy strawberry milkshake, don’t ya think?! Of all the techniques involved in making this dress, funnily (or not so funnily) the most tricksy part was gathering all those 10 metres into a 27 inch waist. I even made several gathering threads to avoid breakage but it was still a nightmare. I ended up gathering small sections at a time and pinning it on the underskirt, on the mannequin and then hand tacked it all together before I even thought of taking it to the machine!

The bodice and skirt are lined in full with a slightly darker pink lining. That was one of the easier bits! Unlike the Burda instructions, I sewed the circle skirt lining to the waist seam and then once the bodice lining was seamed at the top, I turned under and hand-stiched the waist seam of the lining over the raw edge of the skirt lining.

Oh yes! How could I forget? The shoes!! Check out these amazing Kurt Geiger shoes that Jessie snapped up in the sale for a mere £29! Pink patent leather with bows and bling!

Kurt Geiger shoes

Kurt Geiger shoes: Pink patent leather with bows and bling!

Have you got loveliness overload yet? I think I have. But hang on I forgot to show you the back. Pretty bow sash and all

back view of the dress

back view of the dress

And so the ‘royals’, unfazed by their impromptu photoshoot, bade their farewells and headed off to the prom.

En route to the prom

En route to the prom

I would so love to have seen everyone’s faces as they walked in together.

Outside the venue

Outside the venue

A massively big thank you to Mr Ooobop for these amazingly professional photos. I would never have got these together myself. I also have to thank Tina for asking me to make this dress for her beautiful princess. It has been such a huge learning curve for me. I don’t deny there was a fear factor involved. I had no choice but to get it right. But that’s how we learn fast, right?!

And last but not least for the ever obliging Jessica and Tom. You make just the perfect models and have brought such beauty to my blog! I am being totally honest when I say that these pictures brought a tear to my eye. I hope you guys had the time of your life! x

Burda drawstring top

‘Well about bloomin’ time!’ I hear you say… again! After all those reviews, all those bigging-up posts harping on about what I fully intended to make, you’d think I’d have rustled up at least one of those Burda goodies by now.

Well here it is. Care of Burdastyle Magazine, May 2013 issue, the drawstring top.

drawstring top
Fashioned from a lovely piece of chiffon that was hanging around after the fabric swap at Rachel’s meet up back in April. Incidentally, if anyone can put their hands up as to whom was the kind donor I would be so happy to know.

I had no idea it was destined for this top but I was secretly hoping that whatever I made, it was going to incorporate a flower placement, both front and back. And guess what? It does!

drawstring neck
It is the most simplest top in the world. One you have to draft yourself, mind! And I don’t mind that at all as it goes.

I’ve been tinkering with all sorts of pattern adjustments recently, including an FBA. Not for me, you understand. Which is why it’s far more exciting. I am making a prom dress for my friend’s gorgeous daughter. But more news about that in a couple of weeks. The dress is a big secret until her big day!

Anyway, I digress. Back to the top. Well, actually there is nothing much more to add, other than I figured out how to cut chiffon in a straight line after I had cut it on the wonk! I thought I was being clever by pulling a thread at the hem to make sure I hemmed it even. But actually I’d cut it completely on the wonk and the whole thing ended up being about 2 inches shorter than planned as a result :-/

I used a rolled hem… not by using my rubbish rolled hem foot… but by hand. It was a slow but sure process but it worked just fine.

The pieces consist of a front and a back, seamed only at the sides, with a drawstring around the neck. The raglan armholes are rather large – much larger than the photographs show – and you will therefore require a modesty garment underneath unless you reduce them beforehand.

This is how it appears in the mag:

chiffon drawstring top from Burda May 2013I made it in a panic when I thought I was running out of Me-Made-May garments but never actually got round to wearing it because of this stupid pretend summer we are having. But it was perfect for today’s Father’s day date at Café Rouge and even got the seal of approval from my eldest daughter…Win!

drawstring chiffon top

Now, back to that prom dress…