Week 18: Cheryl

Today's dress comes from my gal Cheryl.  She sent this piece to me close to a year ago and I've been holding onto it for just the right occasion.  The occasion has finally arrived. "I have a black velvet dress I bought at Nordstrom 18 years ago and at the time, it was so great.  The story is not all that interesting, but I will say it was one of those dresses that I did not go in search of.  I was shopping with a friend, it caught our eyes, and we both knew it was an "it" dress and it was one of those things that if you buy it, you will find the opportunity to wear it.

Cheryl in 1992!

I wore it to my friend's Saturday evening wedding - I paid $300 for the dress, but it made me feel like a million bucks.  One of the wedding guests (male) told me it was the prettiest dress in the room.  I think I wore it two more times, and my friend who was with me when I bought it, borrowed it and wore it once.  So CPW (cost per wear) = $75....worth every penny!

Photo Note!

My friends are all happy the dress has moved on.  I have tried to get several of them to take it and they are sick of hearing about it.  I just couldn't let it go to any old closet so I am delighted it is going to yours."

Week 18: Cheryl - Before

Now I was thinking to myself, self, come on, I'm sure Cheryl's friends aren't that sick of hearing about this dress!  Yeah, I was wrong, because I got this lovely email from one of Cheryl's dear friends, MS.


"Dear Marisa,

You have no idea how many friendships you have saved by taking Cheryl's dress.  She had lost all sense of humor when it came to it, and we (her friends) had lost all sense of kindness when she dragged it out of the closet for us to see ONE MORE TIME.  You are a friendship guardian angel!"

I hope that I've done well in both of your eyes and to be the one to keep the friendship intact, makes me one happy gal.  Friendship will last through thick and thin and bad dresses alike :)

First thing I did was remove that big flower in the front.  I took my seam ripper and poof...

Seam removing!!

...it's gone!

Will have to make a pin of this!

The sleeves were a little too much for me, but I did like the shape of them at the top.  I began to remove the seam keeping the bottom of the sleeve together because I'm going to cut them in half!

Removing part of the sleeve!

With the newly exposed velvet at the bottom of the arm hole, I started to pin down the raw edges to prep them to be sewn.

Raw edge pin down!

With a pair of shears, I cut the sleeve in half and pinned the raw edges under that I just created.

Half Sleeve!

There were shoulder pads inside that got taken out next.

Shoulder pads out!

I'm turning this into a top, so the next thing I did was remove the taffeta bottom of the dress.  I snipped right above where that material began, and got the bottom of the velvet ready for a new hem to be made.

Goodbye ruched bottom!!

With all the pins in place, I began to stitch everything down.  With each step, the piece is getting further and further away from the 1992 purchase date!

Finishing up the process!

My new top was complete, and I was out to enjoy some holiday festivities with my nearest and dearest.  Now, I played a little switcharoo with this one and turned the piece around, wearing the back in the front to feature the awesome V.  I paired my new top with a pair of H&M red linen, wide legged trousers, and a new pair of Vince Camuto heels I snagged at a sample sale!

Week 18: Cheryl - After

I'm not gonna lie...I felt a little like Lady Gaga.

Sha-sha-sha-shoulder pad, sha-sha-shoulder pad!

From the back the puffy sleeves were having a party of their own!

Baby Got Back!

I toasted with the host of the evening...

Hostess with the mostess!

...before getting my grub on!!

The cutest cookies ever!

My dessert contribush was the following along with a trio of crostinis (caramelized onions, basil/pea hummus, ricotta/prosciutto).

Donut Snowmen!

We took the annual ladies pic...

Oh yes, it's ladies night!

...and then I channeled another fab lady who also wore red pants.

"I'm 50!"

"I like to kick, stretch, and kick!" Molly Shannon awesomeness below:

I sat on Santa's lap...


I stayed warm by the fire...


I took my usual pic of cheek pecking Ron...


...and finished the night on the dance floor rocking out to Justin Timberlake with the rest of the gang.

Dance Party USA!!

My feet were killing me at the end of the night - that's what I get for wearing new copper heels - so luckily I toted along a pair of flips.

Heels off!

When the clock struck midnight, or a few hours post-midnight, I grabbed my coat, a few snacks for the ride home, and a favor on the way out.


There was a table of body washes for the gals and I snagged Gingerbread Cookie, which one lucky person will be winning today along with other party necessities including a Sephora mirror, double stick tape, a pack of Dentyne Pure gum, Sally Hansen lip gloss and Color Quick nail pen in red for on-the-go manicures, bobby pins, a few Band-Aids for blisters on dancing feet, a Strap Perfect (the awesome attachment that hugs your bra straps together to avoid strap peekage), a sample of Justin Bieber's Someday perfume (the Macy's gal forced a sniff on me and I secretly enjoyed...I asked her for a sample that you can just keep in your purse, winner, if you need a little scent action), a packet of MOR hand cream, and a few safety pins just in case.

Day 18 Giveaway Goodies

To win the purse safety kit, write the one beauty product that you couldn't live without!  Leave a comment below and a winner will get picked randomly tonight (12/19) and mentioned in tomorrow’s (12/20) post.  Congrats to Catherine Sutera who won yesterday!

Aside from these goodies, I totally carry deodorant in my purse.  Lady Speed Stick in Shower Fresh, check!

Thank you Cheryl and my girl MS for allowing me to share and feature your honesty and friendship.