Week 31: Natasha & Isabella

Alrighty friends, another piece I needed for my Chicago travels was a dress to wear on the first night of the bacheloretting events!  We had an architectural boat tour, dinner, and a piano bar on the agenda for the first night's celebration and I wanted something floral and light.  The piece that the rocking mother/daughter duo of Natasha and Isabella sent was exactly what I was going to go with. Week 31: Natasha & Isabella - Before

"...After oohing and ahhhing over the transformations, my 9-year-old daughter, Isabella, has really enjoyed following the site too.  I mean, what tween-age girl doesn't love fashion?  We decided to make a day affectionately named "Find Marisa Something Ugly Day."  It was a fun way to spend time together thrift shopping, sharing laughs, having lunch, froyo, and finding the perfect item to send you, all while making memories together." My eyes started welling up when I was reading because it made me so happy to hear about their special day.

This was my favorite part - "after pouring through what seemed like hundreds of dresses, I noticed Izzie kept saying, 'this is just not ugly enough' or 'black is too delicious of a color for Miss Marisa, she needs a colorful palette', then we found it!!" Izzie has my back!

Time to make this thrifting team proud!!

I began by taking the sleeves off first.  I trimmed them both...

Start cutting!

...and then got rid of the shoulder pads next.

Obvious removal...

I adored the pleating on the dress and saw the perfect opportunity to make this the focal point.  I started by cutting the top part of the dress in two halves by trimming along the shoulder seams.

Shoulder snips

With the top in two, I began to pin the piece down on the diagonal seam - I'm turning this into a Grecian frock for the night!

Angle pins!

I pinned the back down next...

The back!

...and got to stitching!  With the excess sleeves, I trimmed them into one inch-ish strips and began to braid them as this was going to become my strap to keep the dress up.

Braided sleeve excess!

Once my strap was completed, I began to hand stitch it to the top corner of the dress.


I made it go over my shoulder and then pinned it to the back on a diagonal.  After a few tweaks, my one strapped dress was ready to go!!

Week 31: Natasha & Isabella - After

From the back...

La back!

After prepping at the hotel, we were ready to get the night going!!  We began the evening taking in the Chicago skyline on a sunset architectural cruise in the Chicago River.

Architecture Cruise!

It was a stunning night (no rain too!!) and the girls gathered on the top of the ship to take it all in.

Bachelorette Partiers!!

I fell in love with the city even more and the bridges totally reminded me of another favorite movie.

The bridges!!

Clearly I have a fondness for Chicago-based films (I had my Adventures in Babysitting moment a few days ago...) and thought immediately of the scene from My Best Friend's Wedding where Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney dance on the boat and have that potential kiss moment that passes them by as they head under the bridge...le sigh.


I became friends with the bartender and coerced him to let me get behind the bar to pour my gals a few cocktails.  (Yeah, the cork is still on the bottle of wine I'm holding...)

Bartending skills!!

After we docked, we headed over to a fantastic meal.  Our little bridey got her celebratory cake after a spread of sushi, fish, and really, really good calamari.

Congratulations LG!!!

Our server took amazing care of us and made sure we had flutes filled with champagne for celebratory toasts as she made her rounds with the bottle.

Our awesome server!

When we couldn't eat anymore, we packed up shop and cruised to The Redhead Piano Bar for some singalongs!

Hello piano bar!!

Since it had been a bit since I played piano for real, AH and I got to some faux playing on the tabletop.

"Sing us a song you're the piano man"

From "Sweet Caroline" to "Against All Odds", we danced and sang to our Chicago Billy Joel.

Dancing the night away, part one.

The manager had a fondness for our group...

Final pic of the night!

...and served the bride-to-be some blue cocktails before we hit the road for the night.  Does this count for the 'something blue' part?  More to come...

Natasha and Isabella, you girls are amazing - so glad to have been a part of your bonding day!!