Monday, February 20, 2017

Red Poppy Dress

 This entire project was thought up and supplies gathered together back in September.  Comparing that to other projects that I have stashed away, this dress had a rather quick turn-around. :P I was wandering around Joann's with 3 hours to kill between classes. Me + being left unattended in a craft store = bad idea. Or maybe it isn't. You be the judge of that. 
Because my self-assigned deadline for this project is at the end of March, it jumped to the top of the priority list. One afternoon, I cut out the pattern and the fabric, and marked out all the pattern notes. 
It was about this time that I discovered Angela Clayton's youtube video detailing how she made her 50's inspired dress. The construction of my dress is a combo of the directions that came with the pattern and following her techniques - especially in the skirt assembly. 
So the next afternoon, I sewed the skirt pieces together and left it to drape overnight to let the bias stretch out.
I then turned my attention to constructing the bodice. The pattern doesn't call for any lining at all, but I really like the idea of a lining, so made a lining out of old sheets I did. [/Yoda voice] Commence the dart making. All 12 of them. 
Darts and seams sewn together, I put on the bias tape binding and the bodice was done. Or so I thought. More on that in a bit. 
 After letting the skirt hang for a while, I laid it all out on the floor and stepped back. That is a lot of skirt. 
 To make sure that everything was where it was supposed to be, I laid out the pattern piece again and trimmed the hem portions that had stretched out from hanging out. 
I really like how Angela Clayton did the hem on her circle skirt. In all my sewing adventures, I've despised hemming circles. Bleh. So much bunching up. Not fun. What Angela did was sew the fashion fabric to the lining right sides together for the entire circle. Trim the edges, turn right side out, and top stitch everything to keep it in place. Thought it wouldn't hurt, so I gave it a try. 
That was a lot of sewing circles. Because it's a full circle skirt, it felt like I was hemming for ages. But my hipster music station on Pandora helped to pass the time. 

Attached the skirt to the bodice, sewed on some snaps, and I thought I was done. 
Please pardon the awful lighting and tired face. It had been a long day. 
Never mind.  
I had some fitting issues. 
In changing the shoulder seams, I also had to change out the darts. 
Lesson of all of this? Try it on before putting on the finishing touches. 
Making alterations and doing fittings on yourself is harder than doing it to someone else. :P 
Then I changed out some of the snaps for hook and eyes. I trust those more than I do snaps. I don't want a wardrobe malfunction while dancing. Not okay. 

Did another fitting, and I loved it. There are some things I could change about it, but I'm not worried about them at all. 
The cool thing in all of this? I have it done more than a month before my deadline! :fist pump: And it was finished just in time to head off to a swing dance with a friend (seriously, I put the last stitch in it the afternoon before the dance). I was going to wear something else to the dance, but after I tried it on, I wasn't about to take it off. 
Paired it with a belt and my dancing shoes for my new favorite outfit. I'm officially in love with ridiculously twirly circle skirts. 

Project details:

Pattern: Simplicity 8085
Fashion Fabric: Joann's
Lining: Sheets from Goodwill
Notions: Bias tape, thread. hook and eye, snaps
Time: If I were focused, probably could call it a weekend project

Belt- I've had in my closet for eons. No idea where I got it. 

I'll take my camera to the March ball, so hopefully I can have better pictures for you! Sometimes phone cameras just don't cut it in lower light settings, but the tiny ballroom setting was just too fun to pass up for a quick photo shoot. 

Until next time! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

More Snow Storm Sewing

Well, the snow stuck around for a week, and I was perfectly fine chipping away at the homework that I could do and sitting at the sewing machine whipping out more doll dresses. I'm only now just getting to posting about them because, well, school and work.

First up, this fun little ensemble.
It's inspired by Eowyn's shield maiden dress from the Lord of the Rings movies. 
I would have put more details into it, but there's only so much that you can do when a movie costume is scaled down to 18". ;)  

After all that 'serious' sewing, I felt like doing something a little more whimsical. I had some cheery scrap fabric in the box and some bits of vintage ribbon. They were meant to be together. 
My next projects are going to be much more pink. I have another bazaar coming up just before Valentine's Day, and I thought that it would be appropriate to break out all the pink fabric. 

Until next time!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Winter Cloak

With all the snow that blew the the Pacific Northwest, I found myself with plenty time at home. Our corner of the world was turned into a winter wonderland and made life's hustle and bustle come to a screeching halt.  
School was cancelled, I couldn't make it into work, I guess things just lined up perfectly to sit down at the sewing machine. ;) And with the winter-y weather came the inspiration for this little ensemble.
It reminds me of Thorin Oakenshield in the recent movie adaptations of the Hobbit.   
The faux fur was a clearance bin find. Michael's had it steeply discounted after Christmas. I couldn't imagine decorating with a faux fur garland, but it's the perfect size and scale for doll clothes. 
Weird stuff it is... Kinda reminds me of a cat tail. Or a squirrel tail. o.O 

In addition to the cloak, I was able to make a tiny muff to go with it since there was plenty of faux fur left. I quilted a small rectangle with the scrap material left over from the cloak, sewed in the ribbon, and tacked on the fur trim. Would have gone together rather quickly if I wasn't so easily distracted. :P 
Here's a peak at the construction. This is more for my own reference than anything else - Now how did I make that? ;)  
And all together!  
Can I have one in my size please? 

Stay warm, everyone!
Until next time,

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Year Ahead

To (hopefully) be better about getting my sewing to-do wish list completed this year, I'm assigning myself projects that will actually have an event that they will be destined for. 

First up, will be a red poppy dress. For some reason, I kept seeing red poppy dresses in stores and online this year, and I fell in love. I needed one but not badly enough to drop a pretty penny for it. Then, as I was meandering through the fabric store, I saw it. A gorgeous red poppy print! And ooh, look! Simplicity patterns were on sale too!  I had had my eye on this pattern for a while, so it was obviously meant to be. 
A friend of mine had a great idea: what if I wore it to the WWII/Peggy Carter/VE Day ball coming up in the spring? I think that it's brilliant. And it gives me a deadline. 

Next on the project list: what to wear to comic con in September? I hate to admit that it's something that I've been pondering since my sisters went last year. Almost completely out of the blue, I had an idea. What if I did a vintage inspired Chewbacca? It would be simple enough to be comfortable for the event, and I could wear the ensemble elsewhere (like church and school :P). Here's a quick sketch of what I had in mind. 
Please pardon the awful drawing skills. Certainly not my forte. It'll look better when it's made, I promise. ;) 

Next up is just a for-fun, no deadline in sight project. I'm hoping that this vintage pattern with fit (yay for mock-ups!), but if it doesn't, I'll use the same pattern that I used for the simple autumn dress
Isn't the tiny fox print just adorable?  I found it at a local fabric shop a couple years ago. 

Beyond these projects, I'm sure that I'll have more sewing to do for craft bazaars. If the muse strikes, I might try to squeeze in a regency dress and stays. But we shall see what actually comes to pass. 

Until next time!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Simple Autumn Dress

As I was going through pictures on my phone, I realized that I had completely forgotten to share with you a dress that I finished back in October! :slaps wrist: 

I found the material (read: bed sheet) at the thrift store. Since there was a burn in the corner, I was able to tell what material it was (cotton!) as well as get a discount on it since it was damaged. Score! 
I didn't exactly know what sort of dress I wanted to turn it into, so onto the fabric shelf it went! And there it sat, and waited, and collected dust, probably forgotten a time or two. Until I found this pattern.
 And then I just knew what I had to do. That lovely sheet sitting on the shelf finally had a purpose in life! And for taking up shelf space. 

The pattern itself was simple, straightforward, and came together in an afternoon. No zippers, no buttons, no bias or draping. Just cut the pieces, sew them together, add in elastic, hem everything, and voila! All done. Brand new dress, for next to nothing. Since the weather was getting nippy, I paired it with a sweater, but kept the sandal heels because reasons. 
Now I'm remembering why I never did an 'official' post sooner - I didn't have nice pictures of the completed project. :P Oh well, maybe someday! 

I definitely will be making more dresses from this pattern though! I love how it fits and how quickly it went together. 

Until next time! 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Skirts

...Or the same fabric three ways. 
I was haunting the thrift store, when I came across hangers and hangers of plaid fabric. It looked like someone had cleared out their fabric stash and donated it. Honestly, I could have bought it all, but I restrained myself and showed self-control and only purchased one length. 
I had 6 yards of 60" fabric for only $11.99 and it has a gorgeous feel and drape. 
See what I mean when I say that I showed some serious self-control in not buying ALL of the fabric?

There was enough material that I could make 3 skirts - one for each of my sisters and myself. But we didn't want to have a matchy-matchy, we're-related-and-the-fabric-was-on-sale look if we should happen to all wear our skirts at the same time.  So we each decided on a different skirt pattern. 

The taller sister wanted a pencil skirt. No problem! I have a pattern for that! Except... the pattern wasn't in her size. Drats. So we found a different pattern. It was a wrap skirt that screamed 90's. Nope. Not going to happen. So we landed on a simple A-line made from a giant rectangle gathered at the waist with elastic. No pattern needed, sewing it up was easy (so was lining up the plaid). 

The skirt for my other sister is a circle skirt. From the get-go she wanted a circle, but I wasn't sure if I would have enough fabric. So her skirt was made last. :P Just to make sure. Her skirt was also made without a pattern. You simply fold the fabric into quarters (much like the first steps of any origami creation) and the magic radius' measured and marked. Put in a zipper, add a waist band, and voila! Another skirt done. 

Look at that gorgeously lined up plaid! :swoons:
 My skirt was also rather simple - just a reproduction pattern from the 70's. A-line, no gathers or pleats, and a button up front. 
 And the only seam I had to rip in this entire adventure was in this skirt. :fist pump: 

The goal was to have them all finished for the Christmas dinner at church. That almost happened. I just had a hem to finish, but then it was bitterly cold and we each decided on a warmer outfit for the evening. 

I'll have to see if I can convince certain sisters of mine that we need to get a group picture with the three of us in our skirts. We'll see if that actually happens though. :P 

Until next time! 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Some Tiny Sewing

The last few weeks, in the spare moments that I can find or if I'm procrastinating on homework, I've been chipping away at the scrap stash to add to the doll dress collection. That way I have them ready to go for the next bazaar, and I won't be scrambling to pull my act together the week beforehand. ;) 

I've lovingly dubbed this one the 'back-to-school' dress for obvious reasons. 
As I was rummaging around in one of the many scrap bins, I found just enough of the apple print to make a dress with. My only qualm with it was how much it screamed '90's'... But I decided to give it a go anyway. No harm in using the material if I already have it, right? I finished the dress, threw together an apron, tacked on some ric-rac and declared it done. I was surprised at how cute it turned out once it was all put together. I was rather doubtful about the whole thing while I was sewing. 

This next one, I've decided to call 'Winnie the Pooh'. Because it's yellow and red like Pooh Bear. Then my sister said that those colors reminded her of McDonald's. I like my name for it more. :P 
The trim is actually a vintage ribbon that was given to me from a fellow crafter. Her store was relocating and she needed to clear out some product. I was picking up my doll dresses before she moved the store, and she gave me a couple of lengths of ribbon so long as I promised to use them on doll dresses. I most certainly can do that. 

This next one is one that I want in my size. Pretty please? 
Eyelet makes for easy hemming. ;) 

The other day, I was cleaning up the craft/sewing room, but as I was working, I found a piece of pillowcase that had been given to me from my great-aunt. I believe that it was embroidered by my great-grandma, but the rest of the pillowcase had been terribly worn out over the years. I have the matching pillowcase on my bed, but this cuff had been relegated to a forgotten corner of the notions box. 
And all of a sudden, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it. So I sat down and whipped out a doll dress when I should have been cleaning. 
The pink braid is also a vintage trim that was given to me. I can't recall who it was from though... 
Can I have this in my size, too, please? 

Until next time!