Friday, December 19, 2014

Toddler Princess Anna

It's ~*done*~
And of-so-painfully adorable! 
Even though she's still young, I think she understand that this is a special dress. From the moment that we put it on for a fitting, she couldn't stop smiling. Then she went on to explore the stairs and clocks because those were a just as awesome, but we'll ignore that. :P 
'Thank you, Mommy!'
I was so worried that it would be too big. All I can say is, 'Thank goodness for sashes.' ;) Little missy has some room to grow into her pretty princess dress, but it also fits her now so that she can meet Elsa and Anna at Disneyland in her first cosplay. 
I think I'm dying from cuteness overload. 

Until next time!

PS - Once I get 'in action' pictures, I'll post those. Because, seriously, her meeting with Anna and Elsa is going to be absolutely charming. ^_^ 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Toddler Anna Dress WIP

I have another dress from Frozen to show you! 

A friend of mine has a little girl, and she's looking for an 'age appropriate' dress for little miss to wear while they're at Disney Land. Of course, Disney has really figured out how to design ADORABLE kiddos, and they're clothes are equally cute. Anna is one of the top cute kids in Disney movies. 

The inspiration for the dress is Anna's toddler dress from the song, 'Do You Want to Build a Snowman?' You can get a better view of the dress in the pictures in the book A Sister More Like Me illustrated by Brittney Lee (very sweet story and pictures!) Brittney was one of the illustrators for Frozen, and her artwork served as a launch point for the look and feel of the movie. 

I did some research for making the dress itself, but couldn't find much. If you google 'toddler princess anna,' you get a boatload of toddlers in either the coronation dress or the winter dress. :sigh: Of course I made a Pinterest board to reference while putting the dress together. ;) 
I found a pattern that would be relatively easy to alter (I used the same technique for the neckline alterations here as in Elsa's dress), scalloped the skirt, cut out a dozen tulips, and went to town with applique. I must say, I've never done this much applique before. Let's call it a 'learning experience.' Double-sided fusible interfacing is your friend when it comes to applique. I don't want to know how things would have turned out if I didn't have it.
  For the scallops, I did a similar thing as with the neckline - I cut out the contrast 'underskirt' band and zigzagged the 'overskirt' onto it. I wasn't about to try to hem scallops again. 
All that needs doing now is to attach the skirt to the bodice and put in some buttons!  

Until next time!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Elsa Dress

This is ridiculously loooong overdue. It was finished in time for Halloween. :P My job, school, homework, and Christmas trees have sucked up all my blogging time, but now that the term is in the bag (!!!), I have a smidgen more time to sit down and write something that isn't for a class.

The first project that I want to show you is Elsa's 'Let it Go' dress from Frozen (but you knew that already). I used Simplicty pattern 3725 as the base and altered it using Andrea Schewe's tutorial series as my guideline.  
You can see more Elsa inspiration and my thought process for the dress on my Pinterest board
I made the dress to be a bit bigger with a tie in the back so that it can be worn for a longer time. 

The fabrics are just from Joann's. Since I hate how reflective fabrics look when photographed, I used the wrong side of the satin as the right side. You still get that gorgeous teal, but not the nasty glaring reflection from the camera's flash. (/rant)
This dress was filled with everything from 'oops' to 'dang it!' I had never really worked with a sheer until I did this dress. One of the moments when I wanted to cry while working with it was when my machine ate it into the bobbin well, chewed it up a bit, and then sewed it onto itself in the wackiest places. (That was the only moment that I wanted to cry. Yeah, there were frustrating moments, but that almost did me in). The only noticeable 'drats' is on the back where the the zipper stops: the trim didn't line up... :( I added a little bling to help, but it didn't really help all that much. 'It's just a dress-up costume; it's fine' they said. So I left it. 
Picture used with permission
The dress was a hit. She wore it for a week, slept in it, and went trick-or-treating with all the other Elsa's that were haunting neighborhoods this year. :P 

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Elsa Dress - In Progress

I've finished the Elsa dress, but all you get to see for the moment is a work-in-progress picture. :P
Until next time!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Project Teaser

Can you guess what my next big project is going to be?
If you don't, then what snow drift have you been hiding under? :P
The entire country, if not the world, has been singing 'Let It Go' and all of the covers for almost a year. You should recognize the colors used in Elsa's iconic Snow Queen dress. 

I better get back to pattern drafting.

Until next time!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Ranger's Cloak

Here's the finished cape! 
I ended up needing to dye it again. Unfortunately, it didn't take up much of the dye, so it was dubbed dark enough. 
In between setting up for the ball and the ball actually happening, some of us were able to head outside to take a few pictures.
After looking through them, I've decided that I really need to make a cloak for myself. 

And this is where I say something snarky along the lines of, 'Well, this isn't awkward at all.' 

Apparently Caleb can't keep a straight face in light of such sarcasm. :P 

Until next time!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Once Upon a Time: Belle

We recently discovered Once Upon a Time on Netflix. I'm hooked!
I love how the fairy tale world is blended with the real world
And the costumes. ;) 
And of course, since there is a Happily Ever After ball coming up, I knew I had to recreate Belle's blue dress (I love her yellow one too, but I can't wear yellow to save my life). So naturally, I went to Pinterest to find all the reference material that I needed. You can check out my board dedicated to the project here
And guess what. I had the patterns that I needed in my collection. I already had all the material in my stash. You'll never guess what it is was: a sheet. :P 

Yes, I've finished the entire dress already. But I want to get more official pictures before posting it.  
And I love how it turned out! I can't wait to show it to you, but for now, you'll just have to enjoy the teasers. :P 

Until next time!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

WWII Doll Dress

Sometimes you walk through the fabric store, and a bolt or a swatch jumps out at you and begs you to take it home. Unfortunately, this is how I end up with so much fabric. :P But such was the case in this cheerful vintage print that I found in the remnant section. It's dainty print was perfect for a 1940's style doll dress. Alack alas, it sat in my stash for way too long before I actually used it for its intended purposes. But once I had a moment and a random, sudden burst of 'need to make a doll dress,' it was cut out and sewn together in no time. 

I give you the finished product:

I have a rather soft spot for frocks of this style. My first 'real' doll was Molly McEntire. To give you an idea of how old I am, I will tell you that this was before Pleasant Company was bought by Matel and renamed 'American Girl.'I think it was my love of the Pleasant Company dolls that piqued my interest in historical fashion. I always wished that I could dress like my dolls. Now look where it's taken me! I'm still playing dress up. :P 

Until next time!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Cape Making

Another commissioned costume! 
A friend of mine asked if I could make him a dark green hooded cape. Sounds easy enough, right? 
Try finding more than 6 yards of heavier fabric for a sane price. :P I was stumped. I already had the pattern, just no fabric to make it. :sigh: But I had these big, funky curtains that my grandma gave me that were left in her house by the previous owners. The weight was nice, it had a really nice pattern, soft texture, but the color... I can't even put that color to words. They are the strangest shade of tan/yellow/red/chartreuse that I ever did see. Good luck trying to picture it. 

But I could dye it. 
I never played with dye before. 
Why do I always save the new techniques for commissions? :shrugs:
So I bought a package of dark green dye. The package said that it was color tested on white cotton fabric... we'll see how this project is going to turn out. My fabric was the world's strangest color and a chenille blend. The package also said that I would work with a front loading machine and then proceeded to cover up said directions with a big sticker for a top loader. I didn't really want to test it out in Mom's washing machine anyway, so I headed to the tub in the guest bathroom hoping that it wouldn't stain the shower. 
I filled the tub following top loading machine directions sans washing machine, stuffed the cape into the tub (yes, I made it before I dyed it. Eek! Talk about commitment!), sloshed it around (and got green hands in the process), and left the cape to soak for 30 minutes. While waiting for the cape to dye (not die), I did a sudoku and made ice cream. All the while I twiddled my thumbs hoping that it would take the color. The timer went off, and I pulled my green creation out of the tub. I rather felt like a made scientist creating some sort of monster in a comic book... It certainly looked green. I dubbed it 'Hulk.' After letting it dry for 18 hours, here's how everything turned out: 
I'm pleasantly surprised and pleased with it. Hopefully it's green enough. Otherwise we'll have to return to the evil lair to add more radiation to it. :P 

And now for some dramatic before and after pictures! 

I think I need a cape for myself.

Until next time!

PS- If you're wondering about the state of the tub- it's fine. It weathered my experiment like a champ. You can't even tell that it was filled with murky green water.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Making Doll Dresses

I've started making doll dresses again. I've missed making the miniature fashions for 18" dolls, and it feels good to be sewing them once again. What made me stop? I'm not entirely sure... I was selling them at a shop in downtown, but they changed their policies and stopped doing consignment. Maybe I got burned out. Maybe discouraged. My collections was finally starting to sell when the owner decided to stop selling them. 

But, as the country song puts it, I'm back in the saddle again. My doll dress hiatus is at an end, and I've hit the road running, so to speak. My scrap fabric collection is hitting critical mass, and it's time to ease the pressure. ;) 

Simplicity patterns recently came out with an adorable pattern for 1860's styles for 18" dolls. You can find the pattern here. As soon as I got home with the pattern, I cut it out and whipped out a dress. Maybe that's where I got the doll dress bug bite. 

 Next, I used the adorable pink butterfly fabric that I found while organizing my fabric stash. 

Then I used my trusty Regency dress pattern. I love how quickly it whips up. And the dresses never falter being cute. ;)  Once I finished the dress, I felt that it needed a little something extra. So I used part of the apron in the aforementioned Civil War pattern. No need to mind historical accuracy in this dress anyway. :P 

So, we'll see how many more I make before losing inspiration. Thankfully, Pinterest is always there to help in case of burn out. ;) 

Until next time!

Monday, August 4, 2014

1800's British Uniform - Upgrade

Lady Catherine, the dress form, has once again graciously allowed me to put men's clothing on her. This time, it was for the 'upgraded' 1800's British Uniform

Remember this project?
It served its purpose well enough, but we (my brother and I) expected more from the basic red coat. It needed to something more. It needed... an upgrade.
(Sorry for the rather... geeky reference. It's all that I could think of. :P)
So to the dark corners of the interwebz I went. Do you know how hard it is to find resources and supplies for British military uniforms here in the States? But I found enough pictures, illustrations, and what-not to give me the information I needed. All of that turned into this:
Ta-da! Okay, it's not much, but it makes a difference, doesn't it? ;) 
All I did was:
- Add white piping to the front. Suddenly it became much more distinct. 
- Add piping and buttons to the back

- Extend the sleeves 3" by using the same black fabric as the collar (yay for fabric hoarding!)
- Add some gold couching to the cuff. Man, that is a beast of a project, but the results are very worth the effort.
- Add a stiff layer to behind the collar so that it doesn't flop over from the weight of the couching and buttons. You should have seen the looks on people as I worked on it in the lobby of the chiropractor's office. 'What are you making? That's something you don't see very day!' 
- Actually make button holes on... whatever that thing is called.The strappy dude that hold the other thing in place so that it doesn't slide down your shoulder. :P Part of me wants to call it a lapel.   
I will say, I'm rather excited with how it all turned out. ^_^ 

Here's my brother with one of the guests at the Civil War Ball that we attended. 

Until next time!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

A Civil War Ball

I promise I haven't fallen off the face of the earth! I meant to post this closer to the actual event, but things have been going non-stop for the last several weeks. I'm just now able to sit down and actually attempt to put together enough cohesive thoughts to write up a post. :P 

Anyways. Enough with the excuses and apologies. 

I finally got to wear my blue 1850's day dress
The Civil War ball was held at the historic mill in Salem - the perfect location for our event. 
I could live in a house like this.

You came to read about sewing projects didn't you? ;) 
Here's some pictures from the evening.
I was demonstrating how to do the 'Harriet Smith' pose
When the theme for the ball was announced, I knew exactly what I was going to wear. Especially since I never had an excuse to pull it out of the costume closet. But would it still fit as nicely as it did before? I tried the dress on, and lo-and-behold, it fit like a glove. ^_^ Since when does something not need alterations? Thank you, Victorian undergarments, for keeping my measurements the same. :P 

Since it was a bit of a drive to the venue, I changed into my dress there. I didn't want a squished and wrinkled dress when I got to the party. And I can't seem to drive with hoops and a corset. They make things rather... difficult. Ladies never drove the carriage; they were always along for the ride. I understand that now.

The only issue that I ran into during the evening was my corset... it twisted in the middle of the Grand March. Made it rather difficult to breathe for the rest of the evening. Little did I know what the contraption was up to until later when I changed into my jeans and t-shirt. So THAT'S why things were hurting! But beyond that, the dress worked like a charm!

After looking through pictures though, I'm seeing that I need to make a ruffled petticoat to help with my 'lampshade' skirt. And a bum-roll to kick out the back and show off the angles of the jacket. :adds two more projects to the ever growing to-do list:

Just some porch sitting

And some pictures from the dance 

The lovely Katrina in her Scarlet O'Hara gown. Her sewing blog can be found here

This is my favorite picture from the ball. Part of the dance involves turning the lady under, and I loved how the skirts were all swooshing and twirling. Lots of pink dresses, too, I've noticed. ;) 
I've got some more pictures to show you later, but this will do for now. 

Until next time!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Regency Poke Bonnet

In trying to complete the various ensembles that I have for different fashions eras, I've come the realization that I have a sore lacking of hats. And it's not like I don't wear hats! I don them quite frequently in my 'modern wardrobe.' The issue has been the lack of historical hats. So I've been keeping my eyes peeled for for deals on bonnets to add to my collection. 

Sarah, over at Romantic History, was selling some of her costuming pieces, so I swooped in and bought a Swiss dot cap and the Regency poke bonnet.  
My family can testify to how excited I was when the package arrived. You couldn't get the bonnet off of my head. 
But it seemed rather simple, almost basic. Something inside of me was begging to dress it up just a bit. I heeded the tug, and bought some brown ribbon and trim to add to the hat. After I tacked them on, it was better, but still needed just a little bit more. I found a feather in my room left over from doing Rococo hair styles and tucked it into the ties. 
Better. Much better. But it still needed a little bit more. 
And then, after digging around in my boxes upon boxes of trims and ribbons and notion, I found a small cluster of flowers that had fallen off of my sewing box.
You heard me right - from my sewing box. 
When I was just getting started with all my sewing adventures, my mom bought me a sewing box that looked like a small hat box. Alack, alas... the flowers on the lid fell off shortly after bringing it home. But, being my craft-supply hoarding self, I kept the silly little flowers since I thought that they were pretty. Little did I know that they would someday end up on a Regency bonnet. :P  

The poke bonnet will be able to make its debut while I'm helping at the ECD Oregon table at a home school conference. Can't wait!

Until next time!