Saturday, September 24, 2016

Wedding Dress to Baptismal Gown


I'm so excited to finally be able to share one of my latest projects!! I was asked to transform a wedding dress into a baptismal gown, which is an idea I just love.

This is really my first time hacking up a dress to make something else. Let me tell you, when you spend so much time creating things, it is NOT EASY to disassemble a beautiful garment! It hurt a bit to make that first cut, lol, but I knew it was for a good cause. ;-)

The dress was a gorgeous vintage style tea length wedding dress. First step was to take out the crinoline.


Then I separated the bodice from the skirt.


Then I unpicked the pleats in the skirt.


And got to cutting up pieces for the bodice!


I used McCalls 6221 for the bodice.

We wanted to incorporate some of the beading and buttons from the original dress. Ideally, we were going for a more unisex look so it could be used for any future children as well.



I just added a bit of the beading around the sleeves. Took a little bit of hand stitching!




On the bodice I wanted some kind of subtle detail. I decided on some monotone stripes. I tried several different ribbons and settled on, of all things, some of my Snug Hug rayon binding. I just liked the texture, and it matched the color so well.



Originally, I had planned to add a ruffle, as seen in my drawing.


But once I assembled it, I found it to be a bit too heavy (the fabric was substantial!) I loved the look, but I just kept thinking the ruffle needed to go.



 I also thought it started to lean a bit more feminine with the ruffle, so I asked the new Mama and we agreed to stick with the simpler style without the ruffle.



Finally, I had to decide on button placement. I knew I wanted the two little buttons on top, and played a bit with placement down the skirt. It came down to a choice between evenly spaced or spaced in twos. I thought the pairs of buttons just added something unique, and I liked how they mimicked the two on top, so I went with that!



The back has a button and loop closure.


I also had enough fabric left to make a simple little bonnet, also included in the pattern.




I was really pleased with how the final product came out.





It's always a little scary when you're not quite 100% sure about what you're going to do when you start cutting up a dress to become your fabric supply! On the other hand, sometimes I enjoy having limitations to guide my decisions, makes them easier. ;-)


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Vintage Geek Chic Star Wars Dress


I'm back!! I didn't plan to take the summer off, but with the trip to France and then finalizing my sewing room set-up, I've been a busy bee. My room is FINALLY all done and everything has its place, I'm loving it. I plan to make a blog post soon giving a little tour of the finished product, so keep an eye out!

About this dress, this is actually the first dress I've made for myself all year. That's 7+ months of not having made myself a single thing, which is probably the longest I've gone since I started sewing garments! This was intentional, for a certain reason, and this may just be a special exception. I haven't decided yet. But it was so nice to make something for myself again, and especially with this pattern that went together very nicely!


 What was the occasion, you ask? An original Star Wars trilogy marathon on the big screen! Now, I have to say I wasn't a huge Star Wars fan growing up. It was fine, but you know I was more into princesses and stuff. I married an IT guy, though, and so with that comes some learned geek appreciation. ;-) Costumes and dressing up were encouraged at the event, but I knew I wasn't going to be doing a full on costume, so I figured I'd just marry geeky with my usual vintage and go from there.

I used New Look 6143 for the bodice, I wanted that sweetheart neckline specifically.


When I was first contemplating a Star Wars dress and looking at fabrics, with the busy prints I found available I worried a dress made entirely of the same fabric would be a bit overwhelming, so I wanted to break it up a bit. I drew up a quick sketch based on the pattern.


The pattern went together really easily, I hardly had to make any alterations at all, just a little bit of extra length in the front of the bodice as usual. I did make one change to the bodice, I split the back pieces so that I could keep that yoke look all the way around.


I made my usual favorite self drafted gathered skirt with a flat front, and a pocket, and again to break up that busy print made a large border with the small black and white polka dot. I was very pleased with the result!

Front

Back
I'm always worried about sleeves being too tight or restricting. These were great for me, didn't have to change a thing!


It was a super comfy dress to wear to watch 7 hours or so of Star Wars! I got lots of compliments, and I was so pleased with the fit and comfort of this dress, that I may even end up wearing this out in the regular public at some point, lol. It will definitely be my designated Star Wars watching dress for all the future movies, though.



So glad we got a pic with the some of the guys from the local 501st Legion!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Sewing Room Redo Progress

If you've been following my Instagram, you already know I've been super busy with renovating my sewing room! It's essentially my birthday present this year. I keep meaning to share some pics here, but just haven't had a spare second until now.

Here you can see my old wall color, a lovely olive green that I enjoyed for many years.

Lately, though, I've been craving something lighter, so up went the primer and new paint color! I used Flora by Behr, it's a really lovely soft green with hints of blue or gray depending on the light.


I didn't start out planning to redo the floor, but I started dreaming and checking just for fun, and found a very budget friendly option for wood laminate at Home Depot ($0.64/sq ft!). Even more importantly, I mentioned the possibility to the hubby, since he would be the one doing the majority of the work, and he was not opposed! So that's what we spent my birthday weekend doing. :-) It makes SUCH a difference!!


We got rid of both bookshelves in the room, as well as the old computer desk, and I decided to replace all of them with Ikea's Algot system of wall shelves. I love how customizable they are, and how light, airy, and open the room feels now! I need to go grab a few more shelves to finish it off.


Another thing I'm excited about is my picture taking space. I've never had one great place with natural light to take pics of my projects. I realized where one of the bookshelves used to be would be perfect because it's right across from the windows. So I decided to paint some faux moulding as a backdrop for my projects. I'm sure you'll be seeing this wall frequently on the blog!


I decided to repurpose my ung drill frame, which I'd used as a fabric covered cork board, to a decorative frame on the background wall. I asked my collective Facebook friends for opinions on keeping it black or painting it white, and got the excellent suggestion to paint it gray, which continued a theme I already had going! I ran out the same day to get paint and did just that. :-)


These were some of my other gray themed accessories, a new gray table, gray striped curtains, and a gray striped ironing board cover. I was also able to use some vintage Barbie fashion prints from an old calendar that I loved...still debating adding a couple more!


And that's about where I am now! I have to start the task of moving all the stuff back in, which is not a small job. I'll be sure to share more pics when everything is back in place!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Vintage Mashup Maternity Dress


This was such a fun project!! My friend Theresa (who I made the minty tulle bridesmaids dresses for!) is a fellow vintage enthusiast, and also happens to love classic movies. Every year she attends the TCM movie festival, and usually wears an amazing true vintage gown on the red carpet. This year, she is expecting (yay!) and since there aren't a lot of formal vintage maternity gowns around, she asked if I could help her keep the vintage theme going by making a maternity dress using vintage patterns.
 We started looking at patterns from the 60s mostly, going for that popular empire waist of the time. We settled on vintage Vogue 5942 for the top, an empire bodice with a lovely low back, and vintage Simplicity 8497 for the bottom, a gorgeous flowing floor length full skirt. Neither of these are maternity patterns, but the empire lines just lend themselves perfectly to it! Then we found the most amazing silk that was just screaming to be used for this dress, a radiant teal silk with metallic copper/gold giant polka dots. This stuff just shimmers like you wouldn't believe, I think it looks like coins falling from the sky, lol.


It was really pretty quick to put together, it fit her great right off the bat. I didn't even have to alter the skirt much at all, it was full enough to accommodate the baby bump! I just left some length in front so I had plenty to work with when hemming.



I added a ribbon around the empire waist to break up the print a bit (was just testing the color here, didn't plan to keep that bow!)


And bra loops to keep the bra straps hidden.


I also added a pocket, of course. ;-) Then, probably my favorite part, we snuck a sweet little bow on the back!



I was able to snap a few pics of the final dress on her when she picked it up. I think she looked just stunning, as always.



And here she is shimmering on the red carpet at the festival!