Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Gingham Day Dress - Vogue 9103

It's no surprise I tend to wear my clothes very fitted for that vintage look! I love a tucked in waist and a flaring skirt. :-) The down side is, when it's post-holidays and you've gained a little weight all those dresses with the nipped in waists can be a little uncomfortable, lol. I was tired of feeling squeezed in so I decided to just make a quick dress with an emphasis on comfort to wear during the in between times. I looked through my pattern stash looking for a shape that skims the waist rather than squeezes it, and I came upon Vogue 9103. I know, it's a modern pattern and everything!

So I went to work, and managed to cut and sew it within one day! I've been working on so many complex projects lately that it's nice to see that I can actually complete a simple project in a timely manner. :-)

I was pleased with the resulting dress, it's VERY comfortable, it has one of my favorite features - sleeves without having to set in sleeves!

And it has a lovely surprise little ruffle in the back, which makes it even better.

There are pockets, of course!

It also goes really well with my large collection of sweaters! I love that it's neutral so it can go with any color. Here's a pop of red!

So, I'll just be over here living in this dress until I lose the holiday pounds. ;-)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2016 Project Round-up

Happy New Year!!! I thought it might be fun to take a look back at what I've accomplished this past year. These last few months were a little rough, but a whole five days before Christmas I finally finished all my orders, and finally had the pleasure of seeing my to-do list completely empty on my task board! Is there a more beautiful sight?

I started this board at the beginning of last year, and it has worked exactly as I hoped it would! Love being able to see what is coming up, and being able to focus on tasks as they come.

I thought it would be fun to count up all those post-its and see how many of each thing I made! So here's what I came up with.

I separated out all my different stickies into categories. Dresses were the biggest category by far, this year, with aprons coming up a close second!

For the smaller miscellaneous stuff, at least what I recorded (I know there are some I made without putting on the board!) I have -

200 Tissue Holders


5 Notebook covers

4 Wreaths

20 Clothespin magnet sets

And a lot of other onesie twosie type projects!

Costumes were a big theme this year, whether for Halloween or comicons or people heading to Disneyworld! I had 8 total...I think I made one last year?

I had a total of 23 aprons!

And a total of 27 dresses, which included the Purple Wedding Dress, 6 bridesmaid/jr dresses, and a wedding gown turned baptismal gown! I also made 2 skirts, 2 girl's hoop skirts (that was a first!) and 4 petticoats.

Of course, I also have to mention that right smack dab in the middle of all this making of stuff, we completely gutted and redid my sewing room! I didn't sew for a couple months in there. I'm still so thrilled with how it turned out, and I want to share more details about that when I can. :-) Here are a few before and after shots.

It's good to look back and see that, despite a constant nagging feeling that I'm not being very productive, I actually did quite a lot this year! I was getting a little overwhelmed at the end of the year for a combination of personal and project related reasons, so I'm aiming to do a bit better with work/life balance this year. That might mean I have fewer projects this year, but that's ok! I'm looking forward to enjoying whatever projects I do manage.

So far this year I'm in the process of making another comicon costume, and 3 fun dresses for my nieces! I have a feeling I'll be doing a lot more girls' dresses this year, I have lots of ideas and they are so fun to make.

I hope, too, that with fewer projects I'll have a bit more time to blog about them. I do love documenting and sharing what I make here, thanks so much for following along! May you have a healthy and happy 2017!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Evil Regina Costume - McCalls 6818

I was recently asked to create a costume based on Regina from the show Once Upon a Time. She often wore this open front style dress or coat with pants. I was just going to be making the dress part, not the pants.

Fortunately I found exactly the pattern I needed very quickly, McCalls 6818.
I ended up using the collar of view C with the sleeve of view B.

The pattern was very straight forward and went together fairly easily! My biggest problem was just that the costume was going to be for a tween, so the size I was sewing was too small for my usual adult sized dress form and too big for my child sized dress forms. But I made do!

I did alter the front just a tad, curving the front opening to match the picture of Regina. I also added some lace inside the sleeve, and buttons (just for decoration) along the front.

There is a nice corset style back that makes it great for adjusting as needed.

For fun, I added a self drafted tie on choker with some lace attached.

Overall I was pleased with this pattern and the finished product!

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. ;-)