Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Butterick 6203 - A Valentine's Day Dress

Finished this dress over the weekend, a few days after Valentine's Day, but oh well! I got to enjoy my lovely pink roses while I sewed. :-)

I'd seen this bright, happy floral cotton lawn at Joann's a while ago, and I thought it would be perfect for a pink dress for Valentine's Day! But it was a little pricey so I decided to pair it with a more economical Valentine's Day cotton.

The latter is a bit wrinkly in the photos, as cheapy quilting cotton can be, but oh well. I love the little hearts because you don't really notice that they're hearts from far away.

I used Butterick 6203 for this dress.
 It was a quick make, the bodice fit me well (it has cup sizes so that's always nice). I had planned on adding the sleeves, but they ended up a little snug and I didn't feel like altering or fidgeting with the pattern, so I just decided to use some bias binding and make it sleeveless.

I'd love to make this again in all one fabric, I like the shape of the skirt and the fit of the bodice. It's comfy and practical, there are pockets (always pockets) and I think works well with vintage or modern styling which is always a plus. I had the perfect pink flower to wear with it this time. :-)

So another month, another dress, yay! Maybe I can keep this up...

Monday, February 6, 2017

Steampunk Belle Dress & Accessories

Just finished my latest project, another commissioned steampunk dress. This time it was Steampunk Belle from Beauty and the Beast! My client gave me lots of input about what she was looking for and I came up with this sketch.

I looked around for a pattern that could serve as a base, and decided on McCalls 7050.

The pattern was very straight forward and simple to put together. I added a bit of chiffon to the bust, and raised the cutoff along the bottom a bit to match the sketch.

The skirt used quite a bit of fabric! Fortunately this silkessence fabric was very light and pretty easy to work with.

I played around with placement of the chiffon wrap around the hips and sleeves before proceeding.

Once I was satisfied, I added a petticoat underneath, which added that volume I was hoping for!

Then I started playing with pickups on the front, as well as a fabric rose embellishment.

Finally, I was able to start adding the final details. One was the Belle "swag" on the skirt, which took me a little while to figure out. I had planned on using the chiffon, but when I tried it out I just didn't like how it was hanging, and found it distracting.

So I went with the same gold fabric and liked that much better.

Then I added the sleeves, and started adding the steampunk details with gears and such at the center bust, on the swag pickups, and in the center of the rose.

And then she was done!!

I also made some gloves to go with it, using McCalls 7397 as a base.

Now, we had talked about these being made of brown lace. Guess what I couldn't find anywhere?? So first I had to dye some lace, which worked perfectly!

The pattern again was simple to follow! I added more steampunk details, and also a lace ruffle around the edge, based on details the client wanted.

And finally, I made a fascinator using more of the dyed lace, some of the gold fabric, some tulle, gold feathers, and more steampunk accessories. This was SO FUN to make and makes me want to make more!

And that was it. She'll be wearing a corset over the dress, which will be great, I'm looking forward to seeing the whole thing together!

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!