Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Halloween Regency Dress

It's hard to miss all the Halloween fabrics and patterns in the fabric stores along with the influx of people venturing into the world of sewing around this time of year! I love it (though admittedly I avoid fabric stores on the weekends during October if I can help it!)

I've loved the possibility present in costumes since I was a little girl, I always loved dreaming about what I could be for the next Halloween! Usually this involved some form of pretty dress. But now that I can make my own clothes and costumes, it means I can make my dreams reality any time I want. This is what I love about sewing!! I'm in the process of helping my niece with her costume dreams, which I'll be blogging about once finished. It is going to be amazing!

One of the costuming dreams I'd had since beginning to sew was to make a regency dress, which ended up being my first dress using a pattern! A couple years later, one of the first years in our new home (and where we have TONS of trick-or-treaters!) I thought it would be fun to whip up a quick Regency dress in a blue ticking stripe to hand out candy in. It was a quick job, with raw seams on the inside, but it did the job as a wear-once kind of costume!

I did add elastic to the sleeves, which gave it a cute little ruffle on the hem which I loved!

I made it as a pullover dress, so without any buttons or any closures. In order to pull it in a bit under the bust, I just grabbed a pin, stuck a bow on it, and used it like a brooch.

 In cleaning out my closet I decided I really no longer needed this one, and it would make a great quick Halloween costume for someone else, so I'm selling it on Etsy!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Chocolate Piping and Buttons - Butterick 6018

Don't you love learning something new? This dress introduced me into the world of piping! (Well...I already play with a bagpipe band which is what I usually mean by piping, so this is a new kind of piping, lol.) This dress was made for a client, we chose Butterick 6018. I've always loved version B for the neckline!

We decided to go with a lovely light blue poplin, and accents of dark brown. I wanted something special to add a little more interest, and while browsing Pinterest I was drawn to vintage dresses with buttons all the way down the front! Since this dress already had decorative buttons on the bodice, I thought it would be fun to extend them all the way down the dress.

As I started sewing I felt like I just needed a little something else, and thought perhaps something to highlight the lovely neckline would be just the thing. I grabbed some piping while at the store, and read up a bit on tips for using it since it was my first time. I LOVED the results, as I mentioned on Instagram, it just frames the neck beautifully and ties in to the buttons perfectly.

I also added a full lining, and some netting for a bit of fullness.

The rest of the dress came together well, the pattern was straight forward, didn't have any problems with it!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Lime Toile Easter 2014 Dress

A couple years ago, I kept coming back to some pattern art I had pinned that had a sash sewn into the side seams, that angled a bit downwards in front and then wrapped around to the back. I loved the lines it created.

I decided that this was going to be my inspiration for my Easter dress that year! So I created a simple bodice using Butterick 5982, I wanted a V-neck and short sleeves so I used bodice C on the far right.

I altered the back to also have a V-neck. I wanted the sash to be a contrasting color, and decided to go with a gorgeous lime Asian toile fabric I had sitting around, and used a deep teal chiffon for the sash. I added a circle skirt (which ended up being too short due to lack of fabric, more on that in a bit!)

You'll notice I have no pictures of this dress I created, lol, because at the time I wasn't blogging much and somehow never took an Easter pic! I liked the result, but the sash ended up being a little fussy, and I wasn't sure I loved the contrasting color in the end.

I didn't wear the dress a single time after that Easter, and recently pulled it out and thought, you know, I bet it would be better without the sash. So I ripped open the side seam, removed the sash, and sewed it back up.


As you can see, the full lining extends beyond the hem a few inches. This was my fix to the fact that I didn't have enough of the main fabric to get the length I wanted. But as often happens with creative solutions to problems, I ended up liking it even more with the peekaboo hem, it reminds me of a petticoat!

I think this was my most successful sleeve insertion to date, I often feel restricted by sleeves on dresses I've sewn and haven't quite figured out how to make it better, so I tend to go with sleeveless and plan on adding a cropped sweater! But as I wore this one I realized the sleeves are actually pretty comfortable on this one, makes me want to get out the pattern to use as a bodice again when I want sleeves.

 I added a waist stay (the color was a fun little wink to the sash which is no longer there, lol)....

...and pockets of course!

So strangely enough it ended up being rather different than I planned, and my entire inspiration for it is nowhere to be seen on the dress itself, but that's just how the creative process works sometimes, isn't it? 

Another surprise is, it ended up in my destash pile of dresses, which means I've listed it on Etsy along with my other efforts at making more room in my closet. I had a harder time with this one, as I ended up really liking its reincarnation sans sash, and my husband even commented on how much he liked it on me! But, it's still about an inch or two shorter than my favorite, most comfortable length, and at the time I made it I felt like more length on the peekaboo lining hem would have started to look odd. And seriously, even after a brutal go through my closet slashing my wardrobe in half, I still have TWENTY FIVE dresses, y'all! And you know I'm constantly making more. So...yeah. I figured I could stand to let it go. ;-)

But I learned a lot from making this dress, most notably that though sometimes you start with one source of inspiration, it won't necessarily be that specific thing that you end up loving about it, so it's good to be flexible and edit as you go. And that's useful knowledge I'll be keeping with me as I continue to learn, with or without this dress around!