Sunday, August 24, 2014

Just Can't Wait

In the midst of making dresses to sell and gifts for friends, I found time to do a project for myself this week. Actually, I made time. My adopted sister came back from a visit to China with some fabric for me. I couldn't just let it sit there!

Usually, I can look at a piece of fabric for a few minutes and 'see' what I should make out of it - in other words, picture what it would look good as. For some reason, though, this fabric was difficult. I stared at it, and thought, and looked at pictures of dresses online, and thought, and looked at pictures of dresses that I had saved on my computer, and thought...finally, inspiration came in this picture, which I had saved when it appeared as an add on the side of a webpage a few weeks ago. I loved the long, wide skirt and the idea of using a shirt for the top.

Well, of course I wanted to get started right away, but that meant finding a shirt that I already owned that matched the fabric and that I wouldn't mind using in a dress. It just so happened I had a brown shirt in a pile of clothes that I had decided to get rid of but hadn't actually gotten rid of yet! Here is the shirt:

...not exactly what I was envisioning for the top of my dress, so...makeover time! First, I took off all the unnecessary things, including the lacy pieces in the collar. Then, off came the sleeves. I also sewed in the sides because it was a little too big for me. Oh, and I had to sew a seam down the front of the shirt to join the slit where the buttons had been, so the front of the old shirt became the back of the new one.

I wanted to get as long and wide of a skirt as I could out of the fabric, so I measured and experimented until I came up with this:

As you can see in the picture below, I used all but those little corner pieces. And then I used most of those, too.

Here are the skirt and shirt, sewn together. Done, right? Haha. That was actually the easy part. Then I had to try it on and tweak and try it on and tweak...

...and then I used those extra little corner pieces to make a waistband and a scarf...

...and then I attached the waistband and used some of the brown lace from the shirt on it...

...and after some more tweaking, it was finally finished!!!

You may notice that there is no scarf - I actually tried the scarf a couple of different ways and then twisted it into a necklace and really liked it!

I think this is my favorite dress ever!! It's so fun to make things and have them turn out even better than you expected! Thank you so much my dear Chinese sister!!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A Shopping Trip

Today, I went shopping. Not specifically fabric shopping, but you know...I always have to look. It was actually a very successful trip! I didn't spend very much, and I got what I was looking for, plus a few treasures. Successful is a relative term, of course, because I didn't find the thing that prompted me to go shopping in the first place, but I'll tell you more about that when I actually find it. ;-)

I just cut out five 1950's style dresses yesterday, and I was in need of some white lining. Not only did I find white, but black as well! In my experience, you can always use lining.

And yes, I did cut out five dresses. I am so excited!!! I modeled most of them off of pictures from old magazines. It might take me a few weeks, but eventually I will show you the finished products. Here is a sneak-peak:

I also found  bag of assorted pieces of lace. Some of them are really pretty!

And here is the rest of my shopping spree:

Yes, I am one of those weird people who buy books for their not-even-in-the-future-yet future children. it only my sister and I who do that? :-P Anyway, I really want my kids to be able to read all the fun stories that I remember loving when I was younger. So I am collecting, slowly but surely. And nothing is better after a good shopping trip than sitting down and reading a good story. Excuse me while I go do just that!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Of Princesses and Such

I am really bad about throwing things away when it comes to sewing - meaning that I keep almost every scrap of fabric that is leftover from every project I complete. Of course, sometimes there are big scraps. I had some big scraps of gold silk fabric that I thought would be enough for a little girls' dress. Somewhere along the way, I decided a Belle princess dress would be fun to make. This thought led to a couple more Disney costume ideas. In a few weeks, I had Cinderella and Aurora dresses too. It was a really fun project! Then I got some really cute little girls to model them for me. I think that is the most fun part of the process!

They are up for sale on my Etsy shop! If you know anyone who might be interested, please let them know!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Puffed Sleeves and Ruffles

I am slowly working through my mental list of sewing projects. Some of them are easier than others. Some of them actually burn me out! In fact, I took almost an entire week off sewing a little while ago because I got so sick of it! I also learned that I could never mass produce anything!

It all started with my brilliant idea to make three little girls' dresses out of some red Disney-themed fabric. They turned out really cute, but I don't think I will ever make three dresses at once again if I can help it. Six sleeves, six tops (three of lining and three of velvet), nine ruffles for the skirts...why did I decide to do this?? Oh yeah, because my brain said they would be adorable. Good thing they were!

Here are a few pictures of the process, as well as some pictures of the adorable girl who modeled one of the dresses for my Etsy listing. She is very photogenic, don't you think?