Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Creative Combination

I wanted to make a 1920's dress. A lot of the pictures I have seen have elaborate beading, sometimes over the whole dress. I thought that would be fun to have, but not to do myself. So, I went shopping. On the clearance rack of my favorite thrift store, I happened to find a black skirt with lots of beading. I also found a sheer, pleated skirt. If I combined the two, I might be able to come up with something!

I removed the waistband and zipper from the pleated skirt. It would be the skirt part of the dress.

The beaded skirt would be the top of the dress. I took it apart at the side and back seams. At this point, I stopped taking in-progress pictures, but I cut armholes and a neck hole along the white lines in the picture on the right below. I then finished the arms and neck by pulling the skirt inside out through the opening in the back and sewing the outer beaded fabric to the lining.

I sewed up the opening in the back (and on the sides under the armholes) with what I like to call hidden or finished seams. First, I sew the fabric wrong sides together so that the raw edges are on the outside. Then I turn the garment inside out and sew another seam that encases the raw edges. This leaves me with a normal-looking seam on the outside and no raw fabric edges showing anywhere! I'm not sure if that is a very good explanation, but hopefully the pictures will help:

Normal-looking seam on the outside:                            Casing on the inside hiding the raw edges:

The beaded top ended up being a little shorter than the drop-waist style I was going for, so I decided to lengthen it by making shoulder straps from the waistband. I took beads off the remnants of fabric from the armholes and sewed them in lines at the seams of the shoulder straps. This echoed the lines of beads at the bottom of the skirt and made the transition from shoulder strap to beaded top more smooth. I also added a flower to one shoulder strap because flowers are fun.

Bead lines on the bottom:

Then all that was left was to sew the pleated skirt to the beaded top. I didn't want to mess up the natural drape of the beaded fabric, so I sewed the skirt on by hand just to the lining. Here is the finished dress:

I kinda like it! Combining is fun! I will be looking for more beaded things in the future. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Of Pinterest and Hamster Wheels

I know, I talk about Pinterest a lot on here! It really is one of my greatest sources of inspiration. For me, it's not just an "I wish I had that", but more of an "I'm gonna make that!" thing. A little while ago I mentioned that I loved these tulle skirts and wanted to make one for myself.

I started right away with some pink sheer I had, then realized you have to use tulle or some kind of netting - fabric that doesn't need a hem. So, I went shopping and found some flowy light blue netting that was just the right thing.

A few tips about making these skirts: First of all, don't gather the lining. I tried gathering the lining and the tulle together and it was too bulky at the waist. I also tried making the tulle one big rectangle, but that was too bulky as well. You don't want a lot of fabric at the waist, as it tends to puff out. Basically you want your tulle pieces to look like a very large a-line skirt, or a large, curved trapezoid, if that makes sense. The whole idea is to have lots of tulle towards the bottom of the skirt for that full look, but not too much at the top. I ended up doing two layers of tulle - one the same size as the lining, and one a lot wider for the overlay.

I LOVE it!!! Especially paired with the jean shirt I altered a few weeks ago. Making new clothes is so much fun! I think I will be making more of these skirts in the future. Next time, I will try making the lining less full and the tulle more full - maybe even a full circle. That would give it even more of the 'Pinterest skirt' look.

I am pretty swamped with sewing projects right now, but I have a lot more "I want to make this" pins on my clothing boards. I'm working through them, slowly but surely! Of course, I am also adding to them, sometimes not so slowly...it's like a hamster wheel. But it's an exciting hamster wheel. That's a very bad analogy, but oh well. It's the best I can do. I'll just keep running!