Monday, December 31, 2012

The Costumes of "Confessions of a Seamstress" - 2012

Wow. 2012 was a huge year for me, sewing-wise. My business took off with a bang in the spring and hasn't let up since. Halloween was insane, and the orders just keep coming in! And somehow I still managed to find time to sew some personal items and presents for friends and family members. Not to mention my quilting obsession...

Anyhow, this post is a summery of all the costumes I did this year, with a link to the relevant photo diary (if one exists).

Queen Regina Headpiece (2nd replica)

Are you looking for a costume of your own? Want something reproduced or designed? Check out my commission page for more information, or visit "Your Little Princess Costume Design" if you're looking for a child's piece.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy Holidays and Updates!

I very much hope you all had a fantastic Christmas! I certainly did, and was blessed with a wonderful time surrounded by my family.

Now it's back to work, and I have two OUAT pieces and a Captain America top to finish up. Then it's on to even more elaborate gowns and creations in 2013!

Meanwhile I'm working on another OUAT costume post, to cover all the pieces from the first half of Season 2. Hopefully that will be up this weekend!

I am also trying to narrow down which costumes I will be creating for my personal use at C2E2 in April. I want to do one Marvel heroine, and I'm leaning towards Polaris/Lorna Dane (although Rogue is a close second). I'm also hoping to do Daenerys from "A Game of Thrones." Finally - if my budget and schedule allows - I'd love to do someone from OUAT. I'm thinking Red... Input? Suggestions?

I've also been doing a ton of fashion design, all of which has been (or will shortly be) uploaded to my DeviantArt Account. If you're interested in fashion design, you may enjoy browsing my gallery.

Finally, I do post regular status updates and include links to all my blog posts over on my facebook page, so be sure to check it out if you're a regular facebook user!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cute Housekeeping, or How to Make an Apron

Hey friends, crafty people, and homemakers! Slightly different sewing project getting detailed today, but I'm excited about it! :)

A couple years ago my sister found this apron and gave it to our mom for Christmas. I was quite envious (of course!) but never got around to replicating it for myself.

This year, however, I'm trying to use up some of the fabric that I've been storing since high school, and I thought that the pieces displayed above would make a gorgeous apron... or two! As I cut out the main cream fabric, I realized I had enough to make two aprons, so I decided to create one as a Christmas gift for a friend as well!

Apron ties and ruffles!

I used my new narrow hemmer foot to create this gorgeous edge!

I ran a little short on my chosen red print, so I added another in. I decided to sneak a couple extra ruffles on as well, for another feminine touch.

The serger at work, finishing off any exposed seams!

Pinning on the pocket.

Nearly assembled!

Finished! I was very happy with how both aprons turned out! The blue apron is nearly identical, except it lacks the pocket and neckline ruffles, and has the pocket on the opposite side.

The bodice piece is also slightly different on the blue apron, as I used a specialty stitch across it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Quilt of Roses

I've become addicted to quilting this year. It's a portable sewing that I can do by hand, at my own pace, and complete while watching TV. This is the second piece I've completed this fall, and was a Christmas gift for a family with five young ladies, or 'roses.'

I like creating my own quilting patterns, and although I ran a bit short on green fabric and had trouble doing the stems quite the way I wanted, it all still turned out quite nicely.

If you click on any of the pictures, you'll be able to see a larger version that displays more of the stitch detail.

Roses are hard to do right!

Over all, however, I'm pleased with how this turned out.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dotted Chiffon Party Dress - Part 1

Two weeks ago my cousin got married. As is typical for evening winter weddings, everyone was decked out to the nines. While I have plenty of cute wedding-appropriate dresses for summer, I had absolutely nothing that would work for a winter event. With a week to go and a limited budget, the race was on to see if I could sew something in time, or would be compelled to pick a nice top and skirt from my existing garments.

My grandmother assisted me in picking out this flower dotted chiffon. It has a bit of a texture to it, which made it slightly easier to sew with than normal chiffon.

I drafted a basic wrap dress bodice pattern from another dress pattern I'd recently made for myself.

The skirt was two pieces, with a complete overlap in the front.

Prior to sewing, I finished all the edges with my serger to keep the chiffon from unraveling.

I then pinned all the pieces on to see what alterations would be necessary. The front darts are an unusual shape, but they worked! I pinned them in place, then used a slip-stitch to sew them down.

The back darts were sewn the same way.

I wanted to do arm cuffs...

...but I couldn't get them tight enough to stay up without cutting off circulation. I ended up just sewing a casing for black elastic at the bottom of the gathered sleeves.

Sewing the bodice together.

The front 'v' was a bit larger than I wished, so I decided to add a ruffled edge.

It worked out quite well, I think!

Because chiffon is so slippery, I needed to go back and slightly gather the back edge and a few places along the bust 'v' to eliminate gaping.

The final step was trimming and rehemming the skirt hem.

For the wedding, I wore this over a simple black sheath dress I already had.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bach Coat - Part 2

Putting the sleeves together was a bit fussy, because they involved two curved pieces, and I had to make sure I was sewing the lining opposite to how I sewed the velvet so that they would line up correctly when sewn together.

To help with the matching (and also to remember which end was up!) I inserted a tiny gold safety pin on one side of the velvet upper edge and the corresponding edge in the lining. It worked perfectly.

The sleeves were sewn at the ends with the cuffs caught in the seam.

The cuffs were carefully pressed (always use a pressing cloth with velvet or press from the wrong side!) and turned.

The jacket, coming together!

With lining sewn in!

I had left the upper part of the slit in back open when attaching the lining. I finished it by hand so that it would lie perfectly flat and smooth.

I spaced out all the buttons ahead of time to determine how many I needed to use where.

Marking the buttonholes on the wrong side of the fabric with water solvable pencil.


My customer was very happy with the coat and there will be more diaries coming soon about the vest, shirt and pants!

Interested in a costume of your own? Check out the information on my Costume Commissions Page!