Friday, February 28, 2014

Paisley Sundress - Part 2

Ready to see more of the Paisley Sundress?

The bodice pieces required a bit of gathering into the waistband to get them to form the proper cup shape. My sister loves layering her clothing, so I knew she'd likely be wearing something underneath this anyhow, so I didn't have to stress about coverage issues.

Getting the points on the hem just so was pretty finicky. I opted to serge the raw edges and just fold them over once for the hem. I didn't want it getting too bulky either.

All seams were finished with my serger, but nothing was lined. I wanted this to be a very light dress that my sister could choose to layer if she wished. I also thought it would work pretty well as a cover-up over a swim suit.

And it's done!

The skirt ended up a bit longer than I'd originally intended, so it's got more of a maxi-dress feel. Which is cool, because maxis are totally in.

Just a straight simple zipper up the back. I added a couple of hooks at the braided trim to keep it closed properly. The braid has the added benefit of giving some underbust support! 

And here we go, sketch to dress! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Paper Dresses of Awesomeness

Two different friends had to tag me with this link before I finally checked it out. Sorry guys, you were right, this is awesome!

The gist of the story is this very creative little girl wanted to create her own replica of famous dresses. Her mom helped her out, and together (splitting the work 50-50) they used mostly various kinds of paper and lots of tape to recreate some recent red carpet and runway stunners (not to mention a few Disney princesses!)

Growing up as a creative gal and followed around by a super creative little sister, my bar is set pretty high. But this little girl utterly stuns me with her ambition, creativity and talent. I can't wait to see what she grows up to be!

You can read more about this amazing mom/daughter duo here, or check out their Instagram page for every more dressy awesomeness!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Paisley Sundress - Part 1

If you've been following my projects for awhile, you may have noticed that I really like to sew things for my sister. Well, this year she happened to be away from home for two weeks over her birthday... just enough time for me to create a surprise dress as a birthday present!

I started off with a sketch to see if my idea would work visually. I'd already gotten the fabric, picked up on sale at JoAnn's.

I had her measurements on file from previous projects, so I set my dress form to her size and created a duct tape pattern.

I then transferred the duct tape pattern over to butcher paper and laid it out. I had three yards of fabric, which wasn't quite enough to lay the dress out with all the skirt panels in the same direction. Unfortunately the print was directional, so this was a bit frustrating. However I figured if I alternated them evenly, the busyness of the pattern would hide the flaw. And it did!

It's looking good!

I had just gotten my bias tape machine (Simplicity, on sale at JoAnn's) so I used it to create tape which I would use to...

...create the braid trim!

It's coming together! Check out part 2 and the finished product!

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Seamstress Welcomes another Machine to the Family

My birthday present from my husband... A travel sewing machine! It is just five pounds and can easily fit in a suitcase, as you can see from the paperback leaning against it!

I picked this machine after the Refashionista recommended Janome's other mini machine - the Sew Mini. Unfortunately the Sew Mini has been out of stock this year, but the Teal machine is very similar and has a few more stitches, so I'm excited to test it out!

Nathan suggested I name this one "The Little Mermaid" because it's ocean colored and little. I find that kind of catchy...

(Yes, this is machine #5. I have my main husquevarna, my backup husquevarna, my serger, my antique sentimental machine that was my grandmother's, and now this one!)

UPDATE 12/1/14 - I love this machine! It's worked very well for me. A bit slower than my normal machine, but good stitches and the ability to even sew through two layers of the thick red velvet damask I use for Red's cloak. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

I have had QUITE the string of headaches - hence my lack of appearances here. Queue members, I will be communicating with all of you as soon as I can stand to be on the computer for a reasonable amount of time.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

So... new blog template!

Pretty drastic change, but I was ready for a make-over to keep up with the times! The template is "Shine Lady Shine" from Don't Tell Anyone Designs over at Etsy. (Etsy really does sell everything, doesn't it?)

I'm still tidying everything up. I lost my blogroll in an earlier change, so I need to reconstruct that. I've also shifted around some pages and what appears in the tabs bar. Everything still exists, it just might have a different name or be accessed via a different link.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

First look at OUAT's Rapunzel!

When it was announced that OUAT would be diverting from the traditional Rapunzel ethnicity, I was less thrown off than many fans, having adored Regina Doman's multicultural take on the fairy tale in her book "Rapunzel Let Down" last year. And I must say, this first look does not disappoint! I'm delighted to see the clothing taking an earlier medieval and less "prom dress princess" style, here's hoping I get to recreate this gold gown at some point, although that velvet might be a bit of a pain to match!

Storywise, I'm a little less excited by details. It's very unlikely that they're following much of the traditional tale apart from the "long-haired girl in the tower" details, as this Prince Charming is hardly going to impregnate this Rapunzel with twins (check out the older versions of fairy tale for that scandalous detail!).

Monday, February 10, 2014

Blog is getting Revamped!

Thank you for your patience while we clean up the reconstruction dust!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Guest Post by Imogen - Red's Cloak

Today we have a guest post by Imogen of SewSmitten, who contacted me for some advice in constructing her own version of Red's Cloak. I thought her version was beautiful, and asked if she would do a guest post for us!

Confessions of a Seamstress was an invaluable resource in figuring out how to make my own replica of Ruby's cloak from Once Upon a Time. She tracked down the original fabrics and helped me to find my own so I could have a wonderful and authentic cloak. The fabric is indescribably beautiful. I couldn't have made this without you, I love it! Thank you so much!

 One of the biggest challenges I faced with this project was the bottom of the cloak. Ruby's cloak has a design which is a combination of different fabrics and such at the bottom. Trying to replicate that design, put the pieces together to achieve the look that I wanted and not lose the shape of the cloak was difficult.

 I was making this one for a wedding so it had to be much longer then usual...Like Confessions of a Seamstress says, the fabric is very heavy. The further it came complete the heavier it became, by the end I was working with 15lbs of fabric!

Thank you so much for sharing your project with us, Imogen! It turned out beautifully!

Incidentally, back in December I also finally made a version of the cloak with the three tiers on the bottom. The results were really cool and I'll be sharing them soon, but they require a lot more labor and if anyone wants this version of the cloak, they will need to be prepared to pay more.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Red Cloak - 2nd Replica

Since it continues to be my most popular reproduction commission, I thought I'd share the finished pictures from my second time through making Red's cloak from "Once Upon a Time."