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2013 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for my blog – it was nice to see 2013 all tied up and see what brought my readers to me!

I can’t lie either and saying by reading the first blurb about the Opera House brought a smile to my face haha! Thanks WordPress for the great year wrap-up!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Miscellaneous

 

Calling for Cuddles…

This will be my 3rd baby quilt that I have made and I am beyond convinced that I wrote about the last baby quilt I made thinking it only needed images edited and a quick re-read I can’t for the life of me find it :(

After searching every possible place on my computer I am giving in and going to write this again, thankfully it shouldn’t be too hard since I will be making this Mario quilt at the same time, though because I have nothing to refer back to on how I did the other quilts all designs will vary slightly;)

So let’s get started!

The first two quilts I did I had picked out 3 fabrics, 1 fabric to embroider on, 1 for the patterned squares and a third for the boarder and back. This round I only choose 2 fabrics. I am using a chocolate brown to embroider on, a pink plaid for my other squares and then I am going to do the boarder in the chocolate brown and the back in the same pink plaid. Hope that isn’t too much of the same…

I am really excited to see how this quilt will look once finished, as my first two were Winnie the Pooh, classic choice where this one is a little different… this couple has chosen to do the entire nursery for their expected little girl all based of a Nintendo theme. I love the idea and can’t wait to see the mother-to-be face when she opens it!

The embroidery package that I bought was from http://www.embroideryby.net. This package came with 22 designs and I need 13 for the quilt so that gives me a lot to chose from.

Mario-Images2 Mario-Images1  

Since the other two quilts I did were both for very close friends of mine I was lucky to find out the name of the babies before they were born and was able to personalize the quilt a little more with an initial.

L-square

V-square

That isn’t the case this time since the new to be parents are keeping that little detail to themselves :P

I guess I might just need to make Princess Peach the middle square for their soon to be princess.

Peach

Time to start cutting, if my memory serves me correctly I cut the squares to be 6.5” x 6.5” so I am going to do that again here. I will need 13 chocolate brown squares and 12 pink plaid squares.

This will give me a total of 25 squares. So I will also need to cut 25 6.5” x 6.5” squares of the batting.

I like buying the “Warm & Natural Needled Cotton Batting” since it is really soft and thick. It also does not contain any resins or glues. The package I bought was 45” x 60” (baby quilt size) so one package should be enough and I was lucky enough that this one was on sale this week so I got it for $16 vs the regular $22.

Batting

once you have all the plain squares embroidered it is time to get the plaid square ready. These ones are really easy, there are several ways to embroider these squares, however I know of two…

One, you can take the plaid fabric and the batting and together sew an X through the square:

X-Through-Front

Here it is from the back – you can see it much better.

X-Through-Back

That is it, quick and easy and you can fly through them.

Second you can use a free motion quilting foot, this is the first time I am trying this foot so this is a test run.

This is what the foot looks like:

Free-Motion-Foot

Free-Motion-Foot-ON 

Follow your machine’s instructions for attaching the free motion foot, this usually involves removing the pressure foot holder on the machine.

You will want to put your feed lever down so you can freely move the fabric around anyway you want. On my Brother this is found on the back of the machine.

Feed-Down

This I think would take a little practice, and it probably wouldn’t hurt to draw the line you want to follow on the wrong side of the fabric. I tried doing simple loops and this is how it turned out:

Free-Motion-Example

Honestly I don’t love it myself, however that was just my first try and I am sure I could get better but for now I am going to stick with doing my X version :)

Once all the plaid pieces are ready to go it is time to start laying out the design!

I like to place all the squares out on a table, or floor if there isn’t enough room in no specific order, just make sure you start with an embroidered square and then alternate with embroidered and plaid (this will ensure an embroidered square ends up as the middle). Once I have the whole thing laid out I switch around the embroidered squares with one another until I find the layout I like best – in this case I want to make sure I don’t have the same characters multiple times side by side (like two Mario’s right by one another or two yoshi’s).

This is the design I have decided on

Layout

Now you just start sewing the squares together.

I start with individual rows, once all the squares in that row are sewn together…

First-Row-Sewn

move onto the next row…

All-Rows-Sewn

once all the rows are done then I start sewing row to row:

Sewn-Together

Once all the rows are sewn together you are on the home stretch, all that is left is sewing on the border and the back.

For the border I chose to do a 2.5” wide border, I am going to do the sides first then cut the top and bottom border.

Boarders

I measured the height (left side) of the quilt and got 28” so I cut my height of the border to be 28” tall and then my wanted width plus seam allowance. I did the same measurements for the right side.

Side-Boarders-On

 

For the top and bottom borders you will want to measure once the right and left borders are on as the top and bottom will be the width of the quilt plus the borders.

All-Boarders-On

Here are all three final products:

Final-Mario-Quilt

Final-L

I had to include this shot provided to me by my talented photographer friend of her son admireing my handy work :) Such a cute photo!!!

L-playing

and lastly:

Vanessa

Venessa-Set

Bunny-Hat-Image

I found the bear hat and bunny hat tutorials online – will have to find the source again and do a short blog on the hats – they were super simple and super cute:)

Until next time happy sewing:)

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2013 in Quilt

 

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Beachy PEI Wedding…

Finished-dress-1

Pattern

Challenge: Dress for wedding in PEI, Simplicity 2281.

It took me a bit to talk myself into starting this project because of the fabric I chose. The last couple dresses I  made have been of a cotton or poly mix, which are much easier to work with, but this time I chose a silk fabric. I usually tend to curse a little more with this kind of fabric due to the stretch and slippery texture – such a nightmare to work with… however, it does make for a gorgeous dress.

It started as smoothly as I expected (sense the sarcasm), the first step was creating the sleeves which I did twice, first time putting a hole through the material (no idea how), and the second just really couldn’t get myself to accept the way the sleeve laid after it was sewn together:

Bad-Sleeve

You can see in the above picture that the sleeve is not laying flat or even.

Thankfully I had an idea when attempting the third round of the sleeve and recut the sleeve in the light purple silk and also cut it out of the contrasting fabric I chose for the midriff which was a darker linen material. This way the underneith part of the sleeve would be dark purple and the top would be the light purple silk. This gave the sleeve the weight it required to atually lay flat and it worked beautifully. :)

Good-and-Bad-Sleeve

Here is a better image of the good sleeve showing the back and front at the same time.

Good-Sleeve

My light purple fabric seems to have a fraying problem – definitely going to have to make sure i serge all raw edges.

Fray

Piecing together…

Bodice-and-Sleeves

This material is proving to be as difficult to work with as expected, I ended up having to cut the material for the back a couple of times because the first time I must have pulled on the fabric and the pieces were completely out of shape. Once I took my time and recut each piece separately instead of having the material folded it turned out nicely.

Back-of-Dress

Just when I thought everything was going nice and smooth (much intended sarcasm here), somehow while sewing the back and sides together I ended up doing this:

Twisted-Sleeve-Side

Yes I managed to twist one sleeve while sewing the pieces together, I think the worst part of that is I did the EXACT same thing on a dress a couple weeks prior… Seriously?!

 

Back-of-bodice-with-Twisted-Sleeve

This is a better shot of how the sleeve should look:

Good-Sleeve-and-Bodice

Once I fixed the sleeve I was able to move onto the skirt portion. My material was boarderline see-through so I figured it might be in my best interest to line the skirt even though it didn’t call for it.

Not knowing the best way to do this and running short on time I simply lined the skirt using the same type of method I did for the Touch of Lace dress when adding the lace layer. With wrong sides together base stitch the edges together, merging them together making a single piece.

I did this for both the front and back of skirt.

Time to tackle the first pocket… I haven’t had the pleasure of doing a pocket since one of my first sewing projects as most of my projects have been dresses and I was happy to see how nicely it was turing out.

Pocket-Out

Pocket-Inside

…Only to find out that I managed to completely screw it up without realizing it until it was done… Leave it to me to sew a beautiful pocket only to figure out once it was done it was put in upside down :(

Upside-Down-Pocket

Excuse me while I rip this all out :'(

When it comes to sewing, if it is possible I will probably end up doing it… at least once.

Pocket fixed, I would like to say that since I have done the pocket twice now, doing the other side might be easier… this will not be the case. The left pocket is not the same as the right because the zipper is there.

What you will want to do is sew the back of the left pocket directly to the front part of the pocket This way the zipper will fall behind the pocket and not interfer with it:

Hand-in-Pocket

Once the zipper is in all that is left is finishing the tie and doing the hem.

Hem: This fabric would be tricky to do do a blind hem stitch so I have opted to do a rolled hem.

I cut my skirt to the length I wanted it to be when done and then keeping the raw edges of the lining matched up with the raw edges of the fabric and using the proper settings on my serger for a rolled hem I serged away:

Rolled-Hem

I chose to use the dark purple thread for the rolled hem to tie in the dark purple fabric used for the mid section and the tie, I am very satisfied with the results.

Final-Dress-2

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2013 in Dress

 

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My little black dress…

Final

We all know every girl needs her little black dress, before now I actually did not own one – shocking I know,  this being one of fashion’s MUST HAVES it is hard to believe that any female would not have one.

Me being me, I use any and every event as an excuse to sew, usually leaving the project to a week before it is needed to be on me, this one being the worst procrastination to date… making the dress the day before – with no back-up dress so I have every possible thing crossed that it turns out great.

A dress fit for a night out with the ladies – Jade’s Bachelorette!

Oh and if you are questioning the hair in the above photo, we were requested to wear the brightest, most vibrant wig we could find, our little fun way of not losing each other as the night went on and of course to help the bride and her girls stand out in the crowd!

Pattern challenge – Simplicity 2648

2648

After searching the fabric store for material for almost an hour I realized why I don’t own a little black dress, to be blunt they seem quite boring. Each plain black material I looked at, it was just that… plain. Boring. After not being able to pick one I decided I would sneak a little sliver into my ‘little black dress’ and after that decision was made finding the fabric was easy. I bought a black stretch cotton, a silvery satin, black lace to overlay the silver and let’s not forget the super cute, a little pricy buttons!

Fabric

Button

Being an ‘amazing fit’ pattern allows you to get that perfect fit for your body type, however this does making finding the right pattern pieces more complicated and more difficult to read, but not impossible so don’t hesitate because they do give you that great fit!

They can really cram a lot of information on those pieces!

Simplicity does a great job describing how to chose the proper fit for the bodice, but I was a little upset that they didn’t do the same for the skirt, when I had to chose between slim, average or curvy I had no idea how to figure that out based on my measurements so to play it safe I just stuck with average fit.

Noteworthy: I am not sure if I mentioned this before, but a while back I purchased artist drawing paper from Currys Art Store  so I can start tracing all of my purchased patterns. This is a little more time-consuming however worth it because now all of my patterns can be reused at any time and as any size. Best thing I have started doing to date :)

Pattern-Tracing-Paper

Pattern-Pieces-Being-Traced

I now have all of my pattern pieces traced and cut out I have also sorted them so that I know what pattern pieces go with what material.

Material-and-Pattern-Pieces

All cut, LET’S SEW!

The only ‘tricky’ part of the cutting out I would say was making sure when I cut out the lace that the pattern was all facing the same way – if you have flowers or some sort of design on your lace you want to make sure it is cut proper or part of it might end up upside down!

OH! I also don’t think I mentioned my new scissors before either! This post just has all sorts of new goodies to talk about! I got these babies for Christmas from my parents and let me say they totally ROCK!

New-Scissors

Old-Scissors-with-New

Haha but in all seriousness they are by far the best scissors ever. I am sure you all understand  what a world of difference it makes to have the proper tools, and while yes I did have a great pair of sewing scissors I got for Christmas about 5 years ago that still cut great, they are much heavier and larger so a little more difficult to manipulate while cutting. I used to not be able to go in and cut notices with ease but look at these beauties…

Notches

Moving on with my project, I marked the wrong side of all the black cotton pieces so it would be IMPOSSIBLE for me to get the right and wrong side of the fabric confused… those that know my sewing know how bad I am for that when the right and wrong sides are so extremely close in appearance… I always struggle when that is the case – but I REFUSE to struggle this time – I don’t have time I need this dress to be ready in just under 24 hours (I know, I know – my own fault).

White-Xs

So when prepping my material for sewing I had a little issue with my bobbin, no idea why it did this… but a bobbin should NOT look like this ;)

Messy-Bobbin


It even tangled all around the bobbin holder!

Bobbin-Mess-on-Machine

After a little work I managed to pull out all the tangled thread

Clean-Bobbin-Winder

and once I detangled the mess and tried again it my bobbin turned out perfect :)

Good-Bobbin

An issue I ended up encountering… When I removed the pattern pieces from my bodice fabric I seen why…
1 – I prefer using my pattern weights over my pins and
2 – that I DEFINITELY need new pins.

My pins pretty badly damaged my satin material :(

Pin-Damage

Thankfully the lace will hide this but before I sew my lace onto my satin I am going to try and fix the pull by softly pulling it and flattening it out and by using the iron on the proper setting to smooth everything out the best I can.

Now it is almost like it never happened but goes to show you how important it is to toss all your old pins and replenish frequently. You can still see it a little but like I said once the lace is on top you won’t – if I wasn’t using the lace this would have ended bad.

Fixed-Satin

To start I am going to use the same process I used when making A Touch of Lace dress and sew the lace pieces to the appropriate satin pieces. Remember to sew the wrong side of the lace to the right side of the satin so both the right sides will face out.

Lace-stitched-to-satin

I always love the look of the bodice coming together :)

Bodice-Coming-Together

The skirt isn’t shaping up too bad either. I really like the fabric I chose for the shirt, it sews and presses beautifully!

Bodice-and-Skirt-Pinned-to-Dress-Form

I really wanted to play around with this dress and do some simple yet decorative features that I haven’t played around with much, so instead of serging the entire seam off I serged just the edge not removing any extra fabric so there was still about 5/8″ seam that I pressed towards the front of the skirt.

Seam-and-Serged-Edged

Once that was nicely pressed I pulled out my double needle and using grey/silver embroidery thread I did a double top stitch on only the front seams. I chose silver so that it would tie in the silver satin with the pure black skirt.

This is what the double need looks like for my Brother Machine:

Double-Needle

This is how my machine sets up to hold 2 spools of thread, you will see that an additional thread holder fits on top of my bobbin winder spot:

Double-Thread

You thread both spools exactly the same way and just thread one thread per needle:

Double-Needle-Threaded

I love how straight and professional the double top stitch looks, I will definitely start using this more often.

Close-up-on-top-stitch

I used embroidery thread instead of the regular thread because it is shinnier so it just looks a little more decorative than regular thread:) I tried 3 different silvers, one which was a metallic silver and it looked awesome but didn’t match the silver satin… definitely need to find something in the future to topstitch with the metal silver though!!!

Onto the bodice back – this allowed me to use another ‘new’ tool to play with. I say ‘new’ in quotation marks because this is actually a tool I have had for a very long time I just never attempted to use it before… I can see this being something I use all the time now that I have found out how amazing it is!

The tracing wheel. I used this to trace my darts. What you need is the tracing wheel and tracing paper.

Tracing-Wheel

Tracing-paper

These items you can find at a sewing store or even a craft store. This is an extremly simple method of tracing your pattern marks and I honestly don’t know why I have never used it before!

What to do:

Place your tracing paper down with the whiter side down and the black side up

Tracing-Paper-Sides

Then place your fabric wrong side down on the black side of the paper and your pattern piece on top of the fabric

Tracing-paper-in-place

Lay your pattern piece on top of your material and using the tracing wheel trace over any markings you want transferred onto the wrong side of your fabric. Use a back and forth movement of the wheel.

Ta-da!

Please note – do this on the WRONG side of your fabric, I have not tried to remove the marks to date so I am not sure how easily they remove from the material, if they even remove at all.

Transfered-lines

The zipper was where I got a little stuck and probably strayed from the pattern at this point. However it worked out nicely:) I did have to remove the seam in the skirt back once the zipper was in because it was no longer laying proper but I was able to make it work with a new seam!

Hidden Zipper:

Hidden-Zipper

Zipper revealed:

Zipper-Revealed

For the neck facing: I sewed the neck facing to the neckline but I did not serge this, I used a triple stitch to make it extra sturdy and then clipped through the seam allowance all the way around so that it would lay flat. You won’t see this seam as you will fold the facing in and top stitch it in place – this will hide that not so pretty clipped seam.

Clipped-Seam

I was initially going to use the satin for the neck facing but didn’t have enough left so I made it out of the cotton, which I think this was a really good thing because it helped me get a really nice flat finish – how gorgeous is this neckline?!

Finished-Neckline

Now onto the sleeve (flange): I have never made a flange before but I can’t even describe how excited I am to do this! I have a feeling this is going to be a super easy and cute chic sleeve for some feature projects of mine!

This is what the pattern piece looks like

Sleeve-Folded

You fold it in half and sew on – done! LUV it!

So cute right?

Finished-Sleeve

Finished-Sleeve-Side

After this all that was needed was a beautiful handcrafted label (tutorial coming soon!) and a nicely done blind hem stitch and I was read to party!

label

Final-Close-up

Until next time ~ happy sewing! :)

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2013 in Dress, Tips and Tricks, Tools

 

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Be mine… Valentine…

On

Nothing brings out the giddy girl within better than a pink glitter heart sweater, and no better time to do it than for Valentines Day!

I came across this sweater on Wobisobi and as soon as I saw it I knew my niece and I would have to make one… so a craft day was planned.

I went out and purchased all the supplies beforehand so that everything would be here and ready for us to get started. I found most of what I needed at Walmart:


Supplies
Sweater – $12
Fabric glue – $10
Masking tape – $2
Glitter – $1.99 for all 3 colours

I found the glitter at Cambridge Surplus. Walmart had glitter but they wanted $7.49 for a package of 3 colours, I felt that was too much so I thought I would try my luck at the Surplus store. Sure enough they had the EXACT same colours and brand as Walmart for only $1.99! I was thrilled, what a bonus. :)

Glitter

First off we cut off the ribbing on the sweater (collar, cuffs and band around the waist). I only did this on my niece’s sweater because the sweater was so large on her, on my own I cut off just the collar.

Cut-bottom-and-sleeve

Cut-off-collar

Now time to make the heart template!

We went online and found a heart we liked by googling heart images, once we found one we printed it out as large as we could make it on a letter size piece of paper.

Cut it out the heart and discard, you only need the piece that the heart is cut out from.


Heart-Cut-out

Tape your template in place:

Heart-Template

Heart-Taped-in-place

To make the stripes even we started by first filling the heart with masking tape and then going back to remove the strips of tape that we wanted glittery.

all-taped-up

REmoving-Tape

Ready-to-Start

Once that is done you can get ready to start the fun part, and by fun I mean messy, very messy!

Be sure to insert a scrap piece of cardboard inside your sweater so the glue doesn’t go through to the back.

cardboard

I did the glue part while my niece did the glitter. The glue was a little difficult to work with, it was thick and didn’t spread that well so I used a cheap art brush which really helped, the glue was also quick drying so we had to work quickly.

Glue-and-Glitter

in-process

We had 6 stripes to fill with glitter so we started at the top and worked our way down one stripe at a time. We did two stripes per colour until the whole heart was done.

frist-round-done

Glitter-on

We poured quite a lot of glitter on to ensure we would be well coated:) Plus I bought 4 packages of glitter so we had lots to work with.

Glitter-all-on

Let dry for 30-60 minutes and then carefully shake off the extra glitter outside. Then proceed with a second coat.

Put glue overtop of the dried glitter and sprinkle more glitter on top!

Putting-on-a-second-coat

Once you are done let dry for another 30-60 minutes and again carefully take it outside and shake off the extra. It doesn’t seem to matter how careful you are, glitter still seems to find its way through the entire house.

Once your sweater is dry and all the extra glitter is shaken off you can carefully start removing the tape and paper template to reveal your super sparkly heart. :)

Removing-Template

Tape-Removed

After clean-up we let our sweaters dry for 48 hours before attempting to wash them. I washed my sweater alone on extreme gentle cycle and let it hang dry. I lost some glitter in the process but it still looks great. I don’t think you would be able to wear it without washing it first or you would definitely leave a trail of sparkles wherever you went. ;)

This was definitely a great small craft project that both my niece and I enjoyed. I love the sweater and it was easy enough the my niece could help. Highly recommend. I might have even discovered a new love for clothing that sparkles :P I am still trying to figure out what else I could do that involves glitter!

Have you done any glitter projects yourself? Please share. :)

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2013 in Shirts

 

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Modern to Victorian

Before-and-after

If we can have Christmas in July, why not Halloween in January?!? My way of saying once again a little late on this post… but better late than never :P

A week before Halloween I finally buckled down to figure out what my costume was going to be for 2012.

Those that know me know that Halloween is by far my most favourite holiday so of course I have been thinking about it weeks prior… I had gone to the Spirit Halloween store several times, was on the website even more than I can count but still couldn’t find anything that jumped out at me.

Those of you that have also hunted for a pre-made costume know that it is extremely hard to find a non-skimpy version of anything these days. I find it almost comical how they can create even the most random costumes ‘sexy’.

My first purchase for Halloween this year was a pair of red contact lenses. I can’t even describe the excitement or anticipation I had waiting to wear them!

LUV THEM!

Red-Eyes

That was the start of my costume… I had decided to build a costume around red eyes. The best and most obvious choice was of course vampire.

Though a vampire is the most over used Halloween character, I figured I could still make it my own.

First I had to pick what ‘time’ I would be from. I could have simply chosen a the typical all black gear, but I wanted something a little more unique and challenging!

It started with tearing through my closet one day, I came across an old bridesmaid dress I still had and figured it would be a perfect start. My goal is to take a modern dress and turn it into a Victorian dress.

Now I have my theme I need to take a trip or two to fabricland and get some material to help this transition. I really should have had some sort of plan before hunting for fabric but of course I didn’t.

After a couple trips to the fabric store I had several miscellaneous meters of black fabric ranging from fabric with black spiders on it, sliver spiderweb fabric, black satin, few meters of black elastic, black tulle, black ribbon trim and some black netting.

Mixture-of-fabric
But still no clue what I wanted to do with any of it. I had too many ideas running through my head at once to actually put together a single step. So I decided for once to sit down and try to illustrate what I saw in my mind, and this is what I came up with…

Sketch

Ok now I have a plan, I think this could actually work!

Here is what I ended up doing and remember all ‘terms’ are not to be taken literally, a lot of the ‘names’ that I gave items here are probably completely made up :P

Let’s begin!

Cut open top 2 layers of original dress to make it split on one side

Make ‘frill’ above left breast:
I cut a piece of the satin material 12” long by 3” tall. I hemmed the top and both sides. I cut a piece of elastic 6” long and while sewing it across the 12” length of the satin I pulled the elastic tight so that it would force the fabric to gather once the elastic went back to the 6” length.

Frill

My next step is to make the ‘puffs’ of the skirt. I measured from the waist of the dress to the floor and this was about 42”, knowing I wanted 4 puff layers I divided 42 by 4 and knew each layer needed to be 10.5” long – to make life easy for me I just made it 11”.

I wasn’t exactly sure how to make these ‘puffy’ so my plan was to make each layer double (so 22”) fold it in half and between the layer put stiff interfacing so that it would stay puffy. Below I have added step by step of this!

I am going to make these out of the spider material and spider web material (2 layers of each).

How I made each one:

I cut my material to be 36” wide and 22” tall. I have lined this will the black satin (so my satin piece was cut the same size). I then sewed these two pieces together. I only lined my material because the Halloween spider material was transparent. If I didn’t line it you would have seen the interfacing through the layers which wouldn’t have looked too pretty.

Material-on-linning

I cut a piece of interfacing 36” long by 4” tall and ironed that exactly in the middle of the fabric.

Interfacing-on-inside-of-puff

Puff-folded

I then folded the fabric in half wrong sides together. You can see in the picture that where the fabric is folded it has a bit of a puff now from the interfacing.

I still don’t feel this is the effect I was looking for… so I thought I would try gathering…

my piece being 36” long I figured simple math is always the best and divided 36 by 4 and every 9 inches I gathered the fabric from the fold to the top where the raw edges meet.

Gather

Now that I have done 4 gathers in my layer I now had 4 pockets so I stuffed them with tulle and this gave a signifant puff on each layer! I proceeded to do this 3 more times for a total of 4 layers.

2puffs

3Puffs

Due to gathering sections of each layer my length of the ‘puffs’ was shortened quite a bit, so I had to add a 5th layer which I didn’t gather and I didn’t stuff, this was just to provide the length that I required to hit the floor. I then hemmed that layer with just a normal hem.

5-layers

Now that the base is done it is time to sew that in place! This might be more difficult than I thought as 1) I am sewing onto a finished garment, and 2) I have to sew underneath 2 other layers.

It was pretty difficult, the dress was becoming quite large and pretty heavy to maneuver through the machine!

Look how small my machine looks compared to the dress! I eventually ended up having to pull out my old Janome as my Brother could no longer handle sewing through all the layers! This was my first sewing machine given to me for my 15th birthday I believe from my Mom :) It never fails me.

Big-Dress

Sleeves:
I used a pattern piece from a pattern I had here to make my sleeves. I could only use this pattern piece as a starting point.

I wanted to make my sleeves match my puffs so I used the black spider material and the silver web material lining them with the black and red satin. Using the pattern piece I folded in the parts I didn’t need (the shoulder) and then folded the pattern piece in half so I could cut 2 of each material so that when sewn together I will have each sleeve in both materials.

Sleeves

Sleeves-Finished
Once I finished the sleeves I trimmed all the raw edges of the dress with black lace, and other than minor adjustments my costume was finished!

Close-up-on-lace
I am happy to brag say that all my work paid off and I won best costume at work for 2012 :)

Scary at work:

Scary-at-work

And dressed to party!!!

Final1

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Dress

 

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Touch of lace

I can’t believe how fast the past year has flown… I keep telling myself I need to make more time for this blog which in return would mean more sewing time, which I desperately need and want… however the months seem to pass by faster than I realize and the weeks even faster!

With that being said it is time to reveal a piece I finished in August of this year, the results had me so thrilled I can’t even put words to it.

Back on August 4 I had a wedding to attend, which meant I had a dress to make. While knowing this a couple months in advance I still only left myself the week before to actually make something.

I spent some time searching through patterns online and the design I chose to use was Simplicity 1876.

Before running to the store to pick up what I needed, I shuffled through the small stockpile of fabric I had to see if anything would be of use. I ended up finding 3 meters of a gold satin I originally bought to make a dress for New Years 2012 that was never used and knew it would work perfectly.

There was more than enough fabric to make the dress but when I draped the material around me to see how the colour looked I felt it needed something more… My initial thought was to make a few of the pedals on the skirt in a bold graphic fabric while the others were made from the gold in attempt to create texture, but once I started my hunt for something that matched I ended up finding a beautiful black lace instead. I had no idea how this would work or how I would piece it together but I could picture the finished product and that was more than enough to make my decision to purchase it.  ;)

The above picture shows you what the lace looks like overlapping the gold. Excited yet??

For a small dress it seemed like I had a small mountain of fabric once I cut out all the pieces! Between the gold satin, black lace, interfacing and lining I had a large number of pieces to try and keep organized!

Now the real fun begins – Let’s Sew!

My plan: Add lace to the bodice, top right pedal and bottom left pedal.

Starting with the bodice I wanted to sew the satin and the lace at the same time so the raw edges of both would be sewn in the same seam; to make this easier since the satin is slippery I machine stitched with a large stitch length (baste stitched) the wrong side of the lace to the right side of the gold satin all the way around the edges so this would technically create a single piece with one right side and one wrong side.

In the above picture you can see the baste stitching I did to combine the satin and lace as one piece. I did that with all the bodice pieces and then sewed the bodice together as instructed.

Create the skirt: I wasn’t changing this at all so I simply followed the instructions and constructed the skirt.

The dress was moving along smoothly and my excitement was growing quickly!

Pedals – the skirt bottom: each pedal had 3 components to it, a front and back made of the gold satin and interfacing. The pedals that I chose to do with lace had 4 pieces to them. Once you have these all sewn together they do add quite a bit of bulk to the dress with the layers.

To make the lace pedals: Place the wrong side of the lace to the right side of the front of the pedal (gold satin), stitch together using a long stitch length and stitch within your seam allowance (same as I did for the bodice). You need to really pay attention to what you are during in these steps as the pedal pieces all look very similar and if you end up sewing the lace to the back of the pedal piece you won’t see it. This took me a little pre-laying out and using my dress form to see where the pedals would fall so I made sure not to do the same two pedals with lace. I wanted them staggered.

Here is how it was turning out:

I did the same thing as I did for the first to pedals to the last two pedals, only opposite and pinned them in place.

Tip: be sure to clip your seam allowances on all the pedals before turning so once you press your pedals they should lay flat and you will have much smoother curves!

This next part was a little tricky for me as now I actually had to sew the pedals into place. To do this you need to sew the rows of pedals together making sure to match your markings properly so your overlap is in the right place. This may sound difficult since you have to sew onto the skirt that is already constructed but remember we haven’t put in the zipper yet so your back is completely open:

The above image shows what the back of the dress looks like prior to the zipper. You need to keep this open so you can easily sew the pedals onto the skirt.

This is what your bottom row will look like once the left and right pedals are sewn together:

Once you have those together for both rows you have to sew them onto your skirt. Your markings that you transferred from your pattern pieces should show you exactly where to place the bottom row of pedals. Make sure you add the bottom row first so the top row covers the top of the bottom row.

Once your bottom row in sewn in place you can attach the top row of pedals to the waistline.

As you can see I used a ton of pins here. With the amount of layers the dress was getting a little heavy so I was trying to avoid any movement from the material while sewing.

Once the pedals are sewn on you are ready to sew the top of the skirt (with pedals attached) to the bottom of the bodice matching the raw edges, right sides together.

Only day two into the project and I have made great progress with little error or confusion.  At this point most of the dress was constructed and all that was left was the lining and zipper. If you have made it this far the rest is easy!

Put your lining together in the same manner as the dress, minus the lace. Sew that to your dress and put your zipper in as instructed. Be sure not to skip top sewing along the top of the bodice when you are finished. It will really help the heart shaped neckline lay nicely.

There you have it, make the matching belt and find the perfect shoes and you will feel like you belong on the red carpet!

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Dress

 

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