Monday, December 31, 2012

Green Parfait Delight

Okay folks, here it is!  My second intermediate (as opposed to beginner) dress pattern finished!  Meet the Parfait.  Cute, right? 

I must say, this pattern is a lot more fun to use than the Chantilly, although the results of my newest Chantilly are really pretty spectacular (future post!).  While the Chantilly pattern takes me weeks and weeks to get through  (I have now made two and don't plan on making more), with a ton of mistakes and frustration along the way, the Parfait is fairly simple to sew for an intermediate pattern.  Yes, it did take a bit longer than some of my beginner patterns, but I could feel it coming together nicely and I felt pretty comfortable while making it.  This is what sewing is all about: having fun while getting to be creative! 

The fit was also wonderful, if I do say so myself!  The only thing I have left to do is to sew some decorative buttons onto the straps, but it is wearable now without them.  I used snaps instead of working buttons for this dress, simply because I don't have the skill set to make button holes yet. 

I am already working on my next (modified this time) Parfait using pink cotton. I foresee a lot of Parfaits in my future.  I highly recommend this pattern as a first time jaunt into the world of intermediate patterns.  I just love how it turned out!

The dogs had to get in on the fun!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Outfit Post- Christmas Party Outfit

I have two brand new hand made dresses to show off soon (my best two yet!!!), but I think I will wait until I can get some shots of me wearing them over the Holidays rather than posting them on the dress form now.
In the mean time, I thought I might do an outfit post and show off what I wore to my husbands Christmas party the other night.

I have blogged about this dress before, but I haven't worn it for a long time so it still feels new. :)  It was from a Modcloth sale.  The one problem with this dress is that it is very fragile.  The lining ripped to shreds the first time I wore it and I am always afraid the dress shell will tear while I am wearing it. The gloves are Modcloth from last year. The boots are Steve Madden.  The turban style headband is from forever 21.  I love it, but I only like how it looks when my hair is short.  Like now!   :)

Getting ready!  Black headband- Target

AND look at this cute coat!!!  My sis gave it to me this week just because.  It is very warm, and will look great over dresses, or worn more casually.  LOVE IT.

Happy Holidays !!  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wild Peony Top

I finished my newest Peony, this time paring it with a full free flowing short skirt.  Yay!  I blogged about this dress as I was making it here.  While I was making this dress, I envisioned wearing it with leggings for the winter since it is pretty short.  I also decided to make the skirt uneven at the bottom for a little added personality.  

I loved how it turned out!  It is such a cool fun piece, and I made it!!!  I really can’t wait to show this top off and wear it out.  I experimented a lot with the details of this dress, and I really feel that the risks panned out and really added to the over all look of this crazy little dress.  
I have such a love affair with this pattern.  To me, it is such a perfect canvas to try new things, like using a free flowing skirt, short or long sleeves, details and different fabrics to make such different pieces you would never know they all shared elements of the same pattern.  If you can only buy one pattern, I must recommend the Peony.  The possibilities really are endless. 

Dress front

Dress back

Pink exposed zipper; red and blue thread

Small detail down the front-also used this bias tape on the sleeves 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

New Chantilly Mock Up

This is a great example of why I always have so many unfinished projects!  I am currently working on a slightly altered Chantilly that so far, looks like this (I drafted the modified neck piece on my own!  :) ):

Eventually, this dress will be lined, and have a free flowing skirt.  BUT, I pined up a piece of the future dress skirt to my dress form and it instantly gave me a dozen new ideas!  Wouldn't this dress be lovely with a fitted skirt or a short fitted skirt with a ruffle maybe?  What about adding puffed sleeves for a vintage 1940's look??? 

Project scribbles for future dresses
So many ideas and so little time and money to create them all!  Someday, I would love to learn how to draft my own patterns from scratch, but for now, altering existing patterns and mixing and matching patterns to create new looks is pretty dang fun. 

As it is, I can't wait until this collection of parts is an actual dress.  The Chantilly is by far the most detailed pattern that I own, but it is also a very rewarding one to complete.  I'll keep you posted on my progress! 

Meanwhile, I have several other dresses in the works that I can't wait to get back to! Sigh.  I don't even have time to enjoy my newly created dresses most of the time because I am already excited about the next one in the works.  Silly lady.  Oh well, I guess that that means that the passion to keep going and progressing is there at least! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Emily and Fin- The Extreme Makeover Edition!

I got this beautiful Emily And Fin (my favorite designer ever!) off the shoulder dress on sale from Modcloth some months ago for $35 (on sale from over $100!).  I love the color and the cute print, and like almost all Emily and Fin dresses, it has pockets! 

I was in love...then tragedy struck.  After only one wear, the off the shoulder sleeves ripped in not one, but two places! 
This rip could have been pretty easily repaired...

But this one was a lost cause.

Sooooo,  I used my seam ripper and carefully took off the ruffled sleeves (sad, but lets move past the pain), added some spaghetti straps made out of sewn together bias tape (I even ripped the seam so that the straps could be hidden inside the lining of the dress), and came up with this lovely little dress!  Please excuse the terrible photos- this was just an impromptu in-the-middle-of-projects sort of thing.  Someday I will get a real photo shoot done for this dress with my alterations! 

So there you go!  I actually like how it looks with my alterations even more than I liked it when I first got it!  Yay for happy accidents.  :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sewing From Scraps!

A lot of times, I end up with extra fabric at the end of a project.  Often, I use this scrap fabric as lining for other projects.  I love using scrap fabric this way because it means that my dresses and tops are lined with really pretty quality fabric that I didn't have to buy specifically for them. Even though no one sees the lining, it is a special touch that makes a garment seem just a little more special.  I am working on a dress right now that has a full lining made out of pretty scrap fabric that I had saved from high school.  More on that in a future post.  :) 

Other times however, there is enough scrap fabric left over to make a whole new project, and luckily I have two examples of that for you right now lucky reader!  

In August, I reviewed a pattern from Chic & Simple Sewing: by Christine Haynes HERE.  I really liked how the shirt turned out, and saw a lot of potential to use this pattern again.  And wallah!  Here is my second baby doll top out of the awesome comic book print:
Front view

Back view.  I used a hook and eye closure.  

I used a snap clasp for this one, and some left over pink cotton for the lining.  This top would be great as a pregnancy top, but seeing as how I'm not pregnant, it looks a heck of a lot better belted!

Secondly, we have this little baby doll nightgown that I made completely out of scraps.  I love how it turned out and plan on using this idea to get rid of small scraps again many times!  This would also be a lovely project to make as a gift since the sizing doesn't have to be as exact as a lot of other patterns.  I really love how all of these mismatched pieces came together in such a lovely way.  

Side view

Back view

Even the bias tape was just a scrap piece!  :)
I wasn't terribly impressed with this book when I first got it because of some issues I took with the limited sizing, and because I felt that the sewing directions were not super clear for a beginner.  Now that I am not such a novice however, I am excited to try to make several projects from this book.  Although they are very simple designs, I love how quickly the projects can be completed  and how little hassle they are to make (no zippers or buttons in sight!).

I can't wait to finish up my next project and post it, but that one is going to take a bit longer unfortunately (boo!), but hopefully it will be worth it (yay!).

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Sewing Madness

I am so in the mood to sew, but I am working on so many projects at once right now, and I have so many ideas in my head, that I don’t know where to start! 
I suppose I should start with this dress since I already have all of the pieces cut out. 
Isn’t this fabric cool?  It is a bit ruff, and when I first found it in my scrap pile from high school (someone must have given it to me at some point), I’ll admit that I didn’t immediately see its potential. 
But I kept looking and finally I saw it- what if I used this loud crazy fabric to make a delicate simple dress with long sleeves?  It felt unexpected and awesome to me, and judging by how the pieces look draped on the dress form, I think that I made the right choice. 
This dress is made up of the Truffle pattern top, Peony pattern sleeves (both from Collette Patterns), and it will have a short free flowing gathered skirt.  In my imagination, this dress will look really good with dark leggings, and be a great option for chilly weather. 
BUT I am also itching to use my three new intermediate Collette patterns, which I am excited to use but also a bit nervous about because they are going to take a bit more patience.  Which, as you might have guessed, I just wasn’t blessed with. 
The first is the Chantilly, which I have made only once here.  It is a great, not too difficult, pattern, but it takes so dang long to make, especially because it is fully lined.  Man, this one is rewarding but hard to get through.  I already have plans for a slight modification to the pattern and I also have the fabric ready.  I don’t really want to have to start this one, but I can’t wait until it is finished.  :P
The second and third new intermediate patterns are yet to be attempted.  They are the Parfait and the Lily.  I have fabric ready for both, but I think that I am a bit less afraid of the Parfait, so I will start there.  Yay for me going beyond the beginner patterns! 
Lastly (as far as personal sewing is concerned), I still need to get back to my attempts at making pants.  So far, I have been quite unsuccessful, despite the fact that both the Clover and the Juniper are marked as beginner patterns.  To be fair, I haven’t tried theJuniper yet, which I expect to be a bit easier.  We shall see if I am ever able to get through them, but when I do, I shall then crown myself a true sewing master. 
I still have a few Christmas present projects that I am excited about too, but sewing for others is always a bit nerve racking, and so I am putting it off. 
So, it goes like this: I am so anxious to get started on each project on my to-sew list that I am not starting any!  Hopefully I can at least get one of the new patterns cut out tonight and that will give me the confidence to keep going. 
Welcome to December everybody!