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1  What I Did On My Summer Vacation - Two Wedding Gowns, sorry…big, long post. in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by MrsBowles on: December 30, 2013 01:37:06 PM
Well, the holidays are finally over and it's time to get on with a little backlogged posting. Last summer I made two wedding gowns. It pretty much took up my whole life and, as expected, I loved every minute of it. They are very different dresses for VERY different women, so take a look…

This dress was made for a friend who asked me to "help" her with her gown, which is beyond euphemistic since she doesn't know a presser foot from a street taco. But hey, I love 'er and it was a hell of a lot of fun.  Roll Eyes



I enjoy fitting curvy women because the result of a job well done is so satisfying. Both of these dresses started with fitting muslins and completed with couture techniques such as underlining, hand lace appliqué, and lots of hand sewing.

The fitting muslin is under the lace in this shot, and I thread-traced all of the stitching lines and other markings into the lace with red thread.



There is a seam under the arrow. There were 7 seams and darts in the lace, plus the scallops appliquéd at top and bottom edges and I was really happy with the result. It still amazes me how they can just disappear!



Here's part of the boned corselet.



I had recently run across my old Girl Scout badges, including the one acknowledging my skating accomplishments Wink. This bride is a Roller Derby girl so I surprised her by sewing the badge inside. She loved it!



I haven't seen any of the official wedding photos but here are a few more taken by a friend of mine.





The second dress was for my lovely niece. Bias cut silk charmeuse on her 5'11" frame was perfect. The dress was lined with the most delicious petal pink silk/cotton batiste. To die for!







Here's a bit of the fitting muslin. So much important and indispensable information.



And here is my daughter sewing with me on FaceTime…she lives in Copenhagen…so far away. We like to hang out for hours, sewing or cooking. It's the next best thing to having her home.Smiley



Thanks for looking  Kiss
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2  Manliness IS a complicated set of principles…one last gift. in Needlework: Completed Projects by MrsBowles on: December 29, 2013 06:49:12 PM
And so someone needs a pillow!




A few weeks ago I saw this on Facebook:



Liam is my stepbrother, for lack of a better term. I'm actually more like an aunt, so when I commented on his post I'm sure he took little or no notice. But I cannot be taunted so…

I'm sure he had in mind something much along these lines:



which might be OK for any ordinary man, but this guy is an über geek, an authentic rocket scientist who has a job working at a downright spaceship company. So I thought I'd try to look a bit smart (ass) and came up with this.



WIP:


I love using chain stitch this way:

I printed images from the internets onto fabric for these bits:

I did the outline of "Principles" in back stitch which took and AGE! I should have used stem stitch. It was really wimpy looking so I ended up wrapping each stitch to beef it up. I'm getting a massage on Thursday!  Grin



Here's the back which looks pretty manly to me, right?


I have to get together with him before New Years Day to give it to him before he heads back to Area 51. Hope he likes it  Roll Eyes
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3  A Few Last Minute Personal Quirk Gifts in Knitting: Completed Projects by MrsBowles on: December 23, 2013 02:50:55 PM
I just knitted a few last minute gifts. Nothing earth shattering but I just felt like sharing, ya know?

I've been fiddling with lots of patterns for knitted mitts. They always seem to be too long between the wrist bone and the beginning of the thumb gusset. They endlessly flop around and I never want to keep them on for very long. But I think I finally found the perfect formula. Hooray. On to the pictures!

This is a cozy pair kind with an alpaca blend. The pink one is the same yarn, alternating two rows with tow rows of similar colored sport weight. Kind of Cheshire Catty, huh? Still gotta make the 2nd one.




Then a superwash sport weight with a simple feather and fan lace on top creates a gift I'm proud to give. I made 2 pair to these.  Roll Eyes  4 little buttons went on this cuff. I took the picture before I sewed them on and now they are in Denmark. Oh well.



I also made these headbands, again because I never like anything I can find out there. Perhaps I'm a bit short in the occipital ridge area, but I hate the way these kind of bands get bunched up in back. These start out quite narrow, get very generous over the ears, then taper back in but only on the bottom edge to get off my forehead. It feels great. I can wear them during strenuous activity, keeping my ears warm but not getting so overheated as I do when I wear a hat. Plus, they stay on better. I lined the one for my sister with puppy footprints and the one for my sister-in-law with kitty footprints…for obvious reasons.



The model here is my beautiful daughter, not me, by the way. The guy is the background is my husband putting the finishing touches on this awesome chair he just made:



And here is a picture of my dog:



Even though these gifts are for other people I designed them with my own particular quirks in mind. I guess it's comforting to think one's own particular problems are more universal then they might actually be. Now I don't feel so alone…short occiputs unite!
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4  Coffee Lover Slippers in Needlework: Completed Projects by MrsBowles on: November 16, 2013 06:12:24 PM
My daughter who lives in Copenhagen, was looking at our family's favorite slippers (Haflingers) online, planning to get a pair for her boyfriend's father. Over her shoulder her boyfriend saw these http://www.amazon.com/Haflinger-Womens-AR-Coffee-Flat/dp/B00C0T1NUU and said he liked them (tongue-in-cheek…a coffee addict if I ever knew one).  So she told me about it when I asked her for Christmas gift suggestions.
I went to buy them and found out that the style had been discontinued. Not one to be deterred by such trifling details, I decided to embellish a pair for him myself. I ordered a plain brown pair and recreated the concept "Sacramento Style", scanning the label of the TJ's coffee he drank, day and night when he was here, (see the little coffee beans?) and reshaping the cup to look like ours.
A fun project that took the better part of the afternoon but I'm so pleased with the result. The box for my Danish loved ones will ship next week; just one more gift to complete. I just wish I could be there when he opens them.
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5  enV phone cozy in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by MrsBowles on: August 08, 2010 01:06:43 PM
I'm a hard core LG enV fan. I've tried the SmartPhones but frankly, the beauty and design of this phone keeps me coming back. Silly, you say? Well, there seem to be a few kindred spirits out there because these 4-year-old phone (antique by tech standards) is still going for $100 on eBay...go figure.

To keep my phone as beautiful as possible for as long as the dear will serve me I made it a cozy.





I've had this stash of beautiful handmade felt for literally 16 years. I've been waiting for a project worthy of taking the scissors to it.



I traced the shape of the phone onto the felt and added 1/4" all the way around for the seams. Then I drew the little round protrusions. I offset the protrusions on the second side and then interlaced them like little moon man fingers. I attached the two pieces with a running stitch around the fingers and then proceeded to go nuts with more running stitches. I regret not taking a picture while it was still flat. Oh well.

I then folded it in half and closed it up with blanket stitch.





No more scratches! I kinda love it  Grin
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6  All she wanted was a red wedding dress. Is that too much to ask? in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by MrsBowles on: July 10, 2010 02:42:58 PM


So my long-time friend and neighbor, after a couple of decades being a kick-ass single mom, finally found the true love of her life. Yeah!! And so began all of the hub-bub around the wedding plans, etc.

One day I asked her how her dress shopping was going. She was a bit discouraged because she wanted to wear red and I mean RED !!! So I offered to make her her dream dress. FUN!

She had found a dress she loved, style, fit, everything, except the color. I went with her to the shop, took measurement, made sketches, blah, blah, blah, but in the end she decided to buy it because t wasn't that expensive. I was really happy about that because it made the tricky bits of fit so much easier.

It took a few weeks to find just the right fabric but when we did, in one of my favorite moments of the whole process, her adorable Peruvian fiance proclaimed, in his charming accent, that it was "so elegant!" Mission accomplished.

So I got to take the dress apart, taking copious notes as I went, which I used in reverse when I put it back together.

So, here's the "before" (my daughter is just holding it against her body)... it's full length with a mermaidy flare at the bottom:


I took it apart and used the pieces as the pattern:


No fitting necessary  Grin

The bride sees the front bodice for the first time:


Here's the whole bodice outside and inside. I just used the interior corsetry from the original dress:




All done!


And some shots from the happy day. I'm looking forward to seeing the official photographer's shots, too.






I'm so happy that she loved it and that I was able to help her have exactly what she wanted.
It was a great day! CONGRATULATIONS HELEN AND JUAN CARLOS <3 <3 <3

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7  Traditionally Tailored Jacket in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by MrsBowles on: May 15, 2010 09:11:31 AM
 I just finished an 80 hour Traditional Tailoring Class at our Community College. I'm so happy that I completed my project on time and that it is actually wearable!
The amount of work done by hand in this jacket was mind boggling. I loved doing it, but I now have the posture of an Emperor penguin.





After perfecting the fit in muslin a mere 19 pattern pieces were cut out in wool (with several duplicates for the lining).
The inner structure of a tailored garment is like architecture and sculpture. Shaping hair canvas over the wool and meticulously pad stitching by hand gives beautiful shape to the collar and lapels.
What may seem unnecessarily tedious to some is just heaven to all of us O/C types

All the pattern markings, including grain lines are transferred to the wool in thread:



Here's some of the inner structure:




Bound buttonholes go in early on:



This is how the pad stitching sculpts the wool:




Careful pressing is my obsession with all sewing but it is wonderful how it can shape wool by flattening, shrinking, or rolling it when needed.

The snazzy electric blue lining picks up the blue in the tweed  Shocked


I've never had a jacket feel this comfortable before. Y'all know how great sewing is for making clothes that fit. I especially appreciate it in something this time consuming.
And I finished it just in time for summer  Roll Eyes
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8  Re: Bacon is dandy. (shamefully abundant photos) in Needlework: Completed Projects by MrsBowles on: April 12, 2010 09:00:25 AM
It's true! And Pigling Bland is in fact the fellow on the left. Perfect! However, our Dandy is ever so much fancier...

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9  I guess you'd have to call it a "Wrist-cornu" pincushion in Needlework: Completed Projects by MrsBowles on: March 10, 2010 08:39:05 AM
It's been seven months since my last confession...
But that doesn't mean I haven't been making stuff...it's just been mostly clothing and too much of a hassle to photograph.



So, I teach 4th graders how to make larger versions of these (without the wrist strap) as you can see in this nice piece at Mr. X Stitch thanks to our own TheMistressT  Kiss

I was feeling punky one recent Saturday so I needed an all-hands-in-your-lap kind of thing to do. Isn't it funny how even a bad cold won't let the O/C rest? I know y'all know exactly what I'm talking about!

I made this cross-stitch on 6/in Herta cloth with #5 pearl cotton...



made the biscornu with 100% wool felt backing and sewed it to this yummy organic cotton 2" wide twill tape.




I sewed the velcro onto the back of the biscornu and the end of the strap because I figured that on the back of my wrist is where any stiffness or pokieness would bother me the least.



and one more action shot...



Thanks for looking!
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10  Meditation Ensemble just for me in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by MrsBowles on: August 07, 2009 03:39:13 PM
This was a pretty simple project but it's been forever since I posted anything so I just wanted to throw this up...
I had gotten pretty tired of meditating on my rag-tag hodge-podge of pillows and such so I created this ensemble suited perfectly to my sitting style.


My favorite pillows are stuffed with buckwheat hulls so I went searching online for sources and finally asked the nice people at the Davis (CA) Food Co-op and they ordered a 25lb bag for me.

(the bbq is shown for scale...it's huge!!)

My canning funnel made stuffing a breeze!


Knowing just where I needed support, I made a cover for the base foam cushion; the seat cushion is about 14"x14"; the seat cushion and knee supports were first made with heavy-duty ticking (so cute!)

Here are my two ticking cakes, slightly understuffed so they easily conform to my body:


All of the green cushion covers are removable as such:


I'm very happy with the whole get-up. It's all so comfy...no more squirmy meditations  Smiley


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