Hi Craftster, long time no see. I was recently commissioned to make a wedding dress for a friend of mine. Over the past year I've worked with a bunch of wedding dresses and I wanted to make her something really special using some of the things I've learned by poking around inside them, but I was worried about making mistakes if I was 'learning by doing' on her dress and ruining the fabric or whatever. So I took the muslin for her dress and made a completely different dress around it using fabric I had lying around, to practice on. Structurally it's the same as her dress will be, but the effect is totally different. I think it came out really nice!
I took a bunch of process pics which I thought I'd share with you. It was a lot of fun to make this dress.
All the layers of the bodice except the lining sewn together. I was originally going to shape the lace layer seamlessly but it didn't look good that way, so I just cut it exactly the same as the self. So this is interlining, grey cotton, and lace. I sewed the scalloped border of the lace into the princess seam; originally it was this way, but I decided I liked it better flipped toward the side seams instead of toward the center.
Here it is sewn together with the skirt; I used black tulle to make the color match better and to make it a little more romantic-looking. My original plan was to cut out lace motifs and sew them into the tulle but after I spent hours cutting them out, I pinned them on it, and they looked bad, so I decided against it.
Zipper is in, boning is in, waist stay is in. The waist stay is tacked to all the seam allowance to hold the dress tight to the wearer's body. Also in this picture: fodder for my next Goodreads review.
The waist stay comes out through the back princess seam of the lining and looks pretty sweet if I do say so. (This is one of those things I learned from working on wedding dresses.) I also remembered to put in hanging straps for once in my life. Those were tacked to the interlining so it wouldn't just pull the lining up but would hold the whole dress.
And there's the finished bodice lined and the buttons on! These are metal buttons and according to the package cannot be washed or dry cleaned, so I guess if anyone ever buys this dress from me they'll have to cut them off everytime they clean the dress, like people did in the old days.
And that's the dress! I hope you like it, love to hear what people think. I think it would look nice on like Taylor Momsen or somebody, wearing combat boots and lots of eye makeup. I wish I had taken pictures without that black tulle in the background, maybe I will retake some soon and update this post (I have to borrow my brother's camera again). I'm hoping to make a few more dresses out of spare fabric this summer, and I'll be sure to post them if I do.
Hi Craftster, long time no see. I got a few Halloween costume commissions this year, and I thought I'd share this one with you. The brief was a Witch Princess dress, for an 8-year-old girl. She wanted it to be orange and black, with a big poofy skirt and poofy sleeves. I got some fabric together and this is what I came up with:
My niece is a big fan of the Rune Factory series of games, so for Christmas I decided to make her a real-life version of the hat her character has in Rune Factory Frontier. It's a hat that looks like the cute sheep-like monster in the games called a wooly. Here's my version.
I don't really know how to embroider so I just used the zigzag on my machine to make some cheap "embroidery", but I think it looks OK. Once it was on I realized it was probably too silly for a teenager to wear, but who knows. Maybe she'll wear it to a video game competition or something someday.
The pattern was interesting and challenging to make, it came out sort of looking like a flower. I think if I did it again I would include some kind of padding to hopefully make it hold its shape a little better. Anyway, what do you think? Hope you like it!
For Christmas this year, I decided to make my niece a dress. So I asked her, what kind of dress would she like? And then, thinking it's hard to describe that kind of thing even when you're not 6 years old, I asked her to draw a picture of what she wanted. She did so, very seriously. She knew what she wanted.
After she had drawn it she decided she didn't want an orange circle on the front but rather a red star, and she wrote that big NO on the picture to remind me. She explained to me in no uncertain terms that she wanted the orange lines on the bodice to continue as purple lines on the dress, and that the green things were supposed to be feathers. She was a pretty demanding client, immediately noticing everything that was not what she wanted at each fitting. But when it was finished, she was quite happy with the result!
Once she'd worn it awhile she decided the feathers weren't really working for her and we took them off. I personally think I could have gotten that crinoline a bit more voluminous, but she didn't seem to mind. Anyway, as a collaboration, I think we did a pretty great job! I like the colors, especially. It was a good lesson in interpreting a design drawing, too.
This year I decided to make all of my Christmas presents to save money. I alllmost succeeded. My niece loves dinosaurs, so I decided to make her one. Here's the stuffed plesiosaur I made out of leftover sweatshirt fabric!
This is my first-ever attempt at making a stuffed animal. I'm afraid I didn't really figure out the stuffing technique; the head and neck, and the fins, don't really look that great to me. But it was my first try.
I pretty much freehanded it but I'm constitutionally unable to cut fabric without a pattern, so I drew out the pieces on paper first, folded them in half so they would be symmetrical, and cut them out to use as a pattern. What do you think? Any feedback would be great from you guys, I'm amazed by some of the stuff I'm seeing on this board!
This is the last of the dresses I made this summer! They were a sort of sewing-therapy for me as well as a chance to make something completely for the fun of it, not for any client or anything, just to make them. Mostly this summer I've been inspired by FSA photos of farmers and their families during the Great Depression, PJ Harvey's album White Chalk, some beautiful Fragonard drawings, Japanese arty-noisy-folky acts like Moon Mama and Nakayama Futaba, and a bunch of friends old and new. For this dress I really went for a 1930s-meets-1700s kind of thing. The bias-cut cowl neck and the dropped waist are straight out of the late 20s/30s and the sort of pannier-like 3-part skirt is 18th Century inspired. (Those are incidentally my absolute favorite eras of fashion, ever!) I actually had this all but finished weeks ago but I needed something for the belt; so I didn't post it until I found this vintage belt buckle at the county fair last weekend.
The pictures came out kind of dark this time, sorry:
As usual I made the pattern etc myself, all from scratch. Questions and feedback are always welcome! I'd love to hear what you guys think.
Hey everybody! So this summer I set out to make a bunch of clothes and dresses, not for anybody, just for the pleasure of it, while I nursed a bit of a broken heart (White Chalk by PJ Harvey was the soundtrack of my summer). Most of them have been inspired in some way by the 1930s, but this is the most straighforwardly so. I love the FSA pictures of farmers from the Great Depression, and I also love Madeleine Vionnet's incredible couture dresses, so I dreamed up the idea of a farmer woman who made her own version of Vionnet's style out of the fabric she had on hand.
I'm not a total genius like Vionnet, but I tried my best to cut as she might when I was making the pattern for this dress. She is famous for bias cutting but she actually rarely did cut on the bias as far as I can tell, she usually cut on the straight but then hung the pieces on the bias. Here's a sketch I made of the pattern:
The center back is straight but opens up to make the neckline, which creates fullness at the back, and the other side of the skirt, cut on the cross-grain, comes across the hip at a 45-degree angle and then becomes the center front. I matched the pattern pretty well on the hip-seam but if you look at the closeup of the cowl neck you can see where it is. The only problem was that the fullness of the back and the fullness at the front looked unbalanced to me, so I added the ties in the back, inspired by the dresses my 4-year-old neice wears.
Hope you like it, any comments or questions are very welcome!
So this summer, as those of you who have seen the other things I've posted lately know, I decided to make a lot of clothes, not for anyone, but just for the love of sewing and to sort of express emotions I couldn't otherwise express. This is the second dress I've made and photographed. It's inspired by FSA photographs of farmers from the Great Depression, and the extravagant dresses of the 18th Century, as well as PJ Harvey's White Chalk, Tom Waits's Real Gone, Pikachu (the drummer from Afrirampo, not the Pokemon, although I like the Pokemon too), John Fahey, my friends Silvie, Nicci, and Anna, my 4-year-old niece's wonderful sense of style, and so on and so forth.
Everything from scratch, I made the pattern myself etc. It has a sort of faux Watteau back but otherwise all shaping is done with gathers, endless gathers! I left all the ruffles raw-edged to give it that hardscrabble Great Depression look and also because I just love raw-edged ruffles. There are working buttons on the cuffs, and an invisible zipper in the back which I really should have put in upside down so the pull tab would be hidden in the folds of the skirt.
I sort of think the 18th Century-mixed-with-farmer's-wife thing is a bit too literal in this dress, but what do you think? Also it might be a little too sweet; I don't know if the raw edges really offset that enough. Anyway, all feedback and questions are very welcome. Thanks for looking!
This summer I decided to make a bunch of clothes, not for anyone, just for the love of it. Here's a blouse I made. Once again, I was inspired by PJ Harvey's White Chalk and old photos of farmers. I also thought about what my friend Anna might wear as she played an old sad folk song on the fiddle. I used gathers in the center front instead of darts, gave it a sort of faux-belt, and the poofy sleeves. I thought maybe they were too poofy but I'm not sure, what do you think?
I'm not much of a gamer, but the one series I do buy religiously is the somewhat obscure and inaccessible Shin Megami Tensei group of games, which makes me a SUPER ULTRA NERD. The first one I ever played was Persona 2 on the original Playstation. What first drew me to the games is the amazing art of Kazuma Kaneko, who did the character designs for that game. I always loved Tatsuya's hoodie: http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/megamitensei/images/6/6e/Persona_2_Tatsuya.jpg So I decided one day to make one for myself!
If you have eagle eyes you can see that in the original design, there is a seam at the top of the sleeve about where a T-shirt sleeve ends. I agonized over including this but eventually decided I wouldn't bother.
Here I demonstrate the pockets and my early-morning face. I made this a while ago so they've gotten a bit stretched out, alas.
I'd love to hear any comments, positive or negative!