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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Gothy Strapless Rock Star Dress (pic heavy) on: April 24, 2014 07:37:50 PM
finished full by individualfrog, on Flickr

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.

bodice muslin 2 by individualfrog, on Flickr

Here you can see the interlining; I just used muslin.

bodice first step front by individualfrog, on Flickr

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.

front before lining by individualfrog, on Flickr

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.

bodice back structure by individualfrog, on Flickr

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.

lining bodice by individualfrog, on Flickr

Putting together the lining.  You can see one of the lace cutouts here, and a ribbon I was thinking of using as a belt, which I also decided against in the end.  The buttons survived, though.

lining full by individualfrog, on Flickr

I think the lining looks nice enough to be a dress itself!

lining and waist stay right by individualfrog, on Flickr

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.

finished bodice by individualfrog, on Flickr

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.
2  UNITED STATES / Indiana / Just moved to Lafayette, help me! on: January 23, 2013 12:07:40 AM
Hello guys,

I've just moved to Lafayette from Connecticut.  The only person I know here is my brother!  I would love to meet some Lafayette-area crafty people, especially people who sew.  And I would also love to hear about places to get materials!  I've found the JoAnn's on the highway, which is sort of terrifying to get to (I don't have a car, depend on the bus and my bike, though it's been mostly too cold for biking so far).  And of course JoAnn's is always kind of overpriced and full of crummy synthetics.  Is there anywhere else to go?  Is there any kind of sewing get-togethers, or (for that matter) anybody who might hire a seamster?  I'd love to hear from anyone around here--Purdue kids, locals, whatever.

Just so nobody is surprised, I am that rare creature, a Boy On Craftster.  But feel free to think of me as one of the girls.
3  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / The Witch Princess on: October 23, 2012 03:34:34 PM
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:

Witch Princess Front by individualfrog, on Flickr

The basic orange dress is overlaid with two types of lace, a normal one for the bodice, and a spidery Halloween one from JoAnn's on the skirt.

Witch Princess Back by individualfrog, on Flickr

I used some black ribbon to make the 'corset' detail on the front and some (truly crummy) scalloped lace trim for the neckline and sleeves.

Witch Princess Bodice by individualfrog, on Flickr

For the skirt I really got my Craftster mind working and bought some plastic spider rings at the dollar store, and tacked them where the lace was gathered in pretty-princess style.

Witch Princess Skirt by individualfrog, on Flickr

Hopefully, I'll have some pictures of the princess herself to edit in to this post soon.  Let me know what you think, Craftster!  I had so much fun on this one!
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Christmas present: A Rune Factory Wooly Hat on: January 09, 2012 10:06:05 PM
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.

woolyhat1 by individualfrog, on Flickr

For reference, here's what a wooly looks like:

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.

woolyhat2 by individualfrog, on Flickr

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!
5  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Christmas Present: The Dress She Designed Herself on: January 09, 2012 09:49:34 PM
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.

adress3 by individualfrog, on Flickr

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!

adress2 by individualfrog, on Flickr

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.

adress1 by individualfrog, on Flickr

Thanks for looking!  I'd love to hear what people think!
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Spanish-language knitting books? on: December 10, 2011 12:21:32 PM
Hey guys/mods, if this is the wrong question in the wrong place please feel free to mod me out of existence.  My Venezuelan sister-in-law wants to learn to knit, and I want to help her out despite not knowing anything about it myself.  For Christmas, I'm going to get her some needles and yarn, and I'd like to get her a beginner's knitting book.  But her English isn't that great, and anyway, instructions like that can be confusing even in your native language, so I'd rather get her a Spanish-language book if I can.

Unfortunately, I don't speak Spanish myself, so I don't know what to search for nor really how to evaluate any books I might find.  So Craftster, I come to you!  If anyone knows a good knitting book in Spanish, please let me know.
7  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Stuffed plesiosaur made out of leftover fabric on: January 15, 2011 02:12:44 PM
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!

my neice and her plesiosaur by individualfrog, on Flickr

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.

plesiosaur by individualfrog, on Flickr

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!
8  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / "client list available on request"--do I have to say that? on: August 07, 2010 12:17:58 AM
"Client list available on request."  That's what I put on my resume, about my dressmaking.  I put it because I feel like I need to.  But the truth is, I really don't want to provide any client list.  It would pretty much all be my friends and relations, and I don't know how it works:  do I have to give out their contact information?  I don't really want to try to remember everyone I've made something for and get their permission to give out their information.  I certainly wouldn't want some random person to have my phone number just so they could ask if I liked a pair of pants I had made.

If I have a portfolio with pictures of things I've made, maybe I don't need it?  Maybe I never needed it in the first place?  I'm an idiot about these things, help me out.
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / plaid cotton cowl-neck dropped-waist dress (pic heavy) on: October 05, 2009 02:48:07 PM
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.
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / cotton gingham cowl-neck bias dress on: September 19, 2009 08:23:52 PM
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!
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