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11  vintage simplicity 1617 evening dress [img. hvy.] in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by shesxautomatic on: June 08, 2010 09:24:52 AM
i love how this dress is labeled ~simple to make~ but i ended up making it one of the most freakin' complicated dresses i could possibly muster. ah, so it goes.

anyway, i needed to make this dress for an epicly amazing wedding that i attended over memorial day weekend. the dress code was black tie, the location was in new orleans (so, HOT!!) and i had this qt little pattern that i wanted to bust out:

i went with view 2, sleeveless with the sash.

some design changes that i made to the entire pattern:
- see that sizing number at the top? it is for a 30" bust. folks, i have a 36" bust. not to mention the waistline was a good 3" smaller than what i needed. i started out with tracing the pattern (since it is, after all, a 1956 time capsule so i didn't want to cut into it) and squeezing in a couple inches via FBA. i made a quick muslin to see how much i needed to grade the pattern and...

it fit?
WTF massive amounts of ease there!
- i opted to not use facings and dropped in a nice lining instead. because of the lining, the dress ended up having 40 darts... yes, you read that right. 8 in the front, 6 in the back, 8 in the front lining, 6 in the back lining, and 12 along the interfacing.
- i omitted the waist stay, bc, idk i forgot to put it in.
- my zipper was an invisible zip, and not a lapped zip
- i shortened it like mad... i don't look good in tea-length dresses  Cool
- oh! and i made my petticoat. i used this tutorial (http://sugardale.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-to-make-petticoat.html) if you want to make one too! super easy!!

i used black dupioni silk for the shell:

ooh la la so luxurious, amirite? i paid $87 for JUST that one piece of fabric!!!
my lining was rayon (soo much better than polyester... seriously y'all, i'm never using polyester lining again), the petticoat is horsehair crinoline, and i used the sew-in interfacing instead of fusible.
the interfacing was pretty interesting, actually - it attached right at the waistline:

i guess to give the hips a little more "oomph" if you opted to wear it without a petticoat.
the sash was made with some cheapass (from joann's Sad) dupioni silk... there are two small pieces of boning vertically in the front to give it some structure (so it doesn't scrunch up when i bend over).

progress shot.

and here it is on me!

LOLZ sorry for the modesty box... i had to cover my undies! Wink

without the sash

without the petticoat

petticoat by it's lonesome

and finally...

the blue shoes i wore with it Wink

whew!! that's all i got for now... thanks for looking!!
please let me know what you think!!  Grin Grin Grin
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12  vogue 1117 - michael kors starlet dress [img. & babble hvy.] in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by shesxautomatic on: May 05, 2010 11:16:47 AM
haven't been 'round these parts in a long time!!  Kiss i've been busy moving and NOT sewing (bc everything has been packed up!), but i have recently been able to settle down and get working on this dress. i plan to wear it to my little brother's wedding in a couple weeks Smiley

here is my ~inspiration~ - it is called the 'starlet dress,' by michael kors. isn't it gorg?! i wanted one, but with a $2500 price tag not so much  Tongue

forunately, ol' kors released the design to vogue! YIPPIE!!
this is vogue 1117, for those sadistic enough to actually try it.

some notes on my construction:
- i used a cotton twill for the shell of my dress (and i got a hell of a deal on it - $6 a yard!!!!) and black polyester slinky lining for the lining fabric.
- i cut the bodice to a size 6 (to correspond with my upper bust measurement) and the rest to a size 8. there was something funky with the lining that made it quite a bit small on my butt - the outside fit fine before i put in the lining, and then it was OMG TIGHT! wth, i have no idea. now i have some scant 1/4" seam allowances down there to make it fit. whatever.
- i altered a full bust adjustment to the top to allow for mah bewbz. it was my first FBA ever and i think it turned out pretty good!
- i also had to throw some darts in the back bc it gaped for some reason.

wanna see my muslin? of course ya do!

this actually helped a LOT with not only the fit, but also the construction... it was a difficult pattern (it is labeled "intermediate" but i would classify it more along the lines of "advanced") and it was nice to be able to slog through it the first time and get a "feel" for the steps before cutting into my pretty fabric.

here are some links that helped a LOT when i got stuck on some of the more 'hurr durr' parts of the instructions. if you plan on making this dress, def check these out:

anyway, enough blather. on to the pictures!!

lolz this dress gives me GREAT cleavage  Cool

some construction close-ups:

bodice (love the facing!)



in-progress shot, just to show how weird the construction was. i had to make the bodice shell, put in the zipper, attach the back to the front, then throw in the lining, THEN add the skirt front.
but yes, that is a boobie holder with a cape attached, thanks for noticing.

and just for giggles - shame on you, vogue, for not proofreading!!!

whew! that was a picture and speech overload!! if you made it through all that, thanks for sticking with it  Wink
i'm very pleased with how it turned out and i can't wait to wear it and show it off to my family Smiley Smiley Smiley
oh, and my total price for the dress? $40~

thanks for looking!! Kiss Kiss Kiss
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13  matilda dress @ modcloth - pattern needed in Designer Clothing Homage by shesxautomatic on: December 11, 2009 12:11:25 PM
i've been eyeballing this dress, and unfortunately it's out of stock, so i can't buy it  Cry it appears to be made out of cotton anyway, and i think i'd rather have wool.

any ideas on what pattern to use for that bodice and neckline? i think i could figure out the skirt on my own, and i am not opposed to frankenstein-ing some patterns together to get this result... i just can't really draft from scratch, you know?

more views of the dress can be seen here:

thank you for any suggestions you may have!!! Kiss Kiss
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14  navy wool crepe dress - mccall's 5971 in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by shesxautomatic on: December 10, 2009 02:16:25 PM
i started this dress before i got my gimp arm... had to set it aside for the first few days when i was the One-Armed Wonder, but i was able to finish it last night! and how - i'm REALLY pleased with how this turned out  Grin

the pattern i used was mccall's 5971, view A. the only alterations i made to the pattern were shortening the shoulders and i kind of had to mess with the zipper installation bc the top was too big otherwise for some reason. i used an invisible zipper instead of a regular zipper, and i lined the entire thing (pattern only calls for bodice lining). i used navy wool crepe for the dress (and uhhh i LOVE wool crepe now, too bad it's so expensive :\) and bright blue polyester for the lining.

here is the front of the dress. sorry it is hard to see details - navy is not easy to photograph  Embarrassed

there are two hooks and eyes at the top bc i am awesome and put in the zipper too low. also there is a slit at the bottom.

this is the best i could get at a bodice close-up before my camera batteries died. i LOVE how the sleeves turned out!

a picture of the lining, just bc it is so nice and neat! i even figured out how to install the invisible zipper in with the lining  Grin

overall: really easy pattern with a pretty accurate fit (the A B C D cup sizes was nice, too). i will definitely be making this again, hopefully in a nice red Wink

oh, and the whole reason why i did this in navy? so i could wear it with these shoes:


thanks for looking! please let me know what you think  Grin Grin Grin
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15  reconstructed vintage dress - turquoise & tan [img. hvy.] + some other recons in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by shesxautomatic on: December 08, 2009 11:26:35 AM
i made this last week. i would have posted it sooner, but i slipped on a puddle of water at the bar (i was sober!) and jacked up my elbow pretty bad. it's not broken, it's not even sprained, but i've got a sling and i can't use it very much... which means no sewing Cry since i use two hands to sew Cry Cry (i can't even drive either lulz bc my truck is a stick FML)

anyway! this is a reconstruction of a vintage dress that i did for an online friend - she supplied the dress (which was too long, too big, and she was a hater of the neckties Wink) and i did some cutting and pasting and we're both pretty excited about the result. she's already received it and loves it, so i thought i would post and share!

i shortened the hem and tightened the whole thing, added a waistband and cuffs and a bottom band, and took off the neckties and replaced them with a scoop neck. there was also a zipper, i got rid of that too since it's not really necessary on such a stretchy dress.

i took this side pic by accident, but it actually turned out to be something i could use hahaha

the back. you can see the seam where the zipper used to be.

here's another front view just bc, idk.

oh, and here is the before. it is polyester. i'm not exactly sure what the design is supposed to be, but it's colorful and i love it. i even found turquoise fabric in my stash that perfectly matched the turquoise accents!

and while i'm here, here are a couple other recons i did a few weeks ago:

sparkly side panels taken from a super glittery turtleneck.

~mind the gap~ tshirt turned into a raglan sleeve top

big 80s sweater into a cute lil mini dress.

some of this purple fabric was removed from a purple tshirt.

that's all i got. plz let me know what you think Grin Grin Grin
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16  Re: some slightly over-the-top recons (img. hvy.) in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by shesxautomatic on: November 04, 2009 10:45:57 AM
I have a question, and hope it doesn't make me look like an idiot, but what exactly is a peplum? Smiley

nope, you don't sound like an idiot at all! i didn't figure out what they were until i bought a pattern that included a peplum, and even then i had to have someone tell me how to pronounce it Tongue

a peplum is a little flared ruffle, usually cut in a circle (instead of gathered), that has been attached to the waistline of a skirt/shirt/dress/jacket/etc. visual example:

(dang that dress is awesome)

hope that helps!!

and thank you for the nice feedback Kiss Kiss
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17  some slightly over-the-top recons (img. hvy.) in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by shesxautomatic on: November 04, 2009 08:59:59 AM
i've been listening to a lot of 80s pop and lady gaga (never thought i'd say that, but i loove her now! eeee!!) lately and it seems to have really been influencing the stuff i'm making. not to mention i found a huge stack of some of the craziest looking dresses/shirts at one of those janky off-the-beaten-path thrift stores in the bad part of town. check it:

i've made this before a few times (always in different colors) and everyone seems to love them, so i keep making them Wink the brown lace is salvaged from an old dress (and i still have a toooon of it left - any suggestions what to pair it with in the future? h8 matching brown to stuff. i have jersey in pretty much every color you can imagine).

this is probably the ugliest dress i have ever purchased. the material is slinky/silky - like a swimsuit. there is a peplum around the (elastic!)dropped waist, although you cannot see it in this picture. my friend allie found the dress. told me i needed to keep the peplum. so i did.

you can't really see the peplum, but i promise it is there! the pink trim is salvaged from that terrible pink mistake i made a few years ago. it is silky just like the main material of the dress.

just like the original dress, the peplum does not reach all the way around. there is a scoop back, though  Wink

my friend kristina found this one. she wanted me to leave it as-is, but i was hatin' on the elastic waist (SRSLY what is up with all these elastic waistbands! oh well, i now have an enorm supply of salvaged elastic hahaha Grin).

... it ended up being one of the more labor-intensive recons i've done. i was originally going to give the bottom a circle skirt. but i kind of effed that up SOOOO bubble skirt it is Grin Grin

that neck tie? it came with the dress. i think it is a neck tie, anyway. i would have guessed belt but there was also a belt included so idk.


last one - sorry this pic is so awful, this shirt did NOT want to photograph.

i thought the blue looked a little dark, so i paired it with the same yellow as in the polka dots Smiley the bottom is trimmed in what was left of the shirt.

crummy close-up, but you can see the ruffly detailing, and also the line of black piping that separates the shirt from the skirt.

that's all! i still have a few more fug shirts/dresses, so expect more where that came from Cool
please let me know what you think Grin Grin Grin
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18  wooooo fun/bright/happy recons (img. HEEEEEAVY) in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by shesxautomatic on: October 23, 2009 08:32:03 PM
some more recons for ya! Wink

well, ok, this first one isn't *totally* a recon, but imma throw it in here bc i don't feel like making a separate post for one dress Cheesy
the pinkish/red stripe is taken from a dress that i made yeeears ago. i do not have a before picture; i ripped the dress up ages ago and have been repurposing the fabric in various things.

now for some before and after!!!

vintage dress, handmade. kind of falling apart.

(sry, it's actually a little small on me Undecided)
saved the top, shortened the sleeves to lil' cap sleeves, and added the turquoise band and heavy rib knit gray bottom.

i liked this one before quite a bit, except the arm holes were huuuge and it was pretty shapeless. also, there is an elastic drop waist Huh

kept the original neckline, almost everything else was changed. cut out the elastic waist and put a black band in it's place... reattached the bottom without the gathering and kept the button panel (it does unbutton, hahaha!). added new puff sleeves trimmed with black rib knit. the whole thing is pretty silky and sleek. i think this one is my favorite Grin

fun backstory about this dress: while i was lurking in the thrift store holding it, a guy complimented me on my "awesome halloween costume." i said, "hahahaa... thanks... but it's not a costume. i'm gonna actually wear it in real life Tongue." i think i may have embarrassed him Huh he ran off pretty fast.

post-recon - i love how bright and obnoxious this turned out! and yes, the fabrics EXACTLY match the colors on the original garment Grin there is a short zipper that stops at the jersey (part of the original garment; i cut it shorter but it is necessary to get it on/off since the fabric is non-stretch). i kept the original sleeves because they made me happy Cheesy they close with a simple black button closure.

another before. sorry the quality is so awful. whoops.

and after! this one was a huge pain in the bootay. i decided to make the sleeves into 3/4 sleeves that cuff/button at the bottom... except i had to make the cuff (since none was part of the original dress). and the buttonhole. i used to hate doing buttonholes, but my machine makes them SUPER easy and omg they are so beautiful. the buttons on the cuffs are the same white buttons used on the dress - i didn't replace them, although i may later. added some colored jersey to the bottom to give it color Smiley

last one! this is my ~artsy~ before picture

easiest recon evar. reshaped to make it fitted, fixed the sleeve armpits so they weren't batwing sleeves (ew) and cut out the middle and added some colored jersey  Cool super quick yay!

that's all i've got!! sorry for the picspam overload... thnx for looking. please let me know what you think Grin Grin Grin
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19  it's been awhile - shirt to dress recon x 2 (img. hvy.) in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by shesxautomatic on: October 14, 2009 12:13:38 PM
i've taken a bit of a hiatus from my jersey dresses sewing - since may, to be exact  Undecided i was teaching myself how to read patterns and do tailoring and add lining and all kinds of big-girl sewing jobs. not to mention i am redoing my sewing room (but i'm not finished with that yet, sry2say)! i decided to get back into the swing of things and crack out with some new jersey dresses... bc i missed my serger, and bc this weather is the best for knit dresses (YAY SWEATERS AND COLORED TIGHTS  Grin). soooo without further ado:

the first dress i made.
for this one, i cut a sweetheart-ish neckline out of the original shirt, and added the black band (it is a thick sweater knit) and the blue fabric (which is a rib knit). the sleeves were obvs shortened, reattached, and finished off with black knit. it's a little long on me, but ehh i'm 5'2" and everything is long on me Roll Eyes

the back - hard to see, but the shirt is ruffled/pleated where it attaches to the knit.

close-up of the front.

oh, and here is the before Cheesy hahahah
(yes i know there is green paint all over my trim and no i do not plan on touching it up anytime soon)

second dress:

well, this is the before Tongue it's vintage, and handmade. also falling apart. i repaired it as best i could.

the after! i cut the skirt out and put a black panel (silky jersey) on the midsection, shortened the sleeves and added black trim, and put black trim at the bottom. i also replaced the buttons with solid black shank buttons from my stash.
i made this one a little long so it could be worn a few different ways! Wink

can be scrunched or folded up...

or folded under for a "bubble hem" effect Smiley

the black band goes all the way around the back

close-up of the front. i may put a snap and a small button at the top... i feel like it needs to close, but there are no buttonholes up there (and i don't want to try putting in a buttonhole... that silky stuff is kind of stretchy and the buttonholes already sewn in srsly look like crap)

that's all i have for now!
thanks for looking, please let me know what you think  Grin Grin Grin
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20  pj pants into miniskirt (+1) - img. hvy. in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by shesxautomatic on: September 28, 2009 12:02:12 PM
someone gave me these pajama pants about a year ago, with the intention of me wearing them as... pajama pants. well, i have too many pairs of pajama pants, and not enough miniskirts... so, well, results are as follows  Grin

i used one of my favorite skirts as inspiration... a mini from american eagle outfitters that is, ahem, a bit too small (but you better believe i still wear it as a high-waisted skirt! i just have to wear opaque tights with it haha Roll Eyes). the whole thing took maybe 2 hours start to finish - it was a pretty easy recon. the lining i used was leftover from my birthday dress, and the zipper was ganked out of another too-small skirt. total cost: free. yeah! my favorite kind of recon! Wink


yes, i know it is short, and no, i do not care Tongue

side view, there is an invisible zipper on the other side

you can see the pleats better in this one... and the fabric design. it's flannel!
i did not hem the skirt because 1. i'm lazy; 2. it's short enough as it is; and 3. ah, well, i think the serged bottom kind of looks nice, yes?

my favorite part: PINK LINING Grin

after experiencing success and feeling good about myself (and also feeling a little bummed because i just looked at AE's website and i'm not too thrilled with their skirt selection this year Cry buying skirts is my favorite part of autumn BOO), i made another out of some green plaid i bought. ok, so it's not a recon, buuut i'm gonna stick it in this post anyway because i don't like making a bunch of separate posts.

same concept, except the zipper is on the opposite side because i'm really bad at figuring left/right when it comes to patterns. i always mix them up! oh, and this only required 1/2 yard of fabric (although in the future, i may go with 5/8 or even 2/3 yard, since WHOA SHORT) and 1/4 yard of lining and a 9" zipper. once again, my favorite kind of project Cheesy


green plaid front. i didn't think to match up the plaid on the waistband, and it kind of bothers me, but whatev, lesson learned, and i'll wear a long shirt in the future Wink

side - you can see the top of the yellow zip in this one

the pleats are hard to see, but it's a good view on the fabric/colors. once again, didn't bother hemming. it's not as noticeable on this one because the colors are so dark.

and... yellow lining!! Grin

i think for my next try, i'm going to stick some pockets on 'em. i love skirts with pockets. Kiss

thanks for looking! please let me know what you think  Grin Grin Grin
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