Well I pinned and pinned and hand sewed away and then before I knew it all the fringe was in place and one of my best friends was willing to join me to party it up!
I finished the bottom hem of the dress with a hand rolled stitch. Overall this dress included: machine sewing french seams on the sides, machine sewing bias trim finished neckline and arm holes, hand stitched fringe, and hand rolled hem!
I think this is the first evening dress I’ve ever made and it is possibly my best work yet.
I got a bunch of compliments at the party and it was so fun! To make the night even better my plus one was my best friend from third grade!!
The party was super fun and you can really tell because almost none of these are official sewing pictures. I actually put my outfit on in the morning to try and get a few pictures that show the details better. Those are the ones where my hair is not combed lol
Here is a morning video:
Also my jewelry for the night – an old juicy couture pearl and chain necklace and an alexis bittar fox pendant!
Happy holidays! Now it’s time to start working on my chanel jacket again.
My office is having a 1920’s theme holiday party this year and at first I thought I would wear a dress that was “close enough” but I’m starting to rethink how much fun it could be to make a more traditional 1920’s outfit.
I have a few ideas… but for now, I started out by diving into my scrap pile to find a velvet from our Halloween Pirate coats.
I watched a YouTube video and then did a little bit of googling for some style ideas.
I decided to make a test pattern out of paper and then I also made a muslin since I had some leftovers from my Chanel jacket.
This was my first hat and I think I really enjoyed making it. I feel like I may be able to make one or two more that could be a little more modern and really nice for winter.
Normally, I feel like I have a pretty big head, but if I make the hat myself, then no one can tell!
I had a few extra scraps of silk charmeuse and the black art-deco square brocade which I was able to use to cover a few buttons, make a ribbon, and the little fan flourish.
Here’s the inside incase that is interesting to you too:
Stay tuned for the rest of the outfit. This will be an interesting project to balance with the Chanel jacket. So far, I think they will balance each other out quite nicely. I’m trying to take making the Chanel jacket rather seriously and it should be quite tailored, whereas the dress I have in mind will be very loose and simple.
I’ve decided to take this project seriously* so I am going to make a muslin – a test garment out of un-dyed cotton – to test out the fit of the pattern before I cut and sew it in the official fabric.
I visited my local F+S Fabrics to pick up 3 yards of the un-dyed cotton and I laid out my pieces to cut them out. I also labeled each of them because I’m going to bring them all with me to my next stint in San Francisco. I am going to hand stitch the final jacket, so this first muslin will be a great practice. Traveling with a needle and spool of thread is also way easier than traveling with an entire machine! I will be able to work on this bit by bit at night to pass the time (after eating ramen etc don’t worry).
*I am still going to only have tons of fun no matter if the final project is unwearable or whatever. This is all just fun for me pretty much no matter the sewing result.
I had a wonderful day going to Mood and picking out my fabric for my One Punch Man outfit. It was my first morning officially between jobs and it was wonderful!
I ran into my friend at Mood and he knew the show and was very excited about my costume choice! He saw me when I was getting about 5 yards of yellow cotton and we talked about the best fabric for the gloves and cape. I ended up picking out a polyester stretch fabric for the cape and a thicker jersey for the gloves so that they will hopefully stay on. I will also make some covers for my boots to make them red too.
I’ve realized my zipper should technically be silver but I’m going to have fun with this and not sweat the details that much.
I have combined three patterns to try and do this – D’s vogue pants pattern, and two butterick shirts.
I am not planning to do fancy seam finishes because I just have other stuff to do… like make cardboard robot arms for D
As the week progressed, I continued to chip away at this outfit. There are many pieces and the fit is actually a little complicated because the shirt has to attach directly to the pants!!
First, I made the jumpsuit which I think means I have officially made my first pair of pants for myself! I then attached the shirt very carefully and then cut out the proper facing for the neckline.
The polyester seemed like it could be tricky so I decided to prick stitch this whole thing. I am actually getting better at this technique and I like the way it looks.
From there it was cape, gloves, and shoe cover time!!!
The cape was pretty easy – but gloves are tricky!!!! I did it “Thanksgiving Turkey” style but at first I actually made the fingers too narrow and had to re sew them. It was an interesting learning experience.
The shoe covers were also pretty easy -my own original idea! I made a tube for my legs and then a flappy circle with another half circle sewn on the bottom. This covered the tops of my shoes but my heels and middle sole of the shoe were exposed so I would still have some traction on the ground.
From here… it was robot armour time for D! This was made the day of the party and I basically took some of the ideas of samurai armour that we saw in the Tokyo Samurai museum and some cosplay googling to make this out of old amazon boxes we stored up and some acrylic paint. Here is the mess that was left behind:
In the final minutes of getting really to leave to the party – the bald cap was NOT working. It was too hard to put on and seemed like it would get hot. D as the continuous source of supportive sanity told me to tear it off before it was too late. I took his advice and did not look back!
Here’s the final look!
One person at the party recognized us LOL but I did not do this for the fame, this costume is exclusively for myself based on the joy that show brings me. D later pointed out that that is truly the most One Punch Man style costume possible hahaha. I did receive many nice compliments about the details and sewing. It was a really fun night and great to see friends!
A friend at work is getting married and I have discovered that I really LOVE sewing accessories for weddings. It’s a neat way to contribute something and also help friends easily save a lot of money.
For my friend, in her fittings they found a cute beaded belt but it was over $100. At work we talked about it and I mentioned that we just needed to go to Mood and we could probably find and make something similar for much less.
We went on an initial exploration trip and it was so fun for her to see all the fabrics and trims! From there we went back a little while later and picked out a favorite and some ribbon to use for the ties.
With this selected, I took it home and hand stitched the mesh back behind the beads. I then attached the ribbons, used glitter nail polish to prevent the edges from fraying, and embroidered a little message about the bride and her sister that will receive this belt.
I have room to improve that last bit some but it will be hidden so who cares? 🙂
I also made this little bag out of some silk chiffon scraps so that it can be a nice gift. I put the logo on in case I’m famous one day Haha
I can’t wait to see photos of her big day! She has a very nice fiance and I’m genuinely just happy for her.
Here was the game plan! I was so excited to whip through this dress and make a really nice classic look… but… it’s only been going “sew sew” (is that a pun? It’s supposed to be)
The first challenge was that once I was home, I wasn’t 100% sure if I liked this fabric after all…
It felt very classic and sort of like a polo/golf vibe. It’s a cotton men’s shirting fabric. I thought it would be neat to have a striped shirtdress in my wardrobe, but then I started to question if I actually liked it.
At first, I gathered the skirt but it had too much volume. It was not very flattering 😦 there is no picture of this, but beleive me, it happened and wasn’t good.
I tore it off and really thought about a way to achieve a less busy look. After some time, I decided that pleats could be the answer! I hoped the pleats will be flatter yet still break up the stripes and make a nice A line silhouette. It started to get better! I used an inverted box pleat.
Last but not least! I visited F&S fabric store to pick up some unique buttons and made a sash on the bias to finish it up. I also actually hand pick stitched the collar too as inspired by my sewing friend George who showed me a jacket he was working on that used this technique!
With the pleats, it was much easier to align the stripes between the collar, bodice, and skirt! This also makes the sash pop a little bit more since those stripes go diagonally.
Overall, I feel like I achieved the look I set out to create, but I will be a little more discerning with my in-store fabric choices so that I hopefully feel more confident throughout the project.
Last but not least, I’ve learned that the two daughters of my husband’s coworker have visited the blog and are going to be taking sewing classes! Just wanted to say HI! They are about 10 and I really can’t wait to hear about if they like their class!!! They have a very cool Mom for encouraging them too!
I made this over the weekend and didn’t take any in-process pictures. Oops… this is another version of the Vancouver Dress (although I acquired the Simplicity pattern in Chicago).
This is one of the lates fabrics I got at Mood. I wanted to make a dress with a slightly more businesslike print.
It’s hard to tell but I also beaded the collar and edge of the bow with little white seed beads. (Continuing to slowly use the remainder of my wedding veil supplies)
Since I didn’t take any action pictures, let’s do another quick vocab session. At least in my understanding of sewing so far, the design on a piece of fabric is called the print. The guided paper shapes that you trace to cut the fabric is called the pattern.
Within a print, there is something called the repeat and this is how often the design on the fabric copies itself across the whole piece. These can be direct copies or they can be put on slightly staggered placements to make it harder to tell the shapes are repeating. Another neat type of fabric which I use for scarves all the time is a panel. This is a single square or rectangle in which all the elements of the print design are tucked inside and it usually has a clear border. You have to be more careful with pattern placement.
It’s all fun stuff!
I made this dress so quickly, I am thinking I want to try and add some challenging pattern modifications to my next outfit. I want to keep improving my techniques.
The Veil found a home with my cousin! I am so happy for her and her husband and it was a lovely ceremony and evening with family. They had really nice friends and it’s exciting to see them doing well 🙂
Here’s what 4 months of hand beading for a cathedral veil looks like:
The beaded edge went all the way around with ivy accents. I really enjoyed this and if a future project arises, it will be interesting to try with the tambour needle possibly instead 🙂
With the presidential debates starting and a few other shows on tv (the bachelorette) – sometimes you have to find a couch project.
I still have two panels of this Anna Sui silk and I love it so much.
As I’ve started to make scarves, my ability to make narrower and narrower seams has definitely improved. I really enjoy this stitch and I’ve gotten much faster at it.
Here is my attempt to diagram this stitch (drawn while on the train to work lol) blue and grey are thread. White is the folded fabric. Yellow is the needle.
Start by folding the edge of the fabric over towards the inside of the panel. The final hem will be half the width of this initial fold. As you get better, you can make this narrower. It may change depending on the texture of your fabric too. From here, dip the needle into the panel right at the edge of the folded fabric. Pick up 3 or so threads. This is shown in grey in the diagram. Then move to the top of the folded edge and dip into the tube created by the folded edge. Pass the needle about 4 millimeters or a 3/8 of an inch in the tube before popping out. Then try to move to the same exact length of the hem on the lower side of the fabric. Dip in for a few stitches and repeat! After doing about 7 to 10 of these slowly pull the thread while holding the edge of the fabric near the first stitch. All the stitches will start to tighten and pull the top of the fabric down to the lower edge- locking the raw edge in place!! Keep going all the way around the panel and enjoy!!