Showing posts from June, 2011

Introducing Coraline

I think I mentioned a couple months ago that I picked up a second-hand dress form at an antique shop?  Well, when I bought her she looked like this:

Not so pretty, and the fabric oozed bits of filth whenever I touched it.  So I decided to recover her.  This ended up being quite a project: I tore off all the old fabric and scrubbed down the plastic pieces underneath.  Then I decided it would be easier to clean, and to recover, if I took it completely apart.  I wish I'd taken photos of this process!  Basically, I unscrewed all the dial mechanisms.  The knob at the "neck" of the form unscrews as well and that piece comes off, releasing the tops of the form sections.  The waist/hip sections are held to the stand with arch-shaped pieces of metal, which also unscrew.  So I was left with eight sections of dress form completely separate from their stand.

I used about a yard and a half of 99-cent polyester-blend fabric from Hancocks to recover.  I wasn't quite sure what to us…


I love weddings.  Drinks all around!

...wait... wrong movie...

Anyway, I do love weddings!  This weekend I had the pleasure of singing at one, for a young man who attends my parents' church, where I sing anytime I'm home on the weekend.  I know him only slightly and I didn't meet the bride until Friday, but it was such fun!  They're a lovely, welcoming family and I felt immediately accepted and involved.  Laura and Lukasz are just the cutest couple, and it was an honour to sing for them!

I guess this is kind of a sewing post as well since the dress I wore to the wedding is one I made last summer (for another wedding I sang at!) and never posted about.  I can't recall offhand which pattern I used for it, but I know it was designed for a knit fabric and I adapted it for a woven one -- a polyester knock-off of silk dupioni.  It's lined with cotton leftover from a dress I made several years ago, and it's very comfortable to wear.  It doesn't photograph terri…

Just a quick note say that I'm back from a flying trip home for the weekend to see my brother's dance recital and sing at my old church.  Now I'm trying to catch up on sleep and give poor Conrad the attention he's craving since he was left alone all weekend!  But I should have some more crafty posts (and maybe some photos from the recital) to put up soon :-)

Buttons and Lace

This dress is a delightful mixture of the old and the new!  The fabric and lace were bought new... the buttons are out of a quart-size jar of vintage ones that I bought at an antique shop.  I stitched all the seams by machine and all the buttonholes by hand.  I used a new release of a vintage pattern (Vogue 1044).

I am still charmed by the details on this dress, although I would like to adjust the fit of the bodice - I think it is slightly too long in the front (though I only added 1.5" instead of my usual 2"), and so it makes an unflattering "pooch"above the belt if I do not constantly tug it down.  I also realised that I need to put another snap on the front placket - it gaps open a little bit.  I originally planned to make a different dress with this fabric and so there was not enough to make the extremely full skirt the pattern called for.  I like what I ended up with but someday I would like to make this again with its intended skirt.

But I love the belt, with…


I suspect most of you know about this company already, but I LOVE the dresses from Shabby Apple.  Problem is the average price is about $80.00 -- far too expensive for my slim budget.  Last fall I saw their dress Bonheur and loved it, but $76 was out of my price range.  Besides, I thought it bore striking resemblance to a pattern I already had in my collection, Simplicity's "Threads" line 3877.

So, I made my own!  I used a sturdy-weight cotton and pewter buttons.  I've made this dress up a couple times, once with the mandarin collar option and once just the skirt attached to the bodice of another shirt-dress.  This time, I lengthened the sleeves slightly and turned the cuffs up only once.  I kept the bodice the same length but gave it a waistband (which I did the first time I made this pattern because I forgot to add length, and I loved the way it looked!)  I adapted the wrap bodice to mimic the cut of the Shabby Apple dress.  It's a mock wrap, attached all the wa…


My roommate and I have been reading Marissa's "New Dress a Day" blog, and were both inspired to go thrifting and make over something ugly into something cute!  Aubrey got two dresses and made several new items and accessories.  I started with just one -- this loud, huge linen dress.  Probably about a size 2X - it was swimming on me!

Mostly, I loved the border print of this dress, so I wanted to keep the rest simple.  I took off the sleeves and cut down the neckline to a V (much more flattering to my face than the high scoop neck).  I chopped off the dress right below the stitching of the pintucks, then cut off a band of that to make a waistband.  The bodice I took in at the sides to make it fit me more snugly, then I hemmed the armholes and new neckline, added the waistband, and gathered the remaining skirt to fit it.

After trying it on I realised the waistband was a little too wide and the bodice was baggy, so I added a couple darts in the back to fix that.  Then it fit…

An Audition Suit

I finally have pictures of my suit to show you!  I bought the pattern and materials for this project at least two years ago, and finished it back in February.  I forget why I wanted to make it at first (other than that it's a really cool suit!) but when I pulled it out again last fall I intended it to be worn for graduate school auditions.  And it was worn to the one audition I did!  But it took me two years to get up the nerve to start sewing, and over three months to get photos once it was finished.  Yikes. 

This is a Vogue pattern, a two-piece suit.  I made it in a heavy cotton (twill, I think), lined, with bound buttonholes and a huge stand-up collar, which can also be worn folded down.  Unfortunately the collar doesn't show terribly well in any of these photos, but I think you get an idea.  The bodice is very fitted and sculptured; it was tricky to put together but fits wonderfully!  My only really problem with the suit is that the fabric attracts *everything* -- hair, li…

A Knit Dress

Last week I finally found a use for a couple yards of jersey knit fabric that I bought several years ago and have never been able to decide what to do with.  I picked up a pattern (McCall 6070) on sale last month and decided it was perfect.

It took about two hours to make up and it is so comfortable.  The most difficult part was the elastic, and since it just goes through casings it's a piece of cake.  The back ties up - the pattern calls for large beads on the tie ends but I didn't bother on this one.  When I make the grey version I have planned, I will add the beads, but for this one I like it plain.  The only alteration I made was to add a bit of depth to the bodice front pieces -- the pattern was clearly drafted for someone with a much more insignificant bosom than I possess ;-P

My friend Shannon took the photos after church choir rehearsal tonight.  The light wasn't ideal, so I apologise for the slightly blurry focus.

I finished this dress a week ago and I think I…