Tag Archives: Bombshell dress

Me Made May – Week 2 Roundup

11 May

I know what you’re thinking – two posts in one day? Is the world really in the process of ending? Is Jesus coming back (no, actually, that was supposed to happen last May, except we all know SOMEONE didn’t bother to show up to his own damn party)? At any rate, I hope y’all love meee because you’re going to have to look at my mug twice today, teehee.

I left off last Friday, so we’ll pick this up starting Saturday!

5-5
5/5
Dress: BOMBSHELL
Shoes: Steve Madden
Excuse my disgusting sewing room floor, I hate vacuuming!
Ooh, but see my iPhone!? Landon bought me an early birthday present! He is the best :) I’m on Instagram now if you want to follow me :)

5-6
5/6
Dress: Simplicity 4170
Cowboy Boots: courtesy of my mom’s closet :)
Necklace: Fire Finch, here in Nashville
This is actually the very first dress I made with a pattern – so it’s super pre-blog (I think I made this in 2006). Don’t get too terribly excited about how good it looks, though – the original bodice was total shit – I didn’t line it, didn’t gather under the bust (lolwut), inserted the zipper rather terribly by hand, etc. The bodice you see now is what happened after I learned some skills 6 months later, ripped it off, and re-made. It’s still kind of amateur looking, but that’s ok!

5-7
5/7
Dress: Vogue 1086
Cardigan: Thrifted, reconstructed by me
Belt: Handmade
Necklace: Thrifted bracelet, reconstructed into a necklace by me
Shoes: Target

5-8
5/8
Top: Jalie 2921
Skirt: Express
Sweater: Free People, sized down quite a bit by me (it’s supposed to be loose-fitting)
Shoes: Steve Madden

5-9
5/9
Top: Simplicity 4400
Skirt: Thrifted, sized down & repaired (the shirring at the waistband was completely busted so I sewed in new elastic… does this count as Me-Made?)
Belt: Thrifted
Shoes: Jessica Simpson
Earrings: Thrifted
The light was really bad that morning, so here you get to see the side & crawl space of my ugly house!

5-10
5/10
Top: Sewaholic Renfrew
Skirt: Colette Ginger
Cardigan: Thrifted
Belt: Thrifted
Feather Earrings: Tennessee Renaissance Festival
Shoes: Giani Bernini

5-11
5/11 (today!)
Top: Jalie 2921
Trousers: Vogue 2925
Shoes: Walmart (lol yep)
Scarf: Flea market

If you don’t recognize my top, that’s because it’s very new & very un-blogged! This top was actually the whole reason why I bought the Jalie pattern – I thought it looked quite similar to Colette’s Jasmine pattern, except in a nice knit instead of bias-cut woven. I’m not going to make a separate post for this top, just because I would basically be repeating my last one, but I will go over the minor pattern changes I made:
– I shortened the neck ties quite drastically. I can’t give you a real measurement – I just put on the pink top, pinned the ties until I liked the length, and copied that to my pattern piece.
– Instead of arranging the ties as suggested by the pattern (through a hole in the front seam, tied, or fastened with a buckle), I wrapped a small piece of matching bias tape around them & sewed it into place by hand.
– Took in a little bit at the side seams to make it more fitted.
– Shortened the sleeves to cap sleeves.
– Top-stitched the hem & sleeve hems with a double needle in matching blue thread.

I am rather pleased with the result! Although, it is quite sailor-y so I definitely run the risk of looking really costume-y… I think I kind of look costume-y in this outfit, actually, but IDGAF.

Oh, I should probably talk about that ADORABLE dog standing behind me… that’s Turtle :) She is the dog of my bestie/life partner, Morgan (the one who moved to Macedonia!). Her mother is keeping Turtle while Morgan is fulfilling her time at the Peace Corps. Anyway, she’s actually out of town visiting Morgan, & the originaly dogsitter had some medical problems so I’m taking care of the dogs for her until then! I just love Turtle, she’s such a little sweetie (and Percy, the other dog, was lounging on the steps directly behind my camera FYI :) I’ll try to get a picture of her at some point). This also explains why I’m suddenly standing in an area with an amazing garden backdrop – it’s her house! And look – you can see my little truck in the background :)

Me & Turtle :)
Man, I love this dog. She’s such a ham.

About these ads

FINALLY COMPLETE: The Bombshell Dress

7 May

Yay! It’s done, it’s done, it’s done!

5-5
Those of you who follow me on Twitter or lurk the MMM Flickr Pool have already seen this picture… I snapped it right before I left for a lovely Saturday afternoon wedding (spoiler: it was a beautiful wedding and I overindulged and DEFINITELY paid for it the next day, ugh haha).

I did take better pictures, though! And now I will share then with the group :)

Fair warning – there’s a lot here, and you can see that I moved locations a couple of times while shooting. I actually took over a hundred pictures – I know that sounds kind of, uh, self-obsessed, but the light was extremely bright and it’s pretty difficult to get a good shot when you have to keep running back and forth to the tripod! I was able to narrow the selection down to WAY below 100, but there are still quite a few. I normally feel a little narcissistic posting a bunch of pictures of myself in the same freakin’ pose, but I’m really proud of my dress so just indulge me this one time. Ok? Ok!

Bombshell Dress
Here is where I started – in my backyard. Isn’t it so lush & green? Lovely backdrop for this dress :) Unfortunately, the light was too harsh here, so only a couple of pictures survived the cut.

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress
On the porch (which appears to be the best light ever; this is why you always see outfit pictures on this porch haha). Not a terribly awesome picture of me, but – my hair! My hair looked so good! Alas, it was almost 90 degrees on Saturday and extremely humid so the curls ended up drooping about 5 minutes later. Ah well.

It got too hot, so I gave up and went inside to the air conditioning.

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress
The strap! I made mine fairly wide, with small gathers where it joins the bodice. There are button holes & buttons, but the strap didn’t sit right buttoned in, so I used tiny fell stitches to anchor it to the top of the bodice as well.

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

Bombshell Dress

I’m not going to share any more pictures or details of the insides, I think there are plenty enough as it is on this blog!

A few thoughts on the Bombshell:
– It is quite comfortable! Of course, I tend to wear my clothing with little to no ease regardless, but boning is something that I’ve always associated with discomfort. The boning in this dress is great: it kept everything into place but didn’t hinder any movement whatsoever.
– When I first finished the dress, I was worried that the bodice was too long for my torso. Maybe I’m just used to a shorter bodice, because this one absolutely ends right at my waist, so it’s the correct length. Anyway, now that I’m looking at the pictures, I think it looks fine.
– Despite multiple muslins, the middle of the bodice does not actually sit flush against my chest. I guess my cups are a smidge too small as it should fit just like a bra does (and my bras do fit with the middle flush against me. Is that tmi?). Then again, I think any gal who is increasing the cups to fit a chest that is too big for the original pattern size is probably going to struggle with getting that piece to lie flat. The lesson here: no one else noticed, and I only noticed because I have this wonderful angle of looking straight down. I still think the fit looks great. Don’t sweat it if yours doesn’t lie flat either!
– As I mentioned, it was 90* outside and the wedding ceremony was in the middle of a flower garden covered with direct sunlight. It was hot outside! And even though my dress has many layers and is extremely fitted, I didn’t feel any more warm that I would in shorts & a tshirt. Make sure your fabric (and lining) is very breathable if you are planning on wearing this in super hot weather!
– I enjoyed working on this dress, and I loved the process of all the fiddly detail work, but I will confess that toward the end I was just ready to be DONE! I think this is a great dress for a special occasion, but make sure you give yourself a nice long deadline in the distant future so you don’t feel terribly rushed – a dress like this, with all the fitting, and handwork, and special techniques… doesn’t need to be rushed.

I guess that’s it? I am very pleased with my finished dress, and I definitely think the course was worth the $$ – I learned so much, including new favorite hand-stitches and little tips/tricks that never occurred to me otherwise. If you are still on the fence for a class like this, I hope this post & these pictures nudged a little closer to my side :)

Bombshell Dress
And I’m still rolling along Me-Made-May! :)

The Makings of a Bombshell

2 May

Hey-o! I’m not quite finished with my Bombshell yet (only one video left! ::sob::), but I thought we could discuss some of the inner workings that are going on inside this monster of a dress.

Bombshell
I have the zipper & lining inserted & I’m pleased to report that everything still fits exactly as it should! Yay! I don’t know about y’all, but when I’m fiddling with a dress this snug, I end up trying it on a LOT. Lots of pinning & basting & walking around my sewing room in my underwear. I’m sure my neighbors just love me, ha.

Here is my lining – completely boned (lol)
Boning the lining
The lining is 100% cotton batiste (and it is quite sheer, as you can see all my little red markings, oh well) and the boning casing is double-sided satin ribbon that I sewed into little tubes.

Putting the boning (lol) in was a BITCH. OH MY GOD I HATE CUTTING SPIRAL STEEL BONING. There are 11 pieces inserted here, all different lengths, all tipped with their little metal tips… it took me an entire episode of LOST to cut & tip those little suckers. Putting on the tip was easy – Karen has a good picture showing exactly what this entails – but the cutting was so so awful. I was using Landon’s wire cutters, and when I complained that they weren’t cutting the boning (lol), he gave me the side-eye until I made him try it himself:
Spiral Steel Boning
This is how far he got.

Anyway, I got them all cut (obviously). And I’ve heard lots of people say to cut the side spirals & it will just pop apart – well, good luck with that, I basically just manhandled mine until they gave up & fell apart in sheer agony lol.

Everything else has been smooth sailing, though!

Bombshell
The lapped zipper turned out gorgeous.

Bombshell
There is a black petersham zipper guard (1.5″ wide, if yr curious!)

Bombshell
Oh, right, the zipper is hot pink!

Bombshell
As is the petersham waist stay :)
I just love fun/colorful surprises in my clothing :)

I still need to have this dress finished by Saturday afternoon… all that’s left is the vent, hem, and halter strap. The dress fits fine without the strap, but I really don’t like how I look in strapless stuff. Right now I’m debating how wide to make the strap – WWYD?

As a side note, Me-Made-May is going splendidly (you know, the whole 2 days it’s been May), and I have made an executive decision to not post daily outfit photos on this blog. Instead, I’m going to compile them weekly & dump them all that way. I am posting daily in the Flickr Pool if you feel like lurking everyone’s progress, though!

Also, this has nothing to do with the Bombshell dress, but look at the chicken I painted last night!
LOOK AT THE CHICKEN I PAINTED
I went to a painting class with my friend Carla. So much fun! The chicken’s name is Bud, by the way :D This will go nicely with the poppies I painted with my mom. Yessss.

Recon: The Hawaiian Sundress

30 Apr

I’m still slogging away on my Bombshell dress – although right now it appears to be more of a bed than anything:
Current Bombshell state

More on that later! Today, we will talk about my newest recon.

I actually started plotting the making of this dress on Friday afternoon – I found this sweet Hawaiian maxi dress and I spent the rest of the afternoon obsessing over how to make my own. My drive home from work ended taking A FUCKING HOUR AND A HALF (I drive about 5 miles & it usually takes 15-20 minutes – tops! 25 minutes is long enough to make me feel desperate, no lie) – thanks, Country Music Marathon! – so I had plenty of time to plan the making of my new dress. I realized the head start was actually hanging in my closet.

Hawaiian Dress Recon - before
If you’re feeling underwhelmed, well, so was I. I picked this dress up at the thrift store last summer – I loved the print, and it’s rayon which is my faaaavorite fiber to wear in the summer. Also, it was $2. Unfortunately, it’s a big shapeless muumuu. I thought I could cinch it with a belt and be done with it, but belting that much fabric leaves some weird gathers & poof, so this was a dress reserved for hanging around the house.

This was a REALLY easy (and fast!) recon – I sewed a strip of wide elastic at the waistline, cut 6″ off the hem & sewed that to the elastic neckline. Done and done!

Hawaiian Dress Recon
The original inspiration is sleeveless, but I actually like the extra ruffle the sleeves give, so they stay… for now.

Hawaiian Dress Recon

Hawaiian Dress Recon
It is hemmed a little short – you can’t tell from these pictures, since I have the tripod angled, but I could definitely use an extra inch. Although I did wear this to shop the flea market with my mom on Saturday & she never mentioned the length (or lack thereof), so maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is.

Hawaiian Dress Recon

Hawaiian Dress Recon
I got a LOT of compliments on this dress! Probably more than I’ve ever received for any of my clothing – funny! It seemed like every other person I ran into had something nice to say about it :)

Hawaiian Dress Recon - no belt
Oh, and thanks to the elastic waistband – it looks great without a belt! This will be extremely important once the rest summer heat+humidity hits :)

Some construction notes…
Hawaiian Dress Recon - elastic waistband, inside
The elastic waistband was really easy to insert – I measured the elastic around my waist, and then sewed it to the middle of the dress (try it on first to check the placement), giving the elastic a good stretch while I sewed it on. I just used a straight stitch, since it’s not a really high-stress area.

Hawaiian Dress Recon - elastic waistband, outside
From the front – it gathered up nicely, I think!

Hawaiian Dress Recon - collar ruffle, inside
To make the ruffled collar, I sewed cut-off dress bottom (hem intact!) to the inside of the dress, wrong side up. Again, I stretched it as I sewed so it would gather up.

Hawaiian Dress Recon - collar ruffle, outside
Then just flip the ruffle of the outside, hiding the seams.

The hem is finished with a small rolled hem. No, I didn’t take a picture. I’m sure you can use your imagination ;)

Hawaiian Dress Recon
And that’s it! Easy, breezy, beautiful… err, this’ll be great for Me-Made-May :)

As for the flea market… well, the pickings were pretty slim this go-round :( I did meet two vendors who said they have loads of fabric they need to sell off, so I gave them my contact information and hopefully I can spend the money I didn’t spend at the flea market on their fabric :) Haha!

I did pick up this pattern… there’s not a listed manufacturer anywhere, just the pattern number.
Pattern 8452
I love the button placket.

Pattern 8452
It’s undated, but based on the fact that it’s unprinted & it has THIS across the top of the (sparse)instructions, I reckon it’s from the war era :)

I also bought two pieces of stretchy fabric, although they were from the thrift store, not the flea.
Floral stretch fabric
Probably going to save this one for winter, it’s kind of… velvety? I like how loud it is, though. And yes, my cat is modeling because she refused to get off the table.

Stripey poly stretch fabric
This is polyester, but I just love those 70s stripes!

Bombshell list
The Bombshell is making excellent progress – and it still fits! YAY!

Me Made May – Count Me In!

23 Apr

So… Me Made May.

I didn’t originally intend on signing up for this endeavor, mostly because it’s not really a huge challenge for me – I wear everything I make, very regularly. I’m not saying this to make anyone feel bad who does find this sort of thing a challenge, but rather to point out that it seemed kind of sneaky to sign up for something that I can coast along on and call it a “challenge,” you know?

At any rate, regardless of how much I do wear my handmade clothing – I wear them the same way, every time. No mixing up! How boring is that? Plus, I love lurking everyone’s handmade creations long after the “big reveal” – seeing how they are worn on a day-to-day basis. So, with that in mind…

‘I, Lauren of LLADYBIRD, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’12. I endeavour to wear at least one (preferably two!) handmade item each day for the duration of May 2012.’

I would love to force myself to wear 2 handmade items every day, but most of my summer (that would be May) clothes are dresses… so the majority of my outfits will consist of one item anyway (other than shoes, but I’m not awesome enough to make my own shoes… yet.). So let’s just put that little “preferably” in there and call it a day, ok?

Yay! I’m so excited! Also, it’s not too late to join in, if you haven’t done so already :)

Now let’s talk about the Bombshell.

I have done a LOT of work on this dress over the past week, and I’m feeling pretty good about it! Here are some photogs of my current progress:

Bombshell dress progress
I cut out my pattern pieces, and underlined the bodice with muslin. That took FOREVER! I actually watched an entire episode of LOST during this part, heehee

Bombshell dress progress
Pieced the entire bodice together – complete with stay stitching, clipping, notching, and lots and lots of pressing. Oh, and twill tape at the top of the cups, for a nice body-hugging curve.

Bombshell dress progress
I made molded cups to give the bust some shape – mine are made with cotton batting, but man I wish I had needlepunch, because it just looks so nice & shapely. Anyway, I know this picture doesn’t look too different from the one above, but there is actually a lot of hand stitching here.

Bombshell dress progress
So then we have a bodice!

Bombshell dress progress
And then I got all excited & started putting the skirt together. I haven’t attached the bodice yet – I have a few more seam finishes I need to complete – so this is just pinned, but doesn’t it look nice?

I just found out that I have a wedding to attend in a little less than 2 weeks, so I’m going to try to bust ass & get this dress done so I can wear it! New deadline, yeah!

In other news, I got my hair did last Thursday!
new hair! :D
They re-dyed my hair a lighter brown (which, fuck yeah, now I don’t have to Photoshop my roots anymore) and gave me these sweet highlights around my face. I love it and I feel like a total babe with babe hair.

next knitting project - u-lock cozy
And here’s my next knitting project – a U-lock Cozy (told you, I can never have enough cozies!). Totally easy & mindless, which is just what I need after frying my brain on that sweater.

Speaking of my sweater, I have worn it every day since finishing last Tuesday – we are going through a bit of a cold snap, which is great for me! :) But now I’m all worried about it getting stinky- so knitters, how frequently do you wash your hand knit wool garments? And do you wash in cold or lukewarm water? Also, do I need to reblock every time I wash? (please say no, I hate blocking haha) Inquiring minds need to know!

The Bombshell Dress – At Last, a Muslin that Fits!

16 Apr

I’m putting a temporary hold on the majority of my projects so I can concentrate on sewing up my birthday dress – I have a little over a month, so time should not be an issue here. I don’t even have plans for my birthday yet (it’s on a Monday lol) but I like to have a dress anyway!

I’m sewing up the Bombshell Dress, following the Craftsy course. I have this lovely floral cotton that I plan to make it up in… well, assuming I have enough fabric (don’t worry, I have a back-up plan!) :) I have stressed WAY too much about the fit of this pattern, but after countless muslins, I have the fit down & I’m ready to start constructing the actual dress. Yay!

A little word about working with this pattern – the cups of this bustier top are drafted for a B cup. Not only that, they are made to be a little on the revealing side. They are small. If you are anything larger than a B, you are going to want to redraft the cups – and it is going to be a giant pain in the ass, sry2say. But it’s totally doable and it’s totally worth it, promise.

For my pattern, I initially cut out the second smallest size (I think it’s a 6?), based on the waist measurement. For the record, I wear a 32DD so I have a fairly small ribcage in comparison to a rather prominent bust. I knew I was going to have to make some adjustments but I had no idea there were going to be so many!

Here are the size 6 pattern pieces, thread-traced all lovely:
Bombshell Muslin

And here are my pieces after I made a million adjustments:
Bombshell Muslin

I also had to adjust the rest of the bodice pieces:
Bombshell Muslin
My adjustments are the black marker lines – basically, completely different pattern pieces! ARGH.

I do have some fit tips for those large-bust-with-small-ribcage ladies, however!
First of all… if you have access to a dressform, make use of it! To get those proportions, you need to put on a well-fitting bra & pad it out. Use your favorite bra – you can always take it back when you’re finished fitting.

Style lines

Style lines are EXTREMELY helpful with fitting – they give you a nice roadmap for where your pieces need to hit & where your seamlines should be. I know they make tape for this purpose, but I didn’t have any on hand… I used some (neon yellow)twill tape I had in my stash, and just pinned it into place. I can’t even tell you how much easier it made fitting that muslin (this was muslin #3 at this point – first one was pinned to my body – a disaster -, second was pinned on the form without the style lines – also a disaster).

Bombshell Muslin
The twill tape pulled down a little on the left cup, but you get the idea.

My other major tip for fitting this muslin is to cut GIANT seam allowances. Depending on how much room you need to add to those lil cups, you are going to want a minimum of 2″ SA to play with (preferably closer to 3″ or even 4″ though). This will save you the effort of cutting out a zillion little bodice pieces (and thread tracing all of them, argh) when you realize you don’t have enough seam allowance to cover the bust.

I ended up making several muslins – I think 4 complete (bust & midriff), and 2 more of just the bust cups. And yes… all of them were thread-traced and had the grainlines marked and everything lol. Took forever! In addition to all the size changes, I raised the top of the pieces by about 5/8″ to get all the seam lines to match up. I think this is something that most larger-busted gals are going to have to do, so just a word of warning.

I don’t want to frighten anyone away from trying this pattern, however! I really learned a LOT fitting the bodice, and I feel really confident with the finished muslin. I absolutely recommend this course if this kind of fitting is something you want to explore more in-depth. I think the fitting sections alone are worth the price of the course :)

Ok, with all that blab… let’s see the finished muslin, yes?

Bombshell Muslin

Bombshell Muslin

Bombshell Muslin

I don’t plan on wearing this dress with a bra – and it fits great without, but I didn’t want to take bra-less pictures to post on the internet! I don’t think we’re that close, yet ;)

As a side note, my sweater is almost finished – I blocked it over the weekend!
Agatha - blocking!
Just need to stabilize the button bands & sew on the buttons :)

Agatha Sweater: FINAL COUNTDOWN

9 Apr

Ladies (and gentlemen?), we have two sleeves!

Yeah sleeves!
I am so pleased with myself, you have no idea.

Agatha sleeves

Agatha - Second sleeve!
I had to crop my head out of this one because I was making a total derp face, but check out those neat decreases at the bust!

Agatha sleeves
What do we think? Excited?

Agatha sleeves
Excited.

Now all that’s left is the ribbing around the neckline & the button bands. Also, I need to find some buttons… I want wooden buttons, but that would involve driving to the fabric store. We’ll see.

The second sleeves went in a LOT faster than the first one! I guess I had plenty of practice :) It is still a little tight, so my next sweater will probably need to go up a needle size with those DPNs. In the meantime, I plan to block this thing very aggressively & hopefully that’ll help!

In the meantime, I’ve been working on the muslin for my Bombshell/birthday dress… an experience which totally sucks, by the way.

Bombshell muslin
The cup on the right is the pattern with no modifications… the cup on the left is the size it should be – and that’s still a little skimpy, as it barely covers my bra. I don’t plan on wearing a bra with this dress but I wanted to at least get demi-bra-coverage, you know?
Anyway, the muslin totally sucks and I will need to work on it some more… the coverage is great, but as you can see the center bust line skews up & the top piece is way too high. Also, my grainlines are off. Oh, boobs. Anyone else have full bust modifications they have made to this pattern that they would like to share?

In other news, I seem to have lost my voice over the weekend. I am currently alternating between sounding like a man & just sounding straight-up pathetic. If anyone finds where I may have misplaced it, do let me know.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,049 other followers