Tag Archives: spring/summer 2012

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! :)

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Completed: Floral Minidress

5 Apr

sundress

I know I have this labeled as a “sundress,” but we’re just gonna go with minidress because… this shit is itty-bitty.

I used McCall’s 2185 to make this up. The fabric is some class of sheer cotton that has the appearance of printed cheesecloth… it’s really interesting. It was actually given to me by the same friend who provided me with that awesome slinky cheetah print – I know you are all totally jealous of this friendship right now (did I mention she is also my Life Partner? Truth.), I’m kind of jealous of myself tbh ;). Anyway, the fabric is super duper see-through so I had to underline the whole thing to keep things (somewhat)modest. I used batiste, and I’m actually kind of pissed right now because I’m not 100% thrilled with the finished dress and woe is me, that was most of what was left of my batiste :( BOO.

Floral Minidress

Anyway, the pattern was fairly easy to work with. It’s a size bigger than what I have been using lately (34 bust instead of my usual 32 bust), so I did pull in the seams an extra 1/2″ or so at the waist because the original look was pretty sack-like and extremely unflattering. Interestingly, the seams at the hip were WAY too tight – despite the fact that this is supposed to be an A-line dress! – and I had to skimp by on 1/4″ seams to make room for my legs. So weird. It’s still not flared enough, but ehh can’t do anything about that.

I also ran out of batiste on the length-wise so the hem is pretty fiddly. I had a good 4″ or so of dress fabric that was not underlined and it looked really awful. I ended up putting a facing of sorts at the hem, using bleached muslin (because I’m not wasting anymore batiste on this dress!), and then flipped it up to meet where the underlining ends. I had to hem the dress twice, but it works I guess. I considered adding a line of ribbon around the bottom of the dress to cover the seams, but they’re not terribly noticeable and I honestly don’t care about this dress anymore anyway. It’ll be good for puttering around the house on weekends – nice and cool for summer – but that’s about it. It’s so short!!

Floral Minidress

There was supposed to be a self-fabric belt, which I planned on making, but I was having major problems turning it right-side out – the flimsy fabric kept pulling past the sew-in interfacing & I ended up ripping a giant hole in it, ahem, mostly on purpose because I was angry and I wanted to destroy something. Whatever, belt, no one wanted you anyway! I like this turquoise belt better anyway. Isn’t it awesome? God, this belt is so awesome.

Floral Minidress
You may notice that I did not photoshop my roots in these pictures. Today I just can’t be arsed to care. Any they kind of look like shitty highlights, anyway lol.

Floral Minidress
I did photoshop a piece of trash out of the background though. Photoshop is awesome!

Floral Minidress

Floral Minidress

Floral Minidress
I know the facing isn’t even at the top of the zipper… NO CARE.

Floral Minidress
Underlining! And check out the zipper -

Floral Minidress
Have you ever seen a metal invisible zipper? I hadn’t!
It’s a little too thick for my invisible zipper foot, though, so as you can see, it’s not exactly invisible. Still kinda cool, though :)

Oh, here it is without the belt
Floral Minidress
Boooooo

Floral Minidress
I guess I can muster up a smile, though.

Kinda bummed that I’m not OMGWTFBBQ about this dress, but ehh life goes on. I think it looks better in the pictures than it does in real life, to be honest :) I still had a metric shit ton of this fabric (the original length I was given was over 7 yards and I’d be shocked if I used 1.5 yards on this dress), so I definitely want to make something else with it. I’m thinking the Chantilly. Thoughts?

Floral Minidress

I also just realized my birthday is in like a month and a half. Ack! Better get started on my Bombshell Birthday Dress :D

Completed: The Tacky Shirtwaist Dress

2 Apr

shirtdress
I actually don’t think this dress is tacky at all – I think it’s kind of kitschy & cute! Landon however, hates the fabric – “that looks like a set of curtains my mother had” – which means that I’ll be wearing this dress a lot around him, just because. I’m a terrible person.

ANYWHO let’s talk about this pattern for a minute. This is Simplicity 2458, a sweet little 1958 shirtwaist pattern that includes a few different options. I went with option 2, but I cut the sleeves & hem significantly shorter than indicated by the pattern – the original hem came down to my ankles. Total frumpsville! I tried to take a picture for lols, but I couldn’t get the tripod far enough away to capture the true essence… so just trust me on this one. Anyway, the pattern was lovely to work with, although some of the instructions were a little dicey. A dress like this uses a LOT of fabric – I think I used close to 5 yards! Fortunately for meeee, this fabric was part of one of my ‘fill several giant bags full of fabric and pay $5 for all of it’ flea market finds, so this dress ended up being cheap :) I’m actually surprised at how well the pattern fit straight out of the envelope – the only sizing adjustment I made was to add about 1/2″ at the side seam under the bust dart. Everything else fits great! There are 10 darts in just the top of this dress – 4 vertical bust darts, 2 horizontal bust darts, and 2 vertical neck darts in the back. There are actually 2 darts in the skirt as well, but you can’t see them for all the ~soft pleats~ hovering at the waistline. Also, I think this dress really needs pockets. I’m not the kind of girl who things pockets belong in all dresses or anything like that, but I feel like this dress would have benefited from some deep side seam pockets. Maybe next time!

I actually really hate the buttons on this thing – I think they are tacky as hell & they make the dress look really cheap. I really need to find some nice turquoise buttons, but these’ll do for now – they were what I had in my stash (and I actually went to the store in search of buttons but WTF why are buttons so expensive?! It was like $3 for two buttons – and now I’m seriously regretting that I passed up all those pretty antique Czech glass buttons at the flea market last month. Dude wanted $1 a piece & I thought that was way too high, but looks like I was wrong. Ok enough with the button tangent.) The off-white belt is my attempt to pretend like the buttons were on purpose. That is all.

Dress with belt:
Shirtwaist Dress
Oh, do you see where the button placket on the skirt is kind of sinking into the folds? I clearly used much too heavy of an interfacing down there, and it is weighed down as a result. It’s a fairly sturdy, mediumweight sew-in interfacing – worked beautifully on the collar (so crisp!) – but it really doesn’t belong on the skirt. Especially since I’ll probably never unbutton those buttons.

Shirtwaist Dress

Shirtwaist Dress

Shirtwaist Dress

Dress without belt:
Shirtwaist Dress - no belt

Shirtwaist Dress

Shirtwaist Dress

this is me running back into my house to lock the door
This is me running back into my house because I realized it might be a good idea to lock the door.

Shirtwaist Dress - with petticoat
Came back with a petticoat!

Shirtwaist Dress - with petticoat
The skirt looked a lot more full in real life, argh.

Look, I made a new friend :)
Also, I found a caterpillar :D
(sidenote: someone made a snide comment about my septum ring a couple of posts ago… good for you, lady, I hope this picture grosses you out lol)

Shirtwaist Dress

Shirtwaist Dress
Instead of a button at the waistline, there are hooks & eyes. This keeps everything nice & flat without gaping! Sorry about the yellow smudges – I tried to edit them out best I could. This is my tip for getting hooks & eyes positioned so they actually latch closed – sew on the eye, and then rub chalk all over it until it has a layer of powder covering it. Close the garment and press down slightly where the hook should go… when you pull the garment open, there should be a little dot of powder that is exactly where you need to sew the hook. So helpful!

Shirtwaist Dress
Lace at the hem :)

That’ll be all, folks! :)

Shirtwaist Dress - no belt

Completed: Colette Parfait

27 Mar

sundress

Damn, y’all. I know I was all pumped about getting my Spring & Summer wardrobe‘s ass whipped into shape, but I didn’t realize I was going to rip through it so fast. WOE IS ME, WHAT IF I RUN OUT OF FABRIC.

Anyway, I made a Parfait! And this fabric… it might even be more delicious than it’s namesake (I know!). I bought 2 yards of this stuff… 4 years ago, I think? I had plans for some shitty sundress, but thankfully went into hoarder mode & it’s sat on my shelf since. It is the most amazing, soft, silky cotton voile I have EVER put my hands on… seriously wish I could cut a little swatch to mail to all of you. It feels sooooo good! And I’m not even a “purple” person (although, for some reason, everyone else seems to think I am. Must be my dark hair?), but I just love the purples & greys in this fabric. Love love love.

Parfait

I’ve actually made this pattern up before – here’s the Craftster link. This time ’round, I size down to a 2 and omitted the pockets and facings. The top & midriff are lined with a lovely white batiste. I was afraid the skirt was going to be too sheer to wear without a slip (or underlining), but guess what – I have on TURQUOISE underwear in these pictures and ho ho ho I don’t see them at all! I will, however, approach direct sunlight with many precautions.

I don’t have much else to say about this pattern except pay attention to that cutting layout! The majority of those pieces are cut on the fold. I think the fabric requirements are pretty generous, though – I still have nearly 3/4 yard of this voile left. Although I didn’t cut the facings, I don’t think they really take up that much fabric, you know? :)

Parfait
Check out this picture of me – I look pissed lololololol. Honestly, I was just testing the camera to make sure everything was centered and the light was good. But I crack up every time I look at it so I’m going to share my mean mug with the rest of the world. THERE YA GO.

Parfait

Parfait

Parfait
If the left side of my back looks weird, it’s because I photoshopped my (turquoise)bra strap out. Photoshop is so magical, y’all.

Parfait

Parfait
I love the button straps, but now I’m wondering if I should have sewn the buttons on with black thread instead.

Parfait

Parfait - buttons
The under-buttons are clear – why waste a pretty button that won’t be seen??

Parfait - lining
Bastiste lining :)

On a side note, does anyone know how to determine if a fabric is lining fabric or not?
Polka dot fabric
I bought this stuff at an antique mall over the weekend – dots! So fun! But this fabric is totally stumping me! It’s not super slippery like traditional lining fabric, although the sheerness makes me pause (seems too sheer to be apparel fabric). The part that confuses me is that it’s textured. Does lining fabric ever have texture?
FWIW, the fabric is 100% poly. I bought it because it was $1 and, eh, I can use it either or. I guess it doesn’t really matter, but I just think it looks really obvious and kind of tacky when people use lining fabric as apparel fabric. So I don’t want to make that mistake! Thoughts?

Parfait
Anyway, enough of that blabber. Summmmmmmmer!

Planning Ahead: Spring/Summer 2012

9 Mar

I actually was not planning on making one of these posts – considering I have a sweet swatch/planning board – but I’ve been admiring all the pretty planning posts across the web (I’m looking at you specifically, Sallieoh!) and what can I say, I got inspired.

I’ve already started pushing out some Spring/Summer pieces – here’s a collage I made for visual demonstration:
stuff i've already made
(lol like those jeans are gonna be worn at ALL come the heat/humidity. I can pretend!)

I need more, though!

So I scored my fabric and patterns – and may I point out here that it is lovely to have all this stuff uploaded into one place! – and spent an embarrassingly long time putting together pretty little collages. Because Sallieoh can’t have all the pretty, dammit.

Fancy dresses:
bombshell dress
I bought the course, I have (most of) the materials – I need a Bombshell dress! I’m thinking birthday dress :) I originally planned on making this with that beautiful silk Shantung you see in the corner, but I am also really inspired at the idea of it in this pretty tropical cotton.
Side question: my local fabric store doesn’t carry spiral steel boning :( Where do y’all source yours? Specifically, where can I buy this stuff and NOT pay $6+ shipping? Shipping ripper-offers! BLECH.

wrap dress
Don’t look at her arm; I know it’s creepy but I didn’t know what else to do with it.

Bottoms:
capris
Plaid high-waisted capris – I think I have enough of this plaid (I hope!). Mine will be shorter, more like pedal pushers. I want to put welt pockets in the back as well.

shorts
Plaid shorts! Mine will be shorter than this, I just liked the pose of the leg-person-thing.

Tops:
tops!
I plan on making quite a few of these! I love this pattern, it uses very little fabric & it’s so flattering on :)

shell top

Sundresses:
sundress

sundress
(this one will need to be underlined; it is pretty sheer)

sundress

shirtdress
A shirtdress in southwestern cotton (everyone I’ve shown this fabric to thinks it is fug. Too bad!)

sundress
I got caught up in the spirit of the post & made a little image for my upcoming Pastille too :)
Oh, and speaking of the Pastille – I got the zipper in last night, and the fit is surprisingly awesome. I think it looks pretty flattering (so far – I still need to hem it!) and would translate nicely as a simple black dress. Something to ponder. Hopefully I will have pictures to share soon!

Looking at these pictures really makes me pumped for my next season of sewing! I know this is a lot to take on, and I’m not going to worry if they aren’t all completed by the time the weather turns cool again. This is also going to kill most of my stash – which is awesome, because I need to cull it down a lot :)

What do y’all have planned for your upcoming seasonal sewing?

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