04 January 2012

Odds and Ends

 So, it's been a while since a comprehensive update. So, I'm just gonna run through some odds and ends I've been working on, finished, etc!
First, I won this giveaway over at The Feisty Redhead from the Sew Mama, Sew giveaway day.  Ah! I'm super excited about both of the patterns and the burdastyle measurement cards! How useful! :D
 For those who have been reading for a while, you know that I've been working on princess dresses for my niece. Oh, and matching doll dresses.  I used Simplicity 2817 for the Cinderella dress, I'm in the process of working on Simplicity 2065 for Rapunzel. I'm used Simplicity 5705 for both of the doll dresses.  You can see in the below pictures my niece wearing her dress and her doll with the matching dress.  The picture to the right is the doll dress, without the skirt puffs, with a panel down the front to kind of mock up the inset on the actual rapunzel dress. I used charmeuse for the doll dress. The actual dress will use the same charmeuse and an organza for the skirt overlay and sleeves. The actually dress, of course, will be laced up the front and include the lace trims, but that was entirely too much work for a doll dress and I had a hectic week.  I have, however, cut out most of the pieces for the rapunzel dress.. because I was hoping to have enough of that burnt rose colored charmeuse left over for the next item on this post . . .
 I posted this cape a few months ago. The pattern is for an unlined cape.  I had added a hem tape and bias tape to kinda clean up some of the seams.  The construction seams were pressed and stitches. Because I used a really heavy fabric, I figure that lining it was not especially important. I couldn't find a lining fabric color I liked, which is important because the lining would be exposed rather frequently. So, without a lining fabric I liked, I decided whatever. Besides... I always wear cardigans, so I wouldn't have itchy wool against my skin, so whatever, right? No, the wool and my knit cardigans just had too much friction, it just wasn't going to work out like that because my movements were uncomfortable.. It just so happens that the charmeuse we picked for the Rapunzel dress... was perfect, like so perfect it's ridiculous. AND, we bought the fabric based on 40" and it was 54, so with some layout changes, I had just enough left over fabric to line my cape. and make pockets. :D Left pic, cape before any lining or hem tape, so you can see that the inside is exposed whenever i like, you know, move my arms!  Left Pic, the lining pinned in. I stitched most of it in by hand via whipstitch. :) I'm soo pleased with how it turned out! Isn't the color perfect??

 The only issue was that I snipped the fabric in a little place when cutting the thread. oops. aahh, I stitched it closed but it still bothers me. ha Each sleeve was essentially a triangle. The long edge along the bottom of the cape had hem tape on it, which I had applied before and decided to keep. I machine sewed the bottom edge, along each edge of the hem tape, for two lines outside. I like the way it looks. I carefully removed my original hem after putting the new stitching in. The two remaining sides of the triangles were hand stitched in. The edge along the back of the cape was turned and whipstitched. The edge along the front of the cape was carefully pinned under the facing and then all of the layers were sewn together, except where I put in the pockets and the slits for the belt. I ran a stitch down the center seam of the sleeves to hold the lining in properly so that it wouldn't droop. All in all, it has a much more finished looked now and I'm very pleased with it.  It's much better than the original unlined cape, and it looks much less homemade now. I'm glad I had enough of the charmeuse, since I wouldn't have done it without a fabric I liked.

 My next project is to work on a dress with a challis I have. I used this fabric many many months ago to make an obi belt.  I love it.. and I'm not sure what to do.
My initial choice pattern is Simplicity 2145. . . except (oh yea), this pattern (as all of the project runway patterns only goes up to one bust size smaller than I need. The whole thing is so frustrating because I'm pretty sure if I went to try on a ready to wear size 22-24 dress, I would be drowning in it, but when I'm sewing, my bust normally needs that size (and then taken it at the waist or paired with a belt, depending on the cut). So, the finished bust measurement is an inch or two short of my actual bust measurement, so I think I would need add around three inches. I'm not sure what would be the best strategy for this, since the top is a cowl. I think the best plan would be to add two inches straight down the center and then another two inches in the back (which can be taken out, if needed, with relative ease).  I'm not sure, though, I've never done it.
All of the other patterns I've looked at that have the look I want and in my head would look good in challis.. oh, they're stretch only. Which leads me to something else that annoys me. I'm really trying hard to go with more structured garments vs the knits that I'm comfortable in. A lot of my clothes and styles actually make me look bigger than I am because I'm so focused on down playing the size of my chest. I think that more structure would be able to smooth everything out. However, the Khaliah Ali Collection from Simplicity . . . most of the dresses are for stretch materials! So, I can't use them with my challis. waaahhh yea, I know. I might cut out the pattern for 2145 tonight and see how I feel about it, maybe I'll use some scrap fabric to mock up the bodice and see how it looks, but being a cowl neck I just really don't want it to end up too right over my chest aaahh Suggestions? has anyone made this pattern?

I'm hoping to get another Lace Your Way Through Anything tutorial up this week. I'm also considering doing another pattern giveaway. Any thoughts? What would you like to see in a giveaway?

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