Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Maid Marion's costume turned out great! She's a little frustrated that her friends have no clue who Maid Marion is, but she loves that she's all princessed up!
 All fabrics came from Joann's, but NOT the costume section. With a 40% coupon, the "special occasion" fabrics were nearly the same price, and so much easier to work with! Stretch Panne Velvet for the cape, with faux fur trim (looked like a Golden Retriever pelt!) cut into strips.  The trick with that was cutting with the wrong side up, making small little snips, while keeping the blades as close to the back side as possible.  That way I wasn't catching all the fur in the blades and making a mess!

The dress was a poly matte satin and I used 2 rolls of gold ribbon trim along the princess seams in the front. I should've followed the instructions and lined the sleeves, because the huge full sleeves leave the seams exposed, and I didn't use my serger (see previous post, "Who Takes a Sewing Machine Camping?").  The apron is made of embellished poly organza, which has itty bitty pieces of glitter and gold stuck to it.  I used a super wide gold ribbon trim for the waist tie, and pinned it to the inside of the dress so it would be easy for her to put on at school.  For the headpiece, I used the "real tiara" I bought for her during my trip to NYC from Pacific Trims, and attached some of the poly organza from the apron.  The only flaw in this was that I didn't attach it strongly enough, and it came off before the parade at school.  Just a minor repair, and she'll be ready for tomorrow night! For today's event, I braided her front hairline to the side, and stuck the tiara in, like a headband.  I actually like this look a lot better... 
 The cape pattern called for a frog closure, but I was out of time, so I grabbed a pin from my jewelry box.  It actually fits the whole look perfectly! (See what I mean about the "Golden Retriever" trim?)
 Here's the whole look in action today, during the downtown Trick or Treat event the stores all hosted.  Buzz Lightyear had a great time, too!
  One more look, with the hood up.  It was pretty windy today, so it kept her ears warm, and we were both grateful for that! Halloween in Michigan usually involves layering, so I really didn't mind making the cape, knowing it would keep her warm.  I hated when my mom made me wear a coat over/under my costume!!!
Oh, the patterns were both Simplicity.  5512 for the cape, and 5520 for the dress.  Sizing was accurate, I made her a 6 in both, and aside from trimming off some length, it was perfect everywhere else! I especially liked the design of the cape, the way the seams are rounded to sit on the shoulders made it stay put, even in the wind.

Happy Halloween everyone! Next up: some dress pants for me, and a new embroidery project!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Have Machine, Will Travel

Who takes a sewing machine camping?
I do! (Notice that I forgot the make-up and curling iron, but remembered the sewing machine?!)

We did our last camping shin-dig of the season this weekend, and had a great time.  Jellystone Park in Frankenmuth, Michigan.  Gorgeous weather (chilly at night, though!), with LOTS of Halloween decorations and trick-or-treating. I think for some people, Halloween requires more decorations than Christmas, which means that come November 1, I'll be stocking up on some, too!  All in all, it was a fabulous way to end a great year of camping festivities!
Little Miss Princess wore her witch costume from last year (Maid Marion is still under construction. Did you see the top picture???), and Little Man was Optimus Prime.  If I'd been thinking straight, I'd have prepared myself enough time to make him Robin Hood or a Knight, (Bad Mom!) but thankfully, he really gets excited to wear the store-bought costumes with the cool masks.

Anywho, just thought I'd check in, and say thanks for the compliments on the silk dress I made for Vegas.  4 ply silk is my new favorite fabric!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Viva Las Vegas!

Elvis = Vegas
Trash Bags = 4 ply (silk)
Martini = Cocktail (dress)
Tough clues, huh?  Sorry about that... but, I loved your crazy guesses! Winners will be notified...

Saturday was our 11th Anniversary, so DH and I hopped a plane and headed west!  It didn't occur to me until 5 days prior to leaving that I would need a special dress for the event! I had bought the silk from Ressy's Co-op back when it was really cheap, figuring it would come in handy some day!  I also had the lining and zipper in the stash, so I didn't need to go to the store for anything.  Some boning would've been great, but at that point, it just needed to get done!
I used Simplicity 2398 (view B), and it went together very, very nicely.  Meg, you were right... 4-ply silk is a wonderful fabric to work with! So stable, and yet, so glamourous!  I wasn't sure if the bias cut "clingy-ness" would work on me, but the only change I would make would be to add a little bit to the top of the bodice edge, but I really, really love how it turned out.  I would enter it in the "Little Black Dress" contest at PatternReview, but I have no clue how I can make a "daytime" look!?
Anyhow, we stayed at Bally's (centrally located with affordable food and drink options), and we spent Friday walking around seeing the sights (and drooling over the windows at Tiffany & Co. and Michael Kors).  Dear Santa, I've been a very good girl this year...
I tried my hand at Roulette at Bally's but wasn't very lucky.  At least I looked good in my neon "slinky thing" print skirt (made back in June, thanks Ann!) 
Saturday we went up to Fremont Street where I learned how to play Roulette (and win!),
Watched the Spartans kill the Wolverines... (Oh, I won $$ on that bet, too!)
And, got the most beautiful sapphire necklace from the greatest husband in the world!
We had a very special dinner at VooDoo Steakhouse on the top floor of the Rio Hotel.  Amazing food and spectacular views! 50th floor with windows all around, and you can step out on the patio, where later in the evening there is also a DJ and dancing!
Flew home yesterday, and was back to work this morning! All in all, it was the most excellent weekend, and I look forward to going back.  Next time we want to rent a Harley and ride to the Hoover Dam, and see a show.  If only Garth Brooks hadn't sold out back in January!  It was a fabulous way to celebrate 11 great years together... I love you, babe!

Next up... Medieval Maid Marion's Costume!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Promised Pics of MIL (and a secret... shhh!!!)

Here is my MIL modeling the dress I made for her on Saturday.  My earlier post has more details about the construction.  She is thrilled with it, and that makes me happy.  Apparently, she received many compliments on it Saturday night, so it was a hit.
 She also said that the fabric was warm and soft.  I was a little worried that the wool part of the wool/silk blend would irritate her skin, but she was thrilled with how comfortable it was.  Here is a close-up of the bow detail, the side view, and the should gathers. 
 The sleeves were cut on the bias, which gave them a nice drape.  I used the blind-hem stitch to hem both the sleeves and skirt.

If I make her another, I know that there is room for a little more tweaking in the shoulder to bust fit, and I'll probably move the stitching on the pleats to give her a little more breathing room.  But, overall, it's a winner!


Shhh.... it's a secret!

The Maid Marion costume is coming along, slowly since DD really wants to help with construction! And, the trench with the perfect buttons has been set aside temporarily... I have a Top Secret Project on the table!

Top Secret for you, that is! It was a last minute thought for an event I knew was coming, but didn't plan for.
How 'bout if I give you 3 clues, and let you guess?  I'll even dig up a prize for "closest to the pin" and "best laugh".

1. Elvis
2. Trash Bags
3. Martini

Be sure to leave your email with your guess, so I can contact you!  I'll report back on Monday, so until then... behave yourselves!  Good luck!!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Goin' Green

I don't wear much green, but that's all I'm sewing this week!

Yesterday I whipped up Simplicity 2549 (view A) for my MIL.  I won the MIL lottery, and am happy to sew for her! She's just 2 miles away, and takes the kids whenever we ask, so I owe her big time.  She asked for a couple of dresses that would work for lots of occasions, and this pattern fit the shape she wanted (fitted below bust with a-line skirt).  The lower right picture is the one she picked.

I used a beautiful silk/wool that I found at the Expo for her.  Dark teal (not quite hunter green), with the perfect weight for fall/winter (much like a crepe).  "Fine European Textiles" (from Toronto) is at the Expo every year and have the most wonderful suitings and shirtings.  Expensive, yes.  Worth it, yes!  I took the last 2 3/4 yds (60" wide) they had, and ended up with about 1/3 yd left over. No lining, just neckline facings.

It went together very quickly and easily.  I cut it out Friday night, and she took it home with her at 4pm Saturday.  The fit was good, and she was very happy with it.  Gathered sleeves are so much easier to set! I'm eager to see pictures of her all dolled up with hair and makeup (they were headed to a party last night)!  I highly recommend this pattern, and it also has slim skirt if you prefer that style.

My only issue was "petiting the pattern" for her 4'10" frame, but even that wasn't too challenging.  I used the tutorial that Bunny has on her blog, and folded out 1/2" on the bodice front, back, and sleeve.  I hemmed up 2" instead of 1 1/2", and it really looked perfect on her.  When I get the pics, I'll post them!  I should've taken pics during construction, but it was going together so well, I didn't really think of it!

The next green project is Little Miss Princess's Halloween costume.  Maid Marian, remember?
I'm using Simplicity 5520 for the dress (view B, top left) and Simplicity 5512 for the cloak (view A).  I got all the fabric at Joann's, along with miles of gold trim and some faux fur to trim the cloak.  No fur on the dress, and the front tulle piece will be separate, and tied on (like an apron) with wide gold trim.
The faux fur has a super long nap, and reminds the kids of Grandma & Grandpa's old Golden Retriever!  Regardless, the materials cost considerably less than the catalog price tag, so I'm happy.  I'm sure she will be, too!