Monday, May 30, 2011

Orange Ya Glad...

Knock-knock jokes are a big hit in our house, but not as big a hit as this new dress!
I stumbled across this fabric when I was buying the lining for the prom and party dresses at JA's. There it sat by the cutting counter, where you usually find the "We can't convince anyone to buy this stuff... Will you?" collection. But, I immediately fell in love with it, along with the other 8 cotton border prints with it. I got 2 yards for DD and 2 yards of another for myself. When I got it home, she went ga-ga over it, and dug through my parents, picking out the most perfect dress pattern to accommodate the border print!
Simplicity 3515 is a "Hannah Montana" coordinates pattern, containing a jacket, top, dress, and Capri pant. I placed the border along the hem of front and back, and also placed the neckline yoke pieces, and the ties there, too. This particular fabric had 2 different borders, which is why the ties have stripes.

Girls & Girls Plus Dresses

I did a little here and there over the last couple weeks, and it came together very easily. No zipper, no elastic, no buttons. I made the 8 (her RTW size), and it's just a tad bit roomy, but maybe we'll squeeze another season out of it. She absolutely loves it (I got an extra big hug, thank you and "I am so lucky to have a mom like you." Yeah, I know... She really knows how to grease the wheels, doesn't she?!

I almost forgot... the Knock-Knock joke she really rolls her eyes at!
Knock-Knock... Who's There?
Smell Mop.
Smell Mop, who?
(Now think... and say slowly... Smell mah poo. Eww! Gross, Mom!)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Party Dresses!

Yesterday was my niece's wedding, and it was absolutely beautiful. The bride was gorgeous, the groom was handsome, the ceremony was touching, and the reception was a blast!
I finished the muslin from my daughter's Communion dress, and she looked cute. It's blue cotton that I've had in my stash for about 20 years... I bought it when I worked at Joann's during high school! I added a pretty ribbon around her waist, and tied it in a bow in the back. It's Vogue 7845, and the only "extra" I had to was create a facing for the neckline, instead of lining the whole entire dress. The cotton is a little on the "thick" side, so there was no need for a full lining. She was very happy with it, and danced all night!
My dress is from Simplicity 2401 and made from a dress-weight blend I got at Haberman's not too long ago. It's fully lined, and with the elastic in the back bodice, I was able to skip the zipper all together. It was very comfortable and it garnered many compliments, so I will definitely make it again.
Misses Special Occasion Dresses

In othernews... This is my first blog post from my iPad!!  Technology is soooooo amazing. I used it to teach yesterday, which was so much fun. One girl said, "Can you tell your husband how thankful WE are that he got this for you?". The learning curve is not steep at all, but as with anything, it has it's limitations. For example, I am having trouble uploading pics to my blog. I did all the typing on my iPad 2, but have to use the laptop upload the pics. If I switch to WordPress, I can do it all from the iPad, but I really, really don't want to relocate my blog.  Ugh.  Next task is to find the perfect app for organizing my pattern and fabric library. There is a "Sewing Kit" app, but it doesn't have great reviews. Any recommendations or ideas out there? As a side note, I am having great fun playing Words with Friends. Michelle from "Cheap and Picky" and I have a game going right now! I am "StitchingK" if you want to play... (and she's kicking my butt, if you were wondering!)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Opinions, Please!!!

The Prom Dress is under construction, having spent yesterday getting all the fabrics cut out.  The embellished lace proceeded to kick my butt, as I tried to perfect the placement of the pattern pieces on the beads and sequins.  Here? There? There!  Then I hand-basted the satin pieces beneath the lace, so I could then treat them as one.  Throughout cutting of the lace and then pleating of those pieces, I had to either dodge the beads and sequins, or remove them, then stitching any remaining beads/sequins, anchoring them to stay put!  Little by little, step by step... as my principal said last week, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!"  So, here I am this morning with the worst part of the project behind me, and a great feeling of accomplishment.  Also, a nagging feeling of "Is it PERFECT?"

Here's where you come in.  Do you think I should add in some of the extra beads/sequins to this bodice section?  Do you think the "empty spaces" need something?  I texted the client a picture and asked her, but she said, "It's up to you.  I trust your judgement."  This girl is a dream to work with, I wish I could get girls like her every year!
So, what say you?  Should I leave well enough alone?  Should I stitch a little more sparkle on those empty spots?  The rest of the dress is all satin, so this is it for the "sparkle factor"...
One last note of my "attention to detail"...  The construction of the shoulder straps meant that there ended up being beads and sequins on the under-side, which I thought could be irritating on her skin, rubbing and scratching her unnecessarily.  So, this morning I snipped them off one-by-one, and am very pleased with myself having been so thoughtful! Keep your fingers crossed for me that this continues to be a "dream come true", not only in appearance, but in construction as well!!!  Thanks again for your input!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


With the Communion Dress now behind me (Thanks so much for all the positive comments! You guys are so sweet!!!), I have moved onto the Prom Dress.  This is the 3rd year in a row I've been "hired" by one of my senior girls to custom make their prom dress.  I really like this new "tradition" and look forward to continuing it!  The muslin was nearly a perfect fit (WOO HOOO!!!), so with just a couple inches of added length and a small tuck in the back, I can move on to the fashion fabric!  The muslin went together really fast, so with the adjustments being so minor, I should have this baby knocked out in the next 10 days.  I know you would like a look-see but, you'll have to wait... Muslins are never pretty, and I really want to knock your socks off with the final product!

In the mean time, I got hit with either a cold that won't quit, or a new allergy.  Sore throat last week, draining sinuses that have me constantly clearing my throat, dry cough... yuck! Luckily, I had the most awesome Mother's Day ever to make me feel better!  DH splurged and made me feel super-special with his gift of.... an iPad!!! I'm eagerly awaiting it's arrival, so stay tuned.  Aren't I a lucky girl?  Sunday was also a nice and quiet day at home, so with the prom muslin awaiting the fitting, I got started on my dress for my niece's upcoming wedding.
I hemmed and hawed on the fabric and pattern choice, feeling obligated to go solid and long.  But, my heart kept pulling me in a different direction, so I listened to it.  I'm using that awesome red print from my last Haberman's purchase with this Simplicity pattern.
My choice is view B!
I've always loved halter tops, so although it may not be "formal", my sister (Mother of the Bride) gave me her stamp of approval, so I'm moving forward!  The top is done, but needs to be taken in a smidge, then I'll add the skirt and the side zipper.  I'll check in next week with my progress on both dresses!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

1st Communion Dress (Finale)

Cut from the detachable train of my wedding dress, this is my daughter's 1st Holy Communion dress.
Pattern: Vogue 7845
I removed the embellished lace trim from the hem of the train, and replaced it along the the hemline.
Along the neckline, I stitched small and medium pearl beads, using the bead placement from the hem as a guide.  You can see the neckline below. The veil was borrowed from her cousin.
Here is a view of the back.  The floor vent is giving the tulle netting underneath some "help", and the "poof" of the princess seamed dress is emphasized!
I absolutely love the way it turned out, and have to say that to anyone who can sew, you should give serious consideration to re-using your gown or parts of it for special occasion, heirloom pieces like this.  Having my daughter re-use my wedding dress in this form, made the day all the more important to her.  It wasn't particularly difficult, and extremely rewarding.  I can't think of another sewing project that will bring be so much joy... that is, until her wedding day!