Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Great Prom Dress Adventure of 2018 Part 3... The Conclusion

Well, we finished the dress and the Princess wore it to the prom on Friday night.  Here it is, finished, right after she got her hair done:

Once again this is McCalls 7683, views 2 and 6.  I was really worried about this dress.  I knew this would probably be the only "mom made" dress at the dance and I didn't want her to feel like she showed up in a home-made dress when all the other girls got their dresses at department stores or prom and bridal shops.  But I think it turned out great.  She looked like a Hollywood starlet showing up for the red carpet. The color was beautiful, the sequins were shiny, and she looked elegant and confident. 

So, details on the dress...  This pattern is very easy.  It's designed for knits and is unlined.  All of the views are pretty simple so this is a great pattern to showcase a fancy fabric such as the sequined mesh we used or a stretch lace and let the fabric do all the work for you.  A word of caution- if you are making this for someone busty, be careful.  The bodice uses the same pieces for the front and the back (except for view 1) so you will need to make adjustments. 

We did not make any adjustments other than cutting a size 6 at the shoulder/bust, grading out to a 10 at the waist and to a 12 at the hip.  I could have sized down one more size at the waist and hip, but this mesh was not super stretchy and I wanted it to be easy to get in and out of, and I didn't want it to be skin tight.  There is no zipper in this- it goes on over the head.  You could add a zipper in the side seam, but I really didn't want to fight with that so I didn't do it.  I also added length to the skirt- about 2 inches right below the hip, and I raised the top of the slit 1/2 inch to compensate.

The most challenging thing was figuring out how to completely line this.  The mesh is sheer, and the sequins don't cover it completely so I had to figure out how to line the bodice and skirt.  I used red ITY knit for the lining.  It's slightly heavier than I would have liked but it worked out well in the end.

I had to totally change the order of construction.  I basted the drape to the bodice and then stitched the bodice and lining together sandwiching the drape in between.  I probably could have figured out a way to sew the neckline and armhole by machine but I didn't think that far ahead and I ended up finishing the neckline and then hand stitching the lining to the outer fabric around the armhole.

I constructed the skirt by sewing the outer fabric with the godet and then sewing the lining fabric with a walking slit in back.  I then sewed the outer skirt to the lining around the front slit leaving the hems free with enough loose fabric to turn up.  Once the skirt was complete I sewed it to the bodice treating skirt and bodice as one piece each so that the lining fabric would help support most of the weight of the skirt.  There is a casing in the waist seam allowance with 1/4 inch elastic which snugs the waist up to the body. 

I added a little loop of ribbon at the midpoint of the godet hem so she could put her finger through it and hold it up off the floor while dancing.  Her dad thought that was genius.

I am so happy to have this project finished and to have it be so successful.  The Princess was very happy and she had a great time at Prom.  She is a junior this year, so we get to do Prom again next year.  Will we make her dress next year?  We will have to wait and see...

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Great Prom Dress Adventure of 2018 Part 2

The real prom dress adventure is just getting started.  We started cutting the sequined fabric today. 

We made a successful muslin a couple of weekends ago out of some knit from stash.  I added a couple of inches to the skirt length and graded from a 6 at the shoulder/bust to a 12 at the waist/hip.  The fit was pretty close to perfect.  I will nip the waist in to a size 10 for the finished dress and I will move the top of the slit up about 1/2" to compensate for the Princess's looong legs and the length I added to the muslin. 

I can't put it off any longer though.  I'm going to have to jump in and start working with the sequins.  So far, it's not that bad.  I was able to cut the bodice and the drape out pretty easily.  I will need new scissors when all is said and done, but the cutting wasn't too bad.  The fabric behaved like a dream- it didn't shift or shimmy at all!  I was even able to get the reinforcing stitches sewn in where the drape is going to be attached and I sewed the shoulder seam.  No issues at all- the fabric went right through the machine like it wanted me to actually enjoy sewing it.  The sequins are really tiny and they are sewed on.  All those bits of debris on the cutting mat and the pattern piece in the photo are sequins, or pieces of sequins from the cutting process.  The sewing room is going to need a serious vacuuming when this project is over.

I had to stop for the evening, but I plan to work on this next weekend and the following week.  I took spring break off from work to spend time with the kids and get this project done!  I gotta hurry though because prom is coming soon on March 30!

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Great Prom Dress Adventure of 2018

The Princess and I have started working on her prom dress.  We are making McCall's 7683 using the one shoulder bodice and the long skirt with the train.
We will be making the dress out of red sequined mesh for lots of sparkle and shine. 

So far we have adjusted the pattern and cut a muslin from a stash knit.  We will be assembling the muslin this weekend and checking the fit.

I am very excited to be working on a prom dress and working with such a gorgeous, fancy fabric.  I am also a little nervous since I have never worked with sequined fabric before.  I am sure it will be an adventure.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Kiss

Here is "The Kiss" by Mirabilia, finally finished on April 1, 2017, after over 15 years as a UFO:

It is stitched on the called for fabric, 32ct Apple Blossom linen, with the called for fibers, DMC floss and Kreinik metallic braid, and beads.

Here are some detail shots:

And here it is, finally, fully, finished.  I picked it up from the framer a couple of weeks ago:

 I am very much enjoying having this on the wall after all this time.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Resurrecting a UFO

So what have I been up to?  Well, about 2 weeks ago I pulled this piece of needlework out of my stash.  It's a pattern by Mirabilia called "The Kiss."  I can't remember exactly when I began stitching this, but it had to be somewhere around 1999-2002ish.  As you can see, I put in quite a bit of work, but at some point I laid it aside, probably to stitch up another project- a wedding sampler or a birth sampler perhaps.  It became UFO.  This is what it looked like when I picked it up again for the first time 2 weeks ago:

And this is what it looks like now, after two weeks of on and off stitching:

I have filled in all the flowers and foliage, the sky and clouds, and even the gentleman's tunic.  There is still quite a bit to go- the lady's skirt, a small bit of the left urn, and a narrow border.  And then there are the beads- a ton of them, which will embellish her dress, her hair, and the corners where I still need to stitch some little bees.  I am loving this and I have vowed to finish it this year, hopefully very soon.

There hasn't been any garment sewing yet this year, but the February Burda finally arrived this week and I have my eye on dress #109.  I just need to shop for fabric and get started on it.  Maybe this weekend...

Saturday, December 24, 2016

New Look 6469 Last Dress of 2016?

Bet you thought I was kidding about making New Look 6469.  I've only been talking about it since before Thanksgiving.  But nope, I really made it and here it is.

This is a mixture of View A's collar, View C's length and sleeves, and with an extra four inches of length added to bring the hem to knee level.  I think I cut a size 14 to fit the shoulders.  The dress is very loose fitting and forgiving- perfect for the holidays with all the food.

I used a navy blue ponte knit that I found at Walmart, of all places.

The construction is pretty easy.  There are only 4 pattern pieces including the collar.  I eliminated the zipper so construction went very quickly.  If I made this again, and I might, I would at least put in a short zipper at the center back to make it easier to get over my head.  As it is, it is very snug.  I have to put the dress on and then do my hair and makeup.

The Princess loves this dress.  She says she thinks it is her favorite thing I've made.  She's requested one in olive green.  I hope there are some good "after Christmas" fabric sales because I'll be shopping for some more ponte.

This will most likely be the last finished garment of 2016.  Hopefully the January Burda will arrive soon and I can start planning next year's sewing.

Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Stitching and Sewing Progress

There has been progress on Noel 2013.  We now have trees and a snow man:

There is a lot left to do, though.  The house needs to be filled in and there is a lot more snow to stitch.  A lot more snow...

In sewing news, my mojo is back!  New Look 6469 is complete and waiting to be road tested tomorrow.  There are no pictures yet because it is extremely cold outside and I can barely stand to walk to and from the car, much less pose for photos.  But temps should be rising this week and I should have a photographer at home so I'm hoping to get some pics in a day or two.

In the mean time, I've traced and adjusted the pattern for this dress from the September 2014 issue of Burda Style:

I'm planning to make it up in a red textured knit.  It would be great to have it in time for Christmas, but let's be realistic.  It will be perfect for work after the holidays.

How is your holiday sewing going?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Go Army Beat Navy

And they did.


Winter Stitching

A little bit of winter stitching:

Noel 2013 from Le Chalet des Perelles.  Stitched in the suggested DMC floss on 28ct Star Sapphire linen.

Still no sewing here.  Winter finally hit for real this week and the cold has slowed me down.  Maybe this weekend...

Friday, November 25, 2016

Homestead Sampler Finish

Homestead Sampler is done!  I put the last stitch in it last night so it was finished on Thanksgiving Day.

Here is a look at the entire sampler.  It was stitched on 28ct. Antique White linen with DMC floss.  I have not yet pressed it or stretched it, so there are a few wrinkles and hoop marks.

The pattern is charted almost entirely in cross stitch with just a tiny bit of backstitching and a handful of Algerian Eyelets.  I don't much care for cross stitching all by itself, so I had to change up a few things along the way.  Here is a look at the pattern cover.  Apparently I bought this on clearance at a Michael's at some point many years ago.  I can't remember now, but it's been a long time since I have been to a Michael's store

I do like a few of the other designs in this book, especially the ones on the back cover:

 Who knows?  I may stitch up another one of these some day.  In any case, I chose the Homestead Sampler because it had a house on it and I like stitching little houses.  I also liked the color palette- teal, green, and gold.  It's a little bit different than what I normally work with, but I thought it was pretty.  I also thought that I could easily change some of the elements from cross stitch to something more exciting.

I changed the large flowers from cross stitches to satin stitches:

The date, 1989, is our wedding anniversary- when we established our "homestead."  The initials are mine and the husband's and use the letters from the alphabet at the top.

The row of brown Smyrna Crosses was originally charted as cross stitches.  I thought they looked dull and felt they would be dull to stitch, so I changed them.  Smyrna Crosses are one of my favorite stitches.  They are easy to make, but wonderfully dimensional.

I also changed the acorns and the leaves on the row below the initials to satin stitch.  Not only does it mix it up a bit and add interest, but the satin stitches have a nice sheen to them that adds a little something to the finished piece.

If I had to do this over again I would make a few more changes:

1.  Use a 32 ct. fabric, possibly with a touch of color to it.
2.  Eliminate the top row of cross stitches and just start with the alphabet- the green stitches aren't really needed.
3.  Use more satin stitches- on the roof of the house, the teal borders around the initials, and possibly the gold row below the house.  I actually tried satin stitch on the teal border, but couldn't get the coverage I like on the 28 ct. fabric.
4.  Sub in some hand dyed fibers- for the house, the bunny, the bird, and maybe some of the foliage.

But all that would be if I had to do it again.  Let's be honest, I won't.  There are too many other interesting projects to do.  In fact, I've already pulled out two Christmas themed UFOs and some fabric and fibers for one last fall themed piece.

Aaaand New Look 6469 is patiently waiting in the sewing room for a neckband and hems.  It will be the perfect dress to wear back to work after all this Thanksgiving food!

Happy Stitching and Sewing!