Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Completed: Elsa Dress #3

Sometime in July or August the conversation starts.

GRANCY: What do the kids want to be for Halloween?
ME: Today? I don't know. It depends on what movie they watched last week.

Then we brainstorm. We plan.

She executes.

This summer we decided to forego handmade because we knew we'd be busy Wedding Prepping. She sat down with them and looked through a catalog. Lee picked Commander Fox. Daniel picked a black ninja. Boom and done. She ordered them, and they were thrilled.

Eliza wanted to be Elsa.

"No problem," I said, side-eyeing the $130 price tag on the Elsa dress. "I can make one."

Ha. Haha. Hahahaha.

There were 30 pieces in the pattern I used. 30. (10 pieces is probably an average number for patterns.)

This is the third Elsa dress I made. (That's 90 pieces in all. 90.)

The first two were for a friend's girls. She bought enough fabric for all three dresses, and we collaborated on the choice of materials and style. We went with a sparkly tulle for the cape. It's itchy, so I underlined the yoke. (The top layer of sparkly tulle on the yoke isn't showing up in photos. Neither is the glitter on the cape. Trust me, there's glitter.) I made the first two sleeveless, but Eliza's has little puff sleeves with elastic at the cuff.

I serged the edges of the tulle. Knowing that she'll wear this a lot (she hasn't taken it off since it's been finished), I used French seams throughout. The bodice fabric is sheer, so French seams ensure the raw edges aren't visible.

There were a few hitches with this third dress. This time around I got the zipper and button closure right in the back, but accidentally reversed the front and back cape pieces, which explains the wide gap of the cape in the back. (The cape is supposed to butt right up against the zipper.) It took half a dozen attempts to get the bodice attached to the yoke and skirt. The bodice fabric is knit, so there was some distortion by the time it was all said and done.

And by the time I got to the hem, I'd given up. It's wonky.

Ask me if she noticed. 

She liked it. So did my friend's Elsas. I'm thrilled to have made some of my favorite girls happy.

Next year we're begging Grancy to be in charge of ALL Halloween costumes again. 

Let it go, let it go!! (or, as Eliza says: "Wet it go, wet it go!")


Pattern: McCalls 7000
Fabric: polyester and tulle from Jo-Ann
Modifications: chose non-itchy fabric for sleeves, underlined yoke (tulle is on top, though it doesn't show up well in the photos), elasticized sleeves, used French seams throughout

Friday, October 3, 2014

Completed: Eliza's Fall Ensemble #1

First up on the list for Eliza's fall wardrobe is a pair of jeggings. She has a polka dotted pair that she's worn threadbare, and a lightweight knit pair that she loves despite their being two sizes too small.

It was time for a replacement pair.

Here's what I started with:

also, my feet are jacked up. but seeing that flaming duct tape that holds my cutting mat together makes me SO HAPPY.
I started with the polka-dotted pair, which I ripped apart and used to draft a new pattern. When I cut the new ones too short, I decided to add an angled detail at the ankle. For the ankle pieces, the pockets, the yoke, and the front pockets (which I didn't photograph), I used the reverse side of this denim-look knit. It's super shiny, but of course shows up as a dull gray in photos. There's a sheen to the knit that doesn't translate into photos either.

But it does translate into pants that my all-things-shiny-loving daughter will wear. Score.

I used navy thread for all the topstitching. Why? Because I didn't have silver.

And now the Bimaa. I've made this shirt several times (four times, actually), but this is the first time with the shawl collar. I used an old dress of my sister's for the collar, sleeve bands, and waist band. When it came time to find coordinating fabric, I had a tough time choosing from my stash. I knew Eliza would only wear it if certain criteria were met (shine!), so I finally landed on this teal fabric with metallic stripes.


Patterns: Bimaa Sweater by LouBee Clothing (shawl option). Self-drafted jeggings.
Fabric: Upcycled knit for sweater bands and shawl. Other fabrics from Jo-Ann. 
Thoughts: I would like this outfit in my size. Really.

I need to bring the neckline up on the Bimaa. I know this and just keep forgetting. Also, I need to shorten the sleeves a tad. Then the 3T will fit her perfectly. There are a few more Bimaas on the list for the Fall, including a hood version and a maxi dress. The Girl loves long dresses.

The jegging pockets are a little big for her tiny tush.

This look was inspired by the "'80s Cartoon" theme for Project Run & Play week one. (I was thinking "Jem" with the zig zags and metallic fabric.) It also fits the upcycled theme (week two) and the denim theme (week three).  Too bad I didn't finish it in time for any of those sew-along linky parties. Ha. And. . . meh.

Up next: a denim skirt with tights and (another) Bimaa. Then my practice version of The Bridesmaid Dress. I'm saving some awesome t-shirts for the boys for Kids Clothes Week (October 20-26).

Friday, September 26, 2014

Completed: Paper Piecing for Halloween Basket

Just jumping in to show you a basket I made up for the Halloween Basket Swap on Instagram. (follow me on IG here) It was a fun little change from my usual apparel sewing.

For this project, we used the fabric bins created with a free tutorial from Birch Fabrics. My assigned partner said she liked lime green, orange, and black cats. From the beginning I wanted to have a paper-pieced feature on the front of the basket.

After hunting around, I found this free pattern for a paper-pieced black cat. It took a few failed attempts to get the hang of it, but then things went together easily after that. It helped when I finally found a tutorial that explained it wonderfully.

I'll definitely be trying paper piecing again. Look at these sewing-related paper-pieced blocks. And this Polaroid camera! And these witch's shoes are adorable. These ballet shoes would be perfect framed on Eliza's wall.

I could go on and on. The possibilities are endless! (Lego Star Wars!)

with the lining folding down

without the lining folded down
Have a great weekend!

This Moment {September 26, 2014}

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