Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Some dress action!

Well then. I'm still unburying myself from christmas work, but I snuck in the first wedding dress muslin this afternoon!

McCall 8635, an Alicyn design. Empire waist, front princess seams, back darts, gathered back skirt.

m8635 cover

You know what the one bad thing about making a dress rather than buying one might be? If you want to try on a style, you have to put a few hours of work in first. ;-) On the bright side, there will be no big ugly "Say yes to the dress" clips wielded around here to hold a dress in place.

This afternoon I finally got a minute of peace so I put on a movie, cut open my bolt of muslin, and got to work....




Wait, you want to see it on me not on a hanger? ;-) You have to ignore the silly faces I'm making for that.



It looks OK, but the bodice fit is terrible. I can't raise my arms because the armhole begins so low on my chest. If I pinch out about an inch at the shoulders, the armhole settles into place and I can lift my arm.... I've got a ton more patterns to try, though, so I'll do those first before I perform major surgery on this one. But this is the general look I'm going for, so it was very nice to get to how it looks!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry christmas....

Sledding with declan
Originally uploaded by wck

We're having ourselves a tiny little white christmas here- just snuck outside for some christmas eve sledding just as the sun was going down. And yes, that's my dog sitting on my lap there, he looooves to race down the hill.

happy holidays to everyone!

Here's one last little sewing bit, another american girl dress that I whipped up for a niece.

christmas present

Monday, December 21, 2009


Help, Christmas has eaten me alive! ;-) OK, not really, but between work and finishing presents it almost has. So here is a small link and a photo.

Vicki's fantastic pillowcase tutorial!. I made about 10 of these Sunday afternoon. Here's one with a quilt for Tom:

I hope everyone's digging out from the snow OK...or enjoying the summer in Australia. Perhaps someone would be able to package up some warmth & sunshine down there and mail it to NJ? Please?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

a Nutcracker dress

Kate and I are going to see the Nutcracker over Christmas break, so of course she needed a sparkly dress to wear. I know her flower girl dress is going to be navy blue & sparkly, so I wanted to try out sewing something similar and a holiday dress seemed like a good excuse. I found some blue rayon/silk satin with a bit of sun fading on it in the outlet at Parons, and some blue beaded trim at Joyce Trimming on W 38th. The dress is lined in ambiance, and the lining actually has a bit of cranberry lace for the hem. The satin was really wonderful to sew. It didn't curl too much, and pin holes disappeared after ironing.

It was hard to photograph, so here are two pictures.



It's hard to see, but there are sequins sewn into little 3D roses on the trim. I hand sewed this on just above the empire waist seam using some navy blue thread. There's not actually a dip in the trim or waist seam, it just was hanging a bit weird when I took this picture.


This is the same BWOF dress pattern that I used for her birthday dress, but I cut the neckline higher so that I don't need to add some lace to bring it up. Here's her birthday dress:


And finally, the PJ factory is whipping up dolly PJs and quilts as well! Here is molly, modeling a pair of christmas PJs for an american girl doll. I made a few little pairs of flannel PJs for the girls' baby dolls and then teensy doll quilts with the extras.

Pjs And Quilt

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Pajamas

The PJ factory is gearing up for Christmas again! These aren't presents, just warmups to try out some patterns. Here are PJs in Kate's choice of flannel...


and PJs in my choice of flannel.... (penguins AND polar bears!)

These are both using PJ pants patterns from the November BWOF, Kids PJ pants 143 and PJs 132. Cozy sewing for a snowy day. I hope everyone in the Northeast enjoyed the snow and didn't actually need to go anywhere yesterday afternoon. ;)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

a peacoat

Warning, super cheesy. ;-) Since most of my family has never met my sailor, I got asked the same questions quite a bit after we got engaged. "what does he look like again? who is this crazy boy you've been with for years?"

Sooo.... I talked him into getting a photographer to do an engagement photo shoot. It was pretty important to me, also- my photography professor talked all the time about photographs as your history, and how women photographers frame their relationships especially within their families, and being aware of how you, as a photographer, are interjecting yourself in a scene as opposed to being a passive observer when you're taking pictures of people you know. Seeing your personal history as you've photographed it and shaping your view of your life through pictures that you look back at. Yeah, women's college photography classes, exactly as you might imagine it. ;) I wrote about this a few times over the years ago on my non-sewing blog. Here's a quote I put up there, from my professor, about this:

"Photographs look so honest and truthful," she said. "But it all depends: All photos have the problem of interpretation. It's the person taking the picture who's doing the editing, not the camera. If you were writing in a journal or painting a portrait, you would be much more aware of the editing."

All of which is a long winded way to say that I really wanted some pictures of us together instead of the 3 or 4 snapshots we have. We had a wonderful photographer & went to the back bay wildlife refuge at Virginia Beach. I brought my camera, and for the most part we just walked around and the two people with cameras took pictures. ;)

Since I sew... well.... I had to make a new coat to wear. It's BWOF 08-2009-102, a double breasted pea coat. You can't really see it, but the lining is a BRIGHT turqouise silk. The buttons are mother of pearl, from an old coat from my grandma.

(this is a flash slideshow- it takes a little time to load, and you need flash in your browser to run it)

OK, enough silly pictures, on to construction details! I interlined the coat with black flannel and it came out super warm and cozy.


The front is interfaced with fusible weft interfacing. I made the pockets out of flannel, and made sure to put a back pleat in the lining so that I'd have lots of room to move around. The coat has princess seams that eased together really nicely with this tweed, and I actually managed to pull off the buttonholes on my sewing machine at home! I marked the buttonholes on freezer paper, ironed that onto the front, and stitched the buttonholes onto the freezer paper over the markings. Then I ripped it off. Viola, decent coat buttonholes from my little Viking!