Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some sewing for Kate

It hasn't been all muslins around here- i squeezed in two pieces for my oldest niece recently.

A few months ago, Stella McCartney made an adorable little band jacket for a Gap Kids collection. Sooo cute! The October BWOF had a sweet little girl jacket with similar styling. I'd recently tried felting some wool jersey at home and had been wondering what to make with it, so I put two and two together and came up with this jacket. The trimming is still quite the WIP at the moment, but here we are so far:

in-progress coat

So far it has satin piping in the front princess seam & chenille trim for "braid" across the front. I'm planning gold buttons where the trim meets the princess line, and gold buttons with loops as a closure. Then possibly more chenille trim on the sleeves & collar to copy the original.

In addition to the little jacket, I made up her Oliver + S school photo dress last weekend... this is in a silk/wool twill from the Vera Wang Lavender collection that was on last year. This is the "trial run" for Kate's flower girl dress, to see how it fits on her. A size 7 is kind of loose, but the length is right for her. She loved the little pocket in the dress!

Oliver + S school photo dress

Oliver + S school photo dress

Friday, October 29, 2010

and a front view

Here we are, new pictures of the front! The dress was fitting OK yesterday, I just looked like a complete dork in almost all the pictures we took last night. ;) Of course muslin photos are supposed to look silly, but these looked super silly! I used the muslin re-shoot as an excuse to bust out my "ebay veil" to try out something approximating the whole look.

Here's one where the sash slipped down a smidge, but you can kind of see the bodice. I still need to put on the cap sleeves.

wedding dress muslin

And a full length. Notice that I need to either let it out a bit at the hips or eat less ice cream and go to the gym more! I had been walking 2 miles home from the train station every evening all summer, which stopped when it got cold. D'oh! I need to replace all that activity with something indoors for the winter!

wedding dress muslin

Cindy commented on the sash length- this is just a tester sash that I pulled off a dress in my closet. I'm rather leaning towards a band at the empire seam with nothing hanging down as a sash, but this is working for try-ons.

And lsaspacey commented on the dress resembling a regency dress. I love that period as well. Their empire line dresses were soooo beautiful!

Finally, this afternoon we had "trunk or treat" at Kate's school. Here's my little subaru, all decked out for giving away candy to screaming elementary schoolers!

Trunk or treat

Thursday, October 28, 2010

dress muslins

I hate to admit it, but I'm starting to feel a smidge jealous of the girls on Say Yes to the Dress! (OK, yes, I watch it occasionally. It has gorgeous gowns on it! (; ) Anytime I want to try on a new potential wedding dress, I have to unwrap a bolt of muslin, lay it out on the floor, de-wrinkle a 50 year old pattern, pin it, cut it out, stitch it up and THEN I can try it on, in plain muslin, while I imagine it in a fancy silk. Yeah. Not that I'd do this any other way but there's a lot of work to try out one dress.

So here we have a very rough muslin for my sister's dress. My mom is pin fitting the princess seams on her. I'm so grateful she can help with this.


And here's a muslin I made this evening. With, of course, silly face from trying to instruct the sailor to turn on the flash on my SLR! (No front view at the moment, it came out super weird looking)


I really like this pattern. Here's the original pattern envelope, Simplicity 7177


Sunday, October 17, 2010

a wedding dress

Would you guys like some wedding pictures? I got the film back from the pictures that I shot my friend's wedding, so I thought I might share a few.

As I mentioned earlier, she sewed her dress! With a bit of help from me and a few other friends, but she did the bulk of the work. This corset and skirt are, respectively, the third and fourth items of clothing she has ever sewn. Amazing, no?? If only we all just jumped right into whipping up wedding dresses when we started!! ;)

Jocelyn & Matt

Jocelyn & Matt

She hand sewed crystals onto the skirt, which was silk organza over duchesse satin. The top corset is lace over a silk corset.

Dress closeup

skirt with beading

There was some last minute tweaking... This is Vashti sewing. Somewhere is an identical photo of me in that red dress doing this to another piece of the dress. ;)


The wedding was tons of fun, and I had a great time shooting. Since they had an official photographer, I just brought film camera with a 50mm prime lens and meandered around shooting whatever caught my eye. No pressure, so it was very enjoyable. Here are a few more:

Jocelyn & Matt


Updo in process

Monday, October 11, 2010

a party dress

simplicity 5872 You might remember that I mentioned here I'd been helping a friend sew her wedding dress over the last few months. Well, that wedding was this weekend and I'm happy to report that her dress was gorgeous and the wedding was wonderful fun. I don't have any photos yet of her outfit because at her request I shot film all day. My original plan was to stay out of the way of their official wedding photographer and shoot detail shots and so forth, but it turned out that he was delighted to have another photographer running around and kept having his assistant call me over to shoot at some of the portraits. So I ended up learning a lot of new stuff about wedding photography, which was fantastic- but I have no pictures until the film is developed!

For my outfit I ended up sewing up one of the vintage wedding dress patterns (Simplicity 5872) in the shorter length. I want to practice bodice fitting with sleeves, and this dress really showed that I've got some practice ahead of me. Here's the inside of the bodice, the silk-cotton basted onto silk organza.



I decided that I'd just skip the muslin & jump into making this dress since the measurements were pretty close and I was rather crunched on time. My fitting mostly involved basting the seams, trying on, and slight tweaking from there. First I moved the armscye in by a quarter inch, which ended up being not quite enough since I still had trouble raising my arms entirely overhead. And I also should have widened the sleeve pieces by about a quarter inch to a half inch since they were just a little too tight.

simplicity 5872

The trim is a length of organza ribbon with beading applied to it which I bought at MJ Trim to baste onto the dress along the empire seam.

simplicity 5872

During the construction, I'd posted a plea for help with the material to artisan's square sewing board, since I was having a terrible time with the pressing. I got some good advice to try to mainly press from the wrong side, which I mostly stuck to. Here's a view of the dress on Charlotte in the middle of a round of pressing.

simplicity 5872

So next up, I'm going to play with the bust dart placement and try to fix the sleeve issue. I have a nice black/tan print cotton to make another version of this dress in and I'll see if I can't get a better bodice fit this time around.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Oliver + S school photo dress

Here's what I spent a Sunday afternoon sewing up:

front view

It's the Oliver + S school photo dress in a plaid printed cord. This is size 4, for my niece Anabear. She's in preschool these days so this should make a nice school dress for her. You can see on the front I sort of made an effort to match the plaid which almost worked. I didn't even try on the back, as I didn't have enough material to really wiggle around.

back view

That's OK, it's a little kids dress. The dress went together really nicely, and the directions have you sew it all up with a really clean finish inside. It would be even neater if I'd used the pattern piece for the armhole binding, but zig zag is OK.

the dress insides

The way you sew the pocket into the front pieces is ingenious although I was convinced that it wouldn't quite work, it did. Hooray! And everything fit together perfectly, so no fighting with with any bits to fit together.

So this is actually the front runner pattern for the flower girl dresses, done up in blue silk. I thought a bit about the standard full-skirted poufy flower girl dresses for the girls, and I've sewn similar dresses to that style, like this year's Easter dresses. Really, I just couldn't get into it for a flower girl look, though. The front pocket on this dress was what sold me on these as flower girl dresses... can't you see them standing up at the ceremony with their hands tucked into the pockets? Adorable! ;)