Wedding Dress – Lining

So now my wedding dress is underway and I have begun by sewing the lining which I am going to use to fit the dress. I have decided to do French seams throughout to add a neat look to every layer.

Here is the lining dress on my manequin.

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I have decided to leave the back open instead of using stretch illusion since I am very pale and the illusion fabric is usually made for ballroom dancing where fake tan is the name of the game. I have also moved the closure to an invisible zipper under the arm which I will sew in by hand when the lining and outer layers are attached.

So far, I love this pattern and the fit is good. The only thing I will alter is the neckline which can come a little lower. Oh and the length! This dress pattern seems to have been made for an Amazon and not someone who is 5’4″ and likes wearing flats! My mannequin is curently set at a shoulder height of about 5’6” and the dress is still scrunched on the ground.

My version of Katie Betty’s Liberty skater skirt

So, since minerva crafts started their blogger network I have been following every make and when I saw Katie Betty’s skater skirt in a fabulous stars and stripes print I couldn’t wait to get the kit!

I started with the fabric folded in half to get the length.

stars and striped fabric

In hindsight, I could have taken it a bit shorter but I knew I wanted the skirt to sit on my waist and it is always better a wee bit long than a wee bit short!

I folded over a nice wide waistband to thread the elastic through.

sewing the waistband

 

It took no time at all to make up, I think I was done in about an hour and it looks great.

Here is it teamed with my New Rock boots and black tights.

finished skirt

 

Foray into Cosplay – Queen Amidala headdress

When making clothes I always draw on my passions for fantasy and science fiction, sometimes even creating my own characters like a Neptunian mining manager or a cyberpunk bio-hacker. Now I am going to go one step further and delve into the world of science fiction and fantasy emulation by way of cosplay!

My last cosplay creation was Seven of Nine for Destination Star Trek London last year. I made a silver catsuit and papier mache cortical implants:

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Getting to meet some of my Star Trek heroes and getting complements from other fans made this one of the best weekends ever!

 

Now I am switching franchise and heading off to Star Wars. I am going to make a copy of Queen Amidala’s red invasion outfit, starting with the headdress.

Padmé Amidala's first appearance in Star Wars ...

Padmé Amidala’s first appearance in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No real person has hair long and thick enough to become part of the headdress (and if you read the rest of my blog you know I certainly don’t) so I have ordered a wig for the long pigtail at the back and hair extensions for the coil over the head. I intend to pad out this coil with a length of foam tube from a swimming “noodle” and make the rest in papier mache with embelishment.

 

This will probably be one of the biggest not purely sewing projects I have ever undertaken and I am raring to get going. I hope to post images and a detailed account of every step as I get to work!

Geoffrey Beene jumpsuit and shirt

Now we are in the last week of August, I am packing away the poplin and the summer dress patterns and looking for something to set the tone for my autumn wardrobe. I really like clothes with plain straight lines in lovely fabrics as the weather starts to turn colder and you have to start planning what jacket to wear with everything.

I found this fantastic pattern from Geoffrey Beene for sale on Etsy (I think it is out of print now)

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I love the low back combined with the smart straight trousers on the jumpsuit and I know that the square cut shirt is sure to become a wardrobe staple of mine as I am always looking for a baggy top to throw over jeans.

I chose a suiting fabric which I got for £2.99/m online which I expected to end up looking quite flimsy but it has really beautiful drape which will be great for the pleats in the jumpsuit.

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I don’t know how well it has come out in the picture but it is actually a very fine beige and black tweed that gives an overall grey look.

So far I have just been cutting out the pieces. The jumpsuit is just two main pieces (I don’t think I have ever had to cut out such large pattern pieces).

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I can’t wait to see how it makes up! I’ll keep you posted on progress…

Pattern Review – Vogue 1248

Sorry for the lack of posts for a while I have been away from my sewing machine on holiday! I return with a review of this fabulous pattern Vogue 1248 which I made for the second time shortly before going away.

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This pattern is by Andrea Katz and is in my opinion a fabulous balance of eye catching shape and practicality.

The pattern was classified as advanced (the first time I had attempted such a pattern) but it really wasn’t too difficult at all. I made the whole outfit in black linen earlier in the year to wear to give a seminar while on a research visit and just recently I made it again in white cotton as a great summer outfit.

The hardest part of this pattern in my opinion is the collar. It has three layers on top of the base and is also quite high making it quite bulky and hard to do up if you are not a giraffe! I adjusted for this when making it for the second time and removed the interfacing in the collar sections (the thickness of the fabric is enough to keep it in place).

The long pronged snap fastenings on the shirt are a fun feature (I have never had to take a hammer to my sewing before) but they really give it a professional edge.

The skirt is the conversation piece of the outfit. The belt/sash is made to look like the sleeves of a shirt tied round the waist which adds an artistic edgy feel to the look. The way they wrap around the waist several times before tieing at the front or the back are reminiscent of a japanese kimono.

My favourite part of the skirt ar the pockets. Instead of being stitched to the outside of the skirt on completion, they are incorporated as a separate section where first a bag is made and then stitched into the opening left on the side of the skirt. It is a neat construction and leaves a polished finish.

Overall I have to say that this is one of the best patterns I have ever made up and would recommend it to anyone!

Here is a picture of me in the white cotton version of the skirt whilst on holiday this year:

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Return from internet blackout and ‘Neat Pleats’ completion

Sorry for the long break in posting, I have been moving house and hence have had to contend with the usual switch-over time before getting the phone line up and running!

In the meantime I have been busy sewing and creating and I have completed my pleated top in time for the sun to come out!

I decided to have a one inch pleat about every four inches, although I followed the stripes in the fabric rather than the exact measurements. I decided to line the top with a yellow viscose jersey (very stretchy) to make it secure (very important in a strapless top). I calculated the stretch in the jersey and cut it so that it would fit over my shoulders when completely stretched.

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I pressed the pleats into the striped fabric before beginning and then hemmed the bottom by hand and pressed it again.

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I attached the lining and top together and added a snap fastening for the striped fabric as it has no stretch to it.

I love the way it turned out although if I were to make this again I would use bigger pleats to give a more flared look!

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All Tied Up Dress – Completion

It has been a couple of weeks since I started my “All Tied Up Dress”. I needed to have a big stash clear-out and although a little dress like this doesn’t go far to use up fabric I managed to use some of the fab pieces of fabric I have lying around particularly a great piece of vintage star wars sheets which I used for the back skirt and some of the back ties! At the front I used a red white and blue starry fabric that I bought as a remnant on Etsy a while back (I think maybe this was also from some old sheets). All the bits for which I didn’t have fancy fabrics I filled in with plain pure cotton fabrics that I had lying around (mostly because I always err on the side of caution when buying fabric for shop bought patterns and end up with metres and metres too much).

I didn’t line any of the dress apart from the tie back and front facing to keep it nice and cool for summer and I made it a slightly long mini so it is always easy to wear without tights!

Once I managed to find time to sew, it was quick to make up and I will definitely use the pattern again! The only downside to this dress is it is almost impossible (without acrobat-like flexibility) to reach to tie up all the back yourself!

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All Tied-Up Stashbusting Dress

The crochet dress is coming along nicely but I can never stray too far from my sewing machine so I have been designing a nice simple dress. I love the idea of backless dresses but often feel a bit exposed whilst wearing them. I wanted to make a dress that was almost backless to show off a bit of skin between a row of straps down the back. To make these adjustable I decided to make them fabric ties.

Like most sewing aficionados I have a rather large stash of left over and excess fabric (I always always err heavily on the side of caution when buying fabric particularly if it has a nap). I decided to make this dress completely out of things from my stash. The star (no pun intended) attraction of this dress will be the back skirt which I am making out of a leftover piece of vintage star wars fabric that I bought of Etsy months ago and have only used snippets from!

This is the back of the skirt:

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For the front of the dress I matched some Captain America-esque starry fabric and some red cotton fabric:

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This is just the cutting process, it has been in my stash box too long and is in good need of an iron! For the back bodice I extended it into long strips to form the ties:

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I wanted to go for a patchwork mish-mash look and use up fabric I had lying around. With the tie at the back of the bodice I am just going to add some elastic at the back of the waist instead of a zip opening. Now to start sewing…….

Cryostasis Dress

In the latest issue of Sew Today (my favourite sewing magazine). There was a lovely suggestion of an organza shift dress made from a simple tunic pattern. Immediately I thought “this is something for me”. I loved the idea of a great 1960’s space age minidress that is stiff as well as sheer with the seams forming art deco lines! Although the shift looks fabulous there is something vaguely sleepwear-ish about it (maybe thats why it seems so alluring). In my mind it would be worn by a beautiful girl travelling through the stars in a cryostasis pod.

I chose a Kwik Sew pattern to form the basis of the tunic:

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I lengthened it to minidress length and added a triangular godet down the front to add flare reminiscent of the space age of the 1960’s (think early Star Trek or the Jetsons). I chose a lovely “pewter” coloured organza and bound the seams with grey thread to reinforce the structure of the seam lines and also provide a stiff skeleton for the dress. I used the same method for the hem round the neck, sleeves and bottom as I did to edge the fabric in my “GoodGirlBadGirl” shorts.

The dress is so light it would make an excellent beach cover-up or over a slip for a smart cocktail dress, however I think it looks best over a crop top and leggings so I can show off some flesh whilst still covering up!

My boyfriend took some great photos of the dress down at the beach:

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Adventures into upcycling – GoodGirlBadGirl Shorts

Last week I posted about my 241 skirt, inspired by the concept of two people inhabiting the same body and the conflicts inside. This got by head spinning with ideas of juxtaposition of styles in one garment. I love the idea of merging casual (verging on scruffy) and formal eveningwear fabrics.  This led me to rush down to the nearest charity shop to pick up a pair of second hand jeans….

I cropped them into short-shorts by just cutting the legs off and fraying the edges and doing a slight zig-zig stitch round just to stabilise  the raw edge.

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Ripped jeans….. this is the “Bad Girl” part of the shorts.

 

The “good girl” part comes from a piece of orange/pink shimmery organza. I wanted to have a floor length overlay on the shorts that would contrast with the ripped denim but also be a cute summery cover-up!

I bound the edges of the organza by rolling and zig-zagging the hem:

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I attached the overlay to the shorts using short handstitches. I had to take care since the denim had a slight stretch to it not to make them too tight but they stand up to most wear I think!

Here are some photos of the finished shorts! They were great fun to make and are a summer staple in my opinion!

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I am going to try to make these in different sizes to sell on my Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/SRHJNE

I just love the summery feel of this design!