Friday, January 9, 2015

My poor neglected Blog

Not only have I not been updating regularly, but I found two old posts in "Drafts"!!

Ah well. I'm back now and will be updating regularly again... I hope ;)

The end of the year was a nightmarish flurry of activities.

In October I spent the month sewing up our Halloween costumes.  I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out what I wanted to 'be' when (somewhere I don't remember where) I got the idea of being the Mad Hatter -- then double inspiration hit me and I asked my husband if he wanted to be the March Hare.  He said YES and I was thrilled.  A lot of research and fabric purchasing later and I had my work cut out for me.  Two costumes and both with a steampunk flair.

For my husband I started with  McCall's 7003 for my husband and sewed a coat, vest, pants and tie.  I made almost everything exactly like the pattern except a slight alteration in the tie to turn it into an oversized bow tie.

The shirt I made from Simplicity 2895.  I modified the collar though to make it super high and to have pointed tips.  (self drafted that part)

The jacket is made from felt and went together really nicely.  It's actually a nice coat for a costume and my husband liked it a lot.  The vest is a gold brocade with contrast lining.  Again this is something you could make wearable clothes out of it you chose too as the vest is fully lined and looks really neat when finished.  The pants I made from a crazy plaid 'linen like' fabric.  They were super light weight but my husband LOVED them and has asked me to make him some 'real' pants out of the pattern.  They are super comfy and the the pockets are placed, they don't gap open or pull when he sits down.  

For his mask and ears I got really creative - I started with a plaster cat mask and a rabbit ear template.  I added a bunch of length to the ear template (to make it more hare like) and sewed them up in fur and leather.  I then altered the eye shape on the mask and covered it too with fur. 

My husband hated it.. So I attached the ears to a hat and did major surgery on the mask and came up with this..

My costume ended up being the easier of the two.  I purchased a corset and saved myself the frustration of sewing that.  For the rest of the costume I used Simplicity 1558.  I made just minor changes to the pattern.  The skirt I made out of some polyester suiting and to add a bit of 'flair' I added a lining and attached tulle around the bottom.  The blouse I just changed the neckline a slight bit to show a bit more skin :)

For my hat I used an online tutorial found here and it worked perfectly!

Together I think we made a quite striking pair and I think all the hard work was worth it!

As soon at that was done I had to focus on my HUGE 'paid for' project (my first one)  I had done measurements and mockups earlier, but now it was time to start on the real things...  6 Jr Bridesmaids Dresses, a dress for the mother of the bride and a dress for the bride (to wear for a rehearsal dinner)

For the girls we started with Simplicity 1510, but the bride wanted some changes.  One, she wanted the straps to be thin, 2 she wanted the top to have a gathered chiffon overlay, and a chiffon 'belt' in the front and the back needed a tie.  I didn't really realize how much work it was going to take to draft those extra pattern pieces for 6 dresses!

With the chiffon ruffle across the top, I couldn't find any pre-made trim to fit so I ended up hand cutting all the chiffon flowers and sewing them on one at a time!  X 6 DRESSES!  Let's just say this was a LOT of work and the month that I gave myself to work on it wasn't enough!  But the dresses turned out really cute and I was proud of my work.

the other two projects.. well.. *sigh*

When we went in for the fitting the weekend before thanksgiving I was shocked to find that Mom had lost 6 inches!  That meant tearing the whole thing apart and reconstructing it - in the end it was still a little too big!  And that jacket *sigh*  The original design for the dress to have a lace long sleaved overlay, but at the pre-thanksgiving fitting Mom decided she wanted to turn the overlay into a bolero jacket.  I told her I could do that... Then a week before I was supposed to give her the dress she called and wanted a fully lined jacket!  The end result was a MESS.  I hated it, she hated it and she ended up not wearing the dress at the wedding.  I feel terrible and there's a part of me that feels like I should give her some of her money back - I still don't know.  I can say that I learned a lot from this process IF I ever sew clothes for someone else again.

And the rehersal dinner dress... well we started with McCalls 6838 and everything went together ok.  Except the bride grew several inches between fittings and even after I let the blouse out she didn't like it much - *sigh* another failure.

On top of all this I also altered two dresses for her brides maids - taking one in and shortening the straps and another hemming (with THREE skirts).

But the holiday season did have a bright spot.  I had made myself a dress last year for Christmas and only got to wear it once... so I already had something special made that I could wear out without having to stop any of the wedding sewing.

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