Monday, September 30, 2013

Twin Minnies (Twinnies?)

My sister and her husband's family headed to Disney World recently and she asked me to make some Minnie Mouse themed dresses for her girls with fabric she supplied.

I used the Fair & Square Dress pattern by Tie Dye Diva because I wanted the dresses to fit well and I needed a pattern for two fabrics. The red polka dot was some sort of synthetic blend and kind of yucky to work with, but I thought it looked pretty Minnie-esque. My sister also supplied some heat & bond and some yellow rick rack for embellishements.

I'm not normally a rick rack girl, but I think it definitely suited the look and was very much needed to spruce up the dress a bit. For the applique, I found a silhouette with just the right proportions (and learned about Hidden Mickeys) here.  I printed it out at the size I wanted, fused some Heat 'n' Bond to some plain black fabric, pinned the mouse head to the fabric, cut it out, ironed it to the dress and then zig-zagged around it with my sewing machine. This blog post on Sew Like My Mom does a great job of explaining how to do applique neatly.

I also added a little surprise in the package for the girls:

I ordered these bracelets from Kinsley River Designs (whom I discovered through a mutual friend). The necklace Danielle wore with her birthday dress was made by Alana as well and I've ordered several custom items that will show up on my blog with future outfits. She's super talented and is competitively priced and it is too easy to get addicted to what she makes!

Until my sister sends me pictures of the girls in their dress (hint, hint Shawna!), here's proof that I made two of these dresses (my twin body forms aren't nearly as cute as my nieces...)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Astra Peasant Dress

5Berries recently released the Astra Dress, which I had the pleasure to test a couple weeks ago. It's a tiered peasant dress, similar to Simplicity 2377 which I've blogged about here and that I show in my Ruffler Foot Tutorials.

The biggest differences are that this pattern includes long sleeves and has a casing on the outside waistline to cinch in some of the fullness. My husband thought the sleeves were a bit poofy, but I think they look wonderfully comfortable.

I think they're just right :)

Danielle has been wearing uniforms to pre-K, so we haven't really purchased "regular" clothes for her for the fall. So I'm super excited that I've had the chance to make some long-sleeve dresses for church. I normally am behind in my sewing, not ahead of the seasons!

Let's pretend this picture is her looking
proud of me for sewing ahead, mkay?

I never intended these two fabrics to go together, since they are the same scale, but I think it really works for this dress since the tiers are all the same height.  I am pretty pleased with how this turned out.

You can see the fullness (though it's
not really shorter in the front like it looks)

I will definitely be making this one again, though I may mash it up with another pattern so that I can skip the waistline casing. Or I could just slim the bodice down and take a little width off the top tier. We'll see. I use patterns so I don't have to do the figuring myself :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

South Carolina Rose

A couple weeks back I got an email asking if I'd like to be a pattern tester for Ellie Inspired's new shirtdress--um, yes! I had filled out a form to be a pattern tester but didn't expect to get a chance as so many people have caught on that pattern testing is fun. The dress is the Texas Rose Shirt Dress and it is beautifully drafted. The size 4 fit perfectly with no adjustments or pattern revisions


I used a print I originally bought to make myself a dress before Danielle was born. It's cream with little dark green scissors all over it. It is SO much better suited for her coloring than mine, so I'm glad I chose it for this project. I used a dark green broadcloth as contrast for the sash, sleeve tabs and covered buttons. This was actually the first time I have ever made covered buttons and it was pretty easy. I used these that were from my mom who probably got them from her mother or grandmother:

35 cents? I wish they still only cost this much!

I love the amount of detail in this outfit. There is just enough to be interesting, but it's not so fussy that it would be cumbersome to sew again. I even went a step further than my normal and used cream thread for topstitching.

You should be able to see the contrasting topstitching in this picture

Besides that cute double ruffle skirt, I LOVE the ruffles down the front. I might just add some to every pattern I sew from here on :)

Forgive the face--this picture shows the sleeve tab
and those cute, cute ruffles down the front

I am really quite pleased with how this turned out, and it's going on my favorites list. I will warn you, Laura's instructions are very concise and include illustrations instead of pictures. I found them to be refreshing, though! If you are worried about it being difficult, Pattern Revolution hosted a sewalong that has tons of information and pictures that should make it easier. It's too late to join the sewalong, but the information is still super helpful and there is an alternate sleeve and Peter Pan collar available in the post for Day 1.

I should confess, I don't normally care for drop-waisted styles, but I didn't see that in the description at first because I was so excited to test. Then, when I got the dress finished, I saw the shape and absolutely love it. I don't know if it's the fullness of the skirt or that the waist isn't dropped too low, or what, but I really love how this turned out. Almost forgot, here's a shot of the back:

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