gownAbout 5 years ago, little new-to-sewing me decided she was going to attend the Labyrinth of Jareth Masquerade Ball for a second time, and she needed a dress. She decided to sew up a pattern she found, but apparently she had no idea how to follow directions.

Today I pulled this dress out thinking “Hey! Halloween is coming up! Maybe I can sell this!” and found the waistband a mess, which I repaired. After doing so (and gathering a waist of 175 inches down to about 36 inches is a pain in the ass!) I discovered I had originally put the zipper in between the wrong two panels, that this skirt has a definite front and back. That means I will have to undo what I did, and move the zipper to the right location or else the zipper has a very odd placement when worn.

I also took a good look at the pattern envelope and found I did not even come close to putting the bodice together right. I knew I never dd the pollinading (however you spell that) but apparently the two purple panels hanging over the hips are supposed to go around the entire bodice except where the blue panels are in the front. I think because of how I put it together I can rip a few lines of stitches out and fix that too. As it stands now, the panels hanging down on one side is noticeably longer than the other.

I honestly cannot comprehend how I screwed this up so badly except by flat out not following or probably even reading the directions. The pattern I failed to follow is Butterick 4315. (Click to see the envelope) I am hoping I can fix this in a few days time without completely taking it apart, and really hope I can sell it. Its been hanging up in my craft room since it became my craft room and every time I see it I kind of cringe. I can’t believe I willingly made myself a purple and powder blue (with glitter) ball gown.

mattieiMonths ago, I mentioned we were going to a prom-themed party for a friend’s birthday. I had my dress under wraps, and was going to reveal it with photos from the party right afterwards, but it slipped my mind completely. Yesterday I finally remembered to ask the photographer for permission to use a few of his photos in my blogs, and got his website link to full give him credit. Matt Rondel took the photos, and you can see more of his work here.

The photos we’re in don’t show the clothing that well, but they’re still fun photos and I want to share them. My dress has some really fun detailing around the neckline, but as it was chilly, I kept my capelet (McCall’s 5006) on all night and stayed warm.

The capelet was made out of leftover fabric from my dress, as well as some gold satin I had on hand already. I used scraps of velvet ribbon to make the ties to fasten it that I had in my stash already.

My dress was made from Simplicity 1612 View E, after I fell in love with seeing this version in a fantastic border print. I liked the simple lines of the dress overall paired with the interesting neckline and figured why not? I really wanted to do the dress in royal blue, but couldn’t find the right type of fabric in that color so went with this forest green instead. Overall for my dress and capelet, I think I spent about $35 to make both.

Mattie’s shirt is made from Simplicity 7330, View 4, and is called the “3 hour shirt” on the envelope. It was actually a lot easier to make than I was expecting, and turned out really well. I also learned a few new techniques for handling facings while sewing it, so it was pretty much a win-win across the board.

Here’s two more photos form the evening for your enjoyment.

girlslegs mattieguys

 

 

I had a lot of fun that night, and am happy with how everything turned out. 🙂 My only complaint is I had made these fantastic earrings to wear that night, and I forgot them at home. When we arrived I noticed someone else’s earrings, and immediately realized mine were sitting at home, in the holder, and not in my ears. 🙁

capeletI did a lot of sewing the last few days, but unfortunately, I can’t share the most exciting parts of it with you yet and that’s driving me crazy. I stitched up my prom dress for Joann’s party in November with only a few weeks to spare, plus I whipped up a really quick capelet using my leftover dress fabric, plus some other stuff in my stash to line it. I will show you the capelet though, as it doesn’t give away anything about my dress except color and fabric.

I based the capelet off of McCall’s 5006, view G or H, but I only went as far as cutting out the fronts and back piece using the pattern and ignored the rest. I had a few small pieces of black velvet ribbon in my stash which I used for the ties, and I used some gold satin that I have no memory of buying from my stash to line it. Its one of those fabrics I want to use up to get rid of it, but can’t think of many applications where I’d actually want to wear it. I also made a small gold clutch, and am going to go with gold sandals.

I also cut the pieces of the pattern out for the polka dotted top I showed you a mock-up of in this post on Sunday, and put it together on Tuesday. It turned out really cute, and I love it- its exactly what I expected, even though I altered some of the construction methods to finish off the neckband and armbands in a way that would be nicer than what was called for. This shirt was super easy to put together, and it took me about an hour and 40 minutes from start to finish. Part of that time was me ripping out a seam because the upper shoulder edges and center back edges on the back of the shirt are almost identical, and I stitched them together wrong and had to rip it out. I also had to restitch my sleeve cuffs on one sleeve twice as I completely missed snagging the cuff’s fabric on the inside of the sleeve when I stitched it in place.

I finally remembered to check and see if I have a matching zipper for the maroon dress I made months ago because after trying the dress on after I made it, I discovered the zipper sticks really bad, if you can zip it up at all- obviously that is not conductive to wearing it. Unfortunately, despite the fact I have literally 200 zippers of varying sizes and colors, I do not have one in a wine or maroon in the right length so will have to actually go out and buy one for it some time.

Anyway, here’s the top I did today, in a horrible dimly lit mirror shot. I can’t remember if I mentioned it or not, but my camera took a crap on me, so right now its pretty much cell phone pics (sadly mostly in the mirror) unless I can get Mattie to take them for me. The fabric is actually navy blue with light blue dots, though its hard to tell in this awful photo.

I also did some new mock-ups this evening for a new pattern I recently picked up- I love leggings, and while I have two pair, I feel like I could use a few more. The pairs I have are black and grey, wit the black ones having huge metal grommets all over them and the grey ones are studded up the side seams. The grey ones are more versatile of the two, but the black ones can be hard to wear because of the grommets.

The new leggings I will be making fall into two places- calm and quiet, and crazy and wild. View A from McCall’s 6173 features a waistband and zipper, as well as zippers at the ankles. I chose two crazy fabrics for that view, with black and purple zebra stripes, and bold leopard print that channels my inner Peg Bundy.

The other view I like has an elastic waist, and no additional detailing. I’ve chosen a plain black rib knit for one pair, and a tan and brown houndstooth pattern for the other pair. There is a third view in the envelope, which features extra length so they are bunched up around the ankles. I don’t really care or that view.

4I also did a mockup of a mini-dress I have in my stash that I initially purchased for the top variations. But I’m thinking the mini-dress will be a great with leggings (its too short for me to wear otherwise- I’m not comfortable showing that much leg) and the teal colored rib knit I found will be great for it. I could wear it with either of the tamer leggings I’ll be making, as well as the two pairs I already own. Really trying to give myself some wearable Winter options that are still cute and fun while hopefully not freezing to death.

Tomorrow I will see about working on another of the tops I have had fabric for for a while and maybe knock something else out of my stash.I’m thinking of working on one of these variations of Simplicity 2365 View D as I really like the shirt I’ve already made form this pattern, though I did a different view- the one with the short sleeves. I’m not sure which fabric I want to dive into first though I do know the next time I do this pattern it will turn out better then before as I have a better understanding now of some of the finishing techniques used in it after making Mattie’s dress shirt.

I’d also like to see what I have in the way of bigger knit scraps that might be usable for other small projects and see about maybe listing them on eBay. Figure if I sell off some of them, I can make a few bucks and clear some room out in my fabric drawers. I need to pick up a few Priority mailers from the post office when I mail out patterns I sold tomorrow and see how much I can fit into one of them.

 

 

 

I lost all self control the other day and I made an order for some new fabrics. Initially I was only buying fabric for my prom dress (Have I mentioned that yet? I can’t remember.) and for Mattie’s dress shirt for prom. But then I saw some other fabulous fabrics and I had to have them. I tried really hard to not buy them, but yeah… You know how it is, right? Anyway, I have two shirts I absolutely adore and would love to have a few other versions of them. One however is a really summery shirt, and Summer is coming to an end, so I decided to skip out of making another version or two of it for now. The other shirt I love though is more suited for other weather, depending of fabrics used. My first version (link in previous sentence) was made with a very light weight shirting material and is perfect for Summer. Its so light I worry about it being ripped to shreds when the dog jumps on me, but amazingly that hasn’t happened. Maybe the fabric is tougher than I think it is. Anyway, I want to make two other versions of this shirt, but do the shorter length of it with longer sleeves (View D) and maybe do one with the sleeves tacked up and one with them down all the way. I found two fun fabrics, both novelty prints, that I think will be great for this. One is a brown color with postage stamps bearing messages of love, and the other is a lime green with colorful buttons all over it. I think they’re both going to be super cute, and very wearable with both jeans and solid colored skirts. I only drew the mock-up with the sleeves tacked up, but I’m sure you can imagine them all the way down.

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I also ordered some solid color Kona cotton (I love this stuff!) to make two new ½ circle skirts. I thought I loved the full circle skirt, but after making a ½, I was pretty much over the full circle. I chose fabrics in charcoal grey and in coral (which I’m hoping is as pictured, more orange-y than pink) and I can’t wait for them to get here. Oddly enough I think I might be able to wear these versions of the shirts paired with the skirts I did mock-ups of here. That will be a win!

Now, about prom. If I haven’t mentioned it yet, my friend Joann is having a prom themed birthday party in November, and Mattie and I were invited to in the fun. It took me forever to decide on a dress pattern. I knew from the beginning I was going to be making my own dress, but choosing was hard. The dress I’m making is long, sleek, and has some rather interesting shaping and detailing front and back around the neckline. I’ll have to find a strapless bra, which will be a challenge to find one that fits, but the dress is gorgeous. I only wish I had been able to find the fabric I chose for it in a royal blue- instead all I could find was hunter green, but I think its still going to look fab. I was only able to find one person online who has made this dress, and she ran into a few issues, so hoping I can get this baby finished without any major hang-ups!

S16131I had purchased this pattern (Simplicity 1613) months ago and did a mock-up of it back at the end of May. I had a plan to do the band around the neckline so the stripes were vertical instead of horizontal like the rest of the top, but in practice, I am glad I didn’t do that.

I had some problems with this top, namely that I’m still not sure I made the elastic casing correctly, but otherwise it was pretty quick and easy and only took me about 2 hours from cutting to finishing. I looked forward to making this top since I chose the fabric for it, but in all honesty, its not my favorite thing I’ve made this year. I think the pattern envelope looks better than my reality of what I made with it. There is also the issue of when wearing it, the shoulder straps don’ want to stay in place- I’m pretty sure the model on the envelope is using double-sides tape to keep her straps up and where they belong. :blink:

Still, the fit is really good, as the sizing was spot-on, and I’m not unhappy with it. I think it would have been better if made with a heavier knit fabric than the one I used. Would I make it again? Yes, most likely. I don’t like the sleeveless and long sleeved versions of the twisted neckline, but the short-sleeves one is kind of cute, and I’d like to make another version like this one but  sleeveless. Its just a really cute top and I love the bared shoulders a lot.

S1613Anyway, a solid 4 out of 5 stars for this one, which isn’t exactly bad. :happy:

I’m not sure how noticeable it really is, but my face is all blotchy because I got a pretty nasty sunburn last Saturday at the beach and its peeling now, as is my chest, one shoulder, and my back. I wish I could cover it up with make-up for the pics, but make-up isn’t so useful of peeling skin. :cwy:

I’ve also got some ideas for my prom dress I’ll need in November. One of my friends is having a prom-themed party for her birthday and obviously I need an amazing dress. Mattie has agreed to be my date so long as I make him a 100% cotton shirt, and I of course need a dress. I have two patterns in mind, and I might already have the perfect fabric in my stash- a deep platinum colored medium-weight knit that I think would look great in either Butterick 5491, or Simplicity 1612. Obviously I am thinking of the long versions here, but I have months to decide what to do so no rush!