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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Little Gift to Myself

Some nice kid on Etsy got a great mohair sweater and posted it about it in the forums. I was so jealous because it looked so much like the sweater Kurt Cobain wore. He was so sweet and convoed (Etsy term for e-mail) a link to one on Ebay that was even better than his. Of course it went in my watch list and now hopefully it will be in the mail to me real soon. The seller is from WA and I'm from OR so I should get it real quick. I'm so excited. Here is a little comparison. To my sis MINE :)

It is a vintage Pebble Beach. Oh just look at it!!! I hope it isn't stinky lol

Cuts and adjustments

First the blue bridesmaid dress. I cut and hemmed it today. The only thing left to do is some hand sewing to the bodice! It sure makes a difference being shorter way cute.
Five more to go!

I also did some work on the Grace Kelly dress. I added sleeves (they are not hemmed), deepened the bodice back and attached the skirts to the bodice and lining. I will hopefully wrap it up tomorrow as you can see it is still pinned. My sister is going to try to do some beading for the wheat looking detail of the original dress.  
I'm having a bit of a war with static electricity. Both these dresses are full of them.  The chiffon and tulle are just clinging to the skirts! I used a fabric softener to ease it. I will toss them in the dryer after they are complete to loosen them up a bit. Anyone know of any other tricks to get rid of some static?

For the bridesmaid that the fabric was discontinued she choose this fabric instead. I feel bad because my local quilt shop was working so hard to get it for me. I just don't have to time for "what ifs" right now.
It is called Spice of Life and available at fabric.com. I personally like this one better than the first selection. She wasn't upset. I was so afraid she would be!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Always a Bridesmaid....

Almost done with one. The scary part cutting the skirt for the hem. Right now this dress is at 26" the measurements provided say 20" that is a lot to cut, but about average for above the knee which this dress is supposed to be.

I look at this and think it would go really well with this cute little vintage pink dress from The Vintage Studio. Check out her shop she has lots more beautiful dresses. Maybe some day I will get time to doing something like combining these two. Anyone want a custom order? Until then I will put it in my dream dresses to make folder.
Having some bad times with fabric. The last of the blue for the dress pictured here was shipped today. I have a order for 5 other bridesmaid dresses and have been frantically trying to find a supplier for it. I sent swatches from fabric.com but they discontinued it. I tried to contact manufacturer Timeless Treasures directly but they haven't returned my calls or e-mails. Hopefully my local quilt shop will have better luck. It is Kerri Stretch Sateen Strokes Rust Brown. If anyone can help me please contact me! I need 10 yards but will buy the whole bolt! Here is a picture of it:

This is one reason I hate buying my fabrics online. By the time I get swatches together mailed out and approved the fabric is no longer available or they are out and not going to buy more. I have to spend so much time tracking it down or having to order way more than I need just to get it. Fabric.com does not do any special orders. Not even for a bolt!

Then the plaid for the PS I Love You Dress. I order it and it won't be in for a couple of weeks. She didn't give me a deadline but c'mon just send me my fabrics already. I have enough but it is strange because the inside of the fabric is different. One is white the other more red. It is a flannel fabric that may help you picture what I mean. I guess I could take a picture but I'm kind of lazy. Because it is a wrap dress and not lined I just can't mix and match the fabrics even if the right sides are exact. Sorry it is going to be a little longer for your dress now.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Finally some progress

Well I bought out two stores for this Cornflower blue fabric. I'm still about 4 yards short which I ordered online. I have everything cut again except for the chiffon section of the bodice. I have enough chiffon to complete three dresses. By the time I receive the remainder of the fabric I should have three of the six completed. I worked out all the bugs today in the bodice and it looks remarkable to me! I even gave it a hug!
Here is is without the trim and beside it it is attached to the lining with the boning. For the ruffle I cut a 5.5" strip 28" long (a bit too long) sewed it in half then stitch right down the middle.
 Maybe tomorrow it will be attached to a skirt!

A Customer's Photos Thank YOU!!!

Back in DecemberI was so broken hearted when this dress was a bit too small. My customer made it work and she shared some wonderful pictures and was gracious enough to let me post them here. I wish more would share their photos because they are what brings life to the dresses. She looks remarkable and you can just see the happiness. I'm so pleased now!

 Thanks again for sharing these beautiful pictures. You made my day!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Day of the Fabric the Day with no Coffee Pot

I wake up at 4:30 to basically down a cup of coffee, put some shoes on and get my BF to work. Instead I get time to get up to find the coffee pot is broke. The burner not getting hot. On the way home I find a Human Bean that is open. Yeah at least I got a cup of coffee.

My fabric was supposed to be in and of course it wasn't! I literally cried! Yes in the store like a little baby. I called another shop and they had 4 yards of the blue chiffon. I hope it is going to be enough. I'm running out of stores and time! Game plan is I'm going to cut the four skirts that need to be cut and the six bodices tomorrow then I will know. Joanne's is so SLOW in shipping I didn't want to order it online. I will if I have to.

Butterick was on sale and I got their new releases! Love them. The first store only had one in my size and the second had the other so I'm all kinds of pattern hoarding happy!
I also got some formal black satin for a full 50's circle skirt that my customer is going to sew Monarch Butterflies on. She ordered a petticoat to go with it. I got my white bridal satin and also thought the Grace Kelly Dress should have the organza stole so I picked up some of that too.

So I now should have enough for the skirt and petticoat, the dress for V2902 and bolero, the black bolero for the green dress (I have the green on hand) and I pray enough for the six blue dresses.

I have another order for the PS I Love You Dress. I thought I would have enough left over fabric but did not. I ordered it today. She don't care when she gets it but I want to keep to my schedule and want her to have her dream dress ASAP. I had another order for this dress in Feb. I couldn't post it because it was a surprise. The lady and her husband watched the movie and she went on and on about the dress. He went out of his way to find it for her! I thought wow and honestly I was a bit jealous because a certain someone here wouldn't of done that for me! It was sweet though!

The bad, stress and turmoil of the day ended with a wonderful dinner with my mom and sister. All of the above, the not sure if I have enough fabric doesn't matter...I have my family and that does. Everything else will work out. Thanks mom and sis!

The seam ripper was my best friend

I'm exhausted. I've been having to drive my BF to work all week yesterday he had to be there by 4 am. Today he had to be there by 5 am. I'm a morning person just not that early! It seems like I'm moving in slow motion. Today my blue fabric should be in fingers crossed until then I'm continuing to work on the Rear Window Dress. My original plan was to use V1094 for the skirt. Speaking of Vogue check out this new one. Can't wait to get it V8729.
I've seen some posts about Using V1094 for the Funny Face Wedding Gown and want to offer a suggestion of a better modern pattern for it that would be a good combination with the V1094. It means less modification to the bodice or you can just be happy with the "close enough look". V8020 for the top and V1094 for the skirt. Both have the drop waist, but looking at the pictures I think the V1094 has a fuller skirt. 
Ok back to the Rear Window Dress. I was going to use V1094 for the skirt but I gave my customer a great deal because I had white taffeta in stock. I was short about a yard for the skirt so I had to come up with another game plan. I had a bolt of white tulle on hand so I wasn't worried about the overlay. I ended up using a Simplicity pattern. Maybe you can do a search and try to figure out which one. It is an easy answer. I mix and match all the time but usually from the same manufacturers or Vintage ones. The Simplicity compared to the Vogue was a lot larger. I cut a 20 for both and had to take in the skirt over a inch. Worked out great because I used French seams and that takes out a lot of seam allowances.
Now the seam ripper fun. I don't know if I'm just so overly tired or if it is just rushing but I kept stitching simple things wrong. The skirt took a bit longer to size it up. I was afraid to cut since I did not have extra fabric. I would stitch some fold it to see if it would line up with the bodice. Take out the stitches. Finally after three or maybe four the seams were perfect. Of course I didn't measure as I was doing this so I had to to the same with the lining of the skirt. I did French seams on the tulle. That was a breeze didn't even have to iron it flat was able to get a nice flat seam without that step. It looks so much nicer than just trimming it.

I then gathered the five sections once upside down. (seam ripper) One section at a time because it is easier for me to deal with when attaching to the skirt. I always have that luck about the thread breaking when adjusting gathers. I have it all pinned beautifully. This should of been wrong side of overlay to right side of skirt. I start sewing and see my seams from the skirt. Again my best friend the seam ripper stops by to say hello.

At this point I'm almost in tears. At least I wasn't that far into sewing it. I had to take out all the pins and start all over. It is done now so I move on to the bodice. I haven't sewn it but it will be easy to deepen the back. Here it is pinned to how low I'm going with it. I want to be sure a bra can be worn with it but at the same time show some skin.
Today's goal is to go to the fabric store for my blue fabric and take apart the sleeve section of this bodice and add the sleeves and adjust the back. Maybe if my seam ripper finds a new friend I can attach the skirts to the bodice so we can see how it is really going to look. I can't wait to put it under a petticoat! Boy that was a lot of rambling.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Well I goofed again

I goofed again by playing the memory game. I was thinking the Grace Kelly was capped sleeved and now that I'm here posting my pictures it has sleeves. Not a huge deal will just have to take my sleeves apart and sew on some. I always say I'm going to print the picture and hang it as I'm sewing but I never do.

I have four machines going right now. Two with blue and two with black. My fabric for the blue isn't coming in until Friday so I moved to the other dress. I was going to do all the lining and boning but as airheaded as I've been lately I'm going to do one at a time. Keeping track of six different sizes I can see myself doing a oh oh somewhere down the line. Most of them are cut. Just not the chiffon for two skirts and the bodices, plus the lining for the one bodice.

The satin I am using for the Grace Kelly dress is so nice. Thick so thick it has broken two needles. It has just the right amount of sheen to it too. I think I need to deepen the back of it too.
One of the big reasons I blog is because as soon as I do I see my mistakes and what changes need to be done. I thought I was going to post I completed the bodice today but no such luck. Tomorrow is another day.

It is weird to work with the different machines. I am so use to my cheap brother and Riccar Serger. I hate threading my other Serger. It is elna. Let's just say I have to use tweezers to thread it. I got it at a garage sale for $20.00, but it didn't work so I invested $200.00 into it to have it fixed. The sewing guy said it was a great machine and worth the investment. He thought he could resale it for $600.00. That seemed high to me but I'm not the expert. My spare straight stitch is a Singer my Aunt gave me. I like it, but am loyal to my Brother. What kind of machines do you all use? Feel free to post them here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What pattern was I planning on using?

Usually prior to saying I am able to recreate a dress I have numerous patterns in mind that I will use. I'm trying to organize my orders a bit and was a bit dumbfounded about which one I had in mind for the Audrey Hepburn Funny Face gown. So as I'm frantically digging through my numerous boxes of boxes trying to remember my game plan....I decide it isn't a mix match pattern it has to be a vintage one. I go to my vintage box and walla the perfect pattern Simplicity 1153. I'm one lucky girl to have this in my collection. I will only have to grade it to fit :)
On a bad note about organization. I rely heavily on my online schedule. Well it would be a wonderful tool if I remember to put everyone in. I missed a order that should be done this month. I've had so many Vogue requests that I must of mixed them up. So I will be doing this Vogue pattern in a white bridal satin. I think this will be my first white bridal gown. The pattern does not seem to be complexed. I will do my best is all I can say. Oh and sis...gonna need your cutting skills!
I'm going to be doing a bolero and a white and red petticoat to go with the dress. I think that will be fun. I tried to talk her into a reversible bolero with one side red and the other white, but she was afraid to give her grandma a heart attack. Too cute!

Pulling my hair out end of the month stress

This dress took me a week! Issue after issue. I worked so hard on the godets look at the ugly mess! I worked from the bottom up and it just went off to the side. I wanted to be able to use the scallop edge for the godets but the dress ended up being way to long to I had to cut it to size. The sketch is where I had to work from.
Using both of the Vogue patterns wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be. I had to do some modifications on the neckline as the way it was cut directly from the pattern did not fit correctly to the other pattern. She has her pink with lace trim though. The ties were only an issue because I would of liked them a bit longer but with the stains in the fabric I did what I could. This fabric was almost like a t-shirt fabric. It wasn't that bad to work with but the dress weighed 2 pounds when it was done and it was a pain to iron.
By losing the bottom curve of the godets I was able to get the inverted look like V2903. It just took a long time to get there. Everything I touched on this dress had to be done two times or more. I even sewed the front of the skirt sections as back section and had to take it with the godets all apart and redo it. Let's just say I hate this dress and was happy to ship it off!
The above dress and the fabric goof of the bridesmaid dresses have put me behind schedule. I'm stressing so bad. My sister has been coming over and helping me cut. She has taught me some stuff too. I have always cut one piece at a time. For the Grace Kelly Dress I have 5 pieces for the overlay. I would cut them one at a time on the fold. My sis showed me an easier and quicker way. Below is my bolt (so much easier to work with a bolt). I measured the pattern and folded it back in forth until I had a total of five. I then pinned the pattern and cut. One pin, one cut 5 pieces! Love it!!!
This Dress is cut and ready to be sewn! I will be giving all the details as it is being assembled. I'm mixing a Vogue and Simplicity pattern for this. I hope it works!
The little trick my sis taught me doesn't work so well with lighter fabrics such as chiffon. I doubled it only. The fabric just slips too much and that makes for uneven ugly cuts. Here is a pile of blue. The top blue was the wrong color. Because I've already spent a lot of money on the wrong color I did not want to over buy the new color. Of course I was short. I go back to the fabric store just to find they are completly out. I think I have enough satin to cut the bodices today. I know I don't have the chiffon. My sis is coming to help cut again and hopefully when they restock on Friday my fabric will be in. Love living on the edge.
I would like to ship the six dresses and the Grace Kelly one this month. We will see how it goes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

1950's V1172 combined with V2903 Customer Supplied Fabric Woes

Taking a coffee break so I thought I would share my progress of my next dress. I tried to wash the stains out of the fabric provided by customer to no avail. There are also spots of discolorations like it was in the sun too long. Lucky though after I laid everything out I was able to avoid the numerous spots.
My next issue with the dress is that I don't have enough lace fabric. The V1172 godets are HUGE! Instead of creating my own I folded the V1172 to size using the front skirt section as a guide. I think it is still wide enough that there will be full 50's skirt and the end result will look more like the V2903 pattern she provided me that was not made for godets but is an inverted pleated skirt. You can see this post for pictures of the patterns I'm using.
I dropped the curve so I can use the scallop edges of the lace. I love the edge of lace plus it is four less hems for me to do :) 

The dress is cut and now it is time to change my serger thread YUCK! I don't have the right size for the V2903 so I can't cut the bodice detail until I have the bodice assembled. Wouldn't want it not to fit as I don't have much of the lace to make mistakes with. The dress is going to have additional side ties per customer request. The fabric though my camera seems to think it is blue is really purple. This is going to be a truly unique dress as I'm working with her sketch and the patterns. I hope to ship it by the 17th.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hot Rod Shows, Better Pictures of Red Dress and Gingham Wiggle Dress

The first picture I want to share is underneath the red dress. Look at all that beautiful chiffon. This time I just tore the petticoat to size, no pattern. The bodice base but modified to the look I wanted was Simplicity 2444 and the skirt was from Butterick 6582. I use the Butterick one for a lot of my skirts. It has a great shape.

I am a sponsor for a Sundsvall Custom Hot Rod Show in Sweden and for some prizes for the Miss Hot Rod Competition. I'm donating two wiggle skirts. One black McCalls 3830 and one red McCalls5523.

The red has a neat pleating detail in the back. I should of went with my gut and used some black stitching as now that it is done I know it would of looked sharp. Here is the detail of the back:

And last but not least the Gingham Wiggle Dress. The skirt is actually the same as the black wiggle skirt but with a different slit. The black one tucks to the left this one is a normal slit. This is a combination of McCalls 5292 and McCalls 3830.

Tomorrow will be a huge shipping and packing day as everything pictured here is shipping tomorrow. I was going to start working on the dress with the godets and found a stain on the fabric provided to me! I haven't even cut the dress and it is giving me issues. I hope that isn't a bad sign. I will just have to be real careful where to cut and hope I have enough fabric by passing the stains.