Monday, August 29, 2011

Three Tiered Ruffle Dress

I was very excited to make this dress because it was a new pattern. I was also feeling pretty bold about the fabric combo and went for three different fabrics for the three ruffles (instead of the recommended two). Even as I was constructing it, I was excited about the end result.
The process was pretty straight forward. I made sure to finish all seams perfectly and to create my own double fold bias tape from the bodice fabric so that I can finish the neckline and armholes. And here it is, the final product. Several people on facebook responded very positively! Nevertheless, I am already thinking of changes for the next one. Maybe adding a ruffle to collar? I'll figure it out!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Production Log: Brown and Green Itty Bitty Dress

2:12 pm to 2:32 pm-- PIN and CUT bodice, front and back, main and lining
  • front bodice = 2 pieces each 8 3/4" x 12"
  • back bodice = 2 pieces each 10 1/2" x 12"
2:35 to 2:54 pm -- MEASURE, MARK, and CUT skirt
  • skirt = 2 pieces each 15" x 36"
2:55 to 3:00 pm -- MEASURE, MARK, and CUT border
  • border = 2 pieces each 3" x 36"
TOTAL time = 48 minutes

6:20 PM to 6:54 pm - BASIC skirt construction
  1. BOTTOM: attaching border to the bottom (1/8" from edge)
  2. SIDE: MEASURING and PINNING seam allowance (5/8" from edge); STITCHING sides together
TOTAL time = 34 minutes

8:00 am TO 8:30 am - SEAM finishing for skirt
  • SIDE: zig-zag stitch (stitch length was 2; width was 4 clicks)
  • BORDER: FOLD, PRESS, and PIN the edge up for hem
2:00 pm TO 3:00 pm
  • STITCH the border edge upward - what a pain in the a**! First, my bobbin was filthy and the bobbin thread kept bunching up so I had to clean out the bobbin area. Then, the fabric kept shifting around so that the stitching was not straight. After undoing the stitching three times, I decided to live with the imperfection and move. For next time, I must find a way to improve the process...
TOTAL time = 1 hour

3:11 pm to 5:32 - UGH! Dealing with bobbin issues again! So much lint in there... must be the fabric? Had to sew the stitches for gathering the skirt several times. Finally worked out when I changed the tension to 3.5
TOTAL time = 2 hours 21 minutes

9:50 am to 10:38 am = ATTACHING skirt to bodice and REMOVING gathering threads.
10:40 am to 12:31 pm = FINISHING the details such as:
  • ZIGZAG stitch the raw bottom edge of bodice
  • FOLDING bodice seam over the skirt's raw edge and STITCHING
  • SCALLOP stitch on border
TOTAL time = 2 hours 40 minutes

ENTIRE DRESS: 7.88 houts

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Latest Creation!

A modification of Made By Rae's Itty Bitty Toddler Dress. I used buttons instead of ties and a border for embellishment instead of piping. The floral fabric is from Heather Bailey. The size is 3T.
UPDATE: After some measuring, I'm thinking this dress is more a 4T. Probably the way I constructed it?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pillowcases for Avi and Nini

Some time ago my sister asked that I make pillowcases for my niece and nephew. She purchased the actual pillows and gave me an unused quilt for the fabric. I had purchased a great book Simple Sewing by Beth Baumgartel last month and it has been a huge help with techniques, especially neatly finishing seams and construction tips. I used the book to make the pillows - super easy to follow.
Here are the finished products. I figured I'd embellish the pillows with some hand-embroidery. I am pretty pleased!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Alteration for a friend

A very close friend of mine requested that I modify her little girl's beautiful dress (fromAnastasia y Gus on etsy). Her toddler had worn the original dress with sage green ribbon as a flower girl in a wedding a few years ago. This year, another wedding has come up but the color scheme for the bridal party is midnight blue. My friend simply needed me to switch out the ribbon. I say, no problem! And it shouldn't have been difficult; except, has anyone tried looking for midnight blue in the middle of July, post July 4th??? It was verging on impossible! I found the ribbon only after looking in three different craft/sewing stores. The actual alteration process was very easy. Used a seam ripper to carefully undo the stitches. Used the original pieces of ribbon to measure out the new ones. (Tips on cutting ribbon at an angle: Put a piece of tape where you plan to make the cut. Cut the ribbon THROUGH the tape and this prevent the shifting which usually occurs. To prevent fraying, I singed the edges holding a flam just 1/4" away.) I inserted the new pieces of ribbon into their spots on the dress and pinned in place. Finally, I slip-stitched the ribbon in place. I am fascinated by the virtual invisibility of the slip-stich! Very cool.

Shorts from... surprise, surprise... Emma Hardy's book!

Oh my goodness, these shorts were super easy to make - although I kind of skimped out on the button flap for the cuff. But who cares! My nephew loves them.

Peasant Top from Emma Hardy's book

Emma Hardy's book has come in sooo handy these past few months. It was very much worth the purchase because sometimes searching the web for patterns, printing them out, taping them together, etc. can be such an overwhelming hassle.
Here is a peasant top from the same book. The process was very straightforward although I must add a note: when you are sewing the seam/hem where the elastic must pass through, I need to snip some of the excess fabric so that the elastic doesn't get stuck in the folds. It will save me a lot of trouble... My niece loved her top even though a little bit of her belly stuck out! So cute.