Tuesday, April 24, 2012

KDVS Fundraiser Crafts, final products

I didn't finish as much as I was hoping to in time for my fundraiser show last night (went well, thanks for asking!), but I think the crafts I did finish turned out super well. There was the KDVS Record bag with red appliqued letters and allllll dem bloomers. 

So the thing about bags is that they're so incredibly easy to make, but I have so many free bags (grocery shows, ag fairs, life in general) that I have absolutely no cause to make one for myself. Even though you know and I know that I would so much happier if my grocery bags were made of something other than stained canvas. You might recognize these fabrics from past outfits I've made (even the red applique).  
Any second now, Mario is going to shoot out and I'm finally going to catch him!
If I take note of anything about this bag, it should be the perfect length of the handles (17.5 inches/44 cm). I could pull the bag up on my shoulder or carry it by my side (arm extended) without it dragging on the ground. Awesome! However, I don't think I could wear it like a backpack (with one strap over each shoulder), which is what I need to do with all my grocery bags. That makes it a walking bag.
Mr. Lion says, "Put some damn pants on!"
The bloomers turned out well. As predicted, the yellow with the blue polkadots is summery and sweet, and Michelle's stitching does wonders with the theme "Your Beacon in a Sea of Sound". There is still one pair left in size XS for if you're feeling extra slender today. Come on, give it a shot!

KDVS Fundraiser continues until Sunday, April 29th at midnight, so be sure to pledge! If you're nice, maybe you can sweet-talk me into making you the most awesome bag you've ever owned. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

KDVS fundraiser crafts teaser

Hey there! KDVS fundraiser bloomers are in fact in the queue for "things to make before Monday the 23rd". I bought the fabric yesterday at Joann's, washed it last night, and cut all the pieces tonight. Lessons learned? 4 yards is exactly enough fabric to cut the pieces for five bloomers, one in each size XS-XL. It was unnervingly close and could have very easily been not enough, but we made it! Anyhow, I wanted to give a preview of the fabric that will turn into bloomers within the next week.
Isn't that great? I'm beyond enthused about how cute these will look when they're done.
Cute, no? So, the blue ribbon will be for the leg draws and I'm thinking of a similar blue for stitching the KDVS (usually on the left hip) with a little anchor beside it to play into the fundraiser theme "Your Beacon in a Sea of Sound". Yeah, I probably should put an actual beacon but I think a broader nautical thing is far more appealing.
One of last year's bloomers. I just found out that there is one pair left over (someone didn't pay their pledge?) that will be offered up this year again.
The game plan is to also make some bike straps (which I haven't done in YEARS!) and a record bag or two. Get stoked! Also, get healthy. I'm sick right now and it is terrible.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter dresses, part 2

I've been meaning to make Brycear a dress for quite some time (I think I decided that around Christmas?), but I'd been procrastinating because of the alterations I would need to make. I assumed I would need to make a full-bust adjustment on any dress I made for her and had been psyching myself out for quite some time. However, the FBA doesn't seem like something you could perform without the intended recipient being there for every step of the process. With that in mind, I figured that if the pattern was basic I could do most of those measurements and alterations in one day. I started out with Burda Style 108 from March 2011, which is the same pattern I used for my black, tan, and red party dress (which has the most wonderful and amazing border print known to mankind). 
Here's the front bodice panel. Two darts and you're done. Timber could make this dress.
The only wildcard was that the dress pattern only came in a small handful of sizes and to get the right size, I would need to perform some pattern grading. I used an article from Threads as my guide and gave it my best shot. Here is a picture of my efforts to be a legit seamstress who measures things in advance.
DON'T BREATHE! This was right before I taped all the pieces down to trace the modified bodice.
By grading the pattern instead of just trying to add some fabric at the seams, I was able to spread the added size throughout the whole pattern instead of just at the sides. The darts serve their purpose better when you have that kind of foresight, I'll tell you that much. 

I was expecting to have to make a FBA after that fitting, but Bryce was pretty happy with the fit of her swimtop muslin (which was light yellow with a hot pink zipper), so I just went ahead and made the dress from there. Of course, more adjustments had to be made sometime after midnight at the ranch, but she still had a dress to wear for Easter. A dress made in a day, yeah!
gettin' ready to catch stuff, Huck Finn style.
The fabric I used was one that Esch "donated" to my stash last year after she officially determined she wasn't going to learn how to sew. I think she got it at Bolt in Portland, and it is a cerulean x sky blue with white shamrocks. Very cute. I keep hoping she'll forget about some of the other fabrics she donated since her fabric trip yielded some smarter purchases than mine did. However, she brought up a certain fabric I've been going Gollum for on Sunday so I think I'm out of luck.
She looks happy because she got a lot of Easter candy.
I've finally graded a pattern! It is not my favorite thing to do, but I feel like it opens a lot of doors to patterns that aren't exactly "my size". You know what I'm sayin'.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter dresses, part 1

Jenn was a real champ this time around and was very gracious about letting me take her picture in her seafoam Easter dress. Doesn't she look cute? I should have made her twirl in that full skirt...
Yep, I made her take to the field in heels. Nice sister, eh?
I used Butterick 6582, the same pattern I used for her "Mad Men" party dress and my Christmas dress (new dresses for every high mass!), though I used version C for the first time to create a full-skirted springy effect. This pattern has been getting some good use, being used three times in about six months! The full skirt was a bit unwieldy at times and it seemed to take forever to hem, but look at how it fluffs out...
So you can't see the skirt fluff out too much because she didn't want itchy legs. Can't blame her. However, I think this pose was used for Jenn's 8th grade graduation shots, too. Any word on that?
Naturally I used horsehair braid along the hem to give the skirt some life (like I even have a choice at this point in the game). Going into this dress project, I knew that both Jenn and her friend Sara had issues with this dress slipping off their shoulders at the Mad Men party (for which they both had someone make this dress for them) once the dress was made large enough to accommodate their busts. With that in mind, I made a pass at shortening the length of the neckline near the shoulder seam by folding the pattern to remove a triangle of space before I cut the fabric.
The parts shown in red are parts that I "removed" by folding the pattern over itself before I cut the fabric. And isn't my drawing awesome and totally to scale? I thought so. :) 
This seemed to keep the dress on Jenn's shoulders and I think I'll make the same alteration if I make it again for myself. It would probably also work to take the pattern down another size then do a full-bust adjustment, but I'm still avoiding those...
So this is the dress I finished Thursday night, then I started working on the next one which was ALSO long overdue...