Cat in the Petticoat

We had a Seussical Celebration at my day job and our bosses ask the employees to dress up! So, of course, I’m going to dress up. It was a short event so I was able to wear my heals the whole time no problem and even got to pull out my diamond cat ears!

I was Cat in the Hat inspired. Continue reading

Dragonflies at Dusk

Finished my newest skirt! I am in love with it and I can’t wait to coordinate it in so many different ways. The wide waistband is very flattering and comfortable and I think I might have to make all of my skirts like this from now on!

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Skirt: Dragonflies at Ducks
Tutorials from this skirt
Pockets | Shaped Waistband
Continue reading

Oh My! What A Flattering Waistband

I couldn’t find any good brown fabric at JoAnn’s (and I have a gift card, so I wasn’t going to look anywhere else until it’s all used up!) but I did find these amazing fabrics instead:

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I quickly figured out the skirt I was going to make and patterned the skirt gores. I would use the blue dragonfly fabric for the main skirt and the red for the wide, shaped waistband and either a band or ruffles on the hem.

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In this tutorial, I will show you how to best achieve that shaped waistband. Continue reading

Patterns! Skirt Gores

I finally got some new fabric to make a dress!  Yay me!  I’m beyond excited, after having sewn several commissions, I’m ready to make something for me again.
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I’m going to call it “Paris by the Sea”.  Yeah, I’m freak’n excited to sew.

While I was getting all of my pattern notes (on the right of the picture above) and patterned out my skirt, I thought “this might be helpful for fellow handmade Lolitas”.  While I do have a video tutorial and a high-waisted skirt tutorial, a basic Skirt Gores tutorial seemed like it was long overdue.
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Continue reading

Finding the Balance

Sometimes, simply hemming a skirt even all the way around does not produce an even hem when worn.  Sometimes, shaped waistbands, pleating, gathering and other sewing elements can effect the hem.  Sometimes, body shape is the factor that changes the hang of the skirt.  For me, on my Caramel Mocha Skirt, it is both.  My skirt has box pleats and I have a very uneven hips, thanks to figure skating.  So I always, ALWAYS Balance my Hems to make sure they will be even.

It is a very easy, quick process.  All you need is a good ruler, a tape measurer, a dress form or a friend to help you and some pins.  If your skirt is going over a petticoat, make sure you have that too.

  1. Set or pad out your dress form to match your body.  I use legwarmers and scrap fabric to pad out my forms.
  2. Put your petticoat and skirt onto the dress form.  You can see here why I need to balance my hem so bad.  So uneven!  (side shot)
    IMG_2823 Continue reading

Defining the Waistband

So, we just put in the placket for the skirt and now it’s time to put on a controlled waistband!

  1. First, we need to cut the waistband, and to do that, we need to figure out the measurements! (as always.)  There are 3 factors for the waistband: waist measurement, waistband width and placket overlap.
    For me, the waist of my skirt is 26.5″, with a .5″ overlap and will be 1.25″ wide.  Adding in 1″ seam allowance, I cut a piece 29″ by 4.5″.
    IMG_2808 Continue reading

A Placket for Every Occassion

May is moving along!  I have graduated, designed the Last Magic Show and now all that is left is Animazement!

It’s been far too long since I have sewn and I am LOVING being able to do it again.  Hopefully – if I remember and all goes well – you can be looking out for the following tutorials to come out of my AZ project, Caramel Mocha Swirl Bodice & Skirt:
Plackets
Waistbands
Hem Ruffles
Bagged Zippers

Plackets!

Plackets are handy-dandy, I am telling you.  If you have a controlled point – such as a Waistband or Sleeve Cuff – a placket is what you need to allow the garment to get over the body and still fit snuggly around a smaller point.  In this tutorial, I am putting a placket in my skirt.

Since my skirt has a lot of fullness at the waist, I don’t need a very long placket, but if you are making a A-line skirt or a tapered sleeve you might want to consider a longer placket.  Here, my placket will be 4″ long.  Remember to backstitch at the top of the skirt seam where the placket will be and leave the top portion open.  This is where the placket will be sewn, into the seam.

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Continue reading

Late Night Tea Party

Ah, my super power is working again!  (My super power is Ultimate Self Motivation, or the Rapunzel Power.  It allows me to get obscene amount of things done in less time than most people, like all my homework, clean the apartment and make a dress in one day.  Otherwise known as Great Time Management.)

Ta-Da!
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After I made the skirt…

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…I still had 1 yard of fabric left over.  Though it wasn’t enough to make the ruffle monstrosity I wanted to, I think this simple bolero is actually a refreshingly simple piece.

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I want to get some more navy ribbon to put around the edge of the bolero all the way around.  Can’t wait to wear it!  It’ll be great for the summertime.

I also finished my bonnet and I am soooo pleased!  The brim is a little bigger than I think I will make next time but it turned out just like I wanted!  I made the bonnet itself ENTIRELY by hand with milliners wire and double buckram and covered it all by hand.  It surprisingly didn’t take as long as I might have originally imagined.  The decorative band, bow and ties I did by machine because I was worried that I wouldn’t have time to do those by hand as well.  Looks like I would have had time but…oh well!  Loving it!

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Later today – once I look like a person – I’ll be taking photos and videos of our I make bows for a new tutorial.

Hope everyone is having a pleasant week and that your super powers are active as well!

Tea Break

 So much to do!

I haven’t had too much time to sew and my current project – a pretty classic dress with raglan sleeves (why did I think that would be fun=pain) – but I had to stop by JoAnn’s with a friend and stumbled upon the most gorgeous fabric.  Prepare yourself.

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So…I bought 3 yards.  Enough to make a pretty skirt and some bows to match.  And it will be simple enough that I can take some little breaks from my bonnet for millinery class

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and my sleeves for my tailoring class

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to sew a little for me and make a pretty, new Lolita tea skirt.

Here is what my pattern looks like, Photoshop Edition:

tea skirt pattern

I’ll throw a simple 1.5″ waistband on it and some trim.  Yeah!  Sewing is fun.