Wednesday, August 28, 2013

10th Anniversary Party Dress

Over the weekend, my husband and I celebrated ten years of being married! We threw a party at the place we originally got married at, which was pretty much a second wedding reception, minus gifts and bridal attire. . . However, I could not miss the chance to make something special to wear! I decided to run with the inspiration of "swans" because that's sort of the theme of the restaurant, and was also a sort-of theme of our reception too (featured in things like little swans as favors). This is what I came up with:

And let me tell you, I am ridiculously happy with it! I think it might be one of my absolute favorite things I've ever made, in fact. :)

My sketch, before-hand:

At this point, I knew I wanted black lace over white, and a black velvet band at the waist with bow in the back, but hadn't gone fabric shopping. (I did have the black velvet ribbon in the stash though; I had bought many yards of it to trim an 1860s ball gown which I haven't yet felt inspired to do!)

My husband was so awesome and drove me into Boston to two fabric shops until I got what I needed! I didn't find the pointy lace I was looking for, but I like this gently scalloped lace as well! The white fabric is some sort of synthetic taffeta-ish fabric, and it's white but with this neat sheen, which made me think of moonlight reflecting on a lake. Perfect for a swan-inspired dress! And the cameo was something I dreamed up in my head, went hunting for, and found on eBay. How lucky was that?!

My Mom brought her nice camera and snapped a few pictures of us on the very same gazebo where we had wedding pictures taken. We got there just in time to get pictures before the sunset, so it worked out perfectly!

I straight up love the way the bow at the back turned out! It's really a mock bow, sewn on each side of the zipper, with the idea that, once the zipper was up, you wouldn't be able to tell. However, I had a little last-minute drama with the zipper! I checked the zipper before I put it in the dress, and so knew it worked fine. . . But when I went to get zipped in the dress? It would not go up! It would only get so far and just stick. It turns out the fancy invisible zipper foot I bought for my machine doesn't work right, and instead of perfectly sewing the zipper in like it claims it will, it actually does a crappier job than I do with just an ordinary zipper foot! Precisely what it did was sew too close to the teeth in some parts, which made it impossible for the zipper to go up. (This foot has a channel in it that you slide the teeth in to, which is supposed to unroll the edge of the zipper and stitch the perfect distance away, but clearly that did not work!) I ended up just ripping some stitches and quickly hand-basting the zipper back in place, so that I could wear the dress, and that's the bit of white you see at the back. This is going to drive me nuts, so I will for sure be going back and re-setting in the zipper properly. . . Without the evil zipper foot, thank you very much!

Zipper crisis aside, the dress was perfect, the night was super fun, and we couldn't be happier. Yay! :D

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I have two very fast-approaching sewing deadlines coming up (one historic, one modern), but instead, I've been doing tons of knitting because I somehow wrecked my lower back. Boo to that! However, I've been very much in the mood to knit lately, and am pleased with my progress on my Agatha cardigan!

This is by far the most complicated knitting project I've yet to take on. It's not that it's terribly hard, but I do have to pay attention. It's not as much fun to knit this in front of the TV, etc., because that's when I tend to make mistakes! But, I really do find that I like knitting lace patterns, and think there's a lot more of this in my future. ;)

Monday, May 20, 2013


I have finished my mystery project, and am ready to reveal it!

This crazy skirt was made from a 1950s McCall's pattern I had laying around in my stash:

This is one of those patterns I have had in my stash for a while, and probably bought because it was whimsical and made me laugh, but never actually believed I'd make. . . Until my husband volunteered to do a 501st event at the Higgins Armory museum in Worcester, MA. This is a museum that is nothing but suits of armour, swords, and things like that. You know you've found the right place when you roll up to a building that looks like a fortress and has a giant knight looming over the top of the building!

Glenn stayed very busy taking tons of pictures with padawan-sized Star Wars fans as part of the Higgins Armory's "Star Wars day" event, but I managed to steal him long enough to get a picture of the both of us. . .

And for him to take silly pictures of me looking frightened of the knights. . .

And for me to take silly pictures of him "blending in" with the exhibits, HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

All in all it was an awesome day, and I had a blast wearing my new skirt around. There was a hint of sadness though because this museum is actually going to be closing for good at the end of this year. :( The collection will all be moved to another museum in Worcester, but in my opinion, it won't even be one tenth as cool as it is now, in this building that was built specifically to hold the collection, and made to look like a castle inside! Also, the museum has all kinds of cool things like this Star Wars day event, and other completely amazing events like a sleepover event for kids! It's just so sad to see it go. If you live in the area and have an interest, you should totally check it out before it's gone! (And, if you want to read more about the museum closing and why, you can check out this Boston Globe article which talks about it).

I took a lot of pictures as I went along working on this dress, and a few of them are on my Instagram page. . . Additionally, here are a couple that I like. . .

A close-up of one of the knights:

And, the skirt laid flat, before I sewed up the back seam and attached the waistband:

After our Higgins Armory adventure, we hopped in the car and headed right over to the Brimfield antiques show (and stayed over night and hit the show a second day, mwah ah ah!) I had fun there too and got some great patterns! A few of them I'll be keeping for my personal collection, but I did come across quite a good size lot of patterns in large sizes (38"-46" bust) from the 1950s-early 1970s. I just added them on Etsy, and further more, I am so incredibly excited about how my skirt turned out, and wanting to spread some joy, so for the rest of the week, you can use the coupon code "higgins" to get 10% off anything and everything in my shop! Enjoy! :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

More fabric for the hoard!

I've been offered/given free fabric before, and generally, it tends to be quilting cottons, home dec fabrics, and other random stuff like that. It's never dress making fabrics. But the other day, I was gifted with a little fabric jackpot!

I don't know if it looks as amazing in this picture as it does in real life, but rest assured, these are all fabrics for making clothing, not just draperies and quilts! And, at least some, if not all, are vintage, probably 1960s-ish. All the fabrics to the left of the houndstooth are semi-sheer and would make lovely summery things (or historic costume items, in the case of the white-on-white patterned fabrics; although, sadly, there is not enough of any one fabric to make an entire dress, which would have been awesome!) Then of course, that houndstooth, which is really classic and pretty and I can totally make something cute out of it. The teal is corduroy and I was thinking maybe of a Colette Beignet skirt from that. . . And the last three are probably poly and I'm not sure what I'll do with those. The lilac colored fabric might be the right shade I've been looking for to trim a doll outfit I have in mind, however. . .

Anyhow. Yay for free fabric that I will totally use the heck out of!

In other news, I didn't make that dress for that wedding after all. I ended up finding a perfect dress that I loved at a consignment shop and was gifted it by my Granny as a very early birthday present. It's a lovely moss green that has a "shot" look to it, and I paired it with a black velvet bolero and evening bag, and silver/rhinestone accents, and topped it off with a mini hat with black dotted veiling and a rhinestone detail. Sadly, I didn't get any good pictures in natural light! This will have to suffice:

But I still love my previous idea, and have two more weddings to attend this year, so I'll be making the dress for one of those weddings intead!

And finally, stay tuned, because my mystery project is almost ready to be revealed! I'm putting the finishing touches on it today, and wearing it tomorrow. I am so excited about how this project has turned out, and can't wait to post about it!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Miette Cardigan Debut, and my next sewing projects. . .

Today I went to a Sheepshearing Festival held at Gore Place, which is an early 19th century mansion in Waltham, MA. I wore my newly finished "Miette" cardigan. And by newly finished, what I mean is that this thing has been sitting in my knitting bag lacking only buttons for well over a month! So I used this event as the kick in the pants I needed to sit down and finish it. After all, I could hardly go to an event that was all about sheep and knitting without wearing one of my creations, right? ;)

On the sewing table, I've got a big wearable craft project going on. . .

And that's all you get to see so far on that, since clearly, I am a tease! Rest-assured, it will be very silly and frivolous, and in fact, may only be worn the one time. . . But is worth every stitch going in to it because I'm having a ball with it, and more over, my Granny (who taught me to sew and got me going on loving to make wearable things in the first place) is having fun with it too and insisted on helping me with a little of the hand sewing. A project always increases enjoyment-wise when you have good company and good memories sewn right in!

Also soon to hit my sewing table is a dress I'm attempting to make in time for a wedding that is only two weeks away. . .

Since it involves silk chiffon and charmeuse, I am sure it will be more of a headache than it should be, but of course, I just had to have the slippery, tricky fabrics! I have at least chosen a design that should be fairly easy to fit: Vogue 8380, which has a raised waistline, and the neck gathers over a fabric tie. I hope to wear my hair up in some sort of vaguely mid-century twist of some sort, and adorn with the two little flowers, which were actually the inspiration for the color scheme of the ensemble. I found the necklace on Etsy, and hope it will tie in the teal-ish blue of the second flower. A black shrug will finish off the look since it's still chilly here in Massachusetts, especially at night, and this is an evening wedding. I originally had grand plans to knit the shrug in some lovely black mohair I have, but since I'm only about four rows into it, I'll be pulling something out of my closet and making do with that!

It's going to be a very busy few weeks in my sewing room, that is for sure!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Thurlow Shorts

Among my assorted goals for 2013 was to use at least one of the new patterns I bought in 2012. I'm pleased to report I've doubled that, since I used my Sewaholic Thurlow twice!

I was headed on vacation, and realized only one pair of shorts fit me at the moment, as I was at my higher weight and had a bit of a tummy. Can't go to Florida for a week and only wear one pair of shorts! So I decided to give the Thurlow pattern a try, and I selected some ridiculous dotted fabric, because, well, it suited the theme of my destination! ;)

sewaholic thurlow shorts

I was pretty pleased with how they turned out, especially how I pretty much made them in one day - including flat lining each piece by hand, as I was worried my novelty cotton was too thin. (And it was; lining it made them the perfect weight!) Please excuse my poor pattern matching! I gave it my best shot, but this fabric was cheap and the dots weren't the exact same space apart, so it was nearly impossible to line up. I got as close as I could with the fronts, but had to give up with the sides! Anyhow. . . The front:

sewaholic thurlow shorts

They fit pretty well! However, I did have to drastically let out the crotch area, because it would have been way too tight, (a complaint I've heard from others who have made this pattern, so that is definitely a watch point).

The other issue I had is that they are much longer in back than in front:

sewaholic thurlow shorts

I haven't quite decided if this is an issue with the pattern or with my body not being right for the pattern. Maybe my rear is too small (or my belly too big!) for this particular pattern, and so it's pulling funny. Once I actually wore them around, I found that I do get a little crease beneath the, erm, cheeks:

sewaholic thurlow shorts

This adds to my theory that these shorts are designed for someone with more oomph back there than I have. . .

Still, they were so comfortable that the next day - which was the day before I left - I whipped up another pair! This time in some black cotton I had laying around which was a remnant from something else. I had such a small amount of fabric that I had to play a little Tetris with the pieces, but I got it to work!

sewaholic thurlow shorts

I think with a little tweaking, (I think I just need to pinch that extra below-cheek crease I was getting right out of my pattern piece), this pattern could become my go-to for comfortable summer shorts, and I'll definitely have to give the pants a shot as well at some point. . .

Stay tuned, because I definitely have more to post about! I've finished another cardigan save for buttons, and am hard at work on a couple of warm-weather dresses because spring has finally sprung here in Massachusetts! Hooray!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

First sweater/UFO from 2007, DONE!

This is an exciting day because I finished my first ever real knitted sweater today! I've done some shrugs before, and parts of little doll sweaters, but this is the first time I'm making an honest-to-goodness sweater. And it's also exciting because it's been a UFO since 2007! I took the time to learn to properly seam things, and the correct way to pick up stitches. . . I even learned to make buttonholes, but the buttons will have to be added some time in the future because I didn't have anything to suit on hand. Still, calling it done because technically the pattern wasn't meant to have buttons/buttonholes, but rather, to hang open and/or be closed with a pin or something.

Without further ado. . . My first real sweater:

I blogged the heck out of the making-of this thing on my Ravelry page for it, and if interested, the pattern can be had for free here, but if you're thinking of knitting it, I'd note that the hood seems to grow out of the shoulders, which personally, I think looks a little strange. Were I to knit it again, I'd probably alter it so that the hood starts closer to the neck. But I probably won't be knitting this again because there are so many other sweater patterns out there that I'm super excited to try next! ;)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dress forms skirt - done!

I decided to start the year off with an easy project! (Well, techinically I've already done several costuming/knitting projects this year, but this is my first contribution to my "everyday wardrobe" projects). This is just a simple elastic-waist skirt out of some fun fabric from my stash. Because it's black and white, I think I'll be able to have fun pairing lots of colorful tights/tops with it, and because it's elastic-waist, it should fit me now and after weight loss. Can't beat that!

I also thought that I might try and keep track of what my projects end up costing this year, because I am totally OCD and tend to track what I've spent on which fabrics/supplies, so, why not? This one came in at about $12.24. Not bad for a fun little skirt that I'm sure I'll get a lot of wear out of!