Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Dress

This is my first halloween at this job, and they seem to celebrate it a little more than other places I've worked. In addition to a cube decorating contest, there was a costume contest and a party. I took the costume contest as the perfect opportunity to make myself a ridiculous dress from halloween fabric at Joann's. 
I found this velvet-y black fabric with silver glitter spiderwebs and thought it would be PERFECT. At first I was just going to make a skirt, but I wanted a full skirt and since I've never made a full skirt before I didn't want to mess up with this fabric. Plus then I would have to have a top to wear, so I decided to just make a dress. Again since I wanted a full skirt, I looked through my pattern collection to find something that would work, and what did I stumble on but Simplicity 2444?
I've made this pattern at least twice before (once documented on the blog)  so I thought it was a good choice. Since its cold now, I made it with 3/4 sleeves and the stand up collar. I'm rather happy with how it came out. Below is an iphone picture of me wearing it at work. Lots of people have commented on it, and I'm sure the custodians will have comments after they see all the glitter at my desk. It leaves glitter EVERYWHERE.

And now, pictures of my halloween decorated cube: I went for black and glitter. 

I got this idea from a kit at target. The kit was $5, I spent like $1.50 on craft foam and recreated the project myself.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Third Sewing Class

Last night was sewing class number 3, and I made some great progress! I had finalized my muslin in the previous class, so this session was time to start cutting the real fabric. I was super nervous about cutting my precious fabric but took a deep breath and went for it.
After I cut the wool, I cut out the underlining. We're using organza for the underlining, which the teacher provided. I had a choice between black and charcoal, I went with the charcoal because it was already out. No one is going to see this when the dress is finished so I wasn't worried about the color.
For the underlining, we used our already cut out wool pieces as the template, and cut at least 1/4 inch extra around each edge. The reason for that is so when we sew the two pieces together the organza will stay bigger than the wool. If the wool is bigger than the organza, when sewn together it will pucker. So I left a generous sidewalk around each piece. After they are sewn together to my liking I will trim the excess.

I'm excited to keep working on this through the next two weeks, as we don't have class next week. Michelle asked that everyone be done underlining their pieces by our next class. I am super excited for this dress to take shape!

Below: The pile of all my wool and organza pieces!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sewing Class #2

Last night was our second sewing class, and we continued fitting work on our muslin. I had spent a little time over the past week tweaking the muslin myself, so I had time to draft and add a sleeve to my muslin. In the picture it is full length but on the final dress it will be 3/4 length. 

In addition to adding a little room around the waist, we pinched out some fabric along the neckline to get it to lay flat. I have always had a gapping problem in that area but was never sure what to do about it outside of making some darts. But now I have learned a way to fix it! 

I'm not sure why the back looks so wrinkly, but perhaps its because I'm fitting over my pants. 

Also, a fabric update, I did go ahead and buy the raspberry wool. And I think it is going to be awesome!

I think its a great color for my complexion and also a color that will never go out of style. I can't wait to start cutting the dress and underlining it! We'll start that next Thursday. I'll have more pictures then.

Friday, October 12, 2012

First Sewing Class and Fabric

Well, I had my first sewing class last night. What a great time!
We talked a little about the techniques we're going to use-- hand picked zippers, hand stitching, fancy couture darts, hand stitching...apparently we're going to do a lot of hand stitching.

We took our measurements and then started on making a muslin. Once the muslin was put together we made some adjustments, and by that time it was time for class to end! I am still working on my muslin adjustments, but I will post some pictures later this weekend or early next week.

Now on to the fabric- the fabric that I have purchased is this:

An apple green wool with some texture. I got it at Haberman's for about $24 a yard. There's a couple problems though, so I may end up going with something else. This wool is a little thicker than the instructor would like us to use, and the texture will hide any of the decorative hand stitching we do. So I will probably end up back at Habermans, and if I do, I know just what I will buy...

This raspberry wool crepe.

It's also $24/yard, which is about normal for Haberman's wool. This wool is lighter than the green wool, and it also lacks the texture of the green wool so those details will show. I can then save the green wool for a coat or maybe a skirt.

Also, I picked a pattern. I am going to use Vogue 8667, view F, possibly with 3/4 length sleeves. I am going to eliminate the darts on the front skirt, I think. This is because the skirt falls better on my body without them, as I discovered last night. This really is one of the biggest benefits of taking a class with a professional-- professional fitting advice.

I'm kind of undecided on the sleeves. On one hand, this is going to be a cold weather dress so the sleeves might be nice, but on the other hand, I like wearing cardigans/sweaters/blazers over dresses and if its long sleeved that wouldn't work as well. I think I may need to take a trip to the mall this weekend to do some sleeve research. Maybe I can try on some similar wool dresses with long sleeves to see how I like them? Anyone have input about the sleeves?