Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Blue Dress

On my dress form is a lovely new blue dress for darling daughter! It is a halter style in royal blue, with sheer ruched overlay at the waist, and sheer diagonal overlay skirts on the slim skirt. The length will be a few inches above the knee, about where the second tier hits the right thigh.
No special occasion as yet to wear it, but she loves pretty dresses and I promised her one months ago!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Street Fighter official photos

Here are photos from the Halloween Parties that sweet daughter and her (the Count) husband attended. The spikes on the bracelet are fabric and soft but look pretty wicked!

At the club she ran into a fellow Street Fighter and posed for photos... cool

This one is at the final fitting, showing the footwear. Another successful Halloween!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chunli Costume Done!

puff sleeves, padded full, boots, wristbands with spikes, hair piece bun covers with ribbons, matching blue panties (for those high kicks!)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

More Chunli Photos

The sneaker boots are made by adding fabric spats that are laced up with the canvas shoes.
The dress has a white sash, and will have further gold stripes added, after we do the fitting and get the length exactly where we want it. There are high slits at the side seam and back seam. A zipper will finish the back neckline.
The wrist bands are leather with fabric spikes, painted silver. Aspen is the quality control expert. She approves.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Halloween Costume

this year, it's Chunli, from Street fighter....
These are the cute little bun holders with the big ribbons...
Above is the first sleeve, and below shows some poly-filling, puffing it up a bit.

Tomorrow I will be making the China inspired dress, (that requires these sleeves) and sash. There are white boot type runners too. The wrist bands have spikes, and I have already made those from fabric, and need to spray paint them silver and attach them to black leather wrist bands.
More photos tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Suit Number Three

The last suit if from Vogue 2987 (Anne Klein), and features cool seaming on the jacket. The simple stand up collar and black buttons are classic. The pants are my favourite design with a wide fitted waistband, and I have switched the zipper from the front and put it in the back for a smooth flat front (in my opinion, more flattering).

I can't wait for my sister to try them all on. I still have lots of work to finish the pieces, but need her in person to do that.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Suit Number Two

This one features an amazing silk/linen fabric in royal blue. Since it is quite bright, we decided to mix a black accent fabric (silk taffeta) and black buttons, and pair it with black pants.

I used Burda pattern 7284, and lined it with a blue and black checked taffeta.

It has only to be fitted and hemmed (sleeves and jacket and lining).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Suit Number One

I am making some new suits for my lucky sister.... (she also has a cape ready to be delivered!). The first is from Butterick 5428, and is made from a black-gray wool tweed, from my incredible stash of fabric. The pants are done and ready to be custom fit - that means the side seams are not yet finished and will be pinned and sewn to fit perfectly, then the waistband attached and the back zipper installed. I find this style of pants fits best and has such a smooth front, it looks slim on any figure. The jacket is finished except the hems, and the lining is not yet attached to the bottom. This allows access to all seams for a custom fit when I get there. (she lives in Winnipeg and I am flying in for fittings and giggles in less than two weeks!)

The fastener is yet to be determined, but I photographed it here with a metal embelishment that can hide a large hook and eye underneath - one option, another is a decorative frog clasp or more simple large button.... this will be determined in Winnipeg over a glass of merlot!

Visit again for suit number two....

Monday, August 1, 2011

McCalls 6408

I love this pattern. I love the idea of a self belt tied in the front OR in the back. The handkerchief hem with the stripes add to the interest of the cut, when using this crinkle cotton knit as the fabric. I will probably do this one again in a more stable solid colour knit for winter.

The pattern shows two hemlines and versions with and without the tie belt.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vogue 8088 with short sleeves

I had a large piece of linen-blend fabric in a citron colour in my stash, waiting for inspiration. I decided that Vogue 8088 with short sleeves and interesting embellishments would be great. I took the two piece sleeve pattern and pinned the back of sleeve seam, then cut it in one piece to a 6 inch underarm seam length.
The embellishment is two ribbons, and fabric stitched in place, and then bronze hot-fx squares attached in random pattern. The result is light and artsy. I love it.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Simply Cute Skirt

Sweet little birdy, loves to pull fibre from my knitting! Just like a baby, everything goes into her mouth! Seems she likes mohair, the current yarn on my needles.

This is a cute new skirt. A wrap skirt pattern, fastened with button on the inside of the waistband, and decorative metal clips on the hip. The clips allow the wrap to stay closed, even when sitting. I find sometimes the wrap style skirt can gape when sitting. This is a good solution! The clips are sold in the button section of the fabric store.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Shorts and Cool Dress

I have spent the day in the sewing room. I finished three pairs of shorts! The shorts are very simple at the top, no pockets, no waistband, no belt loops, and a back zipper... designed to lie flat and smooth under hip length tops.

The only thing to make them different is the hemline detail, so I did some fun things with plackets and buttons...

and with a cargo style patch pocket cut on the opposite grain.

I also made a loose fitting tee shirt dress, from a two way stretch cotton, lycra navy-white pin stripe. The pattern is a really cool Vogue (1234) that has a seriously interesting construction that shows off the stripes in lots of different directions. The instructions are well thought out, and easy to follow, although this is NOT a beginner pattern!
I decided to make a matching belt that is just 2 inch strips, braided and sewn to a snap buckle. The fabric is so stretchy it fits perfectly. Very pleased with this dress!

What a great sewing day it has been... :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Nova Scotia Raincoat

I have a trip coming up, to visit my Dad in Nova Scotia. I found last time that I was missing an all weather jacket, something for the mist and drizzle that often bookends lovely sunny days. This is a McCalls trench coat pattern, and I used a water resistant fabric with a silky lining. I made the shortest length, perfect for in and out of cars. There are 12 buttons and button holes!

Ruth may recognise the top and skirts under the coat... yes they are almost done!

Here's me with the trendy cotton scarf... ready to travel!

Friday, May 20, 2011

yarn bombing and KIP day

I have been perusing the net for images about yarn bombing... for those who have yet to discover this growing trend, it is yarn graffiti, random acts of yarning, yarn vandalism created in under the cloak of night by rebellious stitchers....

I further discovered that the yearly KIP (knit in public) day is June 11, 2011 and this year it is also Yarn Bombing Day. I have not yet decided how I will celebrate KIP and YBD, but rest assured there will be photos, because photos are what it's all about!

Although illegal (littering or vandalism), from what I have read the yarners who have been caught have just caused the officers to chuckle. Only one knitter reported that the cop said "step away from the knitting" when he asked her to cease and desist!

I have a few photos of inspirational bombings (street art as some would prefer to call them). I will show you more as I snag them from the infinite sources on the net.... (just try to google yarn bombing!)

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Story of the Convertible Wedding Dress

Last fall, I accompanied a friend to the bridal salon, to inspect a dress that she loved and wanted my help to make even better. The dress had three layers in a mermaid style full lower skirt, and she wanted to know if I could make it that the lowest two layers could be unzipped after the ceremony part of the wedding and become a cocktail length dress for dancing! I checked the construction, and gave her the go-ahead to order the dress, knowing it could become the convertible wedding dress she really wanted.

I found some long separating zippers on ebay. I plan to use three 42 inch zippers, one for the lowest layer, containing the lining and the crinoline. The second would be for the upper layer, containing, the two bottom tiers of gathered lace and tulle. The third zipper will be half used, to attach to a mini lining to zip back in under the remaining lace layer, as it becomes quite see-through without the other layers underneath.

Thus with the zippers in hand and the plan in place, and my amazingly trusting friend.... I cut the lining and crinoline out... then I basted the layers together, then cut the lace layers off (including a nice little train). What is left is this cute little lace and beaded dress!

OK, now don't panic, but I now need to reassemble the dress with zippers so that it gets back to the original condition!! I finished all the cut edges with an overlock stitch to make sure it would be stable and not fray. I then attached one half of the separating zipper to each cut edge. I used the left hip as the start and stop place, so that it would be easy to find and operate the zippers. (the bride will likely need an assistant to help her zip out, but should be able to do this without taking the gown off).

This photo is with the outer layers off, and the crinoline layer still on...

And here is the dress, with zippers attached and dress reassembled... can't see any zippers from the outside. Now it is ready for the big reveal halfway through the evening!

This was one of the most exciting alterations I have attempted. I think it is a great idea to have a dress that transforms throughout the day (she also has a matching shoulder wrap that attaches to the top of the dress for the church service part of the day)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Wedding Photo - Mom of Groom

Doesn't she look lovely with the nuno-felted shawl and the one of a kind dress! (Father of the Groom looks pretty cool too!) I love seeing the finished dress with the jewelry and pretty shoes and hairstyle.... everything together makes the dress even better!

And here is the whole family (my friend's side only) missing just the new bride.

Thanks for the great photo!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ruffled Edges

The Mom-of-Groom decided to finish the top and bottom edges with a small ruffle on the diagonal, in the shiny side of the same fabric. (the satin side is used in the flower and stem detail too). This will draw attention to the two parallel diagonal lines and create even more movement in the hemline.

One more fitting and installing the zipper, this one will be done!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dresses and more sewing

The next dress is from a great Vogue pattern 1205. I am using a stretch knit in royal blue. The beauty of this pattern is the stabalizing ribbons used in the seams around the neckline, armholes and under the diagonal bodice line. The whole thing is lined, a sign of a good dress design. A simple looking dress that has all the details of couture. Nice.

I also made a great new style jacket, Vogue 8028, a Marcy Tilton design. This one allows for hand embellishments, and I used a couple of different textured fabrics in similar tones. I used Wonder Under to fuse the shapes to the jacket and used the machine to zigzag stitch over all the edges. I really like the results, and the fabric used for the jacket is a stable knit (not TOO stretchy) that has enough weight to drape perfectly.

Not much to show in a photo, but I spent a couple of hours finishing the fitting alterations for the plum mom-of-groom gown, and making the lining, and attaching it to the dress. The last fitting will be to set the zipper, and to mark the hemline. The first fitting last week was great, the gown only needed tweeking for fit, slimming the hip made the gathers fall in the perfect spots. The flower detail was approved by my friend and all of my knitting posse (we did the fitting at our weekly knitting get together).

Now that summer fabrics have started to arrive at my local Fabricland, I was able to find some cotton gauze fabrics and cotton-silk blend gauze, both will be great for nuno-felting. It has been difficult to find local fabrics this winter, and I have had to order from the internet (I have some lovely printed silk chiffon coming from an ebay deal...) Spring is the best time to sew!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Felters Workshop

Last night was the premiere event... a felters workshop for the Niagara Felters. The first meeting was a short evening affair (in my basement) and we had 11 in attendance. We launched all the new felters into the hot water, and they all learned to make a sweet merino ball (bead) using hot soapy water and rubbing and rolling into shape. As they discovered it is trickier than it sounds and takes just the right amount of pressure. But all succeeded! Look!

The more experienced felters, tried to tackle a slightly bigger project, one doing a purse using wet felting and bubble wrap rolling, and another making a flower necklace (stems and leaves and petals using the wet hand rolling method).
We had lots of fun, and wine (yes, we are THAT type of felters). Here is one of the purses, still wet, waiting to dry and add a button or clasp, and stitch-finish the handles.
I also showed the final stage of fulling (shrinking) and already felted (fully rolled and firmly joined together) silk and merino shawl. Picture below, it's still wet.
We had a blast, and will follow up with a future workshop with everyone doing purses and scarves!