Thursday, May 31, 2012

Back from blog hiatus!

The craft show is over, my finals are done, and the wedding is finally past us. Admittedly when I got back into town I took a week or so off to recuperate, but now that I’m recharged it’s finally time I get back to the blog!

I need to weed through some of my camera files and hopefully find some viable pictures for updates. Until then I’ll send you off to look at some of the awesome  photos J. Smith Innovations caught of us on our wedding day!

Jason and Courtney's Wedding

Monday, February 20, 2012

Bridesmaid Dress Sketches

Whelp, my friend finished reading the Hunger Games, so as promised here are the dress sketches.

The first choice is a standard ball gown with pickups:

It’s a little different than my original concept, but it has the major bonus of having a pattern. This would save me hoooooooooours of work.

With the time saved from drafting an entire gown for each of them I’d be able to spend more time on tiny details added to the dress. Like possibly adding a corset closure up the back.

The second choice is this:

Which is really just a very bad drawing of this gorgeous dress I found many months back.

I love this dress. Hell, screw my bridesmaids, I want to wear this dress… but I don’t have a pattern for it. That means I’ll have to draft the entire thing from the ground up. I know it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but with my schedule over the next few months it’s got me in a panic.

I also originally wanted tartan fabric for the dresses, but after much scouring of the internet I’ve decided that @ 62$ a yard for tartan *** when I need 30+ yards *** my bridesmaids will look absolutely beautiful in a solid blue.

So, do you have any opinions about which way I should go?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I swear I’m not a slacker!

I’ve just been sooooooooo busy. Sadly with my school, business, and wedding plans needing to take priority, the blog schedule will always be the first thing to slip. I will try and keep it going though ^_^.

So what has been monopolizing my time all week? Well as far as school and business I’ve:

     - Studied for and taken three exams: Mathematical Statistics, Calculus 4, and Differential         Equations.
     - Met with an accountant to formalize my business. I’m officially INC now!
     - Set up business bank accounts.
     - Made two more microwave hand warmers. *** Sorry, no pictures ***
     - Finished up and sent out a custom Aurora crown for a client on Etsy.

And for the wedding I’ve:
     - Worked on the contract with the caterer.
     - Made some progress on the ‘Save the Dates’. I’m not 100% complete, but I did sketch             up this little guy really quick and I know he will an appearance somewhere on them.

     - Cut out the corset patterns for my three bridesmaids.

     - And finished the sketches of the dresses that they will wear. Now, normally I’d post a picture of the gowns here, but I’ve made a deal with one of my bridesmaids that I’d finish the sketches if she read half of The Hunger Games book. Since she hasn’t quite finished up her end of the bargain, they’re being held hostage for a few days ^_~.

See, I’ve been a busy girl! For now, it’s time for me to go visit JoAnns for some fabric and sew up these corsets. Hopefully I can get them all done this week so I can send them up to Kansas ASAP.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pink and Blue Sleeping Beauty Gown: Photoshoot

Click here for the making of the Sleeping Beauty Dress - Part 1
Click here for the making of the Sleeping Beauty Dress - Part 2
Click here for the making of the Sleeping Beauty Dress - Part 3
Click here for the making of the Sleeping Beauty Dress - Part 4
Click here for the making of the Sleeping Beauty Dress - Part 5

Wow, that hemming took me nearly three hours straight, but yaaaaay it was finally finished! And all of it in under a week! *** Granted it was nearly 10 hours a day, 6 days straight… but I was still proud. ***

Enough blabbering, now for what people really want; the photos!

First up is a shot of me and a couple of other Disney princesses at the New Years party the dress was made for.
2012 New Years Party 068
I don’t know what it is about me and cameras, but I always tend to make a stupid face whenever someone snaps a shot. There are lots more pictures of me from the party… but none I really need to spread around the internet anymore than they already are ^_~.

So, in order to grab some shots where I wasn’t making goofy faces I drug my guy out a few weeks later for a diy photo shoot. This mostly involved us driving around town looking for pretty backdrops to shoot at. Here are a couple of those photos:

First we found a pretty lake with some swans.

Princess Aurora's Pink and Blue Gown (Back with Swans)
And here is one with some thorn type bushes in the background.

Princess Aurora's Pink and Blue Gown (Thorn Bushes)

While these were nice and all, we really hit gold with a super pretty church downtown.

Princess Aurora's Pink and Blue Gown  (Close Up)

Princess Aurora's Pink and Blue Gown  (Sitting at Table)

Princess Aurora's Pink and Blue Gown  (Flared Skirt)

And last but not least, my absolute favorite shot of the entire day….

Pink and Blue Sleeping Beauty Dress

The sun in my eyes was so painful, but I’m really glad Jason made me open them for this picture. It turned out to be really nice.

So that about wraps things up on this gown. It was a weeks worth of hard work, but turned out to be one of my favorite costumes to date. Sadly it will probably be the last costume I make for quite awhile. With my wedding coming up in May I need to start in on the bridesmaids dresses soon. Three full corsets, mockups, and gowns are sure to take quite a bit of time. But hey, they kinda count as costumes though, right?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Making it fit for Princess Aurora

Click here for the Princess Aurora Dress - Part 1
Click here for the Princess Aurora Dress - Part 2
Click here for the Princess Aurora Dress - Part 3
Click here for the Princess Aurora Dress - Part 4 

I know, I know, I’ve been a slacker. I’m trying really hard to keep to a two day update schedule, but sometimes life gets crazy busy. In order to make up for my breach of the schedule I’ll try to post the finished dress tomorrow. Now, onto the construction!

Since I couldn't find a pattern, or really even a good reference, I just free handed the collar and over skirt with some muslin until I was happy.
Sleeping Beauty Pink and Blue Gown Construction (23)
If you noticed, I did make a slight tweak from the reference picture in regards to the overskirt. In the movie the tri peaks were all connected as one skirt, but in execution this creates a bit of a problem. At what angle do you cut the skirt so that it has sufficient give for the hips, while at the same time fits snugly to the skirt? Plus, where would I add seams so I could create the splash effect? While that’s all technically doable, there wasn’t any real reason for it other than blind dedication to accuracy. *** I know, funny coming from me considering the fit I had about the Disney World collars *** In any case, I decided to stick with separate petals for the overskirt. I could argue that it was for unhindered movement, but really it just made my life easier.

Oh! You know how the other day I said no matter how many lists I made I still managed to find ways to  screw up the little stuff? This over skirt was a perfect example. I sewed it together wrong not once, but twice! The first time was just me being silly and skipping a step by sewing the front and back together before I’d added the splashes… but the second time was far worse. I really wanted the overskirt and underskirts splashes to line up so I went through the tedious task of making sure every last swirl was right. Since I’d used the last of my pink polyester fabric for the actual gown lining, I had to use the light pink suede on both sides of the splash panel. This meant, unlike before where they were two different shades of pink, both the front and the back of the splash looked identical. I didn’t even think about it before I slapped the pink splashes on my blue panel and appliqued them on. It was so sad when I held my finished panel up to the dress and noticed the colors were all backwards.

Ah well, live and learn. They were relatively small pieces so it didn’t take to terribly long to make a new one. I made sure to quadruple check before I appliqued this time!
Sleeping Beauty Pink and Blue Gown Construction (30)
Even though I absolutely love the splashes on this dress, the detail I actually liked most was the collar; especially that it’s made in two different colors. In my research for this gown I found costume, after costume, after costume with white collars. And Disney itself was the main perpetrator of this error! Their massed produced pink gowns all had stark white collars. I don't understand why though, in the movie they were always either a light blue or pink. It's not like it would have cost anymore to put light pink on their sewing lines... /shrugs.

Any who, back to the dress. I was almost done! Sadly the next step was my second least favorite thing to do in the whole wide world! Zipper basting.

Sleeping Beauty Pink and Blue Gown Construction (33)
Really any kind of basting is horrible in my book. It seems so utterly pointless to put in a bunch of stitches you know you’re going to take right back out again! I suppose it’s a necessary evil though.

The zipper and I had some disagreements when it came to this dress. I’d changed the location and put it up the pink side seam instead of the back due to the splashes, but it was not happy about the joint where the bodice meet the over skirt and underskirt. After a firm talking to, and some deftly utilized scissors on some seam allowances, it finally decided to behave.

So with that out of the way I just needed to add some extra last minute splashes, insert the lining, and then do my absolute least favorite sewing duty; hemming. Uggggh. Ball gowns of this size are just sooooo big, so hemming seems to take forever and five days!

Sleeping Beauty Pink and Blue Gown Construction (36)
This was about the time I started whining to Jason, ‘Can’t I just go as Mickey… I don’t have to hem a gown to be Mickey.’ Since he’d been practically abandoned for the past 6 days while I sewed this gown he flately refused and told me I had to be Aurora. *** With malicious glee in his eyes I might add *** Bah!...

To be continued…

Click here for the Princess Aurora Dress - Part 6


Is there a sewing task that you absolutely hate doing like hemming?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sleeping Beauty Dress: The Skirt

Click here for Sleeping Beauty's Pink and Blue Gown - Part 1
Click here for Sleeping Beauty's Pink and Blue Gown - Part 2
Click here for Sleeping Beauty's Pink and Blue Gown - Part 3

Now that I was practically finished with the bodice panels, it was time to lay out the skirt front and back. If I thought the bodice was a lot of work, I was sure in for a rude awakening.

After pinning my two front pink pieces together, I quickly free handed some waves with fabric chalk. *** I <3 fabric chalk. When you mess up, you can just wash it away! ***

Sleeping Beauty Pink and Blue Gown Construction (Splashes)

Oye vey, I should have realized by the sheer size of the panel that I’d be in for hours of pinning. Between the four applique panels I used three entire boxes of fabric pins!

Sleeping Beauty Pink and Blue Gown Construction (Skirt Front)

Next it was time for hours upon hours... upon hours... of applique. Oh how I missed using my industrial  machine! This process definitely opened my eyes to the dedication of quilters. I'd have gone crazy if it weren't for my audio book in the background.

Sleeping Beauty Pink and Blue Gown Applique

Front, Back, Front, Left, Right, Front, Back, Front, Left, Right, Front…..

Once I finished with the tedium of applique, it was finally time to add some Sleeping Beauty flair to my gown!

Click here for Sleeping Beauty's Pink and Blue Gown - Part 5
Click here for Sleeping Beauty's Pink and Blue Gown - Part 6


Oh! While I’m thinking about it, is there anyway to avoid stabbing yourself with pins when you’re sewing?!? I think I must have stuck myself upwards of 300 times sewing these skirts together. My poor hands were in revolt for a week!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Princes Aurora’s Pink and Blue Gown – The Construction: Splish Splash

Click here for Sleeping Beauty's Pink and Blue Splashed Dress - Part 1
Click here for Sleeping Beauty's Pink and Blue Splashed Dress - Part 2

Okay, you know how I said I only had a week to make a full ball gown? Well, that was a total lie. I only had a week to make three ball gowns! Here, let me explain.

To make the two toned splash effect for this dress I had to make a base dress (half blue and half pink) plus the outer dress that would be in the opposite colors. Because I demanded quality out of this garment ***no shortcuts allowed even on a time crunch!*** I had to make a backing for the outer dress so when I turned it into splashes it wouldn’t fray along they edges. This brings the total to three.

I could probably try and get technical and say that I made the gown a fourth time to line it, but since I’d have done that regardless of the outer design I’ll just stick with three.
Sleeping Beauty Bodice Pattern
And my friends say I’m lazy… pfft.

Even though I didn’t start this dress until a week before the event, I knew I wanted to make the Sleeping Beauty dress ever since the New Years theme was announced back in September. Because of this I’d been keeping my eye out for fabrics over the previous few months. I thought I had struck pay dirt on one of my trips to Kansas where I found a gorgeous micro suede fabric in both pink and blue. Thinking it would make for an amazing bodice, I scoured the store for other fabrics that would compliment those tones and loaded up my cart. However, when lady at the cutting counter began unrolling the 8 yards of pink I’d need, we discovered that the bolt was actually just a collection of remnants… and they weren’t even from the same dye lot! Ugh! I was heartbroken. I knew the dress needed complimentary fabrics and tones or it would clash, and a patchwork of 5 different colored pinks just wouldn't do. Reluctantly I put everything back and went home empty handed.

*** Have ya’ll begun to notice a trend? I always seem to have trouble finding fabrics! Even though I know exactly what I want the stores never seem to carry it. I wonder if this is common problem for other people too. Hmm….***

Any who, I kept looking for fabrics for the next few weeks with no luck. It was getting closer and closer to go time, so I needed to find something soon. Before sucking it up and calling the company to rush order entire bolts, I decided to drive the hour south to Moore to take a chance on their fabric stores. As luck would have it they had almost the same exact fabric I wanted in the first place. Yay!

There was one little problem though. In the entire store there were no lighter pink and blue fabrics in the same tone. ***insert eye twitch here*** Okay, fine. The fabric gods have obviously deemed that I was not allowed to have a micro suede bodice for this gown. But I wasn’t going to let them have the last laugh. The back side of the micro suede fabrics were beautiful shades of pink in blue in just a few steps deeper than the front. I’d simply flip my original plan! Now the sleeves and flouncy overskirt would be made with the micro suede, and for the bodice and main skirt I’d just flip the fabric over.

See, I can be flexible. ***Sticks tongue out at the fabric gods***

So, now that I had my fabric purchased (all 24 yards of it @_@), I finally got started on the splash panels.
Sleeping Beauty Pink and Blue Gown Construction (5)
I’m not exactly sure if I can articulate how the splash panels were made. A vague overview would be that  I started with two layers of each panel, one the outer fabric and one a thinner lining fabric. After drawing some freehand splashes, I ran over the drawn lines with a straight stitch on my machine, flipped the fabric right side out, and then ironed it flat.

Hopefully that made sense. Perhaps one day I can make a video for the technique.

Once I finished each of the splash panels they were pinned onto their bases where they awaited their impending applique stitch!

Sleeping Beauty Pink and Blue Gown Construction (Bodice splashes)

Soooooo many needles. And this bodice was only 14 inches tallish? Just wait til you see the skirt!

Do you see my cute little cheat sheet up there? I was so of proud of it. In order to prevent myself from messing up, I wrote a list of every pattern piece, right side or wrong side, that I needed to cut out and in which color. It seems kind of OCD, but it was actually a huge helper. It’s super easy to cut out the wrong color or pattern side when you’re making a dress that is half one color and half another!

To be continued...


Do you have any tips for keeping your sewing projects organized? Even with my many lists I still sometimes find myself making tiny mistakes!

Click here for Sleeping Beauty's Pink and Blue Splashed Dress - Part 4
Click here for Sleeping Beauty's Pink and Blue Splashed Dress - Part 5
Click here for Sleeping Beauty's Pink and Blue Splashed Dress - Part 6

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Princess Aurora’s Pink and Blue Gown - The Plan

Click here for Princess Aurora's Pink and Blue Gown - Part 1

Like most of my projects lately, I found myself on a crazy tight time schedule when making the Sleeping Beauty dress. I swear I’m not a procrastinator! Well… that’s a lie, I’m a horrible procrastinator. Even so, I’m also suuuuuuper busy all the time. From early Nov. straight through mid Jan. I spent almost every day in front of the sewing machine for at least 8 hours. Throw in the two trips to Kansas City, two family holidays, a craft show, and four finals all in this same time period I’m surprised I got anything done at all! With everything on my plate I only had the week between Christmas and New Years to get this dress ready for the party. A full ball gown in a week?… Pfft, no problem. School was out, I could totally do this /flexes.

In typical me fashion, I started by obsessing over the design concept. I know that I technically had a print out of the exact gown I wanted to make from the movie still, but there were things that I still needed to work out. Like how I wanted to go about making the overskirt, collar, and splashed designs.

For full disclosures sake, I should probably let you know that I started with Butterick Pattern 4453 as a base. It was a pattern I found in my stash, but it’s discontinued now.

It had the right basic shape and feel for the dress I wanted, but I had to alter it a ton to get the desired finished pattern. I think the only pieces I didn’t alter, tweak, or completely change were the two side panels of the skirt. Even then I should have added pockets! ***Why oh why do I always forget to add pockets ***

So, I started scouring the internet for ideas… Do you know how many really ugly adult Princess Aurora dresses there are out there? It’s really quite astounding.

I suppose that’s unfair. A lot of the cosplay dresses people created were really cute, but the official Disney Land/Disney World dresses were so obnoxious and weird. The ‘collar’ of the dress wasn’t even sitting on the shoulders where it was supposed to be.

See? Weird. It vaguely looks the same, but at the same time is totally unflattering and odd. And to top it off this was one of the only official blue dresses I could even find to compare directly with the original; almost all of them are Pink! I couldn't find a single one that resembled the splashed dress I was planning on making.

/sigh. I decided instead of looking at reference pictures from what other people had made, I’d simply wing it. Worst case scenario, I’d totally botch the whole dress and just wear mickey mouse ears to the party. No one would ever have to know.

I set about making my under corset and mockup of the bodice, which took about two days. I almost skipped making a mockup due to the time crunch, but I’m soooo glad I didn’t. With the under corset on, the original pattern had to be taken in and altered all over the place. Because of the way I planed to make the splashes there would have been practically no way to do this post construction, so my extra few hours of work saved me a lot of grief. I’m almost positive there would have been tears if I’d made the gown straight from the original pattern. Lesson of the day: Always make a mock-up!

With the fitting completed it was time to start sewing the actual dress…

Click here for Princess Aurora's Pink and Blue Gown - Part 3
Click here for Princess Aurora's Pink and Blue Gown - Part 4
Click here for Princess Aurora's Pink and Blue Gown - Part 5
Click here for Princess Aurora's Pink and Blue Gown - Part 6


What do you think of the Disney World dresses? Am I just crazy, or do you think they look slightly weird too?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Disney New Years

I’m baaaaaaaack.

The trip to Breckenridge was absolutely amazing and so much fun. There was skiing, snowmobiling, pottery making, and even a wedding! However, now that I’m back I’m realizing just how far behind I am in mundane responsibilities, like school *mutters*. Because of this, it will likely be a few days before I dive into a new project.

There is good news though. You see, this leaves me more than enough time to make posts for one of my favorite costumes of all time, my Sleeping Beauty dress!

Every year my best friends throw an amazing New Years party and each time there is a new theme. Once it was 80s, another it was fancy cocktail attire, but this year it was going to be Disney! How much fun is that? Even though I had a million ideas rolling around in my head, from the carpet in Aladdin to the feather duster in Beauty and the Beast, there was never any doubt in my mind as to what my costume would be: Princess Aurora. *** The one character where naps are perfectly acceptable as role playing! ***

One of my moms favorite Disney movies of all time has got to be Sleeping Beauty. *** I remember it being played in our house A LOT growing up.*** As a kid, she even made me a blue sleeping beauty dress for Halloween one year. However, as I researched the gown for this party I started to notice a disturbing trend when it comes to Aurora’s attire. When exactly did she become a pink princess?!?!?

As most of you know, in the movie there is a great faerie fight between Flora and Merryweather over whether the dress should be pink or blue. They bicker and change the dress back and forth with magic over and over, making it one of the most memorable parts of the story. However, having seen the film about 100 bazillion times I clearly remember her birthday dress being blue for about 95% of the movie. Despite this, you can’t find the blue dress anywhere nowadays! From books to cartoons, to even costume stores and DisneyLand it is now a strictly pink dress. It’s as if the blue gown never existed!

There are many debates and explanations online as to why Disney has decided to shun Aurora’s blue dress; it usually comes down to their need to distinguish her from Cinderella, as they both have blonde hair. Let me tell you though, it is an absolute outrage in my eyes. So, I decided that when making my New Years costume I would not bow to Disney’s pink princess ploy. She was not pink darnit! But….. I also determined that I wouldn’t make a strictly blue dress either, since she wasn't only blue.

Instead I would make, by far, the best dress in the whole movie. The one that immediately sprang to mind every time I thought of Sleeping Beauty.
The pink and blue splashed dress from the cabin scene!

Yes, I know. Aurora never technically wore this dress. But who cares! It was one of the best scenes in the whole movie and definitely memorable. Plus, it reminds us that Sleeping Beauty was not strictly pink nor blue. She was both.

Take that Disney!

Click here for Sleeping Beauty's Pink and Blue Splashed Dress - Part 2
Click here for Sleeping Beauty's Pink and Blue Splashed Dress - Part 3
Click here for Sleeping Beauty's Pink and Blue Splashed Dress - Part 4
Click here for Sleeping Beauty's Pink and Blue Splashed Dress - Part 5
Click here for Sleeping Beauty's Pink and Blue Splashed Dress - Part 6


Do you have a favorite color gown? It’s alright if it’s pink, I promise I won’t bite your head off ^_~.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Going on Vacation!

I'm leaving for my vacation in Colorado tomorrow, so there won't be any new posts for a couple of days. Don't panic; I'll be back with lots more of my sewing and craft adventures soon enough.

Weeeeeee vacation!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

White Mage Hoodie in Miniature–Part 3: Done!

Click here for WHM Hoodie in Miniature - Part 1
Click here for WHM Hoodie in Miniature - Part 2


It’s all finished. I’ll admit I was pretty much a slacker today and spent more time researching stuff for wedding invitations rather than working on the hoodie. But I finally got off my lazy bum around 5, and now it’s done!

Baby White Mage Hoodie (3)
You’ll notice that the zipper is now white. Apparently coat zippers only come in certain shades of red, and WHM red just isn’t one of them. I’m sure I could have special ordered one if I’d thought to check earlier… but meh. I think it looks pretty good with the white one anyway.

And the back!

Baby White Mage Hoodie Back
Yay for fixing those accent patterns! It would have had a really weird shaped plateau thing in the middle if I hadn’t caught that in time.

I must say, this hoodie turned out a lot larger than I thought it would. I’d read that Burda’s kid patterns ran big so I made the 9 mo. sized one instead of 12 mo., but even then it looks to be big enough to fit a two year old. Granted I don’t have kids, nor do I spend much time around them, so I may be way off in my guestimations. I suppose even if it’s too big he’ll grow into it eventually. I just hope it’s not the middle of summer when he finally does @_@.

Since I didn’t have a spare kid around to model this cute little jacket I decided to dig in my closet for one of my childhood stuffed animals. Theodore Edward Bear *** Ted E. Bear for short *** was the perfect size for the job and wore it beautifully.

White Mage Teddy Bear

I kind of like the irony of giving a child a, practically, all white hoodie. It's going to get dirty soooo fast ^_^

Any who, now that this is all done I’m not quite sure what I’ll start on next. I only have a few days before leaving for Breckenridge, so I don’t think I’ll get into anything too ambitious. Perhaps I’ll start playing around with invitation ideas and testing out the pomanders. Considering the wedding is only 4 months away, I really should stop being a slacker about this.

Pattern Used: Burda 9828.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

White Mage Hoodie in Miniature–Part 2

Click here for WHM Hoodie in Miniature - Part 1

Gah! I didn’t get quite finished today. I came really close, but a few hours ago I realized the zipper I’d purchased was the wrong color. ***Who knew red could clash with red?*** Since I have to wait til tomorrow to go grab a new zipper I figured there was no rush to get the lining put in tonight. Pending no serious disasters I should be done tomorrow though.

I did get a lot accomplished for the day. This morning I transferred all the pattern pieces to butcher paper so I could save the pattern, in tact, for future use. Then I drafted the red triangle borders that would line the edges of the hoodie. There was a tiny bit of a hiccup here. I made a stupid mistake and had to go back to redraft the back accents.

White Mage Hoodie Accents

Do you see it? The writings a bit small, but it’s there on the right.

I got a bit seam allowance happy and added the extra distance to my center back piece even though it was supposed to be cut out on a fold. Ugh! That would not make for a very pretty ‘triangle’ right in the middle of the hoodie. As soon as I finished cutting out my first red piece I realized my mistake. I felt sooooo dumb. It just goes to show that no matter how meticulous you are, it’s always possible to make tiny mistakes. Luckily these pieces are so small that not very much fabric was wasted by my mess up.

Other than that the day went by without a hitch. It basically just turned into a big assembly line of applique before quickly stitching the pieces together.

WHM Hoodie Assembly Line

The only difficult part of this was matching up the pockets to the front hoodie panels. Because the pockets sit so low on the jacket, the red accents invade their territory. I had to draft some extra triangles to make them all line up and then baste stitch everything to make sure nothing went askew. If I make the hoodie again in future I’m thinking about just leaving the pockets off all together. I mean, they’re cute and all, but what use does a 9 month old really have for pockets in their coat?

On a slightly unrelated side note, I really need to learn to use my fancy new embroidery machine. I really want clothing tags to sew inside my garments that have my companies name on them. I know people don’t normally see them, but they seem a bit more professional to me. Like it finishes off a piece. Plus it tends to show a bit more pride in the item. Since I don’t really have the time to spend fiddling with my new toy yet, I just used my regular machines alphabet function to stitch out my company name on some twill tape. It’s not as professional as a single embroidered tag, but it turned out kinda quirky cute.

Beaded Fae Designs

I stitched out his name too and added it into the front of the lining. I’m not sure of the whole ‘kids name inside their clothing’ protocol, but I thought it’d add a nice personal touch.

Whelp, it’s getting rather late, so I think I’m going to head off to sleep. That way I can wake up bright and early tomorrow and finish this awesome little hoodie!

Click here for WHM Hoodie in Miniature - Part 3: Done!

Friday, January 20, 2012

White Mage Hoodie in Miniature!

Ooooooh, what’s this you see? It’s the beginnings of a Baby WHM hoodie, that’s what!
White Mage Hoodie Materials. Red and White Fleece
I have been squeeing non stop about this project since I came up with it about three weeks ago. Despite my impatience to get started, I decided to be responsible and finish the diaper bag and do some school work before tearing into the fabric that was burning a hole in my craft table. *** I’m as shocked as you are by my self control, believe me ***

Hmm, I suppose I should take a step back and give you some back story so you can truly grasp how awesome this will be.

You see, I am a bit of a geek. I didn’t meet my significant other in a ‘normal’ fashion. Nor was this an eHarmony or deal. I met him through an MMO. ***For those non gamer geeks out there that’s a Massively Multiplayer Online Game***. Final Fantasy XI to be specific. More accurately I met him at a linkshell vacation in Breckenridge, CO , but that’s a tale for another day.

The real point is that we weren’t the only love connection to sprout out of our online groups gaming hobby. The linkshell leader, and one of my guys best friends, also found himself a gal through FFXI. ***from my hometown actually*** She moved out to the east coast with him about two years ago and a few months back gave birth to a little boy.

Despite the fact that none of us really play FFXI anymore, we have still kept in touch and a bunch of us are getting together next week for another group trip to Breckenridge. Since the linkshell leader was the one coordinated this amazing trip, I thought it would be awesome to make their little guy a Final Fantasy White Mage hoodie as a thank you gift. I mean, just one gamer parent would think a WHM hoodie was awesome all by itself, but this kid has two gamer parents!

If I know them as well as I think, their kid will end up practically living in this hoodie until he grows out of it or completely destroys it. Whichever comes first. Even then they may ask me to make another one.

So, that’s how this project got added into the mix. I think it's going to turn out absolutely adorable and can't wait to see it finished!

Now I just need to get started so I can have it done before we leave for Colorado. Eep!

Have you made any neat costumes for little ones? I must admit, I’m a huge sucker for children in cosplay. They’re so freakin’ cute!

Click here for WHM Hoodie in Miniature - Part 2
Click here for WHM Hoodie in Miniature - Part 3: Done!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Orange and Teal ‘Steampunk’–Part 5: Done!

Click here for Orange and Teal 'Steampunk' - Part 1
Click here for Orange and Teal 'Steampunk' - Part 2
Click here for Orange and Teal 'Steampunk' - Part 3
Click here for Orange and Teal 'Steampunk' - Part 4

I know it’s been a few days, but I was so excited about current projects that I put this post on the backburner for a bit. Finally it's time for the completion of the Steampunk costume!

When it came to the bolero for this costume it was a bit of a struggle to find a pattern that would suit what I needed. I really wanted something that clasped near the throat, but I couldn’t find it anywhere. Since I was running short on time and I knew I would have to draft the sleeves as well, I decided to forgo it in favor of speed.

I started with B6533. Using the pattern exactly as is for the lining, I self drafted the top of the sleeve to poof out in a late 1800s fashion. Sadly I didn’t take any pictures of the drafting process since I was in such a rush, so all I have are images of the finished garment. I’m sure at some point I’ll make something similar again so I’ll be sure to take tons of photos then.

Orange and Teal Steampunk Bolero
Thanks to all my rushing, I actually finished with about a week to spare. With all that extra time, I decided I would complete the costume with a couple of neat accessories. Because the bolero didn't clasp at the neck like I wanted, I made a neck ruffle with a pretty orange crystal in the center.

Orange and Teal Steampunk Neck Ruffle
It was basically just some pleated fabric with a couple of hook and eyes to clasp it in front. I stitched a strip of the same brown ribbon I’d used on the corset down the center and added the crystal. I can’t remember exactly but I’m wanting to say I just used FabriTac to attach it. It may have had holes to secure it with thread, but I don't think so. To make the crystal a bit more frilly I lined some brown ruffled ribbon around the outside.

I will admit it. I hate the neck ruffle! It was a good idea in theory, but I didn’t like the way it turned out. She really liked it though and didn’t want me to make her something different despite my many protestations. Further proof that my opinion is not the only one that matters ^_^.

Next I made probably the cutest accessory of my entire life. A tiny top hat! *** I'm a firm believer that everything is cuter in miniature! ***

Orange and Teal Steampunk Miniature Hat
I started with a doll top hat I got from Hobby Lobby and added some of the same blue fabric as the bolero and overskirt. I didn’t have a pattern for this and was pretty much just winging it. Usually I don’t like to use glue in any of my costume construction, but I broke that rule here. On the outside it looks exquisite, but it’s basically glued straight onto the base hat. I did make sure to line it though, so you can’t see any of the mess within. I added some ‘decorative’ stitching around the top rim and added a ring of the same frilly ribbon from the neck ruffle.

One of my favorite parts of this hat is the giant copper flower. It looks like I specially made or bought the hat pin from a fancy hobby store or haberdashery, right? It’s totally not! Here in Oklahoma City there have been lots of ‘One Dollar Jewelry and More’ stores that have been popping up. I found this flower attached to one of those cheap adjustable rings for a buck! I just ripped off the cheap ring and glued the flower right on the hat. Perfect.

I finished it off by stitching on a couple of hair combs and some brown netting so that it would stay nicely in her hair.

With all the accessories finished I gave her the present on her birthday in lots of individually wrapped boxes. It was really fun to watch her unbox her costume one piece at a time.

Here is a couple pictures of the costume all completed!

Orange and Teal Steampunk Costume Front
And the back!

Orange and Teal Steampunk Costume Back

Oh! I did sew a modesty panel for the back so her skin didn’t show through the lacing. I just never got a photo of it. Rest assured she was not hanging out of the back.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this costume is my lack of photos with my friend actually in it! It seems like all of the photos that are taken of her are indoors with horrendous florescent lighting. ***shudders*** I’ve been bugging her to take some photos out in natural light in it for my blog, but sadly she’s been sick for the past week or two. I guess I’ll just have to settle for what’s already available. Alas!

Amy Steampunk Dress 071

This was taken the night I gave her the costume. I don’t think it was her actual birthday but it was on time!


And here was a picture of her we found online from Dragon Con 2011. It’s one of those evil shots where the photographer didn’t give any indication that he was about to take a photo of her, so she wasn’t even remotely ready. But since it’s literally the only one I have of her in natural light I’m gonna post it! Hopefully she’ll get some new shots to me soon so I can update these.

So that about wraps things up. I absolutely loved making this costume and I’m really glad it worked out well. I can’t wait to make more Victorian and Steampunk themed garments!

Patterns Used:
    Mini Top Hat: Self Drafted (sort of)
    Neck Ruffle: Self Drafted
    Bolero: B6533 + some self drafting
    Corset: TV110 + some self drafting
    Over Skirt: TV303
    Base Skirt: TV201
    Bustle: TV101

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Iron-On Vinyl: How To

So, with my excitement over finding this new wonderful material I thought I would make up a quick how-to post for anyone who doesn’t yet know the joys this product can bring.


This is HEATnBOND. I have no brand bias yet since this was my first experience with the product, but I have no complaints. I made sure to get the sewable style as I knew I’d have to stich seams together. It cost around $6.99/yd. retail, which is quite steep in my opinion, but I had a 40% off coupon so it wasn’t so bad in the end. It comes in 21-22” bolts just like interfacing. *** In fact, it was thrown in with the interfacing at my local fabric store ***.

As a slight side note: Does anyone else get irritated that interfacing (and now this product) only comes in single layer 22” strips instead of 45” bolts like every other fabric? I always get cranky when I to buy twice the yardage of interfacing as fashion fabric.

Any who, back on subject. First things first. Measure the pattern piece you’ll need to have plasticized.


I had already cut out the major pieces for the inner bag, but I still needed to make the inside of the drawstring opening. So that’s what I measured.

I’m a bit of a worrier so I decided to cut out a 5”x5” piece of vinyl to make doubly sure I had clearance. You don’t have to do this though. ***You can actually just cut the pattern piece out directly from the vinyl.***

Now’s the time you’ll also want to cut out your fashion fabric.


Cut out your fashion fabric .5”-1” bigger than your vinyl piece. This will make it easier to center the vinyl on your fabric later without any bits hanging off the edge. The first time you see your iron touch this product you’ll realize why this is an important step. Let's just say it took me a good 10 minutes to get my iron clean.


Now that you have your fabric and vinyl cut out, you’ll want to place the fabric right side up. Make sure to clean off any fuzz balls or threads. You’re about to laminate it so you want it looking as good as possible!

Once finished, go ahead and peal off the vinyl's paper backing.


The corners are sometimes stubborn to get started, but if you just rub it between your thumb and forefinger it will come a loose. Don’t throw this paper away though, we will need it later!

Now go ahead and place the vinyl sticky side down onto the right side of your fabric. The HEATnBONDs ‘sticky’ side was of relatively low tac. This was great because it was really easy to reposition when I made a mistake.

Smooth out all the bubbles and get ready to iron!

Following the directions that came with your iron on vinyl set your iron to the indicated temperature and wait for it to heat up. *** Mine said to set it on medium with no steam ***

Now, this step is important. When preparing to ironing on the vinyl side of the fabric, make sure to place the paper backing you peeled off between the fabric and your iron. If you put the iron directly on the vinyl it will instantly melt into a globby mess. *** I just nicked a corner of the outside, but the speed of meltage was really quite shocking @_@ *** So I repeat, DO NOT PLACE YOUR IRON DIRECTLY ON THE VINYL. 


I saved a larger piece of the paper backing from an earlier piece I’d made. This was awesome because it ‘ment I didn’t have to perfectly line up the fabric with the paper every time.

Read your brands directions to know how many seconds it says to heat each side. I think mine said 8, but I didn’t follow it to the T. I pretty much just treated it like iron on interfacing.

Now you can flip the fabric over and iron the other side in the same way. Because you *wisely* cut the vinyl smaller than your fashion fabric, you can iron directly on the back of the fabric without worry.


You’re all done! Now you have water resistant fabric in whatever color or pattern you want! You can sew this just like normal fabric to create whatever shape you need.

*** Note: I would be a bit more conservative with your fabric pins now. Because your fabric has a plastic layer it won’t recover from small punctures anymore ***

This product has opened up the awesome ability to make PurseBud diaper bags without being limited to any specific color or pattern that my local fabric stores have on hand. I can use any color I want!

I finished the Winnie-the-Pooh bag yesterday afternoon and, despite my reservations about the characters, it turned out super cute.

Winnie the Pooh PurseBud Backpack (Image 4)

My favorite part of this bag, aside from my love of its waterproof innards, is the fact that it’s convertible from an over the shoulder bag to a backpack. This allows for both arms to be completely free when needed. It also has the 6 outer pockets hidden inside the leaves and petals just like the standard sized PurseBuds. That means lots of places to stick toys,clothes, diapers, and bottles!

Winnie the Pooh Pursebud Backpack (Image 2)

Hopefully my moms coworker loves it as much as I do ^_^.