Saturday, April 30, 2016

Dressing My Gentleman-Ssster

Fembot Nipple Darts

My Trip to Disney in 2014 is well documented in my blog. Less well documented is the dresses I wore. I only have this one here of the Honey Do Dress, a fabric covered in white Daisies, bee hives and bees, and a few of my Micky Dress, as shown below. 

The Pattern I used was Butterick 6094

Absolutely a dream to work with, super easy. I love patterns like this, with a modest neckline, but a little flair to allow one to show one's creativity.

For the back of the Honey Do dress I used a blue linen facing to compliment the centers of the daisies, and on the Mickey I used two big black buttons and a red on red mickey mouse fabric from Joanns.

Mickey Mouse Fabric By the Yard, Half, Fat Quarter Head Shadows on Red 100% Cotton Quilting Apparel Fabric BTY t6/40

Actually I was quite proud of these dresses, and they were my go-to nice dresses when going out.

Then it happened. Wearing the Honey Do dress, my Honey Bunny got a weird giggly look to his face and I immediately knew.

She feels it, she feels the pain of the nipples.

The bust darts on this thing! I sewed them so that they ended at the nipples, which, even with a sweater makes it look like Im, er... excited. You know what Im talking about. Darn french darts.

Oh lala!

Well, now that I knew about it I cant ignore it. I was so mad! So much work, such cute outfits and I couldnt wear them. I briefly entertained seamripping and attempting a less nipple-tastic bodice, but eh. I was uninspired.

It let all the Air out of me. hehe
Then it occurred to me. Its spring now, going into summer and Im really digging the separates. It wouldnt be too hard to simply cut the dresses at the waist and make skirts!

Since I dug the peeled back look of the back view I really racked my brain for a way to incorperate it into the skirt. And I got it. Exposed pockets! Boom!

So I cut off the peeled backs in square shapes, applied them to the sides of the dress-turned-skirt and BOOM.

Two new circle skirts with cute exposed pockets.


Sunday, March 6, 2016


When I first began sewing I got this idea. See, I have a surplus of fabric, a ridiculous amount of patterns and quite a stash of thread. However, I am one of the people who has a hard time sewing something if it doesn't have a purpose. So I thought, hey, Im gonna make costumes for myself and my family and do family portraits in them!

Last year I actually made the costumes, civil war era in the theme of Abraham Lincoln's anniversary thing. However, never managed to get family pictures done in them, bummer. But Still! I sewed them. This year im thinking... REGENCY

Regency Family:

Thomas Tyndall with wife and Children by Thomas Beach c.1800:

Right? Right? Anyway, Here are the ingredients:

Burda 2747

My sisters not too info the whole Princess Twirl-a-long that I am, I mean, Im almost thirty and ID dress like Disney at the drop of a hat. So, instead of the drama of forcing her to wear a dress, I offered another option. She could cross dress as a gentleman. I have the pattern, and the only other gentleman who will be in attendance is my son. So, she opted to be a gentleman. This is the first outfit Im making.

The coat will be turquoise, the trousers an antique tan cotton, and the waistcoat a truly shocking green and blue mishmash. Technically, not historically accurate although it is POSSIBLE. In my research there are some brightly clad gentleman wandering round Jane Austen's block.

Just sayin'.

BURDA 2461

WAIT A MINUTE! Why am I making this when I made the Burda version of Regency Gentleman for my son a year or so ago?

burda 9528

Lemme let ya in on a little something folks.

Kids grow


I couldn't fit Toby back in this if I had a tub of Vaseline. And, sad to say, I seem to have misplaced the pattern. So, back to Burda 2461, which I have, conveniently sitting beside me. It wont be hard at all to cut version B a little room in the front for the regency look.

I have a length of black linen-like fabric for the jacket, some suede like fabric (previously known as curtains) which will sew up nicely for the breeches, and a pale fawn cotton with white outlines of roses on it for the waistcoat, which will be made from Mccalls 4290.

Butterick 6074

This is the pattern for me and my mom,

For my mom, we're going an elegant black, Ive two different kinds of semi-sheer black fabric and a whole bunch of black cotton. Probably use bodice A with B decorations and use the spencer sleeve. I prefer long sleeves, I really do.

My dress is a thin olive green, and I am definately going to embellish the skirt with lots of fabric.

Also in the ring: Ive got the Bagatelle Regency Wardrobe. I did the crossover bodice gown once before, and it turned out well. They also have a bodiced petticoat.

Last but not least, if Im feeling adventurous, I do have the Laughing Moon 115.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Beauty and the Me Without Caffeine

Belle's dress is iconic. It is the iconic Disney Dress of the Iconic Disney Princesses. Seriously. Anyone can see gold ruching and immediately think, BELLE. You can't help it.  So, of course, the dream of dreams for all good little Disney girls, is to have this gown.

Belles dress is my Third favorite gown. (Ariel's Pink Dress is my first and Snow whites gown my second) Although Belles is the most magical to me, I find myself bothered by the solid colors of it. I mean, I would cheat, beg and a steal to wear it and then never take it off, but well, there it is. I have other favorites.

Of course being a seamstress, I need to sew the dress. Its a thing. When most people say, "OMG I need to own the thing" we sewistas get all narrow eyed and heavy breathing with the need to MAKE THE THING.  Belle, however, has always been one of my love/hate dresses. I dislike ruching. I don't like the bustling kind of ruching, I don't like the effect it gives and I HATE hand sewing it. Because its never EVEN. UGH!
Too. Much.
But I digress. Belle's dress is a different kind of ruching, one that I can appreciate, even as I wince at the amount of TIME it will take to MAKE it. Sigh.

Anyway, I have yards and yards of gold poly satin. I mean YARDS. Different shades too, brassy gold here, dull matte candlelight colored gold here, and even bronzey gold tucked away somewhere. Ive always wanted to make belle's dress out of it. I mean, stash-busting the most AWESOME WAY, right?  However, my fear of failure kept me from cutting into that virgin cloth. The techniques t make belle's gown are just SO different from my usual style. I was too overwhelmed to try.

Recently, my niece came to visit me. She's a cutie, just four years old. It occurred to me, I could make her a mini-belle gown, stashbust and PRACTICE for my own Belle gown AT THE SAME TIME! So, I set about adventuring thtough my stash closet for fabrics.

Guys. It was so freaking easy. Jesus, making a little girls dress is SO MUCH EASIER than making an adults! It may seem obvious to you but this is a revelation to me. I even whipped up a hoop skirt with pleated ruffle in A DAY. A DAY! Normally it take me a day to PLEAT THE RUFFLE!

So, without furthur adeu, My Niece AmiaBelle.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dress Bomb!

Dresses from previous post, on an actual human body!!!! WHAT FRESH NONSENSE IS THIS?!?!?!?!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Disney Novelty

So, Although I haven't been posting much, I am working on some dresses. Recently inspired by the Disney trips (Future and Past) I'm rocking the novelty-theme.

I love the idea of Cosplay-Everday, people who can wear without shame their love of animated things on their LITERAL sleeve. Across the span of skin colors, the scale of weights, the range of ages, all types of people adorning themselves like the objects of their adoration.

I cannot do this. I was raised on a strict diet of shame and humiliation for my size and my likes. Family fed from birth with teasing and laughter until the anxiety of actually doing what I dream has become so great I mentally abuse myself into backing out, backing down, backing slooooooooowly away. Ive been working with myself, however, to push through my self-hating geekery and allowing myself to be, well, lol, myself.

Therein lies our goal. Vintage 50's (my favorite style) has a cornucopia of 'Kitsch' and 'Novelty' dresses. It was a STYLE to wear ridiculous prints and characters! (Ironic, considering the mindset of the era BUT ANYWAY....) And from this inspiration, I have designed what I like to call Disney Day Wear.

Firstly, I must explain. In my wardrobe I have multiple copies of the same dress. If it looks good on me I will most certainly emulate it, but thats not really why I do more than one. See that old saying, measure twice cut once has become, in my head, pin once cut twice. I hate pinning and cutting. I really do. Even the seductive sound of my Gingher shears doesn't help much anymore. So, I found that if I cut two dresses out at once, it saves me time! I have an embarrassingly large stash of fabric (hoarder-large) and so I'll cut one good fabric that I bought myself and one that I like but perhaps is not too dear. I sew the not-too-dear one first, and use the knowledge gained to sew the second.

First Pattern: Butterick 5880

This is one of my Too Fat To Wear patterns. I bought it, but my body type (apple/square) doesn't 'technically' jive together with narrow skirts. But I love the pattern so much I tossed caution to the wind and got it anyway. Not only did I buy the pattern, but I sewed the dresses! And guess what? I was terribly wrong about it! The pattern is adorable and flatters my flat fat butt too. Ha!

Butterick 5880 Lei Me Dress

This fabric was curtains, and is the brightest, happiest flower print I have ever seen. Of course, this being just two curtains, I didn't have enough for the full gown and took the liberty of a completely green skirt. The green is what my dear sister describes as 'the perfect shade of green-and I dont even LIKE green!' and is the basis for my Swan Shield medieval gown. I used the extra yardage to pop this out.

Portrait Of Evil Dress

This fabric is my love. I found it at Joanns, and even though I dont like to buy fabric fresh off the bolt (I like to upcycle) I couldn't help myself. This has Mother Gothal, Grimhilda, Maleficient AND Cruella. If it had Ursula I would've bought the bolt, lemme tell ya.  Alas it did not, but the fabric is banging anyway.

Bastet Loves It Too!
This dress is nice. Easy to sew, a tad long for my 5'1 frame, but flattering, since the mock-wrap-thing-y covers my belly bulge in a nice way.  The directions are easy to follow, and even the draped-wrap-thing-y is fairly straight forward for all its intimidating looks. Overall I am mucho pleased with this set.

Second Dress McCalls 7086

Obviously version A.

Okay, I dont even WATCH Mad Men, and know that this is a re-imagining of Joan. However, I like the high neckline due to my girls tending to make cleavage out of anything an inch below my collar bones. Also, the 'bow' in front looks adorable. So I set about making two of them.

Firstly is my Nemo Dress. I have a five year old boy who LOVES Nemo, and so about two years ago I picked up two and a half yards of a cotton fabric from Hancock Fabrics to back a quilt Grandma was making for him. Never panned out. I like chaotic quilts, she likes matchy-matchy, and so the fabric was used as a banner in his room for a while, and then shoved in the stash.

Fast forward to the begining of this year. After Disney I found that Epcot ride, The Seas, with Nemo? PERFECT excuse to wear a Nemo themed dress! I looked high and low for a Nemo fabric.


Oh, a yard here, a yard there, baby quilt stuff, quilting squares but no decent fabric for a dress. I recalled the stuff I had, languishing below the corderoy on the third shelf of my fabric closet, and BOOM! Perfect!!

...except there was only 2 1/2 yards. Oy. So I played around and futsed and finally decided on making a dress with a deep, DEEP ruffle. In this way I could match the 'bow' to the ruffle fabric and avoid pattern clash.

Thus blocked I noticed how similar this was to the Patio Dress....

Well nothing for it then. COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF TRIM HERE I COME!!!

Variation. Truth, my dear reader? I dislike this pattern immensely. Its very matronly, especially on short-waisted, apple girls with no necks. So, ripped out the seam in the front to give myself a little more room to *ahem* breathe, and trimmed it within an inch of its life. This dress is totally a COSTUME, in the fullest sense of the world but I can't be bothered to be upset about it. I think its adorable. LOVE!

Variation: The Bow. No. Seriously. In the odd, witch-ery way that sometimes happens even after following the directions religiously, the bow was slightly small then the front, which caused bunching and riding up. I was at a loss until my brilliant sister suggested putting the bow IN THE BACK. OMG thats Perfect! I hadn't sewed it down yet and so a quick flip later and boom! Pretty nifty huh? Of course it was still too small and caused issue with the zipper, so I took initiative, then opened the center before sewing it down on either side of the zipper itself.

Still suggests a bow, but without the fuss. Yay!

Second Dress: Princess and Pearls

OMG dear reader. LOOKIT THISSSSSS!!!

Joanns, why you want to take all my money??????? WHY?!?! It reminds me of the border print skirt/dress by Pin-Up Girl Cothing

Cotton, white with a print of pink traditional princess in front of thier castles. Elegant and lovely and perfect. I am doomed. I resisted valiantly for a few weeks, but when I saw the bolt shrinking each time I couldn't stop myself and bought the last 2 1/2 yards.

IT IS MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

... now what?

See, Im a slob. And this is, mainly, white fabric. I am also my son's handy living napkin, tissue and handkerchief. There is no way anything white will stay white with me. My life is too messy. So once I had made the break through with the Nemo Dress, I realized I could do the same basic work around with the princess fabric. The pieces of the dress within reach of my boy would be a base darker pink, along with the bow. Less fabric to dirty means less chances to embarrass myself. Not that I dont do that all day long, 24/7 anyway, but I prefer for it to be on purpose.

So, I used this same pattern, cut out and pinned and sewed my heart out. With this as the final result:

Variation; Same Bow as Nemo, cleaner that way I think.

Here you can see my mistake! The back of the dress is upside-down because I was trying to be clever with pattern placement. Sigh. 
Variation; Neckline, same issue, but I simply lowered it slightly in a curve. Back neckline, you'll notice, changed drastically. I'd like to say this was an artistic choice, but really, my zipper was too short. *Shrugs*

Variation: Deep Ruffle, so deep. I mean, really, its like a skirt with a bit of a Princess topper on it rather than the other way round. Also, for this skirt instead of using my cheap ruffler like I did on Nemo, I pleated the skirt neatly (box pleats) and used a trim of white with pearls to accent it.


Its so freaking elegant and princess-y and kitschy all at the same time it hits my happy spot so hard.

I'm still working on more disney and reagular novelty dresses which include, but are not limited to:

Cinderellas Pink Dress Re-imagined

Baymax Squaw dress

Blue Satin Princess Castle Dress

Cows and Apples Dress