Saturday, May 25, 2013

Adventures with the Chloe Dress

So here it is...the Chole Dress.  You may remember this post where I was being oh so cheery about putting this one together, ya final product worth it?  Maybe.  Get ready for TMI.

I basically bought this pattern to have some guidance about how to make a dress so fluffy and fun...the answer to that is to use 6 layers (the pattern says 4 but ya guidelines) I used for the skirt top to bottom: 3 tulle, one netting, one chiffon, and one quilting cotton.  

I had my doubts about how all this was going to go so I went ahead and made a "muslin" for another little girlie, Isabel, in violet.  Ya I can see that the muslin is made of silk dupioni and some awesome damask but hey why not make it great?  

So after some measuring of my girls I noticed that the pattern for the bodice seemed a bit too I lengthened it a couple inches.  I also reshaped the back of the bodice as it was not scooped enough for my taste and I lengthened the back edges so the dresses have more of a placket.  

I also did not like the finishing of the inside of the garment...just serging all the skirt and bodice layers and having them exposed along the waist is not my idea of a professional finish...all that tulle and netting could be scratchy!  So of course I had to make it more laborious and sew the skirt pieces to just the outer bodice and then fold the lining over the serged edges (essentially sandwiching the skirt between the lining and outer bodice) and hand-stitch it down. 

 I also made a tester bodice because in the pattern it has you stitch the bottom of the bodice together...ya after trying it on the littlest girl it was hard to get on as it doesn't have ANY give in the waist if you do it according to instructions.  So in order to be able to put the dresses on the girls I did not sew the bodice together at the waist and instead actually made an opening in the skirt a couple inches long below the bodice, in the end not that noticeable but it makes it SO MUCH easier to get on.   

Now for the skirts...looking at my two versions you can see a big difference due to some modifications.  In both I used 2 colors of tulle to try and give the dress some depth, in the pink the bottom layer is actually orange and the violet dress has 2 purples in it, both have white netting as I could not find any other colors.  The pattern also says to use nylon chiffon but I could not for the life of me find ANY nylon chiffon so I bought polyester and serged a hem.  

In the violet dress I cut all the tulle and chiffon to the same length (I just could NOT follow the directions to cut the netting the same length...the thought of the white peeking out made me not so happy).  Well I also made the mistake of gathering the layers separately (totally MY fault!) which made the chiffon (which is really, too long) not stick to the netting and just hang straight and look stupid.  Also, I used TWO layers of tulle when the pattern only calls for one but was not really getting the SUPER POOFY effect that I wanted...noted and fixed with the THREE layers in the pink dress.  

The pink dress also has netting cut at least 1" shorter than the tulle and the chiffon is 1.5" shorter than the tulle and the underskirt of quilting cotton is even shorter and I gathered all layers together...that's right 6 layers at once, I had to hand baste them with embroidery floss...ya it just got REAL!  Well sewing all the layers of poof really got me scared that I was going to break a needle but whew, some careful sewing and all was well.  

Now for attaching the sash, I used the pattern piece for the front and made the ties longer and cut a...I dunno whatcha call it triangled end?  it goes to a point, not a square so whatever you call that, see the pictures.  After topstitching, I hand-sewed the sash onto the bodice and sideseams as machine stitching seemed a bit impossible.  

In the end it will take me a while before I ever make this dress again though I do like the results I will mainly use the information about what makes it poofy for future reference.

I made the pink one to be worn by my cousin's little girl on Easter...well she didn't like it so it remains unworn (ya..ouch), but the meh "muslin" violet dress is loved by Isabel!  Fabrics are: Pink Dress: Valori Wells Rosettes in cherry, Kona Papaya for the sash, and Melon for the lining;  Violet Dress: Silk dupioni, some white batiste and some Etsuko Furuya Gothic Grape.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Improv Quilt and Book Reviews

 A Quilt!  If you watched Episode 305 of Quilty you saw me making some cool improv log cabin blocks and this is what they became.  So ya step outs were kinda a stretch for me since I had to make a bunch of the sameish thing...not so improv but being on the show was AWESOME. 

 When I finished the episode I had all these blocks in various stages of finish and I was NOT going to finish them all the same so I just jerry-rigged them all together into this little quilt for the CMQG's charity efforts for Project Night Night.  I like the way it finished and it is only 28.5"x40" so a baby size. 

I used whatever solids I had on hand and even a shot cotton I got at the Needle Shop (ok I guess I also used a stripe on the back and binding).  The quilting is also kinda improvised with my walking foot squareish and whaddoya know it holds all the layers together!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Palooza of Miscellany!

So I have a lot of projects that I have been working on and I have not been sharing...that ends NOW!  SO lets get on with it!  

This Awesome little mini quilt is all rainbowy and fun and I made it on a whim out of scraps from a big quilt that I have been working on for almost 3 years.  I love to improv piece and I mainly used this as bubble quilting practice, not too shabby eh?

This little Bubble Dress (pattern by Oliver and S)  was made for my cousin Lea's first little girl Ava.  The fabric is one of my favorite old sheets from Pottery Barn but they wore out so now the good bits can be made into cute sewn items that are oh so soft!

Isabel so deserves a pinafore so I made her one from the Blossoms and Bloomers pattern.  I really liked this pattern it has great proportions and it just hits the spot for a super easy turn it out, reversible, cutie of a dress.  

I made it in a purple solid and a Lizzy House print from I think 1001 Peeps, and I even included some ball fringe that I had laying around FOREVER for an extra dose of fun!

Next up is a cute little doll dress for my friend's little girl Poppy.  Well I guess it is for her doll but you know what I mean.  The pattern is from Oliver and S's book Little Things to Sew, and of course as always I love their patterns I love them and it is cute, so there.

Of COURSE  I had to make something for Tyler's 6th Birthday!  Per his request he got 2 pairs of Bedtime Story pj pants and he even helped sew the inseam on one pair!

His little brother Dylan loves getting his picture taken too and umm he also likes playing with my pincushion...ya that happened but everyone is FINE!

Another goofy one for good measure ;)

Final random thing for this post is this quilted bib.  A new baby will be coming soon, a first for my cousin and they are not yet sure of the gender but I could not resist whipping up a little bib, with some of my handprinted spikey fabric too!

Alright, I have 6 more dresses and a quilt that have not even been mentioned above...within the week I will finish sharing at least those so get ready for more!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spring/Summer Fabric Giveaway!

Wahoo!  It's Giveaway Day!  On offer are these two stacks of fabrics that I will cut into fat eighths for two LUCKY winners!


Is it a little weird that I was super excited about having a blog so I could do giveaways?  I love them so!  I also LOVE putting together stacks of pretty colors...I betcha can tell!


To win one of these AWESOME stacks of Fat Eighths leave me a comment telling me which one you like best and what color you are totally into right now...mine is still Kona Papaya but I am also digging Neon Pink :)

Ok so for all the business...the winners will be chosen at random (one for Spring, one for Summer).  I will ship internationally!  The giveaway is open until May 10th at 7pm Central Standard Time.  If I can't e-mail you then I will pick someone else and you will miss out, sorry.  And finally, go on over to Sew Mama Sew to enter more giveaways!

*Giveaway Closed!*  Tyler Picked the winners for me via a scroll and point so here they are!

Spring winner is Binks who said:  "I love the Spring pack color caombo. This season I find that I'm liking a sherberty orange color. Not sure how..."

Summer winner is ircabbit who said: "I am so feeling the summer color scheme!  I have been buying mustard colors lately...yellows are generally not my favorite on their own, but i have been learning that i really adore some colors in combination that I don't care about on their own."

I sent an e-mail your way!  Thanks to everyone who entered. :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

CAKE!...and the CMQG Spring Retreat

The Chicago Modern Quilt Guild goes on retreat twice a year and so far I haven't missed it!  I am known for always bringing some kinda baked good, this time 2 cakes to celebrate Jen and Rachel's Birthdays!  Retreat is such a fun time to get to know people in the guild better and get some sewing done!

The first thing I did upon arrival at retreat was finish making all these zip pouches.

Ya...lets just say some of these should have been done before the retreat cause they were being given away at retreat but hey, I finished them on Friday after we got there!

Here are some shots of the room we are in at the Siena Center...I swear no tornado passed through, we just unpacked a bit.  A few supplies.  And fabric.  And machines...

Ah!  Beautiful people and lots of sewing just what we all needed!

My room all made up, you can't beat the charm.  I never get too much accomplished at retreat, too many people to talk to, but I will share later what I did finish, from the doll dress to the quilt!