Thursday, October 23, 2014

I like Anna, from FROZEN

Ahhh.... the question Elsa or Anna? Well as alluring and glamorous as Elsa is, there is something
From the cover of the pattern package

about Anna that I like better. Anna is the one who is actually brave and loyal. Elsa starts out hiding
from her problems. Anna is just more fun and realistic, with all her quirky weirdness. Plus she is a doer. She gets the job done, my kind of gal.

So it was very fun to get to make an Anna costume. I used the McCalls M7000 again. Since I had already used it a few times I knew it would go together smoothly.

The basics of the outfit are the same as the Elsa dresses. But I used very different fabrics and I got to make a cape! I love a good cape!

The little girl who ordered it picked it up yesterday and she was squealing and clapping with delight. It was SOOOOO cute. Her older sister got an Elsa dress. Her reaction to the Elsa dress was cute too "it's just so realistic", is actually a pretty good compliment from a Frozen obsessed seven year old girl.

I applied the applique to the flat cut out pattern pieces, which you should always do if possible. I also simplified the applique design a little. There are only so many hours in the day and it gives you the basic idea. The applique pieces are fleece. You know to go with the whole winter theme.

This is the front bodice piece. I used stretch sparkle velvet which is soft and cozy.

For the skirt I used blue satin and the white top is actually a fabric very similar to tights. It is stretch and soft.

I am going to be super honest and admit that there is not supposed to be a center seam in the skirt. The first one I burned. But that is what I get for being lazy and trying to use Heat & Bond instead of sewing. They look better sewn and they will stay on forever.

A trick for holding the applique pieces in place is to use glue stick. But you have to let it dry for a while before you sew. If you sew while the glue is still wet you just gum up your needle. And your fabric will still move on you.

Since I had burned the first piece I had to start over on the skirt front. Sadly I did not have enough fabric to do it in one piece. However I think it worked out just as lovely. And actually I think the dress looks nicely balanced with the one flower on the bodice and two on the skirt. I think more would have over powered the tiny gal who will be wearing this lovely gown. I simply serged the bottom of the skirt in pink the accent the pink in the flowers.

The cape is my very favorite part. I love the style, the color the whole thing is just fun. This is the same stretch sparkle velvet that I used for the bodice, but in fuchsia.

For the trim I used GIANT black ric rack, per request. And it turned out way better than I thought it would. The closure at the neck is a satin "frog" that is the same color. I bought a bunch of these when I was in China, this is the first one I have used.

I have to admit there is a little part of me that wants to make one of these capes for myself. And ironically I have already taken a different kids pattern and scaled it up for myself for my own personal Halloween costume.

Which hints at YES there are more costumes to come. Next I will show you my kiddo's costume and then my own. Hope you have pics of all the cuties who now own these costumes shortly after Halloween.

Only eight more days til the big day!!! Are you ready for trick-or-treaters? It's on a Friday this year, which means CHAOS will ensue........

p.s. If you have not yet seen this drag queen rocking out to "Let it Go" you really have to see it  (Kid friendly) 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Elsa Dresses!

What do I love so much about Halloween. Well honestly the fact that it is a low pressure fun holiday.  Except that I manage to create my own pressure. I LOVE costumes, making them, wearing them, just the fact that costumes exist in the world makes me happy. So I end up making lots of them.

Back in August I thought it would be fun to make some Frozen costumes. And a couple of my friends took me up on it and I made two Elsa Costumes (Anna is in the works).

I did use a pattern because, they exist so I thought I would take the easy way out.

McCalls has out M700 with Elsa and Anna dresses though they don't have the Disney rights so it does not have any names on it.

I like that Elsa and Anna are in the same envelope and are made on the same basic pattern.

The Elsa dress is A LOT of fabric. And the sizing on this runs BIG. As all McCalls patterns there is way too much ease in them. I started cutting a 7/8 but in the end used the 3/4 for girls who wear a store bought 7 slim.

I chose the McCalls pattern because it is more simple to put together than the Simplicity (ironic?).

I bought the Simplicity one too. So if I end up making more I may try  that one too and see which one is better.

But just based on the line drawings and the number of pattern pieces I would say McCalls wins.

I used 5 different fabrics in this dress. And I made more than one and tried different fabrics in the other one. I wanted to try some new things and see what worked best.

This version is a light blue chiffon, which was amazingly easy to work with. But is not as sheer as I would have liked.

The bodice is glitter dot tulle lined with lingerie mesh. Which yes is the stuff you make bras out of. But I had to line it with something and I thought that would be soft and comfortable.

This is my daughter modeling it for me. I hope the final recipient enjoys it more. But she is close to the same size so I got her to try it on for fit.

I still need to hand sew some hooks into the tops of this and the other Elsa dress I have made. Those are the last little steps and then I can send them out into the world.

Sometimes it is hard to translate a cartoon into a costume. In cartoons they don't need silly things like zippers.

So the overlay is sewn in between the two bodice sections and I had to leave an opening for the zipper.

If this were a professional costume I might have done that differently. But it is for a child who will outgrow it so I just went with what the pattern suggested.

This is the first Elsa dress I made. See how wispy and thin that overlay fabric is. I love the look but it was a mess to cut and sew.

Next I am working on Anna. There are more smaller pieces to that one. But it is in some ways more fun to make. After that I only have three more costumes to finish. Two are almost done and one (my own) is not even cut out yet.

But I will get them done, I will!

Happy Halloween preparations to you!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Deadline is looming.....

This is a pile of fabric and cut out pieces that really is starting to take shape as several costumes. I have spent hours and hours thinking about costumes and honestly several less hours actually making them.

My first deadline was this Octonauts costume. In case you are not up on your toddler TV shows, it is a Disney Jr. show that is not entirely annoying but is not main stream enough to have "store bought" costumes.

This one was pretty easy. I started with a toddler jogging suit pattern. I added ears and attached the hat to the hood. That way it won't get lost.

To get the logo on the hat I used Inko-Dye which is always fun to work with. I made my own pattern for it and used ultra weight sew in interfacing to make sure it keeps its shape.

I added the collar and faux zipper to the shirt, and made a little utility belt. The pocket on the utility belt is a working pocket so I hope he does not leave anything in there that could melt. But the compass is just for looks.

Add a pair of blue pants with a polar bear tail and there you have it "Captain Barnacles".

I hope that my little 4 year old pal who ordered this will enjoy it. He had it on when he left my place so that is a good sign.

I hope after Halloween I will have some cute pictures of him wearing it.

Will post more pics this week as I get more costumes done.

Starting to get excited! Our first Halloween event is this weekend.

Later Peeps!

Monday, October 6, 2014


I don't know about you but when I am a little fearful of a project, I find anything else in the world to work on. I will give you a little insight to my multi-page to do list here in a moment but, what did I do this morning? I made a new cover for my ironing board. Why? You ask. Because it felt like something I could accomplish and it NEEDED to be done.

On Friday I spiled a bunch of orange dye on my ironing board. I was working on a project and knew in my heart that a short cup and a long brush was a bad combination. Moments before the spill I said "that is sort of dumb". Did I listen to myself? No I did not. And the old ironing board cover did not fit and needed to be replaced for other reasons as well. So.... I justify spending an hour this morning making a new cover.

So since this is supposed to be a sewing blog and not a whine about crap blog here is how I made the cover.

First I looked on Pinterest for inspiration. 
Here was the one that I "used"

Insul-Bright Insulating Fabric
Cover fabric - I used an Alexander Henry print cotton
*how much you need depends on length and width of your board. Mine is long and extra wide so I am not giving measurements or amount of fabric.

  1. Take old cover off. 
  2. Find some inspiring music, I am listening to the "Hipster Halloween" station on Pandora right now
  3. Set up your naked ironing board and use the Insul-Bright to make a template. you want about a 2 inch overhang all around the edges of your board surface. 
  4. Use your template to cut out your fleece and your cover fabric. 
  5. Cover on top, Insul-Bright in the middle, fleece on the bottom, pin your layers together. 
  6. Serge your 3 layers together, taking the pins out as you go. 
  7. Measure your elastic to be 2/3 the size of the circumference of your board. 
  8. Stretch your elastic on as you sew it to the edge of your new snazzy cover. Use a wide zig-zag stitch
  9. Put your new cover on so you can stand back and admire it. 
Underside & elastic

From the top. It matches nothing! But it is so cheerful!
I know I could be way more specific about how to do this. But I really think you need to experiment and work with fabric and learn that every project is different and gaining skills and making it work is what you need. You can do it!! 

Plus lots of other people have put specific directions on this here internet-y thingy and I am sort of lazy. So just get out there and try this, it is a super simple one that I will be shocked if you mess up. You have permission to email me and yell at me if you do. 

Ok off to do some real work... well ... ok yeah I really have to now.
- C 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Change is in the air!

I have to admit I have not been doing a lot of sewing lately. I have been doing a lot of figuring out my life. So right now I am working on a project called "Project ME!". And what I am doing is getting healthy and in shape! I want to feel better and looking better will be a nice bonus.

So .... I do still plan to write about sewing when I do some. But if you are interested in following the Chrissy project check it our here:

Hope you are having a fun and fabulous Wednesday!
Peace Out - C 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Giselle Dress Pattern Review

When we were on sabbatical in NYC I got to meet Kati of Kate & Rose and I knew we were meant to be friends. We have only met in person once and just sporadically email and chat on-line but we are kindred spirits. Our connection is the love of the peasant style. She has designed many peasant style patterns and I have made them. Her latest line, "The Midtown Collection" has just come out and the first one I have made is the Giselle Maxi Dress.

Since I live in GA and it is already hot I made the sleeveless maxi version. Just look how pretty even the line drawings are.

I decided to take a chance and go full out crazy hippie lady with my fabric selections.

 The top fabric is Tula Pink, Field Fox Trot in Dusk. The bodice fabric is Tula Pink, Field Pony Play in Dusk. I have a serious navy and lavender thing going lately so I had about 4 yards of each of these laying around. They were clearly waiting to become this dress.  And two pairs of pajama pants for the Divine Miss M.

I will say I love the style of this pattern, and I am happy how the dress turned out. I am going to make some modifications on my next one. But the fact that I am already planning my next one is a good thing. It is over all great. With a few minor changes.

So the basics are:

  •  I used quilting cotton
  • Cut out view B 
  • size XL
I will admit downloaded patterns are not my favorite. It is a lot of printing and taping. But this one was worth the extra work. Especially when you add in the instant gratification component of downloading.

The only flaw in the pattern is that the back bodice was way longer then the front (see picture). I decided to just cut the back piece shorter to match up with the front so it was easily solved.

I will also admit I only sort of glanced over the directions. I am sure they are great. But I am stubborn and like to put things together my way. Which mostly usually works.

The other issue I had was that the XL was WAY too big in the armpit. I had to take in the sides two inches each. But I do need the boob room up front on the XL so now I know how to handle that differently next time as well. I will make the top pieces of the front bodice a wee bit longer to allow for a little more space for the "girls", while taking in the sides.

I am too lazy to make a muslin so if you are not as lazy as me or are more thrifty with your fabric you should make a muslin of the bodice. It would be worth your time to get it just right.

 A mistake I made was that the fabric was not evenly gathered, it is fuller in some spots than others. I decided once again I am too lazy to care.

I gathered it and sewed it together at the same time on my serger.

IF you do this I would suggest you attach the skirt to the bodice BEFORE you sew the side seams together. Gathering and stitching on the serger when it is round does not work.

Again this is something I would do differently when I make my next one. This was a judgement error on my part.

Let's ignore the fact that I look a little forlorn in this picture. I was melting! Sweat was pouring down my back as I was running back and forth to my camera on a tripod.

I think this dress is fun. It will get worn a lot this summer. But I think the skirt would look better out of just one fabric or with more tiers? Or something? Thoughts?

Here are some outdoor close ups

Yes the ties are another fabric. I had these ties already made from a previous project. I did not end up adding them to that project so I thought it was thrifty (and somewhat lazy) to add them to this dress.

That face I'm making is my: "it is still May! why is it so damn hot already? and of course my AC is out!!!" face. The AC gets replaced on Tuesday thank goodness!

All in all I would give this pattern an "I love it!" rating. It was quick and easy and had no major flaws. I typically think of patterns as a starting point. It will be easy for my lazy self to adjust and make it just perfect. And that is what I like, easy with great results!

Well I am off to see if there is any way to escape this hot house. Today is the last day of school, can we say POOL tomorrow?!?!

Peace Out! 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sweet little Sundress for a sweet little girl.

I LOVE making stuff for Miss M. I will be so sad when she no longer wants me to make her things. Maybe that day will never come, but it is likely it will. My good machines are in the shop and I am sewing on my back machine. Which is not a great machine. It thread barfs a lot and has tension issues, but I powered through on this project and am taking a break until I get a smoother machine back.

This is my favorite little girl's dress pattern.
McCall's M5613.

It is sweet and little girly but also modern. Can be made in any fabric and is easy to fit and easy to sew.

I make view B and this one is the fifth one I have made.

I like to line the bodice, which makes it look nice and finished. Also helps to make sure the top is not see through if you have a thinner fabric.
I bought this pony fabric a while ago for Miss M and just did not get around to making her anything. Last week I had a little free time so I busted out my pattern stash and realized this would be perfect.

The horses are more upside down than I realized. I did not look at it too hard and thought they were a little more tossed than they really are.

However when M looks down at the dress the ponies look right to her, so it works. And she mentioned several times, I LOVE this dress. Which is really all that matters.

Of course since it is new she HAD to wear it today. And of course since it is a sundress it was only 46 this morning. Which is extra weird for GA this time of year.

But she made it work. She paired it with a florescent yellow cardigan, knee socks and sneakers.

Here she is testing out the pockets.

I have a fun sundress cut out for myself but I just can't sew it with this crappy machine. I am off to cut out some more fun projects so that when I get my machines (maybe just one will survive) I will have some fun projects just waiting to be sewn.

Happy Friday!!