Archive for October, 2010


Sneak peak at Hallowe’en

October 16, 2010

So, last year I sewed Disney princess Hallowe’en costumes for my sister and her friends. They were going to give me photos so I could blog about the costumes but that never happened. This year, I just need to do costumes for my husband and me. We spent some time figuring out how we wanted to dress up (we’re going to a charity dance) and finally decided to go Steampunk.

I discovered the Steampunk aesthetic relatively recently and I’ve been fascinated by it ever since. My long love for all things Victorian transfers quite easily to an excitement over creating a Steampunk costume.

Naturally, the first thing I decided I needed was a bustle. I’ve never made a bustle skirt before and I wanted to keep it relatively simple as it is just a Hallowe’en costume. I made a basic A-line skirt out of some deep red taffeta- like fabric that was massively on sale. I used an old skirt pattern to make sure I proportioned it correctly.

I proceeded to attempt to drape the rest. I’ve never had a whole lot of success with draping and this was made more complicated by the fact that my sewing mannequin has no “legs” so I pinned the skirt to the mannequin well above the waistline and worked with it that way. I planned to do an elastic waistband anyway.

The bustle itself is about two metres of fabric gathered and tacked on to the back of the skirt. I then basted lengthwise down the fabric in five separate places and gathered the stitching to create the gathered look in the back typical of bustles.

Finally, I created the padded bustle by stitching organza together into a fan shaped bulk. I sewed it to the inside of the gathered fabric at the waistline and then pulled some of the fabric up under the bulk and stitched it in place, creating the bustle bulge.

Here’s the resulting skirt.

Looking at the picture, I think the skirt could probably benefit from a petticoat, but there is more to do costume wise yet for both myself and my husband so I may not get to it.

Oh and Burt, our second kitty, made it into this picture. He is clearly chasing stray threads.

More Hallowe’en to come.


Some summer sewing reviewed

October 16, 2010

I bought some new patterns back in June and I did actually get a chance to sew some of them but not to blog them. I made the  McCalls 5882 dress in July.

 I made it in a blue synthetic fabric that I bought on sale. I did a modified FBA so it would fit better in the bodice area but I’m still not entirely happy with the way it turned out. I feel like the bodice is too tight and still too short. I think it could have benefited from some more tailoring around the bust and, perhaps a wider band.

I also think that if I try it again, I will scoop the neckline a bit more. I feel a little odd about a dress that rubs against my throat and stops above my knees.Of course that could just be because I’m used to the opposite situation.

The pattern itself was fairly easy to work with and I think it’s a pretty look. I’m just not so sure if it’s me.

I do think though that I have enough fabric left to make a blouse for work.


Flowy kimono top.

October 13, 2010

I have a long standing love affair with flowing fabric. Sometimes I think I must live in  the wrong country or time period because we don’t really do the flowing fabric thing in my part of the world these days.

I try not to let this stop me though.

This is another kimono blouse made from McCalls 5233 (now oop) which is the pattern I used for the Montreal kimono blouse. This time, I  made view A sleeves which are wide and open from the elbow down. It does not make for the most practical shirt I’ve ever owned, but I enjoy it just the same.

Because I used chiffon fabric to make this blouse, I decided this was an opportunity to use french seams which I recently learned how to do. Even though it takes longer to do them, I think they create a nicer finish than my serger does so I’ve developed a bit of an addiction to them.

I’ve worn this a few times and received compliments.


Denim pencil skirt

October 11, 2010

As I mentioned in my post about jeans, I made a denim skirt for myself that became a staple of my summer wardrobe. I made it just after finishing the Poor Decisions dress and I wore it to the second show we went to in Stratford.
Since then, I’ve worn it on several occasions and will hopefully be able to wear it during the winter, with tights, as well.

It’s wrinkly in this picture because I’ve worn it a lot :).

I love wearing dark denim. I love the way it can be casual and professional at the same time. I bought a long mermaid style denim skirt years ago but this is the first time I’ve had a denim pencil skirt since  I was a kid.

I used Vogue 7937, my new go to pattern for all things pencil skirt related. I love the way the pattern is cut. It works well for my body without a lot of tailoring.

And it looks great from the back too…


A dawning realization

October 9, 2010

That is, other than the one where I realize I havenèt blogged in weeks. I have several half finished projects on the go and I need to stop and handle Hallowe`en costumes and some bridesmaid dresses first.

Image: Suat Eman, link below

I realized today though,, as I tracked down the last affordable pair of non skinny jeans in the land (or so I felt), that I should start tackling sewing jeans. I’ve sewn a denim skirt that I love and it became a staple of my summer wardrobe (pictures soon) but I have yet to tackle jeans. I’ve been content to do the RTW thing with jeans because denim is not the easiest stuff to sew, there’s a lot involved in sewing jeans, and I can generally find a pair I like and find to be flattering in a store so I haven’t bothered

. But I don’t like skinny jeans. It’s not just that I don’t find them flattering on me (they’re not) but I also find them uncomfortable in the way they cling and stylishy bunch up at the bottom. Skinny jeans were big when I was a kid and I did not start wearing jeans until they went out. When flares came in, I put a pair on (actually I think my first pair of jeans was the kind with the floral print on the cuff that was designed to be rolled up so the print was visible). I was delighted that flares, boot cut and straight legged pants have been the thing for so long.

I am sad if they are on their way out…but I still have my patterns so they’ll never be out for me.

Image: Suat Eman /