Monday, March 25, 2013

you may not like Aunt Norris but she can sure cut some baize

I have just realized why I enjoy reading Jane Austen books over and over again. I mean besides the compelling stories, wry humor and elegant writing. It's because the ladies spend all day reading books, drawing, sewing and crafting. And this makes them Accomplished.

(Hobyn, do not snicker at my still life fruit photo prop. I am actually on a fruit eating binge lately. I think about fruit a lot. Especially pears. I guess that is better than Girl Scout cookies.)

Friday, March 15, 2013

test run dress, Simplicity 3743

This tunic was made as a test run to figure out the fit flaws in the pattern (Simplicity 3743) before I made the real thing for the girls' Disney dresses. The only mods I made on this first run were taking out some width and adding length. I also added gathered pockets and buttons just for interest. The fabric is a nice blue/yellow shot cotton I had in the stash. I just love shot cottons. I need more. Yes.

It turned out to be cute and wearable, but it is a bit too narrow at the hem. I should split the seams a few inches from the bottom to make side slits. The tunic length looks great with leggings.

Oh, and do you like the new paint color of my bathroom? Used to be a light khaki color. Now it is Sherwin Williams Sea Haze, which is a really nice neutral gray that leans a bit toward the green side. I love it!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

last minute appliques and dresses

I was hoping assumed the girls had aged out of wanting a special appliqued something to wear to the Magic Kingdom, but no. A week before our recent trip one of them came into the studio and hinted around about what character they might want on their Disney dress, and uh, shouldn't I be starting those since it is only a few days away?

Um. Yes. I should. (ARrgh)

So, Tinkerbell for Thing 1 and a naughty dalmatian for Thing 2 were produced in a rush when I should have been packing. Excuse the purple marking pen that shows on Tink's in-progress closeup. The appliques were adapted from some images I found with Google. They are cotton fabrics backed by Heat N Bond and then machine sewn. I used a black fabric marker to help bring out some details. Tink is also embellished with seed beads, sequins and pearls to make her look all pixie dusty.

Here are the finished dresses in action as the girls meet Merida. I had the black and pink polka dot fabrics in the stash. I would have chosen something besides pink (like green or blue) to go with Tinkerbell, but had no time to shop for fabric, so I just closed my eyes and did it. If I had to do it again on the pink, I think I'd just outline her in white embroidery instead of doing an applique.

The simple dress pattern I used was modified from Simplicity 3743, which was a super-cheap pattern I purchased from Wal-Mart when the girls were toddlers. And when I say modified, I mean shredded. Almost all the youth patterns I own are sized too short and two wide for my girls. So I had to take away about an inch from the pattern on the fold, add about half an inch to the sleeve length and then add 12 inches and a curved hem to make it a dress length. I also don't use the recommended elastic lengths stated in the pattern, I use an inch or two less.

The girls enjoyed wearing them to worship on Sunday and then the Magic Kingdom on Tuesday, so it worked out great. I had to stay up late to pack and was generally frazzled, but really, when am I not frazzled before a trip?

Speaking of last minute and frazzled, here is a retrospective of other Disney outfits I've made the girls. Read more here if you like.