Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Passing on a Favorite

 This was a favorite shirt of mine for many years.  I actually got it at Old Navy, probably 10 years ago, on sale.  I loved the pin tucking down the front  and the white linen.  I'm a sucker for both.  However, after many years of washing, it just didn't seem to fit right.  It has held up rather well, just didn't look flattering on me anymore, plus it was rather short.  I could never bear to get rid of it though.  I've pulled it out of the give away pile more than once.  And so it sat, until I decided to give it a make over and turn it into a Spring dress for Clara.  Unfortunately, I didn't take a lot of pictures. 
Basically, I cut it in half to add the brown to give it a little more length.  I brought in the sides and remade the sleeves into little capped sleeves.  I left the collar alone, and while it seems a little big compared to the rest of the dress, it's perfect for buttoning all of the way up.
 The brown is actually 3 pieces, the back one that wraps all the way around to become the tie in the front and the 2 front ones that don't have the ribbon attached to them.  I added the ribbon for a little bit of color and 3 gathers (middle back and middle of each front piece) to make it fit a little better.

And here you have it, a linen shirt turned into a linen dress for a 3 year old, hence there are no pictures of her wearing it.  As soon as she gets it on, it looks wrinkled:)  It does look cute on her though, casual, yet refined.  Like I said, I love the look.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

More Dresses

Edit:  It's called the Mondrian Dress--I forgot the 'n' in the link title:)  Check out the post before this one and follow the link to learn about the original dress.
 So we decided to do a little photo shoot.  There were no tornado warnings today, but the temperature had dropped by 20 degrees, plus it was still windy, hence the pictures still didn't quite turn out like I would have liked (but oh the sun, there is nothing like the beautiful blue sky after the black of a very stormy day!).  
If you would like the full story of the dress (the why and how I made it), check out the post below.
 Here is a picture of the button closure I came up with.  Originally I was just going to have the back be all white (I'm not sure what the back of the original dress looked like so I thought I'd save myself some work).  When I laid out the dress pieces, the white seemed rather see through, even with it doubled, so I decided adding the colors would help.  I liked how the black stripe came right up to the closure as well.
 All in all I am very pleased with how this dress came together.  It was a lot of fun to create and make and Sophia loves it and says it is very comfortable (just not very warm).
Here's to the Groovy 60's!

Now these are just additional pictures because it was such a beautiful day.
 I had decided to make this an all out photo shoot, with Sophia changing into her Christmas outfit that I never took pictures of.  Clara decided that she wanted to get pretty too.  This is a dress that I had made for Sophia about 4 Easters ago.  She had wanted a 'white dress with a blue satin sash' a'la Sound of Music.  This is what I came up with: a simple dress with pin tucking around the bottom, little blue flowers at the sleeves and a blue ribbon sash.  Since Clara also loves Sound of Music, she loves this dress as well and it has been well worn.

 This is Sophia in her Christmas outfit.  She wanted a ruffly skirt, so I obliged.  It's a full circle skirt, with strips of lining material cut on the biased, gathered and sewn on.  The shirt is made out of grey lining material as well.  I made the flowers out of extra material by singing the edges and combining a bunch of different sizes and then adding little beads in the middle.  I went overboard, that is why she has so many on her.

 It is a great spinning skirt!  That's her favorite part.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Mondrian Dress

This is called the 'Mondrian Dress' made by Yves Saint Laurent in 1965.  It was inspired by Piet Mondrian's paintings, which have always fascinated me.  When Sophia asked if I would make her a 60's inspired dress for her Groovy Rock and Roll Read-a-thon, we googled 'iconic 60's fashion'.  This dress showed up a bunch of times and we thought it would be fun to try and recreate.  I started with this old pattern and really just used it as a guide, not even pinning the pattern pieces to the fabric.  The only exception were the sleeves, which I ended up just making them as short as possible.
 Then I cut out the blocks from the cheapest polyester fabric I found at Joanne's.  The back and front are really opposites, instead of mirror images.  Because Sophia is a little shorter than your typical model, I chose not to add the big white section in the middle.  I liked the colors better than the white.  I decided to go with a simple one button loop closer in the middle of the back (piece on the right) I'll add that picture when I get a minute.  Once I had the colors to my liking, I basted them on to the white (the white is one big piece I used as the main piece.  I made two of the white shifts so that I could line it as well.  I just sewed the neckline and flipped it in and then added the capped sleeves.  I really made this all in an afternoon, so I went with the quickest way I knew how.
The black lines are just single fold biased tape.  I added the black after I had the front and back assembled, but before I added the lining.  To hide all of the ends, I did all of the vertical lines, but one side one first (the side ones would be caught in the sleeve seam and hem).  Then I added the 2 horizontal ones and finally did the last vertical seam, making sure to catch all of the ends.
 It was a little windy while we were doing the photo shoot (there was actually a tornado warning at the time, but we only got a little wind).
Finally, I made a headband to match.  Probably going a little overboard, but it was fun to make and she has already declared she'll wear it with other things. 


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