Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Introducing Baby Petunia

For this birthday gal turning 4, I made another doll for her.  Each of my girls has two now.   And each is a little different.  We are all about diversity here.  This is Baby Petunia.  I was going for Baby Zinnia, but she liked Petunia better.  Every doll made by me has a flower name...it's tradition.  I'm glad Clara didn't want to break it.
You might recognize the dress as a mini one of these too.  My birthday gal introduced Petunia to Lily and assured me that they are friends (typing that, I just realized the Harry Potter correlation...how funny.  I had thought of Petunia being HP's aunt and that is why I wanted Zinnia instead.  I forgot about her other doll being Lily until now...and she is a red head too).

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Project Run and Play Recap--Things I learned

When I set out to 'play' along with Project Run and Play Season 4, I had some goals in mind to help me keep my focus and not get carried away.  They were first, to only make things that my girls would wear regularly and second, teach myself something new each week.  I figured that with those two goals in mind I would be productive and increase my sewing skills, which I think it the object of the game.  So here is my recap of all of the outfits I made, which I am happy to say, are worn regularly.

This week I learned a little geometry and not to be afraid to cut up much loved fabric (or in this case handkerchiefs).  It was also fun to learn a new and fast way to make a skirt.
This week I taught myself some pattern drafting (accurate measuring is key), created a new design element on some basic shorts and learned to sew side seam pockets.  I also did a full yoke on a shirt for the first time. Oh and I accidently taught myself how to make sure the pattern on the fabric lines up.

This week I experimented with the stitches on my machine when it comes to what works best when sewing with knits.  I also came up with the pattern for the dress.
For this week I taught myself how to do make continuous bias tape out of fabric using Katy Dill's tutorial.  I also designed this pattern.
This week I taught myself how to do ribbon embroidery...not as easy as I thought it would be, but oh so lovely.  I also experimented with gathering fabric and then cutting out the pattern piece for this dress. 
Sophia's dress is the first thing I ever did without using any patterns as a guide.  I learned a little about pattern drafting when it comes to adding details, like pleats and the petal sleeves.  I also figured out about using old shirts and keeping the placket in place to use on the new outfit.  Finally, I learned how to spell signature...I pretty much spelled it signiture every time and am grateful for spell check to remind me that is not how it is spelled:)
The girls are sad that this season of Project Run and Play is over.  They had fun getting new outfits and modeling them for me.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Jane Austen Inspired Sprigged Muslin--Project Run and Play Week 5

I am a sucker for period dramas and especially Regency Era ones like those inspired by the works of Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell.  My favorite Austen book is 'Northanger Abbey' and the 2007 adaptation of it is one of my all-time favorites.  This is my tribute to Mr. Henry Tilney, the hero of the book, who "Has an understanding of muslin."

 This week on Project Run and Play the task was to be something movie inspired.  I went with a sprigged muslin dress, inspired by those seen in the movies.  However, it really is a tribute to Mr. Tilney, my favorite Austen hero and who, since he has an understanding of muslin, must be a good guy.  
 I started with a simple, empire waste, white, muslin gown--not quite floor length, because I wanted my daughter to be able to wear it as a normal dress.  I gathered the bodice piece a little extra, before actually cutting out the bodice.  The dress (blogged about here, here and here as a top--this doesn't even count the times I've made this dress pre-blogging days and how many I've made without mentioning it) is based on my all time favorite pattern, one I've used countless times and one that I've used to teach many people to sew with.  However, I've done this pattern so many times and it only goes up to 4T, I just wing it now.  
 I then added some pin tucking at the bottom along with some little 1/2 inch pleats.  Then I had the crazy idea to make it sprigged muslin and taught myself to embroider with ribbon.
 I loved how it turned out.  The ribbon adds a three dimensional element to the design and if you twist the ribbon while you are doing a stitch, you get a different look than if you didn't.  I would love to try it with real silk ribbon, instead of the polyester stuff you can pick up at the craft store.  I imagine it would be completely different to work with.  As it is, I liked this look, but it was much harder to do (let's just say I had a Pride and Prejudice marathon working on this dress) and I have the calluses to prove it.

 And here is the finished look.  We had fun with this little photo shoot, fitting it in just as the sun was setting.

 The heroine of 'Nothanger Abbey', Katherine, loves to read Gothic novels and gets a little caught up in them, so I had to include some reading shots. 







Thursday, May 3, 2012

African Violet--Project Run and Play Week 4

This week was color week over at Project Run and Play and I went with VIOLET...African Violet to be exact.  The inspiration actually came from Africa, the continent, and not the Flower, African violet
 When my husband had his dream job and got to travel to Africa a lot, he saw the vivid colors and prints and decided to bring back some hand dyed fabric for me.  He went with hand dyed (I'm guessing something similar to batik dying) instead of the vivid prints, because it was supposed to be used for something for me to wear...actually the lady that sold it to him said this is typically all they use for a wrap around skirt... and I don't usually go for bold.  However, I have hips and the wrap around never really worked, plus I already had a couple of skirts from Africa he had brought home before.  This fabric has just been sitting around until now.  This is what the full piece of fabric looked like (I still have about half of it left...I'm actually thinking a shorter skirt for me now.) 
 Here is what I turned it into.  Can you see the African Violet inspiration?  I had decided to call the outfit African Violet before I had even made it, knowing that the fabric was purple.  When I drafted the idea, I decided that it needed a nice pop of brighter color as contrast and went with yellow.  Then I noticed my violet in bloom right now and saw the little pop of yellow there as well.
I came up with a simple wrap around dress with a nice contrasting pop of color in the bias tape.  I decided to make the dyed pattern go 2 different ways for a little contrast as well.
 The top part is a self drafted pattern.  The 2 front pieces are identical.  The skirt is just selvage to selvage and then gathered to fit the bodice.  The bias tape is one continuous piece to form the ties and go up and around the neck.  This is what I taught myself this time around, how to make my own piece of continuous bias tape.  I used Katy Dill's tutorial and found it quite simple.  Oh the possibilities...no more drab, plain, store bought colors.
 The yellow fabric is from the Lisette line found at JoAnne's.  The 1/2 yard that I got made double the amount of bias tape needed for this project.  Katy wasn't kidding when she said a yard made a lot.

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