Archive for December, 2008


Princess Lily

Every little girl deserves to feel like a princess now and then. So, for Christmas this year, I custom made a lovely little Princess Dress for my cousin’s 4 year old daughter Lily.


Unlike most of the previous custom projects I’ve done, I had no opportunity to fit Lily in her dress, or even to take her measurements – this was supposed to be a surprise after all! To determine how large to draft the pattern and make the dress, I searched for toddler growth charts online. I know Lily is a little taller and a little more slender than most girls her age, and I planned to make the dress just a bit on the large size for  her so she can wear it for a while. And fortunately the result is a dress that fits great and should continue to fit for at least the year!

princess3The design was a lot of fun. With no specific requirements in place, I was able to really leave it all up to my imagination! I sorted through my drawers of fabric remnants and paired up different colors to ultimately choose the pink and gold that are lovely on Lily’s complexion. I browsed the aisles at JoAnn’s to pick out ribbons, beaded trim and satin bows to embellish the dress. And I bought yards and yards of baby pink tulle to make a layered, ruffled petticoat so the dress would have a nice full skirt!

princess4I made it up as I went along, holding pieces of trim up to the bodice first one way, then another, until I was happy with the result. Even I didn’t really know what the dress would look like until it was nearly complete. I don’t normally allow myself such a fluid creative process, and it was very enjoyable!

A very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!


Vogue 8082

v8082Vogue 8082 is out of print now, but I’m reviewing it anyway since I  used this pattern to make a skirt for my mom for Christmas. I made view C (the green one in the picture here).

Pattern Description: Below mid-knee, flared skirt has layers and side zipper closure. A, B: waistband with tie end. C: gathers on front and back yokes.


Pattern Sizing:

Pattern comes in sizes 6 – 20 I believe; I think I cut a 14 or a 16 and made minor adjustments for fit.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, but to be honest once I’d read them through a couple of times I set them aside and sewed the thing mostly by common sense. Which I suppose speaks well of the design. Or me. Who knows.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s a fun style, very flirty and it has a lot of movement in the finished garment. It took a LOT of fabric (4 1/2  yards for a knee length skirt!!) and a lot of time because of all the layers. I was reeeeeally ready to be done hemming by the time I’d gotten through them all.

a>Fabric Used:
100% rayon Batik in a brightly colored leaf print.

momchristmasskirt4Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
 I adjusted the fit a bit in the waist. I also ended up gathering the yoke more than the pattern called for. The original pattern had two lines of long stitches in the front and two in the back to gather the yoke. I found that the space between them was too great and at the center front and center back the small gathers fell into a poofy mess instead. I don’t know if that’s because of the fabric I used (on the list of recommended fabrics on the pattern envelope) or just the design of the thing. In any event, I stitched a few extra places and I’m happy with the result.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Conclusion: This is a fun skirt to wear with all those flouncy layers and my mom was quite pleased! I expect I’ll also make her another one in the view B at some point.


A picture is worth a thousand words



Still here, still stitching

Our Thanksgiving holiday this year was lovely; we flew from our home here in Florida up to Kansas to see my mother in law and her family for the holiday. Our 2 (almost 3!) year old did great on the planes although the BIG crowd was overwhelming to her when we arrived.

But the trip meant 4 entire days without my sewing machine. I’d thought it out thoroughly and couldn’t really come up with a way to bring the machine with me. So aside from an hour of pattern drafting I was without a FIX the whole time.

I’ve been making up for lost time yesterday and today. 🙂 I probably spent a good 7 or 8 hours yesterday working on the current project I have been commissioned to do, and another few hours this morning. Hopefully I’ll be able to post photos and such shortly.

When that’s finished I have Christmas sewing to do, another custom order, many alterations, and a custom bra – that all have to be completed in the next 2-3 weeks. It should be a busy December!

December 2008
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