I had to rush on Girly’s costume… unpacking has kept me very busy for most of the past week. I threw this together Saturday morning, before heading out to Rachel’s wedding. My Girly has watched enough fittings to know the drill and she politely but *very* specifically instructed me on how she wanted her costume to look. The first BIG requirement was that it had to be “whitish clearish” and not just white… the tulle layer did the trick and she told me happily “it’s nice and floaty.” She stood nicely while I trimmed the hem to a manageable length and let me recut the eye holes multiple times (and ultimately let me open up the whole face and just add makeup) so that it would be easy for her to see. Not bad for a rush job; next year we’ll see if I can devote a tad more time to it!
Archive for the 'Sewing for Eva' Category
The Renaissance Festival is in town now, and I was inspired to make costumes for the event. I’ll post more pics soon, but in the meantime… isn’t she CUTE? 🙂
I used every possible square inch of blue fabric for my skirt, but had plenty of the black and white polka dot fabric leftover, so I made a quick skirt for my girly girl! No pattern here, I just cut a 10″ wide strip of fabric about time and a half what I’d need to wrap around her body, and a narrower strap almost twice as long as the first. hemmed and gathered the long strip, sewed it to the shorter one to create that flouncy look at the bottom. Stitched up the back seam. Folded over the top to create a casing for some elastic (which I then added, and stitched the hole closed). Voila!
I let her try on the skirt and – the girl is well trained! – when I grabbed the camera she rushed over to the curtain we always use for a back drop. Then, she struck so many cute poses I couldn’t pick one. Here – enjoy a multitude of pics!
This is what I made for my girly with fabric bought on sale. I did it without a pattern in a couple of hours the evening our fabric arrived. She calls it her “puffy” dress. It turned out a bit puffier than I’d intended, to be honest, but it’s cute nonetheless.
Like my own clearance pick, this fabric cost me just a couple of bucks and I already had the thread and elastic so the finished product was very affordable, right around $3.50 for this. Not bad.
By the way, the boots she’s wearing in this picture are just about her favorite shoes. She wants to wear them all the time, and can pull off the look of boots with a dress, boots with jeans, and even boots with a diaper! That’s my girl!
I’m getting ready to work on a number of semi formal and formal dresses for my Aunt Bonnie (more on that soon) and so lately I have been wasting countless hours looking at formal wear pictures online. I love looking at the detail photos, thinking through the designs in my head, and trying to picture how I would recreate the something similar. I saw a number of gowns with bunched up puffy skirts like these, “pick-up skirts”, and they just sort of wow’ed me.
This really isn’t altogether my aunt’s style and I doubt we’re going to do something quite like this for her. Still, I really wanted to know how to do it! I searched online for pick-up skirt directions, and found my answer on a message board somewhere. The directions said to cut two layers for the skirt. The bottom layer should be the shape and length desired for the finished gown, and hemmed. The top layer should be cut wider and as much as twice as long, so that there’s LOTS of extra fabric. Then you lift up sections and pin them with small safety pins. The poster described sort of a trial and error approach to pulling and draping the fabric until you find the look you want. Then you hand stitch the pulls in place at the pinned spots. And finally, if desired, you can apply embellishments to cover the stitching, like rhinestones or fabric rosettes.
I had to give it a try. But I had no actual use or need for such a gown, and no desire to pay for countless yards of fabric to make myself a dress I didn’t need. I did have close to a yard of satin leftover from one of my mother in laws dance gowns. And so, Eva got another dress. 🙂
I used the same basic pattern as her pink dress. For the top layer of the skirt, I made longer wider panels than the bottom layer. Unfortunately, I discovered I didn’t have enough fabric to cut four of these large lengths. So, I added the top layer in the front only, and pulled it around to the bottom back. Aside from that, I pretty much followed the directions I’d found, and the end result is largely to my liking (though it’s far from the full length that would be typical in this style). Most importantly, it met the Eva stamp of approval – she BEGGED to get to try it on!
I think she’s as pretty in blue as she is in pink!
Eva has become very interested in my sewing. She comes right up and watches me cut the fabric pieces out (and, to keep me on my toes, she’ll sometimes step ontop of the fabric, pattern, or cutting mat and shift everything around). She begs to sit on my lap while I sew, and she is convinced that my machine sounds just like a choo-choo train, so she adds the “whoo whoo” while I stitch away. She “helps” me pin the fabric pieces together (with some instruction she can stick the pins straight in at the right place, but needs me to stick them back through the other way). It all takes longer with her around, but it’s fun to teach her, and it’s unquestionably a better idea than turning my back on a toddler while she’s rummaging around in my sewing room!
She LOVED watching and “helping” when I sewed my pink 50’s dress from the previous post, and she loved the fabric! Through the whole time I worked on my dress, she would pick up lengths of fabric, drape them over herself toga style, and murmur “pretty pink”. It was just too cute! When my own dress was finished, I had about a half a yard leftover (because I cut more efficiently than the pattern instructions told me to) and I decided to make her a “pretty pink” dress as well.
I didn’t have a pattern for sewing anything for a 2 year old, and I didn’t want to spend money or time buying one. So, I took out my tape measure, stripped Girly to her diaper, and took some quick measurements. (She thought this was great fun by the way, and proceeded to hold the tape measure up to Daddy and me throughout the evening, meticulously “measuring” our arms, legs, hands, and faces). I took her waist measurement and the length from the top of her shoulder down to her navel. Divided the waist measurement by 2, added seam allowances to both, and cut out a rectangle in those dimensions. I completely guesstimated how big to make the arm and neck holes, and cut those out from the rectangle to create the front bodice pattern piece. For the bodice back, I basically cut out half the width (planning on two separate pieces that would be closed w/ a zipper) and made the neckline a lot higher. Then for the skirt, I increased the waist measurement for extra fabric to gather at the waist, divided by 4, and cut out a trapezoid that got wider towards the bottom, in the length I wanted. Her homemade pattern looks like this:
A completely original pattern, just for my Eva doll
Since I was winging it, this seemed like an appropriate time to make a muslin mock-up. I don’t actually have any muslin but I have about 20 yards of leftover cotton diaper twill that I bought in bulk 2 years ago, so I cut some out, basted it together, and put it on Eva. She did NOT care for this part of the process and was just livid that I made her try it on. Despite her protest I’m glad I did it, because the pattern needed a few tweaks to fit quite right. Easy enough, I made the arm holes a bit larger and we were good to go.
Sewing the dress was pretty simple. I cut out 2 bodice front pieces and 4 back pieces. I sewed the bodice fronts to backs at the shoulders, then sewed the two bodices to each other through the arm holes and neck holes, serged, and turned right side out and topstitched the raw edges together for a “lined” bodice (although the lining and outer fabric are the same). This was basically the technique called for in the Simplicity pattern I used for my dress, and I like it MUCH better than fiddling with interfacing and stupid pieces of fabric that stop halfway down my bust – which always make me itch, and invariably bunch up on top of my boobs.
For the skirt, I just sewed the four pieces together and serged the seams and raw edges. I basted at the waistline so I could gather the skirt, pinned it to the bodice, and sewed the two together. The same ribbon trim I’d used on my own dress worked great for the hemline and bodice/skirt seam on Eva’s dress too! I got the entire dress finished in one obsessive frenzied night, except for the zipper, which my beloved husband was good enough to pick up for me since he was headed near a fabric store. Since we already owned the fabric, trim, matching thread, and pattern paper with which I made the pattern, the total cost for this dress was the $1.29 we spent on the zipper!
The finished product turned out so stinking cute I can hardly stand it! And Eva just looooooves this dress! Throughout the pattern creating and sewing process, I told her I was making the dress for her. She knows it’s hers, knows I made it, and of course she loved the fabric before I started. Now, on days that she insists she wants to be a “nekkid baby” and stay in a diaper only, I can overcome her objections by pulling this out, and invariably she’ll all but beg to get to wear “pretty pink dress.”
Eva’s “Pretty Pink” dress