Thursday, May 28, 2015

Back At Last!

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I know, I know, yet again I have neglected my dear readers.  This past school year was a lot, though.  This was the year that I created my own 6-piece collection and showcased it at my school's annual fashion show.  More on that after I talk a little about some projects I did before all that!

First up is this adorable little pair of overalls I made for a friend who had a baby boy in October.  His name is Finnley and he is the cutest thing ever!  The pattern I used for his overalls was Simplicity 2459.  I found this cute plaid on sale for an awesome price when I was still working at Hancock Fabrics.  I used bright orange buttons on the sides to pull out the orange stripes, I did turquoise buttons on the inside where the straps secure, and this was also my first time ever using snap tape.  While I haven't become best friends with the snap tape, I must say it wasn't that hard to work with.

I believe I made these overalls in a size 12 months, so that way he would be able to wear them when he's a little older and possibly still be able to grow into them.  As another special gift for Mr. Finnely, I made a custom embroidery hoop for his room.  I found out his nursery was done in vintage airplanes, so I chose to do that for his hoop.  I love making personal gifts for people, and this piece was a big hit with mom and dad!

I was on a big hand embroidery kick at the time and was making embroidery hoops for a lot of friends.  Like this hoop I made for one of my best friends at school.  She is a huge Beyonce' fan.  Enough said. Lol  Needless to say she loved it!

In addition to my embroidery kick, I had gotten into cross stitch.  I had never cross stitched before, but started with some cute patterns from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  I you love cross stitching, and have not experienced all the kawaiiness (cuteness) of The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery patterns, then you are truly missing out!  Being that I was a first-time stitcher, it was great that their patterns are easy to understand, easy to follow, and explain everything so clearly.  I think I had already bought 2 patterns when I decided to buy their Woodland Sampler to stitch up for a friend who loves anything woodland.

This pattern is a 12-month one, which means it originally came out as a block-per-month.  In total I think it took me about 3 or 4 months to stitch it up.  I was on a mission to have it finished as a Christmas present for her.  Once I had it stitched up, I decided to make a cute little pillow for her...because y'all, she has a real pillow addiction!  For the backing of the pillow and as a little border around the front, I used an awesome batik cotton I found at

Well, now we've made it to 2015.  Spring semester!  The semester of the fashion show!  For my collection, I chose to do a little girl's line.  I've discovered that that is what I want to do with my life.  Be in the childrenswear industry, whether as a designer at a company or have my own line.  I will also be doing a little girl's line for my senior collection.  Before I get too much into my collection, though, I must show off my dress I made for my school's Pantone Cocktail Party.

We were told to come dressed as a Pantone color of the year, and I chose 2001's Fuchsia Rose.  For my dress I used New Look 6143 and the fabric is a stretch cotton sateen I got on sale at Fashion Fabrics Club.  The polka dot tulle I found at Joann's.

My friend Hannah, pictured with me, also made her outfit.  She drafted the pattern for the top and skirt herself.  She went as Pantone's Emerald of 2013.  

This picture is a great representation of our friendship. Lol

Now, at this point it was just a few short weeks to the fashion show.  All garments are complete, we're finishing up accessories, and preparing for our jury presentations.

As part of the junior class requirements, we had to make every single piece of clothing, and any accessories we used had to be made by us or altered significantly in some way.

My collection name is Lil' Miss RockaBetty, and it is for little girls 3-7 years old.  My inspiration was the 1950s Rockabilly culture, that is still prevalent in today's time.  I wanted each piece to be cute and functional.  All my fabrics are 100% cotton.  My 6-piece collection included:
1. a peplum top with a pair of stretchy denim jeans
2. a dress with pleated skirt and 3/4 length sleeves
3. a two-tone gingham skirt with a sleeveless top
4. a polka dot sleeveless top paired with gingham shorts, feat. removable suspenders
5. a sleeveless polka dot dress with red pearl snaps down the front
6. a cherry print romper with red pearl snaps in the front and adjustable shoulder ties

My accessories included a picnic basket I wove with gingham ribbon and I made a gingham liner for it.  I made pinwheels, a reversible hair tie, a purse I covered in fabric-inside and out, and a headband featuring giant cherries I made from styrofoam balls and paperclay.  I also made a cherry necklace from small styrofoam balls and paperclay.  The piece I love the most, though, is the cherry purse I made.  I used brown circular boxes that I cut and covered in vinyl, glued together, and lined with gingham.  I also cut out some foam leaves and added a brown leather cord strap.

I am so pleased with how everything came out and my little models made each piece even more adorable.  These little girls are so stinkin' cute and I am so proud of them!  It was so great seeing a collection that I produced go down the runway and I can't wait until next year for my senior one!

Well, that's all the updates I have for now.  You won't have to wait months to hear from me again, though.  May 30th I'm heading to New York for a week with other girls from the fashion department at my school and our Fashion Dean.  It is our required travel trip through the school, and as part of the class we have to blog daily about our time there.

So, next time you hear from me I'll be updating form the Big Apple!  Until next time y'all!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Blog Catchup: End of Spring 2014 Semester & Summer Sewing

wow, i can't believe how badly i've neglected my blog and updating my wonderful readers!!  I could've updated over my summer break, but i'm a Professional Procrastinator (lol) and didn't feel like it.  last semester was absolutely insane!  there were so many nights where i didn't sleep a wink and by the end of the semester i just wanted to cry!  the main culprit of the sleepless nights was my final gown for my Draping class.  it turned out beautifully but the process was kind of a pain.  more about that later on but first i'll post the projects i completed before then.

first up is the floral day dress, which was the first project of my Draping class.  i did yellow piping accents, pleats at the neckline, a little flutter sleeve with bias tape hemming, hand sewn buttonhole for the back strap.  it is fully lined (minus the sleeve piece) and i did a bias tape faced hem with bias tape i made myself.

next is the final dress i made for my Silk Embroidery class.  i completely sewed the dress and did all the embroidery myself.  we even had to add "embroidery" to a coordinating hat.

now for the project that was the real pain.  this 1950s inspired evening gown was the final for my Draping class.  we had free reign of what we wanted to do, so of course i had to go with my 1950s! lol  for my gown i did a sweetheart neckline bodice from yellow satin, then i did an overlay of yellow ruched chiffon (which i painstakingly ruched myself).  on the front bodice i started the chiffon so that it would hit right under the bust.  the bodice is also fully lined and has boning.  the skirt portion is intense.  i cut two full circles from the satin, then the chiffon i cut 4 full circles.  i wanted it to be full!! lol  i also added 4 layers of tulle, and did a lining.  i made the gown to fit myself, but my gown ended up being chosen to be part of the school fashion show so i ended up having to make my gown fit a size 2!  let me tell ya, i'm no where near a 2!! lol  luckily my teacher helped me in figuring out how to tack it in so the bodice fit.  and i must say the gown looked fantastic going down the runway!

once the semester was over i was so happy! it was great to finally get some sleep after that gown!  next up on my sewing to-do list though, was sewing my bridesmaid dress for my best friend's wedding in June.  she let all of us bridesmaids have different style dresses, as long the color was plum, and she even said i could make mine!  for the dress i used Simplicity 2442.  the upper portion ended up being a tad big, but at least the dress looked good on!  i used a plum satin and lined the bodice with a purple pongee lining.

i had a few other random sewing projects i did for myself after my dress, but the final one for this post is a duffle bag i made myself.  my mom and i went to Las Vegas with family in August, and i needed a bag that i could use as a carryon.  i found a great tutorial online on how to make the style bag i was looking for, then i just substituted my desired measurements.  the fabric was a quilted cotton i found at Joann's.  for the straps i used the opposite side of the fabric.  since the bag is soft it was perfect as a carryon, it just squished right into the overhead, and was big enough for taking clothes for 5 days!

so that's some of what i was up to this summer!  i'll try not to neglect y'all as much anymore.  until next time!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Baby Silk Embroidery - Simplicity 2392

One of the classes I am taking this semester is Silk Embroidery.  I've dabbled in regular hand embroidery a few times and absolutely love it, so when the opportunity came up to take this class in place of another one that was cancelled I was excited.  For those of you who may not know what silk embroidery is here is how it is different form regular embroidery:

while regular embroidery typically uses cotton thread,

silk embroidery is done with 100% silk ribbon.
You even do the same stitches as you would in regular embroidery, but of course the size of the ribbon is what makes the stitches have a different look.  Silk ribbon embroidery is used a lot for doing floral motifs on things since the thickness of the ribbon gives good texture.

Now that you know a little about silk ribbon embroidery, back to the project!  The first project we were assigned for the silk embroidery class was a child garment.  No particular style or requirement for the garment, except that we did the embroidery on it and add lace somehow.  As soon as I saw this vintage pattern reprint from Simplicity I knew I had to use it for this project.  The feel of the embroidery just fits so well with the dress style.
I chose to sew up view B (the pink and white) but did the sleeve from view C.  

The embroidery I did on the front yoke of the dress is similar in layout and style to the embroidery idea they include in the pattern instructions.  I did a twisted/stem stitch for the flower stems, la daisy stitch for the flower petals, knots of r the flower centers, and ribbon stitch for the leaves.  I was still figuring out the twisted/stem stitch so the stems on these flowers look a little wonky.

 The part of the embroidery I did change was the embroidery on the bottom band.  Instead of the small flowers they did I wanted to make it look like the flowers were growing out of the hem of the dress.  I did all the same stitches as on the yoke, just bigger :)  and the twisted/stem stitch looks A QUADRILLION TIMES BETTER!  Ok, slight exaggeration there...but they do look so much better.  I was finally getting the hang of it.

And here are just a couple more pictures of the rest of the dress.  The armholes are faced, and the pattern even includes a piece to make the bias tape for them!  For the back yoke I chose two button that have a rainbow effect iridescence to them.

I am so pleased with how this dress turned out!  It is so adorable!  I even considered at one point selling it, but it's too cute to give away and plus I can save it for my future little girl...3, 4, 6 years down the road! lol

Monday, March 3, 2014

Snow (Ice) Day Blog Catch-up

I can't believe it's been since June that I last posted! Major slacker, but most of that has to do with being in school.  There's never really a lot of homework for my classes just a lot of projects...since it is a hands-on design school.  I've been saying for a while that I was going to update the good ol' blog but kept putting it off and getting involved with schoolwork.  Well, today we had a round of bad weather come through and we actually got something!  Living here in Middle TN the weather is so finicky and usually they say we're going to get bad winter weather but we don't get anything.  This morning all the rain we got yesterday and last night turned to ice and roads were ridiculous.  Thus, we finally got a snow day from school!  I also have no homework due in any of my other classes later this week so I'll take the time to update.

The first project up is some jersey knit t-shirts I made.  I refashioned these from the maxi skirts I made a long time ago when I first stared sewing.  I never wore the skirts so I figured I'd make something useful from them.  I traced a t-shirt I already owned for the pattern.  I added bands around the neck and arms and did a simple zig-zag stitch around the hem since I don't have a double needle.

My next project is the first assignment that was due for my Clothing Construction 2 class.  The pattern for this top was from the one we drafted in Flat Pattern 1.  It has princess seams on the front and a back yoke with an inverted box pleat.  The fabrics I used were all something I had in my stash.  I used a simple solid black cotton and a fun Hawaiian-esque printed cotton I received from my former boss when she wrapped up a gift card she gave me.  I knew that fabric would come in handy one day!  And of course I did my favorite thing...fabric covered buttons!

This next project was also for school.  This was the second assignment due for my Clothing Construction 2 class.  The patterns used were drafted in our Flat Pattern 2 class.  I am all about making patterns and clothing that I will actually wear, so I made a simple circle skirt.  Nothing fancy.  I used a printed cotton and lined it with a regular acetate lining.  I did a fun green zipper, even though you can't see it because of the lap and I did a simple faced hem with bias tape.

 And of course I had to do some fabric covered buttons to coordinate!

Up next was a little fun project I was asked to do for a little girl, little Miss G, of one of my mom's coworkers.  Her family was going to be in Disney World for Halloween and the little girl wanted a Bollywood-esque, Princess Jasmine-esque costume.  I didn't have much to go on so I began creating the costume myself.  I drafted every piece of the outfit and the little girl's mom supplied all the materials.  For the top I did a simple sleeveless bodice block.  There is a solid pink satin under the pink sequin chiffon.  There is a strip of gold beads around the front hem, and to get the top to fit well I did elastic around the back hem.  I faced the armholes with self-made bias strips and then slipstitched a little chiffon sleeve around the top of the armhole.

For the pants, I first drafted a simple pant block.  For the outer chiffon layer I modified the pant block into a baggy pant so that they would fit loosely and billow at the ankle.  And of course since it was a chiffon I made some shorts from the basic pant block out of a solid orange knit she gave me.  I must say I was extremely happy with how the little costume came out and little Miss G was even happier! That's what mattered most!

The third assignment of the semester was to draft and sew a pair of pants.  For this project I created an awesome pair of 70s-esque trouser pants.  I used a fun floral printed 21W corduroy and found a cute wooden flower for the button closure.  I even went a little insane and created my own bias tape to bind every seam, instead of serging them.  Yep, I created over 7 yards of bias tape!  Very tedious but I was happy with the end result on the pants.  We were also required to do a welt pocket on the pants.  This was my first time ever doing a welt pocket.

Alrighty, second to last assignment!  Now you can see why I've never had time to update.  This assignment was to pattern and sew a pair of jeans.  I created a pair of skinny jeans from an awesome stretch plum denim I found.  The good thing about making your clothes is that I was able to make these to fit higher up on my waist.  They sit just below my bellybutton and I did a contoured waistband.  I lined the pockets with some leftover cotton from the first circle skirt.  I ran out of plum denim for the back pockets (required) and the belt loops, so I used some black denim I had from a pair of jeans I previously cut up.

Now for the final assignment of Clothing Construction 2.  We had to sew a garment from a copy of another piece of clothing we already owned.  I chose a front button sleeveless dress I have and love.  After making the muslin for Flat Pattern 2 to test fit I did not like the dress anymore, so I shortened it and created a top.  For this top I used this blue and black checked cotton flannel.  There are princess seams on the front and back and when I was construction the back portion the bodice was too big for the yoke so I did an inverted box pleat.

Whew!  That sums up all the sewing projects I worked on since my last post.  I'm going to try and do better this semester about keeping y'all updated.  I appreciate all my readers and am so glad y'all take the time to read my happenings.  Until next time!