Friday, June 25, 2010

This Week I Worked Some Small Magic...

Seriously. My deadlines have been mobile lately, and I've been terribly busy. Last week's wedding veil was needed 2 days earlier than anticipated (which doesn't sound like much but it REALLY put a wrench in my week), and this week's project ended up needing to be done Monday instead of Thursday, a huge deal since I was unable to even start until Monday!! So here's what happened:

I volunteered to sew costumes for our local community theatre troupe, specifically the children's production of Alice in Wonderland. I was asked to make the 3 Alice dresses--just the blue part, not the apron, thank God!--and was given some material. With nothing more than the girls' dress sizes (I didn't actually see these little people until I did the final fitting!), t-shirts that I purchased from the Salvation Army to get an idea of their body sizes, and pieces from patterns that resembled the dresses I planned to make, I turned 8 1/2 yards of material into 3 peasant-style dresses for 3 very different sized girls in 2 afternoons (and one evening, with the final fitting and hemming). In technical terms, I believe that qualifies as a small miracle. If you sew and you have 2 (and on the second afternoon 4) very small children, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Or, if you have any idea of the kind of work that goes into free-handing a dress for someone you've never seen without a pattern or measurements 3 TIMES... well, you get it. It's times like this when I feel like I could move the moon if I tried! :)
All in all, I think the 3 Alices look great! And I'm sure their show is going to be awesome! We won't be around for it, tho, as we're leaving today for a visit to my parents' house for the next week. So, have a great week everyone, and good luck little thespians!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Unveiling: the Preview

But I have no "done" pics yet. So I'll give you a teaser. I've been working on this wedding veil for what seems like years now (okay, about a month, minus camping), and I put the seal on the envelope at 2 o'clock this morning. My bedtime has become 9:30 since sticking a bun in the oven, and the only reason I've seen the 2 am hour lately is getting up to pee, so I'm a little pooped today. But I'm managing.

Here's the flower piece on the clip. I LOVE how this part turned out. The rest of the veil is Russian tulle, which was a huge pain to work with, but all in all it's a pretty good project, I think.

I'm just hoping the bride approves! We'll see this weekend, when I can hopefully get a good picture of it on her. The ones I took at 2 am turned out... well, I'm not posting them. Nobody saw me at 2 am last night, and that's how it should stay! :D

And the lovely little box that I sent it in. This was a box of chocolates that Hubby brought me back from France, covered in wrapping paper, and I LOVE how it turned out!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Today In My Craft Room Part II: Ruffle Flower Purse

First, let me say that I got this idea here.

Here are the supplies for the little purse that I made to match Little Miss' skirt:
1. Two outside pieces (or one long rectangle, like I had)
2. Two lining pieces (that's the denim) identical in dimension to the outside pieces
3. A coordinating strap piece, about 3" by your desired length
4. A yard or so of coordinating strip, about 3" wide, for the flower front
5. A length of coordinating fabric for the bottom ruffle, about 24" long by 3" wide
All these measurements are subject to how you'd like your bag to turn out. My bag is around 8" tall by 6" wide.

First, put the two outer pieces together with the right sides facing. Sew the two outer edges (since I used a long rectangle, I only needed to sew one edge). No need to finish the edges since they'll be enclosed once it's lined.

Fold the bottom ruffle strip in half widthwise and iron. Pleat it, pinning the pleats in place.

The strip should fit snugly inside the bottom opening, where you'll want to line it up with the raw edges hanging out a little bit (to make sure that you won't have any edges sticking out of the right side of your bag on the outside).

Sew a straight stitch across the entire bottom.

Turn right side out. This should be the end result.

Put the two lining pieces together, right sides facing, and sew around the sides and bottom. Clip the bottom corners so that it'll lay cleaner on the inside.

For the strap, sew a tube then turn it inside out. Iron it flat, and topstitch down both long sides.

This is where a little more attention is required. Line up the short ends of the straps with the top edge of the bag. Make sure to line them up with the exact sides of the bag. Pin.

Place the outside of the bag inside the lining, their right sides facing. You may want to pin the strap down to the outside of the bag so that it won't creep up and get in the way while you sew.

Line up the top edges of the lining and the outside. Make sure the strap ends are sandwiched in between. Also make sure the straps are lined up with the exact sides of the lining.

Pin all the way around. Make sure all the edges are even.

Sew a straight stitch around the top edge, leaving a few inches open for turning.
I'd recommend a little more space than what I left between the edge and the stitch. Probably about 3/4" or so.

Turn the whole thing inside out. This is kind of a pain.

Tuck the lining inside the bag.

Topstitch around the edge of the top of the bag. When you get to the opening, make sure that you aren't stitching below the open edge.

This should be your end result!

Now for the embellishment. If you have multiple strips, sew the ends together to make one long one. Fold your strip in half widthwise and sew closed. You don't have to turn it inside out, because you'll be hiding them. You also don't need to finish the raw edges if you're hot gluing, because you can seal all the edges down with the glue.

If you need to, draw a circle on your bag. I just eyeballed. Run a line of hot glue 1/4 of the circle, and press the raw edge of your strip into it, about an inch at a time. Every inch, make a small pleat and turn your strip to follow the glue line.

Continue until your circle is done, then run another line of glue along the inside of the circle, as far in a necessary to expand your flower but still hide your raw edge. Continue the flower in this way until you're done.

Tuck the end edge under and glue into place. Dab an adequate amount of hot glue in the center of the flower and stick on a bit of flair. Please be more careful with your hot glue than I was. I got a little messy! Add a closure to the bag top if you want, and you're done!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Today In My Craft Room Part I: Ruffle Skirt with Pockets

This wasn't a project that I should have done today, if only because it's so low on my priority list. But at this point, still low[er than normal] on energy and inspiration, I'm just rolling with whatever catches my fancy in order to just get back into the swing of creating. So today I spent almost 2 (!!!) hours making a matching skirt and purse for Little Miss. And I snapped pics along the way, just for you! So, here's the skirt (which I should have made a touch bigger, but she hasn't taken it off yet so it must be adequately comfy).

I am disappointed in this pictures, because the skirt is actually a lot cuter than it looks here on the hanger! I'll have to snap a shot of Little Miss in it later. For tomorrow, we'll plan on the purse! Stay tuned. You're gonna want a Mom-sized one, I promise. :D