Monday, September 26, 2011

Mid-19th century doll dress

In case any of you were wondering, no, I haven't been doing a whole lot of sewing the last couple months. ;-) I took a break after my sister's wedding and the break ended up being a little longer than I was intending. This was due to a lot of factors... my grandma came to stay at our house due to her declining health, and passed away in August; I've been working towards starting college and had things like my ACT to take and fun stuff like that; we went and visited family and friends in another state for a couple weeks.... lots of things like that. Busy busy.

However, now that Christmas is coming, with school closely following, I've decided to get back to work on my sewing. I wrote out a page and a half of doll dress ideas, mostly movie costume remakes. :-) I also have some other large-scale projects coming up to get done before I start school in January, so I should be getting started on those soon too. Details yet to come.

Anyway, I thought I'd show you my most recent project. I started it a couple weeks ago, but ran out of thread and then life and busyness picked up and I didn't get around to finishing it until this last week.

The style was based on an absolutely fantastic specimen I stumbled across on [the world's most awesomest site] Pinterest.
I think this gown from 1844 is simply breathtaking. I would totally absolutely 100% wear this. :-) Unfortunately, historical costuming costs money I'm saving up for college, so the next best solution is to make it in doll size. :-)

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, except that the bodice ended up a little shorter than I would have preferred, and the skirt is fuller than I expected-- it seems to stick out more like a hoopskirt. I listed it as an 1850s dress instead of 1840s because I figured that was about right...? I could be wrong though... :-|

Anyway, this is now listed on my Etsy shop, which, by the way, I would like to change the name of, since I'm the only one who lists on there, and the products don't really have to do with the Dashwood sisters at all, but I would have to set up a whole new shop and transfer everything, come up with a new name, and confuse my Facebook fans... ;-) (and the rules about how many shops you can have are kind of confusing on Etsy, I've found). What do you think? Should I set up a new shop with a new name? Or is it fine as it is?

Well, that's all for now. Hopefully you will be seeing more of me now, though, as I have more sewing projects to keep me busy now. :-)

P.S. Question for [present or former] college students who sew: How did/do you keep up your sewing while in school/college? Or can you at all? :-P

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

This is How I Feel....

....when I finish a sewing project. ;-)
Well, if the sewing project turned out. ;-)
At least my dolls seem to enjoy modeling better than Pascal does. ;-P

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bridesmaid Dresses

Now that enough pictures have surfaced on facebook for me to borrow, I figured it was finally time for me to post about the bridesmaid dresses I sewed for Marianne's wedding.

A friend, Chloe, and I worked together; she sewed three of the dresses, and I sewed the other three.

We used the same pattern that I used for Marianne's medieval-inspired dress. However, we did some things differently.

Before I started on the dresses, I had come across this post by Olivia, in which she has pictures of a very cute cap sleeves design. I thought it was super cute and decided to make the cap sleeve option (View B) with a similar design with the bows. However, some of the bridesmaids preferred short sleeves, so we decided to alternate between the two styles, and also discovered a way to work in the bows into the short sleeves as well. It turned out quite well, I thought.

We used cornflower blue satin (JoAnn Fabrics Casa Collection) for the dresses. I think I may say with assurance now that cornflower blue is one of my favorite colors. It's so beautiful. And the satin was fun to work with-- except that it does fray a bit. But then, I had my trusty serger to take care of that. ;-)

I made "Margaret's" and my dress a couple weeks before the wedding, but saved the last until the week of. Silly, right? Reason: I have this problem where I kind of like to fit the dress as I go *just in case* it's too big, small, doesn't fit right, whatever. So I really wanted to make sure this dress fit the bridesmaid right, but she lives all the way in another state. So she came the Sunday before the wedding to stay the week with us, and I made up her dress that week. Everything was done on time, I didn't have to hold things together with pins and duck tape.... so, all was well. :-)

The day of the wedding came, everything went smoothly, I enjoyed wearing my beautiful cornflower blue dress, had the hardest time smiling walking up the aisle as the maid of honor, had a blast getting pictures with the bridal party afterwards, got a cold and a fever the day after the wedding and laid low the whole next week, and still haven't gotten back to sewing, except I started work on a skirt but haven't finished it yet because I'm missing part of the waistband piece. :-)

More pics for your enjoyment (you'll like seeing Marianne's dress too, though I can't take credit for that by any means ;-) ) :

"Margaret", sister-in-law-in-law Anna (the groom's sister, that is), friend Christie, and yours truly
Margaret, dear Mamma, and yours truly

and yours truly with the bride, my sister and my best friend :-)

Until next time (whenever that may be ;-) ),

Monday, June 27, 2011

And they were married :-)

On Saturday, "Marianne" and "Colonel Brandon" were joined together in marriage.
The ceremony was absolutely beautiful. 

SONNET 116 by William Shakespeare

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

P.S. And yes, that sonnet was read at the wedding and couldn't be more applicable. "Looks on tempests and is never shaken..."

to my beautiful dear sister and her new husband.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

News :-)

Wow, it's been, like, almost a month since I posted!!   Life has been SOOOOOO busy.  Lots of family things keeping us busy; our grandma, who has been suffering from health problems, has moved in with us; and we've been preparing for "Marianne's" wedding!!!  Which is in FOUR DAYS!!!

Part of the preparation on my part has consisted of sewing 3 of the bridesmaid gowns and the sashes.  The first two dress were Margaret's and mine, and the other I put off until....this week... because the bridesmaid lives out of state and I wanted to make sure it fit as I sewed it.  This week she is here visiting and we're working on it together.  I'm about 1/2-way done with it and should have it finished tomorrow.

And the wedding is on Saturday. :-D

I am SO EXCITED!!  I will be sure to post pictures afterwards! :-)

Well, that's about all for now, but I thought I really should update, as this poor blog has been so neglected!  
So what have you all been up to lately?  Any special sewing projects?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Little Dorrit Dress

 I am happy to say that I finished my Amy Dorrit ballgown in time for the Literary Ball!
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, though I wish I could have found a buckle for the front of the waistband, like on Amy's.  I'm sure that's a feature I can add eventually.

Pattern Sizing: Size 8

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?Yes and no... I made plenty of alterations. 

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes, though I made up a lot of my own directions.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? Jenny Chancey's patterns are always a delight to work with.  They're easy to understand and the results are lovely.  The instructions also tell how to make a wide variation of styles/looks from this one pattern.  

Fabric Used: dark purple polyester shantung from JoAnn Fabrics

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: I didn't make very many alterations, but the
 alterations I made were big enough to change the look.  I cut the bodice piece wider, and at a slight angle, and pleated the front.  I also brought it in a little at the shoulders as my shoulders are a lot more narrow than the pattern allows for. 

Would you sew it again? Not this particular movie costume, but  I do plan to use this pattern again, yes.

Would you recommend it to others? Of course! 

Here are some random pictures from the ball that include more shots of my dress.

(Thank you, Brandon P, Mrs. R, and Mrs. F for the pictures! )

Monday, May 2, 2011


Due to so many requests to write movie reviews, and my interest in commentating on various movies and characters in blog posts, just for fun, I have started up a movie-related blog. 

Floating Lanterns

The title unashamedly admits by huge fandom for "Tangled". :-) 
I may be transferring my period dramas review to that site.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How Could I Be So Forgetful?

Okay, remember Alex, mentioned in this post?


Alex proposed (a couple months ago! :-P )... and she said yes. :-D

So now I'm getting ready to embark on sewing three out of the five bridesmaid dresses. They will be made in cornflower blue satin (JoAnn's Casa Collection) and have dark blue sashes. I'll be using this pattern:
with some alterations.


*off to cut out some mock-ups*

(I'll nag Marianne and see if she will post more about the proposal's very cute. ;-) )

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Little Dorrit dress, Part One

 "That's a lot of hair..."

...errr, fabric. :-)

 I've been working on my Amy Dorrit dress for the Literary Ball!  For a while, it was looking like I wouldn't be able to attend the ball, but everything's seeming to work out that I can go, so I'm VERY excited. :-D :-D  So last week we were at JoAnn's and the polyester shantung fabric was on sale, and it was the right shade for my Amy dress, so I purchased it.  This week I've been working on the mock-up, and yesterday I spent several hours laying out the main fabric and situating the pieces and thinking about it... I can't tell you how scary it was making that first cut into the expensive(to me) fabric. ;-) 
Now to start sewing the actual bodice.  *is very nervous*  Please pray all goes well!

BTW, thought I might mention that the quote and picture at the beginning of this post are from Tangled, and no, I actually haven't seen it yet, only watched the trailers (English and Japanese) and clips from it over and over again. ;-)  But, I have pre-ordered it from Barnes & Noble and it should be shipping in 10 DAYS!  I am SO EXCITED!  I can't WAIT! :-D :-D :-D

Monday, February 7, 2011

Amy Dorrit Ballgown

We are planning to attend a Literary Ball in April.  You can come as any book character, and I decided to come as Amy Dorrit.  This is the dress I'm planning to re-make (just hopefully I can find the right fabric for a sensible price! :-) )

Is it lovely? I'm so excited about this project and really hope I can find the right material and get the right look!

Monday, January 31, 2011

American Girl in Wonderland :-)

A friend of mine recently wrote me and asked if I could make her an Alice in Wonderland dress for her doll. It was a delightfully fun project-- I love making movie costume re-makes! :-)

The original:

My version:
I used the pattern for Kirsten's Birthday Dress and Pinafore as a base for the dress, but made a few changes. I added a Peter Pan collar from another pattern and put sleevebands on the sleeves instead of elastic. On the pinafore, I extended the waistband piece to make ties.

The only major difference from the original was the back of the dress--Alice's appears to have a sort of yoke in the back, and I wasn't sure how to go about making that, so I just followed the Kirsten pattern. I couldn't get the tie to look quite so big either... :-S

Today Bethany got some pictures of it before shipping it. I'm actually not very familiar with the Alice in Wonderland story (I've never made it through the whole movie) but I knew a few aspects of it and tried to work them into the photography. :-) I tried to find a small bottle ("Drink me") but couldn't...but we did have cards and a kitty. :-)

I am planning on making some Valentines-themed and Regency doll dresses this week, so stay tuned. :-) I'm also planning on a 1940s "Swing" dress but have to finish cutting out the pattern yet (that's the worst part of sewing-- cutting out the pattern). :-) I hope you are all well!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I just got pictures from one of my Christmas orders! :-)  The order was four doll pajamas and a pair of pajamas for a very special young friend of mine, Anna, and her dolls.   I had a lot of fun with this project, coming up with different styles of pajamas to use with the same fabric.

Doesn't Anna have a lovely little doll family?

My only disappointment in this project was that Anna's pajamas turned out being way to big.  The pattern I used was one of those "Fast and Easy" patterns and I'm convinced there was something wrong with the sizing chart.  When I was sewing the pjs, they really looked like women's size!  However, they apparently are working fine for Anna and she'll be able to wear them for another couple years at least. ;-)

I have a couple custom sewing orders right now-- an Alice in Wonderland doll dress (the blue dress with the white apron, from the animated Disney version), and a "school jumper" and two doll blouses.  They're coming along okay except for the fact that my serger has been HATING me the last couple days and doing it's best to slow me down and discourage me in my work.  Grrr.  Sergers-- you either love 'em or you hate 'em.  Anyway!  Besides the serger problem, the orders are coming along well and keeping me busy! :-)

What sewing projects have you been working on lately?