Thursday, February 19, 2015

Yeah, I'm a lazy blogger. This isn't news.

So it's been a little while. But I do have somethings to show off.

So, first of all, they put all of Gilmore Girls on Netflix. (Shut up, this is relevant.) Now, I've always liked the show, but I've never seen all of it, so I started marathoning it. And Lorelai and Rory have a great love of classic movies and shows. As a result I started thinking about that time period and how much I've always loved the 50s housewife look. And Audrey Hepburn. Aaaaaaaand we all know how much I love to make dresses. So I decided to make myself a dress in this style:
Not necessarily the laciness, just the cut. They sell dresses in this style on Amazon for like $50-60, and I thought I might just buy it, but then Caleb got me a serger for Christmas. Holy shit, the clever little bastard was so pleased with himself, going on and on for months about how he had no gift ideas for me, he didn't know what he was going to get for me. Sneaky little brat. He was so smug at how happy and excited I was to get it. So anyways, I needed a project to use my new serger on. So I bought these two patterns:

Because that's exactly the look I was going for. So Amanda and I went fabric shopping. She got a sewing machine for Christmas, so she was all excited to sew too. It's kinda awesome to have her to sew with and geek out on new projects with. She bought these patterns too, but after my experience with them, that I'm about to tell you about, she needs some more experience before she tackles these.

So I started with the green dress because that was my original plan. I found this gorgeous slightly stretchy cotton, white, with a beautiful butterfly print. That is an entire sentence of things I don't usually wear, but it was so, so pretty. I just fell in love. I had some issues with the way the bodice fit, so I ended up adding gathers across the seam that goes just under the bust, and I severely disagreed with the way it wanted me to do the back. It has a cool back:
But it waned me to do some weird ass thing with facings when the bodice is already lined, and I didn't understand. So I took out the facing and just lined the bodice with the contrast color. It came out pretty good. I also bought a petticoat, because why wear the big 50s circle skirt if you don't have a petticoat for it? It just seems like a waste. You can't see it in the pics, but it's red. Here's what we got:

I had to so the midriff section in the contrast color because since my fabric had a print it looked weird when the pattern changed direction at the seam.

For the record, I had been drinking some wine by the time these were taken, Amanda told me to pose and I did. I was being silly. I had taken all my sewing stuff to her house and we were sewing together.

Oh, my god, my hair! you haven't seen that yet! A little while ago, Amanda went and had the bottom half of her hair dyed blue, and it looked so cool I decided to copy it, only I went with red. You can sort of see it in the pictures, there are other's where it's clearer. Here's the night I did it: And you'll see it clearer in more pictures I'm about to post.

I'm afraid I have nothing to show for the white cherry dress yet, that sonofabitch is complicated, and has frustrated me to no end. It was actually these two dresses that revealed to me I need a new dressform. Unfortunately Tipsy can no longer stand, and the duct tape has shifted so much she's no longer the same shape as me. I learned this when making the butterfly dress. I'd put it on Tipsy, and think I needed to make all these changes, but then put it on myself and it fit just fine. So the cherry dress is complex and I need to be able to fit it to myself, but I can't use Tipsy. So now that Amanda's sewing, I talked her in to making insulation foam dressforms with me. However, that's a post for another time, they're not done yet. You'll hear about that later. The relevant information is my version of the cherry dress has been put aside due to frustration until the new dressform is done. 

 I did make myself a second dress that got completed though. This one I just stumbled across some navy blue and white polka dotted fabric in Walmart's clearance section and bought shit tons of it because I instantly wanted to make a dress out of it. I used the pattern I used for my yellow Selphie Tilmitt dress, because it fit nicely, and then I just added a circle skirt and a collar.

Why yes, that is a terrible in the mirror selfie. You've seen those from me before. The belt in this picture is wrong, but the dress desperately needs a skinny white belt around the waist, and I don't have one. I will get one on my next thrift store trip though.

For the record, I went full 50s crazy there for a bit. I've studied multiple tutorials on 50s style hair, and have tried a few, and will do more. I learned to do the 50s cat-eye eyeliner, and I now do that every day because I like the way it looks. I bought a bright red lipstick which I've never done before, but is very 50s. And turns out I love wearing bright red lipstick. I also found some cute little Mary Jane style heels at Goodwill that are perfect for the whole look. I also impulsively bought some white lace gloves, and some stockings with the seam up the back. And of course I made myself a proper 50s pearl necklace with matching earrings to complete the outfit. Yeah, I went nuts. But I can now pull off a very thorough 50s look, and I love it.

I also made myself a petticoat, a white one, since I felt like I might not always want to wear a red one under this dress. And I learned that I hate making petticoats. It's cheaper moneywise to make one, but the giant tedious pain in the ass that is making petticoats makes just buying one so worth it. I don't have any pictures of the petticoat by itself, although I probably should. But here's the link to the tutorial I used to make it, so you get the idea:

Okay, next completed project!

I've been seeing these on Pinterest for ages:

And holy shit have I been lusting after it. It's just the most gorgeous, graceful, elegant look. So I finally made up my mind to get some tulle and make it myself. I read half a dozen different tutorials on it, these were my favorites: (for the option to put a zipper in the skirt, even though I ended up not doing that)

 Basically what I did was cut out a circle skirt of some white jersey I'd had laying around, and pinned it directly to Tipsy's hips. She may not be good for bodice fitting, but her hips can hold up a skirt. However this was complicated by her inability to stand. After that I continued to cut circle skirts out of the tulle making sure to cut the opening just slightly bigger than my hips. I did not want to do a zipper, but I really did not want a super gathered waist, there was going to be enough bulk from all the layers of tulle. With the opening just large enough to slip over my hips, it would need hardly any gathering. So I just continued to cut layer after layer and I put each layer on Tipsy and carefully pinned them together until I liked the way it looked. I ended up with eight layers, more than any other tutorial I read. then I carefully sewed all the layers together, and serged it so it would be nice and neat. I did not want to sew the skirt and elastic right sides together and then fold it under the way you normally sew things together, because of the bulk that would add, so I just put the elastic on top of the fabric and topstitched around. Because I'd cut the opening as small as I could and still fit, I didn't have to manually gather anything, I just stretched the elastic as I sewed. It came out great. The skirt is seven layers of ivory tulle, and then one on top of this golden honey color just to add depth. I really love it.
I like the black waistband because it won't get discolored being up against my skin. Once I was done with this, I was so incredibly happy with it I asked Will to take some pictures for me, and he ended up taking me on almost a full photo shoot around the little business park we work in. He said we took like 100 pictures.

You can really see my hair color in those, I love the way it just pops out. I don't know why my skirt always looks kinda grey in the pictures though, I swear it doesn't look grey in real life.

Anyways, that's all the projects for now. I have more, some not done yet, some not documented yet. I'll get to it eventually. This is what you get for now.