Monday, December 19, 2016

Post Halloween Projects

Post Halloween projects are generally geared towards Christmas. This past year was no exception.
I made doll clothes, a Santa Claus jacket and altered a wedding dress.

I made a collection of doll clothes for my niece's birthday  I bought a pattern and made most of of the outfits listed. I wasn't a big fan of the pattern but it gave me a good basis for later projects. 
 I made a Santa Claus jacket out of some very soft velour. It wasn't ideal because it didn't have much weight. Luckily, fusible interfacing gave it the needed heft.

 It was a tricky project overall because the pattern was incomplete and the client wanted several changes. I was very glad that it turned out as well as it did!

 Mina needed a new coat and I didn't want to spend a lot of money on one. An $8 cashmere sweater from the DI provided the "fabric" after I felted it in the washer and dryer. I based the design on an adorable Kate Spade coat.
Mina chose the buttons the previous year! I'm glad I was able to finish it by winter. I flatlined the lining with flannel for extra warmth. 

 The wedding dress alteration included lining the sleeves, lowering the neckline and altering the zipper.
 I removed the sleeves to make a pattern using the same fabric as the dress.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Costumes part 3

Last Halloween I made a bunch of costume pieces that went to Disneyland. I wrote about my niece's costume last year, because it happened last year. SIL's family went for a Star Wars theme: Han Solo, Leia and Yoda. The Yoda costume was the most time intensive. 
I sculpted the hat out of white felt, a needle and thread. 
The hat taking shape. 
The first coat of paint on the hat and gloves. 
I added acrylic paint highlights and shadows for dimension. I made shoe covers, gloves, under shirt, pants, robe and a belt. 
I was pretty pleased with the result!
Our nephew liked it too!
I made a Han Solo best for his Dad, complete with functioning pockets and lining. 
I was so proud of it! 

Then we had a fitting and it was too small. So, I made another one. 

I helped my SIL with her Leia costume, a repeat of one I made for myself in 2013! We made a poncho, pants and belt.
Their cute family!

Costumes (part two!)

I have a habit of keeping way too many pictures on my phone. Sometimes I keep the old project pictures as a reminder to document my work. Most of the time I'm too lazy to turn on the computer in the basement and download my pictures. 
I realized this morning that I never finished last year's post of Halloween costume work. My follow through has really been lacking lately. 
Mina had initially decided that she wanted to be a mermaid for Halloween. I purchased some shiny fabric and stuff with lots of glitter and sequins. It was going to be beautiful. 
Then she changed her mind as 3 year olds often do. 
She wanted to be ELSA. This was a bit of a no brainier, she was obsessed with Frozen. 
This was her favorite part of her birthday. Holding hands with a floor display at Target. While wearing an Elsa shirt. Seriously. 
I put the base section of her costume together back in August. I gave myself a few months to bedazzle it. 
I should have purchased a heat setting tool. 
Instead, I altered round sequins and sewed them on, one by one. It was ridiculous. 
It was time consuming, to say the least. 
By the time I finished the back section it started to seem worth all the work. The way the sequins shimmered behind the organza was really beautiful!
It took a lot of buckling down but I managed to finish it. 
I added some silver paint to the hem to add some dimension and interest. 

I managed to finish Magnus' Kristoff costume too! He even had a tiny Sven!
Mina's hair is short (obviously) so an Elsa braid was out of the question. I consoled her with a sparkly headband, that seemed to do the trick.

I made myself a costume too, I'm obviously CRAZY. This was a challenge to say the least. 
Fun fact: the knit gold lamé doesn't like sewing machines, it's a serger lover. 
I used my Gramma's fabric stash for part of my costume and supplemented with clearance fabric and paint. I wasn't interested in spending a lot of money on my own costume. 
Anna's costume is based on traditional Scandinavian wear that is covered with beautiful embroidery. I did not have the time nor the patience for that. 
Fabric paint to the rescue!
Yep, crazy!
Mina's best friend was Anna so they made a cute pair!
Attempting a family picture. 
Phew. Halloween is exhausting. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My sewing space

Ever since Magnus was born I've been sewing in the basement. I have a nice little corner for my machines and a good view of the TV. 
The desk was my Grandpa's and I inherited it after he died. It's a tank in every sense of the name!
James and a neighbor moved the desk to our basement from my grandparent's house. By that time I already had my pegboard and cork board installed. 
It's a work in progress but I really like the direction it is taking!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Costumes, costumes, costumes (part1)

Oh my goodness, the past two and a half months have been BUSY. Between Comic Con, Disneyland, Halloween and a Gardner Village Witch; my days have been packed. 

Back in August I decided to get Mina's Halloween costume nailed down. She had been pretty undecided until we went to the fabric store. I found some embellished tulle on clearance, perfect for a mermaid! I was off to a great start. 
Then Mina changed her mind. 
She wanted to be Elsa instead. 
We went back to the fabric store and bought some more fabric. 
I decided to layer some silver knit behind the embossed blue knit, it was fairly see through. I made the mistake of washing the glitter tulle because it washed out all the glitter. A drafted a pattern and made the base of her costume. 
This was very early in the process and I knew it would take a lot of work to make it special. A trip to Hobby Lobby resulted in bags of jewels and flat sequins. At this point I took a break to work on other projects. 

Our friend Steph called me up with a favor about mid-August. She was auditioning as a witch and needed a costume. She brought over her fabric and I took her measurements. The top was a breeze and so easy to make. The rag skirt took a lot of time but I'm so pleased with how it turned out!

Next up was my nephew's Link costume for Comic Con. He didn't want classic Link from "The Legend of Zelda," he wanted the version from "Hyrule Warriors." Initially this seemed like an elephant of a costume; armor AND chain mail AND lots of layers? Once I figured out a lightweight alternative to chain mail, the costume seemed more manageable. 
Once I broke down the elements I could start "eating the elephant." It wasn't so bad after I listed them all out!
Initially I thought about spray painting yarn for the chain mail layer. This wasn't successful and it was pretty smelly. While I was buying giant knitting needles I came across a skein of metallic yarn in the clearance bin. 
I'm not much of a knitter but I can knit and purl! 
After that I worked on the base layer and the green tunic. I couldn't find the right color of knit at Hancock so I bought a bunch of white knit and dyed it. The shirt and leggings came together really fast thanks to my serger. 
The tunic was fairly easy, construction-wise. I altered the sleeves because they were too long. After the main costume was sewn together, I cut the armor pieces out of craft foam. 
The armor was challenging because it was a new medium for me. It was difficult but in the end I'm pretty happy with the results. 
My biggest lesson was with the color of the foam. I used white because it was available in large sheets so it seemed like a good idea. Foam is pretty fragile and if you ding it then the paint will wear off.  Comic Con is really crowded so bumps are inevitable. At least it looked good up to that point!
The silver spray paint was amazing, totally worth the higher price tag. Design Master Silver Metallic spray paint with details in acrylic paint. I painted most of the costume with a variety of spray paints. It gives it more of a worn look as opposed to brand new. 
At this point I hadn't secured the armor pieces with much of anything, I needed a fitting! I struggled with adhesive quite a bit with this project. Hopefully next time it will be more durable. 
Ready for Comic Con!

Next up was my niece, Kate. My brother and his wife were going to Disneyland in October so they needed to dress up. Somewhere along the line they decided to forgo the princess route and dress their daughter as a villain. 

Due to the fact that Kate's hair is practically white, they chose Ursula as their daughter's costume. 
I sketched up a rough design and took some measurements. 
I divided up the elements into a onesie, skirt and pants. The pants would be bicolored; black on the front, purple on the back. 
I decided to stuff the tentacles that made up the skirt. I had hoped they would stick out like cartoon octopus/squid legs. 

Success! I'm so grateful for my little model, Magnus. He wasn't convinced!
The underside of the skirt:

I made little shoes as well and added suckers for good measure. 
Kate made the cutest Ursula!