Friday, August 22, 2014

Shirt Dresses and Shrouded Robes

I realized recently that Mina, despite appearances, is growing. This realization came when I tried to dress her in her Easter dress and she couldn't move her arms.  Her beautiful, colorful plaid silk Easter dress was too small. I went to Hancock's and bought some printed cotton from their sale table. It had a bird print that looked vintage in an ugly/interesting sort of way.  I loved it. 

Patterning the dress was quick, I used her blouse pattern as a base.

I swapped in sharper collar and puffed sleeves. I made the skirt extra full and followed suit with the diaper cover. For a pattern that came together so quickly, the dress took a long time to finish. 
She wore it for the first time to Cooper's service. I realized after I finished it that it was really done, it needed pockets, belt loops and a belt. The body of the dress was too big, I got a little carried away with adding ease. Maybe that just means she will be able to wear it next year?
The extra fullness means it floats out when she twirls or rides on the teeter totter. 
I really want to make a few more! 

My current project is my brother's Comic Con costume. Last year he went as Henchman 21 from Venture Brothers. It was a really fun costume that turned out better than I anticipated. 
This year he is dressing as an assassin from the video game Skyrim. Initially I felt like it was going to be too big of a challenge, the costume is kind of complicated. 
But, then craziness ruled out and I agreed to make it. We met so I could take some measurements and we could talk about the specifics. 
Once we broke it down into separate elements it became much more manageable. 
I sketched and took notes while he showed me the character on the game. I took the information and made a mock up out of some polyester that had a good weight to it. After a fitting I finalized the pattern. 
Now I need to buy the fabric and make costume. I hope I don't mess it up!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Blessing outfits and blessings

When it came time to make Magnus' blessing outfit I did what anyone my age would do, I went to Pinterest. I also went to my stash of vintage patterns because I like to dress my kids in old fashioned clothes. 
This pattern was acquired at a Relief Society activity at the "give and take" table. There was a fairly large box of old patterns. I decided it would be a bad idea to take the whole box so I limited myself to a few. I love the look of kids in overalls and rompers. I think it's a limited time sort of thing so you have to jump in and do it before it's too late. 
I loved the look of this romper on Etsy so I looked for a way to combine the two sources of inspiration. I went to the fabric store and looked at all their white fabric. I wanted there to be interest and I decided the interest would come via texture. 
I used cotton sateen for the "shirt" and seersucker for the overalls. I altered the shirt pattern down to Magnus' size and then altered it further into a onesie. It worked but it didn't work at the same time. It didn't cover his diaper but, the overalls covered most everything else!
I altered the pattern for the overalls down to Magnus' size and then I made the bottom section a little longer. The original pattern was almost like a skirt with the centers connected, I wanted more defined shorts. I added snaps to the onesie and overalls for ease in dressing and diaper changes. 
I took some pictures a few days after because I realized we only had pictures of our family. 

Last week I had the opportunity to make something very special, a burial outfit. My wonderful sister gave birth to twins last month at 32 weeks. They were mono mono twins which necessitated hospitalized monitoring for the last month and a half of my sister's pregnancy. It was known that one of the twins, Cooper, had a heart defect that would require open heart surgery. Two weeks after their miraculous birth, Cooper passed away in his parent's arms. They brought him to Utah for burial. 

I didn't know what to say or do to help my sister so I offered up my skills. Without a set of measurements I did the only thing I could do, I prayed. After I prayed I went to work. I had a few mason jars on my sewing table that I used for sizing. I scaled down Magnus' blessing outfit pattern and hoped it would fit Cooper. I combined pattern elements into a new outfit that I hoped Hilary would like. After I finished patterning I used the rest of the cotton sateen. It was so soft and pliable. The outfit came together quickly, I had this much done by 10:30 that evening. 
I snagged one of Mina's dolls for a fitting. James suggested adding Velcro up the back seam for ease in dressing. I hadn't thought about that and I appreciated his input. 
The combination of functional buttons in the front and Velcro in the back made it easier to dress. 
I added buttons and waist tabs to the romper. Later on I added a satin bow tie that I made from Hilary's wedding dress sash. I'm glad I was able to help in some small way. 

The outfit fit perfectly.