Thursday, July 29, 2010

Two Outfits for Sweet Princesses

I've mentioned before about Jacqi's new quilt store. While on quilt retreat in March, I made up three pairs of little girl pants. The pattern is Britches and Bloomers. I let Jacqi display the pants until the end of June. The pattern only goes up to size four. I decided to make the size four and give them to some friends at work.

These two pair of pants are for a co-worker in the IT department. She has two little peanuts. The girls are about a year apart but they are the same size. I asked Cathy to let me know what they like and I would put that on their shirts. Emily liked crowns and Sadie liked ice cream cones. Cathy gave me a list for both girls and these were the designs that I chose to match the pants.

I love how the ice cream cone turned out. Usually, when purchasing an embroidery design, the design will come in more than one size. I toyed with making the crown the next larger size. I really should have done that. I had used the design earlier on Lucy's onsie. The design looked more balanced on the small onsie. I was afraid of the design overpowering the little t-shirt, but the larger size ice cream design looks better on the t-shirt. Could of, should of, would of. Another lesson learned - quit being afraid. It will look cuter than a plain white t-shirt.

The ice cream design is from and the crown is from

Now I have one more pair of pants left and another coworker who has a size four child.

Bridal Gown Week, Day Five

Day Five of Bridal gown week was uneventful sewing-wise. I got a little bit of basting done. Taylor and I ran a lot of errands. How many times can someone go to Home Depot in one week? She's been a good sport about helping with the house remodel. Before we left for errands, I was becoming very frustrated trying to press the lengths of fabric before cutting and pressing the pieces after cutting. You see, I have one of those built in ironing boards. Yes, it's nice to have it on the wall and out of site. It isn't the best product for someone who does a lot of quilting and sewing. In addition to being small, it is made for a left-hander. I don't know if the builder just added it without thinking or if the previous owner was left handed. It is impossible for me to work with though.

I decide to call around before we run errands. After all, I'm on vacation this week, I'm trying to be as efficient as possible with my time off. I call Bed, Bath and Beyond. There is an ironing board that I want. The Rowenta super-sized board. I want to make sure they have one in stock before I drive across town. There was no Rowenta board to be found at the store. In fact, there was no board to be found in their region which went to Ohio. He tries to sell me a Revolution 360 board. Of course, his store doesn't have one in stock so I would have to order it and wait. I toy for about three minutes on ordering one. The price is $130.00 plus shipping plus tax. And it isn't long like the board I want which is cheaper, about $100. This Revolution board spins like in all directions. You can press shirt cuff and necklines with ease. But quite honestly, I don't need an ironing board that I can perform heart surgery on, I just need a large board to press a bridal gown.

I decide to take to the internet. I go on Craig's List to look for rummage sales. I want an old, I mean OLD ironing board. I can't see paying $25.00 for a piece of crap ironing board that will move across the floor with every move of the iron. God was looking out for me. Right there on Craig's List some one was selling an old ironing board. That was all they were selling. Turns out the ironing board belonged to the man's mother who did a lot of sewing. He and his wife were downsizing. That's it? That's all you're getting rid of? Oh well, it worked for me. Did I tell you I wanted something old? This sucker is heavy. It won't be moving anywhere while I press. It does need to be cleaned up and a cover placed on it.

Look at the label. Made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hmmm. Mother was a sewer, made in Milwaukee, from the 50's. This is perfect for me. All for a whopping $8.00. Can you see the label where is says "Mrs Housewife"? I'm pretty sure this is from the 1950's, certainly before women were burning their bras. Unfortunately, that beautiful label got ripped while in the back of my Tahoe. I need to now research on a glue that can take the heat from an iron. I'm not going to get rid of the label.

I'm so happy with my CL find. And you know what, it's so sturdy, I actually think you could perform heart surgery on it.

Bridal Gown Week, Day Three and Four

I've had almost a month off from blogging. It's not that I haven't had anything to say, I've always got stuff to say. I've been slowly plugging away at the dress. I did have to take several days off due to the remodeling project. No furniture meant no work. I have a wonderful cutting table in my sewing studio. Unfortunately, it isn't as wide as the dining table. I need a wide table to work on due to the width of the train pieces. Besides the furniture issue, I spent several days painting. I didn't want to paint the hallway then work on the gown. I wanted to paint to be completely dried before I walked fabric back and forth into the laundry room to press.

Anyway, back to bridal gown week. Days three and four were spent cutting out the silk organza and hand basting it to the fashion fabric. I ordered a bolt of the silk organza and I think it had between thirteen and fifteen yards to the bolt. Now comes the task of cutting out this unruly fabric. With the organza underlining cut out, each piece is now basted to the silk. The seven skirt pieces each take over an hour to hand baste together. Then we have all the bodice pieces that also needs to be basted. I don't want to baste with the sewing machine. The silk organza is not an easy fabric to control. I decide to underline with the organza to help give the silk satin strength and body. The best way to control this is to pin, pin, pin and then do the work by hand.

Things were going well until day four. The work is somewhat tedious but really not that bad. I do most of the stitching in complete silence. I try not to have the television on because that tends to zap my time away. I find that on day four, my finger can't take the pain of the needle anymore. I'm working with a small, fine Japanese hand needle. The head of the needle is so fine, it digs into my skin as I push it through the fabric. After a couple of days, I now have a hole in my finger. The hole doesn't hurt, it's when I push the needle along and the head digs deeper into the hole. Now that causes me pain. I decide to pull out my thimbles and see what will work be for the stitching. I find that I'm losing dexterity with the thimbles. I try pretty much all of them including the pink horse ankle tape. The horse tape works better but doesn't stay on the finger for very long. I decide to stop and give my finger a rest and to let it heal for a while.

The next day, the light bulb came on. I forgot about the liquid bandage product that I use when I hand quilt. So off I go to get it out of the sewing studio. I apply two light applications and let my finger dry. The liquid bandage gives a protective coating to the finger. Even with the hole in my finger, I'm able to continue working.

Pourquoi est si elle le signifie pour moi?

What did I do to deserve this type of treatment? It's not fair. She's so mean to me. You all know that I've been cooped up in this place for weeks on end now. No fun whatsoever. This family is boring with a capitol B. Just when I thought I couldn't take it anymore, along comes an opportunity to, um mingle. Yes, that's the right word, mingle.

The designer and her spouse hired some American men to work on their house. Oh my! Finally some glimmer of hope for conversation and fun. I told her that I wanted to be part of the action. She wouldn't hear of it. She said I would cause too much trouble and distraction. The American men are here to work and get the house ready for the big event.

What does she do? She makes me wear this hideous dress. Mon Dieu! It's like yellow and old. It doesn't even fit correctly. Who wore this? I thought all American women had Amazon bodies, not slim like the French. I voiced my dislike. This dress is not soooo not me. She told me that it is a "vintage" piece and that her sister bought it for her. I see her taste in fashion is genetic.

As if that wasn't bad enough, she put me in the corner. Well, no one puts Gigi in the corner. (Haha, that movie made it to Paris. That line works for me.)

Fella's, oh fella's. Over here.

À bientôt


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bridal Week Day Two

I'm on day two of Bridal week. I was very busy but it doesn't look like that much got accomplished. Before the remodel, I had cut out most of the bodice and the front piece of the skirt. Now was the time to start cutting the rest of the gown.

I've been dragging my feet on this. Why? Because this is the scary part. One mistake and I'm done for. The pattern pieces all have to face the same direction. Satin has a nap and if not careful, the gown would appear to be made out of two different color whites. I have to make sure that I have a right and a left piece. During most garment construction, that is fairly easy. However, when you get into the larger/wider pattern pieces, you can only cut out one piece at a time, not two. I have to make sure that I do indeed have enough fabric. I should, I purchased 30 extra inches. But hey, it's me we're talking about. Murphy's Law prevails, a lot.

The first order of business was to measure all the pattern pieces and times the measurement by two. I had 348 inches of pattern. I didn't want to do it, but I unrolled the bolt of satin. I had 342 inches of satin. Hmmmm. (Remember Murphy's Law?) So technically I'm 6 inches short of fabric. My fabric is 54 inches wide and not 60 inches so that caused a lot of the shortage. I decided that once I put the pieces on, we would be fine. The pieces that make up the sweep of the train are not cut straight, so I knew that I could gain a few inches with each piece.

I need to finally commit. I take the fabric and cut it in half. I pray that my calculations are correct. Even though the fabric is white, I can't just order more white if I make a mistake. White also has a dye lot. I would have to purchase the whole 11 yards again. Remember that there is a nap so I mark the top of the length of fabric and the bottom of the fabric before I cut. I now have two pieces of fabric and place them one on top of the other, right sides together.

While working with the fabric, I just kept stopping to look at it. It's gorgeous. I'm pinching myself that I'm fortunate enough to have this in my hands.

I laid the skirt pieces out. At the end of the line, I find that I now have nine inches extra. Whew! Now the next question. What to do with the nine inches? I'm German, can't let that go to waste. So I decide to do what any true romantic would do, I add the extra length to the train. So to do this, all the pieces had to be removed for me to start over. Now, I just can't add the nine inches to the very back piece. All the pieces except for the front need to have additional length so there is a gradual increase for the train. I probably spent an hour moving the pieces to make sure that I would have a gradual slope and enough fabric to do what I needed. So starting from the side front piece we went from zero to the back piece that is four inches longer than the pattern intended.

Even after several trial runs on the bodice, the shoulder strap is too big. We tried different adjustments, but none that we tried was the perfect solution. What I'm doing right now is taking two small tucks on the side nearest the neck. I don't want to make the armhole smaller. Yes, I am basically guessing on expensive fabric. If this doesn't work, I have enough of the satin scraps to continue onward.

I spent four hours this morning on the layout and cutting of these pieces. I also hand basted the bodice pieces and the midriff band.