May 23, 2014

Wedding Dress Makeover

One of my sisters got married in 2006, and she purchased her dress.
Here are a couple of her bridal pictures.

Extra long train

Wrapped, straight front

Now fast-forward...another sister decided to get married this month. The dating was quick and the engagement came faster than anticipated. One of my brothers is already getting married in June. So, my blonde sister offered to let the brunette sister use her wedding dress.

Blondie willingly, but tearfully exclaimed that I was allowed free reign to make any alterations I chose to the dress. I tried to help her understand the sacrifice, so she would not regret her decision. I explained that there was a possibility I might ruin the dress during the alterations, and was that something she could live with? She bravely stated that she trusted me and was willing to donate the dress.

Our brunette sister wanted to make a few changes, but was also willing to wear the dress as it was. We ultimately decided on some alterations. After investing some time into the original plan, I was unhappy with the plan we had come up with. As my husband lovingly and quite correctly pointed out, it looked too much like a prom dress.

Discouraged about the set-back and time constraints, I may have said in frustration..."I just want to burn the dress and start over." There are just certain restrictions when you're working with something that was already cut and designed a different way. There is also a limited amount of fabric to work with. Some days I wondered if the dress would work out and whether or not I could finish it in time. But, after a lot more sewing and contemplating, I was able to come up with something everyone was happy with!

May 30, 2012

Baptism Towels Redesigned

Choose the Right Theme

I redesigned my baptism towels to go along with the 2012 Primary theme.

Here are some of the towels I have been working on.

I really like the new design, and I love the two overlapping colors.

The towels are more vibrant!

May 18, 2012

Freezer Paper Stenciling

Library Book Bag

I have been wanting to make a library book bag for awhile now. It just seems like we always walk into and out of the library with an arm full of books. During these times, I find myself wishing I had a bag expressly for this purpose.

Well, I found a plain bag and decided to do some freezer paper stenciling on it. If you are unfamiliar with freezer paper stenciling, just use a search engine. There are tons of tutorials already out there and it is super easy! By the way, most craft stores sell tote bags similar to this one.

Although this one is to give away, I fully intend to make another one soon. 

May 17, 2012

Sewn in the spring to wear in the Winter

Toddler Jumper

I made this winter jumper as a baby gift.

I think it is awfully cute, hopefully the intended recipient does too!

The flowers are actually usable pockets. 

I did the decorative stitching by hand,
then machine sewed around all except 2 of the flower petals.

The 2 unsewn petals are at the top, leaving enough room for little hands to fit inside.

Lastly, I added a purple border to match the pockets and buttons.

If you haven't noticed, I think accessories are essential to an outfit.

So, I made a flower hair clip to match.

April 23, 2012

Gift Idea -

Graduation Gift

My sister-in-law graduated with her bachelor's degree. She plans to work as a Home Economics teacher, and she is going to be awesome!

I was trying to find something to give her for a graduation gift, this is what I came up with.

Inside the shirt I wrapped up a standard graduation gift -
"Oh, The Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss

Then, I modified a necklace that I purchased.
I added sewing scissors, a thimble, and a sewing machine.

I bought a shirt and wrapped it around the book.

I pinned the shirt together like wrapping paper using pins I had saved from all of the men's

white dress shirts I have altered for neighbors.

Lastly, I tied the shirt sleeves together like a bow.

Congratulations Hannah!

April 8, 2012

Lengthening Again!

Another Alteration...

I broke down and bought Katelyn this dress for Easter. I should have known from the previous dress that this one wasn't going to work either. I even bought the dress several sizes larger for the length, but I still had to alter it. This time, due to the type of fabric the dress was, I decided to use a satin fabric instead. I used the same method as before, but just added to the lining hemline instead of removing the inside netting that stabilizes the dress' fullness. I think it turned out cute, but if I were to do it over again, I don't think I would have gathered the fabric first. Maybe I'll fix it, then again, maybe not. After all, she is going to outgrow it in a month or two anyway, right?

Transitions Lenses are mostly great, but not so much for photos outside!

April 7, 2012

Quick Alterations -

Lengthening A Dress

My daughter is definitely tall for her age. Consequently there are few standard items like dresses that will actually fit her. I expressed my concerns about this to my mother-in-law since "Little k" needed a dress for my sister-in-law's wedding. I offered to sew her dress because she is tall and thin, but my mother-in-law bought her a dress instead. Although the dress was wearable, it was, as usual, too short. The dress was non-returnable and non-exchangeable. So, I altered it!

The dress has a full skirt with netting underneath it to support its fullness. For those not familiar with the difference, tulle is a lighter, more flexible material, while netting is stiff and heavier. I didn't have a lot of time before the wedding to alter the dress and my local stores did not have white netting. However, I knew the dress had white netting as a base. So, I just bought the off-white netting the store had available.

Next, I had her put the dress on and measured how much length I would want to add to the hemline. Then, I removed the netting used in the base of the skirt and sewed it to the outside of the lining (in other words, the netting is sewn to the lining so that it is between the lining and the skirt fabric to prevent itchiness) at the length that I wanted. Remember the lining is usually shorter than the dress hemline, so you will have to take that into account when positioning your netting. I added about 6 inches to this dress hemline.

Now, I have successfully lengthened the dress, but the dress will appear flat and lifeless if I leave it like this. This is where my off-white netting comes into play. Next, measure the width and length of the original netting. Then, gather the top edge of the netting, adjust the gathers, and baste onto lining in the same position as the original netting. The dress is now lengthened without losing fullness.

I also added the flower to her jacket, it just looked like it needed a little something more.