Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Wedding-Guest Dress Journey

When I found out that my sister-in-law will be getting married I jumped at another opportunity to whip up something extra special and learn something new as I go.

I envisioned the dress to be one-shoulder, empire waist (to hide my tummy),  in nude color and lightweight (considering that it might be a very hot summer day). I also fancied a fan-pleated feature on the dress with a little bit of beading to add some flair.

Sketch of my vision

Things took a different turn when I discovered that the bridesmaids are wearing a dress in nude. So fabric shopping had been a pain as I look for a color that would suit my taste. From assymetrical, one-shoulder dress I had to gave in to settling with a strapless dress because I failed to make a bodice pattern (I already have too many patterns and do not want to buy another one just for this occasion). On the day of the wedding, I gave a sigh of relief that I did not do a one-shoulder dress after seeing that the bridesmaids are wearing exactly that same style.

Mock up of the fan-pleated feature in craft paper

Draped version of the dress

Took me 2-3 months of on and off sewing to complete this dress. This includes incidents of ripping the fan-pleat out after spending hours and hours one night of folding and hand-sewing them to the bodice after discovering that the fan is getting squashed by my underarm because it sits awkwardly under it. I almost gave up at this point. Luckily, I didn't.

The fan-pleat is folded and secured by pins - just so I can have a visual. Did the folding by hand.

The dress when it was 60% finished. The skirt just needs to be sewn in and lining has to be added. However, not until the fan-pleat mishap of getting squashed under my arms.

I also had second thoughts about how plain the dress looks (color-wise, as pictured above), and so tried a few things with it like overlaying a lace on the skirt part,

overlaying black chiffon to break the monotone style from the bodice and skirt,

adding 2 rows of narrow trim on the empire waist, or

adding a wide lace on the empire waist.

And after asking my husband, the wide lace won.

The dress a few weeks before the wedding. Just trying it on to make sure it still fits.

The bodice is boned to make sure it doesn't slip off of me and it's really really tight fitted. I finished it a month before the wedding so I had to make sure that I don't loose or gain too much weight in between.
The beading on the center of each flower on the lace. All done by hand.

Bracelet and earrings I also made to go with the whole emsemble.

Learned a lot from this project - like boning, fully-lining a dress (most, if not all, of my projects prior to this are unlined), and most of all - PATIENCE. I have never been more patient in sewing and ripping off seams and sewing them back again and getting the dress to fit. Just made all my next projects to look and fit better on me (hopefully).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

First Post of 2011

I've just finished posting my recent projects in BurdaStyle... Although I want to post them one by one here, I'll resist the urge and just make one article showing all of them.

Worn on my sister-in-law's engagement party

First dress I made for my sister's soon-to-be-born little girl

Ruffle and flower embellished T

Really comfy and soft, shirred empire waist

Worn on Christmas Eve mass

For my little boy who will be starting Prep this school year

To read more about each project click on the link below the pic.

Happy 2011...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Apples Top

My sister asked me to if I could make her a top similar to one she saw being sold on FaceBook... I had one look at it and had ideas on how to do it at the back of my mind.
But it's only a week ago that I was able to put it into fabric and start sewing.
I originally had 2 meters of this stretch fabric and when I started cutting I realized that I have enough to make another top since I would just be using a meter of it for this creation.

Everything went well until I came to the flounce sleeves....

I originally cut a somewhat curved arch for this. However, I am not satisfied with the drape and how the flounce looks like. So I cut another arch, trying to avoid making a circle as that would mean I would be losing a big percentage of the left over 1 meter of fabric.
Unfortunately, that second arch went to waste as well. Giving up, I drafted a circle to use for the flounce, and that filled my satisfaction as to how it would look like. The sleeves does not look as long as the original photo since I could make a much wider circle than this is.
In the end, I have an awful lot of scraps from this fabric and ended up mustering a simple singlet out of the biggest chunk of what was left over. Nevertheless, I put the scraps aside hoping to use them for some fabric flowers or embellishments for my future projects.
I have sent photos of the top to my sister and she said liked it. She's currently 5 months pregnant and based in Kuwait and hoping that after the baby, this top would still fit her.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another JJ...

When my sister (who's based in Kuwait) first saw my creations, she instantly liked my pinstripe JJ blouse posted on BurdaStyle. And so, she asked me to make her one.

Luckily I have another pinstripe cotton fabric in my stash. I actually cut it months and months ago but kept it in my "to-do" box first. Now, after working on it for 3 weekends (on and off for a couple of hours), I already have a finish product...

This is photo of what it looks like while I'm working on it.

I used white pearl bridal buttons. I like this version more than the first one I did (obviously I've learned heaps over the years that I nailed this one better).

I hope my sister loves it as well...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Embroidered Kimono Top

This simple pattern is obviously my favorite. Not only is it simple to cut and sew, but it is also comfy to wear.

Unlike my previous one, this version is made of cotton interlock and a simple a-line lower bodice. There is a crochet peekaboo insert on the sides for a little texture (as the whole ensemble is really too plain). The lower bodice seems a little too short for my intended purpose but it is still wearable.

I also made a matching midriff singlet (not in the photo) from the left over fabric since I could definitely not wear it as is (with the plunging V-neckline and the big armhole).

After I considered it done, I reckon it was too darn plain. For 2 weeks, I contemplated on adding some simple floral embellishment on one side of the upper bodice. With the Anthropologie embellished shirts fad, I considered embroidery, bead works, self strips, iron-on print transfer or fabric flowers for the techniques. Obviously, embroidery and a bit of beading won. Embroidery and beading were done by hand.

Overall, I am quite satisfied with the look, although I can't really say whether the embellishment made the top look better or worse.