Sunday, July 28, 2013

Alterations In Progress -- Adrianna Papell Dress, Part 1

I snagged a might-as-well-be-brand-new Adrianna Papell dress at Good Will yesterday.  Score!  I always, always, always go through the entire rack of dresses instead of sticking to my size because you never know when you might uncover a thrifty treasure.  What do ya think?


It's made of embroidered eyelet linen with a cotton/spandex bodice and a yellow peek-through lining. Not even the tiniest deodorant stain to be found (I did wash it anyway, should you be concerned :o).  A cursory glance online leads to me believe it would retail somewhere in the $100-$120 range.  Not bad for $4.99, ey?  It doesn't exactly fit, as you can very well see.



I thought it might be fun to post as I go through the alterations to take it down a few sizes.  Here we go...

Today's naptime accomplishment was to move the straps into a better position.

Getting into the guts of this bodice was like breaking into Fort Knox.  Higher-end garments have lovely finish work that is not exactly alterations friendly!


I chose to route my work through the side seam area because I plan to make changes there anyway.


I detached the front of the straps and moved them closer to the center.


Tip:  If you take a picture of yourself wearing the dress before you alter it, you can gauge how far over you want to move things without necessarily having to try the garment on every other minute.

Interestingly, there was elastic going through the top seam that I had to reattach before re-sewing the straps back into the seam.


Here's a picture of the front straps sewn into their new position (note how curved the straps are):


As is standard sewing procedure the lining of the bodice was under-stitched at the top to make it lay nicely, but since I'm working with small spaces where I can't fit the machine, I'll have to come up with another way to keep the lining from riding up.  Later.

I thought I was going to make life simpler and sew in some bra cups.


Not so much!  The bodice area was too narrow so when I tried it on, the cups didn't work well unless I made the neckline a bit lower than I prefer.  No worries.  I can wear a strapless instead.

Work so far:


I pinned the straps in the back, but didn't get a chance to sew them before some child ran over some other child's foot with a bike which led to screaming, which led to the waking of my dear napper.


On the agenda:  Finish straps and begin altering the bodice in at the side seams.  I don't plan to mess with the zipper.

See you next time!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

10 Foot Circle Garland {Needle & thREAD}

This counts as sewing right?


Have you seen these circle garlands all over Pinterest & Etsy?  I finally had the chance to give one a try and it was even more painless and easy than I thought.  So painless and easy, in fact, that you really don't need a tutorial.  Trust me.  Punch to your heart's desire and run them through the sewing machine however you darn well please.





Using two pieces of card stock, a 2" circle punch, and multipurpose thread (large stitches), my garland was a little over 10 feet long.  If you are wondering how much paper you need per yard of garland with spaces between the circles, here you go:

  • 1 sheet of (11 x 8.5") paper  =  20 (2") circles.
  • 11 (2") circles sewn approximately 1.5" apart = 1 yard of garland.

I used some cardstock I had on hand.  The punch is one I borrowed from my mother-in-law, but they are about $8.50 if you get them on sale.

Confession, I just let my girls go draw on this garland to make it "pretty."  Wouldn't glitter be fun?  Or gold circles interspersed here and there for a bit of glam?  I plan to make some garlands for a wedding shower in a couple of weeks.  Pictures to follow :o).



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I'm linking up with needle & thREAD this fine (and rather chilly) Thursday.  My latest reading adventure was a very short book on parenting called It Doesn't Have To Be This Way by Ginny Seuffert. I picked it up at a conference after hearing the author speak.  Since my oldest is five and we are still establishing...everything?...parenting-wise, I appreciated it.  I need a bit of common sense these days.  And sleep.  I think sleep would significantly improve my parenting :o).


That's it for me today!  Would you like to join in or find out what everyone else is up to?  Head on over to In The Heart Of My Home.

Happy sewing friends!

p.s.  Project(s) update:  I'm stalled out on the gray dress until I have the chance to find a suitable lining fabric.  I'm taking a small break from sewing for my shop while I regroup my household a bit.  And last but not least, bridal gown sewing will recommence in full force in August (the dress is at my mom's and she lives a state away).  This summer is flying by...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Alterations, Plans, and needle & thREAD

Oh how I have been needing to come here and talk sewing!

First off, I attempted to take pictures of your's truly in the skirt I posted about a couple of weeks ago.


A lot can happen in that ten second photo delay.



I want to make more of these skirts.  They rock.

In other news, a good portion of last week was spent fitting and hemming and altering various aspects of the wedding gown of my husband's little sister.  The dress is something of a seamstress's nightmare.  I have never seen such an intense hem situation in my life! To give you a taste, the skirt needs to be taken *up* four inches at the (asymmetrical) waistline because of the labor intensity of shortening it at the hem.  There is chiffon involved and tulle and vertical ruffles, if you can imagine all that! It is really beautiful though and she's going to look absolutely gorgeous!!!  Still more to do by September 14th.  I'm confident that not only will it all turn out fine, but the work will also be worth the $400 she saved by bringing it my way :o).

Next on the agenda will be the lovely bridesmaid dress my own sister chose for me for her October 5th wedding.

Well, actually, here is it is:


It's anybody's guess what my baby bump will look like in three months and only time will tell if the maternity size I picked out will fit.  If nothing else, a hem will be in order.  I'm not one of those gals willing to put on six inch heals to save herself a little extra work at the sewing machine!

My mom, bless her heart, is in the process of tackling the two flower girl dresses we'll need.  This works out particularly well for me since I seem to have gotten it into my head that I can make a dress for myself for the September wedding with this crazy gray chiffon fabric...


There were only two yards left in the store and I've never sewn a dress for the pregnant version of myself, so let's just assume this is going to be interesting!  You know me.  I like a challenge.  Perhaps you dear readers can give me a tip or two on this project?  What's the trick to fitting a bodice to yourself without a dress form or assistant? And is there an easy way to do your own hem?

Reading-wise, this week I'm barreling through Teaching In Your Tiara: A Homeschooling Book for the Rest of Us by Rebecca Frech.  I was looking for a quick nuts and bolts overview on getting started and it seems to be just that.  Due to about a million factors (like my husband accepting an offer today for a job in a neighboring city -- yay!!!), we're finally committing to homeschooling my soon-to-be kindergartner this year and I need to catch up on the planning process pronto.  I hope to delve into the deeper stuff soon, but this seemed like a good place to start.  If anyone has a suggestion about what book to read next, I'd love to hear it!

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For more needle and thREAD (and a link to a super cute headband pattern), head on over to In the Heart of My Home. Thank you for hosting Elizabeth!