April 26, 2013

Alterations & Creations

Thank you all for bearing with me these last few weeks, as my posts have been infrequent and quite irregular. Our family has just made the exciting (and much needed, mind you, from years of frustration) switch from Windows to Mac. What a learning curve it's been. I've been using iPhoto, downloading apps that will allow me to edit my photos (like Picasa 3, I was using), and learning, well....everything all over again. It's still going to take me some time, as this Mommy always seems to keep pretty occupied at home.  So, any helpful information you have on ease of using Mac, please send it my way. I love the new system, but I'm just keeping up at turtle pace learning right now. 

In the meantime, lots of little projects have been occurring around here, along with some larger ones too. There has been some homemade butter making, seed planting, backyard landscape & new garden plans in the works, and talk of a custom toddler quilt coming for a friend. 

Here are some of my recent alteration projects that I have done for some friends lately:

 I hemmed and did some minor adjustments on Hannah's prom dress. I think for a while I kept getting lost in all the under layers of tulle! The dress carried so many layers of crushed taffeta, tulle and lining, that  my dress form kept "shortening" itself from the weight of the dress. A fun project, though. I even had enough hemmed edge left over, that I was able to make her a small clutch/purse to match. 

 Two adorable (identical) flower girl dresses for Valorie's daughters needed zippers taken in, one hemmed shorter, and a resolution to come to the inevitable "front bodice puckering problem". I put a tack stitch in the front of both dresses, and it seems to allow the front neckline to lay much closer to their bodies, and not pucker out.  Perhaps next year, the girls can also still wear them for another event, with a reversed alteration (letting me put the zipper back into its original position). I wish I had taken photos of these adorable girls in their dresses! I guess that cuteness will have to wait for another time for now : )! 
 And....just in case you happened to miss it..... a dazzling princess dress for my adorable niece, Lilly! 
Learn all about it HERE! Her dress was certainly a great practice & inspiration for me, to help me get started on my current project (below)!

 And now for my latest project (in full swing this last week):

Let me introduce you to the adventures of Princess Sofia:

She is one of Disney's newest character princesses. 

This is her official copyrighted Disney dress:
This dress looks pretty elaborate, doesn't it? Well, it's not. Their version is pretty much ALL polyester layers, with a stretched spandex back. Over a month ago, now,  I received a request, through my sister, that her friend desired to have this dress (above) in a debutant gown style for her little girl's birthday. After all, the Disney licensed dress was sold out, and her little girl deserved a REAL debutant version anyways for her upcoming birthday. I can also totally see why she was reluctant to pay $200-$300 for this same dress, that is apparently in very high demand right now. I was honored to be asked, and have been working on it (slower than I'd really have liked) ever since. 

Making Lilly a similar dress first was an essential part of the process for me. Making hers enabled me to design and perfect a pattern that would fit both girls well, as well as suit each dress with it's modifications. This Sofia dress is obviously more elaborate than the pink one I just finished, but it was just what I needed to learn how to execute this purple one. As you can see below, I was absolutely thrilled that I found all necessary materials locally at JoAnn Fabrics for this dress. Sometimes they can be hit or miss, depending on what type & color of fabric I'm searching for (like as with Ellie's recent Minnie Mouse dress). I may have gone overboard in purchasing all this material, but since I'm working with a new pattern I've put together, I'm not exactly certain how much fabric I will actually be needing/utilizing in the end. But, I'm sure the leftover pieces will be put to good use. 

I purchased lilac casa satin, a rhinestone sheer casa overlay, purple lining, white iridescent sheer underlay, white and purple tulle, and notions of satin ribbon, lilac zipper, silver & purple trims, thread, and white velveteen fabric paint. Sure looks like a lot, but I've been putting it all to good use.


 Working on the bodice.....

 A self-made stencil was created.
 And I think it's coming out very beautiful, indeed....and very true to Sofia's dress. The skirt is now ready to be sewn together. The lining is made, the tulle layer is ready. So, during the next few days (hopefully quickly), the dress will be assembled and receive finishing touches.  Then the dress will get photographed, packaged very carefully, and shipped to the Netherlands. Ooh...I'm so excited! I just wish I could be there at this precious little girl's birthday party to see her face when she sees her new dress! 

I'm so sorry to lure you in with these progress photos and then make you wait for the big reveal...but, it must be done. The dress is gorgeous, I assure you. And this little girl is so very blessed to have such an awesome Mommy & Daddy that would want to gift such a dress for so many fun times and memories ahead! Such a fun and challenging (in a good way, of course) project for me to work on. I've felt like I've learned some new skills along the way with this one, and certainly shared in the vision with how beautiful and special the Mom wanted it to be. 

I look forward to sharing more of this story with you as soon as I can! 

Hope you all have an absolutely wonderful & blessed day!!!


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