Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Renn Faire: The Beginning of It All

  My armoring friend and I are teaming up to create period-correct costumes for the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, which we will most likely be attending with our friends in Sept-Oct. No, we aren't going as pirates... my friend is still undecided as to what he's going as, but I have an idea of what I'd like.

 See the one on the far right? I love it. It's so beautiful... normally I don't flip for period costumes, but this one is really unusual. Anyway, this is a German 13th century noblewoman's garb. I'm really excited about this project- I have a feeling this one is going to take me to places in the costuming world I never thought I'd go!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Customer Photos: 1914 Afternoon Dress at a Wedding!

   I was so excited when Sarah sent me pictures of one of my dresses at her wedding! It's so exciting to think about... and, on top of that, the wedding was in Australia!

Doesn't it look just ducky on her?  She looks so sweet.

The bride told me that she made the Bridesmaid's dresses. Aren't they beautiful?

...and there's the bridal party! Isn't the bride just beautiful? The colors coordinate so well!

 Thanks so much to Sarah for sending these beautiful pictures in!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Guest Posting!

  Hello one and all! I'm guest posting over at Shealynn's Fairie Shoppe!

I wrote a longer tutorial for my Smaug Tee Shirt, hope you enjoy!

Stamps and Insanity

  First off, I got my lovely new Willows Works stamps this morning!

There you have it! I ordered it from Rubber Stamps.Net, and I absolutely love it! The quality is great, and they're made in the US. Best yet, you can design them yourselves, using an image or the text or your choice. 

Awesome, right? And the price was amazing! Now I'll look really professional with my Etsy packages stamped with my address and a lovely little logo.


Then, there's this little one that I got to spice up the package a bit. I thought it would be really fun to have a little saying that would make my customers know immediately that their package from Willows Works arrived just by looking at it. Also, I think that since Etsy is such a personal place to buy things, customers deserve to have fun packages!

Giggle. I had to clean them up, so I went wild with the paper. That's also to give you an idea of the scale.

  Now for the insane part of this post. I've a 1940's Big Band formal next week... exactly seven days away. And I have to make a dress within that amount of time... I think I can do it, but it's going to be insane.

That there is where I am abouts. 

Funny story about the pattern: I went to JoAnn's last week to purchase the chiffon for the sleeves and the pattern... and as I was walking towards the pattern drawers, I thought to myself,

"Wouldn't it be really funny if they didn't have it...?"

Ha. Ha. Ha. It was hilarious. You should have been there. The look on my face as I rummaged through the drawer must have been a sight. Silly JoAnn's only carries ONE COPY of each Burda pattern. 
Panic. Almost. 

I ordered it from Simplicity last Friday, and just got it on Friday. Phew. So, I madly cut the thing out and now I'm madly sewing it together. Yeah... nothing like a last-minute project to keep you on your toes, right?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Open Range Ensemble: Another 'I Want' Costume

 Do you ever watch movies or television shows and start drooling? Not over the period drama heroes, but the costumes? Well, I had such an experience recently. Don't get me wrong, it's not the first time this has happened, but I'm actually following through with this 'I Want' kick.

  The era: Edwardian.
  The character: Sue Barlow.

  The movie: Open Range 

Isn't her shirtwaist so pretty? She has inspired me to make several shirtwaists.

Warning: Do not look at the chap. That's Doc Barlow, the country doctor who has a limp. Anyway. Please look at his sister's loverly skirt with the buttons... going down the front... I'll bet my bottom dollar that she has pockets in that there purty skirt of hers. 

Just one more picture, for good measure. No, we are not looking at the Doc. Please affix your attention to the lovely lace insertion on her shirtwaist. 

SO. My battle plans are that I'm making several shirtwaists from different eras, and while they may not look exactly like Sue's, they shall be largely inspired by her. 

Next, I am going to make three skirts, very similar to hers, with eight buttons down the front. Oh, and pockets, if I can help it. I'm hoping on doing one in a tan and black wool check (the fabric I already have), and the other two in blue and brown rayon. Well, depends on what I can find. 

My patterns: 

So, while my costumes won't be exactly 'to the film', they're going to be largely inspired by Sue's outfits. These outfits are going to be great in the fall, because it's something that I can actually wear in 'real life'. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sewing Projects of Recent Nature

Attenzione: Loooong, picture-heavy post ahead. Prepare yourselves!

 What ho! I've been sewing quite a bit recently, and I did indeed fix the dress that I had to rip myself out of. Thank you very much for reminding me of that. You might as well give me a paper cut and pour lemon juice on it.

  Here is the finished dress.

 There it is, in all its evil splendor. This dress must have hated me or something... what I went through to get it to look like this. 


 Am I not right in thinking that it looks rather Grecian? Or Hellenistic?


I just wanted to say both words, because they sound so well when pronounced correctly.

Here's a shot of the pleats I put in place of the gathers they wanted me to put in the front. Sorry. Not high on the 'maternity gathers' look. 


It's a simple dress really, but I wanted the fabric to speak for itself. 

 Think of me (giggle, sing it!) wearing it with a jean jacket, western belt, and some coolio leather boots.

 Don't worry, ladies. I will be wearing a cream slip with that. 


Close-up of the really really really pretty fabric. 


Made of the same material as this dress, I am looking forward to wearing this beachy and fun skirt!


On the side, I am addicted to this song. That is all. You have survived this post.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Girls Are So Fickle

  You know how a week ago that I had showed you all what pattern I'm using for the Big Band formal I'm going to in a few weeks? And how I gushed how perfect it was?

  Well, I changed my mind.

  Mum and I took a good look at the pattern, and after trying on the dress, I realized that the dress wasn't exactly what I wanted. The skirt is insufficiently full... and... well, to tell the truth, I don't think that the pattern is formal enough. 


  I had an excuse to go pattern shopping! Yay! This is what turned up...

So, same luscious pale gold silk... but with this pattern. And see those lovely long flutter sleeves? I'm going to make them with a matching gold chiffon.

What do ye think? I'm really resolute this time. I think the pattern as an old Hollywood flair to it, with PLENTY of skirts to play with. 


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Business Cards and Whatnot

  I took a day off from sewing yesterday for several reasons. The first and foremost was an unfortunate accident involving my pink dress that I'm supposed to be wearing to my friend's wedding.

  I tried it on, and for one, glorious moment... it looked lovely. Just lovely.

  And then...

  The zipper wouldn't come down.

   Let me say that again, so you can get the full effect:


  After a multitude of tears and shouting, 'This isn't funny!', I finally had no choice but to cut myself out of it. That's right, I had to rip a seam. 

  So I took a break the next day. And made these instead: 

Real live business cards. Not the kind you print out on regular paper than glue to card stock, but real live ones. 

Why oh why didn't I think of that before? I bought pretty paper from JoAnn's (where else?) on clearance and had it sitting in my drawer for the longest time. Then the idea hit me. Zinggg! 
Oh, and before I go, please take note: 

I am open for custom orders. 

Tell your friends.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What Have I Been Doing...?

  You might think that I have been wallowing in anguish that my 'big dance' is over. Okay, maybe I am, but I have been busily wallowing in anguish. So I've been sewing and crafting in despair.

  Just kidding.

  But I have been sewing/crafting, and I took some cursory photos to prove it. First off, I've been sewing a dress for my friend's wedding, at which I'm going to be a part-time photographer. Giggle. I'm really excited.

  Here's what it's supposed to look like:

  Here's what it looks like right now:

Don't panic, people. The wedding is the second week in June. 


I love love love the sleeves. The bodice has shirring on the shoulder so that it looks like one lovely... agggh. Just pretty, okay? 

^See that green dress up there? I made it. It's a perfect dance dress, and is rather reminiscent of a '40's dress. (Don't worry, this is relevant to this post, continue reading.)

^See that pattern and delicious yellow shantung silk up there? I'm making the same dress as the one above with that. Except with short sleeves, because it's for a June Big Band Formal. 


Some of the guys had BETTER show up wearing WWII uniforms. Giggle.

Oh, and here's all the other stuff I want to do: 

Yup. That really is a bunch of patterns and fabric in a JoAnn's bag. 

Oh, I love it. *smirk*

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Smaug T-Shirt

 I have decided NOT to post any pictures of my completed dress (and me in it) until early next week, after the dance is over. That way, no one will be able to say, 'Oh, I already saw it' at the dance.


  In any case, today I have a little treat- a Smaug T-Shirt, made in honor of The Hobbit! 

A simple Smaug design is stitched onto a cream LL Bean shirt.

 Since the shirt didn't fit as well as it could have, I took in the sides as well.

 Here's the map I based it off of. It's the one on the opening pages of The Hobbit book, drawn by J.R.R. himself.

If you want to copy the design, here's the crude drawing I made of it. I did the design using two strands of floss in split-stitch. 

 Oh, just so you know, that's not the only T-Shirt I did this year.

Because I could.