Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thrift Store Cocktail Dress Refashion!

This was one of those thrift store buys that just "worked". We thrifters know the rush of excitement when we find a great dress, but when we pull it off the rack, we realize that it's going to need some work before it's wearable. 

But this dress... I tried it on and I discovered the only thing it needed was some sleeves. The fit was great, the length was perfect, AND it was half-off! 

I knew it had the potential of being a great cocktail dress... so I went ahead and bought it. 


We were given a bunch of fabric by a sweet lady, and amongst the treasures was found a piece of polyester satin that was almost perfectly matched to the gold/tan underneath the lace of the dress. SO. Sleeves were cut, using the same pattern I drafted from my spring formal gown from 2012

I constructed them using my machine, finished off the lower hems, and then attached the sleeves by hand to the dress. I didn't want to bother the little beaded trim on the bodice neckline. 

I also added a silk sash, but the lovely thing about this dress is that because there were pre-existing sash loops, I can switch up the sash whenever I please. It helps that the dress is a neutral color, so I have a wide range of colors I can play with. 

Huzzah for awesome thrift find!

Monday, July 27, 2015

5 Year Shop Anniversary!

It's been five years since I first opened my Etsy shop! So happy with the way my shop style has developed... I'm quite content with doing custom orders as my main shop fare. Certainly not the vision I had when I opened the shop five summers ago... I had dreams of having a shop crammed with ready-made items. However, it seems my expertise lies in custom orders and sewing to satisfy the customer. 

Above is a door sign I made probably five or six or seven years ago... I rather like it. I just found it stowed in a pattern envelope randomly, saved by my far-seeing mother who knew I would love to find it years down the road. So, I put it up on my wall and can enjoy my wonderful 14-15 year old art. 

In any case, thanks to all my customers who have made my shop possible! I look forward to many more years of costuming and sewing! 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Italian Finds: Lace Collar!

This week's "Find" is what I assume to be a collar or cuff from a garment. Again, what is with Italians and their love of disassembling clothes? 

It's got a sweet little edging... 

This little collar (or whatever it once was) is one that I hope to incorporate into an heirloom piece. Someday! 

If anyone has any information whatsoever about the techniques or design on this piece, please do comment! I would love to learn more about my little "Italian Finds!

Monday, July 20, 2015

My Evil Plan

So, I have this evil plan. I'm going to make a dress for both the Halloween Dance AND the Medieval Night at my school... using stash fabrics. It won't cost me a penny because all the materials were given to me! 

Anyway, here's the design. It's a fantasy dress, inspired by the pre-Raphelite paintings of Waterhouse and Leighton. I don't really care that it's not period-accurate because sincerely, no one at my college will care. And if they do care, well, they can go sit in the stacks all day. By themselves. Listening to One Direction. 

AND HERE'S THE GORGEOUS MATERIAL. Isn't it loverly? The gold damask is for the main dress, the light gold/tan is for the ruffles and stuff, and the deep, wine red satin is for the underskirt. 

...another shot on the gold because it's so loverly... 

Yeah. I'm excited about this project. Hopefully I can get around to sewing it... I'll be busy-busy these next couple of weeks trying to get things done before school starts up! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Italian Finds: Linen Embroidered Tablecloth!

I get to show you one of my favorite pieces in the collection- it's hand embroidered on pure linen, and I just love the coloring/design. 

It's kind of chunky and reminiscent of a lot of vintage-y embroidery I've seen around. 

The border design is just stunning. I love the slightly chunky look! 

This is one of the center flower details... 

...and another... 

...and another! Love the little techniques and designs this sewist put into this tablecloth. It's a real treasure and I look forward to being able to use it. 

If anyone has any information whatsoever about the techniques or design on this piece, please do comment! I would love to learn more about my little "Italian Finds!"

Monday, July 13, 2015

Exciting Summer Custom Orders!

I have to admit, I've had some pretty cool custom orders this summer. Here's the concepts for a few of them! 

A dirndl for a fellow student, who wants to wear it to my college's annual Oktoberfest! Can't wait to show you the cute colors and fabrics she picked out. She's going to look like a doll! 

A beautiful woolen cape for a friend who's getting married... it's going to be deep blue and I can't wait to see it completed. 

Prince Caspian's shirt 


...his brigadine thingy, both for the same customer! I'm looking forward to seeing the final product. I've always loved the costumes from Prince Caspian, even if everyone else hated the movie. *pouts*

Lastly, as aforementioned, this really cool Sith costume from a really cool game, Knights of the Old Republic, which I know I've talked about before on here. Such an ominous character... so fun, because the person who ordered this one is going to be with me when I go see Starwars VII, which means I'll actually be in my (finally completed) Old Republic robes! 

  I may still have some time to fit in your custom order request if you still have one... will be going away to school at the end of next month, but if you have something in mind, speak now or forever hold your peace!*

*That is, unless you don't want to wait until I get back from school in May 2016. Ya know.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Italian Finds: More Lace! (Sorry, Mr. Bennet!)

Much to the dismay of Mr. Bennet, we have more lace to pour over this week! Again, it's been ripped from a garment of some sort (I don't know who in Italy goes around ripping lace from things, but hey, it works out). I'm not sure if it's been been done by hand or machine, so if anyone knows, please comment to let me know! 

There's not much of this piece, and it's in need of a little repair. However, I'm willing to fix it up if it means I can adorn some special garment with it! 

If anyone has any information whatsoever about the techniques or design on this piece, please do comment! I would love to learn more about my little "Italian Finds!"

Monday, July 6, 2015

Stash Challenge: Vintage-y Sewing Plans!

Stash challenge update, ooohhh yay! What do I have for you here this time? 

That's the golden part of the stash y'all haven't seen yet. It's the lovely VINTAGE-Y WOOLENS that were given to us by a lovely lady. I have such plans for them. 

...such as the beautifully tailored 1940's blazer in the bottom right corner of this pattern... AND I have the lining already. WIN WIN. I love sewing from my stash... goodness, why haven't I done this more seriously before? It's so liberating* to just use what you have. What a concept. Of course, if you don't have a stash to begin with, I suppose you couldn't. But if you do have one... give it a try. Not using it is like having a shelf full of books and never reading them, but always acquiring more books just for the sake of it. 

Back in the other part of the stash, we have a bunch of random projects lying around. I can't wait to see these turned into lovely vintage-y garments! Hopefully I'll have the presence of mind to take pictures of them and post so you can see the fruits of my stash frenzy. 

*I could very well have made a pun, but I didn't. Sew there. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Italian Finds: Embroidered Hankie!

This week's "Italian Find" is a machine-embroidered hankie, done up on tissue-thin cotton of the finest quality! 

It's perfect for fainting spells and looking lady-like, if that's what you're into. 

The edging features a cute eyelet design... 

...and there's a sweet embroidered filigree just above the eyelet motif. 

If anyone has any information whatsoever about the techniques or design on this piece, please do comment! I would love to learn more about my little "Italian Finds!"