So, I succesfully turned this:

Into this:
And surprisingly, it was almost easy. 

Because I wanted the cartoon Queen of Hearts, I had a bit of an issue finding a pattern. I finally decided that S2813 would do the trick, since it had a seam up the front bodice, making it easy to do the black on one side and the red on the other. I didn’t, however, notice that the front of the skirt wasn’t a traditional one piece that has a seam at the side of the hips. Instead, it has the back pieces wrapping around to the front panel 1/3 of the way in from the sides. So, I decided to make the underskirt the front skirt panel (the black and yellow chevrons, just ziggzaged on) and then cut the back pieces into 4, instead of cutting on the fold and making 2. If that makes any sense.

It was a pretty easy pattern change and for once, I put a zipper in easily. There is something to be said for Simplicity’s zipper installation instructions. So much easier than the method I’ve always used, but not as clean looking as the method on the zipper packaging. It works really well for costumes, though!

I used broadcloth for the entire dress, with a heavy weight pellon for the collar and bodice interfacing. If I make the pattern again, I’ll add some boning to the bodice, since it tended to bunch up a bit. Other than that, I wouldn’t change much about the pattern.

On another note, I’m almost ready to open the etsy shop, so hopefully it’ll be ready by the end of the week. Which would be tomorrow….


Flower T Shirt Embellishment

Ha! When I said I’d get this tutorial up “soon” did anyone else realize that my soon usually is about a week (give or take)? 
Yeah, I’m a bit slow, but this time I can blame it all on the USPS. I don’t think that this whole “ship your package to the nearest large city via FedEx/UPS, then hand it to the post office to deliver it” system is anywhere near efficient. 
I live in a rural town. It takes a few days for things to show up from the “drop-off” town. And has the USPS ever been known for it’s quick delivery?  I guess I shouldn’t really complain, seeing as how the shipping was free, but something silly like that has never stopped me from complaining about inefficiency 😉
Anyways, for this tutorial, I ordered two shirts from LandsEnd, since their quality is substantially higher than WalMart’s (which is what I made my first shirt out of) and they had a bunch of their tshirts on sale for $4 (plus the aforementioned free shipping). I really liked their shadow stripe fabric, but not the idea of layering, so I bought a solid v neck shirt and a tank in the coordinating shadow stripe to cut the flowers out of. 
Now that the shirts are here, I can honestly say that I really love the feel of the cotton knit and even though it’s their “modern” fit, LandsEnd cuts their shirts just shy of being baggy to cut down on cling. Which, for my quasi apple shape, is essential in masking a muffin top.
So yesterday, I spent the late afternoon/early evening making the flower embellishments so I could wear the shirt to my hubby’s birthday dinner.  And today, I whipped up the pattern instead of working out. Hopefully it ends up being a good trade….
A few things of note, before you start your own:

  • I made big flowers because I have. a. big. chest. Please feel free to adjust the width of your strips to fit your chest size. (smaller for smaller busts, larger for larger chests) But don’t make them too narrow, or they’ll be a pain to sew.
  • Flower placement is all up to you. There is no special formula to laying them out on your shirt. Just play around with your flowers until it looks good to you. If you need inspiration, check out Anthropologie or JCrew.
  • I apologize now for the quality of the pictures. I had the ISO set really high for some mid day, high sun pictures I took and completely forgot to change the settings before I started shooting this project. So, they are a bit fuzzy. Sorry about that…
  • And there will inevitably be spelling errors in the tutorial, even though I’ve read through the thing a dozen times. **cough**rachel**cough**
Alright, enough text!
Here’s the tutorial (clickety click to make it big)

Scarf Refashion

I bought this scarf for $3 the other day and figured it would make a great dress for my daughter or even a headband for myself. When I unfurled it at home, however, I found that it was a sarong masquerading as a scarf. This bad boy had at least two yards of fabric in it!  So I got out my shears, cut off the fringe on all sides but the bottom hems, cut the thing in half, sewed up the sides, attached a 3″ black elastic to the top and made myself a long skirt.  Out of one scarf!

Pretty snazzy, eh? So for $8 (the elastic was $5/yd, bleck), I have myself a nice lightweight skirt out of adorable fabric I’ve been drooling over ever since Target announced they were carrying a Liberty of London line. I’m excited to wear it to church on Sunday and see if it passes the Nursery test. I take care of our sweet little 18m-4 yr olds and anything I wear has to be able to withstand crawling on the floor, bending over, wiping noses, handing out snacks, cleaning up water, putting away toys, dancing, etc. For skirts & dresses, that seems to be a tall bill to fit!