Archive | November, 2011

Moving right along

23 Nov

Cut out the under dress in pale blue stretch mesh

No, the lengths are not quite equal. One day I will level them up ahead of time instead of after it is sewed together.

I also cut out the panels for the inner layer of underskirts and started experimenting with gathering.  Definitely needs 3 rows of  gathering stitches.  I put it on the red so you can see it better.

Here it is all gathered up:

After some steaming and trying pleats instead of gathering and a few other fiddly, interesting experiments, here it is inserted into the skirt kinda sorta the way it might eventually, possibly look.  This is the under layer, not the pretty, sparkly one that will sow in the end result.

Obviously the rest of the skirt will be poufy and also highly crinolined and the pick ups will pick up into the top, which is currently not on Miss Mitzie, but I think this will work.  I do have to make the panels much bigger at the top to get enough fullness and it will take a ridiculous amount of thread and gathering and futzing.  Grrr…. I once vowed to never gather another skirt and here I am doing it again!


Things are looking up!

16 Nov

Much better with the skirt under the top

Making this gown a faux top and skirt is going to work really well.  I can sew the skirt onto the under-dress the same way I do the crinolines.

draped in glory

On the right side of the screen is the glittery organza that will somehow peek out from under the skirt.  On the left is the chiffon I found at Dressew on Saturday for the floats.  A pretty nice match, I think.

The Grand Ball

15 Nov

As usual, we had a grand time at the Grand Ball.  Our results are travelling on a nice trajectory, slowly but surely creeping up.  Hurray!

Bill got a chance to try out his new body suit ballroom shirt and except for a small adjustment in sleeve length, it is perfect.  Hurray again!

Perfect ballroom posture and balancing a clock on his head!

Len Goodman would love it

Back view – tall hair!

Front view

This dress, if you have been following along, was made to be noticed.  It definitely stands out!

These photos were taken in the back studio of the Grand Ballroom in Richmond on an iPhone.  Great little gadget, though not stellar quality due to poor lighting and maybe some pre-competition jitters.  Or was it post-competition? It all starts to run together after the first day or so.  Loads of fun and good food and friends.

No photos, please!

10 Nov

The skirts are together and pinned on to Miss Mitzie and it is not a pretty sight. Hence no photos today.  They drag down the nice diagonals on the top and will NOT go into nice, lush gathers when I try to do the pick ups.   Le sigh!

It seems like I might have to build the entire gown to see how it will look with the organza skirts under it, then decide on pick ups, cutaways or whatever.  I also think I may do the top and skirt separately a la attach them both to the under dress and see how that looks.

Grand Ball is this weekend.  Wish us luck!

New living room carpet?

6 Nov

Here is the bolt of fabric with the skirt pieces on it.

Laying out the skirts is always a bit of a management issue, but I didn’t want to unroll the whole bolt of fabric and then have to put it all back.  This worked out pretty well.  My knees will be sore by the time I get it all cut out and yes, there is a bunch of organza left to do, but it sure feels like it is moving along now!

This creates quite a full skirt, but I may still add some godets for more fullness at the bottom, as that seems to be the trend lately

Gown #4 The Blackpool Dress

6 Nov

Gown #4

This is the Blackpool Dress.  In Blackpool, the field of competitors is so large, even the top, top, uber competitors need to stand out to attract the judge’s attention, so they wear some pretty outrageous costumes.  This is the first gown where I have deliberately set out to find certain fabrics in specific colours to create something, as opposed to finding things on sale etc.  With the awesome help of my friend Candy from Portland, who saved me postage by bringing the pink (!) mirror organza to me and She Bear from Winnipeg (who I only know through Pattern Review) who got the gorgeous purple glitter fabric for me, I had a wonderful time creating this one.

Unfortunately I don’t have any good photos in action yet.  There were some nice pictures done by the pro at the Seattle Star Ball, but I can’t seem to find them on his website.  I will post a link when I find them.

This is a really lightweight gown and it doesn’t have a built in bodysuit.  The under-dress, which holds up the layers of skirts, is made of flesh toned light weight mesh. There are channels in it sewn into the shoulders so I can put the detachable straps of my own bodysuit through them.  The channels keep everything out of sight and in the proper place, plus I can remove the body suit for washing. LOVE that!

OK – some links

The links are not working the way I want them to, but you can scan the photos in that group and see more of the dress in action.

I think I like it!

5 Nov

I drew out my pattern pieces, rolled some more fabric off the never ending roll and cut out the top of the dress.

Front view

I like the diagonal drape

Side view

Hmmm…none of this lines up exactly as I would like.  I will need to be creative when attaching the skirts.  The planis for them to have pick ups to carry on the theme.  This version has the pleats pulling up – crease on lower line, take line up to upper line.  I am wondering if they might be better down.


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