Archive | March, 2012

Miss Mitzie on the podium!

24 Mar

OK, it is the coffee table, but she is pleased with herself anyway.

After the initial trim. I sit on my yoga bolster and spin her around.

Bolster’s eye view.

High tech measuring device.

An hour or so of trimming.  The dress is basic measure and cut, but the underskirts are more like a hair cut.  Trim, look, fluff it up, trim again.  Even out the rough spots with the serger.

Then an hour or so at the serger doing a “shell” hem on 6, count ’em –  SIX – layers!

Then as much yoga as I can fit in between sewing, blogging and dance practice to try to loosen up tight shoulders from so long at the machine.


Did I say no more gown fabric until next year?

21 Mar

Welllll…..maybe that was premature.  I saw some lovely fabric in the clearance rack the other day and had several highly positive reactions to it so…..

This is a lovely turquoise organza with flocked flowers.  It is begging to be made into a ballgown!  At least one of the salesclerks at Fabricland was coveting it, but graciously though sadly let it move into my fabric stash instead of hers.

Tossed the closest fabrics I had at hand underneath to see the effect:

I had been seeing it with turquoise stretch satin underneath, but the dark blue shows some promise.

The pink is pretty wild!

Waistline detail?

16 Mar

Getting into one of these gowns is a bit of a production and doing it with pins in odd places is a challenge! Trooping up and down the stairs carrying pins and a camera, etc. is probably very entertaining to watch.  Take a peek, discuss among yourselves and remember I am open to feedback.

View #1- wide

View #2 – narrower and a bit higher

View #3 – narrowest

These all slope downward a bit at the back as it was pinned and my DH (Design Helper) was out doing “real” work.  View 2 and 3 are placed just above the waistline seam and #1 goes above and below.  I think I like the narrowest one best and I do think it would make a good addition to the gown.  The cuff needs to be a smidge narrower, as well.

The body suit needs a tiny dart from neckline to bust and it really should be done without the collar on, but I am unwilling to take it off.  I have decided to baste the armscye of the body suit into the dress, see how that looks and dart and tuck by hand, hopefully hiding any mess under the collar stitching.

Forgot the back view! I didn’t move the tripod, but took these photos in dance heels, so cut my head off a bit.

UPDATE: my panel of design experts last night voted for a wider waistband, fully encrusted with rhinestones (this is a current trend in ballgowns see recently at top level competitions) and no cuffs.  Too bad – I am rather fond of those cuffs. So off to shop today for float fabric and to help a friend (one of the experts) find fabric for underskirts.

Forget-Me-Not Dress

13 Mar

Look how pretty!  The collar is more or less done but the cuff is just a chunk leftover from the collar wrapped and tucked into the sleeve.  I love this dress!

Cheeky back view.

I want to wear this dress tomorrow:-)  With the crin in the hem and some big floats and a bit more sparkle, I have a feeling this might be my favourite one ever.

UBC Gala Ball

13 Mar

Mixed results this weekend.  We are feeling like the Winter Sky gown (aka the Disney Princess gown) is a bit too pale to make it at a competition with big heats.  Once we got into finals we did fine, but being seen is difficult in pretty pastels.  We did get a third in Senior III silver, so not a complete bust!  Coach says it needs more rhinestones and pearls.  I may do that or leave it as is for smaller comps.

The collar is basted on the Forget-Me-Not dress and I will get photos up soon.  The crin (horsehair) for the hem arrived.  It is white with silver threads through it.  One of those things that won’t been really seen much, but we hope will add to the overall glittery-ness.  I would love to have it finished for Snowball in April.

This has been quick!

6 Mar

It seems like most of these gowns have been forever in the “almost finished” stage, but this one is moving along very quickly.  Since there were no elaborate changes made and the dress is basically very simple, this has the potential to be the fastest one yet.  Not that it is a race or anything…

Here is the dress over the crinolines:

A very thin bit of the contrasting colour just to give the impression of what it might look like once the modified cowl collar is on. There will be contrast at the waist – not sure how much just yet, and at the bottom of the sleeve.  And I am still hanging on to the idea of some at the hem, as well.  Anyone with opinions on these, please feel free to post!

An odd angle making Miss Mitzie look even more strangely shaped than she actually is, but showing the silk for the floats.  There is a possibility of some dual coloured floats happening because I have a scant yard or so of a really cool silk.  That will have to wait until closer to the finish.

I ordered some powernet from Spandex House for the inner dress.  It arrived today – super fast as they only shipped Saturday!  But I ordered regular powernet and “wicking” powernet and of course there is no marking on the fabric to say which is which.  I think I can figure it out from the colours on the website or I could actually call them.  It would be interesting to try to figure it out just from wearing the garment.  Anyway, it is in the wash and could be made up into the inner dress as soon as the end of the week!

In spite of the big crinolines, this will need some crin around the bottom edge to fluff it up a bit more.  Don’t know if that can be obtained locally or not.  That could slow the process down a bit, for sure.

Fluffy, fluffy skirts.

4 Mar

Looking at my piles and piles of organza underskirts, I wonder if all this sewing is simply an exercise in satisfying my inner four-year-old.  When I took this photo:

I realized that If I was four, I would have the coolest and bestest skirt in the entire world.  Because when you are four, having the biggest, twirly-est, fluffiest skirt makes you incredibly cool.  And now I have three of them!

The one in the foreground actually needed a bit of a trim as I accidentally made it too long.  The crinolines attach at hip level and that skirt is waist high.  So just a small trim off the top.  Then they were assembled with that layer inside, the farthest layer with about 2/3 of the length added as a ruffle goes next and the middle layer in the photo actually going on top, closest to the dress fabric. And here they are being

modeled by the lovely and very shiny Miss Mitzie.  Now I will have to decide if it needs a layer of crin or not.

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