Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Embroidered Advent Calendar

I was going to name this post "Festive Madness", but I've gone there before, and it's really no use complaining anymore. I'm fine, just busy, and if anyone has a recipe for making sewing time in between all the year-end festivities and preparations, please share!

Debi inspired me to put up a post on embroidery. Embroidery/cross-stitch was my sanity-to-go when spending weeks at the hospital during my pregnancy with DD, and later when she got sick a lot and I stayed home with her. During this last phase, in her first year, I made this cross-stitch advent calendar. It's a counted cross-stitch from a magazine. I framed it with red silk, and hung it up with the aid of a drumstick (DH is a drummer; clever, no?).

As you see, on the day before December 1st, the calendar has not been filled. Aaaah, madness...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Festive Girl's Dress

Sewing therapy, anyone?

One simply can't maintain the blahs or blues when sewing yards and yards of pink duchesse satin, rose-embroidered taffeta and deliciously rustling silk organza!


I reviewed this season's "social calendar" (mostly consisting of family birthdays, holidays and, yes, my ballet recital!) and, in a spur-of-the moment sewing decision, resolved to sew DD an all-out party/"princess" dress. Here it is!


DD, if I haven't mentioned it before, is a very girly girl. No pink is too sweet, no glitter too bright, and no day too ordinary to put on a sparkly crown.

I think this hits the nail on the head!

(Note the stylish leggings and socks!)

Since my stash of satin and taffeta is rather small, I hit the nearest department store and paid double the fabric market price, boo. I also used some silk organza originally bought for the legions of Chanel-style jackets I will make someday (right). While I own some silk garments, I hadn't sewn with silk before. The incomparable sound of rustling organza made every Austen novel I've ever read come alive!

Some info:

I used Burdastyle 11/2010/151 for the bodice pattern, width graded down, length graded up, and added almost 3 inches on the bottom because the pattern has a strong empire line.
The sash is made of two bands sewn of both fashion fabrics and sandwiched between the front and back bodice pieces when sewing the side seams.
I then gathered all available width of skirt fabric (about 140 cm) and sewed that to the bodice.
I fully lined the dress, with a light blue polka dot cotton on top and twice the skirt width of organza on the bottom. I also bound the bottom of the underskirt with a pink lining fabric so it would look pretty when peeking through!

(Inside out, and from below.)

I also took some technique inspiration from the beautiful dresses seen around the internet and added a lapped, pickstitched zipper and understitched the neckline so the satin would lie as smoothly as possible.

DD reserves her right to wear things her way. In this case, bow in front ("Much prettier!").

Happy dress. Happy girl. Happy sewing!


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