Friday, August 31, 2012

Flower Smocked Skirt Set

So this is how I employed the flower smocking technique.  It was quite tricky getting the folds to lay evenly.  If I were to do it over again, I would have spent more time making sure they were more even and straight, but I think it looks okay.  I would have also sewed the beads on instead of gluing them!  I've got such a bad habit of going all glue-gun happy.  Anyway, I love the texture and uniqueness the flower smoking gives this little outfit.

I also discovered the circle skirt technique while making this.  I LOVE the circle skirt--I love how easy it is to do (and quick too), I love how it lays, and I love how it twirls!  I didn't want a gathered skirt this time so I'm really glad I came across this tutorial on MADE (best sewing blog EVER, by the way!)

Smocking aside, the top was a pain to make, mostly because I decided I didn't like the sleeves after I put them on.  So I unpicked them and made it a tank top. However, something went askew in doing so, so it doesn't quite lay right :( It's not totally obvious, but it's bad enough to bug me.  I hate it when I sew things like that: not horrible enough to trash, but just bad enough to not want to put her in it very often.  Boo.

The fabric was 50% off at Joann's (so about $4/yard) and then I got another 25% off so I paid I dunno, like $8 including tax for two yards of this fabric.  A pretty good deal I think, especially since it's not the cheap costume fabric so it doesn't fray like crazy--it is pretty easy to work with.      

All in all, this outfit is probably one of my most ambitious outfit in terms of trying out new techniques.  I don't know how I feel about using the flower smocking on wearables.  I think most people use it for throw pillows and such, not to mention it is difficult to gauge the amount of fabric needed to get a good fit.  

This woman used a different type of smocking for a dress, I think it looks okay.  I mean, it looks okay within in the context of being on a dress.  The smocking itself is amazing.  I've tried this braid-smocking and it's fun and not too difficult. I think if the sleeves were different on this dress (or it was just sleeveless) it would look better, just my humble opinion.  But again, such a neat pattern, don't you think??

But I digress, here is the beauty in her new dress set:

Monday, August 27, 2012


So I've found a little corner of the sewing world that I have not previously explored and I just want to share it will ya'll (I live in Texas now so it is required of me to say ya'll). 
It's called smocking, and there are many types of smocking.  The first you have all (ya'll?)  seen before, it is especially popular with baby dresses.  Elisa has a few of 'em:

It is created by running fabric through a machine such as this:
Basically, the machine makes a bunch of tiny, even pleats, in which the seamstress then hand-stitches a design within the pleats.  Super-cute! This type of smocking is quite old-fashioned--it's been around forever--but cuteness never goes out of style!

As fun as this looks to do (and I say that in all seriousness), I do not have $200 to shell out for a pleater machine. Luckily for me though, there are many beautiful, fun, amazing smocking designs that are done by hand.

I'm not going to post them all for you, but if you go to this lady's website, you can see all the neat smocking designs you can do, and I believe she has a tutorial for a lot of them.
I tried out the easiest--the flower pattern.  You make a square, pull it together, and wrap and tie! Easy, slightly time consuming, but it looks totally awesome! Even the back looks neat:
I don't think I will be getting super into smocking, but it was fun to try it out!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Cream Puff Dress

I was getting sick of Elisa's old dresses so I decided to make her another one! I wanted it extra poofy and pretty.  I bought 2 yards of cream-colored costume fabric at Joannes for maybe $4/yard.  I also bought some netting (it was no more that a dollar) to get that extra poofiness.  I had bought some sheer cream-colored fabric with embroidered flowers on it at Goodwill for 50 cents awhile back and thought it would be perfect as an over-lay for this dress.
It was!  I am pleased with the way it turned out.  This dress was loosely based off of a pattern--mostly the bodice--the rest I just figured it out my own.  It is a very classic dress, nothing experimental or incredibly creative but it was what I wanted.  There is another layer underneath, with netting gathered onto fabric.  I will be doing that from now on because it sure gives the dress a lift!
Here are the pics.  They didn't turn out that great.  The dress is way prettier in person but you get the general idea:

Total cost: no more than $10!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Knit Romper

 Knit romper...that is is a boring name for such a fun little outfit! I got the fabric at Hobby Lobby, it was a remnant so I got it for like $4 or so.  I'm not too experienced working with knits, but this fabric was not a problem at all to sew with.  I love that its super comfy but stylish.  Also it's girly but different. 

This was the pattern I used.  Got this for $3 at Walmart! I altered the pattern a bit to make it a romper instead of a dress.  I love the romper look, but the fabric around the crotch ended up being really weak because I didn't take care to strengthen it but oh well, it has held up okay so far.

My favorite thing about this outfit is the snaps on the back.  I added little sparkly gems to the snaps and it just makes the outfit!  Here is the princess in her knit romper.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Elisa's Birthday Outfit

 Here is Elisa's birthday outfit.  I can't believe she's already a year!! (Now that I've gotten around to posting this, over a year!).  Her party theme was cupcakes with bright colors.  I really like a lot of ruffle and wanted it casual so I came up with this.  I was going to buy her a hair bow that matched her outfit because I SUCK and making hairbows, but I couldn't find on that I liked.  So I gave up my search and made her this one, and it actually turned out pretty cute!  Too bad it was flipping up in the pics! Flippin' hair bow.
You may be wondering why there are two different cupcakes-and I was pretty upset about this-the first cupcake flaked off so badly that I had to take it all off and put on a different one.  I guess the glue on the back of the rhinestones was defective (or I didn't iron it on properly?) but who knows.  It didn't help that the photographer kept tickling her belly to make her smile during her photo shoot. I found another iron-on applique at Hobby Lobby (I love that place!) and it has stayed on much better.  Not to mention it was lots cheaper ($3 as opposed to $8!).
Speaking (or typing, rather) of cheap, excluding the iron-ons, this outfit cost under $5 to make.  I had the poor lady behind the cutting counter cut strips of colorful fabric about 3" or 4 " wide, and they ended up costing 30-some-odd cents each by cutting them like that.  Not to mention pre-cut already, saves time! 
The hair bow was used with ribbon I had already, but I did purchase a couple of colors, including a cute little plastic-y cupcake button and a crochet head band, totaling to around $6.

All in all, her fabulous birthday outfit cost around $20 to make. Would have been cheaper if I didn't have to buy two iron-ons!! She gets lots of compliments when she wears this.  Yes, I still have her wear it; its too cute to wear on only on occasion!