Thursday, July 21, 2016

Finished: Regina Mills / Once Upon a Time Inspired Dress

My obsession with the wardrobe on Once Upon a Time continues!

And it's even better this time around because I've been taking draping/drafting classes at a local university, so obviously once of the dresses I needed to make immediately was this red dress.

I've been teasing pictures of this dress on instagram for a few months now, mostly because I've been ridiculously busy with work/class/knitting designs, but I'm so happy I found time to make this dress.

When I say I made this dress, here's what I mean:

1. I studied the scenes to make sure I knew exactly how the dress was shaped, cut, and moved. I say this like it was hard work, but it was quite enjoyable research.

2. Once I had a sense of the different elements that went into it, I decided what I liked and didn't like and how I wanted mine to look. I changed out the fabric, as it looks like the skirt is jersey. I have a few ideas about what the top is made of, but either way I figured a woven fabric would be more flattering, at least for me. Then I modified the pleats near the shoulder, changed the sleeves (not that you can tell, as this version is sleeveless), and added a waistband.  Then I sketched all this out.

3. I drafted the pattern, which meant some draping but a lot of math and rulers. I had some help from my amazing teacher (because drafting collars isn't fun), but I did it all proper-like, and I did not wing it like I usually do. Guys, I cannot tell you how simultaneously annoying and rewarding it is to do things by the book. If you're new here, I typically hold something up and decide it looks close enough so to constantly iron and measure and do math is a bit of a challenge for me... but then, of course, it comes out perfectly the first time, so I suppose it's worth it.

Yes, that's right. Everything matched up exactly, and it took only ONE time sewing. No seam ripping. Ever. It's like magic.

4. I cut up my ruffled maxi skirt I made a year or so ago (because I decided I hated it, mostly because it's cut on the grain) and I really had to get creative at times to make this work since I didn't have enough fabric to make it exactly how I wanted - but I think it's perfect for a working muslin / summer dress.

And let's be honest, this dress is pretty amazing, right?

I want to make the next version with sleeves, and perhaps just a touch longer. Any longer than its current length, and it will need a vent in the back - which is cool, as long as I'm not cutting up old skirts and have plenty of fabric on hand.

I'm also considering making the neckline a bit higher... but I feel like it's pretty perfect as is. And I mean, maybe I'll just buy a bra that dips down really low in the center front so it's not an issue like it is now.

Okay, things!

So since I AM designing and drafting patterns, I really want to be able to share them with you guys, but I have no idea how to get them into the computer. Any recommendations or experience with sewing software?

Assuming I get the whole computer part figured out, I'll need testers for the dress. Sign up here to get more information (probably this fall!) if you're willing to test this out for me.

I know I put up a quick tutorial, but you may or may not have noticed that my lazy 30s gown has a few design issues. Luckily, I now know how to get around those problems, but again, I can't put the pattern in the computer just yet. So sign up if you want to pattern test that.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Finished: Simplicity 8013 (Or Something Like It)

Have I mentioned my love of robes on here before? I think there's something incredibly romantic about walking around the house with a flowing gown trailing after you. I don't know if i made a post about Downton Abbey and the robes on that show (and I'm too lazy to look), but I've wanted one ever since I saw the first season of that show!

But robes were never really feasible when I lived in NYC. Now I live in a rather chilly house (thanks to central air and a low thermostat) so I figured what better time to make a robe than now?!

I first saw this pattern, Simplicity 8013 on Allie's blog, and I became obsessed, and I even made the poor sales girl at the store dig through boxes of patterns to find it in my size. It calls for 10 yards of fabric, by the way!

I decided to go for flannel fabric because it's not as bulky as fleece, and I decided to go for the roses because I'm currently obsessed with Once Upon a Time so it seemed close enough to the fairy tale world for me!

The fabric was kind of an issue. I didn't want to order 10 yards because holy cow, that's a lot. So I tried ordering 8 yards, but then after 2 weeks, Joann's canceled the order and said they didn't have enough. I re-ordered with 6 yards, and it came a few weeks later, and it's perfect and wonderful.

Except it wasn't enough. Especially since it's a patterned fabric. Oops.

I probably would have gone back to buy more if I bought it at a fabric store, but ordering fabric online is SUCH a hassle that I decided to make it work.

Which brings me to the alterations I made:

Obviously I converted this into a robe so it opens in the front. No zipper.
I added pockets.
I added darts in the back bodice to bring in the shoulders a bit.
I only cut out the back skirt, the front skirt, and one side skirt, which I then cut in half, so the skirt is not as full as it should be. Additionally, there was no room to gather the back skirt so it's a bit flat, but I think it looks fine.
I put bias tape around the bodice instead of lining it.

The length, somehow is perfect. The sleeves, also somehow, are perfect. The top is a little large, though I knew it would be from the pictures. I might try to add a bit of coverage there (if this weren't a robe, of course).

I cannot wait to sew up something else with this pattern (and maybe get the yardage correct!).

(Anddd maybe next time I'll get better pictures. It's super hard using a tripod and the timer!)