Thursday, May 17, 2012


I may need to pull an all-nighter, at this rate.

Here's what's gotten into the queue this week, condensing my available time for the son's Cosplay jacket down to a bare minimum.

First this:

Prom dress #1 - needed three skirts hemmed,
and the straps tightened up a bit.  The most beautiful
shade of deep blue - the photo unfortunately
washes it out.

Rather than pull the entire bodice apart to tighten the straps, I
opted to open up the bodice lining/interlining/overlay up
at the strap insertion point and then restitch the shortened strap to all
three layers from the outside.  I'm betting no one will be able to
detect this stitching after about 7 pm.  :)

My favorite dress detail.  Probably EVER.

And this:

Prom dress #2.  One shoulder strap that needed adjusting,
the bodice needed to be taken in, and this one had
FOUR skirts that needed hemming.
Oh, and did I mention that the strap and waistband were
covered in beading?  

The bodice had to be taken in on one side only -
the other side had a zipper and I had to finish this
too fast to properly take the zipper out and adjust both
sides, which is the way you really should do it.  I opted to spend what
time I had reinforcing all the beading on the strap and on the waistband
along the zipper instead - this was a brand-new dress but so many
beads were already loose and falling off!

Close up of the strap - I had to shorten it by about
an inch - which meant removing about 70 or 80
beads, and then reinforcing the ones that were left before sewing
the strap into the bodice again.  

This client requested a simple drawstring bag to take
to Prom, for money, ID and her cell phone.  I had
some ivory crepe satin left from another project, some more satin from
this project, and part of the original hem that got cut off I saved and then inserted into
the top of the bag to coordinate with her dress.  I found a tutorial here:
Took about 25 minutes, start to finish.

Way to recycle that old hem! :)
Just wish I had had more time, I would
have put in two or three ruffles instead of just one.

Cinched up.  The bag measured about 7 inches x 9 inches
and she was really excited when she saw it.
And these:

Premade Minky blankets, which had to be unstitched, hooped, embroidered, and stitched back together.  
Overnight.  But it was for twinsies!  How can you say No to that?

And finally, this:

Working on about 60 purificators and finger towels for my church's Altar Guild.  These were samples that I had stitched out previously, but they needed them to be smaller (these are an inch high) so I resized them yesterday and stitched out the smaller samples since my embroidery unit was already in place.  Forgot to photograph the final result before I dropped them off for the liturgical coordinator to review.  Oops.  I think they will like the smaller versions much better.  The circled ones at the bottom are the design they liked.  (These are available here.)

Now - 54 pieces cut out; 54 pieces all marked, clipped, and ready to be sewn; one thrift store suit coat torn apart to recycle the shoulder pads & sleeve headers (can you believe it?  Not a single fabric store anywhere in sight sells shoulder pads for mens suit coats - in fact, only one pattern company even carries a pattern for a men's suit coat!) - it was a great bargain, as the coat only cost $6 and I can use the thrifted wool for a purse or something.  If I can get the Sewing Assistant off of it long enough.

Speaking of whom, he INSISTED on helping with my son's jacket, every step of the way.  Or every SIT of the way.  He even went so far as to pull pins out while I was in the process of marking & clipping.  I think he got fired about 6 or 7 times today, only he kept forgetting and kept returning to work.  

The World's Largest Pattern Weight.  Not available in stores.

Somehow, I don't think he finds that last joke funny.  I'd better watch myself.....

I know where you live.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Challenge of an Unusual Sort

It's Prom season.  Which means that in addition to my regular clients, I have random young'uns calling & texting to see if I can hem/alter/rebead/re-hem dresses in preparation for their big day this coming Saturday.  My son's band banquet is this Friday as well, and it's semi-formal.  Being of the t-shirt and jeans ilk, he doesn't have much in the way of dress wear.  I had even bought a McCall's pattern (M6044) not too long ago when they were on sale, thinking that he would like to have one or two dress shirts.  No go.

He loves to read online comics, especially MS PaintAdventures and Homestuck (by Andrew Hussie).  There is a character that goes by the name of Dave Strider, whose " incredible coolness also enables him to stay level-headed when dealing with supernatural things, (like SBURB) incredible things (like METEORS or TIME TRAVEL), or generally disconcerting things (like seeing his own corpse or talking about his DEAD FRIENDS" 

Don't ask.  I'm still trying to figure it out.  Suffice to say, he would like to attend his band banquet this week dressed like Dave Strider.  I guess there will be enough students there who are aware of the online comic enough that they will get the reference, but to carry it off, he will need my assistance.

Thus the Challenge.

The banquet is Friday.  Today is Sunday.  I have the next four days to come up with a fitted, lined suit coat for my son.  Oh, and it has to be red.

Oy.  I thought maybe I could find a jacket to fit my tall, thin Cool Guy that I could overdye in red, but no such luck.

So today, we went shopping at Joanns Fabrics, where the clerks are always slightly bemused by whatever odd hunt I happen to be on at any given moment.  It's amazing how they get roped into the story, whether it's finding just the right non-gender-specific flannel for preemies in the hospital, to shiny ribbon for shorts and the multi-hued sequined trim for a corset for a Rocky Horror costume:

to rhinestone straps to remake a prom dress for a young lady who had her own job, paid her own way to Prom, but couldn't really afford a dress of her own (a friend of hers gave her a gently used one which I repaired, took in slightly, and changed the straps to give it an all-new look):

  to skin colored fabric for a biology project, to repeated attempts at matching thread for any of the recent projects you've seen here.  

Now you know why they all look up and ask querulously, "What are you working on NOW?" when they see me coming.   (My own fan base?)

So this week's challenge:  to be able to finish up the two prom dresses I'm altering and hemming (three and four skirts on each one, thankyouverymuch) and still have enough time to make this:


look like this:

Game on.  Stay tuned for updates.