Thursday, March 29, 2012

Finally, some creativity!

I continued to avoid posting patterns today. This week was supposed to be a selling week, but it really has not managed to be much of one. I don't know why I'm not feeling like posting anything, it's like I don't want to make money, and we all know that's not true.
I wasn't totally honest the other day when I was talking about not having anything from the 70s' that spoke to me, there is one thing, this:It's a Barbie dress that for some reason I kind of like. I've liked it for a while, but it's only been recently that I had the skill or the need to make my own version. From looking at the original, I can see that most of the outfit can be made from pattern pieces I've used before. Only the sleeves would be something different. They're "mutton sleeves", which is nothing I've ever attempted before. I have seen a pattern piece for something like that, but it's nothing I've ever tried myself. And I only saw a picture of a cut out pattern piece, I don't have the pattern or anything like that. I did post that picture on Flickr and asked for help. I didn't get much of a response, I guess they're not that popular of a sleeve option.
I was weighing my options (even thinking about resizing a people sized pattern for it) when I realized something. I couldn't get something exactly like the original, but I already had something similar. If you think back to the very start of the blog, Charlotte's steampunk outfit basically had mutton sleeves, or at least close enough to mimic it. And while I made that a long time ago, I still had the pattern pieces to make it. For the bodice I chose a dark green floral that I've had for a while. I've tried making things with it, but every time I use it I end up not using the outfit (If I even finish it). I started with the bodice first. I ended up lining it since I don't have the correct color thread to hem it. After I made it I tested it out on the doll I was planning on putting it on. And I just wasn't feeling it. The pattern was just too... heavy? Dark? Something like that. So I decided I needed to switch fabrics. There's no point making something when so early on I'm not liking my fabric choice. I don't need another thing made from this fabric cluttering up my spare clothing bags.
So I searched through my fabric stash to find a suitable replacement. I ended up picking some navy fabric with a small floral print. It's a fabric that I got from my Grandmother. It's the same fabric I used for Walk Lively Miss America. I don't have much of it, so I was going to have to be careful when making it, I didn't have enough to redo it. I lined the new bodice as well. When that was done I started in on the sleeves. They were very similar to the ones I made for Charlotte, except for a few minor tweaks. Charlotte's sleeves actually flair out at the wrist, this one tapers, also it had a cuff of eyelet material. The steampunk blouse has that too, but that one is gathered, this one is straight. I was able to get the sleeves done pretty quick, and started attaching the sleeves to the bodice, but then I ran into trouble. The tension was really, really, really off on my machine. Like I could pull on it slightly, and the thread was totally visible. It was really, really, really bad. Like the worse the tension has ever been. I couldn't leave it like that. It was just terrible. I did more research to try and fix it, but couldn't. I guess I'm going to have to take it in and get serviced. There's just no way to sew with it how it's sewing right now. Sad face for that.
But I wasn't done sewing it just yet. I did have a plan B, my mother's sewing machine. It's been in storage since I got my Kenmore, but I needed it. I pulled it out, set it up, and started relearning how to use it. It took me a little bit to remember how to use it, but eventually I was sewing again. The tension was much better in this one, better than the Kenmore has been in a while. So I did like that. I do like several features on the Kenmore better, but since it's down for the count for a while, I'm going to have to deal with the other machine.
After I was confident I had remembered the use the other machine I started working on the dress again. I tore out the wonky stitches and sewed the sleeves on again. I hate having to redo sleeves, but those original stitches were unusable. I was able to get the sleeves set in and finally was able to move onto the next step. I didn't have too much trouble until sewing the skirt. I didn't want to have much volume at the top, but still have it flare out at the bottom. I had to redo it a couple times, but eventually got it to work. It took a lot of work but I managed to get the entire dress finished today. Did the seam reinforcement and snaps, the whole shebang.
Here's a photo of it:I'm glad I actually finished it. It fought me tooth and nail the entire way. It's cute, but I'm not sure if I'm totally sold on it. I put it on the doll I made it for. Time will tell if she ends up keeping it.

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