Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Progress for one, back to start for another.

This morning I started sewing the second attempt at that sheath dress. December is going to be getting busier as time goes on and I need to make progress whenever I can. To deal with the fit issues I had the last time, this time I lined the bodice. I found that the extra fabric makes the bodice fit better as a whole for the Barbie only bodies. Other than that this dress is very much the same as the one from yesterday. I did omit the pocket though, I just don't really care for them. Also, for some reason, the straps of the dress are further apart than the other one was, even though I used the original dress to measure out where they should go before I sewed them down. They're inset, so I'm not going to bother undoing everything in order to fix them, I can live with them as it. I managed to finish most of the machine sewing today, there's still a lot of hand finishing left to do.
I didn't get started on that today. I had a bit of a problem with the dress. It's just it felt rather... under-designed. It's really a simple dress, and the print is doing a lot of the work in making it look visually interesting, but the print isn't that much of a stand out type. So I felt it needed something to make it more visually interesting. I tried; beads, buttons, ribbon, all my usual tricks, but couldn't think of anything that really made me decide, "this is what the dress is missing!". So I gave up. I decided that I was going to take a break from the dress and give myself some time to think about what it needed. Sometimes strokes of genius take time.   
Instead I totally changed gears and ended up wrapping those few presents that I got yesterday. And I finally broke down and brought the box of wrapped presents downstairs and took a new box upstairs to start filling. I still had some room in the old box, but there's also some breakable things in there so I didn't want to force anything in it and risk breaking something. The only things in this new box are the stocking stuff I already bought (figured that I might as well keep it all together) and a vintage Star Wars Ewok coin bank for my sister's husband that I haven't wrapped yet. Although I'm sure there will soon be more stuff to add to it. I'm certainly not done shopping yet. In fact I won't be done until after Christmas because that's when I will be hitting up Hallmark and Hobby Lobby for their after Christmas sales and other places for discounted candy. Sometimes there's a real benefit from having a holiday late.
Oh! I actually bought a new present today. My brother asked if it was too late to ask for something for Christmas. I don't remember if I mentioned it, but I gave a November 15th deadline for people giving lists, so there would be plenty of time to actually buy their presents. I was tired of waiting until mid to late December to get people's lists and having to shop like crazy and worry if their stuff would get here in time. Anyway, he decided he only wanted money for Christmas, except he found something he wanted. I told him it was fine to add stuff, the deadline was more of a motivator to get people to give me their lists with a decent amount of time left to buy stuff for them. He wanted a video game, one that he already had, but for a different system. I don't think there's anything different between the two, but whatever, it's what he wants. It's his Christmas present. I ended up finding it for him online for a decent price shortly after he talked to me, so I bought it. I had enough money in my Paypal to get it (except for a dollar I had to borrow from my parents). I already bought him his present, so this will be coming from my parents. I was able to repay them eight dollars from what I owe for those dolls! Making progress!
I also started working on Charlotte's Christmas outfit today. I found a picture online of a woman wearing a beautiful red velvet cloak with some white trim. It was really cute and very classically Christmas looking. I thought it would be a good look for Charlotte, except I would still need to design a dress to go under it. Also I don't have any red velvet or the white fur trim, meaning I'd have to buy some. Hobby Lobby does have velvet, but it's super expensive. So before I went and spent all that money on fabric for an outfit that may never come to be I vowed that I would make a working prototype. So I started that today. The cape is made up of three parts, the main cape, a short cape that goes over that, and the hood. I started with the main cape. I used that capelet pattern that I'm fond of and lengthened it. I also changed the curve of it a little. I did more modification to the front part too. I wanted to add a opening for Charlotte's arms, so I added a seam to the middle of the pattern piece. That was all I did to the pattern before I made my first go with actually sewing it up. I liked what I had, but could see several tweaks I needed to do. So I started an new version of the pattern. I added more volume to the bottom of both pattern pieces, I also shifted the seam to the front piece about one centimeter over. I had to totally redo each pattern piece. After that I made another attempt at sewing it. This one came out better, but I still wasn't liking it. And honestly I don't think that I was ever going to be happy with how this was turning out, so I gave up on it. I'm going back to the drawing board for Charlotte's Christmas costume. So this little exercise was really smart, saved me like eight dollars in materials I'd never end up using. If only I was always this smart!
(Or actually learned this lesson!) 

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