What I Made: Formal Party Dresses

party dresses

Finally! I am able to share with you all the culmination of a nearly a weeks work! Last week I hinted at the dresses I was preparing for myself and my sisters for a wedding that we were going to attend. They turned out better than I had hoped, and though, I had my share of problems and frustrations along the way, I am really pleased with them.Read More »

What’s in my Sewing Basket

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I decided to do a post on what I keep in my sewing basket and what tools I use all the time and need ready right at hand. After all, a seamstress is only as good as what’s in her sewing basket. That’s a saying, right?

Well, let’s get started!

 

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-Pincushion with plenty of pins. Need I say how important these are? Probably not. Winking smile

-Tape measure

-Soft Tape Measure. As you can see, I have more than I need of those!

-Scotch tape. This is really important for notes and those things that pins won’t work for.

-Sewing Needles. Some things can’t be sewn on a machine and these always need to be in ready reach.

-Thread. I keep white and black within ready reach because I use them the most frequently. If I need a specific color aside from those, I keep them in drawer unit elsewhere.

-Sticky Notes. I use these for quick notes or labeling fabric pieces. I use these a lot.

 

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Now for the tools.

-Fabric Sheers. I have two pairs of these. I need either to sharpen them or get a new pair.

-Pinking Sheers. These are nice for certain projects. They are also know as finishing sheers.

-Seam Ripper. Seriously. . . these are SOOOO important. I use it more than I wish I had to. . . you know what I’m talking about. I actually like to keep several around because they like to wander off and get lost.

-Little Tiny Scissors. I think these are actually Fingernail scissors. These are super helpful and wonderful to have around. They are small, pointy and they get into those tiny places that nothing else can.

-Cutters. I have really no idea what the official name for these is, but they are really handy. And sharp. I have used them for quilting and rag quilting.

-Pen and Pencil. Nough said.

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Bobbins! Always have these on handy! I wish I had a better container for them. But you totally need to have extra around. I like to keep one of all the main colors ready wound so they are easy to access.

 

What do you keep in your sewing basket? Anything else I should put in my sewing basket?

By His Grace,

Victoria

Mom Dress to Daisy Skirt DIY

Daisy Skirt

I saw this picture on pinterest, and really wanted a daisy skirt. There is something whimsical about the daisies. I don’t really know what it is, but I though it was just so cute!

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We were all shopping at Goodwill and I pulled this beauty (not really) off the rack and gasped with delight. “OH I love this! Look at this! Look at this!” I all but squealed! Under my breath of course so as not to disturb the other shoppers. Smile My sisters proceeded to look at me with that have-you-gone-crazy look. “no no! It’s going to be a skirt! It will be fabulous! You’ll see!” They just rolled their eyes in that age old “whatevs” look. One of my sisters assured me “I know you can make it look good, but I just don’t see it”. I happily went home with my $6 purchase, determined to make an awesome article of clothing for my closet.

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First step was that I cut the skirt away right beneath the bodice.

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I then cut a 3 inch wide rectangle of the front of the bodice for the waistband. I wanted to incorporate the button detail on the front of the skirt waistband. I know, I cut it kind of crooked.

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I then reinforced it with interfacing. The kind I used was a little lighter than I would have preferred. Next time I will either double it or use a heavier weight. I ironed it in half as well and pinned it down.

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I sewed the fold down on the raw edges. I cut the front waistband to half of my waist measurement. The back, I left as long as it was because I planned to thread elastic into it next.

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Using a safety pin I threaded the 1.25” width elastic into the back waistband piece.

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I pinned it and sewed the elastic down on the sides.

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Then I sewed the front and back waistband together. Next, I sewed right below the elastic on the back so it had a snugger casing. I also gathered the top of the skirt.

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I pinned the skirt to the waistband. Because I made the waistband too wide, I ended up sewing with a seam allowance of about 1” all the way around. When all was said and done, I re-sewed the button on the front of the skirt so I could be sure it was centered.

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I didn’t show it in the pictures, but I also ended up cutting off the hem and re-hemming so it would be a few inches shorter. It was just a tad too long and was at that awkward length. This made it much more manageable.

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I just love this skirt! The weight and drape of the fabric is perfect, as well as nice and light and cool for spring and summer.

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I even got to keep the pockets of the original dress! I don’t have any clue why. . . but pockets make me so happy!

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Front waistband detail.

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Back Waistband detail.

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Overall, this DIY was relatively easy to do. It took me a couple hours in the middle of the afternoon and was a quick turnaround. It is really comfortable. The only thing I would do differently is make the back waistband larger and maybe use an elastic with a little more stretch, or incorporate a zipper. It is a little hard to get over my hips when I put it on, but I can easily pull it over my head.

 

What do you think? Would you try this DIY?

By God’s Grace,

Victoria

DIY Quick Dress Fix

blog dress

I was given this dress by a friend and I loved the fabric! Blue and green, specifically blue is one of my favorite colors ever! I wear it the most. In the words of Shelby from Steel Magnolia’s, “It’s my signature color” said with a southern accent of course.

signature color

The neck was really kind of. . . um. . . this is not a word but bear with me. . . Choky. It just was so uncomfortable and I felt like the dress was trying to choke me! LOL! I wasn’t ready to give up on this dress yet so I decided to give fixing it a shot.

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First I marked with a pin where I though the actual neck should be. Where would it be comfortable? Yet still modest. I didn’t want to cut too much off. I have done that before and nothing could be sadder. Sad smile

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I trimmed it in a scoop shape and then ironed the raw edges inside. It was lined so it worked perfectly. then did a quick top stitch with white thread.

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All set and I love it! No more scratchy uncomfortable neckline! And, it took me like 5 min! This was the easiest fix I think to date! And to think I was almost ready to give it away! So happy I didn’t!

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P.S. I apologize for the mess in the background. I was cleaning sweaters out of my closet!

 

Have you ever had a quick fix that you loved?

By God’s Grace,

Victoria

The Making of. . . My Christmas Dress Part 3

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Here it is!!! I am so thrilled with how this dress turned out! I cannot even begin to tell you! So, my two best photographers were out of commission, one wasn’t feeling well, and the other was scrambling last minute to figure out what she wanted to wear to the Christmas party. So I had to train a photographer while taking these photos, and there was a fair amount of editing involved. So I apologize for the not so perfect pictures. Smile

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Every detail of this dress just makes me so happy. The princess seams, the ruffled waistline. OF course those sleeves and the lace trim!

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And that Peter Pan Collar of Lace made from a vintage doily. So many of my favorite things. Peter Pan Collar, Lace, Vintage, (cue the music) “These are a few of my favorite things!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

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I am also quite proud of the fact that my jewelry matched today!!! Being on a budget and picking up things here and there at thrift stores and flea markets does not make for a perfect, matchy matchy polished look. Smile But I found three pieces that went together. I just bought this necklace recently for $1!! Score! And these earrings are my all time faves! Actual Antique finds!

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Now, I would have loved to have just the perfect pair of heels to go with this dress but alas, it was not to be. I had planned to wear my heeled oxfords, but the light tan leather just clashed with the black tights and dark color of the dress. I tried tying it in with a matching belt, but it still didn’t work. . . I kid you not, I tried literally 7 pairs of shoes on. (some of my moms and sisters) but none worked. Then I couldn’t find these black flats which were a last resort. I was getting frustrated and finally offered to pay anyone who found them. “Reward Offered HERE!” My 12 year old brother happened to find them RIGHT WHERE I HAD BEEN LOOKING!!!!! (smacks forehead with hand) Can I just bury my head in the sand a moment?

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My Hair was a style I did a tutorial on here. I really love the soft look.

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EEK! I just can’t get over the lace everyone! So in love!

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Zipper detail in the back.

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SIgh, those sleeves turned out just like I always dreamed!

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Outfit Details:

Dress: Made by Me

Tights: borrowed from Mom

Jewelry: Thrifted from various places

 

I am just so happy with the way this dress turned out! I cannot begin to tell you how much of a special lady I felt like wearing it! Can someone time travel me to the beginning of the 20’th century please? I hope I didn’t rave to much. It is just when a project you have dreamed about doing for so long meets your expectations. You are over the moon! Or, at least I am. And I have to admit, I have had my fair share of sewing oops and mistakes, so when this turned out so perfect, I was so happy. Even with the few hiccups I had along the way.

 

Did you wear anything special for Christmas?

May the Lord bless you all richly as we come to the close of this year and the start of the new!

By HIs Grace,

Victoria