Sunday, 26 March 2017

The Fireworks Dress

Sooo, hello.  I have been absent for a while (again!) while I've been trying to catch up on my studying and working on some projects.  

I keep dipping in and out of trying to make bras, but I haven't quite mastered it yet.  I am nearly there and will share with you once I've had a success.  In the meantime, you can follow my progress on that one on my instagram.   I've also started making a few bits and pieces to go in the Etsy shop, and I've made a dress for my sister for her birthday, which I will share soon.
doris the dress form modelling my dress beautifully

I have also finally got around to altering a dress I made back in November and it is that that I will share with you today.

the back
My lovely friends, Catt and Rik, got married back in November, and as soon as their invite came through the letterbox saying that they were getting married on Bonfire Night, I knew that I had to have a suitably coloured dress.  I spent months looking for the right fabric.  I knew that I wanted something bonfire coloured and in my head had designed something with golds and bronzes.  I also knew that I wanted a quite stiff fabric - a duchess satin or similar was in my head.  The only problem was that I just couldn't find the right fabric.  By the time October came around I was getting a bit desperate and decided that I would have to modify my requirements.

I eventually found some brocade on the Minerva Crafts website, although it doesn't seem to be on there anymore.  It had the golds and bronzes that I wanted but also had turqouises and purples, which I wasn't sure about, but decided to go with it anyway.  Then I had to decide on a pattern.  I knew that I wanted princess seams and eventually settled on New Look 6723.  I ummed and ahhed between View C and D, as I loved the neckline, but I couldn't decide on the sleeves.  I really do enjoy the idea of sleeves, but I know I am never good with the practicalities of sleeves.  In the end, I went with the sleeves (view C).

What?  Where are the sleeves I hear you say?  Well, here they are (kind of):

with my lovely, glamorous friend, Dr Sarah,
before she got verrrrrry drunk :-)

On wearing the dress for the day at the wedding, I decided that I didn't really like the sleeves, and as I realised I also had to lose an inch at the shoulder seams (I have the oddest bodice shape - short shoulders, large bazoomas, long waisted - it is a fitting nightmare), I decided to take the sleeves off for the final dress, so it is now view D.  I haven't ruled out View D altogether, as it could just be the stiffness of the fabric that was the issue.  I will probably try it again with a lighter weight, perhaps, cotton fabric.  The fabric, as pretty as it is, was a bit of a problem.  It does not press AT ALL and drove me nuts, but never mind.
I love the neckline

I did my usual FBA and I decided that the gathered skirt in the pattern would be too much in such a sturdy fabric, so I substituted the skirt pieces for a pleated skirt from a pattern in my stash - I just can't remember which now.  I suspect it was the same as I used to make my Minnie dress.  I lined the bodice with some black satin from my stash and I used some black satin bias to hem the dress.  I really need to stop leaving things until the last minute - I will still sewing this dress the morning of the wedding!
the inside is as pretty as
the outside and I'm not so
sure I don't prefer the wrong
side of the fabric!

Anyway, I don't have much more to say about the dress.  Will I make it again?  Yes.  I did wear it again last night to go out with some friends to Pierre Bistro in Ilkey (food was lovely, speed of service not so much, but it didn't matter).

I'll be back at some point to share some more.  I still have pre-Christmas makes to share with you, but have kind of lost my writing mojo of late.  I'm sure it will return - probably after exams. 

In the meantime . . .

Happy Sewing!


Sunday, 5 March 2017


Soooo, Addingham panto is over for another year.

This year's production was Aladdin.

I didn't manage to get photos of all the costumes, or even all the costumes I made, but here are some:

These are the policemen's uniforms I made for Ping and Pong (and an extra character we added - Balls).  These are made from blue satin with chef white checks.  The top is a kimono pattern and the bottoms and just 3/4 length pyjama bottoms.  I am have been told that these were the comfiest costumes Maz and Emma (Ping and Pong) have ever had! And here they are with added 'tache:

I also made their finale costumes from purple satin and gold sequin fabric: 

Next up is the beautiful So-Shi, seen here with her father, The Emperor:

I will admit, I bought her chinese-style dress.  Simply because it worked out much cheaper and by Christmas, despite supposedly having help this year, I knew that I was pretty much on my own (again) and there is no way I can make at least three costumes for 25 kids plus over 10 principals, so costumes had to be bought in, or hired.

Anyway, I did make her a costume for Act 2 and her finale:

This is a McCalls gypsy top make from sparkly sequin fabric, which was paired with some harem pants made from red satin, which I forgot to get a photo of. 

So-Shi also had some 'assistants', i.e. the older chorus girls, who also had tops like these, but made from plain satin, rather than sparkles.  

And for So-Shi's finale was this fabulous kimono, made from a Simplicity pattern:

From the very off, I knew that something similar to this would be So-Shi's final costume.  This is made from some upholstery fabric I actually bought for last year's panto and never used, lined with lilcac satin and an obi of lilac sequins.  You will have to take my word for it that it looks fabulous on - the sleeves are amazing, but I never did get a photo of Michelle in it.

Going back to the emperor above.  I did buy his costume off ebay, because I saw it and thought it was fab.u.lous.  I had to make some small changes to make it fit properly and then I used that costume as a template to make his finale, which was made from some brocade and gold satin, all purchased from ebay:

And last, but not least is Wishee Washee.  This was a very quick last minute make (we were let down at the last minute by the person who was supposed to be doing this costume).

This was made with some fabulous panda poly-cotton sourced by the lovely Sarah Griffin (who I can never thank enough for her support) and sewn in an afternoon while I sat at rehearsals with my sewing machine set up in the foyer of the mem hall.  Same idea as Ping and Pong and I hope it was as comfy.

Here she is with Widow Twanky (whose costumes we hired in the end):

Sorry for the picture heavy post.

Until next year . . .  where I will not be doing all the costumes, as I am taking a break to concentrate on my Legal Exec exams . . . .

Happy Costuming!


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