giving the Cambie Dress (Sewaholic 1202) another go! i got a ton of this adorable ladybug print fabric from a friend of mine as a going away present when i moved out of North Carolina, just about a year ago. i finally found just the right pattern and the time to use it!
as you can see the bodice is almost finished, i’m just leaving the sleeves pinned for now so that i can more easily adjust the fit once i’ve got the skirt sewn on. i think i fixed my fit problems from last time by sewing the sleeve seams at 6/8” and the side seam at 3/8”. but i’m never able to tell for sure until i have the skirt on and the zipper in and everything’s falling the way it should.
i cut the skirt to have 4 rows of pintucks and a big line of cluny lace down the middle, but i think that’ll push the dress into Too Fancy territory and make it difficult for me to wear often. instead i’ll do the lace along the hem aaaaand big heart-shaped pockets on the front. still plenty sweet with fun lolita details, not too cutesy for regular wear. i hope, anyway!

giving the Cambie Dress (Sewaholic 1202) another go! i got a ton of this adorable ladybug print fabric from a friend of mine as a going away present when i moved out of North Carolina, just about a year ago. i finally found just the right pattern and the time to use it!

as you can see the bodice is almost finished, i’m just leaving the sleeves pinned for now so that i can more easily adjust the fit once i’ve got the skirt sewn on. i think i fixed my fit problems from last time by sewing the sleeve seams at 6/8” and the side seam at 3/8”. but i’m never able to tell for sure until i have the skirt on and the zipper in and everything’s falling the way it should.

i cut the skirt to have 4 rows of pintucks and a big line of cluny lace down the middle, but i think that’ll push the dress into Too Fancy territory and make it difficult for me to wear often. instead i’ll do the lace along the hem aaaaand big heart-shaped pockets on the front. still plenty sweet with fun lolita details, not too cutesy for regular wear. i hope, anyway!

grocery store crown dress test run report

i couldn’t walk more than like 10 feet without someone gushing at me how much they loved my dress, lmao. I GUESS IT’S A SUCCESS!

crown dress complete! 

i went for lace around the neckline rather than at the tier seams, a decision i am mostly happy with. i wanted this to be sweet and classic but not TOO sweet, and obviously lolita but easy to dress down, and i think i only kind of managed. it’s definitely not an everyday dress, but that’s okay.

this pattern seemed like it was going to fit perfectly straight out of the envelope, but it didn’t quite—i had to shorten the sleeves, add extra darts in the bust, and add ~1” side panels to the side so i had room for the zipper. this was a particularly harrowing fix because literally the only fabric i had leftover after cutting was from a pocket i ended up not using. THEN i had to dart said side panel so it didn’t gape. lots of fit problems that could have been solved if i’d just used less seam allowance on the other bodice side seam, but hey, good to know for next time. and there will be a next time, possibly starting tonight! i have some ladybug fabric i’m itching to cut into that would be perfect with this pattern.

the neckline is a little loose but i think it’ll be fine. i’m going to wear it to walk to the grocery store for dinner ingredients and see how it fits in action!

More crown dress progress pix! In the first pic I’ve assembled and hemmed the bottom skirt tier and sewn down my lace, in the second I’ve assembled my top skirt tier and I’m starting to gather the bottom to it. I can finish the skirt today for sure, then work on the bodice tomorrow!

another dress in progress! i’m doing sewaholic patterns 1202, the cambie dress view B, modified to have a two-tier ruffled skirt and a side zip. 
a few months ago i cut the pattern pieces & lining to test for fit, and it all seemed to go right straight from the package. i’m really excited about this! i finally picked it back up tonight. i got all my pieces cut and darts & skirt side seams & pockets pinned. i also measured and cut the lace to trim the hem, but i haven’t decided which lace to use along the skirt tier seam. 
this is some adorable crown print cotton that David got for me over the summer. it’s great to finally have a chance to use it! the black and white print and the chunky white cluny lace give the materials a really nice old-school lolita feel, but i’m hoping the cut and my use of the trim will result in a more modern look.

another dress in progress! i’m doing sewaholic patterns 1202, the cambie dress view B, modified to have a two-tier ruffled skirt and a side zip. 

a few months ago i cut the pattern pieces & lining to test for fit, and it all seemed to go right straight from the package. i’m really excited about this! i finally picked it back up tonight. i got all my pieces cut and darts & skirt side seams & pockets pinned. i also measured and cut the lace to trim the hem, but i haven’t decided which lace to use along the skirt tier seam. 

this is some adorable crown print cotton that David got for me over the summer. it’s great to finally have a chance to use it! the black and white print and the chunky white cluny lace give the materials a really nice old-school lolita feel, but i’m hoping the cut and my use of the trim will result in a more modern look.

a finished dress means it’s time to play dress-up!! two lolita coordinates and one “casual” outfit.

left: ship’s librarian is totally a thing, right? i wanted to use the ribbon on the hem to give the dress a bit of an optional nautical feel that i could play up or down, and it looks pretty dang great with the sailor collar i made, an old bow from bodyline, and anchor socks. 

center: classic non-sailor lolita coordinate with sparkly gold blouse to pick up gold accents, brown flower socks that i am trying to show off and failing, and rad sequin cat purse. this looked great irl but now i am not liking it so much, in part bc the colors don’t quite work in these pics. the cat purse still owns tho.

right: i kept the petti because i liked the shape it gave the dress, just toned down the accessories and broke out the sweet 60s orange plastic necklace i scored at the flea market this weekend.

zipper installed and dress is done! also did a bit of fit troubleshooting. i hated the bodice when i was done, lots of buckling at the top and gaping at the sides. that’s what you’re seeing in the top left.

at the top right i’ve added darts along the bodice front side seams, which has largely fixed the fit problems and would probably look even better if i weren’t too lazy to iron. i’ve also stuck a gold star applique over the botched ribbon turn—i need to pick up another so i can sew one on each side and call it a success. as it is, i am calling it done for now.

bottom center pic is the front and back bodice so you can see the pretty v-back, which is my favorite cut. :)

bodice darts altered for fit, skirt attached and lining sewn down, just the zipper left to go! the ribbon along the neckline is very even irl, this pic just makes it look warped. thinking about ways to fix that dang strap problem, maybe adding a little black lace along the inside edge? 

bodice darts altered for fit, skirt attached and lining sewn down, just the zipper left to go! the ribbon along the neckline is very even irl, this pic just makes it look warped. thinking about ways to fix that dang strap problem, maybe adding a little black lace along the inside edge? 

i haven’t sewn any new dresses in a while! so here’s a half finished project.

i found this awesome library fabric a few weeks back when i accidentally stumbled upon a great fabric store near my neighborhood. i was super excited to see it, it’s the same fabric i was admiring on The Snow Field’s Librarian series. i was just thinking i wanted another easy to wear dress with fun elements that you can dress up to make it loliable or dress down to make it more normal looking, and this print with its fancy gold accents is perfect. i got 3 yards and over the last 2 days i’ve turned it into this: a slightly awkward bodice and 3.5 yards of skirt, both trimmed with black grosgrain ribbon.

it’s been a while and i’m a little rusty, so i am relearning very basic lessons: always take the time to do a thing properly or look up how to do it, or it comes out slightly weird. example: bodice cut (lazily altered sweetheart neckline to square and the angled straps look weird now), ribbon along the neckline at the right corner (didn’t bother to figure out how to more gracefully transition angles, slipped during sewing and now looks bad) but it’s good enough. easy enough to cover my ribbon mistake with a button or little bow and my straps with a cardigan. 

remaining steps: gather skirt to bodice and sew down lining, insert zipper!

been a while since i posted anything i made! i haven’t really sewn since winter break. but i’m wearing my cat skirt today with a new pair of tights from welovecolors. shirt’s an old goodwill score and shoes are melissa x alice in wonderland. and the earrings that you can’t see are little black plastic bows, from brazil. :)
here's the tutorial i made for the skirt!

been a while since i posted anything i made! i haven’t really sewn since winter break. but i’m wearing my cat skirt today with a new pair of tights from welovecolors. shirt’s an old goodwill score and shoes are melissa x alice in wonderland. and the earrings that you can’t see are little black plastic bows, from brazil. :)

here's the tutorial i made for the skirt!

this is the second project of the night, an altered goodwill blouse ($3-5, i think…i remember it was on sale). it was an xxl. i should have taken a before pic—it was this huge boxy thing. here’s what i did:

  • removed the sleeves
  • took it in at the sides and bottom
  • added a small dart on each side at the bust
  • re-hemmed everything
  • added the sleeves back on, adding a gather at the shoulder. i may have actually sewn them on the wrong sides, lol. it’s okay—once i had the shoulders hitting me where they should and the whole shirt fitting closer to my body, the sleeves were too short anyway. i’ll probably either alter them again or just wear them folded up.
  • used some of the extra material to turn the pointed collar into a tie collar. i just sewed the collar down and added ties, really. it was easy and the messy bits are pretty well hidden by the bow.

apparently the whole process took three hours. not too bad, considering all the french seaming and struggling with rapidly fraying ends.

it’s modeled here with my virgen dress and black fur tippet! that’s almost a full coordinate made entirely by me. feels good, man.

tonight i decided to make this colette pattern from a 24x24” cut of black faux seal fur and about a yard of vintage lace sewn around the outside edge, as a trial run for some faux fawn fur i ordered. it was a fun, quick little project! took me about 2 hours, but i was going pretty slow and stopping to vacuum up the fur every 5 min. i feel pretty confident sewing with fur and i’m going to use the rest of the cut to make some matching accessories, so i’m feeling good about the fawn stuff when it arrives.

here’s the finished dress, worn in our suite at the Brumder Mansion! as promised, i matched the room.

this dress was total hell to get done, i have to say. the pattern itself is really simple and pretty. if i did it again, i’d do the bodice one size smaller (you can see i had a couple little fit issues around the arm holes, and once again the shoulders hit way too far apart for me). i think i’ll just take in the bodice 1/4” on each side and see if that fixes things. i ended up skipping the zipper, but i think if i take it in at the sides it’ll be harder to get on and off.

i would also use a less frustrating fabric. this fake silk was very unforgiving and showed every single mistake, which is a problem when it’s so slippery because i tend to make a lot of them.

the hem was the worst part. the combination of a circular edge and the slippery fabric made it almost impossible to get the hem nicely pressed and flat. i sewed a big loose basting stitch about 1/4” from the hem and used the tiny gathers it made to bring in the fabric and fold it, but it kept slipping all over and wouldn’t fold (or gather) evenly. i just about lost it and was about 2 seconds from taking the rotary cutter to the damn thing when mom stepped in and finished for me. her quilter’s patience is a godsend.

anyway, it got finished, the hem looks great, it looked nice on me, i had a great time wearing it, and i owe mom a present!

it’s accessorized here with two black bead necklaces i picked up at goodwill, a black cardigan (for going out in the wisconsin cold), black tights, my light, white lace petticoat, and black docs with handmade gold ribbon laces. my knee is still all messed up, so i can’t wear fancy shoes. but i can at least make my boots match my dress!

it turns out i was more than cat lady enough to make this skirt!

instructions:

1. get some kind of knee-length or longish black skirt. i bought a $2 knee-length pencil skirt from goodwill to use as the base, so it’s not quite the same cut (in this pic the back of the skirt sticks out where the original skirt had a pleated back detail that i kept).

2. cut a couple inches off the bottom of your skirt so it hits your desired length (with an extra inch to accommodate your hem) and you have a decent chunk of extra fabric. i cut about 4” off the bottom and made 4” tall ears.

3. cut 4 ears out of extra fabric. mine are triangles with about an inch rectangle at the bottom so they’ll fold up over themselves and not look awkward.

4. do something to make the ears stiff so they’ll stand up! stitch some boning or iron some super strength interfacing onto what will the the back side of each ear (the side closest to your body). i forgot to do this and had to add some boning once i’d already sewn the ears to the waistline, which looks messy but no one can see it when it’s worn.

4. place two ears right sides together, sew along three sides, turn, press, press the last hem in, stitch over it. repeat for other ear. optionally, topstitch about 1/4” in from the edge to create an inner ear shape. i forgot to do this.

5. sew ears along waistband seam, with the points down toward the hem. i placed mine each 4” from the side seams.

6. iron the points up and slip stitch them to the waistband to make them stay up!

7. use a weak basting glue to place the eyes and whiskers (white buttons and grosgrain ribbon), then carefully stitch them on. i would suggest gluing/pinning the eyes and whiskers and trying the skirt on before sewing, to make sure everything falls how you want it to. i didn’t do this and i think the face ended up a little lower than i’d like.

8. hem skirt and lining.

done! took me about an hour, all told. i used this as a de-stressing project to distract me from the hell of finishing my gold new years dress. i kind of want to get a couple other pencil skirts in different colors and make a set of these, haha.

i finally completed a project! here’s, as always, a shitty cell pic of me in my new dress. this one has a pretty tree and a cut dog in the background, at least.
i posted about the fabric here. it’s that burdastyle pattern i used for my catbook dress and my brown rose dress. i find the sizing on that pattern very difficult if not impossible to figure out, so i just cut the largest one + 1/2” seam allowance + added a good half inch or so to the neckline b/c without it the pattern always ends up too low cut. i ended up with a very comfortable bodice with a bit of room in it. it’s different every time i try this pattern.
i also drafted a little peter pan collar on the fly and added that without much trouble at all, which is always a pleasant surprise.  i think it’s pretty cute and adds that little bit of something special that the pattern needed.
anyway the bodice is black silk velvet, which was hell on earth to work with, and the skirt is that Virgin fabric i linked above. there is no lace or trim on it and the skirt isn’t lined b/c i needed to get it done for mass today. i might go back and add a skirt lining and some black lace along the hem, but that’s a project for another day. the velvet and glitter on the print are fancy enough for me right now, i think. :)
it’s accessorized with docs, black tights, secret shop socks, a belt by Miscy, and a blue blouse and black and gold beaded necklace i picked up at goodwill last week. and also my super fashionable knee brace.

i finally completed a project! here’s, as always, a shitty cell pic of me in my new dress. this one has a pretty tree and a cut dog in the background, at least.

i posted about the fabric here. it’s that burdastyle pattern i used for my catbook dress and my brown rose dress. i find the sizing on that pattern very difficult if not impossible to figure out, so i just cut the largest one + 1/2” seam allowance + added a good half inch or so to the neckline b/c without it the pattern always ends up too low cut. i ended up with a very comfortable bodice with a bit of room in it. it’s different every time i try this pattern.

i also drafted a little peter pan collar on the fly and added that without much trouble at all, which is always a pleasant surprise.  i think it’s pretty cute and adds that little bit of something special that the pattern needed.

anyway the bodice is black silk velvet, which was hell on earth to work with, and the skirt is that Virgin fabric i linked above. there is no lace or trim on it and the skirt isn’t lined b/c i needed to get it done for mass today. i might go back and add a skirt lining and some black lace along the hem, but that’s a project for another day. the velvet and glitter on the print are fancy enough for me right now, i think. :)

it’s accessorized with docs, black tights, secret shop socks, a belt by Miscy, and a blue blouse and black and gold beaded necklace i picked up at goodwill last week. and also my super fashionable knee brace.