Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hello Kitty Couture Part 2

   Since I had the Hello Kitty stretchy book cover out I figured I pull out the pattern for my slinky dress.

  I used it in the early Spring with t-shirt knit material to make one of the first 1/4 scale outfits when Abbie first arrived.  It sewed up really easily and to my knowledge without any issues.

  Version 2 did not sew up to look anything like this first version!  I have no idea what I did differently this time, hmm, to be honest I'm truly not even sure if I DID use the same pattern. I could swear that I did but as you'll see in the next photo, the 2 dresses couldn't be any more different from each other.  BUT that is quite ok as I love the way the Hello Kitty dress turned out!

See this one looks nothing like the green one above!  But this has turned into one of my favorite pieces I've recently sewn!  The dress needed some serious alterations after I finished sewing it 'correctly'.  It was super loose and baggy.  And I just new with Lena's gorgeous figure and the fantastic stretch of this material it just screamed to be a lovely 'body conscious' figure-hugging dress.  I ended up taking in the back which created some neat angled seam action on the back that I just love.  I am still considering adding a lovely fluffy black bow at the back.    Lena loves the way it hugs her curves and she paired it with a gorgeous fluffy sparkly white wrap since it was a little on the chilly side when we went out for pictures.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Hello Kitty Couture part 1

Today we continue our peek into Lena's wardrobe and check out one of the Hello Kitty items I made last week.

First up is this cute little strapless bodysuit/swim suit.  I've made another piece with this pattern before but don't recall having as much trouble with it as I did on this piece.  It's a simple pattern really, just 3 pieces.  The front is 2 pieces with the bust area being sewn in separately.  I used a 4-way stretch knit with this fabulous Hello Kitty bow print.  Wanna know where I got it?  It was a stretchy BOOK COVER!!!!  :-)  There are loads of colors and patterns available all over the place right now.  And the book covers run any where from 75 cents to $2.  Which is a great deal for 4-way stretch knit!

This particular run of this pattern gave me loads of trouble through the top bust area, it was really big and gapp-y.  So I used some ruffled elastic and hand sewed it in place stretching as I sewed to tighten up the bust area.  Thankfully that worked.  Actually it worked so well that I didn't even need to add shoulder straps.

Lena borrowed the black lace skirt I sewed for Zoey to show off how the bodysuit looked under clothing.  We all agreed that it truly looks fabulous!  I love the adorable bow print and the black lace at the top just caps it off perfectly!  I also like how the top comes to little points at the shoulder area, almost like little cat ears!

Tomorrow I'll share the slinky dress I made from this same fabric!

Friday, September 26, 2014

A Peek into Lena's Closet

Ok so there really isn't a closet for Lena yet, it's more of a shoe box, but it's her wardrobe, so I figured that title was better than "A Peek into Lena's Clothes Box!" LOL ;-)

While I was pulling stuff off my desk so I could get started on Zoey's outfit. (Sorry had to correct my post from yesterday, I had the Polka Dot outfit going to the wrong sister!) I found pieces cut out and pinned for 2 separate denim mini skirts.  So I took a quick break after sewing the body suit to sew up these 2 cut denim skirts.

Both skirts are stretchy which allows them to just pull on with now snaps or zippers.  (Gotta LOVE stretch denim!)  I used fold over elastic to trim out the waistband on each one.  Then finished off the hemlines with a pretty multicolored floral lace on the left one and a lovely sheer black chiffon flounce on the other one.

I have tons of various laces, ribbons and elastic, so I foresee loads of these quick cute skirts in my future!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

And back to our regularly scheduled program...

Or in my case, IR-regularly scheduled program, since I cannot seem to blog on a daily basis! LOL

Back oh in the early part of Spring my friend April over at April's Sea of Dollie Sweetness sent me this picture and asked if I could recreate the outfit for her Minifee Raine.  I of course agreed provided I could find the polka dot knit material.  I figured how hard could finding a small scale black polka dot on white background me.  Famous last words!!!  It took me stopping at about 6 different fabric and clothing stores before I finally found something that worked.  As crazy as it sounds at the time the only black polka dot on white knit material I could find was at Wal-mart... in the ladies lingerie section!!!  Yep the ONLY fabric that I could find that worked was panties!  So I bought a couple pair so I would have enough material to work with.

Fast forward through the summer and the moving-not moving debacle, then almost 3 months of just being out of touch and not feeling in the mood to sew... well it was starting to itch at me.  I am a creative person by nature and being out of my studio for that long had me going a bit crazy.  BUT at the same time, my studio was a disaster, as I had 'started' packing in there in May when we thought we were moving in July.  So the mess was like a train wreck and I just avoided it because I couldn't even figure out where to start.

Two weeks ago I made a stop into Wal-mart for milk, and was walking past the baby section to get there, when what did my wandering eyes see... tiny black polka dots on white fabric!  Needless to say I veered to the right to investigate!  It was a fabulous stretch knit baby blanket!!!  WITH a cute hot pink floral on the other side.  A quick tug at the material revealed that there were 2 separate fabrics used, so for a cheap $7 I got almost a yard of the perfect material AND an adorable 2nd print as well!

That was just the motivation I needed to make some headway in my studio (mainly by shoving everything on my desk in front of my sewing machine and computer into a box...) and finally get back to work!

April and I decided that instead of a t-shirt I would create a 3/4 sleeve bodysuit, which would look sleeker under the skirt.

I'd never made this pattern before and there was a bit of a learning curve to it, but I can happily say that I didn't have to re-cut any of the pieces and I am in LOVE with the way it fits.

Lena here modeled it with a pair of her jeans. (Made by the fabulous Belle De Jour of Belle's Doll Fashions  The jeans are currently out of stock but I HIGHLY recommend contacting Belle if you are interested in a pair...or 3! )

The bodysuit was so sleek under Lena's jeans and just looks so polished! I will DEFINITELY be making more bodysuits in the future!

The next piece in the ensemble was the lace skirt.  April always gives me some creative leeway when she asks me to recreate a piece for her.  Which is good because sometimes the vision in my head of how to do something doesn't always work the way I think it should.  Case in point the layered lace skirt. 

April and I both felt that there was a waistband above the 2 layers on lace, so I sewed a black knit mini skirt and sewed the bottom layer of lace to the hem.  Then I added the 2nd layer of lace above that so that the bottom of the 2nd layer was just touching the top of the 1st layer.  The end result didn't really look like the inspiration piece though. :-(  BUT April loved it, as Raine is a bit shy and preferred the longer look!

So in the end it all worked out.  I also sewed a pair of biking short that the original outfit had, but the skirt just covered them up, so Raine will have those and a pair of matching polka dot socks to go with her outfit!

Tomorrow, I'll show you a few of the other pieces I sewed up!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hello again

After nearly 3 months I am finally back working in my studio again.  After the moving/not moving debacle back in July, and then losing our dog at the same time...  Um well I guess I should explain that as well.

 When we adopted Scruffy (our golden retriever) 2 years ago, we thought he was in good health.  We were not told of any health issues he had.  But 2 months later he had the first seizure that we were aware of.  Over the course of the next 2 years the seizures continued to come closer and closer together.  We tried changing his diet as well and medications.  Some things worked better than others, but everything eventually stopped working and the seizures continued.

When we went on vacation in July he had been seizure free for almost 6 weeks (and considering before that, he'd been having clusters of them every week, that was a God-send for him), we returned home and that first night back he had a seizure.  But unlike all of his previous episodes over the past 2 years, this one didn't stop!  In the months prior to this episode, we as a family had talked about what was the bet thing to do for HIM, and we all agreed that if things got worse then we would make the tough decision to stop his suffering.  If you've never had an animal suffer from seizures, know that they are painful to watch, often painful for the animal not to mention the disorientation that follows for hours afterwards.  Medications may 'control' the seizures, but often lead to nasty side effects of their own like sluggishness, confusion, weight gain despite lack of appetite, and other side effects that are nearly as bad as the after effects of the seizure itself.

It was 2 o'clock in the morning when his last seizure started.  As we always did we sat with him, petted him and talked to him.  At around 3am he lifted his head and looked at me and just let our this mournful heart-wrenching howl.  My husband and I looked at each other and just knew.  He was hurting and it was time to make the call.  I called a local emergency vet and through my tears I made the appointment.  It was about 6am by the time he had settled down enough that we could move him without hurting him and got to the vet.  By that time we knew that mentally he was already gone, but the pain of letting him go physically is STILL painful to me (and I crying as I type this).  But we knew it was the right thing to do, and it was the only way to truly do what was best for him.

We were blessed to have Scruffy in our lives for 2 years and will ALWAYS remember him fondly!


Ok sorry, I had intended this post to be about the most recent crafting I've done, but at this point, well I just can't today.  I am sorry this post ended up being so sad, but when I realized that I never let you guys know about our buddy, I knew I had to.  Thanks for bearing with me, while I relived this.  I promise to come back tomorrow (or later today) and share something fun!