Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A day late and a blog post short

I love the holidays.  I love them so much that I make ALL. THE. THINGS. I make cookies and presents and decorations and clothes and... and... and...  So both of my loyal readers may have been wondering where the blog posts have been.  I feel the usual mix of guilt and apathy about that, and I'm kinda sorry.  I have been busy making things, but not busy posting.  One of my 11,000 New Year's resolutions is to be more diligent about the making of the things, and the posting about the making of the things.

I like to take the family to a holiday show every year.  This year I purchased tickets to the Kid's Symphony at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in an uncharacteristically well-planned and early-executed move.  In a similarly uncharacteristically well-planned fashion, I also decided to make my daughter and I deliciously flocked polka-dotted dresses, and a luxurious velvet princess coat for myself.  I set about cutting and altering these pieces in early November.  I finished my daughter's dress before Thanksgiving--in time for holiday photos, which were in time for holiday cards (who am I?)  I had just begun the actual construction of my velvet coat when I received the news that our show was cancelled.  I don't know about others, but for me, I really need a deadline to properly plan and execute a project.  Without one I start getting all passively rebellious (against whom?) and that just leads to bra-burning and growing out my armpit hair.  Who needs these rules, man?  What is time anyway?  I do what I want...

Anyways, the velvet coat is nearly done now-- just in time for absolutely nothing.  My dress hasn't made it out of its pattern envelope.  You may be happy to know that my ass is exponentially bigger from the hundreds of beautifully decorated cookies that I made and then ate instead of sewing.  My daughter's dress... now that is finished.  And what better time to post about it than 3 days after I undecorated my house for Christmas? My sincere hope is that her dress fits her next Christmas, because next year is THE YEAR we wear them somewhere important.

I was shooting for a princess-seamed detail for both of us, so I went with Simplicity 1362 for her dress.

This is a really cute little dress with a princess seamed bodice and inverted box pleat skirt.  You'll notice that the back has two really cute cut-out options, but neither of those seemed appropriate for a holiday dress, so I did a straight back with a zipper.

This photo was taken approximately 5 minutes before the tree was removed.  I remembered just in time. 

I ordered a ton of this polyester taffeta flocked with black dots from Joann's "sew sweet" line.  It has an almost holographic sheen to it. It is lined entirely, partially because the fabric is slightly sheer, and partially because you know how I feel about facings. I used a small scrap of black velvet for the waistband. On the right you can see the squared-up back with a lapped zipper. 
Here is a detail shot of those inverted box pleats.  The instructions called for basting and crisp pressing so the pleats would lie flat.  Did I mention that I do what I want? It is tricky to press material like this without ruining the flocking. I plan on making her a cute summer dress from this pattern with an easily pressed cotton, and I promise I'll follow all ironing and basting directions.  For this, I don't mind the volume in the skirt, and had intended on pairing this dress with a petticoat to intensify the effect.

This dress was very simple for a princess seam, and it was a good introduction to this type of construction. If you are considering doing this type of bodice, I really recommend doing a girls version first.  Adding boobs significantly complicates the process.  My daughter looked really lovely in this dress, which we paired with flocked dot tights and tiny kitten heels.  I feel like I should mention that I was not on board with the shoes, but all of the girls' shoes manufacturers had a meeting last year and decided they don't care about what I think.

I hope all two or three of you had a great holiday season! I have SO many projects in queue, so I look forward to this year with a great deal of enthusiasm, and probably an inordinate amount of ambition. It's too early in the year for pessimism though, so off we go!