Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cami ACU Dress

These are a surprise gift for someone who has been such an enormous help to me this year. I couldn't have made it through some of my biggest obstacles without her friendship and mentoring. I'm pretty sure she doesn't read this blog...so the secret is safe with us.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A line Lace Band

Another experiment here. I added a band of Ol Shel lace to the bodice. The lace has to be hand stitched in place after the dress is complete. I need to work on the gauge a bit more so that I can get the correct length on the first casting, as it did not turn out the same length when I based my casting count on the bodice stitch count. It's not quite double, more like 1 and 3/4th. So, theoretically, if I multiply the bodice stitch count by 1.75 to calculate my lace band casting figure. There, problem solved. Next time I'll know better.

Another Circle dress

This one is for my youngest, but it's a little lesson in math and forethought. The skirt is fine, but in my trial and error method, I'm not as pleased with the balance this skirt. The bottom ruffle is way too small a band, and the top, is probably too big... c'est la vive. So when someone wants me to make a 3T with a circle skirt I'll know better to balance the layers more proportionately. And that is why we keep trying, learning, and, pressing forward.

However, the lace pattern I used for this back was exquisite! I'm sold, and it's a lot easier to work then the one I used for the last two.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hawaii dress

Sorry the dress below is already sold. So today I listed the Hawaii dress. I was a little hesitant because I did have one yarn break, and I had to repair it. But since the other dress sold so quickly, I decided to list this one too.

I still have more of this fabric, and could make a new one just like this if anyone is interested. This dress never sparked as much interest as I thought it would.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

From our Closet Sale

Last year I sold some of our dresses on my etsy shop. I received positive feedback for those sales, so I decided to try this sale again this year. I'll be listing one at a time, because when I get down to it. Each listing is like a paid advertisement...like an airing of a commercial on Etsy.
Each listing sparks a new round of hits onto my Etsy shop home page. So I theorize that I need to ration out the listings, spread them over time, and place them at optimum times. If I were a higher volume seller, this probably wouldn't be anything I'd need to worry about, but I'm not, so I try to over think it.

Today I'm starting with the Orange topped Felicity v-neck, short sleeve, size 2T. I made this late last summer, and we've loved it. But it's too short for my youngest girl, so it's time to find it a new home.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Improved Lace Back Cami

I finished my second lace back Cami today and made some changes to my approach. Some minor changes were needed and now I'm happy with the results. I shall call it Charlotte's Lace Back Cami, unless someone has a better suggestion.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Flower band

I've been working on a knit flower to match some of my dresses. This is certainly more time consuming, and very unlikely to become the standard freebie...
but for a few lucky dresses a hand knit flower might be included.

Full Circle Skirt Dress

So the project below is now complete. This is my first true full circle dress. I did a few teired, and larger ruffle dresses, but this is a step beyond those. Keep in mind it is just a wee bit big on my little model (who is as skinny as a 3yr old, as tall as most 6 years olds). So this dress is a 6year old size. I'm confident it would fit a conservatively sized 6 year olds for at least two years. I had to be careful how I worded that.

This was really fun to photograph, and a break from the ordinary in construction.

Lace back Cami? Tank? Razor back?

I'm trying to come up with something a little different for the cami dress. It just seems so unfair that the Felicity V-neck has seen so many innovations, while the Charlotte Cami stays the same as it's always been.

So I have this razor back tank top from Victoria Secret. The back has this lace panel on it that I really find to be very cute. I wondered if I could do something similar with the Charlotte Cami. This particular lace back cami starts a little later than I wanted, so next time I might make the straps a little shorter and raise the lace back up higher to achieve the look I'm after.

But for this one, what do you think? Would you call it a razor back, a tank, or a cami?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Snow White & Tinkerbell

These dresses are for my daughter's, and are not for sale. However, I thought they'd be cute to post anyhow. I've seen other seamstresses selling custom princess costumes, and of course, I think, " I bet I could do that, " or "I'd do that differently."

So hopefully in the next couple weeks we'll have Tinkerbell and Snow White here to pay us a visit.

ACU Dress

Another blustery day, and my fourth ACU dress is now complete.

Something I need to talk about is pre-washing fit vs. after first wash fit. This dress is currently much looser than it will be. It's because it has not been washed yet. The larger the dress size, the greater the pre-wash disproportion is going to be. When I make a dress that's larger than a 6yr size, I'm branching out of my comfort zone. I've made many dresses in the smaller sizes and so I sort of know how those will work out given past knitting formulas and measurements I've taken of all the dresses. Also, my girls own many of my first experiments, and I've been able to see how the dresses turn out as they wear them over time. What I've noticed is the larger the knit top, the more over sized it seems to be at first. This isn't so noticeable with the smaller ones because there is less knitting. Oh this is hard to explain.

Here's another way to put it. The bodices stretch because of the stretchy yarn. The smaller bodices might have a span of only 4 inches, where as the larger ones might stretch up to 10 inches...because it's bigger. Make sense?

So this dress should shrink down to the desired size, and will look a little better after the first wash. I'll try and post a example next time I make a dress for my girls, with a before and after shot.

Look what's in store

I won't say too much, but this picture is a preview of what's to come soon in my shop. No, It's not a quilt. Stay tuned.

I cut these pieces out using the Fiskar rotary cutter, along with their board and ruler.

Bias Tape Maker by Clovis

My friend, Jennifer, got one of these about a year ago. It looked so neat. When I saw one on sale a week ago, I snatched it up with so many ideas in mind.

It's really neat! And as Jennifer said, lots of fun too. The kids got a lesson in how mater changes it's state. I showed them how water goes into the iron, and comes out as steam. As the steam blows out onto the Clovis bias tape maker, the water vapors collects to the metal and turns back into water droplets. I got some work done, and the kids had a science lesson.

Good times! I'm going to have to get more of these, as they come in a bunch of measurements. I'm thinking a 2" would be really good for some of my projects.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Peer Review

I love showcasing the works of other talented artisans. A couple months ago I begged my friend, Amanda, to pretty please make us some side snap training pants.

My toddler "can" use the potty, but sometimes she forgets. Our potty learning has been like this for a while, and I really wanted something that would make accidents a lot easier to deal with. Amanda was an absolute gem! She made us these really cute trainers. I am so pleased with how they turned out. Felicity likes them too.

So if you've got cloth diapering needs, or have a child in the presses of potty learning (or potty training, we just try and avoid that term), I highly recommend side snap trainers by Mandi's Menagerie.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Periwinkle Paisley

This is the very last of my periwinkle paisley fabric. So this dress is a 3T Felicity V-neck with cap sleeves.

The wind is absolutely blustery today, so pictures of the dress on my closet door will just have to suffice, unless you want to see what this dress looks like if flying as a kite, which is no doubt would do if I tried to hang it on the clothes line. LOL.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

ACU Dress

I've resisted making this dress for a while. But the overwhelming popularity of camouflage clothing for children won out. So I decided to go as authentic as possible. My dreams of having a full range of camouflage dresses to match each service branch are far from met, but for now the Army Camouflage dress is now a reality.

The first group of these dresses will be done in 100% twill ACU fabric. I hope to acquire some 50% cotton/ 50% nylon ACU fabric later. However, that won't be for a while.

If anyone knows of a source for authentic fabrics for the Air Force and Marines, let me know. And I really don't know what pattern the Navy uses, but I've never had anyone express interest in a Navy camouflage dress.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A division of home and business

I've been spamming my blog friends for way too long. It's time to put a divide on the business and the private life. This blog is where I'll showcase my work. Now, it doesn't mean I won't spam my other blog once in a while...but I'll try to keep business a little less intermingled from here on out.

I have two base dress designs. The first was the Charlotte Cami, A dress that I've been making for over two years now. It started out with this dress made from a cotton yarn remnant, and some left over fabric I'd used to make a sling. After using up the rest of the cotton yarn I had in my stash, I ordered some stretchy cotton yarn and Charlotte's cami was off and running.

A few months later, my friend complained that she loved my dresses, but she didn't like her girls to wear dresses without sleeves. And since we do get way too much sun here, a dress that covered our vulnerable shoulders did have merit. Another friend showed me a pattern book with wrap kimono baby tops. The pattern was knit from bottom of the back, up and over the shoulders, and down to the bottom of the front. It was just the spark of inspiration I needed. I took that idea and created the Felicity V-neck dress. The first one was suppose to be long sleeves, but as she Felicity grew, the dress became a 3/4 length sleeve dress, which inspired more versions later...which I will write about soon.