Certifiably Insane: Spring/Summer Wardrobe


I may be certifiably insane at this point. To justify the purchase of the Husqvarna Viking Designer Epic (retail $14,999 — note: I didn’t pay that), I decided to take on the grand quest of making at least half of my eldest daughter’s wardrobe. That’s a lot of work, but it was made quick via decent patterns! I’m still not even done. After discovering Patterns for Pirates, I’ve been whipping up Sugar Pie tees. The images above are just a sample of what I’ve done, but I wanted to put something here to indicate that I have actually done something since my last post in March 😉

Patterns used:

  • Patterns for Pirates Sugar Pie (top left)
  • BurdaStyle 144 5/2012 Elasticated Shorts (top middle)
    • I’ve actually made 3 pairs of these, two just aren’t pictured yet!
  • Geranium Top – Made by Rae (bottom middle)
  • Top right, bottom right, and bottom left are a self-drafted pattern of my own design.

I have so much more done than is pictured here. I hope to get some really good pictures in the next few weeks and post them here!!!

Made by Rae – Geranium Dress

Made by Rae Geranium Dress

I picked up this gorgeous little pattern called the Made by Rae Geranium Dress from my favorite local shop, The Cloth Pocket (where I also pick up designer fabrics at a very reasonable price!). I initially intended to make a dress for my friend’s baby from a different pattern I found on Etsy, but went with this instead, as I had heard good things and it came in printed format. I don’t mind PDF patterns, but sometimes they’re a pain in the butt, since you have to print it out, assemble it, then trace. I never cut my patterns, because my kids grow too fast to justify $15 every time I need to make something. I’ve stated on stream before, that I much prefer tracing onto interfacing or tracing cloths since it’s sturdier, adheres to the fabric with static cling, and prolongs the use of the pattern.

The dress came together nicely. Normally I wouldn’t have gone through all the care of hiding seams this way, but it made for a much cleaner result. Could I have slapped it together faster by just letting the interior seams remain exposed? Yep. But it wouldn’t have looked as nice, plus since this is going against a 6 month old’s skin, it may have irritated had I used my normal methods.

I did interface the bodice, which I fear is not entirely necessary. It is a little stiff, but it will definitely hold its shape over time and use. I think next time I make this I’ll only interface the button placket in the back.

Made by Rae Geranium Dress

Doctor Who Coat – Vogue 8346

Doctor Who Coat

The coat I have is roughly 18 years old. I’ve had it since I graduated high school, which means it has lived a long and good life protecting me from the brutal Winters of Northern Virginia and the somewhat-not-so-cold Winters in Texas. It was time for a new coat. I saw these awesome coats by Hot Topic in November. I wanted them, but when I saw them in the store, they felt flimsy and not well-constructed. I decided to make my own with a Victorian flare to it.

Doctor Who Coat

The perfect pattern for this project was Vogue 8346. It’s a fitted coat with a bit of a flare thanks to its circle hem design. Sizing was weird for me. I ended up making a muslin of the pattern per my measurements (36-27-38) which ended up being a Vogue 14. It was surprisingly accurate. Normally with the big-4 commercial patterns I drop down a size due to the copious amount of ease. This time, not so much. That’s ok though, I wanted a good fit, not an ego boost 😉

I streamed the whole construction of the coat from pattern tracing to finishing touches on Twitch (past recordings available here: http://www.twitch.tv/fiercekittenz). The instructions were VERY clear. I was able to put it together without doing much with the instructions. The only regret that I have was not serging the interior seams. I let them go since I thought the lining was stitched to the outer fabric. Not so. This pattern actually wants the lining to hang loose from the coat’s exterior. I had to tack the lining to the interior at the seams to ensure they weren’t exposed.

For the collar, I designed the embroidery patterns in Viking’s 6D software package. The right collar says “The Doctor” and the left says “Tardis.” The velveteen is still somewhat plush, so I made sure to use a water soluble stabilizer on the top to make the embroidery pop.

Additional photos:

Adding Sleeves – AKA: I hate making sleeve patterns

Long Sleeved Shirt

I hate making sleeve patterns.

I spent a good portion of my Thanksgiving break fussing over the sleeve pattern for this shirt, which was based on an earlier, warm weather sleeveless pattern I had made earlier in the year. I tried for a flat cap, but ended up going gathered since it’s the style, and to be honest, screw it. I was spending more time fussing over the sleeves than actually making anything that could be worn. The sleeve cap is ever so slightly gathered, which I do by putting two rows of basting stitches into the cap and gathering them up evenly to fit into the top-most portion of the armhole. The cuffs are hemmed with a 4mm rolled hem foot, but I put elastic channels into the sleeves so that they could be a little puffy and gathered looking at the ends.

The front has a box pleat of roughly 3″ pulled in total in the neckline. That can easily be eliminated, but I think it brings some dynamic to the design. The back is the same, simple keyhole button closure.

The fabric I got on a whim. It was 50% off at Hancock’s Fabrics, so I picked up the amount I needed (roughly 1.5 yards) for under $5. Not bad, if you ask me! My daughter loves it… loves it so much she won’t wear it yet. Figures. I have another stash of fabric to make this out of, and this was the wearable muslin just to make darn sure I didn’t mess any of the measurements up.

I used Twitch.tv to stream the entire construction of the shirt. The recording you can find here, if you’re interested: http://www.twitch.tv/fiercekittenz/v/30182718 I have found that I’m getting a little more used to interacting with viewers while sewing, but it is best for me to work on things that I’m really good at while getting acquainted with streaming first. I’m going with some easier, better known patterns going forward. I’ll be making a Colette Sorbetto out of some lovely fabric from The Cloth Pocket, which looks very much like Gallifreyan in the next week or two!

First Twitch Stream! A Christmas Doll Dress

Doll Dress

So last night I had my first attempt at a Twitch stream. For those who don’t know, Twitch is a streaming service that used to be geared only toward gaming. It has since opened up a new channel called Creative, which allows crafters of all backgrounds and crafting types to share what it is they’re working on. I streamed the sewing of a doll dress as a Christmas gift to my niece, who I hear has asked for an American Girl doll. Let’s hope she gets it! *wink*

Simplicity 1484

Easy Simplicity Pattern

I made the dress using Simplicity Pattern #1484. Normally I would hate on Simplicity. The name is hilariously ironic to me since most of their patterns contain extremely complex instructions and way too many pattern pieces for constructions that should be … well, simple. This one, thankfully, is simple and I’ve made it a few times. It’s quick, easy, and I figured it would be something I could do on my first stream without getting too nervous and forgetting what I was doing.

I don’t normally talk while sewing. Actually, I cuss (more or less) — in particular when I forget a step or stab myself with a needle. That happens often and I had to filter myself last night to avoid putting the “mature audiences” warning on my Twitch feed.

In general, I think things went well. On average I had 6 viewers with a maximum of 10 at one point. I need to figure out how I’m going to stream music and still be able to hear alerts. I have a plan that doesn’t involve me going full bore into Twitch and buying hundreds of dollars of equipment. It’s just me sewing, after all, and I don’t think I’ll be one of those streamers that gets thousands of followers, in particular if I’m sewing doll dresses.

One thing I absolutely want to do going forward is continue to teach. I hope people watching last night appreciated the subtle tips and tricks I was giving as I did each piece of the pattern.

Here’s a close-up shot of the belt details, which is just a silvery ribbon topstitched to the bodice:

Doll Dress Details

Doll Dress Details