Applique

I modified the, you guessed it, laurel for this dress. I used a brocade fabric I brought on sale ages ago for like a dollar a yard. The beading is an appliqué I picked up on ebay, and the headband is just jersey and feathers. I’m going to see the movie tonight, and plan on wearing this, I expect some “looks”!

While I know this isn’t the best shape for my figure, it’s pretty authentic. I even wore a sports bra to help flatten out my girls, which takes a WHOLE LOTTA sports bra to be quite honest.

I’m going to wear it out with a drapey cardigan I picked up from target, it seems to go quite well.

For more you can check out my blog here if you feel so inclined!

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Hello fellow sewers!

I just finished sewing up a fun little project that I want to share!

I used Simplicity 1093 to make a simple cotton blouse. I chose “style 3″ because I wanted the most basic shape as I planned on adding an appliqué.

simplicity 1093simplicity 1093 style 3

The blouse was a fairly quick project to sew up, mostly because there were only five pieces to work with! The front and back bodice pieces are both cut on fold and the sleeves are part of the bodice, so there are only the two big pieces to worry about. The remaining three are a neck facing and two sleeve facings.

The blouse opens by a tiny side zipper that runs from about the bust down to the hem. I inserted the zipper by hand with a pick stitch, which is a technique I’d been itching to try for a while. There are also two buttons at the neckline which aid in slipping the blouse over your head.

hand sewn zippergingham buttons (close-up)

As you can see, I liked the hand picked look so much that I did all of the topstitching by hand as well!

gingham 3

I paired my new blouse with a red button-front skirt and tooled leather belt.

gingham 1

gingham 5

Now for the appliqué…my favorite part!!

gingham 4

I cut this little design out of felt and attached it to the blouse with a blanket stitch. Next, I embroidered the details (horse’s bridle, mane, etc.) with a variety of  embroidery stitches.

horse appliquéhorse appliqué (close-up)

I’m really happy with this project, it was such a fun one!

Now I leave you with an “out take” in which my dog Herby decided to make an appearance….

that's my "excuse me....tryin' to take photos here" face.
that’s my “excuse me….tryin’ to take photos here” face.

xoxo,

Tina

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I really enjoy making small cocktail hats and other heavily decorated things to wear on my head. It’s the perfect pleasure project, in many ways; I can whip them up quite fast, usually these things come together for specific parties, they generally don’t require a lot of material, there’s very little fitting, lining and other time-consuming work involved, and it’s fun. It’s as free of performance anxiety as sewing ever gets for me, and it feels festive and playful and exhilarating. I’m not shy about wearing odd stuff on my head, either, so the sky’s the limit, really.

For New Year’s, there was a grand masquerade, and for that you need a mask. I also needed a red sequin evening gown, but the red sequin seaweed fabric got lost in the mail and didn’t arrive until yesterday. Oh, well. Another party, I made a sequinned and beaded red half mask in the shape of a gloved hand anyway – I’m a huge Schiaparelli fan, I love mildly surrealist headwear, and oddly enough my wardrobe didn’t contain a decent mask before this one.

Sketch and base for a mask

I went through a lot of paper copies to get the shape right.

The original idea was to use a lonely actual red leather glove, but that turned out a bit too bulky; I think I’ll try to make a hat out of it at some point instead. So I sketched, cut, folded and ended up with a decent pattern of sorts, which I cut and shaped in this heavy linen/horsehair interfacing. There are two darts in it, so that it follows the curve of the head.

Completed mask base

Nice shape.

Then I added steel wire to the edges, for stability and shape…

Mask shape covered with red cotton

Very three-dimensional.

…and covered the base with plain red cotton poplin, and the inside with peach satin. Outlines of the fingers and glove stitching on the back of the hand marked out, too.

Mask beginning to be covered with sequin ribbon.

This was the fun part, really.

And then I covered the whole thing with sequin ribbon, for plain areas, and red glass seed beads, for contours, shades and outlines.

Mask almost covered in sequins

Almost done.

Strictly speaking the sequinned areas aren’t really lighter than the beaded areas, but I wanted more sequins than beads and when they do reflect light your way, they do it much more brightly, so…

Finished mask.

…I think it worked rather well, anyway. I added a couple of rows of tiny black seed beads to stress the outline of the fingers after this, but it doesn’t make much of a difference; there’s just a little bit more of a contour. It fastens in my hair with four of those little toothed metal clips that are often used on clip-in hair extensions, you know – those are the best thing there is for attaching things securely to hair, even short hair.

The mask being work

This wasn't my first glass of champagne.

And then I wore it, with a marvellously vulgar 50′s dress that I got for New Year’s two years ago. I think it turned out quite well.

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This year for my soon to be family I decided to make them each a little something.  In my opinion homemade gifts can be the best option.  I wanted to make something cute with and old school feel to it.  What I ended up making was pears.  Now the funny thing was, when I went to Michael’s they had the perfect cards.  So, I made my pears to match.

 

The pear ornaments are consist of felt, embroidery floss and ribbon.

 

Below is the template for the pieces.  Feel free to save them or print them out.  When you do print them out be sure to choose full page option so they will be the correct size.

 

To make the ornament, I chose 2 contrasting colors of felt and white felt. One color would be for the main part of the pear, and the other for the small circle.  The white was for the medium size circle, and the leaf.

 

Once I cut all the pieces out of the felt, I sewed the small circle to the larger circle.  I used a modified blanket stitch.

After that I sewed the circles to the front piece (of the pear cut out) using the same modified blanket stitch.

 

I then, sewed both the front and back pieces of the pear together using a blanket stitch.   Lastly, I sewed a ribbon to the back and wah-la a pear ornament!

 

Some optional additions can be the leaf at the top.  I added small rhinestone to mine to give them a little sparkle.

Let me know what you think and I would love to see what others come up with for this pattern!

 

Happy Crafting!

Nikki

To see more, check out my blog at http://retro-phile.blogspot.com/

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