Saturday, July 27, 2013

By the tail

Ah summer, Hot weather leaves us longing to cool down, so we go in search of water, the ocean, lakes, rivers and swimming pools.

Many creatures love water, even fantastical creatures, take the mermaid for instance.
I am currently working on my entry to Doll Street's Mermaid challenge.

Here is a sneak peek at what I have been working on.

Her torso has shaped nipples, which I lightly colored with pencil. When I had set it down to do other things, my 3 year old decided that she should color on the doll as well. I tried hard to erase the blue pencil, and was left with a faint smudge that resembled a bruise on her abdomen. I drew the sailing ship in micron over the smudge, thus my maiden has been tattooed. I think she will need at least one more on her arm to go with it.

For her tail, I wanted to giver her some texture, so I have been gathering up lace, in a scallop to create scales. this has been quite a lot of hand sewing, which is not comfortable to do in high heat when you hands are sweating. I hope that it reads as scales in the end.

This photo shows it not even halfway done, yet several hours of work, each row is 1/4" above the row behind it. I am using two needles, one to gather the lace, in a scallop shaped, which when pulled taught creates scales, the other to stitch down the lace using a back stitch.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Between two camps

As an artistic person, I adore Individuality and Uniqueness.
We seem to walk between too camps. one being the copycat, following what the "cool" people do, the other blazing our own way, perhaps alone.

You ever see someone do something really cool, and you think to yourself "all the good ideas are gone"?

We want to stand out in a crowd, but not like a sore thumb. We want to fit in just enough to not disrupt the overall harmony.

An example that the costumers can relate to is the 18th century Curtain-Along as instigated by Jen Thompson of Festive Attyre when she saw the Waverly curtains at her local hardware store.

The print came in three colorways and many costumers have picked them up to make costumes from. They run the gamut from 18th century panniers to Regency, and I have even seen a Victorian ensemble made from them.

Many of these costumers thought long and hard about what to do with their curtains, not wanting to make the same thing as someone else, sometimes even changing their plans.

I cant tell you how often I have worked on something in secret, just so that I didn't get copied, only to find out later, someone else had already thought of the same thing and I didn't want to be thought of as copying THEM.

It is a delicate balance that we must walk.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Swim Suit Season

Making a Girl’s Tankini from McCalls 6729
It is summer and that means Swimming!
Which of course means having a swimming suit. I have a young daughter and I couldn’t find anything in local stores that I liked.
  • I wanted a 2 piece so that she could go to the toilet facilities easier. She hasn’t been potty trained that long, I thought a 2 piece would be easier, and I have always hated having to peel off a 1 piece, and worse yet, putting the wet suit BACK ON!
  • I DIDN”T want something that would be considered overtly sexy on my body, she is a little girl, and is going to stay that way for some years to come.
  • I didn’t want characters or obnoxious prints. 
So I settled on making one for her. She picked out the fabric, which really was the only good choice to be had and I picked up McCalls 6729 since that was close to what I wanted and McCalls were on sale.

Overall I found the pattern to be adequate, with the exception of the elastic guides. The elastic guides are of course graded over the 4 sizes given, the instructions say “Lap ends matching Center Backs” but the center back markings are NOT graded. It would have been easier if they had said lap ends a certain amount. So I had to guess.

I did not use fold over elastic, but instead cut strips 1 1/2" wide the length of the guide, this was a bit bulkier but has a harmonious look.
I decided to not cross the straps in back and so far that has worked well. The suit has stayed in place and she can get it on and off by herself.
I need to work on sewing knits, I am not that good at it and my machine skipping stitches does not help! I sewed this on my regular machine using a stretch stich and zig zag for the bindings and elastic.

I thought I would share the skirt pattern piece I created for sizes 3-6, you will still need the original pattern.

So here is the additional pattern piece to making a Tankini from McCalls 6729!

 Tankini Adaption for McCalls 6729