Belle Ballgown Part 9: The Final Pictures!




Look at that little princess!!!


But wait…does it twirl??




It does!


What’s left to do but jump for joy?



When she sits, it poufs!



Look at the movement of it!



Oh, and I made one for her doll out of the scraps. Can’t see it very well here, haha. That’s okay, because I was kind of sick of it by then and didn’t do a very good job…dsc02244

So happy! Now onto the tuxedo for the little brother….

Throwback Thursday: The 1st garments I ever sewed

So I just got my sewing machine a few months before this, and it makes total sense to add on to the stress of Christmas by making my kids’ Christmas Eve pajamas, right?!?

*sigh* When will I ever learn?

So off I went to Joann’s to buy the deeply discounted flannel. BTW, flannel and fleece go on major discounts every December. It’s definitely the best time to buy, especially for fleece. Fleece often goes as much as 75% off. So plan ahead and stock up for next year!

Anyway, I found an adorable robot material for my son and a purple bumblebee pattern for my daughter. Spoiler alert: my daughter still adores hers and wears it all the time, even though it’s falling to pieces. My son HATED his, and still does. To be fair, though, he hates all pajamas, and all clothes for that matter. :p

So that pattern I used for my son’s was McCall’s M6458. Keep in mind that this was the first time I ever sewed anything with interfacing, buttonholes, etc…


See how thrilled he is with his new pjs?? Yeah..

Anyway, even though I made the smallest size and it said that it was right for him, it came out huge. Not sure what I did wrong. The print is also a little too busy for someone that small, now that I’m looking back at it. It is cute, though!!!

For my daughter, I used Simplicity 1575. Much easier, but I had so much trouble with that collar. I’d never used bias tape before. I’m still no good at using bias tape, actually. Not sure why. Here are a couple more (blurry) shots:


Overall, it wasn’t too terrible for a first attempt. But I could definitely do much better if I tried again!

Throwback Thursday: My Parents’ 25th Anniversary Surprise Party

A few years ago, my sister and I threw a surprise party for my parents’ 25th anniversary. Well, it was a surprise for my dad, but my mom knew, because she hates surprises! But she only knew the time and place, not who we’d invited or decorations or anything.

Being a little low on funds (like usual) I decided to try to make some of the decorations myself. Because I’m crazy and stupid like that.

I had some left over crepe paper streamers from another party, so I decided to make a big “25” out of flowers made from them. I got the instructions from here.

And here is my result:


Not too bad. Then I cut out numbers from cardboard and hot glued it all together. The idea was here.

My results:img_1534

Not quite as good. I’m not good at random placements, lol. I do better with perfect symmetry.

Next, I tried to do my parents’ initials with quilling. I don’t know that I had inspiration from any one source, I just read and looked at a lot of things. It’s not true quilling…I didn’t buy the fancy paper or tools or anything. I used cardstock to outline the letters, then curled construction paper around a toothpick and just sort of arranged them inside. I was trying to sort of fade from their favorite colors in a diagonal direction…It only kind of worked. My result:


Final verdict: For free, I think these are pretty awesome results. Fairly tedious, though, so neither are something that I’d want to do again. On the other hand…now that I have a Cricut, I wouldn’t have to cut all of the quilling strips by hand, and that was the worst part. So…maybe??

Belle Ballgown Part 8: The Penultimate Post!

I’m almost done! Next post will be final photos!

I attached the bodice and put in the zipper. One of the reviews I read said to put in a regular zipper, not an invisible zipper, because the invisible one was too hard. Since I’ve never done an invisible zipper, I thought that sounded pretty good. But even with using just a regular zipper, I broke the sewing machine needle twice. There was simply too much material or something. I ended up handsewing it in place.

After that, all that was left was to gather the drape by hand. Now this is the first place where using organza was a disadvantage. Tulle fluffs up really well, but organza is stiffer. So the drape isn’t quite the shape I’d like it to be, it sort of hangs and looks heavy. But overall, it looks like I want it to be. I’m so happy!


Belle Ballgown Pt. 7

I’ve now attached the bodice, and man, this this is heavy. Big and poufy and heavy and beautiful.

However, while I was able to get the bodice attached just fine, the armholes are just impossible. So, hand basting/sewing it is. dsc01410

The bodice and lining need to be basted together (shown here) and then you have to sew on bias tape to encase the raw edges. So when purchasing, make sure your bias tape matches your fabric as closely as you can. I don’t know how visible it will be, but it doesn’t really get covered up except for the drape. If I had plenty of time, I would probably make my own bias tape out of the fabric, because that would look infinitely more professional. But with things as they are, a light yellow tape will have to do, and I’ll just have to hope she doesn’t raise her arms too much!!

I sort of enjoy handsewing. Don’t get me wrong, I love my machine. But there’s something so soothing about pulling the thread through yourself. And my daughter loves to “help” by pulling it through for me.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel! The dress is coming together, bit by bit!

Belle Ballgown Pt. 6

It’s actually starting to look like a dress! Yahoo!!


This is just the lining pieces with the skirt, I haven’t attached the bodice yet. The skirt is sandwiched between the two lining pieces, which is why you needed two, and the drape is sandwiched between the two bodice pieces (not shown.) I tried it on my daughter, who LOVES it and immediately started twirling. It’s so beautifully puffy. And the layers of fabric did exactly what I wanted them to. You can see here that because I had to hem the organza, it’s a bit shorter than the tulle, so I’ll need to trim that, but luckily the length of the hemmed tulle is exactly what I needed for my daughter’s height. If you’re using all tulle, then you won’t have to worry about hemming at all (and trust me, the hemming was a huge pain.) But I’m just so madly in love with the look of organza that I couldn’t resist. 🙂

Belle Ballgown Pt. 5

Ugh. Tulle. So much tulle. I’m having nightmares where gigantic tulle bolts chase me and wrap me in their horrible, webby clutches while I scream and slowly suffocate.

Okay, not really. But really, the tulle on this thing is insane. Look at this: cropped-dsc01392.jpg

It barely fits under my sewing machine. Like I said, I used two layers of yellow tulle, one layer of gold glitter tulle, and one layer of organza. For those that are cutting, that means I cut 8 pieces of #10 in yellow tulle, 4 in glitter tulle, and 4 in organza. Then you sew the like fabrics together to make 4 layers.

I decided to use a new technique I’d heard of to gather. Instead of doing two rows of long basting stitches and pulling, I took on thread of a different color and ran a zigzag stitch over the top of it, then just pulled that thread. You can see it a little bit better here: dsc01401

This was taken just as I was coming back around to the beginning. If you look carefully, you can see the zigzag stitch going over a black thread. I’ve found I really prefer it. Basting just seems to put so much stress on the fabric. This is more like creating a casing for the black thread, and then you just pull it up.

But basically, no matter what you do, you’re going to be battling a massive pile of tulle and organza. Godspeed, my friend.