Sunday, May 12, 2013

Plush Team!

Just a quick note to mention that I was accepted to Etsy's Plush Team this quarter (yay! that was a big 2013 business goal for me!) and I have a post up today on the evolution of my giraffe plush design. Please go check it out! 

Monday, May 6, 2013


Couture dress front
Well, I certainly didn't *mean* to take a 6-month break from the blog, but...! Life, you know? I'm just popping in today to share a bit of progress, because even though things aren't being blogged here or posted to my Flickr page (both things I really want to improve upon), they are happening.

Couture dress midriff front
For instance: this dress. This is my in-progress couture dress from the Susan Khalje Couture Dress class on I have been working on this pretty much exclusively for two months already! I had hoped to finish a month ago, in time for my birthday, as is my tradition, but alas... (I tabled the dress for a day and whipped up another, so no fretting! I did have my birthday dress!) I knew this dress would be time-consuming, but underestimated exactly how much time!

Couture dress front bodice side detail
Still... It is phenomenal. I am loving it. The dress is made from an Amy Butler voile print, underlined in silk organza. I got a deal on the silk because it was "printed" to look like a linen texture. The printing side is a little sticky to iron, but the other? Fab. And it's silk! And it was half price. Score.

Couture dress back
In these photos you can see the silk organza underlining and the many many many catch-stitches I did, in various thread colors, to hold the seam allowances open by tacking them to the underlining. In some places on the underlining you can see the grainline marks that I transferred while tracing, or even my marker labels of "front" and "back" on the circle skirt pieces, which are slightly different. You can also see the back of my hand-picked zipper. It was my first time doing ALL of these techniques, much less in one garment!

Couture dress hem
And oh, this hem! This hem. I have spent probably 12 hours on this hem! Fully encased in there is a 2" wide strip of horsehair braid! I didn't leave enough hem allowance to enclose the braid when I cut the skirt pieces, so I created a hem facing out of a wide bias strip of lining fabric. The horsehair braid was catch-stitched to the turn of the hem, and then shaped into a curve and catch-stitched at the top of the braid as well. The bias strip was then pressed up and fell-stitched to completely cover the horsehair braid--both to hide all those loose catch-stitch threads and to keep the braid safe from washing and wearing. And look at those lovely cones and graceful folds of fabric! I'm very pleased with these results.

Couture dress hem detail
So, what's left? I've basted the skirt lining in place and am working on fell-stitching the bodice lining around ALL the outer edges, and then understitching it to the seam allowance as well. Then goes in the midriff band, and then the lining hem! And then all the finishing touches. Heh. So, I still have a ways to go, but nothing near all the work I've already put in, what with tracing and fitting and hand-basting the entire thing together... Still, it's the best fit I think I've ever gotten on a garment, as you will see! The work is all totally worth it, and I'm really enjoying the process. Still, I need to wrap this up, because I've got some plush drafting to do! I hope to debut at least one new animal at this upcoming show I've been accepted to! (!!!!!!!)

And if you're interested in more frequent updates from me, I hang out on Twitter a lot, and have been posting on Instagram and my Facebook page a bit as well.