Friday, August 29, 2014

Detachable Wings!

Short blog today, but with extra pictures!  Leading up to Grandma's 70'th birthday party, I've been sewing my heart out finishing grandma's present, and also finishing up Liz's new party dress.  This is the second variation I've done with this dress, and it all worked very well.  She wore it all day out of the house, and enjoyed using the pretend wings to amuse herself when all the grown-ups were gabbing.
The idea of this dress is to be usable as a regular dress, but also to be a play-pretend dragon dress.  My daughter wanted an ice/water dragon look.  So I colorblocked the front and added flounces at the armholes in leftover blue knit with silver sparkle.  I did't do a great job on the sleeve flounces, I've never made them before and was just going from directions on the internet.  I needed to make the spread wider, because there isn't a lot of flounce in these flounces.
I used a knit trim on the blue hem, and a ribbon trim on the white part of the dress. It's pretty subtle but if you look it's there.
Liz seems pretty happy overall with the dress. :D

Earlier this summer at Girl Scout Camp, we saw a girl wearing wings, and it gave Liz this idea.  I just had to figure out HOW to do it.
I ended up using buttons so the wings are detachable! (Thanks Arianna from Pattern Review for that idea!)
These will come off to easily wash the dress alone.  Also, it worked well to wear them all day, which she did in the car, at Grandma's house, and around the mall without any issues.
She's not smiling here, I think I wore her patience out for pictures when we were supposed to be on the way to a birthday party, lol.

The dress does have great twirl factor!  I love the handkerchief style hem, lots of shape and flare.

 I felt the back was a little boring, just white with a hint of blue from the bottom trim and the sleeve flounces.  I had a crazy idea about making diamonds down the back, but Liz asked it she could just have a strip of something like dragon spines.  I let her pick out the buttons at Jo-anns, which she loves to do.  They are opalescent half circle buttons, and I think look very pretty down the center back ribbon.  And look, white is terrible for kids, already she got something on it.  Sigh. Lol. Good think I made sure it would be easy to wash. :)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

OOOO(h)! Making Lei's

Sometimes it is amazing when we realize how much life is running right by us.  My daughter just turned 7, and in a few weeks my mother will be turning 70!  I am so glad that she moved closer recently so I can visit her more. :D

For her birthday, there is a Luau with another group of people, then the family is planning something special for her afterwards. 
Mom wanted to go to the Luau, but was unhappy with her clothing options.  Hey, finally something I can help with!  So I told her I'd make her a pretty floral shirt, and then Liz and I got the idea to make a few nice leis.  Something people will want to keep.  We have a couple of cheap plastic ones, but I wanted to make something nice for mom and the family to wear to the party.

So I went to Jo-anns, and they have 40% off their fall floral. Lots of reds, dark yellows and oranges. I was hoping for purples, bright yellows, and whites. Well, we make do with what we can find.   We ended up with one bunch of yellow/brown and one bunch of red. At first I was worried about the yellow/brown, but I think the variety inside that one bundle allowed us to make some very unique leis for each person.

After disassembling the flower parts at home and organizing them by color, we started making moms lei first. Her outfit is black with red and white flowers on it, so I decided to go all read with a touch of green to break it up.  I wasn't really sure how to proceed, and I looked up a couple of internet tutorials, and just tried out things.

For this one I ended up stringing 5 flowers and one leaf, then tying and knot, repeat until the end.  This made a VERY full Leigh, and the spacing can be a little erratic.  I think I may redo this one to be longer, and have more even spacing.
I used the same technique on the orange/gold/red one for Liz.  Although hers is also bunched up, she's fine with it and plans to disassemble it for crafting materials after the party.  :)

I wanted to space them out more so I could make 2 more leis out of the final flowers, so I made mine next (dark yellow and white). I tied a knot on every single flower, keeping any flowers from bunching up.  It took a while, but it made a necklace with a LOT less flowers than the first two.

After finishing, I realized I had spaced them out a little too much, and also that I had still done a bit of an uneven job, but that I'm happy enough with it as is.

Lastly I made my hubbies, and I spaced his out nicely and evenly I think (again, by tying each and every flower and leaf in place).  I also really like how the brown/gold and green works well for making a more masculine lei.

In the end, I used up all but a small handful of the blossoms.  I really hope mom likes it all!