Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Birthday Outfit Update #3: Sew, monkey, sew!

After Shrimp left last Wednesday, I found it physically impossible to not continue to work on the birthday outfits. As you know by now, I am sewing the outfit for baby Mary since Abby lives out of town and Shrimp is making Echo's outfit. So my goal is to finish up Mary's outfit so that Shrimp has a working model to use so Echo's will look somewhat good-ish. I know it's not a real word but it just seems to work here. By the way, Shrimp and I have decided that we would have our own 'challenge', like they do on Project Runway. We are going to use every single piece of fabric that we bought on both these outfits. Will the outfits weigh 10 lbs each and render the girls unable to walk? Maybe. Most likely. Will we have achieved our goal? Yes! And that's what really matters.
By making Mary's outfit first, I figure I can make all the mistakes first and warn Shrimp about them before she starts, like not cutting the lace too short before you start like in this picture. I thought it would work out since I'd be adding the ruffles but in the end I had to rig it a little. You'll see.
How cute are these pants? They are so tiny and yet kinda trampy! To do the lace overlay, I didn't do it the correct way, which would have been to take the pants apart completely and then re-sew them with the lace. Instead, I just sewed the lace right on top with the edges tucked under so there's no raw hem. They ended up looking like teeny chaps.

So now it's ruffle time. I pull the ruffle really tight so it fits on the pant leg, then pin it on right sides together, and sew.
Isn't this adorable?
Then I had to rip it out because I forgot that the black & white is going to be the top ruffle, not the bottom one. See, everyone makes mistakes. I have callouses from my seam ripper. It gets more action than a Playboy owned by a 14 year old boy. So I then just repeated the same with the pink ruffle.

Ta da! Finally, we're off to the right start.

Next, we wanted to add this black lace trim with jewels but it was really skinny so it couldn't be a ruffle on it's own. So to make a base ruffle to sew it onto, I took the pink tulle, folded it over double, and cut out the row and sewed the top and pulled the tails of the thread to get a ruffle. After I got it to the length I needed, I then sewed the black lace right on top at the bottom edge.

After that, I repeated the process with the last layer of ruffles, the black and white print. Hello again!

What I don't have a picture of right now is the other leg; when I finished, there were spots where the lace wasn't long enough to reach the top ruffle. Did I redo it all at that point? Hell no. I added a row of black rick rack to the bottom of the lace on each leg. We're already pretty far gone on these pants, it's not like one more element was going to put it over the top or anything. Check it out in the very last pic.
Here is the left leg finished without the rick rack. I just love how these look like the tiniest hoochie mama pants ever! Look how small they are compared to my hand. Now if only they'd make t-back diapers. Nobody wants a VPL to throw the whole look off.

Time to start the shirts I guess. See what happens? You do all this work on the pants just to have to start all over again with the tops. Okay, here we go.

We decided that for the ruffle surrounding the cameo, we would use alternate fabrics. So Mary's shirt is going to use the black and white fabric and Echo's will use the pink fabric.

The first thing I did was to pin and sew the ruffle in an oval so that when you put the patch on, it'll cover up all the exposed seams.

Then I ironed on the patch over the middle. I need to now work on re-fluffing the ruffle since it's flat as a pancake. I need to ask Erin for some advice of fluffing. Word is she's the expert on the subject.

And this is as far as I've gotten so far. I'm waiting to sew the center seam of the pants up until the last minute in case we need to make any more changes. You can see the rick rack at the bottom of the pants and the bow on the shirt isn't going to stay there; I just pinned it on so I wouldn't lose it. I'm not going to stop until the shirt is just as awesome as the pants! But another day. Maybe the next Shrimp day. What Shrimp lacks in sewing ability she makes up for in creativity. See, she's good for something!


Country Mouse said...

Too cute---can't wait to see the girls in them!!

Stephen P Brown said...

Awesome. So creative!

Anna said...

Thanks! Shrimp is over today working on Echo's pants and she's putting the ruffles in the reverse order. Can't wait to see how those turn out!

FemmeBurger said...

Sew adorable! My mother and I made a dress together years ago and I sometimes think I'd like to give sewing another go. I sewed a poodle skirt for my roommate by hand a few Halloweens ago, complete with Blue from Blue's Clues instead of a poodle, since she works at the Nickelodeon Hotel. It came out great, but I vowed never to sew anything by hand again.

Anna said...

I know what you mean. Once you see how fast it goes with a sewing machine it's hard to go back to hand sewing. I'm going to post an easy tutorial on how to upcycle old t-shirts so maybe that would be a good project to ease yourself back into sewing. The poodle skirt sounds super cute though!