Commercially Alternative: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Three-Tiered Skirt

For my first Lolita skirt, I decided to make a three-tiered skirt instead of a simple rectangle skirt. I used this tutorial by tian_shi on livejournal for the measurements of the tiers. My skirt measures a little over 23" long. It took a long time with all of the gathering, but the ratios seem to be spot on and it is super full! I really suggest everyone use these ratios for their own skirt. My only complaint is my waistband. I didn't want an elastic waistband like the tutorial. Therefore, I was going to use the waistband of a renaissance skirt I had made, as I knew it would fit well, and a zipper. However, I couldn’t locate it the pattern piece and used the waistband from another skirt pattern. As a result, my waistband is a tad too large. Next time I will do a test fit after I baste the gathers to the waistband and before I sew everything up. Luckily, I have since found the waistband for my renaissance skirt. It had decided to run away from me and hide in the bottom of my sewing box. 

Anyway, please tell me what you think! I would love to hear everyone's opinion's and suggestions. You can see the color better in the previous post.
Without a petticoat

With a petticoat

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blouse Pictures

As promised, I have pictures of my new blouse. The added waist ties definitely help prevent the blouse from poofing up too much over skirts. I am really happy with how it turned out. Is it perfect? Does it look like brand? Gosh no, but I think it is great for my first blouse. I learned a lot during the whole process and that’s what counts. In addition, the pictures show a little preview of the skirt I made. Please tell me what you think. 

Here's the blouse without waist ties. For some reason my flash wasn't cooperating at this time.

And here it is with the waist ties. You can't see them as they are below the skirt, but they do bring in the excess bulk.
 As a bonus, here are the shoes I painted for my Danny Fenton costume. I was originally going to buy a pair of red converse. However, I didn't want to spend $45 on shoes that make my feet look like a pair of skies. Therefore, I bought a pair of $8 white sneakers from Kmart. I used the same red-pink glitter paint I used for the shirt. Masking tape was used for the white toes. Since the toes are just plain canvas, I used some Scotch Guard as well to try and prevent them from getting too dirty.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Detatchable Blouse Ties and a Costume

After a couple of weeks of busy insanity, I’ve managed to get a couple of things done.

The first thing done was to add waist ties to my blouse! This simple project didn’t take much time at all. The ties are about an inch wide and about 24 inches long each. I wanted them to be longer, but this was all the fabric that I had left over. The best part was sewing the buttonholes and buttons. My sewing machine is really a dream to work with on both these fronts. I just insert the button into the buttonhole foot and adjust the width and my machine makes a lovely buttonhole all on its own. The most trouble I had was turning the ties right side out, especially the corners. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get crisp corners. This is definitely something for me to further research. In addition, I initially sewed on the buttons too high. However, this was a simple problem to overcome as I just snipped them off and quickly reattached them with my sewing machine.

I added some interfacing on the ends with the button holes as this is an area of high stress concentrations.

Ties pined and hand basted

Now I just have to figure out how to tie a nice bow behind me.

The second thing was my outfit for this year’s costume party.

Does anybody recognize it? It’s Danny Fenton from Danny Phantom! Yay for simplicity! It’s going to be a gender bender Danny, as I don’t feel like binding. In addition, what I thought was red fabric paint turned out to be a pinkish red with glitter. I really don’t know how that happened. I guess I don’t know what the word scarlet means. Despite that, I think it looks cool and it looks red if you're not looking too closely. I still have to buy some sneakers and paint them a matching pink glitter as well.

I used masking tape at the sleeves and neck to get crisp lines. This method worked best on the sleeves, but was troublesome on the curve of the neck. I also followed Happy Catmint's tutorial for the front oval. I had a little trouble as I think my X-acto knife was a little dull.

I hope that I can get some pictures of the blouse worn in the next couple of days. I’ll save pictures of my Danny shirt worn for after the party.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Quick Update

Here's a quick update. School just keeps bringing waves and waves of work, so I haven't gotten much done. In addition, Operation JSK has been put on hold in favor of fixing up my blouse. As I've mentioned before, it has a tendency to bunch up over the waistbands of skirts. Even though it's not made out of quality material, it's still a nicely shaped blouse. I want to make it useful until I get around to purchasing some nice fabric to make another one. 
I've been debating with myself on how I wanted to fix this problem. However, most of my ideas seemed to be more effort than this cheapie experiment blouse was worth. I thought of ripping out sections of seams and sewing in waist ties, but I always pushed this idea aside because it just sounded so permanent if something went wrong. Then, a couple of days ago, I noticed something on Innocent World blouses. Their waist ties are detachable! Brilliant! If the waist ties look wrong, or don't do their job and just add bulk I can simply snip off the buttons and have the same old shirt once again!

Example of an Innocent World blouse with detachable waist ties

Hopefully, I can get this ball rolling Friday! (I also hope I have enough leftover fabric *crosses fingers*)