To contact me, please email tiffanykaydesigns(at)yahoo(dot)com

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sew-vivor Entry

Over at Family Ever After, Rachel is hosting Season 2 of Sew-vivor. I've decided this will be my audition entry for this season. I feel I should give you the back story for this dress. 
About 10 months ago I received an email from a gal that is best friends with one of my favorite sisters-in-law. And had previously asked me to make a carseat cover for her newest addition. This is what it said,

I have a pretty important and special sewing task I would be interested in talking to you about.  I want to take my girls blessing dresses that I had specially made for them and make them into the white dress they wear on their baptismal day. 
 My oldest daughter will be turning eight in August and will be baptized in September.  I thought if I gave you plenty of notice this might be something we could ... convert the beautiful blessing dress into a baptism dress.  


Of course I said YES!!! I love a challenge, and stretching my abilities.

I could kick myself for not taking a picture of the blessing dress that she wore as a small infant but found one that looks similar so you could get the idea. 

There was one trick though. I had to be able to use the fabric is such a way on the new baptism dress so that it could be used as the veil someday when she gets married. Yikes! What a challenge! But, challenge accepted.  It reminded me of the poem My Three White Dresses.

I started by making two sample dresses because Mindy kind of knew what she wanted but wasn't a hundred percent sure. She knew she wanted cap sleeves and a square neck, and that because she was getting baptized when it was still warm she wanted the dress to hit mid-calf. I whipped these two dresses up and we decided to combine the two.

I felt very inadequate to take on such a task, but one quick snip of the scissors on the blessing dress and it was no turning back. I used Simplicity 5704 and shortened the sleeves just slightly and instead of added a band, put in an elastic. 
Then I added a liner and hand stitched all the little beads to the bodice. The flower I also made using a similar satin burning technique to the one found here. I found these antique looking buttons at Wal-Mart and fell in love with them. I stitched the flower and button to the dress rather than gluing it together. 

This project also introduced me to tricot fabric. The top/shortest layer is the layer from the blessing dress with 2" ribbon added to it. I had also never done an overlay on a dress the didn't go exactly half way down the middle. It had to be off-center. It was a measure like 6 times, cut once instead of measure twice, cut once situation. I also loved the elastic in the cap sleeve.

Considering this sweet little gal lives 200 miles away and I didn't get to try it on her AT ALL, it fits her like a glove. 

Wish me luck and make sure to hop over to Family Ever After and check out the other auditions and good luck to everyone!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Mostly Dresses...Ok, it's all dresses

I got to take these three girls this weekend just for kicks and giggles. These little red heads are so much fun. 

They wanted their hair done since their mom leaves for work early in the morning during the week and dad doesn't do hair. I was all too happy to oblige. I was excited how well the double braids turned out on the oldest two. I had never done it before.

Brooke was so funny. She started pulling her braids out and when I asked her why? she said, "betause I not weady da fust time you did dem." It was so cute. Jenny is definitely a girly-girl and wanted to be in dress-ups all day.  After I did  their hair and they had eaten breakfast, they wanted a tea party. So we cut up a doughnut and a slice of pizza and had a tea party in the living room.

Jenny being in her dress-up led to the other girls wanting  dress-up dresses. So we did pillowcase dresses. It was the only way I could whip up 3 of them in a short amount of time. 

Nikki is turning 8 this year and insisted on helping. When she sat down she said "I always wanted to learn how to sew." That's what I love about my machine. I have a setting on it that controls the speed so that no matter how hard you push on the foot pedal the speed stays the same. She did very well and really is moving the fabric through all by herself. She did the straight lines and fed the ribbon through with a safety pin almost 100% by herself with a little bit of coaxing. 

So, of course, because Nikki helped with hers, Jenny had to help with hers. She positioned her fingers correctly and everything. At 6 I was a little worried about her ability to do it, but she did beautifully. She knew how to do the foot pedal all by herself. While I was making Nikki's, she kept designing clothes on my dress form. She would drape fabric on it, then say, "how does it look now?"

This is them all done. Except for Nikki, (who decided she would rather have a blue dress than the white and pink floral just in the nick of time before I cut into it), the other two stayed in theirs for hours. On Nikki's we put some line white loop ribbon along the bottom. For Jenny's I found some iron-on hearts and attached them.


I was up late Saturday night finishing her dress. She loved it. After I did her hair for church she kept twirling and twirling around. She was so excited.

I had originally made the red and black ones back in 2009 for a wedding reception that never happened (but's that's another story for a different day) and am a little shocked that the two oldest still fit in theirs.

They wanted a picture in their matching dresses with their tiaras they'd won miniature golfing the night before. Instead of saying "cheese" they said "PRINCESSES!"
It was fun to have them. I have a new respect for mothers with small children who sew while they are awake.  What should have taken an hour to 90 minutes tops, ended up taking about three.  No wonder my mother did all her sewing at night after we were in bed. I had so many little helpers while I was doing their pillowcase dresses. I did most of Brooke's dress after the girls had gone to bed. Even with the liner and a zipper, it only took me about 4 hours to do and that includes the cutting. Zippers don't seem as daunting anymore. And after making this dress 5 times before, by number 6 it was cake! I was thankful for the opportunity to have them, even though it really pulled at my baby hunger.

Linking up to Finish it up Fridays with Amanda Jean  and Project Run and Play's signature look linky party