Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Tale of two "Alices"

Ahnalin as Alice

India as Alice

Yeah, I know this is crooked. It was 6:00AM, dark and I could say that I was going for an opium enhanced look. (That was said for India's benefit since she vehemently defends Lewis Carroll and insists that he did not smoke opium while writing "Through the Looking Glass".)
Yes. She was dancing. Check out the toes! She is thrilled that her surgeon released her to go back to dance lessons next week! Waahoooo!
Yeah, I know. I have more pictures of Ahnalin, but she will pose more for me and India starts rolling her eyes and making "emo" faces. So, here is a pretty picture from last weekend.

Someday, I am going to get myself a good camera and actually learn to take good pictures. Until then, I will have to make due with my blurry, poorly lit pictures.

Thank you for looking at my beautiful "Alices".

Friday, October 30, 2009

Curiouser and Curiouser

Yes, it is.

India is convinced that she is really the "real" Alice in Wonderland.  So, she had to have her own Alice costume, well not really costume, more like uniform. And then Ahnalin, who idolizes her beautiful sister in every way, had to have one too.

So, this year, I sewed two complete Alice costumes.

And since I am "ME", these are not just costumes, but completely, neurotically sewn, perfect inside and out, garments. Both of the girls can, and most likely will, wear these as regular dresses, and I know the aprons will be worn many times as well.

And the challenge for me was that I needed to make each outfit completely from my stash.

I took a gazillion pics and will not bore you with them all, but here are some fun details.

As you may remember, I fell in love with this dress pattern, Simplicity 2591 and decided to use it for India's blue dress. I love the lines on this design, because it has lovely, soft gathers, but is smooth over the hips. This pattern has a rather unique pocket treatment that I plan on making again.

But the neckline is rather wide, so the sleeves sit wider on the shoulder, making the pinafore top of the apron a bit different to draft. So, that is what I did. I just started pinning my fabric onto the dress form to design the pinafore.

The fabric for India's pinafore white Kona cotton, which had almost a linen texture. I used the last bit of my heart eyelet for the trim on the edges of the bodice.

I found these machine embroider designs via Google search.
You can get them here. I love these designs! They are from the original illustrations of Alice.

I love the White Rabbit so much!

I tried to get a better closeup of the buttons, but they kept catching a glare. They are little clocks!

I love the apron so much!

Ahnalin's Alice ensemble is more traditional. I used a basic yoke dress and pinafore pattern for hers.
The piping looks wonky on the collar but it just caught the light funny. There are little hearts, spades, clubs and diamonds embroidered on the collar.

Her buttons on the back are little white rabbits.

Yes, that is a 5" hem. I wish I had angled the sash ties. 

I made a small crinoline for Ahnalin to wear under her costume. I am not sure how long it will last on her. She hates anything itchy, but her vanity demanded fluff. I am sure it will not end up being worn long. I may take it apart and sew in a layer of batiste under the tulle.
The rest of Ahnalin's outfit was made from Imperial Broadcloth. I LOVE that stuff. I am not a fan of polyester, but for clothes that get worn alot, it does save on ironing. So, many of Ahnalin's costumey type clothes get sewn out of it.

Next up..........I will post pics of my lovely Alices!

Fall break! Family Pictures! And a Squishy Baby Cherish!!

Beautiful girls and one goofy face!

Ahnalin and I just got home from spending over a week at my parent's home in NV. Right after school on Friday, October 16, Don, India, Ahnalin and I jumped into the car and headed over the mountains to Sparks to FINALLY meet our precious baby niece, the GORGEOUS Cherish Noel. Oh...yeah...and her cute mama and daddy were there too! Heehee!
Let me tell you that I LOVED grabbing those yummy baby legs! Cherish is sooooo yummy!

India looks so beautiful, holding her darling cousin Cherish.

We were all so excited to be together, which is a very rare treat, so all complied with my mother's request to take family photos.

My brother Christian, sis-in-love Chelle, and their gorgeous girl Cherish!

Don, me, India and Ahnalin. Guess I should have cropped this one.

My parents with all three of their grandgirls.

After we finished the pictures, and then lunch, Don and India left to drive back to CA so that India could leave for Disneyland with her boyfriend's family. Don had a gig Saturday night and then had to be back at work at church on Sunday. I had originally planned to go back with them to G.V. to sing for church, and then return to Sparks after church. Well, I lost my voice the day after "Showstoppers" and battled my asthma for most of the week. So, Don felt it would be better for me to just stay at my parent's house and get well.

Ahnalin spent nearly every waking second playing with Cherish.

I had planned on making Ahnalin and Cherish some matching "Fall" jumpers, but decided instead to do a "sew-along" with Chelle. I had brought along a ton of things to sew, patterns, fabric, trim, etc. I had fallen in love with some darling fabric with Pilgrims and Indians on it that my friend Janet had sent me. Thank you Janet!!!! It is so cute! We used my favorite a-line dress pattern from the Martha Pullen applique book, because it could be reversible. The other side of the jumper was made from uncut chocolate brown corduroy and we sewed on some turquoise ribbon with daschunds on it. Christian and Chelle have two doxies  (Hey Crockett and Clementine!) and they looked just like the doggies on the ribbon.


We literally got the dresses finished just minutes before Christian, Chelle, and Cherish had to leave for the airport to fly back home. I can't wait to see pics of Cherish wearing her jumper, made just for her by her mama Chelle! See, Chell-Belle, you CAN sew!

After the 3 "Cs" left, I got busy doing more sewing. This little outfit is a dress and leggings made from the cutest hot pink giraffe knit. The lap shoulder top of the dress is from a vintage t-shirt pattern and then I just added the skirt. The leggings pattern is from an older Ottobre.

I love how this leggings pattern fits. I have made several of these and they take about 15 minutes a pair!

More sewing included embroidering these towels for my mom. I like to give embroidered dish towels as thank you gifts and my mom wanted some to give as well. We purchased the blank towels at the dollar store and then embroidered in coordinating colors. It is a fun, fast and economical gift that is fun to give.

I did more sewing as well, but I will continue that in the next post. Ahnalin and I had a wonderful time with my parents. But we were anxious to get home to Don and India by the time Fall Break was over. Ahnalin thought that a perfect solution would be for my parents to move in with us, so that both sets of her grandparents would live in the same house! Oh My!!

There is just so much more I could write about but I am feeling bad that it took me so long to post, so I am just going to close now.

In the morning, I will post pics of the other things I worked on.........Alice in Wonderland costumes for India and to come!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Simplicity 2591-India's "Alice" Dress

India is in love with Alice......and Wonderland.....and the Looking Glass.....and anything else to do with the stories of Lewis Carroll. She insists on referring to him by his real name, Charles Dodgson.

She has been requesting an "Alice" dress for quite some time. However, she wanted it to be a dress she could wear all the time, not just for a costume. I fell in love with this pattern: Simplicity 2591

She chose a cotton/poly blend sateen out of my stash in the perfect shade of "Alice Blue". And I proceeded to try to get this dress done so she could wear it on the night of Showstoppers. Yet, in my haste, I did not make a muslin!!!! UGH! Alas, the dress was very close to fitting correctly but I set it aside for when I had time to fix it.

So, after my brain could breathe a little better, I altered the dress last night. The only alterations I made were to the raglan shoulder seams. I took them in by a 1/4" all around, thus bringing in the shoulder/neckline by 2 inches all around. Perfect fit!

I love the line of the sleeve and shoulder, very pretty and flattering.

I need to re-press the hem and set my clapper on it while it is still warm to set the hemline. I had to curve the hemline slightly to adjust for India's sway-back and the fabric is not holding that curve very well.

I still plan on making her a lacy apron to wear when she is in her "Looking Glass" mood. I promise to post modeled pictures soon!

Over all, I love this pattern and will definitely make it again.