Lady Skater pattern from Kitschy Coo (an independent pattern designer who lives in Edinburgh), which I bought during the summer and started to make a dress from. I never finished it and it still remains with skirt and sleeves unhemmed (it also needs what I've since discovered is called a swayback adjustment. This is to fix a big pool of fabric at the bottom of my back where the skirt attaches to the bodice. But I'll talk more about that another time).
Suffice to say, I've used the Lady Skater pattern before (and will definitely be making myself more dresses from it) and I think it's what I'm after. I have also toyed with the idea of using the Colette Moneta, but even though I have this pattern I haven't made anything from it yet and I think the Skater shape of skirt is what I'm after for this costume, more than the Moneta gathered skirt (the velvet might be too bulky to gather?) A lot of this is guesswork right now as I'm still such a novice sewer!
|Love this velvet dress from American Apparel - great if you're 17 years old and a size 0!|
With type of fabric now settled on, I had to go about getting it! Luckily my no.1 favourite fabric shop in Victoria (actually it's in Langford, just outside of Victoria), the Cloth Castle, had the exact red stretch velvet which would be perfect for Mrs Santa, and it also happened to be on sale when I popped in last week. Score! They did have the same in navy blue, but it was more like a midnight blue and practically black (only showing as a dark blue when the nap was running the wrong way).
After trips to the other two fabric stores, I've struck out trying to find blue stretch velvet or I would have even settled for panne velour but there was none of that to be had either. So fabric.com it is! I'll be ordering tonight and should receive it by the end of this week. I could have got it cheaper on ebay, but the delivery won't be anywhere near as quick as fabric.com (one of the things I love about that website).
And today I braved the metropolis of Fabricland and actually made my first ever purchases from there! This is by far the biggest fabric shop in terms of square footage and the majority of their fabrics are apparel and home decor, with a smaller quilting cotton section, which is the reverse of the Cloth Castle and Gala (although they both have good apparel sections but not nearly as much as Fabricland).
|Obligatory shot of Bonnie on top of material|
|Netting, faux fur, and silver bias binding, wooh! Fabricland, I am now yours|
But today I made a list of exactly what I needed, stuck to it (apart from not getting the blue stretch velvet), asked for and got assistance at the cutting table and an explanation of what the membership benefits were (basically 20-50% discounts, much of which I was able to take advantage of today), and generally felt like I know what to do with everything that I bought. That is a huge step for me in the learning curve, and I feel quite buoyed up about it now!
Even though I'm nervous as feck about cutting into the red velvet, I do feel like all my planning is coming together and there's nothing I haven't considered or fully researched. All that's left is to actually do it, and with a little luck I'll get the resulting dress shape I'm hoping for!
|Red and green stretch velvets|
The lady selling it had a bin full of fabrics, and comes every week, so I must pop in again soon. I also got a 3m length of a very drapey cotton from her, which I think I'll use for the Sew Over It 1940s Tea Dress, when I get some time to try that pattern out. Again, the fabric was only $5, so it's no biggie if I muck it up.
|Over 6m of fabrics for 10 bucks, still patting myself on the back for it!|
The one thing I want to improve most about my sewing is knowledge of fabrics. As I am quickly discovering, it is so essential in making your final garment sit and fit right. Picking the wrong fabric for the wrong pattern is self-sabotaging before you even pick up your fabric and cut. And if you are truly ignorant about it, it's very frustrating as you can wrongly blame bad fit on your sewing skills, faulty measurement, or even your own body (that way lies danger). These are the times when I wish I had a pal or two close by (even though I try to pick my pals back home brains as often as I can) to help navigate me through the marshy swamps of the world of fabrics.
So anyway, I'm going to use the green velvet for a toile/test dress, and hope to make it all tomorrow. I'll possibly baste on the faux fur I bought today, so that I can remove it after and use it for one of the real dresses. I'm still a bit unsure of the technique I'll have to use to attach the faux fur so that's why I want to practice with it first. Worst comes to worst, I'll leave it attached to the toile, and buy more for the real versions.
I've got a deadline of delivering the finished dresses (I'm also making some elf ears, elf slipover shoes, elf and santa hats, and a tulle petticoat to go under each dress). I was possibly going to make the belts too, but having spent a lot of time online today researching how to do it (quite easy if you make a wide elastic cinch belt), it seems that by the time I buy the buckle and elastic, it will be cheaper just to buy a belt.
|A Scotch and Wry classic character from scottish comedy legend, Rikki Fulton|
|This is not what a feminist looks like - but it is what dominates the type of xmas costumes available for women. Yuck.|
I'll post more as I progress, wish me luck cutting into the velvet!