Thursday, May 28, 2009








(okay, yes, that's Xander sleeping, but trust me - he's a helluva lot cuter than me sleeping! Plus I think it's adorable that he plants himself wherever I've been the most - so since I've been doing a lot of sewing lately, he's curled up by my sewing machine. And I know I promised not to post too many pictures of my cats, but COME ON! That's freaking adorable!)

Occasionally I even knit:

Okay, so I haven't photographed any of that lately. Hey, did I mention I've also been working full-time at my temp job? Yikes!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Working from Home

This is how my mornings usually go when I'm working from home. I get up at around 7 (okay, 7:30) and get some coffee and turn on my computer. I open Firefox and my mail, and I've already drunk the first cup of coffee, so I get another cup (and manage to drink this one slowly). I spend approximately two hours doing mostly useless stuff on the computer machine. Some of it isn't so useless, but it's mostly checking out recaps on TWOP, making snarky comments on other peoples' status messages on Facebook, and catching up on the latest inanity on HuffPost.

At some point, I realize that I am hungry, and I spend 20 minutes trying to find something to eat that doesn't require any actual preparation. By the time I realize that I need to actually prepare something, I give up and have a bowl of cereal. By this time, it's 10:30 and I'm awake enough to try to get some work done.

Four hours later, I'm still in my pajamas, I'm hungry again, I haven't brushed my teeth, and my feet hurt because I'm standing there barefoot. I'm also not being very productive, because I haven't put my contacts in, and it's amazing how inefficient you can be when you can't see what you're doing.

New plan: one cup of coffee, oatmeal, brush teeth wash face get dressed put in contacts and go to work! I'll let you know how it turns out.

I'm making a Hawaiian wedding dress for a friend of mine whose wedding is the 30th of this month. She's pregnant, so the plan is to make a dress that can be quickly and easily altered if necessary, and that gives room for the baby belly. She lives in Houston, so fittings are tricky. She flew in last week for a first fitting, and although I took photos for my reference, she really doesn't want pics of what she calls "The Casper Dress" (because the mock-up is in white muslin) being shared, and of course I respect that!

So here's a pictorial diary of the process, sans human body:

First off, padding my size 6 dress form to resemble an actual human woman (as opposed to an LA actor-size woman.)

First, I used an old tee as the base for the padding:

Then added a layer of batting over that:

And then tacked the batting to the tee using a really long whipstitch:

I then draped a fitted sloper in muslin and sewed it into shape:

And fitted it over the padding, safety pinning the back and adding a bra in the size of my client:

I padded it out to a standard size 12, so that I can use it again. Then I can customize the hips, bustline, and waist to the size of the person I'm draping for. For this one, I am also adding a "baby belly" section.

At some point I'll put a zipper in and finish the raw edges so the entire thing is encased, but right now I am working on the wedding dress!

Draping it was so much fun! I love being able to throw fabric on a form and be able to see right away what it looks like, as opposed to flat pattern drafting. The first fitting went pretty well, and now I'm adjusting the pattern and doing a second mock-up. The challenge here is that I won't see the bride again until three days before the wedding, so I'm putting seams in strategic places and building room into them. We've also done an elasticized back -- similar to a sundress -- both for her comfort and to allow for any changes her body may go through in the next few weeks.

This is such a challenge, and so much fun! I'll be posting followup pics as I get them done.