Saturday, 16 May 2015


Sooooo, yesterday I finally got to collect on my Christmas present from my big sis and go to see Disney On Ice, and I was so excited!!

I felt that as my nieces were going dressed up - Big G as Olaf (naturally) and Little E as Elsa in the dress I made her for her birthday - it was only right that I dressed up too, and as my friend, Candice, had kindly purchased some pink sparkly Minnie-ears for me, it was only right that I went as Minnie Mouse, but a pink version.

Cue me looking everywhere for a pattern to make up a dress to make that not only would look A.May.Zing as Minnie, but also something I could wear again, oh, and the fabric to make it in.  

I found the fabric first, from The Little Fabric Bazaar, and then started the arduous process of finding a pattern.  This is in fact a lie - I didn't put much effort into finding the pattern at all.  On a sort through my patterns I came across New Look 6143 and as it has a pink dress on the front (view A), my imagination did not need to do much work to imagine it as a Minnie dress.  The fact I had already made this pattern helped me decide to go with this one - fullish skirt, able to take a collar - that's all I was asking.

So, I set about cutting it out and making a half-hearted attempt at pattern matching as I did so.  I am pleased to say that although not perfect, the pattern matching could have been a lot worse.  

Anywhos, as I was cutting out, I remembered that I had had to make some alterations on my previous version of this dress (view E), so onto the t'interweb I went to look through my blog to see what I had said I needed to alter and by how much, and low and behold, I HADN'T BLOGGED MY PREVIOUS DRESS.  I was horrified with myself, but reasoned that I couldn't blog about it now as I had made it before Xmas and it was an Xmas dress.  So, a quick blog here for you:

Moi, at a Christmas Party in Helmsley, in my Santa Christmas Party Dress
View E of the New Look 6143

This is made using Michael Miller Hurry Down The Chimney fabric, which I ordered from the US via Etsy, and some sparkly navy chiffon, which I ordered from Australia.  Does anyone know where I can get sparkly chiffon in the UK?  TBH I don't mind ordering from Oz really - the postage is much more reasonably priced than the US, from where I have pretty much stopped ordering shizzle simply due to the ridiculous postage costs, and things seem to arrive pretty quickly.  I also follow a few Oz-sewer blogs and I am always very jealous that they seem to have such a good community (I am currently a community of one sewer that I know) and get the most gorgeous fabrics from Japan.

Anyway, I digress.  As I'd forgotten I had not even blogged this beauty, I can't remember what changes I made - I know that I added the red ribbon waist band detail and that I had had to alter the bust dart.  I also know that I didn't put in the waist darts, but I can't remember if this was a fit thing or a design thing because I didn't want to hide anymore of the lovely santas and elves than necessary.  I wore this dress for two xmas parties and had many compliments and a few stares when people realised that it was half-naked men, but I do like to make my clothes a talking point, and I certainly managed that with this one.  Now, to top it this year!!!!

So, back to the Minnie dress - As I had no reference point re the fit, it was back to square one, so it was pretty much like making a new dress again.

Note to self - for future dresses in this pattern I need to do the following:

1. Full Bust Adjustment - 2inch (which I forgot to do on this dress, but I know for nest time)
2. 1inch lengthening to bodice (which I didn't actually do on this dress, but will do in future)
3. Half the size of the waist darts and omit from back entirely (I just don't go in at the waist)
4. Alter the skirt to take into consideration no. 3
5. Learn to do a narrow shoulder alteration - I can live with not doing this, but it would be lovely to do a properly correctly fitting dress

I think that is it, and I have written these onto the pattern envelope so I remember these next time, which I think I will start and do on all my patterns, as they all really need altering in some way or another due to the fact that my shape is just all wrong - big boobs, narrow back, thick waist, narrow hips, total lack of backside, giant thighs, long body, short legs . . . just one thing in proportion to something else would be nice, but hey hum pig's bum, I am learning to work with what I have and I have a (very good) friend who is constantly telling my I dress well and always look glamorous - you can tell she hasn't seen me first thing on a morning looking like Bride of Frankenstein with no make up on, hair looking like I have been electrocuted and no ability to speak until I have cleaned my teeth!!!

Anyway, as usual, I am going off a a very large tangent.  What was I saying . . . . 

 . . . Oh, yes, other than the alterations above, this dress was pretty simple to sew up - the arms and neck are bound, which involves some hand stitching, but that keeps me quiet watching the telly and in my lunch breaks at work.  I was tempted to do some on the train, but the temptation to constantly prod the people who try to sit on my knee with my needle would just be too much.  Seriously though, I may be short, but I am otherwise big enough to see, and its not as if I dress to blend in - I am perfectly visible.  I have therefore concluded that going to back to the glamorous comments, I am just too goddamn gorgeous first thing on a morning when I haven't had my coffee and they WANT to sit on my knee.  I shall be employing the hula hoop of personal space shortly, and I think I shall attach spikes to it so peeps don't get too near.

Sorry, this is getting to be a long post isn't it, and I haven't even got to my collar yet.  I will do so now . . .

So anyway, I do believe that Minnie Mouse always has a collar on or about her dress, so I knew that my dress needed one.  I did toy with the idea that I could add one to the dress, but I also know that I am not really a collar person, so I would likely never wear the dress again if it did have a collar - a detachable collar was needed.  Enter the GatherKits Tallis collar (which coincidentally I shall be stocking in Haberdasherholic shortly).  

This is a great little collar with two style options - rounded and square, and comes in the most gorgeous packaging.

The pattern envelope includes the pattern on tres gut quality dressmakers paper (much better than the annoying crap you get in the Big 4 patterns), and a detailed instruction booklet with pictures that actually make sense.

Look at that sparkle!
Anyway, I decided (of course I did) that I wanted my collar to be sequinned.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to get white sequin fabric?  I can tell you - it is extremely hard!!!!  I may have faired better if I had been willing to travel further than Boyes (end of my road in Ilkers) and I probably would have done if an alternative solution had not presented itself whilst I was wandering the fabric section.  And this solution was I hear you say. . . . It was some (what I think is) crystal organza, underlined with white habatoi . . . ta dah!
Pretty ribbon

So I bought this all  ready to get my collar on, together with a million other things while I was there and some coordinating white satin narrow ribbon, which a sparkly edge.

However, it took me over a week to start making the collar because I was making the dress from hell (a few days later and I still don't think I like the dress!), and I hate to have more than one project on the go at once - I mean, it would requite me changing the thread in my machine and everything, and I am just simply too lazy to do such a thing.

Finished collar
This photo does the sparklyness of the organza or the ribbon no justice whatsoever.

Anyway, I finally started the collar on Tuesday evening while hubby was doing some DIY (and then he went out on his bicycle).  I love love love this project - from start to finish it took me less than two hours, and that included following the actual instructions, rather than just making it up as I went along, and cutting out the organza in one layer instead of two, and cutting out an extra layer of habatoi, so I could underline the organza.

The instructions included in the pattern are very clear and include some helpful tips.  I think this would be a great beginner pattern and I am thinking of running a workshop on it.

Check out my top-stitching on this collar
I would like to say that I followed the instructions to the letter, but I didn't - I didn't press the seams, as I didn't want to find out what would happen to the organza under an iron and I couldn't be bothered to dig out a pressing cloth.  Luckily, the organza was pretty stiff, so some pressing with my fingers did the trick to a certain extent.  I also added some topstitching as an extra interest and because I thought it would be a good enough alternative to slip stitching the opening closed and then pressing - I was right, it worked.  It looks pretty good too (except where I went a bit awry), as the organza just seems to absorb the stitches.

Dress and collar together
Tres Minnie non?

Anyway, I have the rest of my outfit sorted and I will definitely be making both of these items again - in fact, my next project is the dress again (this time a party dress with more sparkly chiffon - turquoise this time), with a bit of pattern hacking - my first attempt at pattern hacking, so fingers crossed it will all go well, if it does, it should look amazing!  And then I want to have a go at my first pair of trousers (or shorts, depending on my fabric choice).

In the meantime . . . 

Happy Crafting!


No idea what I am doing with my right hand . . .
. . . but don't I make a good Minnie Mouse?!

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