My wish since starting this costume was to get it photographed in a pumpkin patch. Last month on an early Saturday morning that wish was granted!
It was an cold and windy day, which was unfortunate because my hair doesn’t get on well with wind and turned to a frizzy mess in minutes. But the trip was completely worth it because the location was filled with vibrant colors and thousands of pumpkins!
Today I will likely consume several pounds of pumpkin pie, so it seems like a fitting day to post pictures of myself in pumpkin patch.
If you are curious about the process of making this dress, those blog posts can be found here!
A few months ago I shared some pretty controversial news about my hatred towards Summer. Surprisingly I received a lot of positive feedback from likeminded people, which is why i’m feeling brave enough to make another statement. This time about a beloved holiday: Halloween
I don’t like it. At all.
Honestly my favorite thing about October 31st is that the craze l ends and I can stop hearing about it and seeing posts related to it. That probably sounds really bad. Like i’m some sort of halloween grinch. Sorry.
I enjoyed it when I was much younger, but I grew out of it before I was in my teens. I used to think it was pretty silly and didn’t understand why it was even considered a holiday, and I still feel that way. But it seems I’m the only one since every year people are bursting with Halloween spirit as soon as October comes along.
I know I should like it, someone passionate about costumes should appreciate a “holiday” centered around them. However I love costumes so much that I wear them whenever I feel like it, I don’t confine my costume ideas and wear time into a single day.
All that being said – you guys know I have a huge weakness when it comes to seasonal decor. Even though I dislike halloween, and orange is my least favorite color, and gore makes me want to puke, I found myself in the Halloween section of Michaels on a fateful Monday night.
And I left with $70 of halloween, and weirdly, christmas decorations with a project in mind.
Paired with a trip to Joanns and the weirdly tempting pile of crappy polyester that is the Spirit halloween collection and the project was confirmed. I already showed my haul for this project in my progress report last month, so go browse that if you want to see the raw materials before I tore them apart for this project!
My original idea looked like this. I wanted it to be similar to my other flower dresses but with an edgy twist.
I wanted the bodice to be shaped like bat wings, which was a neat idea in theory but didn’t end up looking that great. Since I have a pretty small chest there wasn’t enough room to get the shapes the way I wanted.
But I figured it would be okay and moved forward with the idea.
I actually added all the boning and hemmed the edges before realizing it just wasn’t working. It looked like something you could buy from a Halloween store and the shapes were more spidery than batty.
So I trashed that. As in literally threw it in the trash and started over. Instead I took it in a different, simpler direction. I decided to make a vaguely 18th century stays reminiscent bodice that would give a conical shape and tie at the shoulders and up back.
The pattern looked like this.
I managed to reuse all the boning from my failed bodice, so that was good. The boning channels were made from one inch wide strips of cotton broadcloth that had the edges folded over.
I cut my bodice base from the same broadcloth, then marked the boning channels and “hem line” where the edge will be folded over.
All the boning channels were sewn in place and boning was added.
I was happy with it but it looked really cheap, which isn’t surprising since broadcloth is less than $3 a yard. To fancy it up a bit I took some black mesh and stitched it on as an overlay. This was purchased from the spirit fabric line at Joanns a few years ago, it has spiderwebs and bats stitched into the mesh, it’s really cute!
After that was sewn in place I rolled all the edges over and sewed them down.
Warning: if you have a fear of glitter I would suggest skipping this part
Then it was time for the fun part, embellishing! I saved some glittery bats, leaves, and spiders for this along with the orange and silver christmas decorations. Unlike my previous flower dresses, there aren’t any flowers in the bodice.
I was really torn about how this looked, but it’s grown on me over time! I think it’s really strange and pretty.
I removed any glue strings and added the tulle overlay. I was surprised to find that it looked very sheer. I was hoping it would subdue the decorations a bit and make everything a bit less intense, but that didn’t happen!
The tulle does still have a purpose though, it keeps glitter from escaping.
The edges of the tulle were rolled over and stitched down. Then I added silver grommets to the shoulders.
These days I usually hand embroider eyelets but I thought the contrast of the silver grommets would look better in this particular garment.
I cut strips of my batty mesh material and used those as ties at the shoulder.
To finish off the garment I sewed black bias tape around the interior to cover any ugly edges.
Then I added grommets to the back and it was done! It didn’t turn out the way I had planned but I think it’s cute, sparkly, and tacky without looking cheap. So it meets all my goals for this project.
Here is the bodice worn, this is a few steps further along after it had been sewed to the skirt and I added a sash.
It fits really nicely and I like how the neckline turned out!
Next week i’ll talk about making the skirt and assembling it all together. I also have some historical projects coming up this month, if you are getting sick of fashiony stuff just wait around a bit longer!
This is part two in my Fall Flower Fairy project, part one covers how I made the skirt and can be read here.
Today i’ll be going over how I made the bodice. If you’re interested, i’ve created a video that shows (some) of the process, and that can be watched here!
This bodice was originally supposed to look like two oak leaves…but then I wanted to add sleeves, so I changed the shape…but when I made the sleeves I didn’t like how they looked. This bodice didn’t turn out how I had expected, not even close, but I really love the end result.
Step one was draping the pattern. I’ve been asked about the process a lot recently and I will be doing a draping tutorial soon, I just haven’t gotten to it yet.
I didn’t really know where this was going when I started, I didn’t even have a sketch so it was an adventure!
I had planned on it being a five piece pattern but I managed to draft it as one, so that was neat.
As lovely as the care bear print was, I decided to turn it into a proper paper pattern. Then I cut the pattern from chiffon and organza to create the base for my bodice.
The layers were pinned together, then basted together with large stitches.
The next step was adding the boning channels. I used a colored pencil to mark the placement.
To create the channels I cut one inch strips of cotton sateen, folded the edges over, then pinned and stitched them in place.
Before adding the boning I used a colored pencil to mark an inch away from the neckline. Later on I’ll fold the edge over until it touches this line, which will create a half inch seam allowance.
I added the boning, then pinned the edge. Pinning curves inward is never fun, so many pinpricks!
I used tiny stitches to secure the edge in place.
Then the fun part, flower arranging! I didn’t have very many small flowers left so this was a bit tricky, but I managed to place them in a way that I really like!
I trimmed all the flower backs down so they would lay flat against the fabric. Then I used hot glue to secure them in place.
After all the flowers were on I used a lint roller to remove any glue trails and lint. Then two layers of tulle were draped and pinned overtop.
The tulle was sewn down with more tiny stitches and the end result looked like this!
It’s quite lovely but not done yet! The interior edges were fraying so I pinned lace over top of them.
Then the lace was sewn down.
And the bodice was pretty much done!
As far as dress assembly goes, it was pretty simple. I machine stitched the waist seam, then used home made bias tape to cover any raw edges.
The back seam was done up almost all the way. I left room for a zipper but there was to much material to stitch through AND I made it slightly too small. I ended up using embroidered eyelets as closures for the dress which worked really well.
Here is the finished back – It does lace closed all the way but I am the absolute worse at getting myself into dresses.
So that’s that! I really adore how this dress turned out. It’s the type of dress that makes you smile, it’s so fluffy and flowery I just love it. I’ll have more photos in my next post, which will cover making the headpiece and “wand”!
Sorry for my lack of updates! I had my wisdom teeth out and my recovery wasn’t fun. It took me almost two weeks to get back to sewing, and then I got distracted by new projects…
But now i’m focused again and updates should be back to the regular two times a week!
A couple months ago I made a flower dress inspired by Spring and Summer, though I didn’t completely love the finished dress I did really enjoy making it. Before it was even finished I had ideas from more dresses using the same technique, so it’s not too surprising that I decided to make another very similar dress.
This time I’m going with an Autumn theme, using flowers from Ashlands fall collection.
I purchased these a few weeks ago when they were 40% off, but I had a 20% off the entire purchase coupon too. I was just in Michaels the other day and they were all 60% off which means they will be on clearance soon – if you are interested in getting fall flowers now is the time to do so!
Fall flowers are probably my favorite, even though I dislike orange and yellow I love how the warm rich tones look together. Fall in general is pretty great, it starts to cool off, candy corn becomes available, it’s the season of pumpkin pie, and it becomes socially acceptable to wear dark lipstick.
My original design for this dress looked like this! I wanted to make the bodice reminiscent of oak leaves, which was a neat idea in theory, but I later on decided I wanted the dress to have sleeves, so I changed it to be a simpler design. The skirt plan was pretty simple, a three quarter circle skirt with asymmetrical flower designs and a tulle overlay to create a bubble hem.
Step one was drafting the skirt. It’s a simple three eighths of a circle pattern, which will become a three quarter circle skirt when cut on a fold.
Then I cut the pattern out! For this project I decided to use golden mirror organza as the bottom layer, and two tone chiffon for the top.
Like last time, both of these layers were basted together by hand. Then I ironed them and sewed horsehair into the hem. I did a really terrible job on this hem because I decided I didn’t need to use pins. It won’t be visible in the end so I didn’t bother to redo it, but it’s pretty cringey!
There was also a slight ironing problem which led to me burning a massive hole into the chiffon layer.
But that’s okay! I’ll cover it with flowers and no one will even know.
Once the skirt was hemmed and pressed I laid it flat and organized my flowers around it.
Then it was time for flower arranging! This is my favorite part but also the most difficult. I got a lot of questions about it last time, so i’m going to go a bit more in depth about the process.
I worked in ten or twelve inch sections because that’s how big my glue proof surface was. I like working in small increments though, it makes it easier.
I like to start off by laying the big flowers first. In this case that was a yellow sunflower.
Then I pick a color scheme for that section and chose flowers with those tones – in this case I was going for orange and red. I place the medium flowers next, then fill extra space in with smaller ones. I lay every section out completely before gluing so I don’t get stuck with an arrangement I don’t like.
Also, if you are concerned about not having enough flowers, figure out ahead of time how many you can use per an increment. I counted up all my “statement” (large) flowers ahead of time to make sure I had enough to use at least three in each section.
Once you like how they look, glue them down. Remember to press each flower into the fabric for several seconds so the glue can bond to the material.
If there are any gaps in your arrangement fill them in with smaller flowers, petals, or leaves that match the flower colors.
(this isn’t the same section as above but I think you get the idea!)
At the very end I went through and bent each section, here you can really see the gaps.
Though things may look fine when flat that doesn’t mean they will look that way when draped over a skirt form, or manipulated in any way. The skirt is likely going to move at some point, so to make it look better I filled all of these in with more flowers.
This is what it looked like when it was mostly finished. I went back in later and added a few more to create more asymmetrical interest.
And on the dress form!
Now for the tulle! The tulle layer is a huge rectangle. The tulle length should be a little longer then the size of the skirt hem, and the width should be a bit more then twice the skirt length. Mine ended up being 44″x144″, and since I wanted the colors to be a bit more muted, I decided to use two layers of tulle instead of one.
To keep things easier to manage I basted my two layers of tulle together.
Then I gathered one edge and sewed it onto the waist of the skirt.
Oh, before I did this I removed all glue trails and lint from both layers of fabric.
Then the other edge gets gathered, looped over, and sewn to the other side of the skirt waist. Or if you’re like me and accidentally make the tulle layer too long, it may look like this…
After trimming the extra tulle my skirt looked like this!
And here it is with the matching bodice!
I love it so much. I like the colors I used this time around way more then the red and white. I think it looks far more interesting and way less juvenile.
Thanks for reading!
Also, I did create a video that shows the process of making this dress. If you are interested it can be watched below or accessed through this link!