Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sewing Successes

I got back to building my own clothes in 2008. There's something very satisfying about making something to wear with your own two hands. I've been sewing since I was eight. I'm not some master craftsperson, but I do a workman-like job. Here are a few projects I completed last year.

This is a photo of the first dress I built in 2008. It had been a few years since I pulled out my sewing machine. The pattern was simple but it took a lot of fabric for the full skirt. I don't have a table for proper cutting of massive amounts of fabric, so I had to spread it out on the carpet. It's a cinch to remove, but its unconventional construction always pleases and surprises the audience. This is a great shot by Jim Knell of the dress flying through the air.

This is another vintage repro pattern. It's the second dress I undertook last year. I found this crazy orange and red fabric that I had to use for something. I love the dress, but the fabric frays so the inside seams have fuzzies from wearing the dress. If I have the time and patience, I may just use some fray check on the raw edges since pinking shears did absolutely no good. The dress also builds up static cling when I wear it with fishnets, so I have to go bare-legged when I wear it. This photo was shot by Don Walker in Las Vegas. (Blogger refuses to publish the photo with the proper orientation no matter how I change the orientation of the original image. Grrr.)

I started this dress in early 2007 but had no idea what to do with it so I put it on the back burner until last fall. The brown top you see peeping underneath is part of a costume by Penny Starr, Jr. This dress is the only contemporary style piece I built last year. It's essentially a prom dress. The overskirt is somewhere between seven and sixteen yards of tulle. (I can't tell on the pattern which one it was that I made.) I know I bought a bunch of tulle but I didn't have one continuous piece that was large enough for the whole overskirt, so I think it's the sixteen yard version. Anyway, the tulle alone gave me a challenge, but I'm very pleased with the dress. This photo was taken by Dan Hendricks just a few weeks ago.

Most of my costumes last year were store bought pieces with alterations and embellishments, but I do like pulling out my fifteen year-old sewing machine to exercise my seamstress skills. This year has already provided two vintage bra and panty sets. I have another vintage bra and panty style to tackle soon, a vintage crop top and skirt, and a handful of other patterns I'd like to play with. Of course, none of these little projects have a purpose . . . yet.

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