Category Archives: sewing

Halloween 2011- Creating the Black Swan

The one thing I do each year is create my daughter’s Halloween Costume.  Through the years, she’s been  several princesses-Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty(in blue not pink)- a glamorized devil, a couple of fairies, a fairy witch, a witch, the white rabbit,  a 70’s hippie, last year a Gothic rag doll(very cool- I made  the green yarn wig)


This year she decided to be a Black Swan.  We had seen this pattern from SimplicityThat she fell in love with.  So doing what I do-and researching the costume I started creating her Black Swan.

I guess it was a pretty popular costume because I found so many interesting blogs and images of it.  I found tutorials on making the crown (unfortunately we didn’t have time to make one) tutorials on makeup, and images from the movie.

(and no, she hasn’t seen the movie-just the dance sequence ending. I don’t think it is appropriate for her at this moment)

I started with the pattern and the basic corset.   I wasn’t sure if I was going to follow the pattern with trim ideas or go more for the actual costume design from the movie.

I loved the White Swan costume too.

I pinned different trims on the corset to see what she would like- since it is her costume she needed to have some say in the design.  Here is the trim like the pattern.  We had found a really pretty black with silver thread vine like trim with roses and sequins. A feather boa adorns the top.

Sorry for the poor quality pics.  I had taken them really quick with my iPhone.  The lighting is horrible in my hallway too- plus it doesn’t help that my walls are tan.

I wasn’t completely happy with this look- although Maddie (my daughter) liked it.  I felt we needed something a little more sleek in a way.  Well, let me get the skirt done and try something else.

Ok so that was a job.  The tulle skirt was quite a challenge and working with tulle is NOT the easiest thing in the world to do.  I had added an extra layer too, to make it a little fuller, but had eliminated the boning through the bottom of the lining as the pattern called for.  Maddie and I didn’t like the look the boning had gave it.

We also decided on the feather bust, and I had some very pretty Alencon lace trim from a previous project that I was able to cut and use as applique on the bust.  The pic above has the lace trim pinned as well as the felt panels pinned on that I will apply the feathers to later.

So we both preferred this look that is more like the movie costume.  I hand sewed all the lace on as well as the feather panel.  Now to make the feather sides.  I wanted it to be like wings folded close in the shape of it.  We had found a feather wreath at Joann’s that happened to have the perfect feathers to use.  You just can’t find the right feathers in the craft areas and feather trim was just way too expensive- plus we were short on time and didn’t have time to order online.  Wreath was 50% off along with a 15% off coupon- I think it cost less than $17 for more feathers than I needed.  I probably couldn’t have got the trim or the bags of feathers I needed for that amount.

Maddie stripped the feathers off the wreath form and I started gluing them onto the felt bases.  Starting at the bottom I glued one row trimming the top of the feather off.  Then I let it dry.  I didn’t take pics as I was working on it- wish I would have.   After it was dry I did a second row and so on – I think I ended with 3 or 4 rows.

When they were completely dry, I took some black bias tape and sewed it along the top to cover the raw edges of the top layer of feathers.  After it was completed I had two feather side panels- one right and one left.

They were then hand sewn on the under side of the corset.  But not until after we bedazzled the lace with rhinestones.  As much as I would have loved to use real Swarvoski  crystals- time and money wouldn’t allow it.  Plus this was just a Halloween costume.  So we used various sizes of an AB acrylic rhinestone because it looked less fake than the plain clear rhinestones.  We also mixed some black rhinestones in there too. (again poor picture)

So here she is  modeling it with sample makeup to make sure everything is right.  We had gone to a dance shop and were able to get a pair of pointe shoes on sale, purchased pink tights and trunks as well.  I needed to make a flesh colored under shirt so she could wear the costume to school since her school had a costume dress up.

Here is Maddie dressed in her costume for school.  We did a smoky eye for the makeup- Halloween night we did the Black Swan makeup following a tutorial by Michelle Phan

So here is Maddie Halloween night with Black Swan makeup.  Wish we would have had the time to make the crown also- but we found a very pretty tiara for her to wear instead.

And with her BFF Briannah.  They Trick or Treat together every year.  And totally make out with the candy.  This year 4.5 lbs of it!

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Steampunk Couture

Back in July we were given another and one of the last challenges on Couture Doll Shops.  This one was on the current Steampunk craze.  NOw I love Steampunk, and there are so many different genres of it, I had to decide which way to go.  First thoughts would have been using one of my larger BJD’s to model, but I had just got my new OOAK Numina from Paul Pham and really wanted to use her.

Victorian and historical clothing are one of my favorites to design- funny how I never really paid attention to it when I was younger and going to fashion schools. One always appreciates the past as they get older.  I think I am also much more into fashion in a different way than I was back then too.  I can see the influences past and historical fashion has on current designers- although some of the greats (John Galliano, Christian LaCroix, McQueen) are not showing designs at the moment, two being out of work and the last having passed away.

Anyway, I wanted to Victorian influences as the base of my design.  Stay with the true Steampunk origins.  Lots of research of Steampunk went into finding out what Steampunk really was- so many blogs and websites.  It really is quite interesting.

I decided on a a corset, jacket and short skirt with a bustled back.  I didn’t take too many pics while making it but did take some- so here’s how it went.

Making the Corset

Trying to do something a little different than just a corset so I decided to quilt the fabric like I have in some previous designs:

I used my basic corset pattern drafted a while ago but had to fit it to the Numina body.  Muslin sample:

From the fabric stash (since I am trying to use up the fabric I have on hand) here are the fabric choices for a old Victorian feel

Ivor silk brocade, tan and ivory herringbone twill with just a touch of rose stripe, and a rust colored crossdye silk taffeta.

Quilted taffeta for the corset

First I quilted the taffeta then cut out my adjusted pattern pieces diagonally on the fabric.

Because the quilted taffeta has a stabilizer for the quilting I did not need to interface the body but did interface the lining.

Corset taking shape

corset lining in ivory brocade

Finishing the corset up, the top and bottom are banded with bias cut strips and hand sewn on the back.  Antique brass eyelets for lacing are added and the corset it done!  Now onto the skirt.  My time is starting to run out………

Finished corset with banded edges

Corset back with eyelets and lacing

Assembling the Skirt

The skirt I made out of the ivory brocade, a basic mini skirt, and added a drape like the Victorian fashions, in the taffeta.    The train I drafted by hand,  cut it out in muslin to make sure I had the right shape and sewed it up in the taffeta with the brocade lining it.  This I hand sewed on to the back of the skirt.

Skirt with drape

Train ready to be hand sewn onto skirt

The last part was the bustle and this was a little tricky to figure out.  I din’t want something super large and wanted something light enough that could also be removes.  I also wanted to use lace.  The brocade was just too heavy to do a full bustle out of.   Again I drafted a shape out of paper to test it, cut it out of a nylon tulle and sewed layers of pregathered lace onto it.  Finding the right lace at the right width was a challenge,  I liked how it turned out though

the top was banded, then attached using snaps

From here my time was really short and I made the jacket without pictures.  It was lined in the ivory brocade.

A top hat was also made and I’ll add a tutorial for that later.

Love how the photo shoot turned out.

Steampunk Couture

Steampunk Couture can be viewed and purchased at Madeleine Rose Couture

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Romance is in the Air- Part 2

So I finally am able to post the pics now, and give you a little insight to my thought process on this Romance Challenge from the Couture Doll Shops.  The entries were published in the latest FDQ magazine-Romance edition- as well as a link from Couture Doll Shops to a voting page.  Tomorrow we will find out who won the challenge by popular vote.  So wish me luck!!

When we were given the instructions for this latest challenge, I knew I wanted to use my BJD’s rather than the 16″ fashion dolls.  I needed to represent my Angel Rose shop (located in Couture Court in the Couture Doll Shops).  I have done so many challenges using the fashion dolls that my BJD’s were getting neglected.  I also knew I wanted to do something with historical inspiration, because I think the historical dress is so romantic.

First was going through my books on historical detail and fashion, and finding my fabric.  I had quite a bit of off white silk dupioni that I really needed to start using and white/ivory is very romantic and bridal.  But I didn’t want to do a bridal look per-say.  Also, white and ivory seemed very in-fashion at the moment.  I also knew I wanted to do a corset and a full skirt. 

To top it off, a bonnet made of buckram and millinery wire, covered in the matching silk with a pleated under lining and flowers. (I didn’t get a chance to take many pictures while completing this ensemble-hubby was using my camera quite a bit for his stuff) I was actually sewing this hat during one of my daughters volleyball games hoping to get it finished in time.  I’m always completing at the last minute.

bonnet partly completed

under brim pleating

I did get it completed on time and the pics taken in time for the magazine.

Romance challenge entry White Rose

Along with the photos we needed to submit a paragraph explaining what our Romance depicted.  Here’s my little romance story:

A tortured romantic soul-she wanders aimlessly, not knowing when the eras or time begins or ends, as her fashion shows in a mixture of historical styles.

A ghostlike figure forever searching for the one true love she lost….

each picture had a caption to it

A lone figure wanders aimlessly
She pauses…Does she see her one lost love?
She looks longingly at the apparition of the one she lost
A ghostly figure clad in white says goodbye…

At least it was finished for now.  I needed to move on to another challenge that was presented to us on Couture Doll Shops for another magazine and it was a a big challenge.  So of course that will be a post in the fall.  Wish I could give some sneek peeks because I think it turned out great and there’s a bonus tutorial coming with it but you all will just have to wait…..

When that challenge was finished I was able to move on to finish the last component of this one- a jacket.  Taking inspiration from the Regency era, a ruffled front, pouf sleeve jacket emerged  to be worn over the corset.  Also, new pictures needed to be taken since the other ones were done in haste.

I love how this photo shoot turned out

White Rose will be available on my website Angel Rose

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Romance is in the Air

A little while back we were given a challenge on CDS- Romance was the theme. I couldn’t share back then because it was going into a magazine and of course the mags don’t want anyone to know ahead of time. I will be blogging on it in a little more detail within the next couple weeks but for now I wanted to share one of the romance related collections I will have available on my site. Please note that these are not the outfits that are in the mag- still can’t post those yet.

White tea and Roses


Now this is a little collection I had started over a year ago and never finished (gee I have a few of those things around). I was going to do a third gown- but ran out of fabric so I guess the two will suffice. Hmmm is that is why I never really finished it-trying to figure out what I was going to do for that third gown? Anyway, when the Romance theme popped up I figured this would be a good ensemble to finally complete and put on my website for the theme. I really like how they turned out- very romantic, don’t you think?

Katara in White Tea gown

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Sharing a commission

I finally finished this commission a few weeks ago. I do hope the new owner enjoys it. Meanwhile please enjoy the pics.

Nouvelle Melodie

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CDS- Haute Couture Challenge

It’s time for another Challenge!

This time it’s a Haute Couture challenge- oohhhh right up my alley.
http://couturedollshop.blogspot.com/

The Challenge: Haute couture is the creation of exclusive, custom-fitted clothing. Clothes that fit to one person’s precise measurements are the norm. It is also defined by the opulence of fabrics used, the fabulosity of cuts performed superbly, and/or the rarity of the elements used to develop it. Haute couture is definitive; it is something you just know when you see it. And, haute couture’s exclusivity makes the privileged few who can afford it go mad! Hum…….Could haute couture also drive doll collectors this crazy? Well, we hope not – at least that isn’t our intention at all, dahlings!

So for this challenge I immediately think of the new Dior collection-and a design I have had for a while that just never came to be completely. I had started the pattern for it and was going to originally make it in blue, but gray would work too, wouldn’t it?

Dior Haute Couture Spring 2010


Dior Haute Couture Spring 2010


And who would be the perfect model for this challenge? Psyche-my FDQ Numina Grey, of course. She wears the color gray so well.

Psyche- FDQ Numina Grey

Wednesday, July 7
I’m using the idea of my Victorian riding habits as a base, but will use a shorter straight skirt and do some bows and flowers in the back.
I was able to get the skirt done pretty quickly since I started this thing pretty late with only less than a week before due date.

skirt almost completed


skirt back with bow

Thursday, July 8
Now the jacket was going to be a challenge. I can use the jacket pattern from my CDDC challenge 2 as a base, but I will need to change the collar on it.

collar done


Got the base of the jacket done today, tomorrow I will need to get the lining in and finish it. Time is running out. Doesn’t look like I will be able to complete the corset like I had hoped. Oh well, I’ll make it for the sale of this suit.

Jacket almost finished

Friday, July 9
Today was a busy and exhausting day. I don’t know why I wait until the last minute to do these things. Wait! I know why- because I procrastinate!! Well that and I always have so much on my plate. We did take vacation, and I have been redoing the bathroom so, this had to wait a little bit. I did get the lining finished and the suit is complete. Now on to the hat! in which this will be a whole tutorial.

the back- still needs the flowers for color

Sunday, July 11
I didn’t get a chance to work on anything yesterday. So today is finishing touches. Finish the hat and make the shoes. So here is the tutorial for making a silk top hat:

Silk Top Hat tutorial

Got my pics in- now it’s just the waiting game………

Friday, July 23
I woke up late this morning-started my coffee and immediately went to the computer to see who won this challenge.
Surprise! Surprise! it was me! I really thought Mike and Ina were going to win. I thought they had a great entry with the Avatar inspiration Gaultier used. Every one did a great job and overall the whole purpose for this was to draw attention to CDS-Couture Doll Shops.

Well I can’t wait for the Cami doll- I really liked them when they first came out- let’s see what I come up for her!

As for the Haute Couture Challenge outfit? Well it will be available for purchase on my website later today.
The Boutique at Madeleine Rose Couture

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Let’s Make a Silk Top Hat!

Here is the tutorial, as promised, for making the silk top hats from my riding habits and the new L’habitude en Soie Grise.

Black silk top hat

I used the book ‘The Art of Making Miniature Millinery’ by Timothy Alberts as a reference. This is a great book to have along with his ‘The Art of Making Beautiful Fashion Doll Shoes’. I have used both these books as reference in my OOAK designs.

SO to start-first you need to come up with your pattern and shape of hat. Sorry I am not providing a pattern for this as all dolls have different sized heads. There are basic parts of a hat: the brim, which is the outer part that usually protects our faces from the sun, and the crown. This hat is in three patterns-a crown consisting of the top connecting to a band, and the brim. Measure your dolls head to determine how large you band will be. Add about an 1/4″ to 3/8 for extra room of the wire and fabric if you want it to fit down around her head. Make sure you do the measurement with her wig on if she wears one. Cut a rectangle out of brown paper of this measurement length plus 1/4 seam allowance by however high you want the hat to stand. Now whatever the circumference is of this band, you will cut either a circle or oval for the top of the crown (cut it slightly smaller to allow for the wire sewn around it. I used an oval shape.
The brim will have a circle (or oval) cut out in the middle and then the desired width of the brim cut around. (On the inside of the brim you will need to add a seam allowance for sewing it onto the band) I used a center back seam on mine to make my brim curve up a little bit before shaping the wire after it was completed. All these pieces should be cut out of brown paper first so you can tape it together to determine your hat shape will work. No pics of this as I had an existing pattern I used.

Hat pattern out of manilla paper

Now that we have decided our hat shape, we need to gather our supplies! What you will need:
Buckram-I get mine from Judith M Millinery supplies
http://www.judithm.com/
You can also purchase it from Doll Artists Workshop
http://www.minidolls.com/

Millinery Wire-19 to 22 gauge works well. You can purchase this at either place above.
Tie Wire-a very thin wire used to join the millinery wire into the shape of the hat.
Needle Noose pliers
wire cutters
bias cut muslin strips 3/4″ to 1″ wide
Cotton Flannel-in white for the mulling process
Grosgrain Ribbon-1/4″ for inside brim
Silk for lining inside crown
Trims- for decorating hat
Sobo Glue
Fabrictac glue
The buckram does have a grain, cut out pattern with grain up and down.
Cut out pattern pieces once the hat pattern is complete with fitting and seam allowance. Mark center fronts and backs.

pieces cut out in buckram


supplies

Spring your wire and shape around the tip or top of the crown. connect together using the tie wire.

Buckram piece with wire ready to be sewn


Using double thread with thread conditioner, slip stitch the wire around the outside edge of the top buckram piece.

wire slip stitched around edge of hat tip


Now stab stitch the center back seam of the band. Make sure it fits smoothly around the tip with the wire.
Measure the wire around the outside of the brim, join together using tie wire. Do the same for the inside of the brim along the seam allowance. Slip stitch the outside brim wire around the brim; stab stitch the inside wire to the underside of the brim along inside line (the seam allowance will be clipped and turned upward-away from the wire to be connected to the band).

pieces with wire sewn on ready to be sewn together

Now comes the fun part where your hat will actually start taking shape. Slip stitch the band to the top or tip(as in millinery talk) matching your CF and CB.

top sewn to band

Fit the brim inside the band and stab stitch those together around the base matching your CF and CB. Your hat buckram base should look something like this:

buckram base with wire

Now we are going to bind the edges of the hat to cover the wire. Take your bias cut muslin strips and gently stretch one strip around the tip and band- cut to size. Using Sobo glue glue this strip around the tip and band to cove the wire. The bias cut should make it to kind of fold over the edges when stretched.

strips of bias cut muslin


muslin glued around wire edges

The mulling process begins-you don’t necessarily need to do this part, but I think it makes for a much smoother surface of the hat. Cut out of your flannel: one tip, one band and two brims with no seam allowances. glue these to their corresponding buckram pieces to cover the hat nice and smooth. It can get a little messy with the glue.

the mulling process finished

Out of your fabric you will cut a tip with SA and two brims with SA. The band will be cut on the bias with seam allowance all around.
Sew a running stitch around the top piece of fabric. Place it on the top of the hat and pull the stitches so it conforms around the top of the hat. Smooth it out on the top and stab stitch in place through all thicknesses.
top and brim pieces sewn on
The brim will be sewn on-the top first. Stab stitch it to the base of the band through all thicknesses-curve the edges over to the bottom of the brim. A running stitch will again make this process easier. Slip stitch it underneath to the flannel. The bottom piece of the brim will be stab stitch around the base of the band again thorugh all thicknesses and then the seam allowance will be turned under and a very small invisible or slip stitch will sew the edge to the top part around the outer edge of the brim. Look above at picture.

Now I was in a hurry to get this hat finished for the challenge so I failed to take pics of the rest. The band will be fitted around the band of the hat-press under the seam allowances on both long sides- fit it around the hat and mark the seam. Stitch and turn right side out. Very carefully fit it over the hat into place around the hat band. the lining is pretty basic, out of silk or cotton sew one tip and band together to make an inside lining- place inside hat and stab stitch in place along with the bottom of the band around the base of the hat.
Glue a piece of grosgrain ribbon around the inside edge to cover stitching and finish it off. On the outside glue your ribbon around the base and add trims to your desire- use Fabrictac glue for this. Shape the brim as desired- I turned mine up like a top hat has.
Voila! your hat is complete.

Finished hat

You may need to use small pins to keep hat on doll’s head.

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