Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011 - Royal Wedding final touches


It's official. My sewing machine is in for repairs. With the unexpected loss of my machine the day before our costumes needed to be done I had a lot of hand sewing ahead of me. (for several reasons, I opted to not use my spare)

Unfortunately that meant that I couldn't do all of the details I planned on for our costumes. At least not in time. I also didn't have Hubby's pants made by that point, so he wore a pair of black dress pants instead.

Some of the details couldn't be skipped though, such as adding the buttons on the back of the wedding gown, since that closure was necessary for the lace above the zipper. (of course I added them over the zipper too so it didn't look weird) The picture below shows the buttons and loops being added before sewing the lace in place.

I have no idea if I did the buttons "correctly" but it works, and I used what I had on hand.

Anyways, the pictures Hubby & I took in our costumes all turned out blurry for some reason. So, we'll probably take a few more tomorrow, which I will post soon!

To check out more posts (lots of details) about how I made our costumes, click on the "William and Kate" tab on the side of my blog, or "Wedding gown" if you're just interested in Kate's dress.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween 2011 - Royal Wedding - Uniform details

Only 1 day left until I need these costumes done!! (Wow, I thought I had more time) Of course I somehow messed up my sewing machines tension and am not sure if I can fix it or not, ugh.

To check out the progress of our William and Kate costumes, click on the "William and Kate" label on the side of my blog.

Anyways, on to the details of Hubby's Prince William costume.

I searched everywhere for little gold buttons that would work for the coat front and sleeves. Unfortunately, I needed around 20 matching buttons and could only find 12 or so. So, I ended up buying some silver buttons in the same style and painting them with metallic gold paint.

To make the details on the sleeves of his uniform, I cut out felt (in the shape below) and added white piping.

Next, I hand sewed black and white cording onto the felt in the pattern shown below.

But wait, the details are supposed to be black and yellow (I couldn't find yellow cording at the store) So, out came my favorite art supplies: the puffy paint. I used a paint brush to carefully paint all of the white cording yellow.

Then, I added some of the buttons that I painted gold. Now it's ready to go onto the costume!

I really hope I can get my machine up and running again. I'm not the quickest at hand sewing...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween 2011 - Royal Wedding - Uniform progress 2

After sewing the top part of Hubby's Prince William Halloween costume, I started working on the bottom part. Once that was sewn together and lined, I attached the top and bottom portions of the coat (no pics of that yet though), followed by a lot of hand sewing to get the lining in throughout.

Now that the coat is complete, well as far as the pattern goes, it's time to get to making the details that make it more like Prince William's uniform.

First of all, I cut black fabric to sew at the base of each sleeve. Using that fabric to determine the width, I cut black felt into the shape shown below. There will be one of those felt pieces on each sleeve.

To decorate the felt, I needed white piping and black cording. But, most importantly I needed yellow cording. I went to an insane amount of stores looking for the kind of cording that would be most similar (and least expensive) and ended up buying some from Hobby Lobby. However they only carried it in black and white.

Even though I was 99.9% sure that dye would not take to this cording, I went ahead and bought the white stuff anyways, and a pack of yellow dye.

The yellow color it turned out was perfect for what I needed. But, I still didn't get my hopes up. When I went to rinse the cording out after dying it, all the dye washed down the drain and my cord was stark white again. LOL. So, on to the new method.... painting it. I need to pick up a better yellow paint from the store, mine are too bright.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween 2011 - Royal Wedding - Uniform progress

I've only got a few days left to get Hubby's Prince William (wedding day) Halloween costume done, eek! It'll get done though :)

For Hubby's costume, I'm using the McCall's Costumes pattern M4745 and making views A & D. I read a lot of reviews AFTER purchasing the pattern, and of course most of the reviewers said it was quite complicated. I agree. It actually isn't a difficult sew, but the instructions just aren't so great. So, if you're going to sew this costume, I'd suggest you fold up the directions and just do what makes sense. Oh, and unless you want gathered sleeves, you may want to make adjustments to the pattern beforehand.

This coat pattern is very fitted, so thankfully Hubby was kind enough to try it on for me at different stages of sewing.

It's a little hard to see, but the back of the coat has princess seams:

Checking to make sure the sleeves would still be long enough (I made adjustments to mine after cutting them out, so they weren't gathered)

Before sewing the sleeves on, I added little flap things (see below, what are they called??) on the top of the shoulders like Prince Williams uniform had.

After everything was sewn together for the top portion of the coat (and fit Hubby correctly) it was time to move on to sewing the bottom of the coat!

To check out more of the process of making our Royal Wedding day William and Kate Halloween costumes, click on the label "William and Kate" on the side of my blog. There are lots of details for both costumes, there's still time to make your own!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Halloween 2011 - Royal Wedding - bouquet

Another accessory I decided to make for our Royal Wedding Halloween costumes was a bridal bouquet.

Although I was hoping to find silk flowers of the actual types used in Kate Middleton's bouquet (sweet William, lily-of-the-valley, myrtle & hyacinth) I had no such luck. So, I just bought some silk leaves and little white flowers and went with it. I adore how much meaning went into every detail of William and Kate's actual wedding though *sigh*, how perfect.

Anyways, I ended up with 2 stems each of 2 different white flowers and one stem of leaves. I already had some floral wire and tape on hand (though I didn't end up using the wire).

I cut the flower stems apart and started bundling them (not knowing how large I'd be making this bouquet) and taping them together.

Then I added some leaves, then more flowers and went back and forth arranging the stems while taping more into the bouquet.

About 10 minutes later, this is what I ended up with, which for costume purposes works just fine:

Here's the side view:

I bent a couple of the long stems around to make a handle for the bouquet and wrapped them in floral tape.

To see more posts on the making of our William and Kate Halloween costumes, click on the "William and Kate" label on the side of my blog. There are quite a few instructions (especially for making the wedding gown) and they're fun DIY costumes.

For a link to other essential accessories for the wedding day "Princess Kate" costume, check out this post

Friday, October 21, 2011

Halloween 2011 - Royal Wedding - Prince William costume pt 1

If you've been following along with my blog, you know that Hubby & I are going as the lovely William and Kate, Royal wedding style, for Halloween this year.

For a recap on the making of Kate's dress click these links: the petticoat, satin part of the bodice, skirt, sewing the dress and skirt together, and making the lace part of the bodice. This costume is almost done, I just need to get to the store to pick up more buttons first!

Hubby picked out the fabric & pattern (McCall's Costumes M4745) which will work well to make the base of Prince William's uniform. I'll be making views A & D. View A is the coat, which I will make in red and add white piping. I will make view D, the pants, in black with a red stripe on the sides.

Of course there is much more decorating that will go into the costume after the base is made.

Here I have all the fabric cut out, which took forever! (good thing for watching old TV-show re-runs in the background)

And here, are the items I will "decorate" the costume with. I have a plan in my head for all of this... I just hope it works out!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween 2011 - Royal Wedding - Lace on bodice

My wedding day Kate Middleton Halloween costume is well under way! Here's a recap on the making of the petticoat, satin part of the bodice, and skirt.

Now, lets take a look at how the lace part of the top was made.

I based the lace layer of the bodice off of McCalls pattern 6120 instead of attempting it on my own, to prevent damage to the lace from unnecessary alterations.

To do this, I traced the McCalls pattern onto a large piece of paper and made these adjustments:
1) Made the front into 1 piece (a v-neck cut on the fold)
2) Made the back come up higher
3) Lengthened the sleeves
4) Pointed the sleeves at the wrists
5) Cut the back into 2 panels, as it will be buttoned instead

Below is a look at some of the pattern pieces:
(the sleeve pattern is on front)

Here's the front and back panels pinned on the dress form:

Once everything was sewn together (with a zig-zag stitch), I turned the lace inside out and lined it up on the dress form. Then, I pinned 2 darts on the front, making it more fitted.

I sewed the darts in place, then moved on to the sleeves.

The sleeves needed to be taken in a lot:

Fitting a sleeve on yourself is a time consuming task. But, with the sleeves inside out, I slowly pinned where they needed to be taken in.

Here the sleeve fits nicer, but there is still more room than I'd like at the wrist. So, I will likely be adding buttons there later to make it more fitted... we'll see.

Once everything was fitting right I trimmed the fabric close to the seams, and flipped it right side out. I pinned the lace layer over the satin bodice on my dress form and tacked them together at the seams.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween 2011 - Royal Wedding - Sewing the dress together

Now that the satin part of the bodice and skirt are done for my Royal wedding Halloween costume, it's time to sew them together.

I lined the pieces up on my dress form to see how everything looked (with the help of my feline assistant). Then, tried it on to make sure the placement worked on me before getting started.

I ended up fixing the pleats on the back of the skirt since the photo above was taken. They just weren't laying right.

On the picture below, I've got the bodice pinned to the skirt. (remember, for this dress, the shiny side of the fabric is the "wrong side")

Here it is sewn together:

Then, I added an ivory, invisible zipper in the back and pinned the bottom of the dress where I thought the hem should go.

I tried everything on and made some adjustments and was ready to move on to the lace!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween 2011 - Royal Wedding - skirt

You've now seen how I made the petticoat and satin layer of the bodice for my Kate Middleton Halloween costume.

Now, lets take a look at the skirt.

First off, I bought 8 yards of extra wide ivory satin, a whopping 118" wide (it was on a big sale). The fabric is SUPER SHINY, which I'm not in love with. So, I used the "wrong side" of the fabric as my "right side", problem solved.

Since my fabric was so wide, I just had a front and a back panel to my skirt. I made measurements a few inches above the waist to the floor (accounting for the petticoat filling out the dress) and left an extra 10-12" for a wide hem.

With the measured length at hand, I cut 2 rectangles. Then, I cut those so the waist wasn't as wide, but still had plenty of extra fabric for pleats (as shown below).

I measured what the new width of the fabric at the waist was, and my actual waist measurement plus a couple of inches for seam allowance.

Next, I decided how many pleats to make and figured out how far apart (and how deep) they needed to be to end up making the waistline fit my actual measurement plus the seam allowance.

*If you want to add pockets, do so before sewing the sides of the skirt together* (I forgot to, and will probably go back and add them in)

Using a fabric pencil, I marked my fabric where all the box pleats should go. Then I sewed the sides of the skirt together, and finally sewed in the pleats.

For ideas on how to accessorize the Royal wedding day look, click here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween 2011 - Royal Wedding - bodice (take 2)

When I scrapped the bodice discussed in the previous post, I decided to use an actual pattern to get quicker results for my Kate Middleton wedding day Halloween costume.

Luckily, I found McCalls 3635, which is for a 2 piece dress (top and skirt) and was nearly perfect for this costume. The top had the princess seams and zippered back that I was looking for, but the neckline had to be changed, no big deal.

I went straight to my satin to make the top from view A. Since the fabric frayed so easily, I ran fray check around the perimeter of each piece before sewing it together.

I left the neckline the way the pattern showed until I had my lace layer figured out for the bodice.

For a quick link to the first post on making the dress click here.

For ideas on how to accessorize the Royal wedding day look, click here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halloween 2011 - Royal Wedding - bodice (take 1)

As I said before, the process of making my Halloween costume was interesting. I knew right away that I wanted Hubby & I to be William and Kate on their wedding day. I somehow had this brilliant idea that I'd make my own pattern...

I did. And it was time consuming, but worked out alright... until I got rid of the wrong set of pattern pieces that I made for the bodice (that'll happen when you should be sleeping, not sewing) and somehow couldn't revive the muslin I made to make a new pattern.

Here's the bodice I made, before it met it's fate as a scrap piece of fabric:

I made a ton of measurements and cut some muslin for the bodice. Then, I sewed the bodice together & added a zipper.

I tried it on, and using grey thread, basted the muslin in areas that needed to be taken in so I could quickly make adjustments. (I also wrote all over my paper pattern & muslin making notes for additional length, etc.)

Then, I cut the pattern in the lining material & added boning. (not sure if I did it right, never used it before)

I'm not sure exactly what happened, but somehow the above bodice didn't make the cut. Since I couldn't find my pattern again, I pulled out my trusty real pattern stash and found one that could be modified to work.

See how the next bodice was made soon!

For a quick link to the first post on making the dress click here.

For ideas on how to accessorize the Royal wedding day look, click here.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Halloween 2011 - Kate Middleton costume accessories

Accessories are a must when it comes to being Kate Middleton for Halloween.

The most important accessory: the engagement ring. As long as you have long brown hair (or a long brown wig) and are wearing a replica of that ring for Halloween, most people will know who you are no matter what clothes you're wearing.

If you're going for the wedding day look of Kate Middleton, than a tiara is a must.
(they have replicas of what she wore available, but I picked out an inexpensive substitute)

This should also be paired with a bridal veil. (I'll be using the veil I wore at my bachelorette party)

Another well known accessory that Kate wore were her custom made earrings. I found replicas of these earrings on-line, although they aren't a crucial part of the look.

I purchased all of these accessories on Although, they could all be home made or substituted with another item (ie wear any set of dangly earrings) for costume purposes.

Check out the start of how I made my halloween costume as the Duchess of Cambridge
here. Or, click on the label "William and Kate" on the side of my blog.

If you're going as "Princess Kate" for Halloween too, don't forget your bridal bouquet!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween costume ideas & tutorials!

Halloween is almost here! What are you (or your kids) going as? If you are still unsure, here are some ideas for costumes you can make. Some are quick and easy, others are more involved. Click on the links for each costume discription if you want to see how it was made.

Thing 1 & Thing 2 this post gets a lot of attention on my site. They're fun & everyone knows who you are!

Prince William & Kate Middleton, Royal wedding style are the costumes of choice for Hubby & I this year (while, of my choice, thanks Hubby). They're works in progress right now, but here's the first post on the making of Kate's dress. Many more posts to come on these costumes, check them out in the future.  (** check out the completed William & Kate costumes**)

If you're wearing a full dress check out my petticoat tutorial to make your own for a fraction of the price they ask at the stores.

This skirt which can be used for a witch or pirate, is a classic. Depending on your mood and time, you can make these costumes simple or go all out. Here are some other mix and match pirate costume ideas.

Dorothy & the Lion are fun costumes. You can add or remove more characters from the Wizard of Oz to fit your group size (or go alone as one of them) You never know if you'll run into the rest of the cast while you're out. (Hubby & I went out and there just happened to be a duo of the tin man and scarecrow, crazy chances)

Whether you're a lion or another large feline, here's a way to spice up some paws or if you go the lion route, make your mane extra cool.

Don't forget your pets! Here's DIY posts on making a Santa hat, antlers, and Tin man hat. As always, be careful to make sure your pet knows these are costumes, not their treats!

Happy costume making!

(I haven't posted about them yet... maybe some day, but I've also gone in recent years as Boo from Monsters Inc when she's in her monster costume, and Pippi Longstockings)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween 2011 - William & Kate, Royal wedding style

I've loved Prince William for as long as I can remember. When he and Kate Middleton announced their engagement last year, I was extremely excited (only slightly jealous), for the Royal wedding. They're such a cute couple.

Another thing I love besides the Royal couple is Halloween. So, it only seemed natural to try to replicate William and Kate's wedding attire for the festivities. Luckily, I have a Hubby who (slightly resembles the prince... coincidence?) puts up with me and agreed to go as Prince William for Halloween if I made his costume.

My version of Kate Middleton's wedding dress has been an interesting process. I'll start from the beginning and will have multiple blog posts to show it (posts on the process of the Prince William costume will be in the future too).

First off I made a Bridal petticoat (with tutorial) for super cheap. This was important to have ready when determining how many yards of satin to buy.

Then, I bought 10 yards of muslin to make my pattern for the dress. (I ended up using less)

Armed with my favorite magazines featuring the Royal wedding, and my sewing scissors that I hide from Hubby, I got to work.

Here's where the dress is now (it still needs trim and other touches):

Kate Middleton's wedding dress for Halloween costume

More posts to come on how the dress was made, in case you want to be Kate Middleton for Halloween too!

Here are some key accessories to consider when dressing as the Duchess of Cambridge

Look into the future... here is how I made the satin part of the bodice, the skirt, and how it was sewn together

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fall Decoration

Last week, Hubby & I decided (last minute) to take a road trip to FL to visit his Grandpa. It was a 2 day drive each way (with an overnight at a campground wherever we felt like stopping) and we stayed in FL a few days. It went by so quick, but it was fun and really great to see his Grandpa!

Hubby started his busy work schedule right when we got back, so I'm in mega catch up mode around the house and haven't had much time to craft.

However, I saw this cute Fall Leaf Initial on The Thrifty Abode and knew I had to make one this year!

Check it out:

Well since it's now October, looks like I should get back at sewing Hubby & my Halloween costumes. I meant to get them done early... but things keep coming up.

I probably won't be blogging much in the meantime, since I'll be focusing my craft/sewing time on that project. I'll post about it closer to Halloween though!