I’ve never done a blog tour before, so I’m really excited and a little bit nervous to be joining the Rebecca Page Comfy Town Blog Tour.
Please visit all the stops on the Rebecca Page Comfy Town Blog Tour. Don’t forget to comment on the blogs each day and enter the giveaway posts in the Facebook group or a chance to win some prizes from Rebecca Page. See the complete schedule at the bottom of this blog post.
I don’t think I’ve ever explained my process when I’m creating something new. Probably because it’s not neat and tidy. It’s like my approach to the world. It drives the type A people crazy. Basically, I see the big picture and figure out the details later. The task of documenting how I create something is unorderly, because my process is completely random, happening in fits and starts when inspiration strikes. The paragraphs in this blog post have been written over a period of weeks as I sat down and created for a bit and then documented what I did. I hope you enjoy my process as much as I did! Try not to got lost in the ADHD.
This project idea started the first time I made an Olivia. It was a Michael Miller Peter Pan print that I just needed. The pattern and fabric were a match made in heaven.
Every time I wear it, it is so comfortable it reminds me of a night shirt. That’s what started the wheels turning… What if I lengthened the pattern and used the longer sleeves? I could made an easy and beautiful holiday nightgown! I had something in my mind that was white and classic and would look great for Christmas, but I also wanted to give a nod to that classic white dress from Mary Poppins. Because almost everything I make myself is somehow Disney inspired.
On day one, I cut out the Olivia pattern a few sizes larger than my usual size for extra comfort and added to the hem so that I could cut it out of half of a bed sheet. (Yep, that’s how I determined length.) I also cut 11 red ribbons and tied them into uniform little bows, and cut organza strips for a ruffle for the bottom of the skirt.
The next step was deciding if I wanted the sleeves to be organza or not, and if I wanted a sash. Other decisions to make included the material for the sash, whether to add embroidery, and how to hem the sleeves (ruffle, elastic, knit band, embroidery, other?). So I slept on it. For a few days.
I ended up deciding the organza was too fragile for the sleeves, but I wanted something more delicate than the white cotton woven. I didn’t have any white lace handy, but I did find some white eyelet that I figured would do the trick. It wasn’t as wide as the pattern piece, so I narrowed the pattern piece to fit (checking to make sure it still fit around my arm with room to spare!) I also had some organza strips left over from making the ruffle for the bottom of the nightgown, and decided to gather those and clip them to the ends of the sleeves.
I left it on the floor for a few days while deciding what to do next. And doing the things I need to do, like caring for my children and going to work and writing a paper. Then I decided to clip the organza to the hem of the nightgown. But it was SO long, I decided to get out my ruffler foot and ruffle it first. It worked great for the first strip. About three inches into the second strip, the needle clamp fell off my sewing machine. I got out all the little screwdrivers, took it all apart, put it all back together and tried again. Two inches later, it fell off again. Talk about panicking! Being the procrastinator that I am, I had two days left to finish this project, and no working sewing machine. Did I mention I don’t have a back-up or a serger, or anything else like that?
So I spent over an hour sweating and swearing and trying to fix the machine, and finally gave up on the ruffler foot. The machine was then able to limp along, but not with the strain the ruffler put on the needle post. So… I ruffled the organza myself and went to bed exhausted.
One day more, and my nightgown is still just a pile of pieces and my machine is barely clinging to life.
The next morning, my last day to work, my kids had off school. Why do I do this to myself? So in between helping them cut out feathers and mod-podge them to Hershey kisses, I basted the organza to the hem of the nightgown and the sleeves and decided I liked what I saw. So I folded the fabric up and over the seam so that it wouldn’t itch while wearing it and prayed for time to add the red embroidery that I was really hoping to add.
I also added a row of trim to the top front. (Unfortunately it doesn’t really show on the finished nightgown, I forgot to factor in the size of the fold-over for the elastic casing…)
I began considering adding pintucks to adjust the length, because with the organza it was touching the ground and I wasn’t sure how practical that was. But, time was of the essence. I still needed to actually construct the nightgown and add the elastic. However, the kids were getting hungry and the house was empty (did I mention we were leaving to visit family that evening?). So, off we went to buy lunch and drop off some overdue books at the library. Also, did I mention I have no photos of the last day and a half because we packed the camera for our trip?
After lunch I moved the organza up on the hem so the nightgown wasn’t so long, assembled the pieces, and added the neck elastic.
I tried it on and the fit was perfect. Big and billowing with sleeves short enough to not get in the way and the length landing at the ankle. In my last few hours, it was time to rethread my limping machine with red and add the bows. In light of the fact that I didn’t trust my machine not to die mid-embroidery stitch, I elected to forego the embroidery and simply decorate with bows. I considered adding buttons to the front too. That was dependent on time…
After stitching on the bows, and adding two more to the wrists, I remembered I wanted a sash. So I cut a couple strips of knit fabric and sewed them together into a loop. Ta da! I couldn’t find solid red, but the red and white stripe scrap that I found was perfect, reminiscent of a candy cane as well as Mary Poppins corset.
Time was up, a few minutes for a quick photo shoot and voila! (And yep, I had to unpack the camera…)
So in summary, the hacks to the Olivia pattern were to add length, narrow the sleeves, and add ruffles and bows.
My first blog tour was done. I hope you’ve enjoyed my process!
Please visit all the stops on the Rebecca Page Comfy Town Blog Tour. Don’t forget to comment on the blogs each day and enter the giveaway posts in our Facebook group or a chance to win some prizes from Rebecca Page.
- Monday, November 26: Rebecca Page (Intro), bigflynotions, Stitched by Jennie
- Tuesday, November 27: Ropp Originals, Flaxfield Sewing
- Wednesday, November 28: Simply Kyra, Seams Sew Lo
- Thursday, November 29: Seams Like Style, Jot Designs, Sixth Snow
- Friday, November 30: The Sewing Unicorn, PatchWitch
- Saturday, December 1: Sarcastic Sewist, Bellephant, Princesse et Tresors
- Sunday, December 2: Liviality, Soul Fed on Thread, The Scatty Sewer