Friday, 27 January 2012

Dress for a Bear ~ All Done!

With Miss Missy's birthday fast approaching, and Mooch's dress still not completed, I sent Miss Missy off for a play-date, so that I could get to work.

First I added the skirt.  This was simply a strip cut from the full width of the fabric.  When I added the lace at the bottom, I decided to have it peeping out from under the hem, as it seemed a little wide for the scale of the dress.  I stitched the centre back seam, then put box pleats across the front, in reference to the pleats in Miss Missy's dress, and ran gathering threads round at the back.  I figured gathering the back was just easier than working out the math to ensure that the pleats would fit!

Then on to the sleeves.  At first I thought I would do a simple frill, but as I was messing about with the pattern, I didn't feel that it looked quite right.  I then thought of creating a little cap sleeve by using a deep frill shape and gathering the hem edge.  I cut a piece of scrap fabric to try it out, and was very pleased with the way it looked.  So on to the real thing.

Again, I added lace peeping out from under the hem.  I ran gathering threads along the hem line stitching, and then attached a piece of narrow ribbon, pulling up the gathering threads to fit, and so created a frill at the hem.  I tried using elastic at first, but it got too stretched out, and wouldn't bounce back to its original length, so that didn't work out.  I then gathered the armhole edge and stitched the armhole seam.  At the underarm, I simply folded the seam allowance over and stitched it down.

I am so happy with the way the dress looks.

I think Mooch looks very sweet.  I'm sure she likes her new dress...what do you think?

Monday, 16 January 2012

Today's Project ~ Dress for a Bear ~ Work in Progress

When I was a little girl, one of the thing I wanted more than just about anything (except a Miss Piggy, of course) was to have matching dresses for me and my doll.  I used to drool over patterns like this one.  So when Miss Missy mentioned that she would like to have matching dresses for her and her favourite bear, well, I knew I had to make them for her.

Last year, Miss Missy turned 8, and I made a special dress for her baptism, and I had planned to make a matching dress for her bear, Mooch, as a birthday present.  But I didn't quite get round to it.  I had all the left over fabric ready to go, as well as the extra lace I bought specially, but I think after making Miss Missy's dress, I just ran out of steam.  (It was a rather fiddly pattern to make.)
This pattern is still available here
So anyway, when a friend of mine called this morning and suggested Miss Missy should go round for a play date today, well, it seemed the perfect opportunity to get started.  (Even if it is a year late)

First I had to draught a pattern, and this was not too hard, as Mooch was quite happy to lie face down on the table while I drew pictures all over her!  When I draught patterns, I usually use lunch paper, as you can trace things easily, and you can take as much of the roll as you need. I also use newsprint, but this isn't as useful, as you can't trace with it.  For the bodice, I started with just one piece for the front and the back, till I had the shape I wanted, which took me a couple of goes.  Then I cut those shapes into the sections I needed to make into patterns, so that I could add seam allowances.  

Once I was happy with the patterns, I cut it out...

...and then stitched the lining together so that I could check that it was going to fit.

And then I made up the bodice...

I'm quite happy with the way it's turning out!  I still have the sleeves to do (I think I will just go with a frill, rather than an actual sleeve, as Mooch is rather an odd shape, and I think that will be easier than draughting a sleeve pattern) and the skirt of course (and that will be easy, as it will just be a rectangle with lace round the edge)

I've got one week to go till her birthday!  I hope I get it finished in time...

Friday, 13 January 2012

Muppet Nostalgia

Well, this blog is supposed to be about my crafts, but today I want to indulge in a little nostalgia brought on by going to see The Muppets (it's my blog, so I can do what I want, right?).

I always loved watching The Muppets.  One of the first movies I ever saw was The Great Muppet Caper which, as I recall, featured such wonderful scenes as Miss Piggy doing synchronised swimming, and saving the day by smashing through a window on a motorbike.  There are so many wonderfully zany muppets, but my favourite character was Miss Piggy, of course.  She always looked beautiful with her frills and feathers, her blonde curls, and her jewels.  And she was fiesty!  If anyone got in her way, she could take them out with a "Hai-ya!"  I loved everything about her.  My other favourites were Beaker, Rowlf, and Animal.  I liked the Swedish Chef too, and I remember a scene where he was shredding cabbage by throwing the leaves in the air and shooting them with a shotgun.  After a while, he decides to throw the whole cabbage in the air, he shoots, and down comes all these brussel sprouts (and that's the only thing I ever liked about brussel sprouts!)  When I was a kid, I had no idea that the special guest stars were actually famous people!  I had absolutely no clue who they were!

(Here's the bit where it gets crafty, well a little crafty, anyway)  My mum always used to buy last seasons pattern books, and I used to pore over the pages of them.  I had lots of favourites...the wedding dress section of course, the party dresses, and first communion dresses...I can still picture them so clearly!  When I found Miss Piggy among the patterns, I was in heaven!  Mum bought me the patterns for a Miss Piggy costume, Miss Piggy soft sculpture doll and clothes (you had to buy those patterns separately), and I think I used my own pocket money to buy the Muppet Babies patterns.

For some reason though, we never made any of them!  I so wanted a Miss Piggy of my much so that when we were in Disneyland a few years ago, and I saw a Miss Piggy, I just couldn't help but buy her (er, for my daughter, of course!)  Saddly for Piggy, Miss Missy didn't really take to her, and she was eventually relegated to the top cupboard of the wardrobe.  Well, I just had to rescue her from that obscurity, so here she is, in all her glory.  Hmmm, actually, I don't think she really looks glorious enough...I feel a make-over coming on!  She really should be wearing a long, frilly gown ~ something a bit more Miss Piggy-ish than that hideous purple mini dress she came in.  Lucky it's detachable.  I always hated dolls with stitched on clothes.  Thanks to the movie, Miss Missy now has a renewed interest in her, and it turns out the Young Lad has also taken a liking to her, and wanted to take Piggy with him for a nap this afternoon :)

Well...I also dug those old pattern out of my stash, and Baby Piggy looks just as cute as ever!  So does Baby Kermit. Maybe one day I'll actually make them.  I think the kids would like that... (the kids? you say)

Vogue Patterns still has some cute toys, but no Muppets 

I'd love to know if you're a Muppet fan.  Who was your favourite character?  Do you have something from your childhood that you always wanted to make, but never did?