Saturday, April 5, 2014

Green Thumb

Wow, it has seriously been too long since I've last shared my work with you!  To play quick catch up - I'm now in the third quarter of my freshman year at SCAD.  I only have 8 more weeks to go till I'm back home to the lovely fields of Indiana.  Savannah is gorgeous, but I'm starting to miss open space, and the smell of dirt, and the sound of birds as they start to migrate back north.

During my week of spring break I started planting a small garden and fixing up my backyard.  I wanted to start a project that gave me a break from creating constantly.  I forgot how much I missed the smell of dirt as one works with it.  There's nothing better than a slightly rainy day in spring and working in the garden and feeling satisfied.  I still have a lot to fix up, but I'm hoping by the time I go back home the backyard will look brand new and there will be a few vegetables for my roommates!
Kaftan:  Handmade Esther from the Sticks
Maxi dress and necklace:  Red Clover Boutique
Photography:  Esther Boller

I made my Kaftan throw over just the other day.  It''s made from chiffon and I'm thinking of making another one in a jersey knit.  I'll be posting a tutorial on how to make one in my next post!  A Kaftan is such an easy garment to make and you don't even need a lot of sewing experience to make one.  If you can sew a few inches, then you can definitely make this garment!

As far as other projects, school tends to take up most of my work time, but I have made a couple dresses that I'm looking forward to sharing with you!  I also have some school projects from last quarter that I plan on sharing soon once I find the time to document it all.
I hope you're all having a fantastic spring so far!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Metal Beaded Necklace

I made a new variation a few weeks back of the Multi-Colored Beaded Necklace (the link goes to the tutorial).  I played around with some different beads, and I used a chain instead of ribbon as the neck tie.  I'm really enjoying making these necklaces, because they're something that I easily pick up at anytime.  Whenever I need a short creative break from drawing or painting for my classes, I'll work on a necklace. 

^Inspiration journal page. 

I'm currently working on sewing a new dress whenever I have a bit of free time between school and work.  I'm really excited to share the finished piece with you!  I'm making it for a photo shoot idea which is going to be carnival inspired.
Happy Valentines Day!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Catch a Sunday

The other weekend it was a beautiful day in Savannah and a perfect time for a photo shoot!  Lately trench coats have been a go to garment that I always pull from my wardrobe.  It always makes me feel put together even when it's just thrown over a t-shirt and pair of jeans - which is especially great for those mornings when there's not much time to get ready (like when one's alarm clock goes off at the wrong hour and there's only 10 minutes to get to class.  Cough, cough.  I need a better alarm clock).
Trench Coat and backpack:
Leather shorts and blouse:  Thrifted + DIY work
Here's a page from my styling journal and inspiration photos for this shoot:

A very special thanks to my lovely friend Carly for taking a few behind the scene shots of this self portrait shoot for me!  Photographing in a city is very different than photographing in the country.  There are many more people walking around on streets than in the middle of country fields so there's more to be mindful of, but it's fun having this change of environment!

 I've been back in Savannah for over a month now and it's still so hard to believe that it's been that long. I feel like I was in Indiana with the cold weather just last week. (I'm sorry northerners I know it's freezing where you're at right now.)
I hope you're all having a great weekend so far!  What's your go to outfit when you don't have much time to get ready?

Friday, January 31, 2014

Custom Wedding Dress: Beaded Leaf Gown

This past summer I was contacted about making a custom-fitted wedding gown for a client in Australia.  She’d been following my blog for a while and remembered the Beaded Leaf Gown that I made way back in the 9th grade.  [If you follow the link  - you know that moment when you look back on an old diary page and think, "I can't believe I wrote like that!"?  Well I just had that moment.  Please don't judge my middle school writing style too harshly.  Haha I was only 14-years-old at the time.] 

She asked if I could remake the Beaded Leaf Gown into a wedding dress her size.  I'd already wanted to remake this dress, because there were a lot of kinks in the construction of the first design.   This time I was able to sew it without any of the technical problems that I ran into when I first made it.  Therefore, when she asked me to make it for her wedding dress I was excited with the idea of recreating it! 
As I can remember, my inspiration was layered leaves.  The bodice is in the shape of a maple leaf, as well as the leaves around the skirt waistline.  The skirt leaves are inspired by elongated leaves that are each cut separately and then sewn into the waistline of the skirt overlay.  There is beading along all of the skirt leaves and two of the waistline side leaves.  This is to give a subtle emphasis to the leaf shape. 
The invisible zipper was sewn into the back.  Because I had panels of leaves overlapping each other along the waistline, I added hooks and eyes in the back of the panel so they could overlap the zipper and flow like the rest of the dress.
All of the appliqué on the front bodice was hand sewn on top of tulle into the pattern of a maple leaf.  Each piece of appliqué is about 2 inches in diameter.  Once it was hand sewn I lined up the tulle darts with the bodice darts, and hand sewed the tulle down into the bodice fabric, because doing so gives a better fit without warping or sagging.   [This was an issue that I had with my first dress - I sewed the appliqué onto tulle without sewing darts first. ]
The applique in this gown is actually cut up pieces from this 1980s dress that I got at Goodwill on 50%off day way back in middle school.  I was really happy when I found a photo of the same dress online just to see the before and after!   
Overall, the construction of this dress took about 150 hours to make.  What I find funny is that if you look back at my post from 2010, I've really learned to enjoy hand sewing and fine detail work since then.  It's something that I look forward to in designing now.  It’s funny to look back on that post; considering the title is, "Never want to hand sew again!!"  Ha
 The gown was packed and shipped to Australia in the beginning of January.  This was my first wedding gown that I made for someone, and I feel like I learned so much about the process! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

DIY Tutorial: Multi-Colored Beaded Necklace

Hello everyone, I hope the start of your New Year has been everything that you've hoped so far! Today I'm posting the tutorial on how to make the Multi-Colored Beaded Necklace that I made in my previous post.  Here are the steps on how to make one yourself!

Step 1. 
Collect/find your items. This is the most fun part in my opinion.  If you've ever been a crafter you know what I mean when I say the notorious, "random bobble box."  It's that box (or boxes) where you keep all your random, pretty, things that you've found over the years and think you might use one day.  Well now's your time to go through it!  Take out whatever looks visually interesting to you.  

If you don't have a random bobble box - no worries!  Wal-Mart has an incredible $1 bead bin that has all sort of things you can use.  You can also take apart old costume jewelry, or go to the clearance jewelry section and buy a cheap necklace to deconstruct and use for parts.  For this necklace I used a plethora of random beads, old necklaces I took apart, and a few of those glass stones that are put in outside gardens.  You can use anything! 

Step 2. 
Now's your time to start laying out your pattern on a piece of felt and choose where you want your items to go.  There's no right or wrong way to do this, just play around with what looks pleasing to you.  

 Step 3:  
Once you have a basic, solid idea of what you want your necklace to look like, outline the shape with a chalk pencil.  
Step 4.  
Next start gluing down your objects using a strong fabric glue. 

 Step 5.  
Once your bead are glued down into place you can cut out your design (leave a few extra centimeters around all the edges).  Now if you'd like, you can outline your design with a row of fun colored seedbeds for a finished look. You can make as many rows as you want (I did two).

Tip:  Instead of sewing each bead one by one, I put a bunch of them onto the thread so there's already a long strand of beads.  Then I sewed that string of beads onto the edges.  This makes the process go much faster and it looks more polished than sewing each bead one by one. 

Step 6,  
Now carefully cut off the extra felt.

Step 7.
The very last thing to do is attach a ribbon or chain to the backside of the necklace.  If you already have a necklace that you took apart and it has a chain with a clasp already attached that makes it even easier for you!  I decided to use ribbon so I'll be sewing that onto the back.  If your ribbon is the kind that frays take a lighter or clear finger nail polish and go over the cut edges so it won't unravel.  

Tada!  It took some time, but you now have your very own handmade necklace!  You can makes these in variations of sizes and styles.  I think it's fun to make the design look random, but you can make it more symmetrical and organized if you like.  It's whatever comes out of your imagination now!  If you make a necklace be sure to send me the link - I'd love to see your own creation!