My other hobby

by brae  

I have spent all of my blogging time on miniatures, but I've been sewing since long before rediscovering a passion for minis.  Since miniatures have taken a back seat to some positive life changes recently, I've delved back into sewing in the minimal amount of free time I have.  I miss blogging, though, so I decided to add a section to my blog dedicated to the things I sew.

My great-grandmother, grandmother and mom taught me to sew.  I started sewing when I was eight, mostly making teddy bear clothes and craft type projects as I was growing up.  In high school, I started making my own clothes regularly and nowadays make just about everything I wear other than sweaters, knits, leather goods and the random pair of jeans (though I almost always wear skirts and dresses).

I do most of my work on a vintage Singer 401A inherited from my grandmother.  My boyfriend's mother loaned me her machine so I can work on things while at his place, too.  What I like most about sewing is that you can work a little each day (even five minutes to do a seam or two) and the project gets finished.  With minis, there tends to be more of a single time commitment, the requirement of at least an hour or two to work on building, finishing or assembling.

My usual inspirations come from e-window shopping -- places like Anthropologie, Nordstrom and ModCloth just to name a few.  I never learned to draft patterns, though I would like to learn, so I usually sew from commercially available patterns that I can alter and combine to get the look I want.

I haven't taken many photos of my creations in the past, so this new blog might be a nice way to document the things I make going forward.  For now, here are a few of my past dresses.


Owl Dress

For this particular dress, I turned some butter yellow eyelet from a failed dress attempt and a brown skirt ruined by shrubs and burrs during a hike into a new garment altogether.  When I first saw the owl fabric (On A Whim by Amy Schimler), I knew I had to have it.  I love owls!  :]  But, making an entire dress out of it would have been a bit off for an adult, I think.  So, I used a tiny bit of it to tie the dress together.

I used brown venise lace to trim around the owl fabric and butter yellow braided trim around the neckline.

This was made from Simplicity 5591, an older pattern that I've had in my stash a long time.  I've used it a number of times since it's a basic dress that works well in many different fabrics.


Sunflower Dress

I searched a long time before finding the perfect iron-on sunflower appliqués from M&J Trimming.  They have a three-dimensional quality that I especially like.  I used only six of the nine sunflowers called for in the original design because it was too busy when I pinned them in place.

This dress was made from Vogue 8234 using a teal linen-like poly blend fabric trimmed with gold braid.  The original pattern called for a handkerchief hem, but I didn't care for that look for myself.


Red Goldfish Dress

I fell in love with this cotton print from Fashion Fabrics Club and bought it without having any real plan for it.  The pattern I used for this dress is Butterick 4849.  The accents are black woven rayon, and I lined the goldfish fabric with white posh lining fabric (it was rather sheer and lost the brightness of background without it).

So, there's a very small sample of the things I've made.  I plan to write about my future projects here and maybe pull a few older ones out of the closet to photograph and share.  :]


Comment from: Casey [Visitor]
Brae, those two patterns brought back memories! I wore the pattern for the goldfish dress out and had to buy a second one. Loved that pattern! I will be following both blogs. I love sewing too, but I don't do too much anymore. Maybe you will inspire me to get the machine out and do something other than minis.
12/28/10 @ 19:09
Comment from: Lyssa [Visitor]
I have not seen any of these!!! Wait, I have seen the teal one. The owl dress is awesome! Playful AND stylish. Win! I LOVE the red goldfish dress. Pretty! How much of a sewing lesson can you cram into my few hours in Chicago come summertime?!?! :) You are so multi-talented. ♥
12/28/10 @ 20:37
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thanks to you both! :D I'm glad to no longer be missing in action. Haha. Casey - there's another pattern I wore out so I completely understand buying a second one. Lyssa - we'll cram in as much as possible!
12/28/10 @ 20:55
Comment from: Marisa [Visitor]  
my goodness, your dresses are wonderful, I have a sewing machine at home I guess I should try to sewing..I tried to make a pair of pants and failed miserably. do you have any tips you could give me?
11/27/12 @ 10:37
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you!! :D I was lucky enough to have grandmas and a mom who sewed; they taught me everything. Maybe see if there is a local group or maybe continuing education class in your area. It's worth having someone show you some basics the first time around, and there's always youtube...I finally learned how to do an invisible zipper from youtube. :))
11/28/12 @ 20:39
Comment from: Ambika Jois [Visitor]  
Dear Brae, What a wonderful blog you have here :-) I loved reading this article! What brought me to this one is my absolute craze for owls. I love everything to do with owls and I'm even sponsoring one at my local farm! I was looking for owl dresses to buy for an upcoming project of mine (I'm a musician) and I found this article. I'm not sure if you sell any of the dresses you sow, but I'd like to inquire about the owl dress on this article. I'd love to find out if you do sell this and whether it comes in a size 6. Would really appreciate your feedback and read more articles :-) When you have a mo or two, check out my blog... it's more about poetry, inspirations and music :-) - Much love and many thanks, Ambika Jois
02/07/14 @ 16:13
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you, Ambika! :D I don't sell my sewing creations, sorry. I hope you find the perfect dress! :yes:
02/08/14 @ 11:58

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