Small Victories

I’ve been wrapped up in all sorts of projects lately so I haven’t been able to sew very much (let alone update my blog), but here’s an update on what I’ve been doing.

Remember the blue watercolor Easter dress I made for my daughter earlier this year? I entered it in a county fair and it won second place! I think it could have won first, but the judges required it to be finished perfectly on the inside and the mistake I made with the lining alignment must have cost me the blue ribbon. Oh well. I’m still proud of my work and the dress is beautiful anyway.

2ndplacedress

In other news, a friend asked me to sew a cosplay piece for him a while back. I have a policy of never sewing for anyone outside of my immediate family (unless it’s a gift), but he offered to pay and the project sounded like fun. He wanted to cosplay as Baku from Final Fantasy IX, and he needed a pilot’s cap with ears. After much discussion, planning, improvising, and revising, he ended up sending me a leather pilot’s cap, and I made a set of faux fur ears and attached them to the cap.

Here it is, modeled by my wonderful and incredibly patient husband.

bakucap1

I made the ears from stiff interfacing, velvety faux fur, and beige lining, and I used a basic cat ear pattern and modified it by tracing a taller ear shape with a French curve. I used a heavy needle to punch holes in the leather before sewing the ears directly onto the cap. It wasn’t too difficult, but sewing through the punched holes still made my hands cramp.

Here’s a back view of the ears. I cut them out so that the pile would flow upward and outward like a real animal’s fur, making the ears look semi-realistic in the light. Overall, it was a fun project and my friend is very pleased with his new cap! He’s looking forward to wearing it to a convention in the future.

bakucap2

Of course, I’ve also made time to sew for myself. I started my black poplin princess seam blouse project, and it’s going very well so far.

Here’s the blouse I’m trying to copy. It’s a black stretch poly/cotton blouse I bought at Old Navy over a decade ago. It held up quite well for many years (unlike most of the awful trash Old Navy sells these days) but it looks worn out now. I really like the princess seam fit and the fact that it has a v-neck instead of the usual button-up-to-the-collar style. The v-neck gives it a lower profile across the upper bust and it shows jewelry very well.

bpb01

bpb02

It’s a good basic blouse — but it’s just another ready-to-wear piece that’s ready-to-retire. I think I can do better!

bpb03

I have some black stretch poplin, Simplicity Amazing Fit 1941, and Vogue 8857. I’m taking view A of the Simplicity pattern (minus the dorky shoulder ruffle) and merging it with the front facing and collar of the Vogue pattern.

So far, the muslin of view A looks good. It’s a little tight, so I need to add a little to the front middle sections. Other than that, it fits very well and I feel pretty confident that I can make this work!

bpb05

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