How To Replace The Pacifier On A Wubbanub

My son loves Wubbanubs. They’re more than just pacifiers to him, they’re friends. I bought him his first when I was 18 weeks along on a trip to Oahu. That is the one we’ll be working on today. I’ve replaced one before and had been meaning to do some of his older ones lately, but kept putting it off. That was until Carmine Froggy had an accident. We were driving back from visiting my mother in law when I parked the car and heard my son making his sad noise. I turned around and he held up his little buddy. The top was completely missing! He was so sad. Fortunately he hadn’t swallowed it and he was keeping it safe on his lap. He gave me the piece and I promised him I’d fix his little buddy. I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how great these are, except for the non removable pacifier part. Well it’s not true they can’t be replaced. You can totally do it and I’m going to show you how. I promise it’s not hard and you won’t ruin our kid’s lovey. First step is to get your wubbanub. I thought I had yellow bobishes (that’s what we call them in our family) but I only had pink, purple, and blue on hand. I think Carmine Froggy will look better with a yellow bobish. I’ll order some when we come back from vacation (I need to redo a ton of these so I’ll need more anyways). We’ll fix up Lambchop up today as I think she’ll look nice in pink, it matches her nose. :)

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The second step is actually the most important. Make sure your kid isn’t around. I did this to one of these when he was around seven months and he screamed throughout the entire 10 minute process. He thought I was killing him. Oops. Don’t worry, Rico lived to tell the tale and Chicken Little seemed to come away from the experience relatively unscathed. But still, wait until the kid is in bed or just lock yourself in the bathroom. Whatever it takes to make this a solo project.

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Here are your supplies. I know you’re probably all super blown away by how high tech this all is, don’t get intimidated now! Depending on your needle and bobish you may not even need the thimble. The first time I did this I didn’t need one, this time I did. I guess my supplies in Hawaii are better. For some inexplicable reason I didn’t have white thread on hand. That was fine, this pink was barely visible in the finished result. Just aim for something close, it’s not the end of the world if you see a stitch or two. And I promise you, stitches will be visible so get over any delusions of perfection now.

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Take a look at your wubbanub, pull back the fur and bobish and you’ll see the stitching. That’s what you’ve got to remove. You can cut the bobish off at this point or leave it on, it really doesn’t matter. I thought having it on made it easier to hold onto, you do what works best for you.

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What you’re going to want to do now is slip your seam ripper into that first thread and cut it. Once you get the first couple of stitches out it’s pretty easy sailing. Be sure to remove all of your cut threads. I know it can be a little scary to see such a beloved friend in such a state, but I promise you it’ll get better really soon. This goes fast. IMG_9410

Right now, with the old pacifier removed you’re at an important stage. You can do a number of things here. You can sew the mouth shut if you’re looking to ditch the bobish and keep the friend, or you could even sew in a completely different type of pacifier. My son only likes Avent Soothies, and by that I mean the 0-3 months ones. I should probably replace them with the harder to chew through 6+ month ones, but I think I’ll save those for when I want/need him to give them up cause he really doesn’t like them. You’ll definitely need a thimble if you want to use any other brand of silicone pacifier, Soothies are just softer than most. If your child prefers the plastic kind with the handle then you have a unique opportunity to add in a strap so the pacifier can be removed for washing. I would take a small scrap of fabric or ribbon and attach snaps to it. So all you’d have to do is sew the end of your strip into the mouth and then you could fasten the other end with the snaps around the pacifier of your choice. But since my son doesn’t like those I’m just going to replace it with another Soothie.

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Just pick a side and create a sturdy knot. Trim the ends. Slide in your bobish and get ready to sew.

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Now we’re going to use an extremely sophisticated sewing method called the “stab and pull through”. Fortunately anyone can do it with just a little practice! Just start on one side, and work your way to the other. Try to be sure you’re catching the fabric on both sides of the mouth. Don’t worry if you miss a few times, it’ll be fine. Just keep going until you feel it’s not going anywhere. Pull on it a few times to be sure. Then tie off the end.

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As you can see it’s not the prettiest sewing job, but this bobish is going nowhere. My son likes to pull and bite on them. I like to throw them into the washing machine and then pop them into the dryer on the highest heat setting to kill any germs. Despite that the last one I did is a year old and is still holding up just fine.

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If you followed all these steps congratulations, you’re finished! You’re little one has a brand new(ish) wubbanub. It takes a little effort but is totally worth it. These things can cost as much as $25 so it’s far better to replace the pacifier part as opposed to the whole thing as they get worn. Besides, it’ll never be the “same” so it’s kind of a waste of money. Plus you can pick a different color (all wubbanubs come with green pacifiers only) to make yours easy to spot anywhere. :)

***UPDATE***

Wubbanub contacted me via Twitter this morning. This was their Tweet,

@koolchicken – We do not suggest altering, modifying, or changing the product in any way. New products for older infants in Winter 2015.

That’s fine with me, I figured they wouldn’t be okay with people modifying their design, I’m guessing it’s a safety thing. But lets be honest. If your child has a lovey that has become unsafe you have two options, try to fix it or toss it. For many parents throwing away a beloved stuffed animal is just not an option. My son might not freak out if his buddy “disappeared” but many kids will. I know that the new pacifier I’ve attached is on there well and isn’t going anywhere. And I accept the fact that if my child becomes hurt on a wubbanub I’ve modified it’s 100% my fault. But as parents we have to take responsibility for anything we give our child, modified or not. That first wubbanub I swapped the pacifier out on was only a week old when the pacifier it came with broke. It was a mistake in the stitching and it tore. That was not safe to give my son and a return of that particular pacifier was not possible. So it’s important to remember, even a brand new product with all original parts can be dangerous as well and all chidden should be supervised (as much as possible) when given any toy. So if you decided to follow this tutorial remember, you don’t have wubbanub’s support. My modified wubbanub’s have held up fine with no issues. But your experience may vary.

Adult Kristoff Costume, Finished!

I’ve finally finished my husbands Kristoff costume. He doesn’t really care about dressing up. Usually I’m lucky to get him into a t shirt with a print on it, like this delightful little number.

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He got this monstrosity at Target years ago. So yeah, this is his version of a costume. As you can guess, it doesn’t really mesh well with my vision. I would have just bought a ready made costume for him since he really doesn’t care about this stuff, but nothing existed. Well, that’s not 100% true. There were made to order costumes available from China but they cost a whopping $120 plus shipping. No way was I going to spend that for something that might not have even gotten here on time and will probably only be worn a few times. So I got out my muslin and set to work.

I took a t shirt that fit my husband loosely and used that to figure out how wide to make the tunic. I also added on the weird sleeves. I was going to add them in afterwards but decided there was no point. I had my husband try on the first muslin when he got home from work and made the necessary adjustments. Basically adding a bit to the hips and length. He also asked me to cut back the arm holes so now they look goofy (at least to me).

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I straightened out the lines and used a circle skirt to make the curved bottom. I laid the skirt down and traced the back, then I wrapped the skirt around the front overlapping them slightly off center (because Kristoff’s tunic has the center point of his tunic slightly off) then I traced those. Once I was sure I liked it I started to cut out my pieces.

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Since I didn’t have any computer generated reindeer hide (or even any regular reindeer hide) I opted to use gray flannel. I think it’ll make a decent stand in, but only time will tell. :) I decided to line it as well since I didn’t want it bunching up on my husband while he’s wearing it. I bought him just a simple long sleeved t and some grey sweats from Target to go underneath cause there was no was I was going to make those as well. I don’t hate my life.

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I decided to use bias tape to make the detailing on the front of the tunic. I think Kristoff’s might also have pink but I didn’t want to get crazy with this. I kept it simple and it looks just fine. I sewed this down before I attached the lining.

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I sewed the lining to the neckline, “sleeves” armholes, and hem first. Then I turned the whole thing inside out and pressed it. Then I put the two right sides together and serged the sides. Almost finished!

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Now I needed to add the fur trim. It felt a lot like punishment, it was not easy. The fur kept getting in the way and I had a hard time keeping it in place. Trying to use pins was a waste of time and things went way better without them. I’ll never use this stupid stuff again.

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Finished!

I whip stitched the trim on the fur down on the hem but I trimmed it up by the shoulders. It seemed to just work best that way. I still need to make the sash, I plan to do that tomorrow. I would have done it tonight but I was too tired after ballet and baby wrangling. So I worked on this post and another little craft you’ll see next. ;)

I hope this “tutorial” can help anyone looking to make a Kristoff costume. Sadly the boys have been ignored by Disney. There have been Anna and Elsa costumes since day one. They only just came out with an Olaf costume last month and we all saw how that went, sold out in hours and stock has yet to be replenished. It’s a crying shame they’ve been refusing to produce sufficient Frozen merchandise. They’ve had multiple variations of Anna and Elsa’s dresses, would it have killed them to make a Kristoff? They also skipped releasing adult costumes this year, I don’t think they’ve ever done that before. Oh well, what are you going to do? We can’t force them to produce certain things and when that happens we just have to make our own!

For anyone who’s looking to make one of these I got all my materials at Joann Fabrics. I think this cost me around $45 because I shopped sales and used a bunch of coupons. By far the most expensive part of this outfit was the fur trim at $7 a yard (I bought two yards and skipped the collar but I would have had exactly enough to do it if I had not omitted it). So it wasn’t too bad, this was dirt cheap compared to my costume. It also went together pretty quickly. A couple of days worth of work. If I were making this for my son it probably would have gone even faster so if you’re making this for a child expect it to take an afternoon.

Designing Fabric For Spoonflower

Okay, so over the past month I’ve gone from hating Spoonflower to kind of loving them. Go figure.

I was browsing their site over the past couple of days and realized that most if not all of the fabric I’d purchased or pinned was just gone. I contacted one of the designers and she told me one of the Disney people contacted them and forced them to remove their designs from their shops citing copyright infringement. Seriously? There’s tons of Frozen knock offs on eBay but no, they don’t care about that. They’d like to bully random individuals who are making designs inspired by “their” characters. Kind of enrages me. It’s like how they’re actively trying to copyright the name Aurora even though they didn’t come up with it. This is an issue because if they succeed then every performance of the ballet The Sleeping Beauty will now have to omit the name of the main character (and it’s where the name originated). Now don’t get me wrong, I think they should protect their brand. But their deranged desire to own the world needs to be scaled back a bit.

Any-who, there was a design I really loved. I shared it in a past post (the link now goes to nowhere) and I bought a swatch. A single swatch, sob. I’ll never be able to get more- unless I make my own…

This is how it all started. I wanted to see just how difficult it would be to make my own fabric. Turns out, not that hard. I mean, the really fancy stuff is pretty hard and I’m not even going to try (at least not yet). But I really wanted that specific design. I’d just ask the designer if she’d be willing to sell me the image, but I don’t know who s/he is. So I can’t contact them. So I tried making my own. I first had to draw my main character.

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Look familiar? Yeah, he’s a cousin. Some modifications have been made and I’m not sure I’m finished. I may add some spikes to his back for a little variation. But I think he’s now generic enough I can still get the “look” without veering too close to copyright infringement. He looks pretty similar to many Chinese dragons without the added frills and facial features that make him who he is. Makes sense too, they studied Chinese dragons before finalizing shapes for him. So unless Disney can claim copyrights to all Chinese style dragons, he’s mine. I typed “Free Chinese Dragon Clipart” into Google images and this is some of what I found. So I think I’ll be just fine.

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Obviously this is not a new shape. And looking at these make me want to add spikes to the back of “mine” even more now. I didn’t want him to have facial features or any patterns to him, I really wanted him to remain a solid color. I thought that would give me more flexibility in what I create. Here’s one sample of a soon to be fabric in my shop.

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Sorry about that, but it’s my actual file and I had to draw that. You want one you draw it, deal? This is just one little sample, I did about a dozen more. Some are actually totally different but with leaves. I wanted to branch out and try the software and see what I could come up with. I think they look okay considering this is all just on my first attempt. You can see everything I made here in my shop. Please be aware that none of this is currently available to purchase. I can order all I like. But I am required to actually buy a swatch of each before I can make them available for public sale. What is nice though is that I can buy my own designs at a discount. And to order sample swatches it works out to something like a $1.25 per swatch instead of the usual $5, I also get 10% off each yard! I won’t complain about that. :)

I had been thinking. I need some new pajama pants at some point. I own three pairs and as you can imagine they’re in pretty heavy rotation. Only one pair actually fits, so that adds to the fun. I’m thinking I may want to design a really special fabric and when I do I’ll buy a couple of yards and do an actual tutorial. I think that might be fun. So if anyone wanted to make the same pair they’d be able to. I might do a few little tutorials like that. Come up with a special fabric just for that and share a how to. I like it when other bloggers do it, so why not join in on the fun? I’ll need to start coming up with ideas of designs. Maybe start carrying a sketchbook again. I think Target sells tiny moleskin ones. Perhaps I’ll pick one up the next time I’m there.

In the mean time feel free to let me know what you think of the designs, here or there. I’m not too good at this yet so I probably won’t be able to accommodate many, if any requests. I am able to draw though so who knows?

Spoonflower LMTD Satin & A New Beginning

As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to give Spoonflower a second chance. Well, the order I shared with you all in my last post has shipped. But there was also another I didn’t mention…

In the past week or so Spoonflower released two limited time only fabrics. One was a satin, the other a poly crepe de chine. As I mentioned in the past I’m not a big fan of synthetics, but I feel Spoonflower prints best on polyester. Reasons may vary, but it’s just what I’ve noticed.

I had been wanting to make a Rapunzel dress, ever since I bought that kids costume back in February. Believe it or not that one is still living on my dress form in my bedroom. It’s just so pretty I could never hide it in a closet. I sometimes pop it on for my son. He gets so excited, well, it’s hard to describe this thing he does beyond saying he literally vibrates. It’s pretty funny. But despite him believing me to be the real deal when I’m wearing it, the dress is not exact. It’s kind of strange too. You’d think if anyone were going to get it “right” it would be Disney themselves. It’s not like they couldn’t print their own fabric, but they’re clearly just buying some random brocade. I knew I could do better.

So I indulged. I knew that I shouldn’t, that it was wrong to buy more fabric I didn’t need. But it was either buy this now, or hope they re-release this fabric in the future. If they never offered it again I would have bought what I had been planning initially which was their silk, and that costs $34 a yard! For comparison the satin is $17.50, which actually isn’t a bad price for satin and it’s the exact same price as the basic combed cotton. I always shop sales or use a coupon, but satin at JoAnn’s is at least that much regularly so it’s not like I’m getting robbed. There’s also the fact that Rapunzel’s dress in the movie is satin, or at least it looks like it is. In some scenes it could be anything, in others it has a really noticeable shine to it. So this is more screen accurate (sometimes), and it’s half the price of the silk.

Now I know what you’re thinking “Ummm, koolchicken? Silk is silk and satin is polyester“. I hear you, and I understand your concern. But this fabric actually feels nice and it looks so pretty, and it’s machine washable. Very important when you’re staring down thirty and you still routinely dump stuff down the front of you. My kid wears white and looks fabulous. I start out wearing white and by the end of the day I’m a technicolor rainbow. I was once wearing my favorite white skirt when I looked down and notice I’d somehow spilled Orange Julius down the front of it. My BIL wanted to know exactly how I’d managed that as I was drinking from a cup, with a lid and a straw, and I’d only just bought it. Hand to God I still don’t know. So machine washable is something that’s important to me when it comes to something that’s worth so much due to materials and labor. Heck, forget the materials and just focus on the labor. It won’t be amusing if I trash it on the first wear.

So I’m really glad I took the plunge and bought some. I have just enough to do the outfit, nothing extra. I was so tempted to buy a little extra of it to make some accessories but I resisted. I’ll probably have enough left from the darker print to do a little something. I do wonder if I should buy another yard of the bodice material though. Just because if I made a mistake cutting or sewing it I’m kind of screwed if/when they stop producing this fabric. I didn’t make any mistakes on my Anna costume and I’m pretty good about not having to rip stuff out. But this is satin. and satin doesn’t like oops moments of any kind. So I’m going to have to be really, really careful. I’m also a smidge paranoid about the skirt. If my machine ever had an issue with the embroidery, I’d have the same problem. Obviously I could just buy different fabric for the skirt and keep the center panel in the satin. But who wants that? I’d rather have it look seamless.

Here’s the fabric I bought.

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This is the material for the bodice and the sleeves. I bought two fat quarters for the sleeves. Looking back I really should have just bought a yard due to the cost difference. Lesson learned. The colors here are fairly accurate. It’s a verily lovely lilac pink color.

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This is the material for the skirt, the patterned part is for the center panel the rest of the skirt is plain. I bought a single yard of the patterned fabric and I can’t imagine needing more of that. I think the colors here are not coming across true to life, perhaps a bit more berry/red than purpley. But the fabric is pink toned not purple as in the film (sometimes).

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The colors here are still slightly off but I think it still gives a good first glimpse of what they all look like together. As you can see the lighter design has a smaller scale to fit on the smaller area. I have the buttons I’m going to use for this already. I saw them ages ago and thought they were perfect so I just scooped them up. I still need lining fabric, lace in both white and pink, pink cording, grommets (and a grommet punch), as well as pink ribbon or cording. I’m not in a rush to get any of those. This is something I’ll work on when I have the time. Right now I need to be focusing my resources and time elsewhere.

Just thought I’d mention Spoonflower is running a contest on their site. The prize is, Gertie Sews Vintage Casual and three yards of Performance Piqué. Gertie is really cool and her blog a great resource for vintage sewing tips, and really just sewing tips in general. So I’m guessing the book will be amazing. I haven’t used any of her patterns yet but I’ve been tempted. She has  an Etsy shop as well where you can buy kits to make her vintage slip, and panties. She did a sew along with that and I thought it was so cool. A great way to start sewing if you’re new to it I say. A kit with everything you need plus the designer herself showing you how to put the garment together. Genius! Anyways, here’s my referral link to the contest

Enter Here!

Enter by Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 for a chance to win. The winner will be announced on the Spoonflower blog on Wednesday, September 17th. Full Disclosure, I think get extra points or whatever if you click on that link to enter. I’m not 100% on that, but I’m pretty sure. Just wanted people to be aware.

I do still have to finish my husband’s Kristoff costume. I finished the muslin last night and I need to tweak the sleeves just a bit, but it’s done. I hope to start cutting the fabric tonight and begin sewing tomorrow (if not tonight). I made the decision not to attach the collar to this so it won’t be super accurate and more just “inspired by”. That’s fine though. Kirstoff’s tunic has a small stand collar and there’s fur attached. Every time I think about it all I can think is “Geez, I hate doing collars” and “That fur is going to be uncomfortable, he’s gonna hate me”. So just an hour ago I decided to omit it. I doubt anyone will notice and it not only saves me work, but it’ll keep my husband from being miserable. Lets be honest, men just want to be comfortable. They don’t care if something is “accurate” or “cute”. It’s why the people they cast to play the Orc’s in LOTR’s were women. They wouldn’t complain about wearing a hot uncomfortable garment for hours on end. I’ll keep the fur around the sleeves and hem, but that’s it. Photos and more information on that costume to come. Now I’ve got to go deal with a tiny crazy person who’s taking my living room apart. :)

Spoonflower’s Getting Another Chance

If you’ve read my previous posts you’ll know I had some issues with my last Spoonflower order. But as I stated before, it is a great concept and when the designs print well, they look stunning. I’ve seen countless images of things created with their fabrics and who wouldn’t be in love with all those beautiful prints? So after some consideration I’ve decided to place another order. 

I’m headed to Disney World again at the end of the month. Something we decided on the last trip was that we really need to bring raincoats. It’s Florida, it’s humid and kind of rainforesty. So it rains, and when I say rain I mean torrential downpour. My son is fine. Kicking back in his stroller with it’s fancy custom rain cover. We have a fan propped in there so he stays cool, he’s riding in style. My husband and I, not so much…

So we both bought raincoats. He picked up a nice one at Costco and I got a longer one with adjustable sleeves from Amazon. His didn’t come with a bag, mine did but due to the nature of the material it’s almost impossible to get it in or out of the pouch. So he asked me to make him a bag and I figured I should make myself one as well. Since I don’t have any extra fabric in the house so I was going to have to buy something. That’s when I decided to give Spoonflower another chance. I think what persuaded me to try again so soon was seeing that “It’s a Small World” swatch, then seeing that infinity scarf done up in the same pattern but a different fabric base. The colors are so vibrant and it just looks lovely. Here’s the scarf.

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The designer Rock Baby Scissors has an Etsy shop and she does make infinity scarves to sell. But I think this is a personal item, or it already sold. I can see why it wouldn’t stay in a shop long though. It really is stunning and a fantastic way to use this print. I totally need one. I actually didn’t end up buying this fabric. I do want some, but I have things I need to make so it would just sat, sad and neglected. :'( I’d rather not have a lot of fabric sitting around right now since I don’t have the space. After we move it’d be easy to justify the purchase but until then I really can’t buy fabric I don’t intend to use straight away. 

This fabric has a lot of butter yellow in it and that’s just going to show dirt and wear too easily. I decided on something with a darker pattern. This is what I picked.

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Isn’t it cool? I like that the base is a nice blue color. So when it gets a bit dirty it won’t show as easily. The pattern is so cool too, this designer is really talented. I love most of her designs. I went with this one partially because it’s Disney themed, but also because I think it won’t be super obvious. The little designs are 2″x2″ so it’s small and you’ll have to look closely. I think that works perfectly for things like a scarf, headband, or small pouches. I hate it when I’m using a large design and I can’t quite make it fit on what I’m trying to make. This simple, repeating design is ideal for what I want. I bought one yard in their performance piqué. That should be more than enough to make two bags plus a few little extras. ;) I probably could have gotten the job done with a single fat quarter, but it would have cost me $12, for $8 more I got double the amount of fabric! I hope to have enough leftover to embellish like I talked about doing with my Small World swatch. I’ve decided to decorate my sewing room with the supplies I use. I want the walls white (with maybe an accent wall or a couple of stripes) so my fabrics and thread will really stand out. 

 

I also bought a couple more samples, both are Disney themed because I just thought the prints were so fun.

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This Brave one really spoke to me. I just love everything about it. The colors, Merida and her Mum, her bow, and of course the Celtic knots. 

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This one is Mulan inspired and features Mushu. I love that the pattern is so subtle and it’s not overtly Disney. Mulan is one of my favorites and my son was born year of the dragon, so I’ll probably end up with yardage of this at some point. The colors are so perfect, I look good in this color and it’ll match most of my fall/winter wardrobe (and some of my spring/summer stuff).  

I did opt to buy my samples in different fabrics. Just so I could get a feel for the way the different fabrics print out. The Mushu is the performance piqué and the Brave is organic cotton knit. I hope they turn out well. And although I feel like the swatches are expensive (I mean come on, $5!) at least they’re big enough to do something with at 8″x8″. So they won’t just sit. And as I mentioned above, I’ll be using my favorites to decorate my new space, so they’re serving a dual purpose. I think from here on out it would probably be smart to buy at least one swatch every time I’m placing an order. I actually have a board on Pintrest dedicated solely to fabric but I should probably make one specific to Spoonflower. Then when they’re doing their 24 sales on free swatches I’ll have a wish list to pull from. When they did their free swatch of suede I missed it because I couldn’t decide what to pick and while I probably should have just picked anything I didn’t. For some inexplicable reason I had to love it or I just didn’t want it at all. I won’t have that happen again!

I don’t know if I’ll ever buy their quilting cottons again. I think it’s probably just more hassle than it’s worth. But the silks and synthetics I’ve felt and seen online have been just lovely. As was their eco canvas. I almost wonder if they’re just not capable of doing the quilting cottons well? Others have complained about them being stiff (mine are quite stiff) and fading, but you just don’t hear the same stuff said about their other fabrics. In my last post I shared the samples I already own, and I’m enamored with them. It’s the reason I never second guessed buying the Anna fabric from them. It’s okay though, I know now. And if I really want quilting cotton for some reason, I’ll buy a sample first! I sometimes wonder if things would have gone better if I’d picked a polyester fabric to begin with. I didn’t because I thought it was going to be hot, and I wanted this dress to be lined so the synthetic would be too heavy. I’m also not a huge fan of synthetics. I briefly considered getting silk, but it was more than I wanted to spend and I thought that fabric wouldn’t have the right “look” anyways. I sat going through all the tiny swatches from their book. Looking at sheerness, texture, sheen, stretch, and more. I thought I had it right… Oh well, moving on! I think even if these fabrics don’t look exactly like the image on the computer it won’t be as earth shattering as the Anna fabric. If only because I’m not trying to make something that looks like something else. These fabrics could be in any color way really cause they’re just for crafting.

I’ll share images and my thoughts as soon as I get a chance. I really don’t know when, possibly not until I get back home next month. I’m just hoping it’s printed and shipped in time. If it’s not here I guess we’ll just be using Ziplock bags. I’ll only need a day (and not even a full day) to make them. The most time consuming part of the project will probably be the washing and the drying of the fabric. Sewing a square with a button hole is not exactly taxing. Although I may go the zipper route. Still on the fence. Either way, you’ll see it all at some point. 

 

 

My Spoonflower Review

After all the hassle with the fabric for my Anna skirt I thought I should give a proper review on Spoonflower.

If you’re not aware Spoonflower is a website where you can have custom fabric made up. They also do gift wrap, wallpaper, and decals (although I think they’ve been phased out in favor of something new). You can buy fabrics other people have created or make your own. Really it’s perfect if you’re into costuming and want a specific pattern, or just want something no one else will ever have (you can keep your designs private). It is quite pricey though. For example a yard of Kona cotton will usually run you around $5-6, but on Spoonflower it’s $18. Is your wallet crying yet? Their silks and performance fabrics aren’t much more though, so it’s not so bad if you really wanted something in a more thrilling fabric. They also have a discount of 10% for designers when they buy their own prints (you can’t just become a designer and get a discount on everything). You’ll also get a small commission if other people buy your fabric. 

The site is pretty straight forward and easy to use. The search bar at the top can be modified so you’re only looking at fabric, wallpaper, designers, etc. Not all images can be printed onto all materials. I saw some where you buy a fat quarter and it had a newborn onesie printed on it. You just cut and sew. Obviously this design would make for weird looking gift wrap. But there’s a lot of flexibility to make different things. It just basically has to fit onto a yard because the pattern simply repeats. Here’s one of those project panels, I’m very tempted by this one.

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I think it’s kind of awesome and for $20-25 why not right? They have a lot of things like this. Now obviously these will pretty much only work for infants and toddlers, but it’s still a cute concept. I don’t think I could ever generate something like this myself so my hat’s off to these designers. 

Now you can do all this fun stuff on Spoonflower, and there’s just sooooo many fun prints. I could (and have) literally browse the site for hours. Even though it’s expensive, some of these prints are just so amazing and there’s really something to be said for getting to get exactly what you’re looking for. But the problems start when you don’t get what you’re looking for, even when you’re staring right at it. 

If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know I’ve been sewing a Anna costume. I bought my fabric from Spoonflower and was just so excited. The CG image looked great, so did the printed sample shown by the designer. Here’s what it looked like.

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It looks great right? It even has the flecks that simulate the “fuzzy” look of Anna’s skirt. Sadly this is not what I received. My fabric was dark, very dark. The flecks were difficult to see, the upper blue blended into the hem blue, and the “embroidery” just seemed to fade into the background. If I hold the fabric in very bright sunlight it looks okay. But who is only going to stand in direct sun only? I want to wear this skirt to a Halloween party, at night. If it’s just going to look navy blue with virtually no detailing at night I could have saved myself a fortune and just bought blue Kona cotton from JoAnn’s and called it a day. But I spent more than three times that much per yard because I thought this print was worth it. How could I have known how wrong things would go? Here are some side by side images. I took these photos closeup in very bright sunlight today, it’s produces the best effect with the Kona. Otherwise it’s very difficult to see the pattern.

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Sorry for all the fuzz on the left fabric. My son stole my lint roller and I still can’t find it. 

The basic combed cotton is on the left and my original order of the Kona is on the right. As you can see the “flecks” are clearly visible on the left and just sort of fade into the background on the right. It’s also easier to make out the “stitches” on the left vs. the right. Again, this photo was taken in very bight sunlight and it’s the only way you’re even able to see this level of detailing or such brightness with the Kona fabric. 

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Here again we have the basic combed cotton on the left and the Kona on the right. 

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Basic combed cotton on the right, Kona on the left. 

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Basic combed cotton on top, Kona on the bottom.

I think the differences are pretty pronounced. Especially since for some reason the basic cotton holds it’s color even in dim lighting and the Kona seems to look even darker. I’m guessing since it’s so dark and kind of purpley grey to begin with. I don’t think the purple hue comes across in photos, but I promise you it’s there in real life. It’s just so dull. I was devastated when I opened the package and would have been so embarrassed to wear the other fabric had I been left with no other option. 

After seeing the fabric I did what anyone would do, I went back to the website. I looked at their contact info and called the phone number. It was just a recording that hung up. Okay fine, it was late at night I’d just send an email. So I fired off an email and waited- for two days. After 48 hours with no response I went back to the website during their chat times (noon to 4pm EST). Chat was offline, so I tried calling again. All I ended up with was the same recording that told me to send an emil and hung up. Left with no other option I went to their Facebook page and complained. Suddenly, as if by some miracle chat popped back online! Tara was really interested in helping me (I’m sure) and wanted to know what the problem was. Clearly she spends too much time on Facebook and not enough time on email or chat. I told her what was happening, gave her my order number, and she found my email. I sent her an image of the fabric as requested and she agreed it was pretty bad. So she told me it was probably just some error and they’d reprint my fabric and she’d supervise the process personally. She then logged off chat without so much as bothering to say goodbye so I was talking to myself for a while. A few days later I was devastated to get a new email saying my new fabric printed out exactly the same and would I just like to pick a different print? Umm, no. I was very explicit in why I bought this particular print, so no, I didn’t want something else. There was some more back and forth and eventuality she agreed to print again using a different fabric. That printed out fine and she FedExed the new fabric. I got it, and whipped the skirt up, and now things are okay. But I think Spoonflower still has some major issues to work out. 

I looked at a few reviews yesterday and it seems like most people are really happy with their fabric, and that’s great. But the few that aren’t couldn’t seem to get into contact with the company so just gave up or didn’t even bother to try. Likely because of the nature of the product so they figured they’d be ignored. I get that, I was almost one of those people. Actually I feel really lucky I even got in touch with someone. Because while they were dealing with me they had been actively ignoring someone else who’d bought $3,000 worth of wallpaper and every last roll was printed incorrectly (the patterns didn’t line up at all). I feel horrible for her and really hope she got things sorted cause she’s out quite a bit and that’s not funny. For a company that claims to serve over a million individuals they certainly aren’t doing a great job. I really don’t know how a company gets so big without having great customer service. 

Spoonflower has a chat program and really, it’s the only way to speak to someone at the company. That is, short of driving to their offices and banging on the door until they let you in. They claim to offer tours but I don’t know how you’d set one up when no one will get back to an email. Or perhaps they only respond to positive emails and just ignore the complaints? All I know is that if you offer a phone number and say “call this number for help” it needs to not be a recording that simply hangs up on you. And if you’re really only going to have chat up for four hours a day it needs to be available. It’s just not okay to have no one available to help when something goes wrong. Because something will go wrong, nothing in this world is perfect. It is possible that they grew too quickly and need to expand certain departments but just haven’t yet. That’s fine, but they need to work on that and the sooner the better. 

My other issue was with the excuses for the color variations. I’m sorry but if they know one fabric will always print light and another will always be dark, then they need to adapt the file to the fabric type they’re printing. To try and shift blame onto the designer saying they made a dark file is unacceptable. Take Michael Miller fabrics for example, you can get his prints on all sorts of fabric, minky, flannel, quilting cotton, etc. The colors are usually exactly the same despite the fabric type and the reason for that is simple. They adjust their colors to meet the needs of the fabric they’re printing on. Spoonflower needs to be the same. They cannot just say “buy a $5 swatch and see if you like it” there needs to be more consistency. Because otherwise you’re going to spend a lot of time and money trying all the fabric types and if you still don’t like the color you’ll need to tweak it yourself or hassle the designer. Or just learn to live with a custom fabric that’s not what you want. 

I think if they can work on these issues then the company will continue to grow and will see even greater success. No company can expect to ignore their customers long term and do well. 

Here are some swatches of samples I had bought in the past and was very happy with.

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The first three with the larger pattern are Silk Crepe de Chine. It’s quite lovely, thin, drapey, and a smidge sheer. The last one with the tiny design is in their performance knit and be warned, it has zero stretch. I’d meant to buy one of these in that fabric and another in their performance pique but somehow ended up with two in the performance knit. I’ve been debating going as Rapunzel for the Disney Princess Half Marathon, if I do I’ll be buying one of these prints. I’d want the modern jersey as it’s the only fabric with a 4 way stretch. They seem to be out of stock with that one right now. I really hope they get it back in stock before December if I do decide to go this route. I wouldn’t need much, a yard of each, maybe even just a fat quarter for the skirt (the center panel is printed, the rest of the skirt is plain colored). A fat quarter is 21″ x 18″ and the skirt will obviously be short so that should work. Though even if I bought a yard I’m positive I could find use for the scraps in the form of cute things like headbands and even a scarf. The performance pique (which is made for workout gear) is 56″ x 36″ so that’s more than enough for an outfit plus accessories. I’ll also be making a top that resembles her bodice, just a basic tank I think. A yard should more than cover it. 

So I’m not completely out of love with this company. They do have some issues to work on but it’s a great concept and when things print as shown they look beautiful. I think I’ll just keep an eye out for when they do free swatches. They did one a week or so ago and I picked this little gem. It can be found here, I had it printed on their Eco Canvas. I think it looks a bit blurry but that’s just the photo, it’s much crisper in real life.

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Recognize that? It’s the facade of the It’s a Small Word ride at Disney! Someone just posted an image of an infinity scarf they made with this and I’m in love. I will be copying that design! For now I’ll probably play around with this for a bit. Finish the edges and do a little freehand embroidery to embellish it. It’s 8″x8″ so I’m going to cut it to fit a 4″x4″ frame and use it as artwork in my soon to be sewing room. It’s something I’ve done in the past and I think it’d be the perfect way to help decorate the space. 

So basically, I say order from Spoonflower knowing that if the fabric turns out the way you expect it to you’ll be thrilled beyond words. But if it’s not what you expected it to look like, you’re pretty much on your own. I’m lucky they bothered to help me, it seems like they ignore most people. It’s expensive, and you need to be sure of what you’re getting before you buy. I suggest waiting for their free swatches and if you like what you get then order. Or look for people who have used the fabric you’re looking to buy. Sometimes the designers can help you out too, so ask!

My Anna Costume Is Finished!

I’m a bad, bad blogger. I said I’d have my finished costume up here days ago and I didn’t do it. I did finish it, but I simply forgot to post. There’s been a lot going on here and quite frankly if I have to prioritize, blogging comes last. It’s not that I dislike blogging, it’s just that I like eating and wearing clean clothes more. I know these posts have been getting a lot of traffic. So I apologize to those of you who have been waiting for this.

Now, without further ado. My completed costume.

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Yes, I know what you’re all thinking. The dim lighting and iPhone quality photo really make this shine. I’m sorry, I took the photo at 6:30am and it was still quite dark out. I had just finished making it and putting it back on the form. I was so tired I didn’t even bother to iron it or even try it on (shock, gasp, horror!). I just hopped into the shower then climbed into bed. My saving grace is having a son that sleeps till at least noon everyday. Otherwise I’d have been face first in my cereal bowl that morning.

The skirt fabric you see here is the new fabric Spoonflower sent me. Though you probably can’t tell from these photos, it’s significantly better than the previous yardage. I really need to do a proper review with photos once I have the time. I sent the company a very long email letting them know that while I was happy with this new fabric (the combed cotton incase you were wondering) this shouldn’t have even been an issue. I’ll go into more detail when I write my review but it was basically “you need better customer service and to change your printing process based on fabric type”. Basic stuff really, I have no clue how they got so big without figuring out this stuff…

But back to the skirt. I did the four big box pleats. I bought three yards and after I washed and dried this (and it shrank a scary amount) I have exactly the right amount to do four perfect 8″ pleats with a smidge leftover for the zipper and seam. I really couldn’t be happier. It is a bit loose so it fits better further down by my hips, but that’s fine by me. There’s no stretch to the waistband so I’d rather it be a bit loose. After all, I plan to stuff my face full of candy until I feel sick. I’m gonna need that extra room. :)

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These are just a couple photos of the unfinished skirt. I know, you’re all just riveted. Sorry there aren’t more. It wasn’t until I got to this stage that I realized, I should probably take a few photographs. There were supposed to be more, but alas I found myself so engrossed in my task I forgot. I made the skirt all in one night. I think if I spaced it out a bit more there would have been more photos. But I just wanted it done.

I didn’t use a pattern, just sort of winged it as I do with most of my projects. I decided it would be better to sew the lining directly in, though I had considered doing it separately and making a crinoline. I took a strip of the leftover fabric, folded it in half and serged it to the top. I added in an invisible zipper (still hate doing them, even if they’re my special skill) and all the edges are serged so I don’t ever have to think about this again.

If anyone decided to buy this same border print fabric I really recommend this particular skirt style. I still have three yards worth of fullness and swing at the bottom (helped along by my horsehair braid) but there isn’t much bulk at the waist. It’s also (from what I could see) fairly screen accurate. The only other way to do a skirt with this fabric would be to have a gathered/elastic waistband. But depending on how many flowers you wish to see on the bottom, you could get stuck with a very bulky and uncomfortable waistband. So I’m glad I did it this way. The big box pleats really work to let the pattern on the bottom show and it’s very comfortable.

I’ll probably do another post on this costume with better photos at some point. I don’t know when, but it’s my goal. I worked fairly hard on this and I’d like to be able to at least share a decent photo.

As I mentioned before, my next project is a Kristoff costume for my husband. I plan to start on it tomorrow. By which I mean I plan to finish the edges of my fabric and toss it in the wash, lol. No, but seriously, I’ll probably also start making my pattern too. My husband has some ugly oversized t shirts that he loves for some odd reason. I’m going to use one as a template. It should be fairly straight forward. I’m not sure how much time I’m going to spend agonizing on all the little details for this costume. It’ll probably just be a quick job without many frills. My husband truly doesn’t care. And I want him to have a nice costume, but he won’t be freaking out if it’s not screen accurate (nor will he notice) so I’m not going to give myself grey hair over it. I did buy fur trim for the edges, and some different bias tapes to make the sash (plus some for the neckline). So it won’t be completely without some pizzaz. My only real concern is the collar. I don’t have a pattern, and I’m worried about my ability to build one that will lay the way I want it to. I guess I’ll just be crossing my fingers hoping what I’m brainstorming works!

Gluten Free Dining At Disney World

I’m going to take a quick break from the sewing posts to talk about something else I love, Disney! As I’m sure most of you have already figured out my family and I love visiting the parks. We love it so much we’re going to WDW again the end of this month and plan to visit DL in November. One of my family’s challenges is Celiac disease, and we’ve had some trouble eating in the parks over the last year. As I’ve mentioned previously, Disney has claimed to be Celiac friendly for years but I’ve felt a definite shift as of late. Here’s what I’ve observed.

 

You need to avoid the stands, that’s really all there is to it. For the most part the people at the stands do not know what gluten is. They don’t always have any information you can look at either. We went last month for the Frozen celebration and they had a ton of Frozen themed goodies. I was interested in a beverage and the men running the cart could only tell me the ingredients in the punch, they had no clue as to brands and had no nutrition book. They called a manager on their walkie talkie, but she had no clue either. I went without because “grenadine and lemonade” don’t actually count as ingredients from a Celiac standpoint. 

The sit down restaurants are great though, I’ve had a fantastic experiences at all of the ones we’ve visited. My favorite is Be Our Guest, the new Beauty & The Beast themed restaurant. The chefs and staff there are particularly kind and I just love the food. They also have a special dessert that’s gluten free. Usually it’s just a prepackaged cookie or brownie, maybe some sorbet. But the fact that they actually created a dessert (that’s good!) is kind of awesome. Here’s a little look at the pastry.

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I’m always too excited to eat it so I’ve never taken my own photo. I, umm, “borrowed” this one from eatingWDW.com and they go into more detail on their blog about this particular restaurant. 

The quick service places are alright as well, but it can be a real hassle. You can no longer just speak to the cashier. You get in line, when it’s your turn they call a manager (or chef). You then wait for them and they pull out their bright yellow notebook and write down what you want and take it to the chef. You pay and are sometimes given one of those light up things, otherwise you just wait at the counter. Basically it means I can end up waiting twice as long as everyone else to get a meal. But the managers are super nice and they actually know what you’re talking about. So I guess instead of giving basic education to everyone they’re giving specialized training to a few. I don’t know about you but I’d rather a well informed few than a “I think you can have it” from everyone cause they just don’t know. They do have some kinks to iron out. Like the night I couldn’t get a chef, and when they finally came out they were angry at me because they’d shut off the ovens. Well, maybe if he’d come out a half hour ago when he was first paged this wouldn’t have been an issue. It’s not okay to get angry at a customer who was in line and waiting long before you decided to close the kitchen.

In the past I had just been handed a three ring binder with package info. Sometimes there would be the ingredients ripped straight off the box, other times there was just the nutritional info. They seem to be a bit more detailed now. Brands are listed, the nutrition info is there, as well as the ingredients and any allergen statement the company may have made. I used to have to navigate this book myself and it wasn’t easy. I talked about it with a manager on this most recent trip and they told me that anything in the gluten free section of the book is gluten free as confirmed by the chef and the manufacturer. They simply offer the book incase you want to double check the ingredients. Something I’m grateful for since we gave my son the baked beans one day and apparently he shouldn’t have had them, oops. Kind of explains a lot about that evening, poor kid. I’m glad I had an attentive manager the next day because we almost made the same mistake again and they were able to flip to that product page and sure enough, they weren’t safe. So I’m glad they have the book. 

If I have any gripes it would be aside from the difficulty of eating at one of the carts, it’s the lack of treats. Nearly all of their packaged candies say “May Contain Wheat”. Really? Cause last I checked original Spree was gluten free, but I guess not at Disney. There’s no phone number I can call, no address I can write to, no website I can visit to get more information. It’s very clear they don’t know if any of their candies contain gluten and they have no desire to check, so they put an allergy warning on there just to cover their own butts. It’s a shame because they’re losing out on a lot of potential revenue, but that’s what you get when you’re lazy. 

There’s also the baked goods issue. They do have prepackaged cookies as well as a brownie option. The OMG It’s Gluten Free brand is actually really good. But after a week I have a stack of them in my mini fridge because eating the same exact treat after each meal gets old. At some point you just don’t want another super heavy brownie. I just tossed my last brownie and cookie that I’d brought home, I literally had that many. When I first got the email talking about their Frozen celebration they made a point of talking about all the fun Frozen inspired treats they’d have on offer. Well I probably should have known better, but I was hoping they’d have something safe. Well, they had an entire bakery case at Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post and not a single treat was safe for me and my son. It was really hard dragging my son away from there when he was asking for a treat. I don’t like saying no to him when he asks for food. He is usually pretty healthy, he loves his fruits and veggies, and will happily eat anything I place in front of him. He’s also very slim and active, only 29 pounds at nearly 22 months and still firmly in baby sizes. So I never say no to a treat unless he’s been misbehaving. It can be difficult enough to tell a toddler they can’t have a sparkly cupcake or a cookie with their favorite princess on it. It’s a whole other level of tricky to try and explain that they haven’t been bad, there’s no way they can improve on their behavior, but they will not be getting a treat- when every other child has one.

Learning the world isn’t fair is a hard lesson, and it stinks that he has to learn it as a baby. I’m not going to demand they change everything, but would it kill them to produce a couple more options? Something simple like switching to gluten free Rice Krispies would make a world of difference to Celiacs. They could make those and do the same screen prints they’re already doing on them. Then when my kid wants a “Nana” (Anna) cookie it’s actually a possibility. I don’t know if Kellogg’s new cereal is also dairy, soy, or nut free, but there are options out there that are. I get that it would be more expensive for Disney to do this. But seeing as a single Rice Krispie treat it the parks costs more than two boxes of the regular cereal I’m sure they wouldn’t be losing too much on them. And it would mean a lot to the people who walk into their candy shop on Main Street and have to turn around and walk straight out because everything from the cupcakes behind the counter, to the prepackaged candies are unsafe. Really, I’ll never understand some of their business decisions. So many other brands have learned alienating large groups is bad for business. Hopefully Disney realizes this at some point and turns things around. 

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post I’m headed to California in a couple of months. I’ve had most of my negative dining experiences there. There seems to be far less awareness of Celiac disease overall in California, and so that can be an issue wherever I go when I’m there. It’s defiantly disappointing knowing I used to at least be fine at the park, and now it’s hit or miss. All I can hope for is that they too have improved. WDW had some issues during the change over and now it’s pretty much okay. Still not as good as it was before, but at least I’m not going hungry. I’ll be sure to report back with my experiences either way, but I’m optimistic. 

Anna Costume, The Completed Bodice

Sorry this took so long to get up. I had meant to post this sooner, but I ran out of the trim. Couple that with the fact I had to pick up my new embroidery dongle, and the manager of the sewing store is only there certain days, and…. Long story short, I was forced to wait so this wasn’t finished until the other day. I am done now, and here’s my completed bodice!

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I like it, and I think it looks pretty good. If I had to do it over I’m sure there would be changes but I’m not 100% sure what those would be. I suppose I would raise the center design slightly and maybe widen the shoulder straps. Possibly trim the trim, I’m not too sure. I feel the trim is the right width, but to widen the straps would make them too wide. I couldn’t bring them out any  further, so they’d have to come in, eating into the neckline. I suppose that would be okay, but to me the size of the neckline feels right. I guess this is where the difficulty of creating a real life dress based on a CG one comes into play. I know a lot of people have complained about Elsa’s dress because the color shifts throughout the film. Anna’s bodice is one of those things that’s a bit difficult to bring to life. The embroidery is also slightly wonky on the back. In reality it’s only slightly off, but the trim seems to exaggerate it, it’s also on the form a smidge lopsided. Everything else was pretty much a mirror image though so I can’t complain. The fact I managed to hoop everything separately (and not even really hoop everything but float it) and have it come out so symmetrical is pretty amazing considering it was my first time doing, well, all of it. I’ve never floated anything before, I’ve never tried to do matching designs, and I’ve actually only used the embroidery feature a dozen or so times since I bought the machine. I can’t see beating myself up over a few millimeters given all that.

The skirt is going to be another issue, but probably not a huge one. As you can see I’ve pinned my (junky wrong color) fabric to the dress form adding four large pleats. It’s obvious in certain scenes she has pleats (like the moment she’s about to jump out that window into the storm with Olaf), but in other scenes it looks like a basic a-line. I’ve pretty much decided on pleats because it’s going to enable me to keep the right volume, pattern on the bottom, and it is the “right” design at least some of the time. And I don’t know if I mentioned this previously, but the green skirt she wears at the very end of the film has more obvious pleats. Here are some of my reference images.

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The blue skirt appears to be designed in a very similar fashion. I’m no expert but I’m guessing we don’t see that detailing because it’s usually covered by her cape, and it’s a lot of time and money to spend adding such a tiny detail that’s very rarely, if ever, seen. I just think it’s fair to assume these two skirts would be designed similarly if Anna were a real person. In the time period she’s supposedly from (1840’s, but I’m guessing more 1890’s due to Anna’s hemlines and the bicycle) it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume most of the dresses and skirts available at that time were basically the same. So I feel pretty confident going with this design. It’s also really easy to pull together without a pattern. I just hope I have enough fabric, the fabric I’ll ultimately be using kind of shrunk a lot- like a lot, a lot. Really the fabric drama has been more stressful than necessary. I’ll eventually do a post on what’s going to become known as The Fabric Incident of 2014. But for now I need to focus on just getting the skirt done.

Last night I trimmed and hemmed the skirt fabric, and I added in the horsehair braid (yeah, I’m using horsehair braid). I’m planning to measure and cut the lining material and will probably also add the ric rac tonight. I don’t know if I’ll get more than that completed tonight. I’m hoping I do but I’m trying to manage expectations. I’ve been extremely tired lately and I haven’t a clue as to why. I’ll be so glad when this is all finished. Although then it’ll be time to start my husband’s Kristoff costume. Stay tuned….

Anna Costume, Sewing The Bodice

After spending all last night on this, my Anna bodice is almost complete. As I mentioned in my last post I shared the embroidery, this one will talk about assembly.

 

The first step was to transfer all my pattern markings to my fabric. I had already completed this on the lining, I did it while my machine was embroidering. So I really only had to do the velveteen and it went quickly. Once I did that I pinned the darts and sewed them down.

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I did the same with the lining. The next step had the potential to be very tricky. I had to press my seams. Now if you’re at all familiar with velvet or velveteen you’ll know they can’t really be ironed. You usually need what’s called a needle board and even then you can still crush the pile if you’re not careful. Velveteen can be a little easier to work with, but that doesn’t mean you can’t mess that up too. The method I used is slightly dangerous and not something I recommend anyone without health insurance try. I stood my iron and passed the fabric over the plate.

I couldn’t exactly take photos of this process. That would have been really stupid and reckless. So I’ll have to try and describe exactly what I mean. I turned my iron to a medium setting, and let it heat up. I found having the steam on made it easier, you may wish to experiment. To be sure it wouldn’t be too hot I ran the iron over the board a few times and touched the fabric. If it was too hot to touch I turned it down until I found something manageable. I stood the iron up facing 4 o’clock and held it by the handle so it wouldn’t boggle. Then I laid the fabric over my hand (right side against my palm) and held it to the plate. My fabric was thick enough and my temperature setting low enough that it didn’t get too hot. When I had to apply a bit more pressure or press close to the edge, I used a scrap piece (right sides together!) to be sure my hand would stay safe. It worked phenomenally well. Just see for yourself!

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After I finished all my pressing I serged the shoulders and side seams of both the velveteen and lining separately. Then I put them together (wrong sides together to hide the seams) and started pinning. I pinned both layers together and machine basted them together. In hindsight I probably should have just hand basted, it probably would have taken me less time. Either way, it came out fine. I then popped it on the serger. The entire perimeter will be covered with gold trim, so I didn’t even have to do that, but I don’t want to ever have to worry about things unraveling so I finished them. Besides, it’s nice to have a well made garment.

Here are my two separate pieces waiting to be serged together.

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And here they are serged together and with the zipper installed just waiting for trim.

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My shoulders are a bit more broad than the dress form so it looks a bit off here. But this is it! All it needs now is the trim. I am a bit concerned about installing that. The stuff I bought is really cool, but I’m worried it will be really difficult to work with. If it is I’ll have to get something different and I really don’t want to. Not just because it’ll cost me even more (I can’t return this trim), but because I can’t think of anything else that’ll look as good. So I really need it to work.

With any luck my next post will be in the next day or so, and will be showcasing my completed bodice!

I do still have the crummy Spoonflower fabric, they haven’t asked for it back. So I’m thinking of using it to practice pleating, just to get an idea of what works. Anna’s skirt looks to have four huge pleats which wouldn’t be difficult. I just hope it translates well  to real life.

On the subject of skirt and Spoonflower they contacted me again. The woman I’ve been talking to said she made a mistake with what she told me and had the fabric reprinted on a different base. It supposedly looks much better and will go out as soon as Monday. All I can say is it better look good. If it doesn’t I’m going to be stuck making a skirt in the wrong colors. After all the work I’m putting into this I’d like it to look how I’d envisioned. But with the base color of this skirt so dark and it so difficult to see many of the details it may as well be a different pattern, not just a different color. So it’s disappointing. I’m not saying making this costume has been especially taxing, but it does take effort and it has cost me a bit. I’d like to be really happy and proud of the end result. I know my son won’t really care, he’ll just be happy that his Mama is Anna (or Nana as he calls her). But I’ll care.