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Monday, March 2, 2015

February Sewing

I know it is now March but I just didn't get to posting this until today LOL

The first sewing project this month was a pair of ice skates. I think I bought this pattern from Pixie Faire when if first came out. I had tried it a couple of times but was never happy with the results I was getting. After my doll sewing group spent January on shoes I had a lot more confidence with the the top half of the skates. But we all know that is still only half the pair of skates. I still had to deal with the blades. On my previous attempts at this pattern I was also very unhappy with the way the blades came out.

As an aside I should tell you that my daughter has spent most of her life as an ice skater and was a competitive figure skater for several years. I have seen a few pairs of ice skates and their blades. The blades on the pattern just weren't cutting it for me.

One major problem I had with them when I was able to get them to look almost okay was that the paperboard used in the pattern just wasn't sturdy enough to hold the weight of the doll. At least it wasn't on the pair I got to that stage.

The doll sewing group I belong to announced on the 1st that the topic for February would be skating outfits. I knew that was going to be my incentive to get these skates figured out.

It so happened that the next day I needed to drive into town and while I was driving I had an idea of how to do the blade. I decided to combine the paperboard and some polymer clay. I (I had tried to make blades out of just polymer clay in the past and wasn't happy with those either) Lucky for me I had this brainstorm on the way to town and not on the way home like I normally do. I was able to stop at the store to pick up a couple of things I thought I might need.

I got home and started working on the blades first. I wanted to make sure this idea was going to work. I did use the blade pattern (most of it anyway) but I made it out of black polymer clay. I also cut 2 ovals and 2 half circles to act as the attachment plates where the blades on real skates are screwed onto the soles. I also cut the same part of the blade pattern from paperboard 4 times. By using some TLS I attached the blades to the other shapes and then glued the paperboard pieces to the outsides of the blades. At this point I painted the paperboard with black craft paint. When that was dry I painted the both blade assemblies with a metallic silver paint and then finished it with a coat of Triple Thick glaze.

The skate boots were made pretty much by the pattern and when everything else was finished I glued the blades to the bottom. I like how they turned out but I have several improvements I still want to make. The biggest one is to add toe picks so my daughter won't disown me. LOL I think I have that figured out too.

Then the Dress

The other major sewing project I did in the month of February was a dress to go with the skates. Since I had made a dress a while back and it was more or less what my daughter would have considered to be a practice dress (not enough bling for competition) I decided that I would make a competition dress.

I first got online and found some inspiration and started off in one direction. That dress quickly became two different dresses because of a harebrained idea I got in the middle of the night. Ever get those??? Anyway it seemed like a good idea but in the end both of those went in the trash.

Time to start over.

I got a new idea and this one seemed to be on track. I thought about the different competition dresses I had made my daughter over the years and the asymmetrical ones were always favorites. I knew I also wanted to do some cut out areas, after thinking about it I decided to limit the cut out to the sleeve.

I dug through my stash of appropriate fabrics and found some really pretty purple (since it is my favorite color I decided it was a sign)

I used the same pattern I used for the last dress (from Joan Hind's book- Sew Today's Fashions) I did some re-designing to remove the upper bodice seam on both the front and back. I also only used one sleeve. I then redrew the skirt to get the asymmetrical look I was after.

I added a touch of glitz with some fabric glitter and I love how it turned out.

I was hoping to get another pair of skates made but I ran out of month. Hopefully I will still get those done when things quiet down a bit.

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