Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

So maybe it was the 3 trips I took to Disney last year where they literally brain wash you into believing that "Dreams really do come true!"  It is the most pleasant brain washing ever.  Something about the smell of powered sugar and the 20 minute show that runs every hour called "Dream Along With Mickey" has you downright believing that ansolutely anything is possible!  Or maybe it was the loss of my Grandpa last March.  Loss makes you realize how short even a long and wonderful life is.  Loss makes you realize the importance of family.  Or maybe it was the crazy break-down I had about turning 26 (25 was awesome "the world is my oyster!" 26 was terrifying "what am I doing with my liiiiifffeee?!") where I got out my old journals that I have kept since middle school and scoured bucket list after bucket list and dream after dream and cried because my life looks nothing like I thought it would.  Or just maybe it's that Psalm 20 spent all of 2014 popping up in devotions, sermons and random falling from the sky into my life.  {"May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.  We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up banners in the name of our God.  May the Lord grant all your request."}

Somehow the culmination of all these things that happend in 2014 have profoundly influenced the start of my 2015.  Regardless of the reason, I have decided to stake a claim on 2015 as the year my dreams are coming true.  I am planting a giant sparkly monogrammed flag on every day of this year that says "mine!"  They may not be the exact same dreams I had when I was 16, but they are my true dreams non-the less. 

And you know what?  Almost the instant I made that decision, my dreams started coming true.  January has been awesome!  

One of my dreams from adolescents was to open a boutique to sell my creations. I thought this would mean a store front in some charming area of town, but the 21st century is above and beyond what I dreamed 10 years ago so Hello etsy site! 


Another dream from 9th grade was to help people who were "disfigured" in one way or another and thus "outcasts".   I know, I know, could I have been any more dramatic? I thought this meant serving on Mercy Ship Africa and removing tumors from people. I thought I would have to live over seas or do street ministry.   In reality, the Lord has opened the door for me to get my lymphedema certification through OT to decrease and manage what is commonly known as elephantiasis here in the states.

A dream I never even wrote down but had held in my heart was that of being a real seamstress.  Not just a crafter, but someone who really sews well and is hired for things like amazing princess ball gowns.  And as I mentioned in my corset dress post, that dream is coming true too!  

This is not a post to brag, instead this is a post about gratitude.  This is a post where can see how some of the puzzle pieces fit together, how all things work together for good. People always say that when you become a believer you have to give up all your dreams for yourself, and I had bought into that.  Psalm 20 was crazy to me because I wanted to pray it for other people and not accept that God really does want to make my plans succeed and give me the desires of my heart. And I am posting to share how grateful I am that I am living a life fulfilled. I am not married and I do not have babies like I thought I would at 26, but my life is so much more wonderful than I could have ever imagined at 16.   And for that, I am so grateful.  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Corset dress

My caseload at work has been low the last few weeks and I have found myself with some wonderful sewing time which is a perfect prelude to my new gig.  Yes, I am still a full time Occupational Therapist, but it seems my sewing is taking off quite a bit.  These long winter nights and cozy winter days have led me to my sewing machine over and over.  

A dear friend's sister works for a company that does princess parties and was in need of a seamstress to do some repairs to various costumes.  After she saw my Anna and Elsa costumes, it turned more into a request for commissioned costumes!   Talk about a dream come true!   While I've been waiting on some fabric to come in, I thought it would be prudent to work on my corset skills.  And by that I mean I thought it would be prudent to learn to make a corset.  

I've been dying to make a dress similar to the floral dress Giselle wears on her date with Edward in Disney's Enchanted. I love that silhouette and I've never quite outgrown my twirly skirts phase. 

For this project I used Simplicity 5006 for the corset and read a few tutorials I found via Pinterest.  Honestly, I was expecting it to be difficult but I learned that if you can sew a straight line, you can sew a corset! Now I didn't obey the rules and I used the wrong fabric for this, therefore it isn't as sturdy as a typical corset.  I use a quilters cotton because I adored the yellow and white pattern.  That, and using a dark heavy fabric wouldn't exactly match the innocent, playful, girly looking I was going for.  

Unfortunately, I only have one picture of the process.  
(Yes, I did my hammering on an old anatomy book. That book also contains flowers I've been pressing from a bouquet I caught back in June ... Glad those $$$ textbooks still get use!)

Now for the skirt!  A few weekends ago while visiting my parents I pulled out my mom's 31 year old pleating machine that was used for smocking.  I had the crazy notion that I wanted to start making smocked baby gifts.  Who knows, I still might.  Anyway, I used it to heavily pleat 3 yards of fabric.  That's right, I didn't cut any panels and sew them together, I just cranked 3 yards (9 feet!!!) of fabric through that thing!   
Side note:  isn't my new dress form wonderful?  She was a birthday present from Derek.  

Back to the dress.  I simply put all the fabric, pleats and all through my machine to keep them in place.  Then I added a waist band and a zipper and it's good to go!  I put some pretty white ribbon through my corset and it was ready to go!   

"Do you wanna build a snow man?" Anna and Elsa costumes

My latest endeavor has been creating Disney costumes!   One of my lifelong dreams is to be a princess so when a friend asked me to be Anna at her daughter's 3rd birthday party I was ecstatic.   The best part? I volunteered to make them!   Being a princess and sewing my own costume?!   Just call me Giselle!  (Enchanted is still one of my top favorite movies!).  The beautiful Elsa for this occasion had been wanting to learn how to sew from a pattern so this was a great experience to set up two machines and work on two dresses at the same time.  She did a lovely job on the bodice and skirt of Elsa! 

For this occasion I opted for a simple McCalls Halloween costume pattern.  It got the job done and was very simple and easy to follow.  Since making these dresses, I have learned the wonders of corset making (that post is coming next!) and am amazed by how much better of a fit you can get when using a corset and a skirt versus a one piece dress.  But for an audience of 3 year olds, these gowns were magical enough and I must say I was very happy with the final product.  

Let me just tell you, if your ego ever needs a boost, just show up to a bounce house in a Frozen costume.   It doesn't matter if you can sing or have any real talent, the costume itself is enough to make you into a celebrity!
Honestly, could the birthday girl be any sweeter?
Look in the background and you can see the precious birthday girl sneaking cake!
Quick note on the Anna wig:  I cut 10 inches off my hair the week before the party so I just ordered the first Anna wig I found with Amazon prime shipping.  It turned out to be incredible!