Belle's Blouse and Bloomers

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Ahh, it's been awhile since I've posted! I figured it was about time I posted the next step in making Belle's dress.  As you can see from the picture above I am actually already finished with my take on Belle's blue dress. I can't wait to show you all some more pictures!  The one above is just a teaser.  I have to finish catching you up on the progress first.

I am combining both the blouse and the bloomers into this post.  For the blouse I basically just used a pattern.  I don't trust my own pattern-making skills with blouses, hehe.  They are a bit harder than skirts.  Pictured below is the pattern I used.  I didn't buy it specifically for this project.  I'm sure there is a pattern that would be better for Belle, but I didn't want to buy a new pattern.  I've had this pattern for years and it worked out perfectly, I just needed to make a few adjustments.

The only adjustments I made was taking a few inches out so it was not as baggy around the waist and on the sleeves.  I also created a drawstring for the neckline instead of using elastic for the neckline. I'm sorry I don't have a picture of the blouse. But you can kinda see how the blouse turned out in the picture above.

After making the blouse I used the same fabric to make the bloomers.  I was a little unsure of how to make the bloomers.  My plan was to paint the flourish pattern on the bloomers just like I did with the pockets.  Painting a flourish design is a lot harder than painting stripes.  I decided I needed some sort of stamp so I could make each flourish uniform.

Using styrofoam I cut out the little leaf shaped pieces and glued them to a piece of poster board. In other words, I simply created my own stamp.  Then I was able to paint my homemade stamp and stamp it onto the fabric.  It worked perfectly.

For making the bloomers I also used a pattern.  I used simplicity pattern 3677 (it's a pattern for a pirate costume).    I made just one simple adjustment;  instead of elastic at the end of the bloomers I made cuffs like belle has in the movie.

Now all that's left is the vest.  The vest was the trickiest part which is why the next post will be devoted to more detailed information about how I made mine.  

I'm so excited, and kinda sad, to see this project finally come to an end.  

A Lesson Learned From Art Class

Saturday, September 30, 2017

I made a mistake!  Oh no!  And it's too late to fix it, what should I do?

I was loving how everything was turning out on my paper.  In art class the other day we all got to play around with watercolors. The flower I was painting was slowly taking shape as I added on each layer.  An idea came to my head.  My flower needed outer petals.  I dipped my brush into the red and mixed it with some white until I had the perfect shade of pink.  Without much thought I placed my brush on the paper and painted more petals.  

Let's just say the picture I had in my head is not what happened on the paper in front of me.  I tried to make it work.  I added more paint and  then I tried to get rid of the extra paint.  Nothing worked, I messed up. 

Refusing to just push aside this piece as a mistake and try again I took out my pens and attempted to save my work.  I blended the pink colors into a background wash and added pen to make the flower stand out.  It worked! 

The painting didn't end up how I had originally planned it to turn out, but overall, I love how this piece turned out.  I couldn't resist adding a simple quote with hand lettering!

My art teacher even came over and commented on my work.  But the first words that came out of my mouth as she looked at my piece was; "This was a mistake."

She quickly told me that it was not a mistake, nothing in art is a mistake.  It may not have turned out how I wanted it to turn out, but it wasn't a mistake.  She pointed out how I was able to use my creative mind to solve the problem and still create a beautiful piece of art.  She also said if I keep trying to get the desired effect I will only get better as I practice.

Encouraged, I went on to play some more with my watercolors.  I painted more flowers and landscapes remembering to keep in mind that as I explore with art I'm not messing up or making mistakes, I'm making art.

As I reflect on the dilemma I had with my flower painting, I can't help but see a life lesson to learn from this experience.  So often in my life I find myself in situations that are similar to my messed up piece of art.   

My life is like the painting on the paper in front of me.  As each day goes by a new layer is added to the painting.   I make choices for my life each day.  I have dreams and hopes.  I have an idea in my head of what I want the painting to look like whens it's done.  

But, let's face it, things happen and my life takes an unexpected turn.  Maybe it's a season of pain, or heartbreak.  Maybe it's a prolonged season of waiting.   Hard times come and I start to wonder what happened to the beautiful picture?  It was turning out just how I wanted it to, but now...  The brush suddenly slips, the paints spill on the canvas, the beautiful painting is no longer perfect, it's messed up.  I made a mistake.

What my teacher told me about my artwork is true of my life as well.  There is no such thing as a mistake.  Maybe my life isn't turning out how I want it to turn out, but I must never allow myself to forget Who holds the brush.

God is the painter, I am a the painting.  God doesn't make mistakes.  When God has me go through hard seasons in life I can trust that He knows what He is doing.  Even if the painting looks like one big mess right now, I'll just keep trusting God.  I know that in time God will turn it into something beautiful.

Fall is Here Again!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Fall is almost here!  It's only six more days until it's official!  This week the weather has been amazing.  Cooler weather has finally arrived and I don't ever want it to leave. Whenever I go outside I look around and see that the leaves are already starting to fall.  Oh, fall, how much I love you!  I'm so glad you're back.

Fall actually isn't my favorite season.  But it should be, haha.  I always say that spring is my favorite season, but I LOVE fall so much too.  Of course it's partly due to the fact that I'm just so ready for the summer  to be over so I always welcome fall with open arms.

You know what's absolutely crazy?  I haven't even had my first pumpkin spice Latte yet!  What!?!?!  Haha! Now that it actually feels like fall I think a trip to Starbucks is going to be in order soon.

Oh, I'm so happy.  Today I wore a my cozy plaid shirt and spent some wonderful time outside enjoying the crisp air.  It won't be long before I can start wearing sweaters, scarfs and boots again!

Usually I can't wait to wear my fall boots.  I believe I even had a post once about my boot obsession. Well, it's funny how a year can change you.  This year I could care less about my boots.

During the summer I invested in a new pair of sandals.  I say invested because I bought myself a pair of Chacos which were about $100.  Yeah, I'm not joking.  I've heard so many good things about the Chaco brand, not to mention all my friends had a pair.

But these shoes are seriously the best!  Not only are they cute and go with every single outfit, they are unbelievable comfortable.   I can stand for hours in them and my feet don't hurt.  And when summer includes lots of water adventures (rafting, canyoneering, backpacking) these are the shoes to bring.

Now that summer is coming to an end it is time to transition to fall. But I still plan on wearing my Chacos every once in a while, haha

Anyway, Happy fall! I hope you're enjoying the cooler weather :)

When God Says Wait

Sunday, September 10, 2017

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!"

God says wait.  Wait for Him and have courage.  But the last thing my heart wants to do is wait.  For so long God has been telling me to wait.  It's hard not to get tired. I desire to find out what is waiting for me behind all this waiting.

But God says it again.  Wait.  I know I have to listen.  

The hardest part about waiting is constantly having to put my dreams on hold. Everyday I am always reminded that time is ticking by and I'm still here waiting.  I have dreams, so many dreams...the last thing I want to do is wait.   

I need to be reminded of the truth; my God has bigger plans for me than my dreams.  Even though I don't know how much longer God will have me wait, I know it will be worth it in the end. 

I used to think of waiting as a bad thing.  A set back in life.   I still struggle sometimes with this thought.  I tell myself;  "I should be out their chasing my dreams, instead of here waiting".  But the problem is that I forget who I'm waiting for. I'd rather be waiting on the everlasting God who holds my future in His hands than aimlessly trying to chase my dreams on my own.   Not to mention that each day I spend waiting for God I'm learning to rely completely on Him.

Okay, God, I'll wait.  

You know what, when I look at waiting with this perspective, it's not that hard anymore.  It's actually exciting.  

So here's to waiting!  Thank you God for this season of waiting on You and for using it grow me closer to You. 

I will be strong and take courage and I will wait because my God is going to do great things for me :)

Belle's Pocket Tutorial

Sunday, August 27, 2017

I have to say, the pockets turned out so much better than I expected and they were so easy!  As soon as I finished the pockets and added them to the skirt and apron the costume looked so much like Belle!  It made me so happy!

What can I say,  I'm really proud of the pockets.  Not just because they turned out great, but because I pretty much made them from scratch. No pattern and I even painted the stripes onto the fabric by hand!

I could not find any fabric when I went shopping that matched Belle's pockets. Luckily the pattern on Belle's pockets was simple strips so  I decided to paint the stripes onto the fabric myself. 

I used acrylic paints because that was the only paint we had in the colors I needed.  I cut out four rectangular pieces of cream fabric. The pocket that has red stripes is smaller than the one with blue stripes.  

This was a new experience for me, painting the pattern on the fabric instead of buying fabric that already has the pattern. I turned up my music and started painting away.

After I finished painting the stripes on the pockets I sewed the pocket pieces together.  I'm sorry I don't have many pictures of the progress. 

Basically I looked at the picture of Belle's pocket and did my best to re-create it. I cut an opening in the pocket big enough for my hand to fit inside (I only cut one opening on one side of each of the pockets, not both sides) and then created binding from the red fabric I plan on using for the vest.  I  sewed the binding on over the raw edges.

Lastly I sewed the pockets onto a thin strap, just like I did for the apron.  As you can see the pockets are not separate, they are both attached to the same waist strap.

There you go!  The pockets are done!  I absolutely love them!  I am going to be making myself more of these amazing pockets for my other historical costumes!

A New Dream

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What a crazy summer it has been for me!  It definitely did not go how I planned, haha.  Life is hard sometimes and I've had my share of hard days this summer.   But I also had my share of wonderful days!  My favorite part of summer was spending quality time with my family; which included going backpacking and hiking.  Most of all though,  I'm overwhelmed by the amazing God we serve and each day He is showing me how much He loves me.

But guess what!  God spoke to me this summer!  For years I have been praying to God for direction for my life.  I've been content to take each day as it comes and God is always faithful to give me what I need for that day.  But I've never really had much of a goal or plan for my future.

After I graduated high school (In 2014, sheesh, that was awhile ago, lol) I never took the college route.  Mainly because I didn't know what I wanted to pursue.  Well, now I finally know what I want to study.  Today I had my first class in Early Childhood Education.

I have always loved kids and I enjoy doing childcare for friends.  God has put it on my heart to work with kids and love kids.  I have a passion for the little children in God's kingdom and I want to serve God by loving on these little ones.

I'm so excited to be taking the next step in following God and I can't wait to see how He will use me! It's never to early to dream!  And God's timing is always perfect!

It's official!  I'm a college student!

Making Belle's Skirt and Apron

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Finally I have found the time to continue working on Belles blue dress from Beauty and the Beast. The skirt and the apron are probably the easiest parts to make out of the whole costume so I thought I would combine them in the same post.  

Since I have made so many skirts and aprons in the past I didn't need to use a pattern.  I simply cut out my fabric and started sewing.

I absolutely love how my skirt turned out!  I love the fabric I chose so much!  The only thing I would change about the skirt is I used a little to much fabric.  It is a very full  and puffy skirt with all the gathers I made.  But other than that, the skirt turned out wonderful.

In the picture below you can see how I made a button enclosure for the waistband.  I was only planning on using one button for the waistband  but my waistband ended up being longer than I wanted it to be (which seems to happen to me every time I make a skirt).  To fix this problem, I added an extra button and overlaped the waistband until it fit me perfectly.  I actually love how the skirt looks with the two buttons.

When I hemmed the skirt I made sure that it was only a few inches shorter than the underskirt. I tried on the skirt with the underskirt and I love how the stripped pattern of the underskirt can still be seen. When you pull up the underskirt it really starts to look like Belles outfit and I know it will look even better after I make the bloomers for underneath.

Now onto making the apron.  I really don't have much to say about making the apron.  If you have a pattern for making an apron, that's great, but if you don't aprons are super easy to make without one.

I cut out a big rectangle of the fabric and hemmed the sides and the bottom.  Then I simply gathered it and sewed it onto the waistband/strap.  Make the apron strap extra long so you can tie it in the back.

And that is all I have for now.  This costume is finally starting to take shape!  I'm so excited!