Ive decided on a new hobby...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DammitJanet, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Everyone has always told me I need a hobby, I could never find anything I wanted or liked to do...well, I think I have found something. Pageantwear.

    Now that Keyana is getting more and more into these pageants and I have taken a good gander at the prices of these dresses (can you say OMGOSH!) I have decided I think I will learn to sew her dresses. I have my mom's sewing machine and found pattern's online for all the little cupcake dresses and found examples from National Glitz pageants so I am set to try my hand.

    I figure I can mess up a few and get better. Good grief...$650 for a single dress? For a toddler? Lordy!

    I just bought Keyana her first little black dress...lol. She has her first State pageant in two weeks. We (her mom and me) already have over $500 in just her clothes alone. Not to mention motel rooms for her moms family and ours. Hope she wins the scholarship money!

    I never knew I was going to love having girls so much!
  2. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    When I was a kid I showed horses and it cost my parents a ton. I didn't even have the finest stuff either and a lot of it was used.

    Anyway, after watching the TV show Toddlers in Tiaras I was shocked regarding the costs. I always get a chuckle when I hear about the prize money because the parents spend so much more just putting their kid in the pagent. So, Janet, I definitely think you're on to something.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What is that thing called...a bedazzler? LOL. I have plenty of time since Im a pretty much stuck sitting at home on the bed.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Beading things can be a lot of fun and very relaxing. Even if you got someone else to sew the basic dress and you trimmed it out you would save a lot of $$. You may want to make a few simpler things first so you can learn the various techniques needed. ALWAYS make the dress in a basic cheap fabric first. That way you can make any adjustments and corrections on cheap fabric before you invest in the expensive stuff. My mom sewed a LOT and has found that making a practice version ends up saving a LOT of time and money.

    Good Luck!
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    How about setting up a business for consignment dresses?
  7. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Gorgeous dress and the price is right.
    I agree after all boys, having a girl is a delight. Enjoy yourself with the new hobby.
  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    What a great hobby! I love to sew. I usually make a prom dress each spring, and I truly enjoy it. I just made cgfg a "southern bell" gown to wear for shooting.

    Enjoy! what a great way to combine you interests!
  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Janet, creating your own designs or enbellishing on other's will be so much fun! My mom sewed all her daughter's prom and wedding gowns and each was unique and beautiful. She even made wedding and bridesmaid gowns for several of our neighbors. And my oldest sister is very active in ren faires and she makes all her dresses. She recently started making fairy dresses for her granddaughters.

    I think you will have a lot of fun with this new hobby!! Good luck!
  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Love that black dress! I was going to suggest getting dresses on clearance and then fancy them up yourself. Do you still have to buy the patterns? They can be expensive, too.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Once I learn to do the cupcake skirt, the top wont be really hard. The dresses like that black one I can get on ebay and fancy them up fairly cheaply.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    You have my admiration. I can barely sew on a button or catch up a hem. Sounds like you have the gift! DDD
  13. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    That dress is beautiful, Janet. Your new hobby sounds great...I'm another one who can barely sew on a button. Hems I can do with a stapler in a pinch.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Janet, find a source of wholesale fabric and trims, it will make things easier for you.

    I have a membership with a NZ-based company called Lutterloh which sells a system to help you draft patterns to your own designs. You draw your sketches then look for patterns that will adapt to the sketch. For example, this bodice might be right, with that skirt and those sleeves. You put them all together, plug in the customer's measurements and draft the pattern very simply (I use newspaper). Yes, there are children's ranges too. I used this system to make my own wedding dress. We were working with this system to make easy child 2/difficult child 2's bridesmaids' dresses until a friend found an already-existing pattern that was almost exactly right.

    Sewing on your own beads and sequins is a great ay to relax. I remember sewing red sequins onto a sports bra top for easy child once (dance costume - "Big Spender" number), while I was waiting in a doctor's waiting room. I did have some explaining to do with the other patients!

    The basic pageant dress like that lovely black one, is simply a gored skirt (multiple layers in this case - taffeta under, netting overlay) gathered at the waist and attached to a separate bodice. To duplicate the skirt component, lie it down flat and try to trace around one of the skirt gores. Try to analyse the bodice component, maybe draw some different bodice shapes. Explore fabric shops, see what you can find.

    When making a really special dress, find some cheap fabric (instead of using plain calico, use something prettier but just as cheap) and make the dress up in that. Then deconstruct the cheap dress and use each part for pattern pieces. When you're finished, make up the cheap dress and she will have a lovely play dress tat will look gorgeous but she can make mud pies in it if she wants to.

    We did something like this for easy child when she was 6 years old - we were travelling the continent and knew she would need a summer dress, but wanted something pretty but also cheap. I went to a seconds shop for a bedlinen place and bought some gorgeous remnant fabric, then used this to make her dress for her, inventing the pattern as I went. And in Europe, she wore this dress everywhere, got it muddy (we didn't care) and rolled down hills in it (we didn't care) and even fed the goats while wearing this dress (again - no problem).

    If you want advice on how to make a proper ballerina tutu (which work really well as the sort of stiffening petticoats under gored skirts for pageants) let me know and I'll post the info here. Again - no pattern. Just a matter of sewing long strips of tulle to a band of matching fabric. I just made a red rose tutu for easy child 2/difficult child 2, a costume for a play we were both in. I made it in the same manner I'd made her first tutu when she was Keyana's age.

    I don't like pageants as such, but I accept that you do and so does Keyana, so if I can help save you some money then so much the better. I AM all for originality and not being extorted by the ridiculous prices of these dresses!

  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I was just having a look at other dresses on that site and found this one which easy child 2/difficult child 2 would kill for.


    This would be so easy to make, but I would make a few changes in the design - gore the skirt more full, maybe use a cream lace for at least some of the under layer (sleeves for example), maybe a centre panel with faux lacing, and perhaps that flat angular bodice effect they had in Elizabethan times. The shepherdess look with an over-layer would be easy to do - the original was actually an outer layer of fabric which was caught up and out of the way when ladies were walking in the (muddy) streets and it gradually became a fashion to be worn at other times too. The outer layer was therefore a somewhat heavier fabric, the under layers lacier and more delicate and exposed by the outer layer being pulled back.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 made herself a dress like this for her prom. She couldn't find the fabric she wanted, so used that plastic-backed curtain fabric for the centre panel! it looked fabulous, nobody had a dress like it.