Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Coming Soon! How to Make My Little Pony Craft Foam Wings

So I did end up making a quick costume for New York Comic Con. I really enjoy the cartoon My Little Pony, so I decided to go as a human version of Fluttershy. Yes I know, it's a show for little girls. I don't care. It's a quality show. It was pretty fun, though some of the bronies (adult male fans of the show for those not familiar with the lingo) I got attention from were a little frightening...... Any who....

Want to make your own MLP wings? Well it's fun, easy, and cheap. I'll have a tutorial up in the next day or so, complete with a wing template! Woohoo.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How I Made my Glinda from Wicked Costume

So things have finally begun to settle down in my life, so I can now get back to updating my blog regularly. I promised a while back to list the resources I used to make my Glinda dress. It does require some pattern making, but with a measuring tape, paper, pencil and a little bit of patience, it wasn't all that difficult. It was definitely time consuming in the end, but not hard.

First things first, how did i make the bodice? To me the costume looks like a fully boned underbust corset, so that's exactly what I made. I found this wonderful blog with detailed instructions on how to draft an underbust corset to your measurements. She also goes on to explain how to construct it. Here are the links:

Pattern Tutorial
Construction Tutorial

I bought my corset materials from two places. First, the boning I bought from corsetmaking.com. I also used coutil in the construction of my corset. Coutil is a fabric made specifically for corsets, as it does not stretch and it really is the best thing you can possibly use. I adhered the yellow satin to the coutil using Pellon Wonder Under prior to cutting the pattern pieces. The best price I found for coutil was on Etsy.

After I completely finished the corset, I added the top portion of the bodice. Here I did use a store bought pattern, but it was something I already had on hand. Butterick 5029. I believe it's out of print now, but it's readily available on ebay. I slightly modified the top and then sewed it directly to the corset. If I did this again, I would go head a make an entire dress and not attach it to the corset. It would have been much more comfortable. In other words, I would just construct this pattern, but change the skirt to a handkerchief skirt.

Finally, I did make a skirt. I followed the instructions in this tutorial, but instead I used 3 layers of fabric instead of 2. I made the swirly design by cutting a slightly darker chiffon into approximately 1 inch strips. I found if I cut the strips on the bias they would fray less. I then ran the strips through my sewing machine on the widest stitch possible and then gently gathered them. The gathered strips I then pinned and hand stitched to the skirt.

The fabric I used was all bought online from New York Fashion Center Fabrics. I have used them several times and their quality is excellent. I bought about 4 yards of the silk chiffon in light yellow, 1 yard in lemon, and about 4 yards of the polyester crepe back satin in bright yellow.

One quick tip this project taught me about chiffon having not used it before. Cutting is best done by first laying out the fabric on tissue paper and then pinning it to the paper, to allow layers to be cut as one. Otherwise your chiffon will move and become deformed as you cut it.

Obviously there are some little construction details I've left out since this was more of an overview, so please do not hesitate to ask me questions. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Costumes, Costumes and More Costumes!

Whoa! It's has been waaaaay to long since I've written an entry. The end of Summer/beginning of Fall has been/is very busy. (can you tell I like slashes today?). At the end of August I had Dragon*Con 2012, so the lead up to that was a bit of a whirl wind. The weekend before that I had to go to a wedding in Michigan. Last weekend I went on my yearly pilgrimage to PA Renn Fair. But of course that's no excuse for not writing.

I have some fun pictures to post. Dragon*Con was incredible and I fully intend to go again next year. Everyone's costumes were amazing. There really were many Hollywood quality costumes. And of course the 24 hour partying wasn't bad either. I'm already contemplating my costume for next year. I'm really hoping to turn it up a notch. As for this year, it was a blast dressing as Glinda (Wicked) and Kaylee (Firefly). Only a few people got what my Glinda dress was, but those that did were really into it. I also got a fair amount of compliments for my Kaylee. Here are some pictures from the festivities:

My Kaylee costume :)

The jacket I made myself from an out-of-print mandarin collar jacket pattern (McCalls 4782). I slightly modified by pattern by making very plain sleeves. It called for buttons and other stuff I didn't want. The patches I found at NalaSerenity's shop on Etsy. She was nice enough to assemble all of them in one place thus allowing me to be lazy. The coveralls I bought online, removed a pocket and cut off the sleeves. The parasol I found in Chinatown in NYC and painted myself.

Wearing Glinda at Dragon*Con 2012
Here is the Glinda costume I made completely from scratch. I will be writing a "how to" post when I have more time, so I'll save the details of this dress for later. :)

Look the Emerald City!
And what would Dragon*Con be without your friends. :)

On the far right in my boyfriend dressed as the driver (Ryan Gosling) from Drive. The other two are characters from the game League of Legends.

Oh, I also mentioned Renn Fair. I finally got to debut my newly completed Renn dress.

Trying to look regal
Phew. I need to write more often so my posts aren't nearly so long! There will be much more very soon. Amazingly, I'm not quite out of costume season with New York Comic Con approaching. I decided at the last second to whip something together. You'll just have to wait and see.. ;)

Monday, August 13, 2012

New Etsy Pillow - The Armadillo

So after a total redesign, it's finally ready for Etsy. Here it is, my new armadillo pillow:

I really miss seeing armadillos out in my yard. So I thought I'd bring a little of the south to New Jersey by making my own. He's inspired by a little carved and colorful armadillo I have on my bookshelf. If you enjoy him as much as I do, you can find him here. :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Progress Report

So some of you have perhaps been wondering where the heck I've been. Well... it's been a busy month. First of all I was on vacation visiting Florida for a week, so obviously I didn't get any work done during that time. Also, I've been working on designing a new pillow to add to my Etsy store. I wasn't happy with the first try, so I've redesigned it and hopefully will have that up soon here as well as my store. I continue to add details to the skirt of the Glinda dress. I'll have some progress pictures of that within the week. I'm really hoping to have the dress completely done very soon, it's just turned out to be very time consuming to add the swirly design. Anyway, I hope you'll bear with me. I'll have some new stuff up really soon. :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Almost Ready for the Emerald City :)

So I basically finished the construction of the dress last night! Woohoo. Now all I have to finish is some detail work. I'll be adding rhinestones to the bodice and there's a swirly design that needs to be added to the skirt, but this can be done at a leisurely place while sitting on the couch and watching tv. Ha. I also decided to make Glinda's purse. I have a fair amount of experience making purses, so I thought "what the hell, I'll just add one more thing to work on." :) I couldn't find a purse that I was happy with already made. Anyway, check out the dress!

Monday, July 9, 2012

"One Short Day" dress progress

I have a few pictures to show my recent progress with my "One Short Day" dress from the Broadway production of Wicked. They're not totally up to date anymore, but I'll take more pictures with I have more significant progress. :)

The actual Broadway costume is likely zippered since Glinda needs quick costume changes. I took some artistic liberty with the back. :)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Big Update - Dragoncon Costumes and More

Yowzers! It's been too long since I've last posted. I've just been busy busy busy! Anyway, I've got a nice big update. I've been working on quite a few projects over the last month. Beside staying on top of my Etsy sales, I have worked on several things.

First, Let me introduce my new REAL dress form. I named her Emma.

I found a warehouse right here in New Jersey that sells extremely reasonably priced dress forms. If you're curious, you can find their website here. Their showroom is a hoot and is open to the public.  I was able to save on shipping by picking up myself. Got really lucky with that one. Took some fun pictures of the crazy mannequins they have for sale as well. I wish I'd gotten a picture, but there was a very provocative PG-13 mannequin further to the left that was supposedly molded from Madonna.

To make the dress form closer to my real measurements and to also allow for fluctuations in weight, I got a dress form close to my bust measurement, but the waist and hips are smaller. After reading reviews online, I bought the Fabulous Fit System for dress forms and now my dress form looks like this:

Not exact but very close
There are soft pieces of foam underneath the white cover to fill out the dress form.

So here are the projects I've been working on. I made a fun semi-casual dress. I saw the fabric for sale in Mood last time I visited the fashion district in NYC and just had to make something out of it. I just fell in love with it. And it wasn't too expensive, considering I found it in Mood.

Also, I've been hard at work making my costumes for Dragoncon. I'm making two costumes this year. First is Kaylee from Firefly. I'm going for her look from the pilot episode. So this is an actual picture of Kaylee:

And here is the jacket I made to match the one in the picture:

When I take a picture of the whole outfit (coveralls, shirt, sandals, umbrella, etc.) I'll be sure to post it. :)

And finally..... For my second costume, I thought I'd make something more elaborate and a bit more obscure. I'm currently working on making Glinda's Emerald City Dress from the Broadway play Wicked.

The only thing I have a picture of at the moment is the mock-up I made for the corset portion of the dress.

Stay tuned because once I finish, I'm going to include a complete tutorial just like I did for my Rapunzel costume. And that's it for now! I definitely won't wait so long before my next update.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Victory! Bought a new sewing machine

So the original goal of opening my Etsy store was to finance a new sewing machine. Don't get me wrong, my vintage Singer Featherweight has served me well over many years and will continue to be used into the future, but I really wanted a machine with more stitch options and additional "bells and whistles."

So........ I present to you, my new Brother PC-420. Yay!!! I will write a review of the machine once it and I have gotten to know each other better. :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

New Etsy Goodie - Appa from Airbender

I realize I have been neglectful of my blog for a few weeks. But do not worry, I have been busy busy busy and have several updates I roll out over the next few days.

So here's the first newest goodie I have to show. Now available in my Etsy store is my Appa pillow. He was a commissioned pillow, but is now available to everyone! I hope you'll check him out. :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New on Etsy, Moogle Pillow/Plush!

I managed to work out the problems with the pattern, so available now on Etsy is the very cute (if I do say so myself) Moogle Pillow! He is probably one of my favorites. :)

If you're interested it taking a look, you can find it here.

Hopefully I can get back to making dresses sometime soon.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


So last night was attempt number one in designing a new plush. Needless to say, considering I'm not this morning saying "check out my newest critter!!" it was a no go. :( Tonight will be attempt number 2 with some design changes. We'll see...

Saturday, April 21, 2012


I wanted to show a little cross-linking love. The blog captainawkward.com was kind enough to put a link to Cthulhu in my Etsy shop. It's very gratifying to know people appreciate my work. So thanks!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Critter - Cute Kitty Pillow

I've put up a new critter on Etsy. Say hello to Pink Pillow Kitty. :)

I should have the pattern up for sale soon as well. If you interested in taking a look at my store, you can find it here: www.etsy.com/shop/SewLeslieCrafts.

I think for now I'm going to take a break from designing new creations to sell on Etsy. There are a couple of major projects I want to work on first, such as a dress for my best friend's wedding and a costume for Dragoncon. Of you course I'll keep you posted on what I'm working on. :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Renaissance Dress Progress!

So I got the majority of my dress completed this weekend. Now I only need to make the underskirt and shirt. The blouse pictured is from another costume. I've also order a A-line hoop skirt to fill it out more. I'm pretty pleased with how it's turning out. Once it's finished, I'll return to making new things for my Etsy store. :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Crazy Cute Cthulhu Pillow/Plush Ready Now

So my most recent creation is now up on Etsy, the Crazy Cute Cthulhu Pillow. Right now I only have the finished pillow up and ready, but hopefully soon(ish) I'll have the pattern and instructions ready as well for sale in my shop. If you're interested in taking looking, the pillow can be found here:


So I'm probably going to take a break on making new stuff for my Etsy store for a week or two. I really would like to finish my Renaissance dress, so I'm going to focus on that for a while.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Yes, I'm still working on my Renaissance dress (very slowly) and I'm creating new pillow/plush patterns to sell on Etsy, but in the meantime, a friend of mine paid me to make a large new tote for her to use for work. So over the weekend I made her this.

Stay tuned because I should have a new pattern posted this weekend. :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Companion Cube Sewing Pattern Available Now... For Science!

I just completed another pattern + tutorial package for my Etsy store. You can now make your very own Companion Cube from Portal! If you are interested in purchasing, you can find it here: www.etsy.com/shop/SewLeslieCrafts. The pattern comes with step by step instructions full of color photos. I have completed cubes available in my shop as well.

Finished Companion Cube
Remember, the Weighted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you and, in fact, cannot speak.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tutorial - How to Make a Totoro Pillow

If you are interesting in the pattern for this Totoro pillow, see my Etsy shop www.etsy.com/shop/SewLeslieCrafts. Along with the printable PDF pattern, you'll also receive more detailed instructions and more step by step photos. You can also find finished pillows for sale as I have them available.

So here's the basic idea behind making your when Totoro buddy.

To make your very own cuddly Totoro pillow, you'll need the following materials:

Fabric (I used fleece, but flannel or felt will also work nicely)
Pellon Wonder Under
Coordinating thread

Cut the main grey body pieces and the ears. Before cutting the rest of the pieces, you'll want to iron on the Pellon Wonder Under to the fabric. You'll need the Wonder Under for the tummy, eyes, nose, and what I call the "tummy marks." It's easiest to draw your design onto the paper first and then to cut out your fabric.

Carefully, peel the paper backing off the pieces you've cut out and arrange them on one of the main body pieces.

Here I'm peeling the paper backing, but leaving the adhesive behind.

Arrange the pieces on the body and iron in place. After this is done, make sure the pieces permanently stay in place by stitching around the perimeter of each piece.

To attach the ears, arrange them like the following picture...

The ears should by filled with a little stuffing. Sandwich the ears like so between the two body pieces and stitch around the border, stitching through the ears. Leave about a 3 inch opening at the bottom of you pillow so you can stuff it.

Stuff your pillow. After the pillow is filled, hand stitch the opening closed.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Nah Nah Nah Nah... Batman!

For his birthday, I made for my boyfriend some Batman flannel pajama pants. I think they turned out pretty good, with the exception of the pockets which I accidentally placed too low. They're usable, so I left them as they were and called them cargo pockets. ;) This was the first time I've ever made a pattern from scratch. I took Ryan's measurement's (somewhat ruining the surprise, but what can you do?) and made the pants according to them. In addition to the pockets, the pants have a loose fitting elastic waist with a string to tighten it (as requested by Ryan).

I know it's a bit hard to see, but here is the pattern in progress. The pattern making book I used was really terrific.

Voila! Finished pants.

The only thing I would do differently in the future (besides not inadvertently making cargo pockets) is to taper the leg just a little bit. I wanted them to be loose fitting so the cuff is actually the same diameter as the thigh, but it hindsight, it may be a tad too baggy. I may make the cuff be a few inches smaller next time.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


So I can see that the post regarding the crown making tutorial has been getting a lot of traffic. I've been wondering if anyone has made their own. If so, please let me know and I'll post it to my blog. :)

Like always, you can email me at sewlesliecrafts@gmail.com

Renaissance Dress: Update #1

So I finally have started to put some real work into my new Renaissance dress. I've made some progress with the bodice, as you can see below. The top picture is the lining and the bottom picture is the exterior with the lining in place. Again, I apologize for my terrible photography skills. They were taken with my phone.

Tonight I'll probably install the boning.

In other news, I made my first pattern entirely from scratch and it actually worked out extremely well. The pattern is for pajama pants for my boyfriend's birthday (Batman pajama pants!). I will definitely post some pictures once they're finished. If you're curious as to how I designed the pattern, I used the wonderful book I posted about back in October with a roll of tracing paper. The instructions were pretty easy to follow. :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Renaissance Dress Fabrics

So I found a great little fabric store that I can walk to from work that also happens to be very very affordable. So I've finally been able to purchase the main fabric for my new Renaissance dress. I wanted this new dress to have a heavier feel so I am using home decor weight fabric. This is also why I've put off buying the fabric because it's so much more expensive. I'll probably also buy an A-line hoop skirt like the ones used for wedding gowns to wear underneath. They are pretty inexpensive online.

Anyway, time for the big reveal.....

 The red is the main fabric while the light gold is for the front panel, the inside of the sleeves, and the lining of the bodice. The "novelty braid" is for the trim along the dress.

 I'll be following the pattern for the dress with the bell sleeves in the upper left corner. Don't worry, the pictures are almost impossible to see even in person.

I'll probably be working on this on and off while I make smaller projects at the same time. I'll definitely post updates when I have something interesting to show.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Simple and Easy Single Evening Project - Cute Trash Bag for Your Car

So last night I completed a super quick project. It only took about an hour and a half when it was all said and done. I have this really great book called "One Yard Wonders" and I pulled this project from it. The only thing I changed was I added a lining to make it feel a little more substantial. My car is usually a little bit of a mess, so I thought this was a really cute way to help control the chaos. Did I mention it matches the color of my car? It's lime green. :)

In other Sew Leslie news, I bought fabric for my Renaissance dress! Woot. I'll be sure to post some pictures when I have some.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Now I Have My Own Hobbes!

I love my most recent project. Inspired by my favorite comic strip, I decided to make myself a Hobbes and was even lucky enough to find a pattern saving me the trouble of designing one myself. I think he turned out absolutely perfect. I had to buy some orange fleece, but a lot of him was made from left over Totoro fabric.

If you would like to make your very own Hobbes, you can find the free pattern and tutorial at Instructables.com. Here, I've given a direct link even:



Thursday, February 2, 2012


I've received a few requests to do commissions. If anyone is really interested in something I've posted to my blog, please feel free to email me at sewlesliecrafts@gmail.com and we may be able to work something out. Keep in mind I do work full-time so this will be on a very limited basis.

In other news, I have another finished project! When I'm not in such a hurry, I'll post it. :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I finally finished my dress and if I can be allowed to toot my own horn a little bit, it turned out lovely. :) It looks a wee bit more retro then I was expecting, but it just makes me like it even more. I used my Christmas serger for the first time to hem the dress. Actually, the edge is serged and then rolled under. This way the fabric wont unravel because of the looped serger stitch, but the edge also has the finished look I wanted. Hope you like it as much as I do.

Terrible picture, I know. Here I'm trying to show off my serged hem. This is the inside flipped up so you can see the seam.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Making Progress

I'm well underway to completing the dress. I have to say, I'm very pleased with how it's turning out and so far, it fits prefectly. The picture is already a little out of date. I have also completed the lining, but it doesn't really look any different as the lining isn't as noticable through the eyelets as I thought it would be. That being said, all that remains is the attach the the lining to the exterior and to hem the dress. I'll probably use my new serger I got for Christmas for the hem. Can't wait. :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Next: A New Dress

I've begun working on my next project, a new dress for me. I have had a Living Social coupon for Mood Fabrics in NYC for a while now, so I decided this was a good project to burn it on. Here is the pattern I'll be using:

And here is the fabric I bought:

The fabric on the left is less yellow then the picture would have you believe. It is more of a pretty off-white. The right is a navy blue. The pattern only has the dress lined in the bodice portion of the dress, however, since I bought an eyelet fabric, it will be fully lined. This will also allow me to wear it in cooler weather, perhaps with leggings and boots, considering how long the weather stays cold up here.

I'll post updates as I make progress. Later!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Christmas Post

Well... I've returned from vacation and am back to work, so I figured it's finally time to post the projects I worked on leading up to the holidays. I had a lot of left over fabric from the various projects I completed the past year, so I figured this would be a good opportunity to use some of it up while also having a budget friendly Christmas.

To begin, basically every female in my family received a checkbook cover. You'll notice it's the same material as my raincoat. Super cute, plus it wont get grubby from the oils in your hand. Or if it does manage to get dirty, or all you have to is wipe it with a damp cloth. I think they turned out pretty darn nice. I even made one for myself. :)

I made something special for my sister-in-law Vicki. I had some really pretty purple/pink wool left over from a LONG time ago. Just enough to make a spiffy little purse. I hope she enjoys it. I was pretty tempted to keep it myself.

I wish the picture had come out a bit better. I'm not a photographer, but take my word for it, it was pretty cute. :)

FINALLY, I made a little something extra for my mom. She had these cute pot holders she got a few years ago that she loved. Unfortunately, she loved on them a little to hard and they have since fallen apart. After taking a good look at the remains, I tried to make something similar, only this time they have bunnies instead of cats. Did I mention my mother is slightly obsessed with bunnies? Anyway, the bunnies came from (on the whole) a pretty tacky Easter print, but the bunnies themselves were really adorable, so I just made sure to cut out all the Easter crap (excuse my language).

And that's the exciting big reveal that I'm sure everyone was on pins and needles for, right.... right? This weekend I'm planning on taking a train into the city for an excursion to Mood so I can start working on a new dress. Since I have MLK Day off soonish (and no one else seems to), I plan on using my time off to get this puppy done quick! After that I'll probably begin my new Renaissance Fair dress. I'll keep you posted!