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Tag Archives: cottagecore

Floral Milkmaid Dress for Spring (Plus Some Tips and Tricks)

Warm weather means pretty cotton frocks to me so I just recently completed this yellow floral dress, inspired by the cute “milkmaid” style dresses. A lot of cotton prints are a bit thin and require some lining, and I have a special trick to save time by using my serger instead of cutting out the lining twice (later in this post).

Note: I am a member of the Janome Maker program and this skirt is sewn on a Janome Skyline S9 and a Janome FA4 serger. (This post is sponsored by Janome but all content and opinions are mine).

The dress is made of 100% cotton and the yellow print has white and gray flowers and foliage. (I bought 3 yards of a 58″ wide fabric and had some left over). I did not want the top to be see-through so I needed to line it. For this particular dress I decided to flat-line it, which means each individual lining piece is attached to the fashion fabric before the garment is assembled. (This is different from the approach of constructing the fashion and lining layers separately, then putting them together).

The classic method of flat-lining is to cut out the lining and fashion pieces and stitch them together, but I have a time-saving hack using my Janome FA4 serger! First, I put the fashion layer on top of the lining fabric, put in a few pins to keep it from shifting, and cut it out roughly with my rotary cutter.

Then I serge the edges of the fashion fabric, while using the built-in blade of my serger to trim away the excess lining. This saves me the trouble of carefully cutting out the lining and making sure all the edges line up perfectly before sewing!

After serging/flat-lining all the pieces I sewed the seams together normally. This is the bodice without the bust cups:

The bust cups are oval pieces of fabric that are gathered at the top and bottom to fit into the U shapes of the bodice. (The top is folded down to make a drawstring channel for the ribbons, which meet in the middle to make the top adjustable).

The sleeves have channels on both the top and bottom for elastic to gather it into a puffed sleeve. The underarm of the sleeve is sewn directly to the underarm of the dress while the top of the elasticated sleeve turns into the shoulder of the dress. A few tips I have for sewing this kind of style sleeve: (1) Finish off the top of the back bodice by folding down the serged edges before you attach the sleeve, otherwise you will end up with an odd corner in the back where some serging is visible. (2) Anchor one end of the elastic by sewing it down in the channel where the sleeve attaches to the back of the dress. Use a safety pin to keep the other end of the elastic from sliding back in the channel. Try on the dress, unpin the elastic and pull it tight until the sleeve fits you over the shoulders, then pin it back until you sew it down permanently. Tip #2 is especially important if you don’t have a helper; you can fit the sleeves yourself in a mirror because the loose elastic is in front!

The dress closes in the center back with an invisible zipper. Janome makes a concealed zipper foot (Z) that makes it easy to install one!

I am looking forward to wearing this dress this summer!

Thank you for reading!

A Hobbit Lady Costume for a Picnic

Last weekend I was invited to a hobbit picnic full of food, friends, and hairy hobbit feet! I didn’t have time to make a dress so I put together an outfit using items mostly from my closet. I’ve gotten questions about where I got my items so I will list my sources so you can put together your own hobbit costume!

My dress is an embroidered dirndl that I bought secondhand from eBay, but it was originally made by a company called Ernst Licht, an Oktoberfest/Tracht supplier.

My blouse is originally an Amazon one that I modified. It is called the “Floerns Women’s Square Neck Puff Sleeve Button Lace Elegant Top Blouse” (affiliate link). I removed the wide ruffled lace because it was a bit stiff and scratchy, and replaced it with a cheerful floral yellow trim. I used the same trim on the sleeves. (The elastic in the sleeves was a little tight so I removed some and covered it with the trim).

My wig is also from Amazon. It is called the “Karlery Women’s Fluffy Curly Dark Brown wig Halloween Cosplay Wig Anime Costume Party Wig” (affiliate link) and I thought it was very nice for $26.98! It was incredibly full and fluffy and a very natural-looking color and texture.

If you prefer a shorter wig with more defined curls, Arda makes a “Rosie Classic” that works well for hobbit costumes and some of my friends were wearing that wig at the picnic.

The mushroom crown was a birthday present from friends so I’m not sure where it was originally from, but if you search “mushroom tiara” on Etsy you’ll see items with a similar aesthetic.

For the hairy hobbit feet I hot-glued hair to a pair of nude sandals. (My wig was so full I was able to cut some curls from it without making a difference in the way it looked). You can get the same sandals “Shoe Land Falema Women’s Flip Flops Casual Thong flat sandals Comfort Slides” from Amazon (affiliate link) and I found them to true to my usual size.

I wore a mushroom in a glass dome necklace I bought on eBay many years ago. It’s no longer available there but I’ve seen some very cute ones if you search for “mushroom terrarium necklace.”

The apron I wore is a vintage one gifted by a friend. It is made from cute printed handkerchiefs! You could make your own by sewing together some handkerchiefs, or make a simple apron by just gathering up a rectangle of colorful fabric and adding waist ties.

I hope this post was helpful to you for putting together your own hobbit costume!

(Thanks La Dauphine Costuming for taking photos of me!)