Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Craft fair yay! Head cold boo.

Big me, small table. 
In the grand Jessie tradition, now that [insert busy activity here] is over I have a cold. Post Craftershock, I feel like poo, and am thus staying away from my pile o' scarves until I'm less likely to accidentally jam my thumb between the serger blades in a cold medicine induced haze. Boo. Hiss. However miserable I might feel, at least I have a billiondy scarves to show for it. They're now for sale on my Etsy shop if anyone is doing some last-minute gift shopping.

The craft fair was pretty neat. The people were really nice, and there was a great range of stuff for sale.  I lucked out in that I had nice neighbors - one quiet gentleman to my right selling fine art, and a talkative gentleman to my left also selling fine art. My talkative neighbor was awesome - he was entertaining and friendly, and Steve and I had a blast chatting it up with him the whole day. We also enjoyed being across the way from Bettie Off Dead who was selling her Boo Boo Cakes. She fed us throughout the event, and I suspect I left a few pounds heavier. So worth it though.

This wasn't the first time I'd had a booth at some type of event (ahem rollerderbyquilt.com ahem), but it was the first time I've sold these particular scarves. I have a lot of changes I'd like to make in the way I set things up, many of which I would have done for this fair had I not signed up so last-minute:

1. More vertical display stuff.  People brought boxes, bookcases, and professional displays to maximize their spaces and I'd like to do the same next time. Specifically, all of my chokers look similar if they're laid flat, but when they're on a person they hang very differently. Getting more neck display things would help a lot. Thank goodness they're cheap!

2. A long, rectangular folding table. I knew I needed this, but we couldn't get one in time. Instead, we used a circular table and it was a little weird. It maximized sitting space, sure, but it didn't do the same for display space.

3. Move the "Visa and Mastercard Accepted" sign up higher. The scarves kept obscuring it and I don't think everyone knew that I took other methods of payment.

4. Make a sign showing the price of general styles in addition to the individual item tags. More than one way to see item prices might help cut down on the "how much are these?" questions. I had thought the tags would be enough, but apparently that wasn't so.

5. Make items in a >$10 price range and a >$25 price range. I had some ideas for smaller items (cuffs brooches, etc.) but none of them were fully-fleshed-out enough to sell before the fair so that will have to wait until next time.

I hope to vend at other events in the future, and a ton of opportunities are coming up in the spring. That should give me plenty of time to play with new designs, find decent jersey in a broader range of colors, and try out new fabrics.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vending! Woo!

This Sunday I'll be hawking my scarves at Craftershock!, a craft fair being put on by Worcester Roller Derby:
Hanging the flyer on my virtual tree, here.
In case you can't see the flyer, here are the deets:


WoRD's warehouse
34 Suffolk St.

Worcester MA

December 18th

Come check it out! The vendors look amazing and I'm psyched to be included in such wonderful company. Thanks Worcester Roller Derby!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Buttons on everything. All the buttons.

I don't know if I have the heart to sell this. I LOVE this one.
 I've gotten very, very into sewing buttons onto things. A while back I made a trip to Windsor Button and almost didn't buy anything. However, on my way out the door I noticed a giant bin of assorted buttons and I spent about an hour and a half picking through it. $10 worth of buttons later, I had both feet squarely on the road towards wherever I am now.

My mother taught me about how awesome even really ordinary things look in excess. A vase full of 30 lemons looks just as awesome as a vase of flowers, and usually more so because it's really odd. I'm having similar feelings about these buttons. A couple look ok, but very ordinary. Add about 50 more and it looks pretty awesome.

The best part about making these is that it's nicely mindless. During our DnD game today I sewed about a milliondy  buttons onto a purple choker and it actually helped me concentrate more on the game. Granted, I was accidentally dropping buttons all over the game map, but they made for very useful "bloodied" and "marked" tokens.

I know that all of my posts this weekend have been all "go to my Etsy shop!"and all, but still, go to my Etsy shop. There are more of these scarves almost every day, and each one is helping me make Xmas happen for my family. They make great gifts too. I'm so thrilled that I stumbled upon this stuff now because it's really helping at a tough time. Man, I love the internet, my sewing machine, and buttons. Oh, how I love those buttons.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Making Christmas

With my newfound love of sewing comes a very handmade Christmas. I can't say what I'm giving out, but I can say that I'm terrifically proud of everything I'm making. Hooray for being raised by makers of things, and hooray for inheriting their useful hands. Thanks mom and dad. <3

I have more scarves up for sale in my Etsy store. I finally got photos of the pink and orange striped scarf I made a few days ago. The fabric is so bright that it's almost impossible to get an honest shot of it. The photos were getting to saturated that you couldn't even see the shape! This is close enough, though:

Almost true to life color. The real thing
is much brighter, though.
Like it? Buy it on Etsy! 

I'm also really excited about a few smaller pieces I've been making. I had a narrower piece of jersey that I wanted to use, but the strips I made from it were too short to make a full scarf. However, they made for awesome chokers. I'm selling these two, but I may need to make one for myself. Any Nutcrackers need a pink and black accessory?

Choker with 3 ruffles in pink and black.
... and a slightly simpler version.

I have a pile of other colors waiting to be made into scarves, too. Soon I'll have some in red, navy, dark purple, and a few weird patterns. This serger may have been the best purchase I've made in years. Seriously.

New items up. Whee!

I spent waaaay too much time sewing today. However, I'm proud of the results. Here are two photos, with more to come when I can get better lighting.

Available for sale in my Etsy shop.

This one too!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

That was fast.

I listed three items on my Etsy store, and two sold within 12 hours. That's a utility bill right there. Huzzah!

Side note: I need this shirt, I think.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Making Christmas

I'm naturally contrary, and thus I'm terrible at doing what I'm supposed to do. When I was supposed to be working on a dress, I decided that I'd rather sew a ton of scarves instead:

Ruffled white jersey with black stitching
Available for sale on Etsy.

Black and white striped jersey with black stitching

Light blue linen with black stitching

Grey and black jersey with grey stitching
I am having a crazy good time making these. After a bunch of people asked me if I would make them one, I decided to open an Etsy shop. I just put up a couple of listings for now, but I intend to take more photos to show details, different lighting, and "action shots" of helpful friends wearing them. Anyone need a great holiday gift for a stylish friend or relative?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mann traoch, Gott Lauch.

I have so many plans. However, I'm sure that the universe is laughing hysterically at all of them, because I am so bad at making things just for fun with no external deadline.

Right now I want to make ALL the things. I wake up and feel WICKED energetic and want to make this bracelet and that dress and that other dress and that scarf and that and that and that... and then I get so overwhelmed from all of this wanting that I get frustrated and don't wind up making anything. My other I-make-stuff friends apparently go through this too, so I guess it's normal. Or, at least my friends who have ADD experience this and thus make me feel less crazy.

I've learned that list-making can take the edge off of this manic feeling just long enough for me to start making said things, so here goes:

Minus the boob-bow, probably in another
color. Maybe seersucker with a contrast trim?
Things I Want to Make Next

At least one more ruffled dress like the "accidental lolita dress" that I'm wearing it right now. At first I was worried that it was too light - I always wear black and felt really weird in something that was all rose and white. However, now that I'm getting accustomed to being careful with my black pens and chocolate snacks, I'm discovering that light colors really suit my skin tone. Also, since I'd put ruffles on literally anything I make, ever, I'd like to make more of these fancy girly frill-fests using photos like these for inspiration.

Remove the white high neck part
and I'm all set.
I could totally use the same pattern I've been using for my other dresses to make the pink one above. I'd like to try sleeves like the ones shown, though, because I have enough thin-strapped summer dresses to last me a lifetime and I'd like something that's more of a year-round thing. The blue one to the right would require a new bodice pattern, but I could always use my usual pattern and adjust the neckline, or make the neckline look like the pink dress above instead. Either way, I like the color, the double ruffle at the hem, and the lace at the neck. I am all over everything about that dress like whoa.


Lace bracelets, headbands, and other accessories. I'm getting wicked into lace because of all of this girly crap I've been pinning on my Pinterest page, and I came across a link to some really simple bracelets. I could hit up the bead store today and get the parts to make these after school and finish them within a half hour. This strikes me as a good "I only have an hour but have to make something NOW" days. I figure the speedy gratification would help me feel like I was accomplishing more and thus encourage me to try the more ambitious projects listed in this post.
So fancy. Heck yes.
The biggest obstacle for me is working out when to wear the finished bracelets, because I don't wear many accessories. This is partly because I usually wear hair elastics around my wrist for tying up my massive hair. Also, I tend to feel over-dressed when I wear jewelry, and I'd have to get over that.

These are just so lovely that I could probably convince myself to wear them, and if not, hello to xmas gifts for girly friends. Win/win!

Totally not what I have in mind,
but I wanted to post this anyway.
Evening dresses. This wouldn't require a new pattern - I'd just use the old one and fancy-it-up. I have several ideas and I'm not sure which one to try first. I'll post some sketches later once I scan my sketchbook, but I either want to make an ombre evening dress with bias strips on a long silhouette, probably out of cotton because of all the pattern/color options. How cool would that be? Just the thought of making all those strips gives me a headache, though, so this might be a December break endeavor. I'd need tons of fabric, too, so I'll have to save up.

The other idea would be to make a three tiered skirt out of something light and translucent, like tulle or organza. I'm thinking black tulle so I could get away with something crazy-involved going on with the bodice. Black lace over a contrasting color of a base material? A black base with beads and/or sequins on the top? GAH! TOO MANY IDEAS!

Both of these dresses would likely have the "dark stuff at the waist, bright/light stuff at the boobs and  bottom edge" thing I like. I'm discovering that I'm rather good at slimming the waist of dresses with this stuff. Thanks, years of being a painting major, for teaching me about creating the illusion of depth.


Original image replaced because the
link lead nowhere. Bummer.
Scarves. I never used to wear these, now I'm finally accepting that they can work over my giant rack if I choose the right ones. I found a bunch of images on Pinterest and immediately made plans to cut up some old shirts and make them into something a scarf/necklace/whatever you'd call this. It seems crazy easy. Cut shirt into strips, wrap in fancy ways and/or around a base structure (like a D ring or shower curtain ring), and wear. As Shore Leave would say, boom! Yummy.

Oh ruffles, I love you so.
I might do this one tonight. If it works out, hello xmas gifts for all of my scarf-wearing friends. If it doesn't, I'm sure I can find a use for strips of jersey. I can never get sick of that soft, stretchy, forgiving fabric.

Also, I've been meaning to make a few ruffly infinity scarves for myself out of a pile of white/black and grey/black striped jersey that I have lying around. Thanks to my serger I could whip a few of these up in an hour. More xmas gifts, perhaps? Depends on how generous I feel, because if it's made of striped jersey I'll want to keep it for myself. I'll wear striped-anything.


So yeah, I have plans. SO MANY PLANS. Of course, I also need to complete the green dress I've been farting around with for weeks. I have come to hate this dress. Maritza had to show me how to completely reconfigure the pattern to fit me, because apparently my bust is absurdly huge compared to the pattern. I'm a size 18 dress (we think) and a size 24 bust. I've made 4 different muslins and she thinks the most recent alterations should make me good to go on cutting my real fabric.I'm cutting it this weekend, so fingers crossed. Between this and the unfinished corset pattern I have waiting for me, I should really buckle down before I even think of starting the stuff above.

Man, having ADHD is rough. How does anything ever finish anything with the temptation of new projects constantly getting in the way?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Accidental Lolita dress. How did this happen?

So far I've planned out all of the dresses I've made, and I know (more or less) what I want them to become when I buy the fabric. Not so with the lacy, girly Lolita-looking dress I've been making lately. Seriously, this thing went from "yeah, I have some ruffles" to "OMG I VOMIT PONIES" girly in a matter of one three-day weekend.

I started making a double-layered skirt this summer and never quite finished. I found a pile of white and rose striped shirting and grabbed it while it was on sale. I was very into making this skirt, but it was big and unwieldy, and involved enough pins that I didn't want to cart it around the house for fear of impaling the pets. I eventually got it to a point where it only needed a zipper, and stopped there because it looked absolutely awful on me. I don't have many photos, but below is an approximation I created by hiding the now-finished bottom as much as possible. It's a pretty faithful representation.

Too short, more like an apron than a skirt.
Also, OMG fatty fat fat. Unflattering!
The proportions were weird, and it hit me waaaaay too high in the waist to be flattering with any of the shirts I usually wear. I was really bummed that I wouldn't have a fun, stripy skirt to wear. I scrapped it for a few more months and regretted spending money on that fun fabric that I fell in love with this summer. It became the padding I wrapped around the sewing machine when I carted it to class.

This weekend I decided to give it one last attempt by making it into a dress, and I think I may have saved it. The picture to the left doesn't do it justice, but I didn't want to change into a half-finished dress in the middle of my classroom, even if it was my prep and no one was around. That would totally have been the moment that the principal showed up with, say, parents or school committee people in tow. Oh hai, school committee, no, I normally don't dress in pinned-together rags and/or resemble a frilly, pink homeless person. Don't judge me!
The ruffles cascade much more gracefully
when I actually have it on. Here, the
dress looks like it's pooping fabric.

I worry that it's too "junior" for me, and it's definitely waaaaaay more girly than anything I've ever worn. Also, I never wear light colors like this. I really hope I can make this into something I'll actually wear, because it's been tons of fun to make it and I really like the (nearly) finished result.

I'll post additional (flattering, higher quality) photos later once I attach the straps.  Yay for more clothes!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I will have a good costume this year, dammit.

Dragon Con: possibly the best costume inspiration resource ever.
No more "evil Jessie" costumes, where I just draw on angry eyebrows and a fake moustache, no more "I'm a serial killer, they look just like everyone else" costumes, no more "wear my derby clothes to work" costumes.... none of that. This year I will make something decent. I mean it.

I'm determined to make myself into a weeping angel, even though I will totally be That Jerk With The Wings at the costume party we're attending this weekend. I'll just try to stand mostly in corners or plan to mop up a lot of spilled drinks. Maybe I can sew in a pocket for paper towels as a preventative measure...

I was originally planning to get a ton of makeup and find a way to dye my hair grey for the weekend without permanently having nasty grey crap in my dreads afterward. That was when I found the best resource ever: this blog is the answer to all of my problems. I found it while looking for weeping angel photos so I could get a clearer idea of my costume needs, and it totally changed the way I plan to go about this. I'm totally borrowing the nylons-for-arms idea, because Mehron makeup will cost me just as much and be a much larger pain in the rear to put on and wash off. I'll probably do the wings and hair my own way to save time, but it's good to see that the dress-with-overdress method works.

Thank goodness tonight is a craft group night. I am so jazzed to work on this and I want to start right now.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cry for help answered. Also, a shark.

I googled "cry for help" and this was the first result. WIN.
It's been 12 hours since the dartpocalypse, and I'm still alive thanks to Maritza. As soon as she arrived in class she heard my cries for help and came right over. I suppose when a student is shaking her fist at her materials and saying "stab you and stab you and stab you," any competent instructor should know that something is amiss. Maritza is by all reports significantly more than competent. In fact, she was able to make the darts lay correctly in all of two seconds. Now I know exactly how my students feel during my photo retouching assignment when they pout at me and exclaim "you made that look EASY" before cursing me out to their friends via text message under the table. LOLZ, Maritza, I R in UR debt, 4 RLZ. OMGWTFBBQ?

She said that there's a flaw in the printing of the pattern, so at least some of that horrible bubble wasn't my fault. Still, even if I had known that it was ok to fudge the placement of the bottom dots, I wouldn't have been able to create such a smooth, clean curve without help. I'll have further opportunities to practice this when I work with the actual dress fabric, but I'm hoping to practice it again with a scrap of muslin just to be sure I understand why my curve was such a hot mess. The last thing I want to do is wreck the actual pattern piece when the materials cost more than $3 a yard.

Again with the green spot. The
lights at MassArt are weird.
I admit, half of why this dart issue is so frustrating is because it seems so simple. If the issue is really complex, at least there are numerous points at which I can run into major issues. When it's literally one step, I only have one area one can screw up.

Tonight I plan to get a better start on my work because the next steps seem reasonably easy. I'm sewing straight lines and doing techniques I've done a bunch of times before, so hopefully I won't get to another "Maritza save me!" issue, at least not immediately. Until I reach that point I can bug my mom, who has been wonderful tech support during this whole sewing adventure. Plus, they're having a taco night tonight and it's an excuse to go downstairs and have a taco.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Darts, we are done professionally.

Ghost Hunters would have you
believe that the green in this pic
is my hate made manifest. 
Thanks to my dear husbandman, I got to class two and a half hours early. This was good, because I had yet to transfer the markings to my pattern pieces and I wanted to start sewing them. I was stressed out from a full day of critiques and really wanted to chill out and have fun, and sewing thus far has been really soothing for me. Transferring the markings was no biggie, and after about fifteen minutes I was ready to start step 1: Stitch dart in "BODICE FRONT."

... and that's where I've been for the past hour and a half.

Not pictured: the specific panel I was
quoting in this paragraph.
I have no idea what on earth is wrong with me, but I can't for the life of me get this dart to do my bidding. It's supposed to form the shape of the bust, and it looks like it's a simple process. Simply fold, match up the dots, pin, and sew in place, then press down towards the waist. However, this dart is a jerk and it refuses to sit correctly. I get a weird fold between two of the dots on one side and I'm losing my mind trying to figure out why. I've looked up different dart-lining-up techniques online, watched videos and read how-to articles, and none address this problem. I checked and re-checked my marks, and they're exactly where they should be. I cut the fabric in the correct placement in relation to the grain, and the dart is SUPPOSED to be on the bias. Seriously, fabric, why you even got to do a thing?

I'm going to have to just chill and wait for Maritza to save me again. Until then I'll have to read internet articles about ways to pass the time if my rage consumes me and I act on my frustration. Was I always this tightly wound? I swear, the words "very easy" on these patterns are like those irresistable pieces of candy for the cartoon James Woods. I'm like "Ooh, very easy! Ooh, very easy!"and I keep picking them up, but then a box slams down on my head and I'm trapped. Argh.

They look like big, strong hands...

I'm not sure if I'm more angry at my large
bags or my comparatively small hands.
The up-side of taking a clothing construction class is, well, taking the class because it's an awesome class. The down-side is having to bring our sewing machine to class, because MAN this thing is cumbersome! Seriously, look at it. It's a beast.

Thankfully my husband is kind enough to help me travel to MassArt and back, because carrying this mess in the rain is poo. There's no way to carry all of this AND an umbrella! Again, though, the class is really enjoyable and so worth it. Maybe if I take more such classes I'll save for a small, cheap-o, travel sewing machine that's easier to transport.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Damn you circle skirts.

Not pictured: the rest of the night when the cat was
trying to rip the pattern paper into tiny pieces.
Someday I'll have a big enough cutting surface that I won't have to do this stuff on the floor. I fantasize about having a huge table on which to cut out large pattern pieces. It's my own damned fault for always wanting to make circle skirts. :/

Steve's "let's put the leaf into the dining room table" solution was awesome for the apron because it was small, but it isn't a great solution for this dress because it hangs off the edges too much. Also, this doesn't solve the main problems of "the cat tries to nest on my fabric" and "bending at this angle for this long hurts my back," but at least it keeps the dog from running across it when there's a horse on the television.

Someday I will have a mansion with a giant workroom. Until then, I'm thankful I don't have to do this in my old apartment. It could always be worse.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Apron in a day.

An "easy" pattern that's actually easy.
This summer a few friends and I started up a small, regular crafting group. Ideally, we get together twice monthly to craft together, and we pick a different theme each month. The theme this month is "the sea," and I made this apron out of cotton with a fish scale pattern and a swirly blue batik ruffle.

I've never made something that took me such a short time to construct. I could totally bang one of these out in a couple of hours now that I've figured out the moon language in the pattern. I still struggle with the content-rich, description-efficient language in commercial patterns, so even something this simple had its "do what now?" moments. The teacher in me gets really mad at some of these instructions and wants them to be more clear, but I recognize that adding clearer steps would require each pattern to come with a small booklet of instructions.
My waist will never again be covered with flour. My torso,
well, yeah, that's still an issue.

I guess that there's a certain satisfaction that comes with figuring out some of the word-puzzles in these instructions. I admit to getting a very Dungeons-and Dragons-trap-solving thrill when I finally understand what the more complicated lines are trying to get me to do. Ohhh I see... step 3 wants me to pin the ruffle to the pocket with right sides facing, then baste on the pocket facing directly on top with wrong sides facing, and then fold along the basting and turn the top edge inside out. I get it! Is this what getting 300xp feels like?

I'm tempted to make more. Granted, I have no real need for multiple aprons or anything, but I never feel like I've really learned something unless I can reproduce my results a few times over and work out all the kinks. Maybe I can gift a few aprons for the holidays. I totally have friends who cook and bake.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Clothing construction class continues.

I do love a circle skirt...
I'm really glad I'm taking this class. It's so great to have help from someone who really knows her stuff when I encounter pattern problems.

Right now we're learning how to work from a commercial pattern, and we're supposed to pick something that suits our skill level. Some people have really simple garments like gathered skirts or wraps. Others with more sewing experience chose more complex stuff, like collared jackets and such.

I'm trying Vogue V8615, a dress labeled as "very easy" so I don't bite off more than I can chew just yet. My challenge for this dress is setting sleeves and fitting the bust on a garment with a higher neckline. The sleeves in my failure of a Maester's robe were such a horrible trainwreck that I want to try a second attempt under the guidance of a pro. Again, while this pattern says that these sleeves are "very easy," so did the robe one, and I know better than to assume that the company's definition of "very easy" jives with mine.
Seriously bro?

So far we've cut out our pieces and we're poised to start sewing. During the cutting process I ran into my first "Maritza please save me" problem. The shoulder of the bodice pieces looked crazy screwy. On the right, the dotted lines were labeled one way, but on the left, all the measurements were down a row and I had no idea where to cut. I was told to just keep cutting along the same line and that this could be a printing error, but looking at it now I just realized that the extra numbers line up with the little triangles. HAH! Reason from madness! Thank you, dear blog, for making me think about this again later.

The bust on this dress is also different than my previous dresses. The pattern is labeled as "custom fit," and it comes with a bunch of different bodice fronts for bra sizes A-D. I'm larger than a D, but the measurements on the package for the size I cut are actually exactly my measurements, so I hope it will work out. If not, Maritza tells us she can help us learn to make adjustments.

We have tomorrow off, so I'll likely use some of that time to cut out the muslin for my first version of the dress. I still need to get fabric, but since I'm in muslin-land, I can wait and think about what exactly I want this dress to look like.

Monday, September 26, 2011

I love you, King Richard's Faire.

Stolen from my husband's blog, derbywidow.blogspot.com. Forgive me, honey.
We went to King Richard's Faire this weekend, and I loved every second of it. When I was in high school I was a total renfaire nerd, and I wore bodices and curly toed elf shoes to school. Yes, kids made fun of me. No, that didn't stop me, because I was too awesome. If I can find photos of any of these outfits I'll upload some, because they were epic.

You'd take me seriously if I wore
these all the time, right?
I still love this stuff, and seeing the Moresca booth this weekend at the faire was almost more than I could stand. Just like when I was 16, I wanted everything. I walked out with an extremely full skirt that I never want to take off because I love it so. Thankfully I managed to force myself to leave before maxing out my credit card on more skirts, a couple of bodices, at least two dresses, and a pair of shimmer-satin bloomers in every color they had in the store. My "fun stuff" budget is completely blown, but I'll have plenty of fun hanging around my apartment eating ramen in my new skirt.
These look like SO MUCH FUN  to wear.

When I was in high school I used to live for my yearly trips to King Richard's because it was the only place I could look "normal" while simultaneously finding more of the clothes I wanted to wear. It's weird to go again now that I'm sewing, because I can look at the clothes and figure out how to make them myself. Granted, a lot of these things are more difficult than I can handle right now, but there are plenty that possible with my skill set.

I reeeeeallly want to go back again before they close up for the season, and hopefully I can work out one more trip. If I can go again I want to really look at the construction of some of my most-wanted garments to see which ones to try to attempt. Unless, of course, someone wants to buy me a new wardrobe.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Clothing construction class: day 1

Pictured: not my first project.
Heck yes. I like this class. I'm too cracked out to post more than a few quick things, but here's why I'm looking forward to next Monday:

1. The professor is charming. She seems like she has a sense of humor, and she's easy to listen to.
2. The class seems to be full of people who want to be there.
3. I'll have an excuse to sew on the regular that will help me fight the siren call of Adventure Time.

We went over the syllabus and took very detailed body measurements. I apparently have a high waist, which is news to me. Our homework is to get the list of supplies and find a commercial pattern for our first project. I can't wait!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thought I was dead, eh?

Nope. Not so much.

The silence was due to four things. The first was a nasty case of strep throat (yes, it came back), a trip to Provincetown, the Goblin War, and the start of school. Because of these things I have started a bunch of projects and not finished any of them. Why have there been no pictures? Well, I haven't gotten terribly far on a circle skirt, and the maester's robe I was making for the Goblin War had me so angry I didn't want to look at it.

While I don't have any photos of finished things, here are the unfinished things I have going on:

These are the pasta pots I scavenged from around the house
so I could dye all the fabric in the universe.
"All the fabric" is a technical term. It means 9 yards of linen.
Fancy dyes + recently boiling water = blue fabric.
Recently boiling water also = burns.  Apparently fresh skin
takes dye better than older, more experienced skin.
Burned skin also takes dye better than 9 yards of fabric. 
More dye and tons of cutting time later, the flaws
appeared. For instance, this is supposed to be the
sleeve and the armhole. Yes, I cut them correctly.
I gave up and opted to wear a corset to the Goblin War instead.
Thus, I had more time to make favors. Yay favors!
I dyed and burned muslin all day. The whole house smelled
like coffee, tea, and burnt cotton/skin. Worth the stink.
There will be more photos and activity soon, though. I'm starting a clothing construction class tomorrow and I should have plenty to write about. I'm glad, too. I missed sewing and I want new clothes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

So THAT's how it works.

My mechanically-minded teammate, Crown Joules, sent me a neat link today:

I admit, without being able to see it move, I've had a tough time really getting how sewing machines get the thread to balance on both sides of the fabric. I love how this animation shows the movement of the bobbin and the needle.