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.