Monday, January 28, 2013

comic lady necklaces

As you might have been able to tell from the batman dress, I've become somewhat obsessed with comic books in the last few months. Why did it take me this long to realize comics are awesome?! I'm mostly working on DC comics, partly because I like the characters, and partly because unlike Marvel, DC likes to reboot their whole universe periodically, so I don't have to start back in the 60s to get the whole story. My current goal is to read through all of the post Infinite-crisis, pre New 52 series that interest me, which gives me a good 25 years of comics to catch up on! Anyway, this is all a way of explaining why I made these:

Power Girl, and her marvellous boob-window

While searching idly for Huntress jewelry on etsy the other day, I realized that I could make any of the things I was finding pretty easily, and probably have great fun doing it! Inspired by a tutorial  on F Yeah Lolita, I ordered a bunch of cabochons and settings, some old comic books (not rare-old, just cheep-old), and ribbon for necklaces, and waited impatiently for everything to arrive. When it finally all did, I got to work cutting and pasting like the child I am at heart :).

Black Canary, all in sepia because this frame was a flashback

I made four pendants, but the glue on the other two refused to dry clear, even after popping them all in a low heat oven. I'm going to have to practice more to figure out how much glue is enough without being too much, but 50% success rate isn't bad for a first try as far as I'm concerned. I'll just have to go paw through the 1$ comic bins to find more good pictures, oh the horror ;). There will be many more of these, and comic earrings/bracelets/rings in my future, of that we can be certain. Next to find: good pictures of the Huntress, Catwoman, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, and Zatanna. (I have a fondness for the ladies. Because you're never too old for a good role model!)

*and yes, as a confirmed bibliophile, at first I found it physically painful to cut up a (sort of) book. I had to keep reminding myself that I bought them specifically for crafts, and that if they were hard to find editions, I wouldn't have found them on ebay for 2 bucks. Luckily, making them into pretty jewelry is so much fun that I think I've gotten over the initial horror, haha. I would never use a rare or hard to find comic for raw materials though. Even though I read all of my comics in digital form (because I'm too cheap and impatient to buy them), I know that many people spend ages tracking down whole sets, and I wouldn't want to inhibit anybody's reading because of my own crafty urges.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Look, look: I made an apron today!

in retrospect, the fabric looks a little john-deer-ish

Now I can protect my pretty clothes when I'm cooking splattery things, woo! It is entirely reversible except for the pockets, but they are mostly for show anyway, so that's not a deal breaker for the other side.

And the entire thing is stash-busted! I was this > < far from ordering cute fabric to apron-iffy last night, but then I gave myself a good talking to, and dug into the fabric heap instead (be proud of me, haha). The green polka-dots is left over from a dress, the pockets and both sides of the neck straps are left over from my sister-in-law's Christmas apron, and the floral gingham was originally going to be a corset, but really, when would I wear a gingham corset covered in sunflowers? (even I'm not quite that tacky, lol). 

The pattern has thin bias tape ties attached to the neck straps, and I actually did add them, but then it worked better (and with less hassle) to just stitch the straps together at the ends. I used four different colours of bias tape, just using up what I had lying around, so it's not the most sleek apron around, but I'm just going to say that it adds charm :). I'll have to make a bunch more bias tape soon now, and it will likely take half as long with the rotary cutter than it did a ruler and scissors, so I'm not even dreading the process.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The last six months, part 2

Ok, lets bump off the rest of my show and tell backlog! First, tutus!

happy tutu face, haha

I actually made this while still at the old house, so almost a year ago, but it needed re-hemming for most of that time, and didn't get worn much. It's a full circle of nasty shiny black stuff for lining, and quarter circles of alternating black and purple tulle over the top. Eight of each, I believe, but I'm too lazy to get up and check :P. Tulle doesn't need to hang, but the lining did, and wasn't, so it stuck out from under the netting in places and looked icky. I wanted to wear it to my birthday picnic last year, so I ended up putting it on Lenore, trimming the lining (but not the tulle), and then making shiny purple bias tape to encase the edge. So much easier than hemming a circle! And added bonus purple, you can't loose :).   (yet another free Zo pattern top, this time blue check with black fold-over elastic and more bows)

And then I needed another one! For this one, the lining is done the same way, only with nice rayon bemberg (it feels so silky and yummy). Instead of one layer of tulle gethered at the waist, this one is three layers of net circles, each slightly shorter than the one below. In my head, this looked really cool, but in real life you can't really tell, and it just makes the lining look too long, even though it is indeed covered by the lower layer of tulle. Next time I might try making it several layers of double circles gathered at the top, and all the same length. Eventually I will have the perfect tutu! Oh yeah, both have super wide coloured elastic as the waist, the one part I wouldn't change.  

(this top I made from two rectangles of scrap lace, folded in the middle for the shoulders, and sewn together half way up all the sides. The front is the same as the back, but I didn't get any good front pictures. It is very see-through, haha.)

I made a Hollyburn, and it rocks. (As soon as this pattern was released, I knew it had to be made from this fabric, with button tabs and pink buttons. In my head they were hot pink, but I had two big pink heart buttons in my stash, and didn't want to go to the store, haha. The fabric is eyelet, so I underlined it with lime green cotton, also from my stash. This is officially the only thing I own with functional pockets! I have yet to use them, having no idea what to put in a pocket, but the idea is nice, haha. Can I go on the record saying this pattern is lovely to work with, well constructed, and full enough to go over my massive hips without grading, woo! I have at least one more planned already, and probably many more in the future.

I actually love the alternating green and pink buttons on the top, even if they are only there to keep it from being unwearable.

The shirt is part of an ongoing project to perfect the fit of this pattern. I love the neckline, and sleeveless tops in general, and the pin tucks are a great detail. It is giving me some grief, but this one is better than my first attempt, so I haven't lost hope yet! This version ended up rather too tight (so much that I added a second set of buttons in between the first batch, to keep it from gaping terribly), but that can be fixed with smaller SA and narrower pin tucks next time. And I think I need to lower the armhole to compensate for the adjusted shoulder seams. Luckily the pattern uses less than a meter of fabric, so I can make a bunch from odds and ends until it is perfect!

I made the pleated trim myself, because I'm awesome like that.

Fun fact: the shirt fabric was originally white, but I pre-washed it with something red (face-palm), and dying it properly pink was easier than trying to bleach it properly white again. I had so much fun, I've been dying everything!

And that's it! All caught up, hell yeah! I have a (hopefully) awesome dress on the go right now, and a four day weekend *happy dance*, but I feel like finally making an apron today instead, so the dress will have to wait at least a few hours. Here's a preview/tease:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

the last six months, part 1

I finally took pictures! Yay for being home during daylight, haha. It was too cold (read: I'm a big wimp this year) to go outside, and we live in a basement surrounded by trees, so they're still a little dark, but whatev!

Let's start with the coolest: my batman dress!

Na na Na na Na na Na na, BATMAN!

It's made from the sewaholic cambie pattern, narrow skirt of view A, but with the pockets eliminated. I took the idea from Cindy at Cation Designs, and used a thrifted (via etsy) bedsheet for my fabric source. It took me forever to cut this out, mostly because I was determined to get one of each batman designs clearly visible, so layout was a bitch. But look at the pattern matching!

notice the back bodice seam? me either, hardly!

The sheet was starting to show it's age, so I'm keeping this as a special occation dress in fear of it falling apart on me too quickly. It was also suprisingly slinky and shifty, so there are some bits, like the darts and sleeve/straps that aren't as crisp as they could be, but really, it's feaking batman, nobody is going to be looking at my darts. The Cambie pattern is lovely, and I'm looking forward to making a nice full skirted version sometime soon.


I got so excited when the halloween quilting cottons went on clearance, that I got a load of the purple stuff and made a ruffly skirt :). You can't really see here, but the main fabric has not-quite-spiderwebs that spell out "happy halloween", and the contrasting ruffle has yellow stars and black cat and witch-on-broomstick silhouettes.

I like this picture because it shows off my giant bum, haha

I used all the lace I had in stock on this, and I'm glad I did! As outrageous as it would be in a lot of wardrobes, this has quickly turned into my go-to everyday skirt for when I can't be bothered making up an outfit, a definite win. I went back for the orange colour-way of the main fabric, and a different orange contrast fabric, and will be making a slightly different, even more obviously halloweeny skirt one of these days. (oh, and this is my lace version of Zo's free camisole pattern, which you will see many of today, haha).

this is where I got bored and started making funny faces

This shirt is this simplicity pattern, in the same lace as the camisole above, lined with red knit lining. It was ridiculously low cut, so I added some wide stretch lace behind the point of the V to make it decent for work. It turned out pretty well, but being all cheep poly fabric, it's very warm. I would like to make another with a higher v neck out of some nice cotton jersey, no lining, and decorative elastic around the neck and arms.

The skirt I drafted myself/draped on Lenore (aka headless Sarah, my dressmaker's dummy) until it looked right. The underskirt is weird red poly satin stuff with white polka-dots, "hemmed" with black and white polka-dot bias tape and trimmed with black lace. The overskirt is thin black lace cut in a triangle, with the long side forming the waist and back seam, so it has two points. The lace is edged in black satin ribbon, just to tidy it up. The waistband is just black twill tape, with long ties left at the opening edges for a big bow. Here's a closeup of the ties and chunky exposed zipper.

This next one took me forever to finished, mostly because it was so boring to sew that it spent a lot of time sitting half finished on my bookcase. The pattern was from a Japanese gothic and lolita pattern book, and it looked cool, but maybe isn't so much me after all.

that's my dubious face

The idea was cool, an A symetrical skirt that's hightest over one leg in the front, and longest behind that same leg in the back. And I'm always a fan of a giant ruffle. (oh, and this is another Zo cami, with added bows for kicks)

the wrinkles are it riding up against my tights, sigh

Even though I lengthened the whole thing about 4 inches, it still ended up so short in the front that I'm not comfortable wearing it without tights. The problem is, it's very thin, soft, almost fuzzy fabric, without lining, and it sticks to the tights and rides up even shorter. I have only worn this out once, and doubt it will see much use, but at least it's not on my UFO pile any more. Maybe inspiration will strike one day for how to fix it...

That's it for now! I still have a bunch of new things to show you, but I have to skedaddle for an evening of dinner with my honey and pool with my co-workers, so they'll have to wait :). Have a great night!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

There is a new sewing challenge going on over at Cation Designs, and the sewasaurus button ( --->) was so cute I just had to join. Also, you know, it went along with my sewing resolutions anyway, so why not. Yay for feeling like part of a community, even if I have to go online to do so.

(I don't mean that to sound as sad as it ended up, I have people in my IRL life who seem to like me and want to do things together. It's more me, really. In person socialising is just so stressful and tiring that even when I adore my friends, I can only handle seeing them every couple of weeks. And not for each one, I mean every couple of weeks I can face the thought of doing one sociable thing, so if a family dinner happens to be going on one weekend, I likely won't be seeing friends that month. I used to feel like this meant there was something wrong with me, but I'm starting to realise that we all have our own levels of personal time needed, mine just happens to be very high, and that's ok. And now that I have ranted completely off topic for a giant paragraph, back to our irregularly scheduled sewing post.)

I, Sarah, commit to using stash fabric for at least 50% of my sewing projects in 2013.

It doesn't sound too hard when put like that, since everything currently in my closet counts as stash, and by now it has quite a selection of both fabrics and colours. Even if my fashion mood changed during the year (bound to happen at least once), there has to be something in there I can use! I mean, look at all this crap:

yes, I'm insanely lucky to have a closet just for fabric
Although it's a huge disorganised mess, I know that doesn't look like too too much, really. And then you turn 180* and see all the stuff that never made it to the closet.

And that doesn't even count all my notions and stuff, those have their own closet, so I can't pretend that some of it is just "in stock" supplies.

Most importantly, most of it I absolutely love! It needs to be awesome wearable things on me, not languishing in storage, all flat and boring. Luckily, right now I'm all full of inspiration and drive, so hopefully a bunch of things will get made before I get distracted by another hobby :).

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

In the new year

Seeing as everypony and their dog is doing either a 2012 roundup or a 2013 goals post, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon. Since I didn't even blog most of my makes this last year (yet, I still mean to eventually, I swear!), a goal list it is! This year (and by year, I mean hopefully in the next few months, before my interests/taste toggles again to something completely different), I want to:

- make clothing in lime green/hot pink/turquoise blue. I love these colours together, in any combination, and I like having a wardrobe that can mix and match. Also purple, cause purple is awesome.

man I love this! only you know, not in belt length...

- finally use this fabric,

and it falls within the first goal too!
I love it, it's a nice summery cotton, and polka dots, and a great colour. There's enough for a dress. And I like it so much that I've been afraid to make it into something that doesn't turn out right. But my construction skills are solid now, and I'm figuring out more with each project how to get the right fit, I think it's time to just pick a pattern already and do it!

- bust out my corset making box and give another go at an underbust. This time more of a bustier, instead of the 4" reduction monstrosity I made before that I can't eat in. I want something that will squish down my full skirts so my figure shows through, without impeding my ability to work, breath, or digest. If I can get a pattern worked out, I have a whole box full of fabric that's been waiting years to be made into this kind of thing! Ridiculous, wonderful fabrics!

not like this at all, but how awesome are these?!

- and not sewing related, but any day now I need to get around to finding a keyboard that doesn't have a sticky "s", haha. Four months of hammering on it to get results is quite enough!

not related to anything, I just love BoaSaS

I've intentionally kept my goals pretty vague, because I don't want to feel like a failure if I don't get X amount of Y things finished "in time". This is about realizing what I want to get done, and trying to actually do it, not pressuring myself into doing things just so they can be checked off a list.

There are also half a dozen non-sewing crafts I suddenly can't wait to try, so there may be a lot of the (etc) part in the next little while. Or whenever my supplies show up in the post :).

(I rather want to try making a quilt for our bed too, but I'm not putting that in officially because then it becomes even more intimidating! But I got a rotary cutter (so sharp!) and a HUGE mat for x-mass, so cutting the pieces something resembling square is an actual possibility now, I now longer have an excuse to put it off, haha.)

one day, I will have this printed on a shirt

And on that note, Happy New Year to all!