Sunday, March 24, 2013


As a dedicated DC girl, I couldn't let Spider-man have ALL the fun...

All of today's pictures make me look stumpy, because I got my man to take them, and he's taller than my tripod, haha.
... so I made a Superman dress! It's the same bodice as the spider-dress, but with the original halter straps, and a super (hahaha) full dirndl skirt. This time instead of just zigzagging 1/4" elastic to the back skirt/bodice seam to tighten it up (which didn't work all that well), I stitched the seam allowance to the bodice back to create a casing, and threaded the elastic through it. Great improvement!

Yes, I glow a little in sunlight. One might say that I avoid tanning like it where a communicable disease. SPF 110 for the win!
I did add a few inches to the strap length, and stitched a smaller SA than drafted in, because I like a lot of strap. Even so, I can't tie a decent looking bow out of this length. The bow would likely stick out the sides of my neck and look funny anyway though, and just encourage people to untie it, so it's ok in a big knot.

Apparently boyfriend photographer = boob shots
I like how this print is both more subtle and even more outrageous than my other superhero dresses. On the one hand, it isn't covered in characters. On the other, it has a big super symbol on the chest. As Superman and Supergirl use the same symbol, it could almost count as a super-heroine dress, if not for the white stripes of "superman". So close!

I love how awkward I look in this picture!
So yeah, another dress made from a sheet and lined with broadcloth. I hope people don't get too bored of these, because I'm having so much fun making them that I don't think the trend is anywhere near over :).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Dress

pretty sweetheart neckline!

I'm so happy with this dress! Work has been super stressful the last few weeks, so last Wednesday I played hookey (shhhhhh!) and had a happy crafty day at home. I would have had the dress finished that night, but after attaching the skirt I decided it needed significantly more poof, and had to unpick the waist to add another skirt panel.

good spidey on the left side...
As you may have already guessed, the fabric was originally a bed-sheet, just like my batman dress (and it's been in my fabric closet for at least six months, which surely make it Stashbusting!). However, while the batman sheet was starting to get rather worn, this one was in perfect condition, so I'm not so worried about this dress ripping unexpectedly. (while I love my batman dress, it has been relegated to special occasions so I don't totally destroy it.) I've ordered some more sheets, and this time made sure to get the flat sheets instead of the fitted ones, on the theory that if it isn't being lain on, it won't wear out as much.

and evil spidey on the right!
Now for the nitty gritty! The bodice is from this pattern on burdastyle, with 2" length added above the waist, and 1" added to the neckline edge. I also added 1" to the center front, 1" on each side panel, and didn't bother stitching the darts.  Instead of the elastic-threaded-through-channels that the pattern called for, I used elastic thread and the instructions for shirring from Gertie's book. The bodice front and side pieces are lined in white broadcloth, and the bodice back and the skirt are left unlined because I'm lazy to cut down on bulk. I'm pretty sure halter straps aren't allowed at work, so I used the straps from the parfait dress. I love the shoulder seam on this strap, it forms to the shoulder and keeps the damn things from sliding off all the time.

The original skirt was a full circle, and I just couldn't wiggle it out of my one twin sheet. Instead, I used one quarter circle for a smooth line in the centre front, and a simple gathered rectangle for the sides and back. I would like to make another version with the proper circle skirt, and also one with a completely dirndl skirt. This pattern is great, because now that the bodice fits, I can change up the straps and the skirt styles and have a bunch of comfortable, easy to make dresses that don't look like I just have a closet of the same dress.

squinty spring sun-in-my-eyes face

Now if only they made sheets with female superheroes on them...

Sunday, March 17, 2013


And here comes more "etc": I'm teaching myself to knit! I have tried to do this once before, but after one scratchy garter stitch scarf, and realizing I didn't wear the sorts of things that one knits, I gave up. 7 years later, I'm not overheated all the time any more from stress induced high blood-pressure (thanks to my terrific guy, a friendlier workplace, and just plain growing up), and suddenly I can think of all sorts of things I would wear if I could make them! Also, I realized that one can knit things besides scarves and sweaters, hahaha. My main goal is socks, but I have a selection of not-so-terrifying projects lined up first to learn the basics. And as most of these are things that I personally don't need, I get to be generous and make stuff for the people that make my life great (also get a head start on christmas gifts. If it's handmade, they have to love it :P).

in progress, and already covered in cat hair
Almost a month ago, I walked into the local yarn shop, said "I don't know anything about knitting, but I want to learn!", and walked out with two balls of fluorescent red acrylic yarn and some straight needles to make a scarf. I'll be damned if I was going to make another bloody garter stitch one though (so boring!), so I made myself a ravelry account and found an interesting but dead easy looking pattern. Then I found a website with lots of instructional videos, and got cracking! Most of a month later, I finished my very first scarf (that used more than one stitch) just in time to give it to a work friend for her birthday.

There was a pretty hilarious moment binding off, when I got to the very last stitch and realized I had no idea what to do with it. More instructional videos to the rescue!

After 95 inches of a 4 stitch repeating pattern, I needed something a little more challenging for project number two. But not too challenging, because half the reason I decided to start knitting was to bust out of a "I can't do anything right and I may as well just not bother" funk, which was brought on by several failed crafty endeavours in a row. I'm fucking delicate, ok?! Anyway, my plan is to learn one or two new techniques per project, so there is lots of time to get the hang of it and let the process become body memory.

So for project number two, I'm making a cowl thing for (another) work friend, in a pretty navy wool. It's just knit and purl stitches, but I get to learn circular needles and reading a pattern chart, and probably blocking. I can't wait to see the pattern start to emerge!

my yarn bowl is a casserole dish. I have to keep the whole thing in my desk drawer when I'm not working on it so the cat doesn't eat it.

On the advise of a (different again) co-worker, I placed a yarn order* (and corresponding needles from ebay, cause it's cheaper), and now have my next five projects lined up. In an effort to not end up with a yarn stash as well as a fabric stash, I'm attempting to only buy yarn if I have a project in mind, and then use it before buying any more. For the sake of having something always ready to be started, and in the name of making shipping worthwhile, I'm ok with doing this in batches. It's all so pretty though, this valliant effort might not last long ;).

*Remember that local yarn shop I went to way back at the beginning of this post? They where super rude and disinterested. Any other craft store I've ever been in, the staff are excited about whatever you're making (or at least do a good job of faking it), but I could barely get the yarn lady to give me the time of day. After talking with a bunch of other people, it seems that the staff at this place are like that with just about everyone, and if you aren't going to spend hundreds of dollars, you aren't worth their time. Which is a pretty lousy business model, because encouraging beginners is giving yourself a new market. So I'm taking my business elsewhere. Take that, short-sighted yarn jerks!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

new skirt!

So here's the thing: I have oodles of hand made skirts, yet I wear the same store bought one at least three days a week. It's knee length and black and fluttery, and it has an elastic waist so it doesn't matter if I've gained or lost weight. Basically, perfect. And I finally started to feel weird about wearing the same damn skirt all the time, so I needed to make a new one!

new skirts make me pose like a superhero, haha

The main thing I wanted to replicate was the fluttery uneven hem, so the original got laid out flat and stared at until it all came clear. It was two squares with a circular hole in the centre, and a slit through one side, and then sewn together along the cut edges to make an eight pointed hem. Clever! So I drafted a quick four panel skirt as a base, did some fast and dirty math the the square flounce thing, and voila, new pattern. I did the patterning and cutting last night, and the sewing this morning, and now I have a new skirt!

It's made from the same stretch material as my Zo pattern lace tank and my red lined lace shirt, and I still have a bunch left! The top portion is lined with black tricot from my stash for decency, and the flounce is left unlined (and un-hemmed). The origianal is made of mesh stuff, and lies a little more flat and drape-ily, but this stuff will do. The waistband could have turned out better, but I have an idea for version number two, so we'll call this one a trial run :).

I stitched wide elastic to the right edge of the waistline, turned it to the inside, and then turned it again so the elastic was completely encased, and stitched again near the lower edge of the elastic (I meant to get more in progress shots, but then it went together so quickly it completely slipped my mind). I have another store bought skirt that uses this method, but my fabric was a bit more... springy? squishy? thick? so the finished product wasn't as nice as it could have been. But I'm not much for midriff baring shirts, so it won't be noticeable.

did you notice my awesome boots? I wear them every day, hahaha. A 4" platform does wonders for reaching the top shelf.

Maybe not the go-to everyday skirt I meant it to be, but still quite serviceable I think. Time will tell how much wear it gets. And made entirely from my stash!