Sunday, November 9, 2014

fancy fabrics

snazzy indigo ikat

Turns out there is a source for handwoven ikats (and quite a lot of other stuff that is wildly out of my price range) in town.   (Both wonderful and dangerous)  Yesterday, Mom and I went and checked it out - everything was gorgeous and for the most part, wildly out of my price range.      However, thanks to Mom the enabler, I have three and a half yards of a stunning indigo ikat that is going to become a sundress sometime very very soon, so that it can sit in my closet and mock me as long as possible.

purple cotton woven
There were also little end cuts, and I got myself a yard of this purple to turn into a shirt - I found last summer that my one woven/fitted tank top got the most use and was worn the moment it got out of the laundry, so me thinks I shall make several more.

The lady who runs this business has an online presence, and you can find her at Mekong River Textiles.  (I did not get paid, nor did I get a discount, I just think this is nifty stuff.)  Besides just being super snazzy fabrics, she works with local collectives to provide economic opportunities for local women other than prostitution.  Seems pretty win-win to me.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Cometh

inspiration


Had I found this slightly sooner, I could have copied her dress.....    live and learn.    

Anyhow - We're going monochrome, Greg is the jealous villain and I am the winsome young lass tied to the railroad tracks.    Everything we're wearing is going to be black, white or a shade of gray.    


The shots I have of my costume are all hideously unflattering and not going on the internet.    My outfit is a white eyelet overdress and a pale gray under dress with puffed sleeves.   The patterns are all being pulled an modified from modern stuff (I'll put in specific names when I have nice pictures to show what manner of crazy I pulled.)  


Greg's costume is rather more straightforward - and required a frock coat and vest.  (I may have decided he was going to wear a white shirt and black pants from his closet)   We used Simplicity 2895  - and when I say 'we' I actually mean it.   He chose all the fabrics used, helped cut out the patterns and the fabrics, did almost all the serging and a little of the actual pinning and sewing.    He was also coming up with plans for all the things he plans to make in the future.   I fully expect him to start doing his own projects over the next few months.

Other than the inevitable removing-four-inches-from-either-side that comes with anything for Greg - the coat was a pretty good fit right from the envelope.    It needed a little tuck behind the shoulder, but was otherwise good to go.  


the other main part of his outfit is going to be a gray paisley vest for some much needed gradation in this otherwise all black outfit.   Mine was having the same problem - except all white. I'm hoping the underdress (still but a twinkle in my eye) will sort things out.  (Also make the whole thing a little less ventilated...)  



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sewing Evangelism!




 I've gotten him hooked on clothes that fit!   We're starting with Halloween, but this guy is going to be doing all his own stuff soon enough.    (He now has is own pin cushion and fancy scissors and is currently eyeing his grandmother's sewing machine.) (AAAAAAAAAAaaand he is getting into fabrics and what sort is suitable for what garments, which makes him a lot of fun to take fabric shopping with me.)   (insert glee here)



Monday, October 13, 2014

punk rock grammy


 A couple of months ago my grandmother was complaining about people patting her on the shoulder everywhere she goes.   So, I bought her spikes.

friendly spikes - rounded points to inspire fear, rather than draw blood

I showed up with them this weekend, and in mere minutes, pointy, pointy spikes were all over her favorite sweater.  For the rest of the post, please, marvel at how pointy they are.


I also taught her how to 'rock on', which eventually lead to a discussion of anarchy and various other symbols.    The sweater remains anarchy -free.


One way or the other - I like to think the days of people patting her on the shoulder are over.  Because this is a lady who says 'hell no!' to the dementia of other people who can't seem to remember to keep their hands to themselves




Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Slip-covering the cats' chair


 Umteen thousand years ago, a relative of mine worked at a fancy furniture store and several very nice pieces entered the family.    Over the generations, they have been abused, by children and pets alike, and a rather battered arm chair, with good bones, has come to rest in my apartment.     It still has its original covers, but has spent the last 30ish years with a pink corduroy cover that I've never really liked.
fort cat-beast
Until I took the pictures for this post, I didn't realize just how much time the cats had taken to spending sitting in it.   So.... I guess it is now mentally tagged as theirs (although I reserve the right to nudge them aside and lounge there myself, as it is really very comfortable.)   


scissors for scale

In my continuing adventures in stash-busting, I chose a thick purple denim-ish woven that has been kicking its heels up for years --- and it was just barely enough.   The scraps above are all that I had left after cutting the pieces out.

                                     
slicing and chopping to get it all in the fabric available...

As the original slip cover never quite fit correctly (sorry Mom)  - I decided to start from scratch - and measured every part of the chair, added some ease, and cut out the shapes and just started pinning them in place
She knows it sets her fur off nicely

I've been working my way along the seams, pulling them tight, pinning everything in place, and sewing them down.

Pudgo here likes to pull out pins.  

 To get around flipping and whatnot, as I had the right side out when I pinned everything to the chair, I'm doing french seams on everything.   After marking where I want the final seam to go, I've been marking 5/8" up, sewing that as my inner, trimming, flipping and generally frenchifying the slip cover as I go.

math!

As it stands, I have the main body and each arm put together.   I still need to add the sides and pull it all in, so it looks neat and tight, rather than the floppy mess currently acting as the focal point of my living room days before my housewarming this weekend.   So, no pressure.  Not like basically everyone I know is going to come over and ask me if I made it. Nope.  Not at all.

it looks so much better in person
T-4 days until the ravening hoard arrives and the chair must be finished....

Monday, September 8, 2014

RennFesting Stashbusting Costume of ..Getting There.....

Since moving, I've been forced to go through my stash, and have realized just how much fabric I have - despite some downsizing during the move.    As such, I've put myself on an all-fabric-fast-all-the-time diet (with the exception of halloween and presents for other people) until I work through a good hunk of things. (And have space to physically store more yardage....)




Anyhow - following my own rules, I made this costume entirely out of fabric I already had.   (Notions are new - but realistically, I can hoard them in a much smaller space, so it works out.)



didn't notice how squished the straps got....   hello interfacing.  you and I will become friends.

The corset/bodice/stays/pair-of-bodies/whatever-your-favorite-term is my own pattern and not at all historically accurate.   I just wanted something reasonably comfy that would be fun to wear and look the part.

It is constructed of three layers - brocade, denim and gaberdine, with channels sewn through all three layers and stiffened with poly boning.  As such, everything is quite firm - and as the pattern was traced off my body - pretty darn comfy for something of this sort.    My only complaint is that is is slightly too large and provides insufficient bust support.    I plan to take the front panel in an inch or so on each side, which will let me loosen up the laces all the way around.   (This is really just an aesthetics thing - all though the 7 sets of lacing is to allow me to adjust the fit as needed should my body change shape.)   (I want this one to last.)


The shirt is a big rectangle, with two other rectangle sewn on as sleeves and a neckline cut out.   I ended up sewing the gathers into the neckline 'cause I felt like it.



The skirt is a regular half-circle skirt.   Not really wide enough for the era - but not out of place in this one either.  I used my own half-circle skirt tutorial, cause I'm kind of a bum like that and didn't remember the equations.



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