Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloweentasticness - At work style

Hi All!  Sorry if I worried anyone -- I just like charts and whatnot, and found Monday's particularly interesting as it was all right on top of me.  I'm fine, I never even lost power.   There are a few downed trees near me, and a few roads are a bit flooded, but all in all Philly did pretty well.   We're a lot further from the coast so there was a lot less flooding than you see along the shore or in NY.   Thanks for the happy thoughts :)

Now, on to Halloween!   Last year, I was the only one to show up in costume, and have spent the past 365 (leap year!) days pestering everyone about it.   I managed to get 2.5 people to dress up with me!   (How to you get half a person?  Take one person who didn't intentionally up, put a lego beind his ear and call him by someone else's name)  So, we have from left to right 'John Doe' (aka the real name of the guy all the way on the right, who habitually wears the lego), a tree, Avatar Korra and Tony Stark.

As most people weren't quite sure if I was in costume or just in an odd dress, I clearly need to go much further next year.   (If I'd had time and finished the arms and legs, I think they would have gotten it.  C'est la vie.  -- but wait, Allison, weren't you stuck inside in a hurricane?  Yes.  but I was tired of this and wanted to do other things.  Oh yeah -- hows the coat.   ..don't ask.  ::mutter mutter grumble grumble::

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane induced sewing

Greetings from the eye!

My coat and I have been in an uneasy truce for a few weeks now.   I would keep my distance and it would taunt me with how much was left to do, but not actually attack me and force me to finish it.    Then came Sandy.   Sandy is a nor'easter with a chewy hurricane center and I am holed up waiting for it to pass, thank you very much.   I've been having fun on the weather sites -- the picture below is a comparison from the WSJ on the relatives sizes of Irene (last year) and Sandy (right now)  (the map is continuous -- you just can't see the East Coast anymore - click on the link and you can play with the maps too!)

Irene vs. Sandy

Anyhow, I'm fine.   (I just like exciting charts and graphics)  I also opened the window, got a bit damp and decided that maybe this would be a good time to finish the coat. It smells like winter.

I'm currently working on the bi-swing back and setting the sleeves properly.  To say the material doesn't want to cooperate with the gathering and easing in would be a laughable understatement of ginormous proportion.  The sleeves mock me.  They get together (behind my back, no less, conspiring with the bi-swing gussets) and talk about their plans to rebel.   

I will vanquish them.

Heck, even if I loose power I will vanquish them.  By candlelight, by flashlight and by the madness burning inside my eyes, I will vanquish them.

Take that sleeves.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bring me a Shubbery!

I ended up running out of time and tiny leaves (there are over 300 - I think getting all my appendages would have taken another 300) for last night's party -- happily I'd done the whole torso, front and back, so we cut off the arms and the legs and bam! it looked finished   The legs were still a little wonky, so Kel started shoving clumps of scraps into his machine over a green ribbon, and we attached them to the legs of the shorts.   It ended up looking like an intentional design feature :P

Worn with brown stockings (I claimed they were my trunks) and a green scarf, it actually worked pretty well.   All the pictures from last night are on other people's cameras (bloger fail, I know) but the glory of the python shall be revealed in due course

EDIT:   this first picture is in - I give you, the galloping shubbery!

Friday, October 26, 2012

my foliage

First -- there were leaves.   many many many leaves (about 200 in the picture -- closer to 300 as of writing this post)

Then there was the cape-ed jumpsuit (it will eventually be a hood)

...Then arose from the depths a mighty she-beast of doom and spring foliage.

fear her.

I would make some comment about slow and steady, but this needs to be done by tomorrow night and I have zillions more leaves to attach.  Think happy thoughts!   (and happy first-halloween-party-weekend to everyone!)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A box full of vintage patterns

This weekend, Mom went to the Maryland Sewing Guild's annual meeting - I'd decided it wasn't for me, but ended up I meeting up with her afterwards, and managed to arrive in time for clean-up.  Turns out it was a good thing I did - there were literally hundreds and hundreds of patterns (a reasonable estimate would be about a thousand) left over from the swap that no one wanted and they were going to throw away.   Having already looked through them myself, I knew there were several 60's patterns, and there were sure to be more - so I tried to explain about ebay, and how the club could make a ton of money, but they weren't interested.  They just wanted them gone - to keep, to give to charity, to sell, they didn't care, just as long as they were out of the room.    Anyhow, I mamanged to get enough people chattering that several people volunteered to take things to Goodwill (a US charity shop) to keep them from being tossed out.  (There were also about a dozen large trashbags full of fabric that were taken away - being good I didn't go near them, but I know they went to Goodwill rather than a dumpster.)   Anyhow, of these thousand or so patterns, I ended up with three large boxes in addition to the dozen or so I'd chosen for myself.    When I got home, Kel and I sorted through them (he is all about ebay) and of the nearly 300 I had, there were approximately 30 patterns from the 50's 60's and 70's, several of which are still in factory folds.  (The rest we took to Goodwill this afternoon)  I'm still in shock.    There are a couple that I am keeping, there are a couple that I am going to give away via the blog (probably in November) and the rest we are going to sell on ebay.   I'll let you know when they go up, should you be interested.  (Also - people I know in real life - there are only a smattering of what I have in the pictures shown here - if you are interested, let me know and I'll let you paw through them)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The State of The Costume

Check me out at male pattern boldness! - I'm part of Peter's halloween sew along.

In current news, I have enough leaves to cover the back of the jacket... and I need to do a whole jump suit.

I've got about a hundred so far, and I'm estimating I need about 500 more.   The pesky business trip of doom and insanity continues to interfere  but I will get it all done, one way or another.

Anyone else working on their costume?  What are you going to be?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

On Topiary


For anyone who is unfamiliar -   topiary is when bushes are trimmed into particular shapes - people, animals, geometric figures - whatever.  My original plan was to end up with a costume like the lady on the left -- I was going to have a big hoop skirt and wear brown stockings as my trunk.  However, after much thought, I think I am going to go for a hooded jumpsuit instead.   Pants will be a lot easier to wander around in than a giant skirt (I'm planning on wearing this to work and I wasn't sure I'd fit in my desk)  

Anyhow, there were some questions today on making leaves - so I present a mini-tutorial.  They are absurdly simple and the pictures are atrocious (cell phone camera!) but here you go :)

1) take a circle of fabric

2) sew all around the edge and start pulling it tight, like a draw string bag

3) pull it all the way tight, tuck the ends in and sew it down off-center.

wamo-blamo - you have a leaf.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Travel Sewing

Leafy leafy awesome (excuse the camera phone picture.  The colors are greener and more similar in person)
Behold the beginning of my most glorious Halloween costume!!!

I'm trapped on a business trip, but getting through some of the many hundreds of leaves I'm going to need for the Topiary-Costume-Of-Awesome.   Fortunately, all these little off center yo-yos have to be done by hand anyway.

I may have decided on topiary, and then friends may have needed a party theme, and I may have suggested Holy Grail just so that I could be the shrubbery.... but one never knows.....


Sunday, October 7, 2012

a tale of cold feet

Ever had a quick two hour project turn into a massive saga of insanity?    Behold the elf-boots of cozy maddess!!!!! (!!!!)   They started out as Green Pepper Patterns' polar sock - made with polar fleece and non-skid footing.   Super easy - nice fit - zipped right through them.     

However, after wearing the for an evening, the location of the seaming started to bother me (it's probably fine for normal people, but I was the kids who wore her socks inside out to avoid the toe-seam.)  So, I pulled them apart - nothing quite like ripping serging out of fleece.  Good times.   Anyhow, I flipped the seams to the outside and started going over them with bias tap, fun look, happily sewing along -- and bam, I'm out of bias tape.

The rest of the saga involves buying the wrong size and sewing a pin into the binding that took forever to find.  However, after the madness, and some re-fashioning of the pattern so that my ankle would fit  (wider seam allowances = less space.   yeah....  ) I have declared them elf boots.  They are glorious.

If you are keeping track, this is 1/15 in my fabric fast count-down.

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