Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: in review

Turns out I've done more than I thought -- only counting finished objects, there are 26 to date plus a hefty handful of UFOs in every state imaginable.  Rather than link to everything (my original and hastily discarded plan) I'd like to pull out a few of my favorites.

Without a doubt and without compare, the absolute best-in-show is the turquoise fleece.   I wear it constantly (almost daily) -- despite being the same pattern, the fit is superior to the green one (go figure) and it doesn't show every bit of dirt I encounter (white one -- I'm looking at you).

I have some royal blue that eventually needs to become another -- someday, someday.

Next up is the athletic mesh skirt.    Lately I've been wearing it about once a week - I really like the lines and the length and how it moves when I walk   I don't actually like the material as it picks up stains like you wouldn't believe -- actually -- I don't believe it.  I think it came that way (it was from Jomar after all) and I just didn't notice it as the fabric is all shiny and whatnot.

This too with be duplicated.

Tying for second place, we have the many-colored-dress-awesome.   I wore it weekly over the summer and still pull it out from time to time since the temperatures have dropped.

Actually, it should probably win for second as I've gotten more compliments on this dress than anything else I own.  (Usually from strangers too, which I count as a double win - they have no reason to say anything at all)

It already is a duplicate of the bed-sheet dress, but I have material for a couple more waiting in the wings.

And, the strappy dress -- this one doesn't get as much wear, but its something I'd had floating around in my head for about a year or two and finally made.  

If I ever get around to making a basque (long-line strapless bra supported by the hips) then I'll probably do another one of these.  As it is, my dislike of strapless bras limits the frequency in which I wear it.

  I hardly ever wear the tentacle sleeve jacket - but I'm very proud of it.   Getting all the relief work done for the sleeves was quite the undertaking.

The main problem is that I decided to use magnetic closures.  In theory, this sounds great - stay together unless there is too much stress and then they pop open - the jacket never gets hurt and there are no buttons to interfere with the lines on the front.

In fact, almost any movement will pop it open, and I don't like how it hangs when it isn't closed.   I need to go back and put in snaps or some such instead.

The banana dress only got worn the once, and it may very well never make it out again - but I was pleased with how well it turned out and how closely it matched the idea I had in my head.

The green baby quilt just glowed.   Holding it in real-life it sometimes looked like stained glass.   It was enough to make me what to quilt again (should I try, someone should really restrain me)

Also - all the seams matched.  ALL OF THEM.

And finally, the dwarf helmet.  I've yet to wear it out in public, but its just too much fun.

It also might get me to knit/crochet again -- its been a while.  I made tons of mittens one summer while working at girl scout camp, and I've made several scarfs and a couple of hats but never a sweater.   Its on my life-goals list.   I've got a zillion knitting patterns for snazzy sweaters, but none for crochet.... I should look into this.

Looking back on the blog, it seems my goal in January was to conquer machine-made button holes, which I did with a vengeance on the baby sleep-sack.   Although not at all since...  I was also supposed to clear out the UFOs.  Some I've dealt with, some languish, and several more have come into being.

For this year -- I'd like to actually make a bra.  I have two books on the subject and most of the hardware.  I just need to sit down and do it.

oh - wait - it turns out I had bigger plans on my first blogoversary.  They include a lined jacket (actually in progress and unblogged), shoes (also in progress and unblogged, although those are more Kel than me), a bra (hah), a bathing suit (half done - I need to top part -- hello bra experience) and jeans that fit properly.  I think this last is an ongoing quest for the ages.

And with that, I wish you a happy and healthy new year.  Also, in case you are interested, go sign up for the giveaway.  I know, its only a sheath and in a single size.   I'll dig through for something more interesting at some point soon.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pattern Give Away!

Happy Almost New Year!   

 I've finally had time to start going through the stash of vintage patterns I got back in October and am doing the give-away I'd mentioned for November.... (yeah. well.  life.)

Anyhow, this is open to everyone everywhere, just leave a comment on this post by January 5th and I'll pick someone at random and send it out.

The pattern in Simplicity 6954 Size 12 - bust 32.   Its been cut out already, but it still has all the pieces and the instructions.  According to the pattern envelope, size 12 is meant to fit bust-32, waist-25, hip-34 (all in inches)

Happy almost 2013!

EDIT:   clearly sheaths are not the thing.  Something else next time.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

dwarf helmet

I may have had a bit of down-time while visiting family the past few days.

Behold... the helmet of glory!  Its rivets of justice!  Its beard of doom and contemplation!     Mighty Dwarf smiths did forge it in the depths of the earth from the purest of iron, quenched in a glacier and be-bearded with a yak.

Either that or I got some yarn and started screwing around.   I'd seen a couple of pictures of  knitted helmets and beards and whatnot and decided to give it a go.   Mine is actually crocheted, as I was in a single needle (hook?) mood and it doesn't use a pattern.   I started with a knob, then started doing an expanding circle until it was about right and did a bit less expansion, for shaping, and then just continued, cylinder style.  (I know, I can't get over the technical accuracy of that one either.)  Anyhow - the rivets are popcorn stitches - the knob is the whole hat in miniature and the shaping of the nasal-guard is totally free-form.

Its hard to see the interior, as the fluff of the beard more or less consumes all things in its path - but the base is just standard double crochet, with a split for the mouth (mustache/beard/awesomeness)  then I took about a zillion (conservative estimate) little pieces of yarn and knotted them on, individually, to the loops in each row of crochet.  For the mustache, I used half-length, in the hopes of still having access to my mouth.

All told it didn't actually take all the long.  I started it Monday afternoon, finished Thursday morning, and in that time also did all sorts of holiday things, plus an exciting plane based adventure in which holding pointy objects was inadvisable. (When the pilot comes on the intercom to say we're taking a detour to avoid tornadoes, well, it adds spice to travel....)  so, lets say about 30 hours.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Odds and Bobs

I really am getting terrible about posting this month -- but there hasn't been much to say.   I've been busy and had no attention span, so I've been flitting from project to project doing small things on each, rather than just sitting down and finishing a garment, making it worth talking about.   However, on the off chance your attention span is as short as mine here are some of the bits that I've been up to...

 Project 1:  Copying my jeans, Kenneth King style.  

I watched  his 'Jean-ius' course a while ago and thought it was fanatic - my only quibble was that he doesn't talk about fitting stretch denim.   Someone asked about it in the forum, and he said that everything is identical, except you need to use the same denim as your muslin in order to get it to work out properly.

All in all, I would recommend the course.

I've gotten through marking up my jeans and tracing them, but not as far as adjustments or a muslin.   I know - giant slacker that is me.

Project 2:   Hand-rolling the hems of my wrap dress

I tried using the rolled-hem foot on my machine, but the fabric is so slippery and thin that it kept twisting every which way and getting sucked into the bobbin feed.

I have the wrap ties all set and am getting ready to finish all the other edges (goal: New Year's Eve)

Project 3: Tinkering with the Jedi Bathrobe

After what seems like months (what has been months) I've finally put a closure in the robe and have been bopping around in it.   It's a standard 26" separating zipper, so I am free to control the level of cozy  supplied by the robe.

Shown here complete with bed-head, grogginess and distraction.

So with that, I wish you a happy winter holiday of your choice (retroactively if yours has already passed, as quite a few are earlier) or better yet, I congratulate you on surviving the Mayan Apocalypse.   Go Team!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

fruit cozies

Did you know this was a thing?   I can't get over it.   I'm tempted to whip up a bowl for my next party..... *


                                               upon finding apples, I started looking for more....


                                                              et, la pièce de résistance

*I often get the comment "I would have thought that was strange, but then I realized it was you".     This seems somehow in character.

re-imagining V2971 as a dress (part 2)

Can we stop for a moment and discuss the difficulties of photographing shiny material with a direct flash?   The versions I took without ended up overexposed and yellow, so I popped them into black and white -- and its still wonky, but at least you aren't being blinded by the light.

Anyhow- this is the current status of the dress.  I'm actually holing up the skirt, as it still far and away too long, and I've yet to add sleeves, but I think the concept is going to turn out really well.

Its only just basted, so tonight I sew!

What I particularly like about this pattern is that is looks like a wrap dress without the possibility of coming open or catching my breasts in an odd way.  (Wrap under the breast turns into cleavage city, while wrap over always somehow makes me feel about 12.  Not sure why)

(also, 12/12/12, yay for repetitive dates)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

re-imagining V2971 as a dress

I've had V2971 knocking around in my pattern collection for a while now - I really liked the wrapped shirt, but I never made it as I knew that something that ended so close to the natural waist would look terrible on me.    I've always envisioned it as a dress -- but not by connecting the skirt that comes along with it (an odd beast, that) but by having a regular skirt come down and have the wrap bits tie over, just as they are intended.   Every so often I would think about ways to ended the ties, turning it into a sort of wrap dress, but it always seemed like it would (a) come open and start flapping about  (b) be awkward with the under wrap having to come through a hole somewhere and c) take an enormous piece of fabric, as the skirt would be cut on the bias and the center is supposed to be on the fold.

upwrapped version.

 Then the other night, I realized I could use layers.... (obvious in hindsight, but there we go)  If instead of trying to attach the skirt to the side bits, I just doubled the back, extended it into a tunic type thing and popped the wrap front over it.... then everything would work out perfectly.

So, I extended and doubled the back, and whamo, blamo, dresso!  Otherwise everything else about the pattern stayed exactly the same.    Pictures of putting it together tomorrow (battery charging issues....I need battery elves. Actually I could use several elves - I'd be more than happy to make them tiny clothes.)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I'm doing science and I'm still alive

some context for the title of the post

I am ALLLIIIIIIIIVEEEEEEEEE ALIIIVVVEEEEE   (and also overly dramatic - also mixing genres.  but you know. whatever.)   There actually hasn't been much going on here at the fixation, I just haven't much felt like sewing, and then when I did, it was black on black on black and I needed to wait for a good camera with a proper flash -- but such a beast has arrived!

Look!  couching!    after about three years I finally got my act together and made a choir dress (all black) but I decided it was boring, and as I'd used knit, I pulled out my Alamaba Chanin sewing and design book and learned how to embellish knits.  The idea is you take a piece of something (usually yarn, but in this case a rope of knit) and just sew it onto whatever you're working with, thus creating exciting 3-dness.   


The dress itself is another of the princess slips - but without lace or closure (yay knit!!!) and also currently without a hem or any kind of finishing -- so you can see it when its a bit further along.  (I mean, it's black and it's winter and daylight is scarce.  I'm only going outside in only this once.)  In addition to crazy shit like a hem, I plan to couching all along the hem (hah) area and around the neckline.  Couching-tastic.

In the interest of honesty and full disclosure, this was not in my stash, which means by the rules I have to add three more things to my stash  bust, putting me at 18 total - and I've only done five.   I know.  I think a new rules is I need to stop making up wacky challenges for myself and just have some normal self restraint when it comes to fabric.   But we shall see.

Anyhow, HI!   (also, I have actually been doing science.  also, because Jonathan Coulton is awesome, here is another song) (trust me, keep listening.)

aloha and so forth.  more in the future.

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