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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / My first pair of culottes! on: August 06, 2013 05:30:06 PM
I've had this fabric for over a year now...inspiration finally hit! I wanted to be able to bike in a skirt without shorts or leggings underneath, so I made my version of culottes.

How they look on me:


How they look on my dining room table: (sorry for wrinkles, took these photos after wearing them)



They were super simple to make! I sketched up a really rough pattern (without measurements, sorry) to show you:

I made the front piece a bit wider than depicted there so I could add in little pleats.
Forgot to include waistband in the picture, but that was just a long rectangle with darts added after sewing. Added on pockets, belt loops, and a belt sash.

I think the original piece of fabric I bought was 2 yards. I used nearly all of that, but I was trying to keep the pattern directionally correct - could easily be done with less fabric given strategic cutting. Also used <.5 yards of contrast fabric.

If you're interested in making your own pair and have questions, I'm glad to be of help!
2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Time Turner pendant on: March 01, 2013 09:27:58 AM
I took a jewelry class this weekend and made a time turner from Harry Potter. I stamped "NO GOING BACK" on it and after the picture was taken decided to leave it disconnected at one point, so it hangs broken.



For the curious, here's what the process was like: (I'm really new to this, so forgive me if I go into too much detail and use the wrong terms).

I started with a flat square of bronze, which I heated to red hot to anneal. From my understanding, this helps the atoms in the metal align, making it softer and easier to work. This annealing process is undone after some hammering but it can be repeated. Then I cut out the pieces I wanted to use - for the circles, I used a shaped cutter, I freehanded the outer octagonal edge. I stamped letters on the outermost piece then went over it with a hammer for texture. On the middle piece, I repeatedly stamped a star as a texture. For the center piece, I formed an hourglass shape out of wire, taped it to the piece, and stamped that. Then I stamped letters and sand inside of the hourglass. To finish I sanded the edges, polished the faces, and my instructor drilled holes for jump rings.

I really enjoyed my first proper foray into metal stamping and will hopefully be taking more classes in the future!
3  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / I made a Victorian Ball Gown! on: April 29, 2012 12:48:38 PM
After playing a lower class character at Dickens Fair and lusting after the fancy ball gowns all season, I decided to make my own for the Gaskell Ball. I decided this about two weeks before the ball and, as such, threw all of my free time into making this dress. I finished last Tuesday, put it on, and realized the skirt would look so so nice with proper underpinnings. So I made a hoop skirt too!

Finished dress:


Eight hand-sewn buttonholes! They don't all look this even...I photographed the best two.:


I didn't realize how well the fabric would match the bird in my tattoo until I tried on the bodice for the first time:


I also made a braided hair piece, as my short hair isn't exactly period accurate. I braided some fake hair, sewed it to a headband, and made a bun at the back. I don't have any good pictures of the back, but you can see part of the braid here. I decided to make the hair piece hours before the ball, as I couldn't get my hair to look nice... So glad I live a block away from a beauty supply shop!


Details on production:

For the bodice, I drafted a corset pattern with 10 pieces, reduced it to three pieces with darts, and extended the top lines to sleeve holes. The sleeve holes and sleeves I drafted without too much planning and without looking at any other patterns, so I'm quite pleased they worked on the first try. I drafted the collar basically by tracing the neckline onto a piece of paper and making the pattern from there. I wanted the dress to have a sense of being off-shoulder without actually being so, which I feel I accomplished with the shape of the collar.

I used this tutorial http://steamfashion.livejournal.com/791377.html as inspiration for the skirt, but honestly I have no patience for following a tutorial step-by-step, so I looked at the basic construction and went from there. I ended up making the skirt wider, didn't add the ruffle (I tried, but it looked a bit too flamenco), and did a waistband.

I used this tutorial http://www.deathbychutney.com/hoopskirt.htm for the hoop skirt and did follow this one to the letter. I made the bottom hoop about 130" circumference (I don't remember exactly, but it started out at 145" and I cut it down a fair amount) and just cut each consecutive one a bit smaller, cutting more as needed after trying it on.

I'd love to answer any questions or read any concrit you might have! Thanks for reading.
4  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Alice in Wonderland...with creative liberties on: November 03, 2011 12:54:09 AM
Kazel and I started gathering excitement for Halloween this summer.  I would say that's when any enthusiastic crafter should start thinking about Halloween costumes but given some of these posts, that might be a low estimate. 

Anyway, kazel decided she wanted to be the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland.  But what's a Red Queen without people to boss?  So we got together some of our closest friends (read: anyone we could talk into dressing up with us) and set out to make costumes...starting about a week before Halloween.  Hey, I said we were gathering excitement, not actually crafting.  To be fair, we did have ideas floating and sketches drawn, but very little actually made. 

That said, here's the finished product:



From left to right, we've got the White Queen, the Mad Hatter, Alice, the White Rabbit, and the Red Queen.  Our Cheshire Cat unfortunately decided to not show up. 

The White Queen is me - for the costume, I made the crown, corset, skirt, and underskirt.  The crown is made from lace dipped in a glue/water solution and let dry while stretched over a can of the appropriate size.  The corset was made from a pattern I drafted (with help from kazel, who is a corset queen) and is boned with zip ties!  The skirt and underskirt are a basic circle skirt worn over a no-sew tutu.

The Mad Hatter costume was thrown together very last minute.  The black lace cuff was actually made by midnight, I received it as part of a steampunk swap.  The white lace cuff I made.  The hat band is pieced together scraps of black and white fabric.

The Alice costume was almost entirely purchased, save for the apron, which I made from my own pattern.  (read: I cut out pieces of fabric without measuring - though I did hold the main piece up to myself before cutting - or drafting and hoped that they'd all work together well). 

Nothing in the White Rabbit costume was handmade. 

The Red Queen is kazel - she made the corset and we both worked on the skirt.  We painted the checkers on the front skirt panel.  This required two tries, as the first try taught us that watered-down acrylic just wasn't going to dry soft enough.  I believe the skirt is three trapezoidal pieces plus red strips for the borders.  Kazel drafted the patterns for both the skirt and her corset.  The other side of the corset is black and the whole thing is reversible for maximum costuming utility. 

Here's another picture of kazel and me:

5  COOKING / Dessert / Psychonauts cookies on: June 15, 2011 01:00:04 AM
At the end of last semester, I helped my boyfriend make cookies for a video game decal (class taught by students) he was taking.  His project was on Psychonauts, so he wanted to do cookies based on the badges and arrowheads from the game.  We used a basic sugar cookie recipe with decorator's frosting and put different shades of food coloring in both.  Check out the pictures!


We made so many cookies!
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Slytherin scarf on: January 22, 2011 10:50:38 AM
My first post in this board, weee!

My life has been filled with Harry Potter as of late.  Last semester, my house's special dinner theme was Yule Ball, then my family went to Florida and we visited Harry Potter world in Universal.  They told me where we were going about a month prior and my immediate reaction was "need Slytherin scarf.  Must show off house pride."  

I looked at some of the scarves available online, but nothing was quite what I wanted, so I decided to knit it myself.  Originally, I was going to do a braid in Slytherin colors, so it would be a bit more subtle and I could wear it without outing myself as a Harry Potter nerd.  I couldn't figure out how to do exactly what I wanted though, so I thought a bit more about a different design.  I settled on something inspired by soccer scarves.

Here's a pic of it being worn:


And here's a pic of my sisters and I being dorks in the airport in front of a large advertisement:


Oh, technical details:
It's double knit (first time!).  Took me a couple rows to figure out that I needed to twist the yarn on the sides and I felt like a right idiot when I realized.  I forgot in a couple spots...but, hey, secret pocket!  
I knitted it up on very large needles, I think they're size 15, because I don't have the patience to make a scarf on normal needle sizes.  
I got the letter chart from preg_replace('/(.{19})/', '$1 ', 'knittingpatterncentral.com'), I don't remember which chart exactly but I believe it was titled "Alphabet chart."
I made up the pattern for the snake myself, using my elementary school experience making beaded lizards and snakes (anyone else do those?  I remember thinking I was the bomb because I was able to make dragonflies too, haha).  
7  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Puppet Pals and bonus Voldy on: December 31, 2010 01:13:56 PM
For my sister's birthday, I made her Snape and Ron stuffies.  I based them on the Potter Puppet Pals but didn't actually make them puppets.  When making Snape, I found a zipper lying around and put a pocket in him, so he can be used as a coin purse.  Ron is small enough to fit inside the pocket, which lead to much laughter when my sister found Ron (her bonus present) located in Snape's bum Grin.  I made up the patterns for these.  They're made out of an old t-shirt, scrap fleece, and fabric marker ink.

Here's Snape, looking moody as always:


Here's Ron (sorry for the blur):


I made Voldemort a couple summers ago for my other sister's birthday.  He's not based on Potter Puppet Pals.  I used a pattern from nunodoll.com for him, but I can't remember which pattern I used EDIT: I found it!  I used this pattern: http://dollmaker.nunodoll.com/nekomimi/.  I made up patterns for his clothes.  He also has an embroidered Dark Mark (based on the image from the book, not the movie) on his arm, but I didn't photograph that.  His face is also embroidered.  His wand is made from a toothpick and some white out  Cheesy.
Here's a group photo of all the dolls with me:


And here's an "action shot" of Voldemort using his wand (this is pretty much my favorite picture ever):


C&C very very welcome!

8  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Slytherin tees on: December 27, 2010 12:45:16 PM
For Christmas, my family went to Florida and visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  My sisters and I had planned to buy Slytherin tees there, but we didn't find exactly what we wanted.  Lucky me!  I'm horrible at figuring out Christmas gifts and (bad sister!) hadn't gotten anything for my sisters, so I decided I'd make some shirts for them as presents (and one for me, while I'm at it). 
I don't really enjoy drawing the same thing over and over, so I decided to do slightly different versions of the Slytherin crest for each tee.  My sisters were with me while I was drawing, so they helped me decide what to put on each shirt.
My youngest sister decided on having the crest in little detail with a lot of coloring detail on the snake:


My other sister decided on a Slytherin Quidditch shirt, so I made the crest slightly smaller and added some crossed broomsticks (black, like the team's):


I decided on a Slytherin Duelling club shirt, so I added some crossed wands under a small crest.  The smaller wand depicts my wand, made from a branch I found and some fabric scraps.  The larger wand is my youngest sister's, purchased at Ollivander's.


I also put names on the back.  My youngest sister's says "BLACK," my other sister's "MALFOY," and mine "SNAPE." 
9  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / my first attempt at steampunk! (with super-mini tute for vest) on: October 24, 2010 09:25:57 PM
Over the summer, I decided I need a steampunk outfit.  In this outfit, I made the shirt, vest, skirt, and hat.  
For the shirt, I took a size 18 button-down from goodwill, took in the sides, puffed and shortened the sleeves, and tea-dyed it.  I did a tester for the tea dye and, when left in too long, the lace turned orange, so I had to be careful about not over-dying.  For the skirt, I got a bed-sheet from SA and gathered (and gathered and gathered) the skirt onto a waistband.  Then I picked up the fabric and sewed...I'm not sure what the method is called but I used a tutorial on burdastyle that I can no longer find =(.  I used a purse zipper on the back of the skirt and found out halfway through my first wearing that the zipper wasn't too great at staying up...hooray for carrying around safety pins!  For the vest, I cut the top into a shape I liked, hemmed, and added a strap from the same purse.  I took it in a bit but I think I've gained some weight since I first made it, as it's a bit tight.  My plan is to fix that by making the back lace-up.  For the hat (which you can't see too well, but it's a basic aviator cap) I modified a medieval coif pattern (http://www.virtue.to/articles/coif.html) and added a chin buckle strap also from that same purse.  

I added some more in-depth instructions for the vest on the second page of comments.  I didn't make a picture tutorial, but if anything's unclear let me know and I'll try and make it more clear.

Here's the full outfit:


And here's a close-up:


Thanks for looking!  Con-crit would be very much appreciated!
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Monster Hoodie on: April 22, 2010 02:45:19 PM
I made a monster hoodie!  It was a very simple project, but I get a lot of compliments on it. 

For once, I have only action shots!  Enjoy the silly Disneyland photos =D.







Here's a mini-tute, since it was so easy.  (no pictures in process though, sorry)
1. Draft a horn pattern, basically a cone, curved if you'd like.  Cut out 4 of these, sew and stuff to make 2 horns.
2. Put your hoodie on and have a marker on hand.  Play around with horn placement (preferably while making funny faces in the mirror) and figure out what you'd like.  Carefully mark where each horn goes with a marker (or chalk if you think you might mess up). 
3.  Pin the horns on and try on again to make sure you like the placement.  Sew around the edge of the horns using either whipstitch or blanket stitch.
4.  Cut 2 circles from white fabric and 2 smaller circles from some colored fabric.  Sew the white circles onto the hood and then sew the colored circles on top of the white circles.  Then sew buttons on top of the colored circles for pupils.  You can play around with the position of the colored circles to make your monster cross-eyed, sad, surprised, etc.
5.  Cut out a rectangle of white fabric.  It should be twice as wide as you want your monster's teeth.  Fold the fabric in half and draw a zig-zag line on the fabric (you can add fangs or make the zig-zags irregular if you want).  Sew along this zig-zag line (I used backstitch) and then cut close to your stitches.  Sew the teeth onto the edge of the hood so that your zig-zag line doesn't show. 
6.  Optional: add a bow!  Cut out a square of colored fabric.  Fold it in half and sew around the edge, leaving a space in the middle of the long edge for stuffing.  Lightly stuff it and sew up the space.  Wrap a band around the middle (hiding your sewn-closed space) so that the rectangle is cinched into a bow.   

All in all, it was a really easy project.  I did all of it hand-sewing, but it could have been done on a machine to make it even faster.
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