I've discovered that taking a big men's tee, sizing it to fit me better and then putting the same old sleeves back in but with a gathered sleeve-cap and either a narrowed or gathered sleeve hem is very adorable Here's a shirt I did that to:
Alternatively, since you like a faerie-ish sort of styling, you could make a flutter sleeve out of complementary fabric (eg black shirt with red lettering = red sleeves, and that sort of thing). Flutter sleeves are easy peasy! Just measure the arm hole all the way around and then draw a line that length on your fabric ACROSS the grain (look closely at the fabric and make sure the lines of knitting point up-down). Then draw a big swoopy curve that joins those two lines. VOILA! Flutter sleeve May or may not look good with your individual proportions, but you never know until you try, right? You can do the same sort of thing with just a square or trapezoidal shape so long as the top edge is the same length as the armhole. You can either hem all the non-armhole edges before you put the sleeve into the armhole, or leave the edges raw as you like.
Maybe bell sleeves are the answer? Here's my favourite-est tee pattern in the world, cuz I use it for all my recons and from-scratch stuff:
Once you figure out which size would fit you best, take the sleeve pattern and COPY IT!!!! Copy the whole darn pattern if you can, cuz then you'll never have to print it out ever again, just trace it over and over. I like wax-paper for that. Anyway, either keep it full length or cut it shorter, then draw new lines to make the pattern look like this:
He said it was far too silly for him to wear, though So, being inspired by the many beautiful garments on ModCloth, I refashioned it for my own porpoises. I pondered how to gather in just the hips, did some cutting, some sewing, and redid the shoulder line and armholes. For the sleeves, I just gathered the sleeve cap and used sparkly white elastic around the sleeve hem.
Closer view of the hip gathering:
And from the shoulder, showing off the hilarious quote:
I find the juxtaposition of the the sweet-girl styling and the anime images to be absolutely hilarious I feel so ready for a shopping trip 'round Tokyo, despite it being thousands of miles away, haha!
I was hemming and hawing about adding a how-to from the start, so here it is:
You need a shirt that fits well or a pattern. You only need from the waist upwards, because the gathers lie at the waist on the final product. Align the pattern pieces with the neckhole of the big shirt, cut away the armholes and sides down to the waist. At the waist, you'll need to draw a straight line from 2 inches in from the "new" sides out to the side seam of the big shirt. Sew up the new side seams FIRST. Then gather the hip-gathers and sew the gathered edge to the free edge of the upper part. Trim the seams off the original sleeves, gather the sleeve hem however you please (I like elastic cuz it's fast and easy), gather the sleeve cap and reattach to the main body of the shirt.
*PLEASE NOTE* I used BurdaStyle's Lydia pattern in size 34 and generally wear size medium. That BARELY worked out for this men's size medium shirt. I would recommend using a men's size large or extra large if your bust is greater than 34 inches.
I had been meaning to try stenciling with acrylics and textile medium for quite some time now. So I had this "great" idea to make a School Rumble shirt for my boyfriend. That's a high school dramedy anime that is well worth watching! We recently watched season one and I was in stitches at the quote "Sweet death, come to me..." when poor, poor Harima had to eat the nasty rice balls. Isn't that from Shakespeare??? Anyways, blue and silver paint, the Harima and logo images were found online and the quote made up in Microsoft Word.
Unfortunately, my darling boyfriend thought it was far too silly for him to wear, so see what I did with it here (I didn't want to pile too many photos in both posts):
Smokering: How it's supposed to work out is that once you cinch yourself in, the fabric will be snug all the way around and both lacing bones in the back will be straight up and down with no difference in the distance between them from top to bottom. Hope that makes sense. Anyways, once your boning arrives, put it in your mockup and test out the fit. Once you're cinched in, then you make decisions regarding adjusting the fit.
Alternatively, you can draft the whole thing from scratch using your own measurements. You need to know how far down from the top of your corset your waist is in the front, the side and the back, as well as your waist, underbust, and upper hip measure and how far each measurement is from the others. With a bunch of math you can figure out how to divide it into panels. Let me paint up an example of what it should look like...
You have to add the seam allowances after. I used this method only once, and it turned out great, but I wish I'd make a mock-up first, because I made it too short Good thing it was only a fashion corset.
Roethke actually has a step-by-step showing this method with lots of construction pictures. Everybody loves pictures!
You could actually draft one if you have a measuring tape and some paper
Conceptually, an ear-band is a hat without the rounded top. Put a hat on your victim and measure around their head following the line of the bottom of the hat, but holding the measuring tape so that it will pass over the middle of each ear. Divide that number by 2 but DON'T add more for a seam allowance (the band should be slightly smaller than the head so that it stays on), now called measurement A. Draw a line the length of A on a piece of paper.
If you want the kind that are just straight all the way around, measure the height of your victim's ear and add 2 inches (one inch for clearance above and below the ear and one inch for the two seam allowances), measurement B. At each end of line A, draw a line going down that is as long as B. Connect the bottoms of both B lines, and double check that it is also the length of A.
Alternatively, there is a kind of ear-band that is thinner than B, but with a rounded portion directly over the ears that is B. In this case, make line B as long as you want (remember the seam allowances, though). Measure from the middle of the forehead to the middle of the ear, and call this measurement C. On your piece of paper, choose one end to be the front and mark it so you don't forget which one it is. Make a mark that is C from the front. Draw a line down that is B. Connect the three up-down lines with a line that is straight, then curved down to B, then curved up again, and straight.
And because pictures make the world go round:
The red lines represent the additional lines you need to draw for the second kind of earband. The thinner lines represent the seam allowances. I didn't measure anything, so you may not want to use my pic as a template, but rather draft one from scratch.
Fold your fleece in half and pin your now cut-out pattern to it with the FRONT on the fold. Make sure that the stretchiness of the fleece is the same direction as measurement A. Cut two pieces, because one piece is the inside and one the outside (two different colours would make it reversible ). You'll sew each piece into a ring (correct sides together), and then sew the two rings to eachother along the top edge (correct sides together). Flip it correct-side-out, fold and pin the seam allowances to the inside, pin the two folded parts to eachother, and then sew along the edge about a quarter inch from the edge. You can also sew along the top edge about a quarter inch from the edge, just to "finish" it.
My Dad works for an aeronautics company, and his department head decided they'd have an "ugly sweater" contest. He asked me to make him something suitable, but I ran out of time, so Mumsie actually finished it off. I just KNEW what I wanted to do, and was actually inspired by a hideous (but splendid) 80s sweater with leather applique all over the front that I wear, well, constantly. Here it is when I handed it off to Dad to take back home:
My original concept was to have it pooping, but we didn't want to offend anyone's sensibilities, so Dad found a bag full of little multicolour felt balls at the dollar store, along with the flashie LED ring that was altered and attached to the nose. Mumsie wanted Mr. Reindeer to look disturbingly out of his gourd, hence the slavering tongue. She also added the hat and eyeball and finished off the armholes. Turns out my Dad was the only one in his department with the cahones (read: sense of humour) to actually wear an ugly sweater! Apparently, he'd be walking around the hangar and people would chuckle at his slightly demented-looking reindeer, only to burst out in guffaws once he was past them
OMG OMG! My first COMMISSION! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!
What happened was my buddy Sean fixed my computer (and by fixed, I mean he spent 2 days fiddling, then formatting, then re-installing), so I owe him HUUUUGE. I offered to repay him in kind, that is, with my skill. He was confuzzled as to what my sewing skill could be useful for, so I listed the obvious: buttons, zippers, hemming, blah, blah. Then his face lit up with sudden realization and he frantically Googled an image of Ezio. "Make me THIS!" Of course I'd heard of AC2, what with all the hype. He's going to a New Year's costume party and would also be wearing it to a convention in the spring. And probably forever-more He's even offered to pay me! I quoted him $200 including materials (2 weeks to realize that was awkwardly worded) and he's totally fine with that! He could always buy this one: http://www.cosplaymagic.com/ascriiezco.html
So here's my planning stage so far. I like to draw everything out so that I know how it's to be constructed, and I gotta say that this is the most complex outfit I've tackled. I've had to take creative license because making a REAL doublet would add several hours of work, and I have to draft it up in the first place (I'll likely use Simplicity 7030 as the basis). I may omit the pazillion metres of ribbon trim, depending on how much $$$ it would come out to (not to mention that attaching all that ribbon CAN be done after the New Year's party, but before the convention, eliminating some of the time crunch).
The under-stuff and the front of the hooded doublet (sorry my notes are mostly illegible, the pix won't post any larger).
The back of the doublet plus the front and back views of the skirt-thingie (I have no idea what you COULD call it ).
The flat-view of the pauldron (and according to a girl who posted her version on DeviantArt, I seem to have it mostly right, construction-wise).
It just so happens that my landlord, whose industrial-sewing-needs shop is below my apartment, offered me suede for the half-cape and leather for the pauldron FREE because I paid my January and February rent today, (he LOVES that I pay my rent in advance). The leather is a little on the pale side, but MEH! IT WAS FREE!
Expect updates as I do stuff. I'll probably start drafting next weekend and begin construction shortly thereafter
----------- (Dec. 7)-----------
That belt! AGH! It is functionally nonsensical! I had to squint at low-quality screenshots to figure out what the back part looks like, and thank heavens for *fevereon on DeviantArt and her blogspot page! If it weren't for her, I'd have had no hope in designing it. Mind you, the entire design of the straps just makes me scratch my head. I would have done it differently, but video game designers don't need to understand garment/accessory construction (just look at the pic at the top of this page: notice anything weird about the red stripes???)
I'll likely use some of those awesome leather pieces I have for the belt. The two colours are just a reference for me so that it makes sense to me later. Unless I really do decide to use the suede for the dark parts and the leather for the light parts. Unfortunately, I don't have *fevereon's 1337 skill with resin, so I'll probably make the front part using a quilted technique like I did with my She-Ra headpiece. See her uber-skills here: http://fevereon.deviantart.com/
I also made arrangements with my friend to do a fitting, probably Thursday or Friday. I found a cool technique for creating a doublet pattern using an old button-down shirt: http://freespace.virgin.net/f.lea/doublet1.html Apparently I WON'T have to draft it! Just mostly-draft it
I went over to Sean's on Tuesday night and made the initial fitting shell out of an old short-sleeve button-down. Not a lot of modifications. Cut off the collar and sleeves, took in the waist a smidge, created darts in the back. His girlfriend thought it was all very hilarious and took pictures, none of which I have, unfortunately Then off to Fabricland for supplies! I still need a few small things, but those can come later.
2 spools of thread 9.1 metres gold ribbon 10 metres red grosgrain ribbon 3.5 metres red poly-cotton broadcloth for lining 3.5 metres gray poly-cotton broadcloth for interlining AAAAAND 3.5 metres white polyester satin, of which I'll be using the back side of the fabric because the only place in town with cotton sateen was closed, and no guarantees that they had it in slightly grayish off-white (hence the gray interlining). We had to buy it that night because I'm now 4 hours away at my boyfriend's for the holiday season. Total cost: $68.28, and not a penny of it was mine
Sean and I also discussed the construction of various bits. He'll look after turning spring-loaded umbrellas into the hidden blades (he thought that was as ingenious as I thought it was; props to the dude who thought it up, must find the link to share it with Craftsters...), as well as making the belt centrepiece and pauldron slidey-knot-cover-thingies out of cardboard and tinfoil. He will also buy brown pants, the poet shirt, brown boots, and brown belt for across his chest. More to come as the story unfolds...
HA! Much progress has been made, despite holiday festivities. I got the proof-of-concept/toile/muslin done. Many thanks to my boyfriend for modeling. He puts up with so much craft-craziness from me... There's still some tweaks to be done. I've changed the hood a bit (hopefully no more bunching in the back) and I need to make the triangle beak-thingie on the hood smaller, of all the crazy things. I also worked out some issues in construction-order, so there won't be all that horrid bunching around the yoke on the back.
I also mostly-finished the pauldron and half-cape. The pauldron will be backed with canvas to give it more stability and the half-cape will be lined in red (which I forgot about at the fabric store, so I need more red fabric).
Now all I need to do is prove the feasibility of the... skirt-thingie. Sean doesn't like that I call it a skirt-thingie And I may begin the doublet tonight. We shall see.
My boyfriend's family is big on Giftmas and it stresses me right the heck out. Since I don't have a lot of money to buy tons of things for them, I figure one handmade gift = awesome, right? Last year that proved to be a success, so this year needs to be just as good. The only problem? What the heck can I make for his brother that would top last year's Gundam embroidery???
OMG!!!! I had seen it before, but it had become lost in the dustbins of my memory. And since my boyfriend's brother is huge on Japan, I think he'd appreciate the hilarity of it
Hand- and machine-sewn out of orange fleece, an orange former-tee-shirt, white jersey and green knit. All the fins are stuffed with polyfil, and the body of the fish and the seaweed are backed with polyester batting. The seaweed and bottom of the sushi are interfaced, and silly me should have interfaced the fish as well.
Waaaay back in March I got this wicked quilter's cotton for my birthday, courtesy of my boyfriend's mom (the pic is really blown out, the second pic is closest to true-colour). She and I are both crafting fanatics, so she actually took me to this uber-expensive place called The Quilt Barn and bought me TWO metres (OMG yes TWO!) of this awesome pheasant and flower fabric. We were there for well over an hour and I had a hard time choosing my birthday gift The fabric is super soft and thick, and I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it.
Just after Easter, I cut and basted BurdaStyle's Marie http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns/marie, but with alterations. Two weeks ago I FINALLY finished my fall pheasant skirt, cuz pheasants are seasonally appropriate, dontcha know The front and the modified waistband are from Marie, but the back is from a pencil skirt pattern from 1992, and I had to cut a good 4 inches off the bottom as well as take it in so that it rested at my ACTUAL waist, not my low-waist. It's also got my second-ever blind hem.
And the whole outfit, for good measure Please pardon the wrinkles, this was taken after I'd been at school all day.
I happen to idolize strong female fictional characters My poor Xena Warrior Princess costume has seen at least 7 Hallowe'ens over the last 13 years I've had it, and I REALLY wanted something cool and unique for this year.
Enter a strong, moral, female warrior from an obscure 80s cartoon:
For those of you who are clueless as to who she is, she's He-Man's sister who was kidnapped and raised by Skeletor, except she turned to good after revelations about her past.
First I made a plan:
Then off to Fabricland! White jersey, yellow polyester with gold feather print, gold broadcloth, batting, interfacing, gold cord, gold sparkle ribbon, and two 2" gems came to about $32 Canadian.
The first thing I made (and screwed up) was the head wings. I was soooo proud, I showed the electrician for my building, the secretary in the shop downstairs, my superintendent I had to remake one of the wings, and the gem was originally silver (had to sandpaper off the backing and paint it red; same with the blue chest gem).
Then I adjusted BurdaStyle's Lydia into a tank top with a pointed front. The applique actually turned out really great and was way easier than I'd feared. The boob wings needed a tack half-way up to keep them from flopping. Notice the awesome feather print?
I made an ovoid "circle" skirt for the bottom half and the belt is velcroed at the front of the dress so that it wouldn't shift around. I'm kinda sad I didn't have time to make bracers or spats. I made-do with butchered sandals tied to my feet with the gold cord.
What do you think, was my hair big enough???
Wish I had better pix, but I'm already half in the bag in those last ones and I wasn't about to take my camera to the bar I'm pretty disappointed that only about 4 people at the bar recognized my character ("No, for the umpteenth time, I'm not Sailor Moon"), so I guess 25 is old??? Which makes me question why 15 year olds are wearing retro 80s t-shirts...