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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Venus Love-Me Chain Lady Skater Dress on: April 18, 2015 10:34:25 PM
Hey everyone! I do believe this is the first thing I've ever shared on the clothing board! I'm not much of a seamstress, but I've been getting interested in making clothes a lot more recently. Aside from a skirt I made in college once, I haven't really done much clothing sewing that wasn't something cobbled together for a cosplay. I don't think making clothes is my main passion but I definitely see myself making more fun statement pieces in the future!

I stumbled upon The Lady Skater pattern a few months back and knew that I wanted to make one. I don't wear a lot of dresses, mostly because I can never find ones that 1) I like, and 2) fit my extremely pear-shaped body. Sad But this dress is perfect for me!

Around the same time, I got super motivated to start dabbling in fabric design on Spoonflower. I was (and still am) trying to build up my portfolio of work a bit, and fabric design is something I've always thought would be fun, especially since Spoonflower is such a great resource for DIY. I love nerdy things, and I love making art based on nerdy things, so I wanted to come up with some designs that reference things from anime or video games but without directly taking artwork from them - for one, you're not allowed to upload images that don't belong to you, but also I wanted the artwork to be more subtle, less in-your-face, and also to lend itself more to fabric. One of the first things that came to mind was Sailor Venus's Love-Me-Chain attack from the Sailor Moon anime. For reference, here is a picture:

And here is the design I came up with!

Then, the ultimate idea hit me...what if I made a super adorable dress in this bold fabric? I wanted something cute to wear to the anime convention I go to every May, but didn't want to make a super-involved cosplay. The idea of making a dress out of anime-inspired fabric I designed myself was too good to pass up!

As you can see, the colors in my design are a lot more vibrant than in the printed fabric - this is just the nature of the way the inks are printed onto the cotton fabric. If you're thinking of ordering from Spoonflower, keep this in mind! Polyester fabrics have the best color profile, but I always prefer to wear cotton so that's what I went with.

I made a prototype out of some plain green knit from Joann's before making this one so I could be sure I was comfortable working with knits and wouldn't mess up my precious custom fabric. The experience went really well, although the fit wasn't perfect. Triple stretch stitch is my new best friend, I highly recommend anyone who doesn't have a serger to use that instead of zig-zag (it eats up a lot of thread though). I originally made the dress size 6 on top and size 8 on bottom (uggggggh being pear-shaped!!!), but for the final version I switched to size 5 on top, 7 on bottom, and I also shortened the bodice by an inch and a half. It turned out GREAT, and the waist seam hides my tummy now instead of drawing attention to it. Tongue I kept the sleeves size 6, but I guess my mind thinks my arms are way bigger than they really are because they turned out baggy, but I think it looks fine. I'm definitely learning a lot about pattern sizing!

I think I'm Lady Skater-ed out for the moment, but I'm still super inspired to make more cute nerdy clothes. I'm on a mission to work out the perfect t-shirt design, so once that happens I'm sure I'll be back to share more things with you. Smiley
2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Nerdy Merit Badges, Pt 2 on: April 18, 2015 09:48:11 PM
I've been making tons more of these patches lately! Here are some of my favorites.

3  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Sunset Yarn (pic heavy) on: January 04, 2015 06:19:10 PM
Hello friends! Nobody has posted here in a long time and that makes me sad. Sad SIX YEARS ago, (wow!!!) Fiber Friday inspired me to start spinning, something that has become such an important part of my life! I seriously can't imagine what my life would be like if I didn't have this awesome skill. So the thought of the community here dwindling makes me sad. Seeing as I've recently been re-inspired to start spinning again after a looooong hiatus, I figured I would share a yarn that I really enjoyed spinning recently.

I took lots of pictures so I could have a start-to-finish photoset for my blog. I'm sure this isn't anything too exciting process-wise for you all, but I'll post them all anyway for the "yarn-porn" factor. Wink The fiber is from Three Waters Farm which sells locally where I live. Yay local!

I'm a bit out of practice so this came out a little sloppy...but it knit up really nicely so that's all that matters! I spun it pretty low twist (so much so that it broke in a few spots while plying...oops...) so it's super fuzzy and soft. The colorway worked out magnificently for a Grey Gardens.
4  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Green and Brown Hexie Mug Rug on: November 12, 2014 08:28:33 PM
My sewing machine had a bit of an accident a few weeks ago (it fell off a fold-up table that collapsed under its own weight...yeah I know, OUCH right?) so while it was in the shop getting fixed I figured it would be the perfect time finally start making some hexies! These were all made with scrap fabric I already had on hand (most of it I also used for my Totoro mug rug). Once I got my machine back, I did the quilting and the binding!

Doing the hexies was time consuming but satisfying. I'll probably work on another project with them once I build up a bigger scrap stash!

Thanks for looking! Smiley
5  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / My Neighbor Totoro Mug Rug on: October 27, 2014 07:34:03 AM
I recently completed this mug rug for roler in the Mug Rug Swap round 6. This was my first ever piece of quilting (and applique, for that matter)! I've always been interested in quilting but didn't want to have to make an entire blanket just to try it out, so discovering mug rugs was the perfect solution. I definitely see myself making a lot more of these!

I attached all my cut-out fabric pieces with fusible web and appliqued around the edges, then I went back and added hand-embroidered details, especially on the leaves as I didn't sew around those edges with my machine and I wanted to add some extra security. (Pro tip: If you haven't already figured this out for yourself, embroidering through several layers of fabric with fusible web in between is a total pain. x_x) The quilting is just sort of free-form where I could find space for it in the background. The binding is attached by machine to the front side but I hand-stitched the back as I'm not super confident in sewing perfectly straight lines and I didn't want it to end up looking messy.

All-in-all, I'm super pleased with my first attempt at quilting! I was really unsure about how the applique would turn out; I was kind of afraid that it would look bad just by nature of it being my first time trying, but I really surprised myself once all was said and done. And there's just something so satisfying about sewing through batting and getting those nice plush lines, mmmmm. I'll definitely be back!
6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Adjustable Paperback Manga Cover on: October 08, 2014 08:26:08 PM
I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to visit Japan this summer, which, being the shameless anime nerd that I am, is something I have dreamed about for many years. I got to see and do lots of things I'd always wanted to do, like get my picture taken in those photobooths where you get to draw on your pictures, eat some top-notch, honest-to-goodness ramen, and get my hands on some of those wonderful Japanese knitting/sewing books. One thing I noticed while I was there, travelling around a lot on the train, is that many people read books on their commute (makes sense), and a lot of people use book covers - whether to protect the volumes from damage, hide what they are reading, or just have that extra level of personalization. While there I developed a little bit of an obsession with procuring the perfect book cover for some of the manga that I own. I didn't really need one, but the book/journal/stationary nerd in me just HAD to have something cute like that (I'm sure many of you understand)! I looked high and low for the perfect one that fit my style and wasn't too expensive, but I had a lot of trouble. I ended up buying one that I thought was juuuust right, just to get it back to my hotel room and see that it was just a little bit too small; it was meant for a paperback novel, not a manga volume, and I had misjudged the size since they are very similar. In the end I never found the perfect cover! It was disappointing, but not a total loss since I do own one book the cover would fit.

Fast forward to now, I've been trying to come up with ideas for things I can make relatively easily that would also be appealing and useful that I can sell at my local anime convention next year. Finally, the perfect thing hit me: manga covers! Standard English-language manga editions are 5x7.5 inches which is different from most other common sizes for paperbacks in North America, and while book covers aren't really a big thing over here (that I've noticed), if I know anything about my audience (people like me), it's that they love cute pretty things even if they're only sort-of useful. It's one of those things that you don't think/know you need until you see that it exists. At least that's the angle I'm going for, lol.

This took me quite a few tries to get right, as I was determined to figure it out for myself and not use a tutorial (didn't even look to see if they exist, which I'm sure they do somewhere, but I wanted to make the pattern on my own since I'll be selling these eventually). Originally I was going to just get one long piece and hem all the edges before folding the two sides over to make pockets for the front and back cover, but the hemming part proved very finicky and despite two attempts and what I thought were the correct measurements, I kept messing up and it never fit. I scrapped my original plan and ended up going for an adjustable version so it would fit a variety of thicknesses, and made it lined so I wouldn't have to mess around with those pesky hems. After making a quick prototype to see if the concept worked any better (it did!), I made some final measurement adjustments and decided to go all in on the final version, which is what you see here! Let me tell you, after all that I went through (definitely had a bit of a meltdown after the first attempt bombed so badly), slipping this one on and having it fit perfectly was the best feeling. The pattern I developed is also awesome because 18" is the perfect length, which means I can get the most out of all those fat quarters I love to hoard...;P

This was probably my first major hurdle as still somewhat of a sewing newb, despite having a fair number or projects under my belt. I've made lots of lined zippered pouches and several costumes but this felt like...the first of many final exams, where I really got to prove myself and what I've learned. I'm very proud of myself, and I look forward to making lots more of these and expanding on the design techniques!
7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Hand Stitched Cute & Nerdy "Merit Badges" on: September 07, 2014 09:11:32 PM
I've always loved merit badges...I never actually earned any when I was in Girl Scouts (most of the requirements were way too long and involved for my 10-year-old self) but they always appealed to me because I like collecting cute little things. Why I like ATCs so much, I guess. ^_^

I've been working really hard over the past couple of weeks making these! I'm doing all sorts of cute little pictures and icons, but of course I have a large focus on nerdy things.

Picture 1 (L-R): Mushroom, 20-sided die, Sailor Moon crescent, rainbow, bi pride flag, Rarity cutie mark
Picture 2 (L-R): Mario 1-up mushroom, Mario Super Star, Sailor Venus symbol, glasses, fried egg (yum!), Sailor Mars Symbol

I have lots more ideas (but I'm always welcoming more!) so I'm going to keep churning these out as much as I can until I have to apply for my local con's Artist Alley in January. Prepping for shows is hard work! I'm not sure how people do it. But I'm gonna work hard so I can finally live my dreams! Yeahhh!! ^_^
8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Moon Crystal Power, MAKE UP! on: July 27, 2014 09:32:17 PM
HEY Y'ALL. Wow, I have been gone from Craftster for such a long time! Life has changed so much for me since the last time I was active here. Back then I was a floundering college junior, now I'm a full fledged adult with a job. A CRAFTY JOB, no less (I work in a bead store) !!! The past few years I've really been missing the close-knit interactive online communities I was involved with way back when. I got sucked into Tumblr which has honestly been kind of a drag lately, but I can't let myself quit until I have somewhere else to make my home. What better place than with all you lovelies?

SO for my triumphant return to Craftster, I present you with this piece. I'm really not an embroiderer, like at all, but out of nowhere I got this sudden urge to stitch something. This isn't exactly my first time doing this, but it's probably my first completed piece in...15 years?

I'm a big Sailor Moon fan, and what with the new anime airing right now, I've seriously got it on the brain! Sailor Moon has honestly been one of the biggest creative inspirations for me over the years. No matter how old I get, every time I go back to it, it just makes me want to create things. ^^;

To make this, first I found the image of her transformation brooch (the one from the second season of the anime). I actually brought it up on my Cintiq screen and, laying my hoop over top of it, traced it directly onto my fabric with marker. Not easy. Not recommended. But I don't have a printer or lightbox or anything so it was the best I could do. xD I tried using pencil at first but that was too hard. Marker worked great, and it honestly didn't matter what it looked like since I knew I was going to cover everything up with stitches.

After that, I outlined everything with split stitch. The yellow I filled in with satin stitch, and the pink is also split stitch. I originally tried to do the pink in satin stitch, but as many of you probably know satin stitch can get a bit messy and unwieldy...plus I didn't like the movement of the lines. I wanted them to follow the curves of the design, so split stitch ended up working out best. I really love the way it turned out; great texture, great flow of the lines, but also a very neat and uniform look. Smiley The little colored circles are done in I guess some kind of circular/spiral stem stitch...IDK if there's a real name for that. xD

You also might notice that on the thin yellow border I attempted to do some shading (you'd probably notice it better if this wasn't a fancy instagram pic, my bad xD). I used 5 different colors and a kind of hatching technique to blend them together. I wanted to try shading on the rest of it but it ended up looking kind of strange when I tried, so I left it out. I'm honestly not sure if I should go back and try to add any in - I like the way it looks now and don't want to mess it up, but I think it looks kind of funny with shading only on the border and nowhere else! Oh well, perhaps I'll make up my mind when I get around to figuring out what I want to do with this!

Thanks for looking, and I'm glad to be back. Smiley
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Clara Plushie - Kuragehime/Jellyfish Princess on: May 31, 2011 08:09:27 AM
I went to a local Anime convention this past weekend, which was my first time going and was super fun! This past semester my university's Anime club watched Kuragehime (Jellyfish Princess) and I decided for the con I could put together a really simple Tsukimi cosplay. All she wears is a dark grey sweatsuit, but to be distinguished as a character of course I needed to make myself a plushie of Clara, her pet jellyfish!

Originally I was going to sew it, but I decided I was much more comfortable knitting it, which would have the added bonus of it being more unique than anybody else who might be doing the same costume.

I didn't want a perfect sphere shape for the body, but more of a flattened sphere, so for the body I modified the Monster Chunks pattern. The tentacles are tubes that I started briefly increasing and then decreasing again at the end to get the bulbous tips. The ruffle is just a simple k3tog lettuce ruffle. I was going to try to embroider all the details on, but that proved far too difficult and not detailed/accurate enough. So I glued everything on! I plan to make more of these to sell next year, so by then I will have used a more professional technique than just plain Elmer's!

Here is me in my costume, plus friends who were doing cosplay from Kuragehime too:

As I said, I hope to have a table at Artists' Alley next year and be selling these among other things. I had SO many random people come up to me and tell me that I should, so I figured why not?
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Cute Anime Boxers on: February 13, 2011 05:44:24 PM
Ever since my boyfriend and I started dating, I thought it would be super fun to get him some cute/interesting boxers. There are a lot of fun prints of boxers out there...but I couldn't really find anything that I thought fit him (we're both into anime/manga, but the closest thing I could find were like, marvel superhero undies and whatnot. not exactly his thing).

So I thought I should sew some for him myself! Took me a while to find a fabric that I liked that was cute and fun but at the same time not too emasculating, lol xD Got this off ebay:

And sewn up!

I used this pattern/tutorial to make them. It was pretty easy and I'd love to make some for myself next time!

I made these for Valentine's Day so I still have to give them to him and see if they fit correctly. I mentioned getting him cute boxers before, and yesterday I blatantly measured his waist and asked him where on his waist he'd prefer to wear boxers...and yet he says he can't possibly think what it is I'm making for him! Apparently the obvious choice is too obvious? Tongue hehe
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