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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / My simple summer wedding dress on: April 16, 2010 06:59:35 PM
It's been a whole eight months since my wedding, but I'm only getting around to posting this now... it's crazy how busy this past year has been!

I got married last august, and I spent a large chunk of last summer procrastinating in the great project of making my own dress. I was literally stitching on buttons on the ride up to my husband's family home up in the mountains of Bonny Doon where the wedding was held! Lucky for me it's a 45 minute drive.  Smiley

As you might guess from my super chic drug-store watch, this was a fairly casual event... if anything with over 200 people could be considered casual.  Roll Eyes The ceremony itself was about ten minutes long, and we had a great local band play -- God of Shamisen! I've been told by a lot of people that it was one of the most fun weddings they had been to, which was the goal!

This is me lookin' squinty right into the sun, with my guy. It's a great look at the neckline of the dress, which is actually two dresses - a plain brown sundress with buttons all down the front, and an ivory eyelet over-dress which wrapped and buttoned on the side. The wonderful necklace, earrings, and ring were custom-made for me as a set by sudlow, http://www.etsy.com/shop/sudlow, on etsy. I'm not wearing the ring here because it was before the ceremony  Tongue

The only full-length shot I have of the dress, during the ceremony. Still lookin' squinty - it was so bright! It's what we get for an outdoor wedding on top of a mountain at the sunniest time of the year. We were so lucky, the weather was bright and clear and you could see clear across the bay to Monterey at the other side. Yes, those are cheap plaid flats from Payless, and I'm completely unashamed.

This isn't a great picture of the back, but you can sort-of see the fact that the eyelet pattern matches perfectly all across the back, even over the princess seams, at the waist - I was so proud that I managed that on the first try! Not an easy task, even for someone with experience!

And finally, after the ceremony I wore the same under-dress with a cream cardigan, and promptly ruptured my ACL bouncing on the trampoline. Tragic! But now I have a wicked scar, and a sweet story, so it wasn't all that bad. Bonus, I still got to play on the rope swing!
2  CLOTHING / Costumes: Discussion and Questions / Sea Critters! Help with children's measurements? on: October 04, 2009 05:34:56 PM
So, I've been commissioned to make some costumes for the local marine lab's museum. Long Marine Lab's Seymour Center here in Santa Cruz is launching a new program next month, and I'm making several backpack style animal costumes for kids to wear and pretend to be marine critters!

The problem is: I don't have access to any children for measurements, so I have no idea how big to make them! I'm trying to size these costumes so they would fit reasonably well on a wide range of sizes, so all the kids at the Seymour Center can play with them. They'll have straps like on a back-pack, as well as adjustable straps on the arms for the wings or flippers or fins.

It would be really, really helpful to me if several of you would like to volunteer some information to help me make these costumes an appropriate size. If you'd like to help, PM me with the questions answered:

Child's age:
Shoulder to shoulder:
Back width:
Arm length:
Neck to waist:
Bicep circumference:
Forearm circumference:
And finally, does your kid have a backpack? Measure the straps at a comfortable length:

Thank you so much to anyone who can help. I'll post pictures as soon as I'm done with this project!
3  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Help! Findings for a crab-claw necklace? on: May 20, 2009 03:44:12 PM
So I have this huge collection of crab claws. Most of them are pretty small, but they range in size from less than 1/8 of an inch to almost 1.5 inches long. I am thinking about making a necklace from the bigger ones, but I am stuck - how do I make findings for them? Most of the claws are a little on the flimsy side, so I don't think just drilling holes in them will work. Does anyone using solder for this kind of thing?

4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Carpe Diem! QFS 2009 (image INTENSE) on: May 04, 2009 04:16:36 PM
At UCSC, one of the colleges has this huge event every year called the Queer Fashion Show. It's more like a variety show than anything else, with dance numbers, skits, student-made videos, stand-up comedy, and of course fashion!

Me and my friend decided that neither of us had time to do a runway show by ourselves, but we both wanted to do something, so we chose a theme we could both run with and split the show up the middle. We settled on basing our show on the Japanese days of the week, Moon Day, Water Day, Fire Day, Wood Day, Gold Day, Ground Day, and Sun Day. Of the seven, I did three, and they were Moon, Wood, and Sun.

Originally there were going to be three designers, each of us doing two and collaborating on the seventh, but he pulled out and we had to scramble to make three more, which kinda sucked. Anyway!

This is Wood Day.

I'm going to start with the one that was definitely the most work-intensive. I couldn't start this one until I had the underlying corset completed, so by the time I was drafting the patterns for this I was completely done with the other two and the show was only two weeks away.  Undecided

The idea was that this outfit would be reminiscent of a giant tree. Rocky, the model, towered over almost everyone else, and that was before I put her into 5" heels! I wasn't really intending for it to look steampunk-y, but between the gear-like buttons and the chains on the headpiece and Rocky's victorian good looks, I think she wouldn't look out of place on an airship at all...

This is the closest I have to a shot of the back. The coat has puffed, two-part sleeves with a giant dart that runs down the bottom piece of the sleeve, which is how I got them to look so fitted. The tails in the back were surprisingly easy to do, and look really really cool in person. There is also a cape-thing on the upper back of the coat that was designed to be buckled down to the back of the coat to match the "vestet" on the sun dress, but I decided that I liked it better flapping free.

I just really like this picture.  Tongue The coat and the skirt are both very asymmetrical. I don't have a dress form, so instead of doing the clever thing and ruffling each piece before applying it to the base skirt, I randomly pleated each piece on, hoping for the best! I drafted all of these pattern pieces by hand, so there was some trial and error in getting everything to work.  Originally I was going to have the ruffles go all the way down to the bottom of the skirt, but I ran out of time. Funny enough I think it looks was better this way! There's a built-in petticoat in under the skirt, and in total there's about 15 yards of cotton broadcloth hanging off her waist.

Here's a shot without the coat, showing the corset that I made. It was the first corset I have ever made, and naturally I decided that my show needed three! I'm not very proud of how it looks, the wrinkles really bother me. Luckily, it really is intended as underwear and NOT outerwear, so it doesn't really matter that it isn't as pretty as it could be. Plus, it is boned with all steel boning, and it does the job! Uncorseted, Rocky's waist is 29". Corseted, it was about 26". In the first fitting she kept asking to see if she could go smaller, and who am I to say no? I love how curvy it made her.

This is the Sun. I am super proud of this one! Like the tree outift, I drafted all of the patterns from scratch, and it fits her really really well. In fact, she's going to wear the velveteen dress (minus the vestet) to my wedding later this year! Technically, this outfit was probably the easiest. I barely had to make any changes going from sloper to pattern, and the only real difference is the square neckline and the gathered insert. The skirt is a full circle, and the heavy velveteen makes it drape really really beautifully.

The gold underbust corset here is by far my favorite piece in the whole show. Because of the upper part, I've been calling it a "vestet" because it is both a vest and a corset. It's made of this dark metallic gold fabric with silver pinstripes, and the binding is made out of the same black velveteen that I made Moon's corset out of. The vest upper is removable and buckles on with buckles I had to order off of the internet. I went to every fabric store within a three hour drive of my house, and it was impossible to find regular old square buckles! Like the other two corsets, this one has all spiral steel boning. The outer layer is really thin, so there are two layers of cotton twill underneath.

I love how this outfit looks from the back. It's laced like a normal overbust corset, with two loops in the middle, and the two bows in the back are really striking. The vestet covers it up, but the back neckline of this dress is also square, and it's really cute.

Bonus supervillain shot! Between the gloves and the black shoes and the red makeup, Ames looks kinda crazy and badass. We were joking the entire show that she was definitely the supervillian to Tony's superhero.

And finally, the Moon. At first this outfit had arm-cuff things made out of the same black velveteen as the corset, and it made Tony look like a monochrome wonderwoman.  Cry I cut the cuffs, because I thought it looked a little too ridiculous. Not that I'm not a fan of silly clothing. I am.

It comes across in the pictures pretty well, but this moon dress is really shiny. We were a little afraid that the lighting techs would want to kill us. The skirt is not one but two full circles, and she can pick up the hem and pull it all the way to her head and still be completely modest. Also, it was the twirliest thing that has ever twirled, and Tony told me that she spent a lot of time practicing so that she could pull of a twirl at the end of the runway without looking silly.

I'm really proud of the diagonal side zipper on this corset. When I started floating my ideas, everybody I asked told me it wouldn't work (and I work in the costume shop for UCSC's theater department, so theoretically they know what they're talking about). I made it work, though, and I think it looks really cool. The belt and the necklace are the only recycled parts of this show - I couldn't find a silver belt that I liked, so I made one out of a scarf I got from Target that I never wore.

Here's the back! I love the boat neck on the silver dress, but it took a lot of messing with to get it right. I kinda wish that I had had another week or two, because I think it would have looked better with more drape in the front. Oh, well. The dress under the corset is in a baby-doll style, with a wide waistband right under the breasts. It's pretty cute, but I think it looks a little better with the more defined waist from the corset.

Finally, the group shot! This shows the whole runway show, including the other designer's stuff.
Front row: Gold (Friday), Water (Tuesday), Moon (Monday)
Back row: Tree (Thursday), Sun (Sunday), Fire (Wednesday), me, the other designer, Ground (Saturday).

Neither of us knew we were gonna be in the picture until the photographer made us get in front of the camera.

I have a tonne more pictures, including some runway shots and some in-progress shots, but I haven't gone through them yet.

Thanks for looking!
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / kids sheets to adorable dino skirt on: February 09, 2009 07:45:11 PM
I found these little kids sheets that were seafoam green and covered in dinosaurs, and I need that they were meant to be a super cute skirt for my coworker. So I bought them, cut them up, and added some dark green ribbon to give to her for a late christmas present.

My coworker in her new skirt:

I didn't know her waist size, so I guessed and gave it an elastic waistband. She loves it! When I gave it to her, the people upstairs heard her shriek.  Wink

Here's a closeup of the super cute dinosaur fabric:

6  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / My very first quilt! NEW: chart on pg 2 on: February 06, 2009 07:33:33 PM
I made this Quilt for my fiance as a birthday present. It was supposed to be a secret project, but we moved in to an apartment half way through, and he figured it out.

Both of us love Pokemon, and I've been playing the video games since they first came out waaaay back in elementary school, more than 10 years ago now! His very favorite pokemon is Pichu, so I made him a Pichu quilt made with many many 1-inch squares. The finished quilt is about 3.5 feet by 4.5 feet.

The design is based off of a sprite from Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire, but with fewer colors because I couldn't find four different yellows that looked good next to eachother. There are a lot of wrinkles and tucks, but it's warm and snuggly! The back is just charcoal grey cotton.

Thanks for looking!
7  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / ZOMBIE wombat plush! on: December 18, 2008 11:29:28 AM
I made this as a commission for a friend, who is going to give it to yet someone else as a christmas present. I experimented with a couple new techniques for bones, I'm not entirely sure the arm was successful... Any, I think this Zombat is super cute. He stares up at you with vacant eyes!

8  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / ZOMBIE rabbit! on: October 05, 2008 01:12:35 PM
I made this a while back, but I wanted to post him in honor of Halloween!

Ezikias is my favorite rabbit I've ever made, by far. I distressed some corduroy with a cheese grater to get the hole in his chest, and layered that over gathered red cotton (for blood and viscera!) and bones made out of stuffed bias tubing. His body was really fun and interesting to make!

We learned how to do several different kinds of swing tacks at work this summer (I work for Shakespeare Santa Cruz) so I had his poor eye dangle on a swing tack. Every time I look at him I just start giggling.

Thanks for looking!
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Aquila Imperialis, Warhammer 40k on: October 05, 2008 11:20:12 AM
I made this last year as an anniversary present for my boyfriend. He's a huge fan of Warhammer 40k, he has 3 or 4 separate armies, so I made him this geeky wall hanging!

It's made of cascade 220, and it's twined. The piece measures about 2ft by 1ft.
10  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Rabbits! on: September 11, 2008 10:41:23 PM
This is my first actual post!

This summer I've been a bit (a lot) obsessed with making these stuffed rabbits. They're so much fun! I've been busting through my fabric stash like crazy.

Lepus is the first rabbit I made. He's a gladiator! I actually made him when I was bored at work (I'm a seamtress for a theater...) and he turned out so cute!

He's got gold tips on his ears, it's hilarious.

The second one is Violetta. She's made of purple chenille and her dress is emerald raw silk. I think she's my favorite of any that I've made.

Here she is!

And lastly there's Jeremiah, who I made out of a defunct pair of jeans. He's the only one who's completely hand-sewn.

He's much smaller than the other two...

Thanks for looking!
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