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21  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Simplicity 8414 - Star Wars Floral Wars Bomber Jacket on: September 20, 2017 01:43:53 PM
I needed an escape from reality and to try and get back into my sewing grove, so I made myself a fun jacket. Now that the weather will be getting cooler, I'll be able to wear this jacket soon. I used fabrics from my stash which include Knitorious Fabrics "Vivid Floral Wars" with the character heads, and the coordinating lightsabers print, black rib knit, black casa crepe back satin, purple cotton sateen, and a wide satin zipper. I have no clue where the purple sateen and the zipper came from, I've had them in my stash forever. I love that the pattern has an included lining as well as pockets. Too many times I've had to draft a lining for jackets because the pattern didn't call for one.

22  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Westworld - Dolores Abernathy and Dr Robert Ford (lots of pics) on: September 15, 2017 08:44:10 AM
I made these costumes for Dragon Con 2017. I fell in love with Dolores's dress from this TV show and then her character. Since I was making myself the dress, my hubby decided he wanted to be Dr. Robert Ford to go with my Dolores. I used all historically based patterns from Truly Victorian and Laughing Moon. The only thing I made my own pattern for, was the chemise and the bum roll. I did some alterations to the bodice pattern though, to make it look more like the TV show. All the trims were either altered or made by me.
It was a fun challenge, as I've only ever done historic patterns once before for my Marie Antoinette. There are SO MANY UNDERLAYERS! You can't just build the skirt and bodice and call it a day. You need the chemise, the corset, the petticoat, and the bum roll all done first! I still want to make knee length bloomers for this as well. Once I got all the underwear constructed, I was able to move onto the skirt and bodice. The skirt and the petticoat are the same exact Truly Victoria pattern (TV261), the corset is TV492, the Bodice is Laughing Moon (LM105). My husband's vest was heavily modified Simplicity pattern... that was missing a whole page of needed pattern pieces from the envelope - so I had to completely draft them myself.
Making of Page: https://imageevent.com/benaequee/costumes/completed/movietvartcostumes/doloresabernathy

For the petticoat, I used the skirt pattern, but made the pleated trim at the bottom. There is a shot of Dolores with her petticoat showing, and it is actually a wide eyelet lace with a ribbon lace accent. I didn't have any more room in my budget for the eyelet lace, so I opted for a pleated ruffle instead. I still had ribbon lace for the accent though, and used that.

For the corset, I opted for hand bound eyelet holes, vs the metal eyelets. I did this for my Marie Antoinette stays, and I loved the look and feel of it so much more. They are not difficult to do, and add a nice finishing touch. They are laced with a 15mm silk satin ribbon in a french blue color.

For the skirt, I flat lined the lightweight linen in a light material of some sort... it was in my stash, I have no clue what it was, but I have like 50 yards of it lol. It was slightly sheer and had a sheen, but it was the perfect weight to be used for this. After sewing the pattern pieces together and pressing the seams open, I used pinking shears to finish the edges. My serger is acting up, so I had to go this route. It's worked perfect in the past on other projects, so I figured I'd do it again. The hem was then hand sewn to the white lining layer, and not into the fashion fabric.

Trimmings! My favorite part! I made these, since I could not find ready that I liked. Her bodice has this white polka dot, baby blue, pleated trim. I could not pre made ribbon that I liked. Everything was giant dots or organza. I ended up buying a cotton dotted print fabric and making a continuous bias loop trim and pleating it myself. I opted for a bias so that I would not need to worry about the edges fraying over time. It makes the dots line up straight instead of staggered, but I was okay with that in the long run. I just pleated it by hand as it was fed through my machine.

The bodice also has a velvet trim, and a guimp braid with light blue and pale gold accents on it. I had to make this, using a 3/8" guimp braid, and guimp cord. It was kind of a pain in the butt, and I may eventually re-do it... maybe. First I sewed on the blue cord, and then the yellow cord. The tricky part was sewing the velvet ribbon, the guimp, and the pleated trim all on a curved edge. I had to run a gather stitch in the very edge of the velvet ribbon and ease it in. It was then pressed and the pleat was sewn to it. The guimp was then sewn over the joining edge of the ribbon and the pleated trim. This was then repeated for the sleeve edges.

The bodice needed to be mocked up first, since the shape of the bodice neckline needed to be deepened, and the sleeves lengthened and a closure added to them. I used my lining material for this and it worked perfectly.

I then got to cut into my good fabric. I took apart my mock up, pressed it, and used it as the pattern for the linen. I hate sewing button holes, as my machine sometimes starts to eat my projects randomly. There was NO WAY I was letting it near this bodice, I'd already spent 3 days on it at this point. I cheated and made the bodice close with hidden hook and eyes, and the buttons were simply sewn on top as a decorative element  Wink

For the belt and pouch, I commissioned a leatherworking friend to make them for me. I just didn't have the time or tools to do this myself, and didn't want to invest in them just for one project. He did an OUTSTANDING job on them! He found the screen accurate patterned leather belt blank from Tandy Leather, and then completely wet formed the pouch for me. It was totally worth it, and I love it to death. I got a ton of compliments on it too Grin I got the buckle off Etsy from a vintage belt from the 60's. It's close enough and has the right petina to it.

Robert Ford is the creator of Westworld and it's "Hosts", such as Dolores. My husband wanted to dress as him. We initially tried to find a waistcoat that was already made, in order to save me 2 days of work on top of my already hectic schedule. We found nothing remotely close to it, and neither of us was happy with a simple tuxedo vest. He wanted it to look like his on the show, which has a weird built in cummerbund and a small welted pocket at the top, as well as rounded notched collar. I usually avoid menswear, but for my hubby, why not? The only caveat was, that he had to go fabric shopping and pick up everything for me. He did an amazing job. He found a waffle weave seersucker, that I fused a black interfacing to, and lined in Kona cotton. The back is Casa crepe back satin from Joann, as he couldn't locate a black duchess satin in the store. The crepe back stuff was slippery, and a bit of a paint to work with.
We bought the Simplicity pattern 2895, which is an old west style costume pattern for men. I looked at the instructions first and read them over, and plotted out how to adjust the pattern to the way I needed it. This is how I always work on patterns. I then got the 3 sheets of pattern tissue out and started cutting out pieces I needed, which were not many, since it's just a waistcoat. I had only 2 pieces cut before I realized a whole page was missing, and they had duplicated another instead  Roll Eyes It was Sunday night, I was in a panic, I had to have this completed in two days. I had no time to get a new pattern envelope (and hope it had all the pieces), so I tweeted at Simplicity directly to see if they had a PDF of it available to email me. They reached out Monday, but did not have something for me. I had to use the pattern diagram as a basis for what the missing pieces should look like and had to do quite a bit of math to scale it up. I luckily had my hubby's tuxedo vest on hand as a basis for what I needed as well. It worked out in the end thankfully, but it added 3 more hours of work that I didn't account for in my schedule. I also had to draft a curved, notched collar for this, since that is what the TV show vest had. You tube tutorials to the rescue!
The buttons on this are self covered, and I had to bite the bullet and use my machine for button holes. It cooperated, mostly, only eating my completed vest twice (panic attacks ensued each time). My husband loves it, and said it was so well finished, he may actually wear it under his tux, somewhere fancy.

I am so proud of this welted pocket and my perfect collar  Grin Cool

23  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Star Wars: Dark Side Damask Dome Purse on: June 11, 2017 07:52:37 PM
I've been crazy busy making a ton of fun new handbags. I wanted to take a quick break to share one of them. This is the Swoon Lola pattern, but I modified it a lot. All that was left of the original pattern was the body shape, and the zippered pocket placket. I was inspired by a Dooney and Bourke bag that I loved. However, I do not have the $400 budget for a mass produced bag. I dug around my fabric and vinyl collection and found what I wanted to use for mine.
I then had to reverse engineer how they made their handles and connector configuration. It wasn't hard, but it was time consuming to put together. I used recycled rings and buckles from an old bag in my closet, that hasn't been used in years. I've never made rolled handles either, so this was a first, and I might be doing them more often on my better bags. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this bag so much. I want to make another soon!

I created the side strap connector pieces, as well as the vinyl accent bits on the bottom.

Patterning out the way the handles connected to the bag through this elaborate strap and buckle system was fun. I was so happy that it came out EXACTLY how I wanted it!

The strap connector pieces wrap around the front to the back. Purse feet will help keep it cleaner.

I took the zippered pocket accent and moved it to the inside of the bag. The original pattern calls for this on the outside front. Obviously I couldn't put it there due to the new handle set up. It looks so luxe on the inside  Cheesy

The slip pocket top is bound in vinyl and riveted on the top corners for extra strength.
24  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Doctor Who: Amy Pond "Curse of the Black Spot" Pirate Pond on: March 22, 2017 06:54:23 PM
I finally got around to making a new Amy Pond costume. Since most of her stuff is usually RTW clothing from eBay, it was nice to sew something for a change.

I started out with Simplicity 4923, which is a Men's Pirate Costume ensemble. I only needed the coat for this. I altered it a lot to suit my needs and to better resemble the screen costume. I changed the shape of the pocket flaps and added pockets underneath (I hate fake pockets, historically accurate or not lol). I changed the cuff to be a split cuff in the back instead of one giant cuff all around. I changed the placement of the buttons on the front of the coat as well. The jacket was also shortened considerably to be as short as it was in the show (at about knee level for the actress). I think I chopped off 7 inches from the hem.

The biggest thing was incorporating a lining into a jacket where there was none. I needed to line this to help give the outer fabric more structure and give a better finishing touch. I really dislike visible raw seams if there doesn't need to be.  To do this, I used the pattern pieces for the outer coat as a guidance for the lining. The jacket is self faced under the front plackets. Using my previous experience with lined jackets, I applied it to this project. The lining is actually a loose lining and is not attached at the hem. A few hidden tacked points inside help keep it in place.

For fabric, I used a "cozy flannel" from Joann fabrics. I have a really bad wool allergy (fun in the winter *sigh*) and could not use a coating wool for my version. The cozy flannel had the drape that I was looking for, and came in a perfect color! I was not looking forward to dying 5 yards of flannel. The lining is a kona cotton in a coordinating lighter grey. The buttons were purchased on Etsy and are a placeholder until I can find the accurate buttons. They were 35 buttons for $5, so I jumped on them right away!

I know it's not sewn, but I also made the sword Cheesy It started as a wooden sword from Amazon (cheap) and I sanded the heck out of it, used steel wool and then painted a primer base. That base was then sanded, and primed again. That was then wet sanded with 600 grit paper for a glass like smooth finish. I used Rustoleum Metallic Finish in a chrome finish. I let it dry, and then wet sanded that to get it to glass like smooth. A final layer of the chrome was applied and I can actually see myself decently in the reflection. It isn't mirror-like, which is great for this prop. It's a pirate sword, it's beaten up and used. The handle was then wrapped in cotton bias tape for a base and then a thin leather strip over it. The pommel was painted gold for now. I would love to lop it off eventually and put a nice brass knob there.

The cut-off mini skirt she wears is hard to find, and so is an alternative apparently. I found a pair of dark wash jeans that I cut apart and turned into her mini skirt. I used a wire brush to fray the hem and the age the fabric a bit. It was fun to distress a garment lol

The hat was a costume hat off Amazon, but it had this unsightly bright gold trim on it. I used a brown acrylic paint and dry brushed it over the bright gold to antique it a bit.

My completed costume

My lining

Sword prior to painting, but after sanding with various grit papers until it was smooth.

The sword after all the stages of sanding and painting, prior to adding the handle wrapping.

The handle. I just made this up as I went and it looked good to me!

Hat trim before...

Hat trim after

Here's a reference image as well, just in case you are not familiar with the character...
25  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Star Trek and Recycled Leather - Swoon Annette on: February 21, 2017 10:57:43 AM
I had an art show at a convention this weekend to submit an item to. Since it was a Star Trek themed con, I went with the obvious choice of Star Trek fabric <3 I'd been dying to make a bag featuring real leather, and this was the perfect time. I had an old jacket that I rescued from being trashed, and used it's leather on this bag. I also accented the side pockets with red piping for a little pop of color, and I chose to go with a red zipper to coordinate with the piping. The bottom has feet, and the lining has a hidden galaxy print in the pocket Cheesy

I also used this handbag as an opportunity for a look at how they are constructed. I've often had family and friends and clients ask how I make a bag, so I figured I'd give a look into what goes on during prep and construction.

26  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / Floral Wars Glittery Star Wars Ballet Flats on: January 29, 2017 07:32:10 PM
I haven't posted a shoe project in a long time! I've been so busy making handbags, I just haven't had the time. I finally took a pair of shoes I bought last year (for another project) and used my new Star Wars Floral Wars fabric on them.  The final sealing layer, I added fine holo glitter to give a little sparkle to this already fabulous fabric Cheesy The fabric is a cotton woven from Knitorious Fabric.

27  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Planning my Day, one at a time! Blue Floral Wars Day Planner on: January 23, 2017 01:06:22 PM
In an attempt to get myself better organized in both my business and personal life, I knew I needed a day planner. I asked friends for advice and looked at planners online.  I did not realize they they could be so expensive, for something so boring looking.  I wanted something that was ME, something I would actually want to whip out and use.  I set out to design my own planner.  
I went to a local thrift shop and found an A6 sized planner (small enough to fit in my purse, but large enough to be useful) for reference.  I then hit up eBay for the hardware.  You can't exactly go to Joann and find binder hardware laying around.  Luckily these were about $2 from China and came with installation hardware. I used the planner I got from the thrift shop as a base for measurements and how I wanted mine to look.  I liked the credit card slots it had, as well as the larger back pocket. I dusted off my math and art skills to draft a pattern.  I used paper as a mock-up, to see how the pattern was working, and tweaked as I went.  I was finally happy with the pattern and traced everything out on to plastic sheets (disposable cutting boards from the Dollar Tree) to use as the pattern.  Since the sheets are see-through, it let me place my pattern piece on top of the fabric and center the design how I wanted.  
For this planner, I opted for my Blue Floral Wars fabric, that I've been preciously hoarding for special projects. I used black glitter vinyl for the tab, and used black cotton piping (Wrights Brand) for the edges. The hardware was easy to apply, using my rivet setting tool from Michael's.
I LOVE pulling this out of my purse and making notes.  It always gets attention, which results in a business card being handed off  Grin So far, it really has been helping me.  I make a list of what I need at Joann's, this way I don't wander around aimlessly and start buying things I don't really need LOL  I can also make notes with due dates for commissions as well as upcoming conventions.

28  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Floral Wars Galaxy Set - Swoon Annette on: January 23, 2017 12:55:41 PM
I was so excited when my Floral Wars fabric from Knitorious Fabrics arrived. There were several colorways to choose from.  I have the light blue already, and just had to have this "Galaxy" one too! I knew, as soon as I got it in, that it was destined to become an Annette handbag for myself.  The fabric pattern is large, but not too large, so it's perfectly sized for the center panels of the bag.  I accented it with black Glitter Mirror Canvas from MiKri World Craft Supply.  There is a black swirly contrast fabric for inside the outer pockets as well.  
For the miniaturized version, I shrunk the pattern to 65% in Adobe.  The zipper was a 12" long zipper for this shrunk down size.  I omitted all pockets and the handles and did not use foam for the structure.  The main fabric and the lining are interfaced with Pellon SF101, and it is plenty sturdy for this small bag.  There is a small piece of stabilizer inside of the bottom for support though.


29  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Star Wars Vintage Bed Sheet Bag - Swoon Blanche on: January 06, 2017 12:11:35 PM
My friend asked me a few months ago if I could make her a purse from her vintage (1977) Star Wars bed sheets.  Seeing as they were all cotton, I had no problem with it.  This is a great way to reuse those old sheets that the elastic has all worn out on and can't really be sheets any more.  The best part is, she let me keep the extra fabric!  I am so going to be making one for myself, with a matching wallet  Grin
I finished this in mid-November, but she just got it last week for her birthday - she LOVED it.  Especially since Leia is prominently displayed on one side, it means even more now with Carrie's passing  Cry

30  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / My Adorable Niece as Ariel the Mermaid on: November 05, 2016 08:45:14 PM
This year I did not make myself something new, well not entirely, but adorable little niece got something instead!  She dug through my fabric stash and found the mermaid scales and the purple fabric and excitedly announced "This is ARIEL fabric! Can I be Ariel for Halloween?".  I was going to make her Snow White at her original request, but she's a girl like her own aunt, constantly enlarging her costume list.  Since she picked out the fabrics from my stash, I couldn't say no.  She'll be 5 in January, soon I can teach her how to sew as well Cheesy 
Now, I couldn't just make a costume, a girl needs accessories too!  I made her a seashell tote bag to gather her Halloween candy in, and a coordinating hair flower with a starfish and Swarovski rhinestones (no plastic stones here, I busted out the good stuff for her!). My sister-in-law picked up a red wig for her to help finish off the look.  I was worried she wouldn't last with the wig, as I know how annoying they can be, and 4 year-olds aren't exactly up to dealing with annoying things for the sake of a costume lol.  She kept it on and loved it! 
I used Simplicity 8098 with some modifications. I turned the shells sideways on the bodice to mimic Ariel's, added a peplum to the bodice waist to hide her belly as she gets taller, and added tulle for the fin instead of fabric.  I had a 40 yard bolt laying around, I used about 2 yards for the fin. I drafted the tote bag pattern myself and made the shell applique on the front from a shiny blue spandex, pellon flex foam, and patience.  I used the applique stitch on my sewing machine to seal the edge of the shell, and then used a straight stitch (along the edge of the app stitch) to sew it to the bag front.

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