Changes

This upcoming year will be big for me, bigger than 2013.

2013 was big.

I studied abroad, and loved the scenery!

I started this blog when my friends and I decided we were going to SDCC in 2013.

I bought a vintage serger, and while it may not be working at the moment, it’s been a treat to have it around and fiddle.

I started working with leather, which has been fascinating and rewarding.

I started sewing clothing for real. Even though I had made a shirt before, and costumes at work, I had never made something I was completely happy with for myself.

My totals:

6 totally completed costume pieces, sewing-wise

1 still needs beading, but it’s done with the sewing

1 is pretty much unwearable as is, so I’ll likely rework it in the new year

6 garments, including a mini crinoline

2 new leather belts

2 props for costumes

1 completed costume necklace

I’ve got other projects in the works, but these are what is fully completed as of right now.

In 2014, though, many changes will be happening.

I’ll graduate from college with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics and Biology.

I’ll hopefully be going to graduate school.

I’ll need to get an apartment in order to attend graduate school.

REAL LIFE IS COMING

And I’ll be going to SDCC, if all goes as planned.

It may not, which is not a happy thought, but my life has proven time and time again that it doesn’t always go as planned.

In honor of the changes in my life, I changed my blog theme. I wasn’t 100% happy with the old one, and this one even allows for my own banner and multiple pages, so I can lay out my projects all nice.

So my current plans for the year are to finish at least one project per month, with two of the months being a yarn based project.

I really need to finish my crocheted sweater that I’ve been working on for years. I told you that I had also started knitting a sweater. At this point that sweater is a lie. I haven’t even cast on yet. So those would be the two projects.

I still have two complete costumes to start and finish before July. I bought some taffeta for the TARDIS costume, so that’s a bit more fleshed out.

There is also a bit of an issue with my fabric stash. I’m unable to sustain what I have, as it’s eaten my closet.

So I’m instituting a ban on fabric buying, with a back door. If I use ten different fabrics, and completely finish the projects involved, I am allowed to buy two yards of fabric. Any fabric, in any combination, as long as the total amount of yardage is less than two. I know full well that I may break this, but that means I’ll have to use (total yardage/2)*10 fabrics before I can buy more. The counter starts again immediately after fabric buying. This will count out anything that I have begun sewing before the new year, but projects that are cut out, but not sewn may count towards the fabrics. So I already have one project towards this new goal.

One of these days I’m going to organize my at-home fabrics, and when I return to school I will do the same for my school fabrics and give you the stats. It’s going to be terrifying.

I also want to do some more week to week blogging, so that I don’t go weeks without a post because I’ve been too busy to make something. So look out for something regularly popping up!

I have a lot of stuff to work on, but it’s nice to know that you’re right here with me!

Have a great NYE and have a great new year!

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Olives and Skirts

I can say with 100% certainty that I have never told you that I like olives.

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But I do. I really like olives.

My favorite are black olives. As a kid I would eat an entire can, including the juice. Now, I tend to hold off on the juice, at least.

But I definitely like green olives as well. In fact, when I was abroad I couldn’t find black olives, so I ended up eating a lot of green olives.

I know you’re not here to see me ramble about olives though.

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A year ago, or so, I received a bunch of free fabric of varying types from when my friendly costume shop did a stash cleanout.

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I got this lovely olive green mystery knit. I used it, along with a funky textured woven fabric, to make a lovely cardigan, with rounded hems and long sleeves, loosely based on this tutorial: Billy Cardigan. Please enjoy my fuzzy picture of it, from when I did a subtle Donna cosplay.

But I still had a small amount of fabric to use up, and in practice for a stashbusting resolution I’ll be making, I wanted to use it up. I toyed with the idea of a shirt, but the fabric is a bit heavy, so I nixed that. Then I thought about a hoodie, but I didn’t think I had enough fabric to make it long sleeved. The idea at the back of my head sprung up swiftly, and I quickly found the folded mini tutorial.

I’m not one for mini skirts, though. I do have one, in olive green corduroy, actually, but I don’t often wear it.

But I do have need for a warmer winter skirt. So when I read in the tutorial intro that the skirt was warm, I was sold.DSC01290

And then I took a look at the fabric I had. It was a tight squeeze. I had to frankenstein the lining. Three pieces, seamed together. It was too ugly to photograph, but luckily, it never has to be seen! And on top of that, lookee here:

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This is all of the fabric I have left!

My skirt ended up longer, so for me it’s a bit of a pencil skirt. But a nice warm pencil skirt.

I followed the tutorial pretty much exactly, though I did lengthen the measurements a smidgeon. You see, I was forgetting at this point that I am short in stature, and that almost anything will end up longer on me. So I ended up taking a bit off in the end.

The other thing I changed was not fully finishing the waistband. I stretched and stitched the waistband to the inside, but because it’s knit and doesn’t need finishing, I left it open on the outside.  When  I tried it on at this point, I realised that I could make it a high waisted, or a normal waisted skirt this way, to match my mood. It’s snug enough that it’ll stay on without wobbling, so I thought at least for the moment that I would leave it as is.

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It has nothing to do with the fact that I don’t have matching thread or anything.

Post-Holiday Update

I told you last week that I was going to be working on a bunch of projects during my winter break.

How many of you thought I would actually start  any?

Don’t answer that.

I worked on a few of my ready-to-wears, getting them wearable.

DSC01210You see before you a sack of a shirt. But I need a white shirt for interviews and stuff, so I took in the sides and decreased the bulk of the sleeves a bit, and now it’s a bit less sacky, but it’ll look good under a blazer.

DSC01207This one fit well everywhere, except the sleeves. They were just too tight. So I took out some thin elastic, and made catches for the buttons out of that, and now it feels so much nicer.

DSC01212This one wasn’t exactly a ready-to-wear, as I made it up from a Simplicity pattern this summer. I got the awesome fabric from a department store in Germany, and I love it dearly. But the dress was falling apart at the waist, because I had used a stitch that was a bit too large, and the thread snapped in the wash. So I just sewed up the waist, and hopefully I’ll not have to fix it again!

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And I’ve finally finished this corset belt! It’s been a few years in the making, while I was building up skills. I bought cheap flannel from Joann’s to line the belt, and I had been gifted the top fabric, which seemed to be a two layer brocade-type. But I don’t really know my fabric types.

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I had made up this pattern, Butterick 5371 before with vinyl, and I had been surprised just how much it cinched me in. So I wanted to try a fabric version, but I never got around to finishing it. So it was first on my list to work on out of my unfinished projects. Don’t worry, I have more. Plenty more… We’ll get to that later.

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Getting Back on Track

If nothing else, December so far has been busy.

Busy busy busy.

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted a thing since Thanksgiving…

You may not have. That’s good too.

(I’m going to whine for a bit, just to let you know.)

Being a college senior is tough. Can I mention real life is on the horizon?

I’m trying at all costs to avoid such a thing. I’m applying for graduate schools, and hopefully it’ll work out for me.

Please cross your fingers for me.

But my applications are pretty much in, and that makes me terribly happy.

(I’m now done whining, I think.)

I’m back at home, so I’ve brought a number of projects to do while I’m here, to supplement the ones I’ve already got here.

Here’s all the beads I’ve got, since I’ve tasked myself to make my Belle and Claudia beadwork while I’m home. I also brought home other beading projects, but there’s less of a push for those.

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I’ve also got a jacket in the works. Years ago, I got this pattern, along with some dark purple bottomweight from Joann’s, and I think it’s high time to make it up. I’m planning on view F, the vaguely military view. I’ve got this really neat quilting fabric that I’m going to make a lining from, as well as using it for the contrasts. The fabric is pastel – rainbow with gold crackle running around.

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There were a number of ready to wear items that I’m still planning on fixing up, I just didn’t get to them this summer while I was home. Here’s one, a shirt that is just a little too tight around the arms, so I’m thinking of removing the fabric loop and adding an elastic one.

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I had a little war with myself, a few weeks ago, on whether or not to buy the Archer pattern. I told myself that I didn’t need a button up shirt pattern, because I never wear them, especially a long sleeve one. But then I thought, maybe I don’t wear them because I’ve never gotten one that fit. So the second voice one, and I’ve got the pattern cut out. Just need to cut this awesome (and free) fabric, and to sew it all up!

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I keep telling myself to finish up my crochet sweater, so that’s on the roster, as well as a sundress out of lovely pink fabric from my mom, and a ballroom dress, and a corset, and maybe a t-shirt, etc. So lots of stuff. We’ll see how far I get!

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Hope you all have wonderful holidays, if I don’t talk to you before then! It’s quick approaching the new year!

(real life!)

Welcome to the Day of the Doctor!

In honor of the occasion I decided to subtly cosplay Donna!

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Keep in mind I just woke up, and I’m not in any proper mood to take pictures. I was even too lazy to pull up the blinds. But I am dutifully celebrating the occasion, and I can’t wait to see the show!

And of course I put on my good ol’ TARDIS shoes!

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By the way I’ve been doing a good bit of stuff, and have accumulated fabric and I have all sorts of stuff to share, but I currently am letting life get in the way for a bit. Too many projects and stuff due right before finals, and graduate school applications to work on.

But I will catch you up soon!

Defining My Life

So there’s this belt. I finished it last week.

However I was deciding how I wanted to write about it here.

Because, you see, this belt is kind of the story of my life.

Not the life you would see in the papers or in a yearbook, but of my life in hobbies and interests. Some of this is old, some new, some recurring.

It was more of a “things that I can draw and represent me at the same time.” Which I kept running out of.

I only repeated two or three items, the ones I knew would be covered up by the end of the belt. first

So first up are a spool of thread, a broadsword, and a Celtic knot.

You may have gathered from this blog that I know how to sew. I first fell in love with sewing in sixth grade, when I learned how to quilt. I had loved embroidery before, and still enjoy it occasionally, but sewing took hold early on, and I love it.

As a child I loved the fantasy genre. And a lot of my favorites involve really big swords. Not as metaphors, mind you, just for hacking and slashing and play.

I began drawing Celtic knots around seventh grade, after checking a book out of the library on it. I’ve never been able to find that book again, since that first time, but I thank it. These can make the best doodles.

secondThen a notebook and pencil, a gear, and trees and a bolt.

I like to think of myself as an amateur novelist. Lots of people share this title. I also like to think I’m good at it. Maybe one day.

Then comes a gear, which in hindsight kind of looks like a movie reel. So I’ve recently discovered the steampunk trend, though I wish I had found it ahead of the curve. I love the appeal to Victorian times, and the power of steam. I did a project on Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine, which was a fancy mechanical calculator, in the time before calculators, and found it fascinating. In terms of the film reel, I like movies. Not the most, but certainly not the least.

Finally the trees and the bolt. I was in a creative writing group as a kid, and there was this book we used to look to for advice. It was called something like “Asking Why,” but I’m really not sure what it was. You might sense a theme. But one of my fondest memories of this book is that it mentioned that the difference between science fiction and fantasy is nuts and bolts. I thought it was clever, and this is my ode to it.

thirdA bow and a quiver, a badly drawn phone box, and the beginning of seaweed.

So even though the new craze nowadays is archery, I’ve always been fascinated. I think it dates back to yet another book I can’t remember the title of, about a Welsh girl finding out that she is in fact a Welsh princess with a side of magic.

The phone box should be self explanatory. We’re getting close to the fiftieth.

fourthThe seaweed is for my love of the seas. There’s some fish next to the plants, for when I wanted to be a marine biologist.

Then a bow. A hairbow. Or a bowtie. Take your pick. I love them.

fifthNow, there’s a flower. Who doesn’t love flowers?

And now for my majors. I may have told you that I’m a science major. Let me clarify, which may clarify this… I’m a physics major…

sixthand a biology major. So DNA…

Then I drew a swivel knife in honor of my leatherscapades.

And some musical stuff. I’ve been a musician since third grade, and even though I haven’t been playing much recently, I still love it.

seventhA book. I love to read. I find it much more imaginatively stimulating that watching TV and movies.

And a teacup. I love tea. I really should have been born British. Or Irish.

Then the candle.  I like drawing, though I’ve never taken classes. The first time I seriously tried to draw a still life in a non-manga format was a candle. I still have and love this first one.

eighthAnd now we’ve got a sword. Another one, since the first will be covered.

I told you a minute ago that I used to draw in the manga style. I still love drawing the eyes, even if it can be a bit creepy.

Then there is a rough design for one of my favorite necklace patterns.

ninthRemember in grade school when you were required to make Valentines for the entire class? I used to make paper cranes. For at least four years in a row. I started after I read “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.” See, I can remember book titles!

And there is another spool of thread.

And I knew the next bit was going to be mostly covered by the edge tip. So I made some swirls. They turned out rather pretty!

backThat end tip is being held onto the leather entirely by these itsy bitsy screws. Impressive.

fullI hope you liked the peek into my life!