5 Goals for 2015

It’s been a fun week for me, and I hope not an annoying one for you, with my multitude of posts!

But I have thought long and hard about these goals, since my year may prove to be crazy, with another possible move, the beginning of research for my master’s degree, and more.

So here we go!

1. Make more pieces for subtle cosplay that would work in my daily life.

For instance, I just finished up my Hatter Archer shirt, which I’ll be posting soon. I also have plans to make a jacket from Stargate Atlantis’ later years, though that may take longer. But really, I love wearing any clothing I’ve made, but especially when I feel like I’m getting away with something. Like wearing something made to resemble a character or character’s outfit, without it being outlandish, in regular life with people who have no idea that it means something. Is that weird?

2. Make at least three quilts this year.

I got my sewing start with quilting, and all throughout middle and high school I made a lot of quilts, probably around 50. I fell off the bandwagon in college, when I didn’t bring my sewing machine, but recently I’ve caught the bug again. I’ve got two kits, which should provide me with some quick works, and I’ve got enough fabric to make most of another, but that one will take some real imagination on my part. So I’d like to make more, if possible, but I’ll stick with my goal of three.

3. Make mostly from stash.

Limitations often bug me, especially when it comes to my stash, but I think its time. Last year it didn’t work out, which may have been because I had two stashes, my home stash and my college stash, and I always left the fabric I wanted in the wrong place. But now I think it would be prudent to pare down when possible. So I’m thinking for every two finished projects from the stash, I can allow myself one fabric for a new one. This is going to count projects that are still on my in progress pile (as well as my new Archer, because I can), but not reworking of old projects.

4. Try to use my serger more, as well as my other more specialized crafting.

I have this wondrous serger that is only sometimes broken, but I rarely use it because it seriously sounds like a train. So I’ve been restricting it to use only when my roommates aren’t home, and pretty much only daylight hours. But I rarely get inspired during that time, so I don’t pull out these tools often. Same with my leatherworking tools, which I’d also like to use more.

5. Emphasize materials and fit.

When I do buy fabric, I want it to be at least pretty good quality. I started doing that for my yarn projects this summer, and now I use the socks and cowl all the time. Maybe that’ll help in sewing too. And when I make a garment, I want to know that it fits, so after the first (real, not blog pic) wearing, I’ll decide whether to fix or to leave each project, or donate if its horrible. That should help with my meh feelings on some of my me mades.

Well, it has been a lovely week, and a nice roundup for me.

I’ll be back next week to start running through my list of finished but not blogged projects. I also will have a series of posts related to my TARDIS costume, and hopefully some more subtle cosplay stuff showing up!

See you next week!

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Top 5 Reflections of 2014

Happy New Year! Cue the confetti!

Reflecting on last year seems appropriate, no?

(And I’m really glad that the goals are for tomorrow, because I still haven’t thought about it!)

1. I’m happier with the finished product when I love the fabric.

Some discount fabric stores draw me in with low prices that make me buy things I think I want (like a cute pattern in a polyester) , until I make something with it. Like with my Peanut Butter Cup Nettie, I thought the fabric was great, even though it was most certainly polyester and cheap feeling, but when I went to wear the bodysuit it was sticky and got smelly too soon, and in general just isn’t comfy.

2. Others’ generosity is why I have a fantastic stash.

Over half of my stash is gifted fabric. Whether its destash from my boss, or free lace that my mom stumbled upon when a home-ec program was dissolved, or bags of fabric from freecycle-type websites, I’m lucky to have had such great sources of fabric. My notions stash is predominately vintage, and (not that I like my family getting too old to sew) most of the growth of it is from family destashing, or neighbors of family destashing, etc.

3. I like solid colors. I prefer solid colors. Solid colors are my thing.

Patterns tend not to get worn. I’ve got some RTW stripey sweaters, and a few dresses that have tiny patterns. I just noticed that three of my misses involved larger patterns. Now, I’ve got plenty of fabric with patterns, and I have no intention of not making them up when the need arrives, but if I’m going for clothes that I’ll wear again and again, it should be solid. But I love textures in my fabric. Lace, velvet, textured knits, those are fantastic for me.

4. Because I like solids, patterns should have “interesting design lines” or be suitably complicated, or exactly what I need before I’ll want/buy it.

For instance, the Hudson pants (which I’ll be posting on soon)… lounge pants with pockets? Sold! Or the Bronte top, which I had been wishing for and finally bought through a Perfect Pattern Parcel. That neckline! Or the Dandelion Dress and the Yellowtail Camisole from Seamster. Perfection! Actually, all of these I’ll be posting

5. A good balance of costuming and real life clothes is best, especially until I actually attend a con.

I started this blog and my journey in sewing clothes through costumes, but in order to keep my inspiration and sanity, a good mix of costuming is key. It helps with procrastinations. You know, when you procrastinate on one thing by working on another? Cleaning is always an option, but other projects are ideal.

Looking over this list, I think I’ve had plenty of soul searching this year, which often comes hand in hand with big life changes, but I like what I’ve learned, and I’m looking forward to incorporating it into my practices!

Top 5 Highlights of 2014

Ah highlights. A good post for New Year’s Eve!

1. I graduated college!

It was nice to finally reach the end of my undergraduate career. Even if April was brutal, it allowed for a fantastic May!

2. I got into graduate school, and have now completed my first semester!

Pretty much forever I’ve wanted to be a scientist, and now I’m well on my way to reaching my dreams. And its warmer here than my undergraduate college. I think I chose well!

3. Moved into my first apartment!

This goes hand in hand with grad school, but after living at a completely residential college for my 4 years there, its nice to be able to light candles, and nearly burn things in the kitchen (and then catch them before its too late), and hang pictures on the walls without fear of campus safety or residential life, respectively.

4. I knitted my first successful socks!

Years and years have passed since I’ve started knitting, but I never got around to socks, until this year!

5. I haven’t bought new clothing since January!

Now, this isn’t counting thrift store shopping, since I have bought some used jeans. The last new thing I bought was some jeans off of Groupon that didn’t exactly fit, but I needed them when I couldn’t exactly thrift or make last semester. Now that I’ve thrifted some more jeans, I’ll be removing these ill-fitted jeans from my wardrobe, and then its like it never happened, right? Maybe not, but at least I know I won’t be needing to buy more anytime soon!

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Top 5 Misses of 2014

So here’s my top 5 misses. And in reality, for sewing at least, it looks like there’s only 5! Pretty sweet, in my mind!

Front

1. Meshy mesh shirt

In reality, I don’t know what I was thinking. I don’t wear t-shirts like this and mesh shirts aren’t my thing. Maybe it’ll work as a beach thing (and leave some weird tan lines), but I’m not sure of anything at this point.

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2. Hybrid top

I thought this was going to be awesome, and part of the downfall was that it was my first time sewing knits, but it’s relegated to the Fix Me pile.

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3. Gold skirt

Major panty lines. And stomach bulge. Not bad for a stay at home skirt though, for doing home tasks and maybe taking out the trash. Especially in the heat of summer when all I want to do is die.

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4. Peanut butter cup bodysuit

It was such a nice make, a slinky bodysuit for wearing with all my skirts. Except it doesn’t match any of my skirts. And it’s not comfy. It sticks to my belly too much. But it’ll hang around for at least a little. Maybe it’ll be better in spring?

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5. Sorbetto

Not the worst thing I’ve ever made, but it does require ironing. Every single time it comes out of the laundry. I’m not very big on ironing. So I’ve only worn it once after the initial wear and fix. Since I still haven’t ironed it.

The two misses I’ve made otherwise are my 3 year sweater, and my burgundy bliss shrug. Haven’t managed to wear them since posting. The 3 year sweater may be fixable, but we’ll see.

See you tomorrow!

Top 5 Hits of 2014

Why hello there! Remember me?

It’s been over a month now, but finals and schoolwork got in the way. I did make some stuff, but that will be relegated to the new year.

But I’m back for the reflection on the 2014 year. I’ll be posting each of the sewing top 5 this week, one day at a time.

So first up: Hits!

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1. My graduation dress!

Now, I’ve only worn this once, and I have a feeling I won’t be wearing it much more but it was a fantastic learning experience and it was nice to know I was wearing me made during May, even on such a big day. As a plus, my mom and my grandmother loved it!

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2. Jersey black dress

This simple staple is one of the most comfy things I own. Seriously. Perhaps one of the most comfy things I’ve ever owned. So much comfy. It doesn’t try to be things it isn’t, and it doesn’t ever fly up in the wind, and I don’t feel especially dressy when wearing it, but it feels at least a bit dressy. Maybe that’s a reason to make another!

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3. Grey circle skirt

My first full circle skirt, made out of suiting fabric no less, and I wear it all the time. Sometimes I go looking for it and realize its in the wash. Because I’ve worn it twice since the last time it got washed.

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4. Knapsack

I didn’t spend much time on the post for this, but that was partly since I had already been using it for a few weeks. In reality, I designed it one day during class (oops!), and I went home and made it that weekend. I had planned for it to be a “wearable” muslin, to make it out of a paisley fabric later, but then I never wanted to pull it apart.

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5. Comfy tee

Like the circle skirt, I’m continually looking to wear this. I’m embarrassed to admit, one day I wanted to wear it, and then I realized that not only had I worn it the day before, but also that I couldn’t find it since I was still wearing it.  That was most certainly a fun day.

Honorable mention goes to my knitted socks. I love them so much, but I can only wear them for a day or two between washes before they stretch out.

Secondary honorable mention to my rainforest purse. I use it weekly, and its also a great day trip bag since it both holds so much and rarely looks full.

So that wraps up my top 5 hits! See you tomorrow for the misses!

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!