Compression Coil

My backup costume is pretty much done!



I figured I’d get the backup costume done as quickly as I could, but realistically this has been mulling around in my brain for awhile.

The flightsuit/jumpsuit got to me in April, I think. Maybe March, but a long time ago. I actually went to my local surplus/costume/knick-knack store, and the owner sized me up and said that I would probably fit well in the child’s extra large. Which worked out nearly perfectly!

Realistically though, when I found the adult flightsuits at the back of the store they were as tall as I was. So the child’s size made sense.

It’s a lightweight poly-cotton, and straight from the package it fit well in the shoulders, and the chest, etc. Even the length from the crotch to the hem was good. The problem was the four inches of extra torso length. Four inches!


It did take me three or four months to actually fix this. And to be perfectly honest, I might have gone a little too far, but it looks great when I’m standing. And I can deal with it pulling a bit when sitting. There aren’t sleeves to deal with after all.


The patches are wonderful! I got them from Ebay, and here’s the teddy bear, and the heart/flower combo. You can get the combo of all three here…

I sewed them on using a normal back stitch, but around the teddy bear I also added some fake blanket stitching. Then I took a normal marker to draw on some Chinese characters. Luck and love, if I remember correctly…


I made the top using the Nettie pattern from Closet Case Files, like I do all my t-shirts, and this weird stretchy fabric. It’s rather plastic-y even for polyester… But it is very Kaylee!

The sandals are not nearly the same as Kaylee’s but I did make them! There will be more on those later this week though.

Add in some pigtail buns and my parasol, and it makes a pretty smashing Kaylee!



Work Space Wednesday – 1

Hey there!

I’m starting a new “series” here, all about progress shots. AKA I don’t really instagram, so why not post them on my actual blog? So on some/hopefully most Wednesdays I’ll be posting what’s in my work space!

These posts will probably have minimal words, just enough to explain what I’m doing (if necessary)!

kaylee nettie
Nettie for my Kaylee costume
skirt trim
Trim on my TARDIS Skirt
Sock: Self “drafted” pattern
Woodworking: Claudia’s Mini Tesla, and a lobby thing that may become a “strawberry” for Kaylee
wrap skirt
Cotton linen blend destined to be a wrap skirt

Big Dragon Shaped News!

I teased this a few weeks, maybe months, ago, that I have very big news to share! It’s grown, and I’ve got some additional news as well!

So let’s start with the newest of news, and then work backwards, since I want to keep building up to the biggest stuff!

back featureAbout a week ago, I found out that I won an Indie Pattern Month prize on The Monthly Stitch for the Hack It competition! I was able to pick a few lovely patterns, which I’ll be sharing with you when they get to me! (Although realistically I probably will forget to share and you’ll find out once I make the actual garments). Congrats to all the other winners for all the challenges!

A few weeks before that I signed up for a sewing dare from Gillian at Crafting A Rainbow… I’m telling you guys this so I stay accountable. Since I’m pretty sure I haven’t yet made anything toward this dare yet. Soon though. Next week I’ll get back from my last summer trip and will have plenty of time to “to sew a head-to-toe Closet Case Files outfit!” Realistically I’m going to make a Nettie top and a Ginger bottom, but which of my planned Ginger’s (flared and a boot/skinny version), and sleeveless or sleeved Nettie? Decisions, decisions.

Okay, have we had enough build up yet?


Because guys, I’m going to DragonCon!!!

To those who follow my blog for the sewing, not costumes, this may be the biggest comic/fantasy/TV/movie/[insert geeky thing here] convention on the East Coast of the US. And I’m going with the same friends that I was planning on going to San Diego Comic Con with two years ago. That’s right, it’s been two years and we’ve finally got our schedules correct and we’re all on the right side of the country!

We’ve got two group costumes planned out, and then we’ll be doing our own thing the other two days (costumes-wise at least!).

My costumes going with me that are already (mostly) complete are Susan from Prince Caspian, and the TARDIS. I say mostly because I’ve been adding trim to the skirt of the TARDIS, and I’m considering an alternate top because it’ll be Georgia in the summer. And therefore hot. And now that I’m thinking about it, I might have a Clara Oswald to go with the TARDIS. Wrong TARDIS, but hey, that’s okay!


One of the costumes I have to make in the next month and a half are Nausicaä from Miyazaki’s Nausicaä in the Valley of the Wind for a Miyazaki group. I haven’t decided if I’m going to do her early outfit or her end of movie outfit. Both of them are blue, so I’ve started gathering fabric, but I need to design soon!


For a Disney group, I’m also going to be making a Little Mermaid Ariel Day Dress. I’ll either be making a normal skirt, for which I’d need to get fabric, or culottes, in which case I might have some. I’ve got two options for the top as well, based on how well my corset patterning for my insane Cinderella project goes. I can either make a corset and wovenblouse to go with it, or I can make my Nettie hack corset top. Because easiness and knit are great things, and corsets and potentially driving home don’t really appeal to me. But the one I made before is from a lovely drapey knit. That has also been inconveniently becoming more translucent with every wash.

kaylee coveralllink

I’m also making a Kaylee costume as a backup for if it’s two wet or mucky for the TARDIS or Susan. I’ve had the jumpsuit for a few months now. I didn’t realize how comfy they were, but they’re great. I just need to alter it a smidge, and then find and add patches and make a Kaylee shirt. So a little more direction and a little less wiggle room. Because I really need it as backup. And maybe I’ll make a purse out of some cheap turquoise brocade. To pull it all together.

So that’s my news! I’ll be updating soon, once I get my sewjo back in swing. Last week was a hard week with all the tragedies around the US, and after a long 4th of July weekend spent with my friends sewing, I got a bit burnt. So hopefully writing this post will kick my butt into high gear!

Because I’m going to an insanely awesome con with my two bestest friends, and it’s going to be lovely, and awesome, and I’m going to stop before I ramble for another paragraph.



This project took me forever.

I was looking up when I ordered the parasol in the first place. It was the end of September. That was a long time ago, wasn’t it?

This is basically the same one I got, which is the perfect size in every way, except it doesn’t fit well on my desk… So painting it sometimes got touchy.

Now, I then didn’t start painting until the first of our snowstorms. Because what else was I to do? So that was February…

I also have nearly no in progress shots, because I worked on it mainly at night, or when it was raining/snowing, neither of which provide enough natural light to take nice pictures. I do have this one though.


For paints, I used the cheap acrylic for all of them. I’m talking the 50 cent paints at Walmart. Maybe they’re a dollar, but either way, very inexpensive.

This might be why I needed nearly three coats to get the green to look solid, not streaky. The yellow and red didn’t have that problem, but the green and I were not getting along.


But the funny thing is, a few days after some snow melted, and we were back in classes, the power went out at home. I’m pretty sure that’s why I woke up before my alarm. Since it may have been three hours till it came back on,  as expected by the power company, I decided to pack up the project and take it into work.

In my defense, I’m still basically only taking classes. This first year of grad school is basically undergrad part 2. So when I don’t have a class until 12, am I going to do work in the morning? Or rather, on a Friday, with no homework due in that class, what am I supposed to do in the early morning?

So I finished it up, and during my mass photography escapade (where I also photographed my shawl, and a yellowtail cami that’s upcoming, and maybe something else too), I got some nice pics.

And there you have it! A lovely parasol in a Kaylee style. Yes, I did wait for the entire post before I mentioned Firefly. Can you notice my restraint?


Because I’ve been squealing internally ever since it was finished.

Everything’s shiny, Cap’n!


I love my captain!


And my new Kaylee inspired dress!

Both The Patchwork Pirate and Dianne from Dianne’s Costumes and Research have wonderful recreations of Kaylee’s Prairie Harpy dress.

Dianne had found this fabric from Fabric Tales that matches the original very nearly.

But I don’t have that fabric, or the money to obtain it at the steep price.


I do, however, have this fabric! Not perfect, but I think Kaylee would have definitely worn this fabric if she had the chance. It’s playful and colorful enough. Or maybe that’s just me.

And I have a lot of it. It being the same fabric I used for my culottes. And I have some left over still.

It also wrinkles all over the place. It’ll crease just by lightly folding, even without ironing or pressing it.

I draped the bodice on a borrowed dress form, though it seems I’m a bit chestier than then form is.

At that point I didn’t care much about the direction of the grain of the fabric, since I was using scraps for all of it.

Aren’t scraps lovely?


So then I let it sit around awhile as I was thinking on a skirt plan. Or rather, while I was doing that homework and classes thing…

I lined it in the meantime, which brought about it’s own challenges, but worked out well in the end.

And then I got to work on the skirt. I knew it needed to be at least a little bit full, and I knew that my dress needed to be lined.

In the end I cut out a few rectangles and sewed it all up.

And then it was too tight. Pencil skirt tight.

So I unpicked all of that and added another identically sized rectangle, which brought the fullness I had wanted.

Sewed the waistband to the bodice, and tried it on.

At this point I realized that the bodice was big around my actual waist, in order to get it over my head.

Looking at the inspiration photos of Jewel Staite as Kaylee, I saw that she had an attached belt. So I set about making some belt-like strips. I didn’t want to make one that would actually tie around me, as I often find them uncomfortable, so I had them attach with hooks and eyes.


And finally success!


It matches really well with the jacket I made for my Halloween costume, since the blue is mirrored in the dress fabric.

So all in all, a happy Halloween!back

Ever sail in a Firefly


So I’ve been hard at work on my Halloween costume.

I’ve told you that I was planning on making a version of Kaylee’s dress from Out of Gas, one of my favorite episodes in Firefly. It also shows up in the The Message.

And I have! I promise! However, I haven’t exactly taken pictures in it yet. The post is upcoming, I promise!

I had decided while I was working on the dress that I should be Kaylee for Halloween! length

Halloween where I live, though, is quite cold, so I always build in temperature ready ideas into my costume.

So I decided that my next project was going to be Kaylee’s blue oriental jacket.

Because I could.

I ordered my brocade from ebay, and it turned out to be exactly what I was hoping for. (I’ve had mixed results with finding fabric on ebay).


I made a muslin, which I had to hack up and maneuver to get it to fit. I had started with my bodice block, since I knew it was rather fitting, but I took out a bunch of the shaping on the bottom. The jacket in the show is oversized and shapeless, so I didn’t feel bad about taking some liberties.

I cut out the fabric, and had just enough to do so. Unfortunately, I couldn’t pattern match as much as I wanted, but I at least had everything set up in the right direction.


Starting out, I wanted to have a double breasted front for warmth. In the end it didn’t work out. The front closes about evenly matched with each other, and I can’t button the top button, because I have a thing about close fitting necks.


Looking back at past projects, I’ve never quite drafted sleeves correctly. One of these days I’ll figure it out, but that day wasn’t my cutting day. I ended up easing the remaining sleeve head fabric into pleats in the back, which gave a very cute tailored look.

The back is a bit tight, which at least  keeps me in better posture, having to stand up straight instead of my usual slumping. I don’t have the best movement range because of this and the kinda tight sleeve caps.


But I love my new jacket! And I’m going to wear it forever and ever.

I will leave you with a picture of my subtle cosplay for the day. Kaylee’s hairbuns and jacket!