5 Goals for 2016

#sewingtop5 - The Top 5 of 2015!

It’s time for the final post of the Top 5 of 2015, the goals post. Some of these were easy to propose, but I had to think about the last two. Real hard. I guess its time to go ahead and share my crafting resolutions!

1. Draft real slopers.

I’ve drafted things on my own before, namely my Claudia vest and Belle dress, both of which have their flaws. I haven’t shown you my Peggy blouse in full yet, but I showed a pic yesterday… It went through so many iterations and muslins to get to the final point, but I can raise my arms and the blouse doesn’t come out of a tucked-in position. Isn’t that great! Now I just need to go through the mess of pattern pieces I made in order to find the last drafted and final pieces. That’ll be… difficult. But if I have well fitting slopers, perhaps I won’t need to make so many muslins!


2. Make 3 pairs of jeans.

I’ve got the denim for 3, so that’s my goal. I’m thinking one “low rise” Ginger, which will probably not be terribly low rise on my short torso-ed body, one high waisted, adjusted so its more comfortable than the last pair, and to round it off, a bootcut/flare pair that’s got the same rise as whichever of the above was most comfy…


3. Only buy fabric that I have a distinct and thought-out plan for.

I have a ton of new fabric that I got on the shopping trip with my mom, and most of it I’ve got plans for (excepting those pictured above), but I need to work on making sure of that in the future. Otherwise I won’t be able to work down my stash, since I’ll just keep adding to it.

Fabric for the skirt and a new blouse for the TARDIS

4. Finish my TARDIS build.

It’ll be three years in March since I first planned the costume, and I haven’t made any progress on it in a year and a half… I did get some more fabric for the skirt, so that may be the boost I need to actually make the bustle and petticoats and skirt.

ashildrkayleelink and link

5. Work on at least 2 other (big) costumes.

I’ve got most of the work done on Hatter, Claudia, and Peggy’s mission outfit (though I’m making another Peggy shirt). So those can’t count. I’m thinking about perhaps Kaylee’s jumpsuit outfit and Ashildr’s Face the Raven outfit. Maybe I’ll spring for a larger costume, but I still probably won’t have enough space in my apartment for a ballgown… It’s unfortunate.

And then there’s always the life resolutions, like brushing teeth more often, cleaning dishes the week I use them, that sort of thing. But you don’t need to hear about all that!

Thanks again Gillian, for hosting the Top 5s, and I hope you all have a great year!


Top 5 Reflections of 2015

#sewingtop5 - The Top 5 of 2015!

This post was more difficult than the previous three. I reflect on my work all the time, whether we’re talking my job-work, or my blog/costuming/making in general-work. But to boil all that down to 5 is more difficult.

Here we go!


1. I’ve learned to fit my body better.

It’s still not perfect, but as I learn which fitting techniques and tricks to use, it’ll go better. This holiday break I had an opportunity to try on some clothing in a RTW store, which I avoid in normal life, since I rarely need to buy anything anymore. I was reminded yet again why I really started sewing my clothes, and how much of a self-esteem boost it is to wear clothing that actually fits. For instance, the shirt above that I made for my Peggy cosplay that fits so well in the sleeves that it doesn’t move much even when I move my arms up.


2. My posts and my makes are not always… simpatico.

It’s not that I don’t always want to post (relatively) on time, but I just happen to procrastinate on pictures… a lot. Looking back at the year, I had all these posts on TARDIS progress in February, but really that all happened last October. And once again, my Halloween costume will be posted (in full) in the new year, not this year when it actually happens.

3. I’m not as terrible at makeup as I always thought.

I wear glasses daily. It’s taken nearly 4 years to get through a box of contacts containing 45 days worth. So with glasses, I don’t like to wear makeup, because they already exaggerate any undereye bags… I don’t need them to exaggerate undereye concealer mishaps. Plus my eyes get itchy a lot, which doesn’t bode well for eyemakeup. I’d been improving, but this year my knowledge took off. I can now do more than just basic eyeliner and vaguely acceptable lipstick. As in, I can put on fake eyelashes and can leave the house wearing full face makeup and not feel (entirely) overdressed. Plus there was the time when I walked into my local grocery store with full costume makeup including those aforementioned false eyelashes… Oh wait, I’ve done that twice now…

4. My me made wardrobe has overtaken the RTW… It was a slow crawl, but now the rolling stone has picked up some speed.

There are days when I wear head to ankle me mades (I can’t count the shoes… sometimes the socks). And I get nearly all the way through the day before I figure that out… I still can’t give up my RTW undergarments, but now I will be able to make jeans (3 pairs worth of denim is now in my possession), as well as my shirts and skirts and dresses and such.


5. Solids are still my jam.

In fact, I went fabric shopping with my mom last week, which is an all day endeavor involving multiple stores, and only one of the fabrics has a print. I’m interested in large scale designs though, and may have to look more closely at Sew Red’s tee embroidering. And not just because of the Little Mermaid design.

Also, to update on where my goals last year left me, I completed 2, and partially others. I did improve fit, and have been actively trying to buy better quality materials. Most of my garments are at least somewhat subtle cosplay inspired too, so that makes me super happy. I only got around to making two quilts, not three. My serger is still finicky,and I didn’t work with much specialized crafting things. I did do a lot of knitting, and fabric painting, and doodling though. And finally the stash. It would be hard to tell, but the old stuff in my stash has mostly been either used or trashed, just more has been added to even it out.

Top 5 Highlights of 2015

#sewingtop5 - The Top 5 of 2015!

This post is all about what happened to me this year!

This year I did not graduate from college or study abroad or anything terribly exciting, so it’s more about the little things for me this time…

storybook back

1. My Susan costume was finished!

I’ve been dreaming of making this costume for years, and this year its finally done! It took a long time, and a lot of frustration, but I’m very proud of it.

2. I truly succeeded with my clothes buying ban.

Last year I did a pretty good job, but this time I managed to succeed in buying (if anything) only things from thrift stores. Excepting undergarments (bras, underwear, camis), all my newest clothing was made or thrifted by me! I even resisted it at one of my favorite stores ever, when it came to the States (because Primark is a surprising wonderland) but I managed to prevent buying actual clothing.

3. I worked in an office all summer (well, at least most of the summer), and I didn’t hate it.

This might sound terrible to people who do work in offices, and I’m sorry for that, but for as long as I can remember I wanted to do scientific research so I wouldn’t have to work in an office. So now that most of my work is on a computer, an office building is the logical place, which didn’t occur to me until this summer. My work is really cool, and it makes up for the setting.

4. At least three costumes have been finalized.

Peggy Carter, Susan, and Belle have been finalized, and if not finalized then photographed. Woot!

5. I moved into my own place, and I love it!

Nobody can tell me to do the dishes or eat something other than candy (other than myself… when I run out of dishes or candy, respectively). In all seriousness, I love having my own (rented) space, and its definitely improved the quality and time frame of my projects.

Well, that’s it for highlights! Check back tomorrow for the reflections on the year!

Top 5 Misses of 2015

#sewingtop5 - The Top 5 of 2015!

Now for the misses of this year… It felt hard to narrow down this list, but then I realized that it was only hard because I had six to show you. Other ones were taken off this list because they were reworked into other versions. I’ll also share some of my makes that held over from previous years, but are still flops.


1. Yellowtail Cami

I do like this cami, and it was a good “muslin” for this pattern. I just think its too short for my normal wearing habits. So once I lengthen the pattern and try it again, it will probably be my dream cami, but until then, this’ll be hiding at the back of my drawer.


2. Jenna Cardigan

I do like this cardi, and I wear it sometimes, but because I don’t wear it pinned or buttoned closer (yet) it doesn’t hang well, and then bunches up under and next to my armpits. So once I find great buttons, and manage to get it buttoned and buttonholed I might like this better.


3. “Whole Package” top

I love this top. I really do. However, I also have a deep love of food and a general unwillingness to exercise. Unfortunately as this summer moved on, this top fit less and less. I wobble in weight and fat distribution, so I may in the future be able to wear it comfortably, but that time is not now.


4. Miter Shell

Unfortunately I “lost” this one to a bad grease stain. I need to figure out if I can lift it, but it might be finished. I’ll be investigating this today, actually.


5. Green Gable Hat

This one was too small for my head. Unfortunately. I gave it to my cousin though, and I hope she likes it!

And now for the misses that I’ve had to give up…


1. Spring Green Jeans

They just never fit quite right, and the denim (if you can even call it that) was terrible. It got the boot over the summer.


2. Pastel Sorbetto

Too much ironing required… I may have worn it once. It was disappeared in October. (You can see how much I disliked this even when I took these pics, since I was too lazy to take out my headphones).


3. Velvet Dress in current form

I wore it to a dance this month, and it was nice in a way, but the lace I used for the top is so itchy. So itchy. I may use the skirt though. We’ll see…


4. Mint and Navy sweater

It was barely able to fit over my arms in college… And it has even less hope now. I don’t actually know where this is, and maybe I got rid of it awhile ago.


5. Peanut Butter Cup

Too polyester, too odd when stretched. And uncomfortable.

Top 5 Hits of 2015

#sewingtop5 - The Top 5 of 2015!

So, the end of the year has come, and therefore reflections should be made. After all, how else am I going to really know how much I’ve screwed up or did well?

Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow is once gain hosting this Top 5 extravaganza (See more Top 5’s from other bloggers here)! All week I’ll be reflecting on the past year, until Friday when, with suspiciously good timing, it’ll be the new year with my goals!

First up is the hits of 2015, and they will be joined with the top hits of all time, since this’ll be a good time to also muse on those!

day 29

1. Grey Bronte Top

I love this top very much. It’s a spongy knit, and a little sweater-like, so it gives it a more professional feel, and makes me feel better when I wear it into the office too! I’ve worn it through all seasons since I’ve made it.


2. Cornflower Shawl

This was one of the first things I’ve knit, other than socks, that I am incredibly proud of, and wear regardless of how odd it may seem to wear it… Let’s face it, college campuses are not where people wear shawls, but its something that I do whenever I want to gain some confidence from wearing something I slaved over and poured my heart into.


3. Maxi Skirts

I never planned to wear or make maxi skirts, but when the Syrah pattern came with the pattern bundle last year, I figured I’d give it a try… And I love them! My first one, the green one, is great, but the grey wearable blanket version is my favorite. It’s gotten me through summer (though it was a tad hot), a warm fall, and will help with some warmer winter days as well!


4. Peggy Trousers

These may be the most comfortable trousers I own, as long as I don’t eat a big lunch. They’re wide enough that they don’t get stuck on socks or unshaven legs, and they are both cool and warm depending on the need. They also were the inspiration and reason why I watched and fell in more love with Agent Carter. I didn’t need a reason, but it always helps!


5. Merida Skirt

This is the most recent make on this list, but its a favorite of mine, because people who know me and what I do will like it because they know I made it, and people that don’t will know soon or will like it because its neat and different. (And those that don’t like it need not tell me…) It may have taken over 52 hours on the embroidery alone, but still… It’s fantastic.


For the top 5 hits of all time, the list changes a bit… mostly because it’s been nearly 3 years since I’ve started the blog, and really 3.5 years since I started making clothes for myself. Also, I’ve kept the top 5’s separate, so there isn’t any overlap.


1. Belle Dress

It’s been two years since I finished the Belle dress, and even with some adjustments (and some weight fluctuations), its seen me through thick and thin. I may need to remake it, and I’m much more experienced now, but for one of my first major self drafting projects, I made a great piece.


Day 22. Olive green sweater

This was a pre-blog project, made from fabric I found in the costume shop scrap bin, and it still remains one of my most used sweaters. It’s an open front cardigan that I wrap around and hold when I get cold. I have no idea what the fabrics are made of, but I don’t even care, because it gets so much use, and is definitely washing machine approved!

3. Nettie shirts (Too many to link to)

I never thought that I would get this much use out of a pattern. Now, its been through several iterations, which change from time to time, so I’m not sure how close it is to the original tee pattern I made from it, or how close to the bodysuit pattern for that matter. But these are my favorite shirts, and so I’d label this “hack” as a TNT pattern.


4. Blue skirt

This was first made for a Frozen subtle cosplay, but it has become a favorite in my wardrobe. I fixed the waistband this year, and re-hemmed the skirt. It’s still not even, but its better. The color of this skirt is a deep royal blue, which can either look more red or more violet depending on the light and humidity, strangely enough. It’s a favorite for going ballroom dancing, and it works for a few subtle cosplays, and its just fun in general, and makes me quite happy.


5. Knapsack

I made this fall 2014, and I’ve been using it at least weekly ever since. It’s held up well, I know its unique, and because I made it to fit my computer as well as lunches and more, it holds everything I need. It might need to be replaced soon since I’m transporting a smaller computer to and from work, but otherwise this is a fantastic bag.

So there’s two sets of Top 5 Hits! I’ll be back tomorrow with some misses… See you soon!

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!