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October 30, 2006

Introducing Lena!

Tonight, I finished another jacket. I wanted to make something that was not too complicated and lined from Amy Butler fabric, but that proved to be out of my budget. Within my budget was home decor fabric from Ikea. That's right: Ikea. Design Sponge posted about the lovely new fabrics there a while ago and I found this one, a version of Lena, that I really liked. It washed up great: few wrinkles, easy to iron, very colorfast. I decided to go with Simplicty 4789 because it didn't have very many parts. It also, sadly, did not have a lining. Thus, I decided to wing it. I used the front, back, and sleeve pieces from the pattern for the lining, modifying where I thought it could use it. I didn't entirely eyeball it, but mostly and so I was pleased to discover that the ol' eyeballs were pretty much right on!

Lena on her own:

lena1.jpg

You can just make out the only spot on the jacket that I am displeased with. I did not do a great job of handsewing the very bottom of the lining, though the rest of it looks great. It is a little uneven and I wish I had more handstitching skillz, but alas, I have neither the skillz nor the patience to do it AGAIN. Man, I feel like I redid that part a million times( I sincerly hope that it will not be very noticable because while I would really hate to do it over again, I think I would hate worrying about it more. Damn.) I probably feel like I was working on it forever because I poked myself with pins just enough times to push me over the edge.

Really, right now, that wouldn't be that hard. Reason 1. PMS Reason 2. I start exams on Wednesday. Now somehow I always want to do challenging things that require more patience and skill than I perhaps possess RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of PMS, when my frustration level gets high easily and my hand-eye coordination seems to be less than stellar. Of course I opt to start my exams during this lovely time.

lena2.jpg

OMG am I really starting exams on Wednesday?!?

Posted by loyd0008 at 8:37 PM

October 28, 2006

Wonderland

Well I finished my Halloween costume just in time. I just got the pockets on and the hook and eye in place when Taryn came over so that we could go to an old coworker's party. The party itself was full of good looking but mostly vacant girls with whom we had little to nothing in common except for the fact that there was a White Rabbit and a Queen of Hearts but no Alice... at least until I came along.

costume1.jpg

wonderland.jpg

This is the American McGee version of Alice in Wonderland, mind you. I know that the apron is supposed to be a pinafore, but I didn't have time to get it exactly right. I made the runes with freezer paper stencils and black fabric paint. If I was a true cosplayer, it would be embroidered and not nearly as short, but this is Halloween. I mean, what is Halloween for folks of my age except for an excuse to dress as slutty as possible? I thought that I was going pretty short with this skirt, but I was soooo tame! College girls will pretty much do anything. I looked like I was going to Sunday school compared to most of the chickadees out there. Fine by me, really. A little sass is all I really need.

The costume would have benefitted from a knife that could be carried through swarms of people and perhaps some white tights (though the knee boots weren't bad). I couldn't bear to put fake blood on the dress that I had just made, so it remained clear and, again, less authentic. There is another party tonight, but I got to wear it once, so that might not be necessary. It is a school party and those always devolve into cliques standing around talking critical theory. I think I'd rather go see Marie Antionette (I didn't get to the other day!) or start on the jacket for which I bought fabric last night. This seems to indicate that it is more about the making than the wearing for me.

I will try to get a little bit more studying in, but I think that my brain is pretty much full. My adviser has given me the option to start my exams on the 1st instead of the 7th and I think I just might do it. Damn I want these things over with.

At a second, nerdier party that we went to, I found what might be one of my fave costumes ever: Mugen from Samurai Champloo! He even got the sandals right! Also, it looked a little better in the dark.

mugen.jpg

J and I always wanted to be Faye and Spike from Cowboy Bebop and now that I have mad sewing skillz we can turn that dream into reality! Maybe we'll even be in the same city next Halloween....

Posted by loyd0008 at 10:09 AM

October 25, 2006

A Comment Lost

I posted this comment on Il Bloggo, but the blogger deleted it (as is certainly her right to do). Had planned a much longer post, but decided to keep it short.

I think it is important to maintain perspective here. They are stuffed cats that are not being sold. The whole craft movement, to me, is about open sourcing. Just look at Craftster and the community of shared ideas that may be used freely by those who choose to be constructive. I think it would be a real shame for the DIY movement and crafting in general to be overcome by the same ideology that fuels copyright commodity and capitalism in general. We are constantly using our experiences with material culture to create objects. Certainly a respectful environment should be maintained, but so, too, should the spirit of generosity prevail.

Posted by loyd0008 at 5:22 PM

October 22, 2006

Dresses and Derby

Here is the quasi-woodblock print dress.

woodblock.jpg

It ended up being super easy -- even the zipper! I did a normal, centered zipper this time and it was one of the least problematic zippers I have ever applied. Whew. I admit that I cheated and wonder-undered the facings instead of slip stitching them. Next time I will do it the right way. This time, I needed a quick sewing fix. It has become a bit of an obsession. People ask me how I have time to make stuff and I suppose that when you are compulsively fixated on something you just make time no matter what. This pattern is something I could churn out pretty fast, though it does need something about the middle to break up the solid mass of fabric. I have seen other versions of a similar pattern like Angry Chicken's which have a seam around the waistline. It give it a little more variation than mine. I added a little silk scarf (one of the bazillions I got in Italy) and that seems to work pretty well. I also have a dark red that might fit the bill as well as allow me to wear some of the red shoes that I always buy but never wear.

Additionally, I am somewhat dissatisfied with my photographic skills. Perhaps this is due to my camera looking pretty nice but actually being cheap. I can't do any fun depth of field stuff or anything, really. Too bad film is such a pain in the ass nowadays! Also, expensive! I should take a few rolls of quasi-artsy stuff to keep me limber, but I seem to not have the inspiration or energy. One day I will break out the real cameras and play...

In other house/craft news, I have been burning my soy candles incessantly! I made some pumpkin spice and some blackberry sage (which seems to remind me of certain Strawberry Shortcake dolls I had as a child.. Blueberry Cheesecake in particular. Anyone remember those?)

candle.jpg

They are delicious and burn FOREVER. I made a massive mason jar candle to see how much wax it would take and the answer is: a whole ton. I have been burning it for hours (days now, really) and it has barely made a dent. This candle is going to last long than I am.

I got to enjoy some refreshing roller derby last night with Taryn. It was much fun, but again somewhat sad without J there. Our derby girls lost. Madison was a great team! I liked their jammer, Mouse. I mean, how can you not love a derby girl named Mouse?!

Tonight, I hope to jaunt off to see Marie Antoinette. Maybe I will wear my new dress! With layers, of course. It is getting bloody cold!

Posted by loyd0008 at 5:30 PM

October 19, 2006

Crazy Shirts, Cavities, and Candle Wax

How's that for alliteration?? So here, finally, is the picture of the Built by Wendy shirt (4112) that I made.
crazyshirt.jpg

A recent comment scolded me (not undeservedly!) for my lack of source posting, so I will endeavor to link it up in the future. Can't guarantee any past posts, though I will give it the old college try, as they say! J doesn't really like it very much, though he is always very nice and supportive about my creations. I will admit that the fabric would not be my very first choice for a shirt. I had/have a WHOLE TON of it, planned for sewing machine cozy action (the circles are actually thread spools). I do like it, though, and have worn it several times. I think that J's assessment of "pirate sleeves" may be a little harsh and who couldn't use a little pirating now and then?!

The only pic that is not too bad of Boston is this one of a mural in Chinatown.

mural.jpg

On the whole, I was expecting a little more pizzazz out of the area as well as better fabric stores. The way some folks were talking it up, the places there were the cat's pajamas! Not so much. My plain old Hancock has a better selection. Guess you take what you can get in the city. One of the places had some nice specialty silks, but if I am going to buy any silk, it will probably be from Dharma Trading. Who can beat less than $5 a yard??? I'd love to make another Duro in black and (off)white silk, and for that price, I could make a few!

Also, went to the dentist today. No cavities! Wheeee! Guess that means I can have more ice cream for dinner. I sort of cringe every time I go to the dentist, but who doesn't I guess? I have had some discomfort, but that is due to the fact that I am apparently not dealing with prelims stress very well and am clenching my jaw so tightly as to produce gum numbness. Great! I think I need a drink.

In other news, I have almost finished another dress. It was a super super quickie. I hope it doesn't come out too hospital gown-y so that I can have an easy one to whip up on the spur of the moment. I chose a sort of japanese woodblock design that I got for waaay cheap at Joann's. I have to tack down the facings and put in the zipper and it is done! I got some fabric for my Halloween costume (#4015! Sexy Alice in Wonderland!) today. I may actually have a party to go to, so I hope that I can finish it on time. Also picked up a little pattern for a capelet/cape. I wish it had a hood, but it is still pretty cute. If I ever get around to making it. I might not because it is already too cold here for such frivolous items. Time to break out the real coat! I keep wanting to make jackets, but fall's 1.5 minutes of fame (doesn't get a full 15) are up around these parts.

Instead, a nice warm craft to make just came in the mail today. Soy candles! I got about 10 lbs of wax and 6 DELISHIS flavors fragrances from Bluegrass Candle Supply. I have been saving my old mason jars and may get started tonight (if I can work up the determination to actually do the dishes, that is...). Sure I have some reading to do for tomorrow, but my clenched jaw is trying to tell me that I need a break, right? And some ice cream. With amaretto. mmmmmm

Posted by loyd0008 at 6:54 PM

October 16, 2006

On Being a Grown-Up

Being a Grown-Up means that, at any time you wish, you may eat ice cream. For dinner it is practically wholesome. This is what I ate as yummy-comfort-sugar sustenance after arriving back in Minneapolis from my trip to Boston. It is sad to come back here alone. Boston, however, was fun. While I am not generally able to photograph city-type places, I may have a couple to post tomorrow, along with my granny shirt.

Now, I decree as a Grown-Up that it is ok to play computer games until my brain bleeds even though it is a school night.

Long live Grownuphood!

Posted by loyd0008 at 9:51 PM

October 10, 2006

collars and cuffs

Today, I finished a shirt. I had envisioned this shirt, Simplicty 4112, to be The New Shirt: the pattern of my dreams that I could remake over and over again. So far, I have not discovered the Pattern, the holy grail of clothing design, in any style or item. Usually, I make things once and figure that is enough. There is a point in all crafting where I wish I was done already. Luckily, this is usually pretty close to the end. With this pattern I thought I was done several times before the actual end came. The saddest part was with the buttonholes on the cuffs. I could not, for the life of me, figure out why my tension was all wonky. Only when I had said, "fuck it," and decided that one bad looking buttonhole would not be the death of me, did I realize that the thread was near the end of the spool and that was messing everything up. The main buttonholes came out fine, but I am going to avoid at all costs undoing the cuff buttons lest someone spy my shoddy work and shoot me a "Tsk, tsk" of derision. They look ok closed and that is about all I can ask for at this point. I always seem to do complicated things that I have never done before during the throes of PMS. Also, I always expect to do everything perfectly the first time. ESPECIALLY during PMS, when the let down is the worst. Well, the thing is wearable and thus it was worth it. Not all projects are so lucky.

The shirt itself is actually really cute. I will probably opt for the short sleeved version next time (maybe in an all-over cherry print on navy blue??), saving myself some heartache. I used this fabric I had planned for a sewing machine cozy for the el huge-o Kenmore, but that is currently residing in my closet and thus does not currently require a cozy. Also, I bought about a trillion yards of this stuff. It is black and gray with circles that are actually the tops of thread spools. Very cute, but in the wrong hands it could be Bad-Granny-core. Currently, it is Hip-Granny-core and I like it very much. Tomorrow I will have J take a picture. What's that you say? J is in Boston?? Why yes! And so too will I be tomorrow at 11:00 AM!! The 7AM flight may in fact kill me, but oh so worth it to play WoW in person with my muffin brains. Err and do other things that actually require physical presence as well, of course...

In other crafting news, I started a cute jacket pattern with some fabric that I got a whole ton of in VA. Sadly, this one is being shelved for now since the loose-weave of the fabric means that I will either have to deal with a stretched out sloppy coat or interface every single one of the bazillion pieces. (Do you really need to have 6 pieces for the front? I mean really...) I may attempt a jacket in Amy Butler Forest Pods at some point, but then it may get way too cold to even think of anything but my gigantor down coat here soon...

It is supposed to snow here tomorrow. How absurd! It was 80 the other day. Boston will be rainy, but in about the 60s. I have neither done laundry, nor dishes, nor packed, nor done homework today. Finishing that shirt was accomplishment enough, though I had better get started on more mundane things so that I can depart for my flight on time. I have to catch the bus at 5:15. I haven't been up at 5:15 in years, let alone ready by such an unearthly hour. The sun doesn't even rise for two hours! Guess I will have to pack warm. Maybe I will finish that sweater jacket on the way...

Posted by loyd0008 at 8:26 PM

October 6, 2006

To me!!

Guess what today is... That's right! Its my BIRTHDAY!!! Also, my 100th entry. What a momentus occasion!

I would love to indulge in any of the following treats, but alas, there is no Saint Cupcake in the land of my current home.

cupcake.jpg

Don't they just look perfect? That picture is making me swoon.

When we were in Boston, we went to a place called Johnny Cupcakes, but were bitterly disappointed (at least I was!) to find NOT A SINGLE CUPCAKE. It is some lame place for way overpriced tshirts. I want sweet treats, not at $75 screen print that I could have made with a freezer paper stencil, thankyouverymuch.

So far on this day I have slept late and played on the internet most of the morning. I have to go in to school at 1:00, but hopefully that will not ruin the day. Here is some secret news: I really don't feel like doing any homework/reading/making my brain mush today! Please pass the sweets!

I will endeavor to indulge at the bakery on my way home from school. Then a little jaunt to the fabric store should be just the thing. Maybe one of these days I will get to go out for drinks, (wearing the brown dress that I have not gotten the chance/courage to wear yet!) but I'm afraid that it is a bit short notice now. These days always sort of creep up on me. One day I am ___ and then all of a sudden I am ___!

Can you guess how old I am turning today?

Posted by loyd0008 at 10:45 AM

October 3, 2006

Action!

Here is a non-blurry shot of the jacket in action. I think the blurring yesterday was actually user error and not the poor camera's lack of batteries. And to think that I used to be a photographer. Heh. The puckering pretty much totally went away with another application of starch/iron. Let's hope it stays that way!

modaction.jpg

This is the pattern that I used for this little number. I seem to be REALLY interested in something over to my right... I wonder what is there? Maybe some chocolate ice cream... Doesn't that sound delicious right now?

I slept more of the afternoon away than perhaps I should have. Started a book on internet art which promises to be leagues apart from the stinker I just finished. Should I keep a record of what I have read on here? Will this make me more productive? Maybe I will actually remember the stuff if I have to talk about it a little... or maybe I will just seem like a wanker! Ha!

I am working on raglan sweaters for J and I in in-between times, but I think I need a new sewing project. What should I start next??

In other news, I may be going to Boston next week! Yay yay yay!!!

Posted by loyd0008 at 5:20 PM

October 2, 2006

New Jacket

I finished my first jacket!! I really like it and can't wait to wear it... I figure it will be a little jazzier than my typical jean-jacket fall attire. The barkcloth was just the look I wanted... a little stretchier than I expected. I thought it would be more like upholstery fabric.

somod.jpg


Alas, I will have to wait for new batteries to charge to get an action shot.

It went pretty smoothly overall, though slipstitching the lining was a pain in the ass. Let me tell you a little secret: I never slip stitch stuff! Until today, that is. It doesn't come up very often, but I usually use stitch-witchery. Not very professional, I know, but I am not a professional!

The only part of the jacket that I am worried about is a spot right under the right collar point where the fabric is coming away from the interfacing due to who knows why. I starched it and it is not noticable (I think...) to any human who was not introduced to said wrinkly spot. The other side looks just fine and I'm sure one day, with the generous application of starch, it will looks straight. Not going to press my luck today, however. Anyone have this problem with interfacing? It plagues me. Is there any way to fix it? Or just to fudge it?? I completely forgot to prewash/shrink my interfacing and I'm just remembering this now. Dammit. Well, the damage is done. Any thoughts for quick fixes??

In other news, I just read today, cover to cover, one of the absolute worst art history texts I have ever read. If you are in the market for a quick intro to New Media, please take my advice and avoid the World of Art edition like the plague that it is. How this fellow managed to pull off a doctorate from Harvard is beyond me. Well, if this dude can get a book deal, there is certainly hope for me... once I get around to starting that dissertation, of course...

OK enough skool for one day! Time to play videogames!

Posted by loyd0008 at 6:02 PM