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February 28, 2007

Moon Blossom

..the new scifi movie starring Villain as a devious cyber geisha spy sent to assasinate the moon's premier financier. What will happen when she discovers that he is really a robot?

Filming was grueling. All that anti-grav! Only the fashion kept me from losing my edge. Also, airlocks and oxygen cocktails.

I'm a little late to the Spring 2007 Dior Couture party, but I invited myself anyhow:

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I love these clothes. They are the clothes of my most precious fantasies: fantasies I didn't even know I had until I saw the collection yesterday.

If I were a Fug Girl, then the bit about cyberpunk-geisha would be a clever insult, but I am into that sort of thing, so it is not. They are amusing to read, but I can't say I am always in agreement with their pronouncements. For example, I totally think that Eva Green is hot, no matter if she is undead or wearing her best wizarding robes or whatever. Cuz I'm a nerd like that. Also, Nicole Kidman is totally a Blood Elf and she will sic her felhunter on you so watch it, ladies.

Posted by loyd0008 at 6:22 PM

February 26, 2007

For Your Inspection

Tini warned me about the possibility of bad buttonholes on my new machine. I was worried and made a few. They didn't look all that bad to me, but then I had the thought: What if my buttonhole standards are just too low?? This is a distinct possibility. So here is a pretty average buttonhole from the new machine to test:

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It is not actually wobbly at the top, that is just a dot from the fabric. Now I know that it's not going to be winning any awards, but it looks ok to me. Also, I prefer them in matching thread, so that should make any unevenness less visible. On the whole, better than my other machine! But I guess that's not hard...

Does it pass the test? Or do I need to raise my Official Buttonhole Standards?

Posted by loyd0008 at 6:05 PM

February 25, 2007

Where Sewing Machines Go To Die

That would be Chez Villain. My hallway looks like a graveyard for old stitchers. After wrestling with my 35 year old Kenmore and cheap-ass Bernette for too long, I have done yet another Bad Thing: I bought a new machine. Well, technically it is a floor model and that is why I managed to snag it for under $300, but it seems pretty darned new to me. Here is the new specimen in situ:

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I was literally in tears the other night because I was so frustrated with the technical failures of my machines. I do realize that it is a poor craftsperson who blames her tools, but really, feed dogs, can't you just FEED EVENLY FOR ONE FREAKING MINUTE?!?! Sigh. I have been thinking about doing this for a while now so it is not really that impulsive, though it seemed mostly motivated by PMS at the time. I am very happy with it. I actually went to Target and bought a Singer 7444 that morning, but when I got it home I was so disappointed that I just couldn't keep it. Thus, I headed over to the Pfaff dealership. The web advertised specials were better than the deal I got, but I'm only a little bit bitter about that since it really is quite lovely. No fancy-schmancy stuff, but that is ok because when am I ever really going to need a stitch that looks like flowerpots anyhow? That (well not the flowerpots specifically) is partially what lured me to the Singer and after that turned out to be so chintzy, I figured simplicity would serve me better. Afterall, it allowed be to make this delectible little morsel (Simplicity 3831):

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Do you like it? The sleeves were what was giving me such a headache: 3/8in narrow hem. Luckily, it all worked out on the Pfaff. I almost posted a picture of the stitching on the other machine, but decided it was really too embarrasing. That is all behind me now. No more tears for me! Well there is always the chance of some until the Sanguine Deluge commences sometime Tuesday afternoon, but no matter. J is even helping me pay for it! what a sweetie!!

Only 40 more pages of Christian Metz to read today and then I can start something new! Maybe that robe that J so richly deserves. I am going to pretend that I am actually snowed in instead of just fake snowed in. We got a ton of snow, but the roads are clear and people have pretty much just resumed normal life. I think I would rather it was still like it looked last night: impassable roads and perfect pristine whiteness as far as the eye can see. Today it's back to muck and slush. Blech. Let's just pretend that it is crisp and clean and requires me to stay inside drinking mint hot chocolate, shall we?

Posted by loyd0008 at 3:47 PM

February 19, 2007

YUK!

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I thought that I was just being comment-ignored but I think there is something wrong with my settings that I have yet to remedy. Y'all love me, right??

heh.

Posted by loyd0008 at 8:26 PM

House Dress or House Arrest?

I wanted a dress to wear at home. A good-looking but comfortable thing that I could wear insted of pjs. Found some great fabric by Alexander Henry (such a high threadcount!) and a pattern that looked cute but non-restrictive (Built By Wendy, Simplicity 3835) and went to work. Yesterday, I made this dress:

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It is almost what I wanted. It would probably look better on some tiny Japanese girl who is posing with her feet pigeon-toed and giving a peace sign. I tried that out and looked thoroughly ridiculous. Oh well.

At first, things went quickly since there are only a few pieces to the pattern. The problem, I find, with Built By Wendy patterns is that they are somewhat counter-intuitive and overly fussy. Does that cuff really have to be topstitched like that? Oh, the collar too? Probably not. (I slipstiched the collar instead) I suppose this is what makes her work "fashiony" and "hip", but I will not be in any big hurry to make another one of these dresses, or a BBW pattern in general for a while. It fits ok except for the sleeve cuffs which are strangely tight. I know that this is another one of those Lessons in Which Villain Sucks It Up and Does Some Muslins, but not quite yet. Perhaps if I 1. had a dressmaker's dummy or 2. really knew how to fix a pattern preventatively it would be more urgent. As it stands, I am better at problem solving than actual dressmaking. The answer here is just to stretch them out a bit and iron like crazy :D

Also, I want a new sewing machine. I have only been making dresses for about a year, but I have run my little Bernette into the ground. My back-up Kenmore just doesn't have what I need. Sigh. I guess I'll have to wait for the ol' birthday to roll around. But that is not until October!! Almost half again as long as I have been sewing! If I get the summer grant I am hoping for (though this might be unlikely), then I will put down some cash on a little beauty.

I had the urge to take it off right after I took the picture but restrained myself since it is supposed to be for this very thing! In order to console myself for having to read more film theory, I am going to eat only orange food for the rest of the afternoon: Sunkist and peanut butter M&Ms!

Posted by loyd0008 at 2:54 PM

February 17, 2007

Once Upon a Time...

...Villain was a photographer. You'd probably never guess it today, but it is true. Sadly, deprived of a darkroom she must resort to *cough* Target photo processing. So sad. They are fast, if not super cheap. Their digitalization leaves something to be desired, but its passable for quick and dirty stuff. I took these today. They are not all that bad, but I just know there is more on that negative and if only I had a color (or any for that matter!) enlarger, I could tease it out. For now, they remain just that: little teases. Here are some teases, then, from J's Valentine's bouquet:

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Posted by loyd0008 at 8:06 PM

Foxfriends FTW!

Instead of doing my film theory reading, I have spent all morning looking at the sweetest little foxfriends. Here is a little foxy snuggle for you. Enjoy!

Posted by loyd0008 at 1:26 PM

February 16, 2007

Afterthoughts

So I finished this little puppy last night. I can't say that I have any overwhelmingly positive feelings for it. Mostly this was one of those dresses in which one Learns a Valuable Lesson. That lesson is as follows: I pretty much hate silk noil.

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Oh you were so promising in the beginning, Silk Noil. You were cheap, different, dare I say... exotic? No, I dare not. I had such big plans for you and I. Now those dreams are all dashed. I could, instead of sewing with you, use you to pick up every molecule of dust, dirt, and string in my entire apartment. Instead, I think we will just go our separate ways, you and I. And if I ever see your dirty face around here again, I will just throw you on the floor and vacuum you directly.

So that's that. The pattern's not bad and if fits pretty ok. I mean, there's a lot of room for leeway in wrap dresses. I just can't go out of the house without a few sticky lint roller thingies hidden in my bra. Oh well.

And as for the sleeves and belt... Well, there's a reason that this is now the Afterthought Dress. I sure did think I had enough fabric. But no *cough* I sure didn't. In typical Villain fashion, I marched on regardless. I had some cream silk noil (it is actually textured in a stripe) and I decided it would be acceptable to channel my inner French Maid. I also thought that it would be more Anthropologie-core and daring. The pattern was missing the sleeve (damn you, ebay seller!) so I just took one from another dress and poofed it on up. I must admit that I like the look. I think that I will be completely won over when I finally get around to making a nice big fabric flower for the collar. Whenever that is.

I think I need to go out and buy some nice simple little cotton to take my mind of the nubbly badness of this dress. C'est la vie!

Oh and the little rose peeking out is from J. He is the only person (besides, like, my family) to ever give me more than one flower at a time, let alone a beautiful bouquet of red roses from far far away! So pretty! The arrangement was very nice and refreshingly free of baby's breath. Sadly, I did not manage to get a photo of it that does it justice. Thank you, Minou!

Posted by loyd0008 at 3:50 PM

February 9, 2007

Swirly!

Another dress! Compulsive crafting! Yay!

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This came out well and I didn't have to modify it much: just took in the back darts a touch. They could probably go more, but whatever. There is a collar, though it is difficult to see in the image. It is possible to wear all the way zipped, but I am going for that "daring" thing that I have been talking about so much. I think I would prefer this with tights instead of pantyhose, so I guess that takes me down a notch on the Daring Scale. Heh.

J Strongly Disliked this fabric when I showed it to him. I wonder if its magical transformation into a cute mod dress will change things? I quite like the fabric personally. Don't really know what else it would look good on though.

I got the pattern from Lanetz Living and it was in great shape. I highly recommend them for all of your vintage needs! There is even a discount if you are a reader of A Dress A Day. As if I needed an incentive...

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I did do a bit of work today and will do some image scanning for the professor I work for in a little while. But don't you think I'm not planning out the next dress. Because I am. Right now this is taking the shape of a vintage wrap dress in black silk noil (the fabric I didn't have enough of for a sexy librarian dress). I think I might be able to swing it with the less voluminous dress, though.

Extra Bonus Feature:
Short Telegram to Whichever God Controls the Weather in Minnesota:

go to hell stop

Posted by loyd0008 at 3:30 PM

February 4, 2007

Swingin' Sixties Dress

Here is the Sixties Dress! I did most of the sewing yesterday and hemmed it up this afternoon. It is pretty "swingin'" (That used to just mean "happening" or "neat-o", right? I can't actually seem to disentangle it from its sexual implications...) Well, it is pretty peachy, then.

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It was pretty simple. The only snafu came when I put in the zipper. I guess I was trying to get too close to the teeth because it came out all deformed and wouldn't open all the way. I had to take the whole thing out and start again. Le sigh. The second time was a breeze; I didn't try so hard and it worked much better. My legs have not seen the light of day for ages. My knees longer than that, since I seem to make mostly below-the-knee dresses. I used to wear short things because they made me feel taller, but now they feel so... revealing. I want to get a little more variety in the ol' wardrobe, so above the knees I will go! So daring! Also, nice mystery bruise on my shin, eh?

I went to a fabric sale (crazy quilting ladies as far as the eye could see!) at 8AM this morning. I was up until 2 playing computer games and shortening my jumper's hem. I am committed to finding a way to wear that thing without feeling like a frumpus! I have similar concerns about the other pattern I bought. There is a whole ton of fabric in the tummy area and empire waists go all maternity on me. As if my mom didn't insinuate enough that she thought I was pregnant! (Not for weight reasons... Just any time I even have a headache she won't quit with the "That's just how I felt when I was pregnant..." Give it up!) I keep telling myself that I will make it for a "house dress". This is a concept that is sort of lost on me because when I am at home it is either jeans or pjs for me. Most of my dresses feel too dainty to just wear around. I found some pretty stuff at the sale and want to make that soon. Perhaps my days of sweatpants and tshirts will be over! Not likely, but wearing a dress even just around the house is more Awesome, right? Hmm.

Now for a little game. Which of the things in that photo do not fit? (Just like Highlights Magazine! Remember that?) If you guessed the sandals, then you win a fabulous prize! I grant you the freedom to go buy a fabulous prize without feeling guilty about it! Nice, huh? The reason they are incongruous is this: it is negative eight degrees here right now. I am almost out of bread but I will be damned before I go out again. Maybe I will do it, but I assure you that I will be damned for it.

Posted by loyd0008 at 2:42 PM

February 1, 2007

Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing.

I was wrong, and I repent. I do not think, however, that repentance involves taking any of my purchases back to the store.

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The main sin was not in the purchasing of this cute fabric. Indeed, the real problem is that the two patterns were not on sale. I cannot recall ever having performed this evil act before. My main reasons for doing so were 1. These patterns are brand new (*cough * I thought they were not on the website yet, but I was wrong. This does not weaken my reasoning!) 2. There are not going to be any pattern sales (that I know of) until the spring stuff is not so new anymore 3. The high temperature for the next four days is below zero. I am going to be cooped up in this apartment with some gin, a strangely failing internet connection, and these beauties.

I have been searching for a 60's A-line dress like this for a long, long time and this is pretty much exactly what I had in mind. Also, the other dress looks to me along the same lines as the Lover dresses I linked to yesterday, albeit longer.

I will say five Hail Berninas and go to bed without dessert. Ok maybe not that last part.

Posted by loyd0008 at 9:40 PM