I just ironed the last of three hems on my dress, and I finished my shrug earlier this afternoon, so my outfit is COMPLETE! I'll post pictures in a week or so.
For now, I'm getting into high gear on Christmas stuff.
Despite my six impending finals in the next four days, life is very, very good. :)
Sunday, December 11, 2005
I just ironed the last of three hems on my dress, and I finished my shrug earlier this afternoon, so my outfit is COMPLETE! I'll post pictures in a week or so.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Very exciting news: my dress is almost complete! I've been working on it every chance I get, and now all I have left is hemming. That'll be easy, but time-consuming and very tedious.
The dress has three layers: the black lining, the green satin underdress ($2/yd at Jomar), the printed sheer overdress ($1.96/yd on clearance at JoAnn's. Can you believe it??), plus the black satin cuff and straps ($3/yd at Jomar). All in all, I estimate that I spent $15.00 on this dress, including all of the notions and the pattern itself. Not too shabby!
I'd forgotten how much I love making formal dresses. :) The lining is boned, which helps the garment retain its shape. It's McCalls 2954, and I give this pattern two thumbs up. Easy to follow, and with beautiful results.
Although I wanted to keep it a surprise, the boy's already seen it so I can post a picture (or two) just for you, my faithful reader. :)
I've also made great progress on my Anthropologie-Inspired Shrug. Unfortunately, I ran out of yarn while binding off the bottom, so I need to get another ball. A *whole* ball, just for 8" of binding off and 5 rows of 1x1 ribbing on both sleeves...breaks my heart. I'll use the rest of it for a hat and mittens, or something.
So the sleeves are on scrap yarn and not finished yet, and there's a cable needle hanging from the back...but I still think it's gonna look great. :) It's not too bulky, and it makes the dress look a little less formal and very winter-y. I'll be sure to post some more pictures after graduation.
I've been saving this fabric for years, for something really special, and I'm glad I did. I know I'll probably be a little dressy for the occasion, but I don't care. It is a hugely important day for the boy, and he deserves the best...I plan on at least looking the part. :)
Let me know what you think...I have two main questions:
1) Should I leave the hem as long as possible, or take it up to knee-length?
2) What do you think of the shrug? Too cutesy? Too short? Or just right?
Unrelated, but exciting: We (mom, Andrea, and I) just recieved 8 30-gallon Tupperware tubs full of yarn!! Our first job over winter break is sorting it all among the three of us. :-D *drool drool drool*
Posted by Amanda at 10:20 PM
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
There's an update on the way of my dress and shrug...but I have no pictures yet. It's surprisingly difficult to get a picture wearing a full length dress all by one's self. Later tonight, maybe? :)
In the meantime...Winter Knitty is up!! I'm absolutely thrilled with this issue. It's the first time in a while that I've been moved to try more than one or two of the patterns. Here are some of my favorites:
- Knecklace: I have a partial skein of Manos [left over from Hot Lava Cardigan] that is yearning to become a knecklace.
- Namaste Yoga Mat Bag: Now, IF I decided to actually use my yoga mat and IF I made it all the way to the White building for a yoga class, this would totally be the bag I'd use.
- Tempting II: This is a sister pattern to a sweater I've already knitted (seventh picture down). I had a lot of fun with the first one, and I'm considering starting this new one sometime in the spring.
- Tubey Sweater: very cute.
- Blanche-Neige Jacket: This is a very (dare I say it?) 'grown-up' piece that might be good to have when I go out and get a real job. It's cashmere...which is good, because cashmere is lovely and awesome, but bad because it's most likely pricey. We'll see.
- Urban Rustic Gloves: I've been looking for a funky glove pattern for a while now and I think this might be the perfect one. I'm hoping that the wool yarn from the sweater I unraveled ages ago will be of a comparable gauge so I can start these ASAP!
Posted by Amanda at 5:50 PM
Monday, December 05, 2005
I also managed to cut a hole in the back of the overdress as I was just about to put the whole thing together....GRRR! With some quick thinking, I put on a barely noticeable patch, saving myself the monumental time and frustration of re-cutting and re-assembling the pieces. I was very pleased with myself for salvaging a pretty bad mistake.
Once the zipper was in, I tried it on and it fits perfectly. For once, the dress looks exactly as I pictured it before I started sewing it. I cannot *wait* to wear it! I still need to hem all three layers, put in the facing, and add straps. There's no reason I won't be able to finish it in time.
I finished this scarf while I was on Thanksgiving break, but didn't get to block it until I got back up to school. The damp State College weather has since furled it up again, but I'm happy with the results. The scarf is light and airy, but surprisingly warm. And the color, which I wasn't sure of in the beginning, has grown on me.
Posted by Amanda at 11:59 PM
The craft show last week went really well. Unfortunately, I'm a doofus and forgot to take any pictures of my booth. It was a neat setup, though...My mom surprised me with a blown glass mannequin head to display hats, and it was too cute for words.
I should make a pretty decent chunk of change right before the holidays, which is always nice. Of course I ended up spending some of my hard-earned cash on items from the other booths, but as you know, counterproductivity is my middle name. ;)
My mom and sister each contributed some knitted items this year, namely some lopi hats, sari yarn hats, and purses. They were very popular and we sold quite a few. I got rid of almost 2 dozen pairs of earrings, plus a bunch of necklaces and bracelets. All in all, it was another good show.
Christmas is approaching rapidly, and as such, I've started planning some crafty gifts for a few people on my list. Due to their sensitive nature, I can't post any pictures here (though I'm itching to do so!) Today I made up a pattern and then cast on something cute and cable-y for one of my good college buddies. I'm also in the beginning planning stages of a sewing project for someone special. Unfortunately, the fabric choices here aren't stellar...[don't worry, you'll laugh later. ;)]...so I have to wait till I get home to start that one.
In the meantime, my dress for the upcoming graduation is coming along really well. I've got the lining and main dress completely put together, and I'm in the process of assembling the overdress. I'd forgotten what a pain in the ass sheer fabric can be! I'd post pics, but (and I know this is silly) I kind of want it to be a surprise.
On a more personal note, I'm astonished by how quickly the end of the semester has crept up on me. There's a flood of mixed emotions right now, but I have faith, and that will get me through. :)
Posted by Amanda at 12:01 AM
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Yours truly went to Slaughter Beach in Delaware with my family for break. Good food, good fun, and four wheeling on the beach! Sweet...
I spent a good chunk of my time there working on stock for the 2005 Winter Craft Show, put on by the Center for Arts & Crafts here at PSU. The show starts tomorrow! I'm psyched. Pictures to follow soon-ish.
Posted by Amanda at 10:22 AM
Sunday, November 20, 2005
I finally got around to photographing 12 projects that have been done but not posted. They're in rough chronological order. I apologize for funny poses (I have zero attention span) and picture overload.
A quick disclaimer: I am/was not drunk, stoned, or insane when any of these pictures were taken, no matter *what* they seem to insinuate. Let's chalk it up to the fact that I'm a dreadful model and I turn into a deer in headlights whenever a camera's around. Now...on to the stuff! :)
Posted by Amanda at 5:12 PM
Posted by Amanda at 3:01 PM
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Anyone who has ever lived in the 10 X 12' cinderblock cell that is a college dorm room knows that decorating can be a serious challenge. After spending three years compromising, I *finally* have a room of my own. All my hard work in student government has afforded me a two-bedroom, one-bath suite that I share with one roomate.
I spent the summer working on a plan to make my collegiate prison into something home-y, yet practical and storage-friendly, and I think I've accomplished my goal.
First, here's the BEFORE:
And desk. A little spartan, don't you think?
Under the bed are Tupperware containers that hold all my extra purses, scarves, gloves, mittens, hats, etc.
The curtains are hideous, I know, but apparently they're flame retardant and Penn State says I can't change them. Grr...
...and that's the grand tour. What do you think? Leave a comment and make my day. :)
Bless this mess! :-D
Posted by Amanda at 11:45 PM
Haven't updated in a while: the conference I mentioned in my last entry kind of ate my life. It was a very good time, and I met a lot of interesting people, but I was really too stressed out about the whole thing to fully appreciate how fun it was. We did, however, show over fifty schools from the central atlantic region just how awesomely Penn State rocks out. Mission accomplished.
On the craft front, I splurged and bought myself one ball of TLC's Cara Mia to start a Liesel scarf (see Knitting Pattern of the Day, below). I didn't allow myself to even think about starting it until CAACURH was over. The second I was free, I grabbed all the necessary accessories, collapsed in bed and started it. As much as I liked the 'melon' colorway it was done in, orange washes me out, so I chose 'aqua' and I'm very pleased with the results.
The lace pattern is complex but not hard -- i.e, I don't think I could memorize it, but this scarf could be done by any advanced beginner. All it requires is k, p, yo, ssk, k2tog, and sk2po.
Hopefully later tonight, I'll have time to post a few pictures of my dorm room. I spent all summer making and buying stuff to get it exactly the way I wanted it. I figured that I wouldn't have a lot of free time this year (*major* understatement; student government is holding my social life hostage), so I wanted my room to be as relaxing and home-y as possible.
I'm also noticing that I have at least three sweaters, a knitted tank top, and a capelet that I haven't shared on here yet. Once I find a photographer, I'll post pictures of them as well.
Knitting Pattern of the Day: Liesel scarf [PDF file].
Posted by Amanda at 10:53 AM
Sunday, November 06, 2005
...but here's a little graphic design that I've done.
It's a conference bid (very exciting, I know), for a regional student government leadership conference held every year. Through the bidding process, different colleges and universities in the conference compete to hold the conference at their school.
Basically, I took information from all of our gazillion chairs, put it together in a cohesive form, and made it look professional. It was a *huge* job. Every graphic in the bid (excluding trademarked items and an obvious clipart or two) was created individually by yours truly, working from images of famous musicians.
Another university -- who shall remain nameless -- dropped out of the process because they were so intimidated by our bid. :-D I'll admit it, that gives me the warm and fuzzies. I put blood, sweat, tears, and more hours than I care to mention into this bid, and I love that it made another university shake in its boots. needless to say, we got the conference for this year (it starts Friday -- eep!).
I don't expect you to last through all 66 pages of it, so here's some images I created for the front and back of the conference binder.
Maybe if I was smart, I would have gone into graphic design. Oh, well :)
EDIT: I finally figured out how to recover this post! I was too lazy to re-write it. :-P
Posted by Amanda at 7:29 PM
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Happy belated Halloween, everyone!
This is definitely one of my favorite holidays: I love getting dressed up, and it gives me a chance to make some seriously fun costumes. All in all, this pirate costume cost me about $30 to make, just because of the number of different fabrics, trims, and notions. As noted in earlier posts, the skirt was a huge pain, and I don't know if I'd reccommend this pattern. After wrestling with it, though, I am very pleased with how it turned out.
Recognize the shirt? It pulled double duty in my Dorothy costume, in a more modest incarnation. These boots are hands down my favorite shoes ever, but unfortunately there aren't many occasions for knee-high black leather boots with a 4" heel.
My direction for this photo was to look "like a pirate." I think I look like a demented squirrel.
This one came out a little more sultry than I had anticipated, but I got no complaints from the peanut gallery (aka my photographer).
And so ends another Halloween...I'm getting old(er), but it's still fun to let the kid inside out to play every once in a while.
Now that I'm done with costumes, hopefully you'll soon be seeing the products of my labor for the winter craft show in December (which I haven't started working on yet...yikes).
Knitting Pattern of the Day: Snowball's Chance in Hell Armwarmers
And you have to check this out -- My favorite color scheme ever, in apartment form. This is something like what I'd want my studio/craft room/amandaspace (assuming I have the square footage) to look like when I get a place of my own.
Posted by Amanda at 9:16 AM
Sunday, October 30, 2005
As promised, here are pictures of my Dorothy costume:
Unfortunately, I didn't get a really great picture of the ruby slippers, but they were fun and sparkly and I got a ton of compliments on them. Some people even stopped me during the parade to ask how I made them!
I know the gloves aren't very true to the movie, but it was 40 degrees outside and I was freezing. But what's the point of slaving away on a costume if you're just going to cover it up with a coat?
I had a blast. :) I was a big hit with the under 10 girls and the over 30 boys. Yay and ick, respectively. :-P Let me know what you think!
Knitting Pattern of the Day: Felted Wine Bottle Cozies
Posted by Amanda at 9:55 PM
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
I spent several hours pomping the 'Wizard of ARHS' float tonight, and I'm getting really hyped up about the parade this weekend.
To prepare, I worked on my Dorothy dress this afternoon. Considering it's the first thing I've ever made completely from scratch (i.e. drafting my own pattern), I'm very happy with it. It still needs a hem, a petticoat, and straps, but it fits very well and looks great -- for a costume. I tried to be as accurate to the original dress as possible under my insane time constraints. I still have two people to assist on costumes before the parade, and one more before Halloween!
I'll post pictures after Friday's parade...then I'm lending it to my sister to wear on Halloween (when I'll be dressed up as Busty St. Clair the pirate ;) ) Of course I'll have to take it in a bit for her, but I'm happy to do it so she can dress up this year.
Now I need to make myself some ruby slippers...hmm...
EDIT: Made the shoes tonight (10/26), and with a little technical assistance from my favorite thespian, they turned out great! They were super easy: $6.44 black pumps at Wal-Mart + red spray paint + craft adhesive + glitter = rockin' ruby slippers.
Unfortunately, on their trial run in my room, I managed to get red spraypaint/glitter/glue gunk stuck on my floor. Sweet! I'm off to find some Clorox so I don't get a housing charge... :-P
Posted by Amanda at 1:19 AM
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Here's teaser shot of my pirate costume in progress -- hence the pins.
It was coming along really well...until I tried it on. The top and vest turned out great. But apparently the bloomer pattern included is NOT optional: the skirt is SO short it's positively indecent. I tried adding an inch or two to the waistband so it would sit lower on my hips, but it's still skanky beyond belief. I'm going to have to add a 3-4" modesty ruffle to make it wearable in public. Goodie. :-P
I haven't even started Dorothy yet...and Homecoming is FRIDAY! Ugh...
EDIT: I played around with the waistband some more and now it's of a decent length. Still quite sassy, but nothing that's going to get me in trouble. The applique is my *favorite* part. Now all that's left is getting some accessories together to really clinch the look. I'll post pictures after halloween!
Posted by Amanda at 5:10 PM
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
For those of you who aren't familiar with Sam Brown's work, let me introduce you to ExplodingDog.com.
Basically, the idea is that you send him a sentence or a phrase, and he draws something about it.
Here's one of my favorites:
'it was an evil kite.'
Browse around a bit. They're a little spastic, wierd, and occasionally poignant. ;)
Posted by Amanda at 6:09 PM