Sunday, October 30, 2005

there's no place like home...

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

we're off to see the wizard...

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

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!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

For those of you who aren't familiar with Sam Brown's work, let me introduce you to

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. ;)

Monday, October 17, 2005

knitty surprises are up!

...and I'm in love with this skull-y scarf! I don't think there's enough time to get it done before this Halloween, but it's definitely on my to-do list for next year.

Speaking of Halloween, I got the skirt for my pirate costume 90% finished this morning. It is really cute but shortshortshort. I'm going to have to fix the petticoat a attaches at the waist and it's a little too itchy in its present state to wear all night. I'm glad I did this skirt first...I'm using the same pattern, and now I know that I'm going to have to lengthen Dorothy's a WHOLE lot to make it family- and parade-appropriate.

sewing update

I was home last weekend and had a really great time with family and friends. The last thing I did before I came back up here was go to clear out JoAnn's with my mommy. :-D

I bought all the fabric I'm going to need for my Dorothy costume and my Halloween costume (I'm going to be a pirate with Abbey and Jen). They're both going to be based on Simplicity 8851.

All I need now is a pirate hat and some ruby slippers...

I also rediscovered a beautiful, sheer, art deco magnolia print that I bought a while ago with no real idea of what I was going to use it for. On a whim, I layered it over some dark green satin (leftover from the dress a few posts back) and was taken aback by how lovely it was. The two fabrics will soon be made into a dress for the graduation of someone very near and dear to my heart. :)

Pictures to follow, once I get everything started!

Sunday, October 09, 2005


I figured this was seasonally appropriate.

This is a carved pumpkin from last Halloween. Hopefully you can tell, but in case you can't, it's Snoopy! Don't mind the electric candle inside...real ones aren't allowed in the dorms (poo!).

I used an interesting toothpick technique to get the image onto the pumpkin, then stabbed the hell out of it.

I hope to have a carving buddy (or two or four or six) this year, and somewhere to put it so I can use an actual candle.

I <3 Halloween! Stay tuned for costume ideas/updates, plus my progress as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz for the PSU 2K5 Homecoming parade!

purses and totes and bags, oh my!

More crafts from the archives...

These purses are the result of a craft show-induced frenzy for stock in the fall/winter of 2003. I was hugely excited about my first show and set up an enormous assembly line to efficently deal with the 30 bags that I wanted to complete.

Here's a couple of the finished purses. They're all mainly denim, with cotton or cordoroy or who-knows-what for the outside pockets and lining.

This was a learning experience.
- I used up a lot of small fabric pieces from my stash.
- The assembly line saved me a lot of time.
- I got really good at making purses. And topstitching. And adding zippers.
- They looked very professional.
- I made a good amount of money.

- People on my floor started to hate me for taking over the study lounge with my sewing machine and mountains of fabric.
- All the ones I like the best sold (of course). Next time, I'll save my favorites for ME!
- All that cutting at one time nearly gave me Carpal-Tunnel.
- Pinning through multiple layers of denim ---> interesting and unique pin pricks, sticks, and rips. Ouch!

- By the time I finished, I didn't want to sew for about two months. Never before had I been so burnt out on something I enjoyed so much. From then on, the key word for sewing was 'MODERATION.' I'm ok with hating bottlecaps (I'll explain in a later post), but fabric = love.

Friday, October 07, 2005

more sewing

First off, let me just say that I adore this dress. I used a pattern that I had used previously: unfortunately, I fudged a little bit cause I didn't have quite enough fabric, and added a lining, and the end product turned out just a teeny bit too small. You can't really tell in the picture, but it's not quite wearable - yet.

The straps and detail around the bodice are brown satin ribbon, the fabric is another vintage piece from my late grandmother's stash. Check out the tigers!! You just can't get fabric like that anymore. I can't wait until I can actually wear it. :)

This dress used a Vogue pattern that's the closest I've ever come to coture sewing. It was a long and painful process, with everything cut on the bias and 1/8" rolled hems instead of facings, but the end product is worth it (I think, anyway :-P). I'm usually compulsive about my sewing, but I put perfection aside for the hem, because I'm the only person who's ever going to know. It looks fine...from the outside. The inside is another story. The heavy green satin was purchased at Jomar's in Philly for $2.00/yard. I still have 3 or so yards left.

The shoes, incidentally, are real leather Steve Madden pumps, which I got on clearance for twenty-five bucks. :-D

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

I was really excited that I got three comments on my last post, but they ended up being spam and I was a little crushed. I turned on word verification, so now only people and not spambots can share their thoughts about my creative genius. :)

Because of classes, clubs, and general craziness, I've had very little time to work on anything new this semester. So...

More crafts from the archives...This particular project is from this summer.

Here's one finished pillow. Dimensions: 18" x 18". May the force be with you...

Here's a close up of the embroidery. It was based off of coloring book images that I found online. Add a little white transfer paper, some black cotton, and I went to town. I was really surprised by how quickly they went: Yoda took me an afternoon and an evening, and Darth even less. I think I was predisposed to hating embroidery because of some ill-fated attempts as cross stitching, but my faith has been restored. I'm already brainstorming gift ideas for some friends for Christmas.

Here's the fabric I found for the back. For anyone who's interested, JoAnn's had a ridiculously huge stock of Star Wars cotton, fleece, etc., etc. The piping is just plain 1/2" black upholstery piping.

And here's Darth. At the time I took the pictures, he was still in progress. The orange fabric was what I used for the mitered background of the second pillow.

Overall, I was really happy with how they came out. They made a great apartment-warming gift for the Star Wars fanatic in my life. :) Maybe I'll try to get a picture of them both now that they're done and happily residing at his bachelor pad.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

why pay $22.50 + shipping....

...when you can do it yourself?

Delia's version:My version:

I made up the pattern as I went along, using a page from a Delia's catalogue for reference. I took out the stupid buckles on the sides, made the piping from the same red cotton as the lining, and added a handy inside zip pocket. Note the identical topstitching and rivet detail.

It's not quite finished: I need to find some red seam binding to cover the inside seams, and the buttons (red, of course) aren't on yet. But overall, I'm really pleased with it. The froggy cordoroy is from my late grandmother's stash...I know she would have approved. :)

first post

Hello and welcome!

I'm really excited about having a journal dedicated exclusively to stuff I'm making and the things I've made.

Here's the first in an installment of crafts from the archives....

Absolutely Fabulous ThrowDetail
This is the Absolutely Fabulous Throw from Colinette, done in colorway 'Versace.' It was my second knitting project, and the reason I learned to knit in the first place. This will always be one of my favorites.

Finished Fall '03.