Monday, June 30, 2008

Lily of the Valley Skirt

I made a flippy skirt with the Lily of the Valley cotton I bought on impulse a while back. I intended to wear it to the 21+ SATC screening at the Sherman Oaks Arclight (you must go, it is wonderful, both the movie, the theatre, and the cocktails) but I ran out of time and wore something much less fabulous instead. But it's done now. It's a half circle skirt with a green jersey waistband and cotton lace trim.

Half circle skirts are super easy. Here's some quick instructions for your skirty pleasure:

1. Add seam allowances to all measurements (well, except for the waist/6.28 measurement - you'd want to subtract your seam allowance from that...) and cut the fabric.
2. Sew the half circle together in the back, inserting an invisible zipper.
3. Hem the bottom. You probably need to hem it shorter in the front because of le butt. So try it on and pin it before you sew to make sure it hangs straight.
4. Cut a piece of fusible interfacing the height of the waistband, sans seam allowance. Iron to wrong side of bottom half of the waist band. Fold waistband over and iron, then iron down seam allowances.
5. Sew one side of waistband to skirt, then fold over and sew the other side down.
6. Neaten waistband edges, and add hook & eye or button closure at waist.

The jersey waistband was added on top of this because I wanted to stiffness of a real waistband, and the lace was added at the end, just because.

It's very fun to wear, its swirly and old timey and demure. And also cool (temperature cool, not cool like, I'm awesome) which is very important in the San Fernando Valley. I've been wearing it there a lot. A stranger happened to compliment the skirt at The Dressing Room and just about made my year.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Swap o Rama... rama

Went to the Venice Swap o Rama Rama with my friend Charlotte and had a blast.

There were two station where people were making bags, I should have taken pictures of this, but they were made out of shirts at one station, and pants at the other, using the hardware already on the clothing. You could make a really complicated looking bag out of a shirt with a zipper in about ten minutes (given the right shirt!).

I found some swell sailor jeans. They are a bit too short, so I'm going to hem them to capri length when I get some more denim needles.

I stenciled on a Greek key design, a pattern I'm fond of, in yellow.

I found a plain ivory Merona knit top and I added some fun appliques.

I have always pronounced "applique" wrong ... even though I think I have been corrected before. A-plee-kay, not a-pleek. Must remember.

I also met Lincoln, the fellow who makes this needle felted Yeti wonder. He's the one who corrected me on my French there. Needle felting is not the craft I had imagined. Apparently you're basically sculpting shapes out of wool with a needle, and it can be quite hazardous. Rar!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Starbuck Swirlimagig Pillows

Somewhat inspired by this awesome hat by QuirkyKnitGirl, I made these pillows for my friend Brian, who generously makes his TV available for cable-less buddies on Battlestar Galactica night. The squared off Ikea couch in his living room was crying out for throw pillows.

The fandom aspect is very subtle; you would have to be a fan of the show to recognize this. And even if you are, it's hard to see that this is supposed to resemble Kara Thrace's wacky painting of the "Eye of Jupiter." Here's a pic of the so you can join the coolness.

See? The fringe, it's like the edges... and the free hand quilting is like brush strokes. Right? I have new found respect for quilters, by the way. It's hard to get everything right when all your stitches are on display.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Craftster Challenge #28

I've been meaning to recon this office chair for a while -- my cats destroyed it a while back - and I finished it just in time for this month's Craftster Challenge, In the Hot Seat. My entry is here.

UPDATE: Voting is open! Vote here.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I Wish I Had a Penguin Cake

Here is the promised cake. It looks like a penguin because Morgan likes penguins, and it is crooning because her birthday involved karaoke. I am really proud of this, and not just because the frosting is wonderfully not lumpy (unlike the mushroom cake).

The cake is chocolate with vanilla buttercream frosting, from the deceased but still glorious Cupcake Blog (sans coconut), with a chocolate ganache penguin.

It started out as some fun sketches. I had trouble picking my favorite little penguin, so I made Geoff pick. A part of me is sad I didn't go with shy penguin.

I made sure the butter was very soft this time, and that it was mixed very thoroughly with the sugar, and it seems to have worked. Note how smooth! I also used a touch of blue food coloring to make the frosting "whiter" (blue counters the yellowness of the butter and vanilla).

I sketched the design into the buttercream with a knife before attempting it with the ganache. I was eager to get back to my important work Elder Scrolls Oblivion, so this went pretty quickly. I used a snipped ziploc bag to add the ganache, as before.

Don't even think about it, Hamlet.

I kind of love this character.

Morgan approves!

And here's a picture of Geoff singing "People are Strange" by The Doors.