Saturday, August 30, 2008

Failure and Fleurchon

I'm going to a wedding today in Wellesley, a high school friend of my husband's. I had this idea that I would make a dress for this wedding. My goodness. It was going to be navy blue dupioni with a gold lining and a patterned waistband, in a crossover bodice style. And I spent many, many hours more than I intended, and I did indeed finish it, and it is beautiful.... for a person two sizes bigger than myself.

Damn you McCalls!

I'm just too upset to try to fix it (which will be possible). It's fully lined, so I need to completely rip out the zipper and cut out fabric of fabric and re-insert it. I'm never making anything lined, or from a pattern, or complicated in any way, again.

Okay, I (probably) don't mean that. But looking at how pretty and properly made this dress is just pisses me off! It makes me want to gain two dress sizes just so it fits. Okay, again... not really. But still.

In defeat, I bought a dress at Ross. It's very cute, and was $13. Remind me again why I was making a dress in the first place? It's a cute black & white floral and is only marked down because the buttons were missing. I made some fabric covered buttons out of the Six fabric, that is, red ponte knit, and a maching headband with a yoyo (paired with a covered button). So I didn't manage to make a dress for this wedding, but I did make a fleurchon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Quickie Capelet

I noticed my swap partner had a cape how-to in her W(ishl)ist, and I also noticed that it was very similar to my quick and dirty half circle skirt pattern, except with a simple rectangular hood, so I thought I'd throw this in as an extra. I think it came out very cute for a few moments of sewing.

I used the remnants from the skirt waistband, a difficult jersey fabric that I really had no other use for. It's finished with gray bias tape; the tape is stiffer than the jersey, giving it a curious lettuce edge.

I wanted to put a little leaf button on it, to make it sort of Fellowship of the Ring inspired (and therefore, geeky). And I had a little leaf button. And I tore apart my apartment looking for this little leaf button. But no. It would not present itself to me. So here is it, with a regular button. Arg.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Shrinky Dink Charm Bracelet

One more swap item. My swap partner is a fan of Ctrl Alt Del, so I made this charm bracelet with the characters out of Rough n Ready Shrinky Dinks. The charms have lobster claws on them, so they can come off and be used as stitch markers, or something.

Shrinky dinks worked as expected, mostly. A few are a little warped, but not too bad. The backside remained rough and unfinished looking even after Mod Podge-ing, is there a fix for that?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Number Six Earrings

I got a surprise commission last week. A fellow Six cosplayer found my picture on Flickr, tracked it back to this blog, and asked if I could get her a pair of earrings like the ones I wore at Comic Con. So flattering!

I made them in surgical steel, per request. Mine were gold, and clip ons-- and completely in the wrong position in this picture....

The red beads are from Michaels, the findings are all from Joann Fabrics. The wire is memory wire (meant for bracelets), carefully bent out, and the top of the bead is a craft sequin with crimp on top. I think they are pretty enough to wear outside of cosplay.

Can't wait to see her pictures!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Best Cupcakes EVER

Cupcake cravings come after dinner. Why are do all my favorite cupcake bakeries close at seven? So I was compelled to make these, by powers greater than myself. You must make them also. Right now. Seriously. You won't regret it.

Here's the fabulous, easy, delicious, recipe: Paula Dean's Red Velvet Cupcakes. I subbed 1/2 cup oil for a stick of butter, and I used the cream cheese frosting recipe from Baking Illustrated, and man, these are delicious cupcakes.

And pretty. And maybe a little Canadian.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

LOLCross-Stitch Pouch

This was also for my Great Geek Swap partner.

I have been embroidering (or trying to) for a while now, but this is my first cross stitch. I learned the basics from this page. I thought it really had to be cross stitch for the subversive factor, and I had some evenweave fabric from the Black Mage project (his hat)(and is it possible to link to that project too many times?{answer: No!})

Initially, I wanted it to be a wall hanging, but I made a mistake in my measurements and it no longer fit into the frame I had in mind. So I made it into an impromptu bag, using the microsuede and cording from my chair recon and the fringe from my BSG (not nipple) pillows.

I wish I had seen this awesome zippered pouch tutorial before I started, because it explains how to do it all by machine. I hand sewed the lining in because I wasn't sure how to work it with the machine, and well... it would have been better this way. I'm not the prettiest hand sewer. So, next time! It's still cute on the outside, right?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tardis Tissue Box Cozy

UPDATE: This blog post has gone around some, which is awesome, but I know these instructions are a little fly-by-night. If you want any help please feel free to comment and I will respond.

Allons-y! -Jessica

It had to be done. It's so obvious that it's even been done before. This is my interpretation, made for the Great Geek Swap. My swapper partner likes Dr. Who.

The BBC has actually copyrighted the TARDIS design, which is one of those interesting copyright oddities since clearly this "design" was just borrowed from actual police boxes designed for the London PD. Whatever, I'm not selling this.

20x20" Fusible interfacing
1/4 yd Dark denim
1/4 yd lining
Silver Satin (scraps)
Embroidery floss (white and navy)
Print n Press transfer paper (dark fabric)
Sewing Machine, denim needle & navy thread
Bead for top light
1 5.5x5.5" cardboard square

I wanted to do a more detailed HOWTO, but my process got changed and convoluted somewhere along the way so this is the best I can muster. Here's the basic template for the sides:

This should be about the size of the larger side of your tissue box. All the blue is one piece, and the dark blue sections form the top pieces. A base piece the size of the light blue area is also needed.

And here's the sign I used (with Print n Press transfer paper). Print this out for use on one of the denim base (door) pieces.

First step: cut interfacing into shapes based on template, then iron onto the denim. Notice one of the sides has to be split in half, for the door.

Next, cut them apart, cut open the "windows" and baste the window seams under. Topstitch the window pieces on top of strips of satin, and the base pieces. Then sew the sections together, with the "doors" on either end. After this I topstitched four corner pieces over the seams.

Embroidered "Police Public Call Box" labels. The window grids are also (very simply) embroidered.

I cut out a square piece of denim big with sides the length of one of the panels. As tissue boxes are not square, this did not fit exactly, but the cloth was forgiving. I sewed this to the top of my panels.

I added a lining to hide the embroidery mess on the inside. This was done by sewing together a lining in the same shape as the denim exterior, then sewing it to the denim, right sides together, and flipping it inside out.

It would have been more awesome if I had found a lining fabric that had a big polka dot pattern like the inside of the actual TARDIS... but I already had this, and I like money. Both of these fabrics are leftover from a certain other cozy project.

Almost done - just some last minute tailoring. I hand sewed the embroidered signs on at this stage.

The top is just five pieces of fabric sewn together and then hand stitched to the top. It is tightly stuffed so it could be used as a pin cushion if you are so inclined to have a pin cushion on top of your tissue box. The "light" is a clear bead tied on with embroidery floss.

The base is made by sewing denim around a piece of reclaimed cardboard, and then hand sewn to the cozy. I made the base in the actual dimensions of the tissue box (rather than square) and then just pushed the fabric around until it fit properly.

Some final product detail shots.

There really is a tissue box in there.

I love the otherworldly glow in this shot:

I also made a Dr. Who card, which I colored with a highlighter and a green marker. David Tennant, incidentally, looks like an older Scottish version of my brother. Who in turn looks like an older, American version of Daniel Radcliffe.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Gold Flats, for Cheap

A rather long time ago I saw a pair of gold flats at the Skechers outlet in Encino for ten dollars. I debated over whether or not to buy them for far too long, and somehow I decided (quite incorrectly) to not buy them.

Since then I have uncontrollably desired a pair of gold flats, but have been unwilling to pay more than ten dollars for them, for obvious reasons. So I decided to make my own.

Okay, not make... refurbish. I used gold leather paint I bought from Ebay for five dollars, and then I made some shoe clips from some gold and silver beads I had in my stash.

The beat up old flats, before:

The beaded flower, which I did not do in any particularly correct way, in detail:

The purple thing is a hair clip I appropriated for holding the flower. This means these shoe clips could also go in my hair... if I so choose.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Best. Craftster Challenge. Ever.

(above cozy by Craftster user defaultbunny).

Craftster just announced their next challenge, called Cozies with Irony. Yes! I love silly cozies! What should I do for this contest??