Tag Archives: creativity

Invisible zippers, double top-stitching, and pleated ruffles

As mentioned, I spent the last 2 weeks almost non-stop sewing every minute I was home (with the exception of the weekend Koby came. Koby trumps sewing).  The final count on the projects is as follows.

  • four long full skirts in pretty fall colors
  • one jean skirt (for Michelle)
  • one greyed lavender twirly skirt
  • one incredibly awesome petticoat to wear with long skirts
  • a mp3 pocket I can wear like a necklace– I’ll photograph and post on that later.

The four skirts (the four on the outside in the above picture) are from a 6 gored pattern I drafted myself years ago. They are floor length and wide enough that I can do anything I want with no restriction of movement. And they are fun and flowy! Last fall, I saw cotton solids in colors I had been looking for for ages now. A deep Jasper orange, cranberry red, plum purple, and a soft jade green– I’m so pleased with them!

The learning curve on these (and the rest for that matter) was the use of invisible zippers, a first for me. The verdict is that, with an invisible zipper foot, they are easy, but odds are, I will have to use the seam ripper at least once per zipper because I WILL turn something or another the wrong way. Even with that annoyance, I much prefer them to normal zippers.

The shorter skirt in greyed lavender was part of that bunch of fabric, but I purchased the last of it, and there wasn’t enough for a long skirt. Instead, I based the pattern on a skirt I have. Apparently, I didn’t measure correctly, because it was too tight across the hips, but I managed to just drop the waistline and take it in a bit on top. It worked out, though the repairs look less neat on the inside. I’ll have to fix that pattern for next time.

The jean skirt I was quite intimidated by– my college roommate asked me to make it, and we’d purchased denim years ago and I never got around to sewing the skirts (they would have been in the 6 gored pattern). She wanted pockets and bought a commercial pattern. The double top-stitching worried me because I was dubious about how parallel I could make my stitching (I tend to sew a bit haphazardly). However, most of it went beautifully. Oddly enough, the back seam did not ask for double top-stitching, but it seemed weird without. Making that work with the zipper was hard though. Up close, I’m not 100% satisfied, but I’d hope no one is looking that closely at her backside! Now, I need to wash it (the fabric left my hands tinted blue) and then pray it fits when I see her next. (No photo for now– it didn’t turn out by itself, and it’s not my size. Hopefully Michelle will model it for me!)

The last (and awesomest!) skirt is the petticoat. Initially, I was just intending to do a long skirt like the other four in muslin. In the past, I had a cheap “peasant skirt” in white that I wore beneath my long skirts as I detest the texture and fit of slips. However, the zipper broke, and now, the fabric around the zipper is completely shredded from the safety pin I was using as a closure. I needed a replacement. Sometimes I layer different colors, but sometimes, I just need something neutral! Thus, I purchased unbleached muslin for a long skirt.

However, I am also working on repairing my Kirtle– the dress a 15th century working class woman in England would wear (yep, I am part of a Renaissance guild!)– and as the hem was shredded and I’ve seen documentation of a ruffled hem, I used left over fabric to even out and lengthen the hem, with knife pleats every inch or two. That inspired me to alter my petticoat plans to include a ruffle. Only this time, I went all out! Full on knife pleats every quarter inch. Given that the dress is already wide, pinning those took a looooong time (two movies later, I was nearly done.) Just for curiosity’s sake, I did some math. Just under 350 pleats (and thus, the same number of pins. I nearly ran out.) They are tacked down along about 10 feet. The bottom hem is… 13 yards. Yes, yards. That would be 39 feet.

The ruffle was extremely tedious to sew, but the end result was worth it. It looks amazing with my long skirts, adding some volume and billowing around my feet as I walk. Small children watch me in stores, and a 3-year-old told me she liked my dress– made my day!

Pictures of the skirts in action! Please excuse the fact that I am neither a model nor a photographer, and most definitely not both at once.

The plum-colored skirt, petticoat, and (if you look closely) the mp3 pocket thingy!

The Jasper orange skirt– I’m not sure how I like the complete outfit though. I may need to find some shirts to match better.

The cranberry red with a sweater I found at the thrift store. Please ignore the fact that I look like a dork. The others were even worse, haha.

The Jade green skirt with a shrug I found along with the above sweater. On a whim, I paired them and I think I now have a favorite outfit for warmer days!

The lavender with the skirt it was patterned from layered underneath– layering skirts is fun! There are pretty lacy bits on the camisole and cover, but you can’t see them in this view. And my socks are from sockdreams.com– awesome website! If anyone feels the need to throw away money, buy me pretty socks!

 

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A New Year in Technicolor

The majority of this page was actually completed on the first of December– the first day I was allowed to do art for a very long time. (I had been mired in Renaissance faire preparations, the faires themselves, NaNoWriMo brainstorming, and finally, a very unsuccessful NaNoWrimo.) I was supposed to spend time with friends, so I brought my journal and a small box of scraps. I managed to use to eye-jarring red page I’ve been rather less than enamored with, and I enjoyed myself, even if I didn’t really have a theme in mind. (And then… the rest of December hit full force, rife with cleaning and dog sitting and car complications).

I decided the bright colors, though not typically me, were a good fit for my hopes in this upcoming year. I may take a sharpie to it and add a title and a year, and I most certainly plan to attempt a better photo *grumble grumble* but otherwise, I think I’m satisfied.

Challenge: Somewhere in this page is the strangest bit of something I’ve ever included in my artwork. See if you can spot it, and why it’s so odd.

 


Frilly Flowers

I made these flowers ages ago as can be seen by the sunshine in the photos. Since I was woefully absent, I never posted them. Also, I have yet to sew the majority together. I saw this project on another blog (link to come– be patient while I dig through my favorites in the next few days).

I made the first one into a pin.

I actually made a whole bunch (I just need to do the beading and attach them to shirt pins, hair clips, hair pins, etc.)

Look how tiny this one is!


Some Good Things on a Tuesday

Tuesday was just an all around good day. By the end of it, I knew I had to do a journal page about it. I didn’t actually start until Wednesday night, and didn’t decide on adhesives till the next day, which is why it isn’t going up until tonight. I am REALLY pleased with it though.

Granted, it looks like I stole it from Samantha Kira’s journal, haha. Oh well. I think it was the bright colors– not my usual fare, but it just fit. I picked the cheeriest background I had prepared, and then, on a whim, I tried the gauzy orange paper stuff (not sure what it’s called, but I like it!). When I first received it, I was dubious. It was ORANGE. I’m not a fan of orange. But it just… worked. And then I tried other stuff from my scrap file, and found the pink color someone sent me ages ago. And what do you know? It looked GOOD. And then it dawned on me with the ink writing, and the bright colors, it was definitely like something Samantha Kira would do. I panicked briefly, but then I just shrugged and went with it. I was having fun. And I’m enough of a fan, a tribute page couldn’t hurt. So there you are.


Stamp Carving: Leaf

Yesterday (or rather, the day before yesterday, as I’m sure any moment I’ll see the tinges of daylight) I had the privilege of watching Samantha Kira’s tuesday vlog. This week, she focused on stamp carving, by request of one of her fans. It really got me inspired. I was supposed to meet up with a friend for artistic stuff tonight, but I completely flaked out and forgot AND left my phone downstairs. Thankfully, we didn’t have a specific time set even, just a general plan. And we’ve known each other long enough not to be offended. However, I was still bummed that I missed out, because I’ve been wanting to do art, but rather unmotivated beyond very basic background prep.  So (after being lazy for a few more hours) I plunked myself down, and decided I was doing a stamp.

Unlike miss Samantha Kira, I don’t have that cool rubber stuff. Nor did I buy the rubber erasers at the dollar store (this time…). What I have is this odd cork looking stuff. My carving did not go so smoothly as hers. And I still made mistakes (especially since I was  free-handing it and kinda changed things as I went). Nonetheless, here is the end result.

Yes. that is an envelope I tested it on. To be specific, an unopened envelope containing the pay stubs I never look at until months later due to the modern marvels of direct deposit and online banking. It was the nearest thing I had handy.

Also, I worked on a journal page, which is nearly done. I will post that later/tomorrow.


Too Much Rain!

I’m sure, lovely readers, that you heard about (or perhaps yourself experienced) the torrential rain this last week.* This is my tribute to the weather. I love rain, but it’s been a little much!

I actually finished this 3 nights ago but my journal is bigger than my scanner, and my scanner is actually not my scanner and thus requires me to email each scan. Also, some of the scans magically cropped themselves, requiring MORE scans. Then I had to puzzle the whole thing together. It’s not perfect, but… here it is. As usual, some of the colors are off, specifically the minty-green umbrella. You’ll have to use your imagination 😛

* I’m aware there are much WORSE weather conditions. I’m not complaining. However, rain happened, and caused a few problems. Thus, I have something to journal about. I promise, I normally like rain!


I think I need a push

I am probably speaking into the darkness here, but I thought I’d share my lack of progress. I’ve been fairly discouraged the last few days, artistically and otherwise, not to mention mildly sick. I’m starting to doubt my goal is reasonable. I’ve picked my three projects, but before I can even start I need to clean my desk (and the cat-box beneath it, which I seriously suspect my sister leaves entirely to me). Thus… I have to contend with clutter, smell, fatigue, and a general lack of inspiration (I have my projects to start from, but I don’t particularly know where I am going with them.) I intended to start last night, or at least clean, and be elbow deep in art by now. So far… not so good.

2010 is off to a poor start.