Jan 252014
 

First off, big ups to Pinterest. I couldn’t have done it without ya, baby.

A while back, I decided to get my guest/sewing room in some working order. And I think I did a pretty good job at it.

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The more projects I did, the more I realized: mo space, mo easy. And we didn’t have enough guests to warrant a queen size bed. So, I decided that instead of having a guest room that happened to be a sewing room, I wanted a sewing room that happened to be a guest room.

So, everything had to get OUT of the room.

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First thing I wanted to do was rip up the carpet. It held on to thread and bits of fabric like nobody’s business. Plus, it hid pins to play a fun game called, “Let’s see if you can find pins….in your foot”.

Those carpet holding wood thingies (technical term) were no joke

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Then we painted the walls. I BELIEVE was Jamaican Bay. Next, painted the floors with a cement paint. I didn’t bother smoothing out the floor. There were a few nicks. Nothing major. Also had to add baseboards.

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I took the doors off the closets and put up a tension rod and curtain on one (Saves space). My sewing machine would live in the other closet.

Long story short. I love my sewing room.

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Serger Nook

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Laiva Desk and Alrik chair from Ikea.

Sewing closet

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Chilling section

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Beddinge sofa bed from Ikea

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A bit of one of my favorite e.e. cummings poems. Used lowercase (not easy to find) stencils on ebay and red acrylic paint from Michael’s.

WHAT! Organized patterns. Unreal!

20140125-190509.jpg Already owned the cabinet.

Never again will I waste precious time looking for my rotary cutter, and my markers , and my rulers and….(As long as I put them BACK)

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It’s basically a pegboard spray painted yellow. :) It was actually longer, but when I changed the location of my table there was no way in hell I could reach the top of the pegboard, so we cut them in half. I think I will used the other one for my son’s crafty supplies so he can entertain himself while I’m sewing. (One of the reasons I wanted to chairs and a big *** table) I heart my bootleg pattern paper holder so hard.

Now my table. My awesome kick booty table. Pinterest is chock full of DIY tables and most use the Closetmaid Cubbies. I decided to use two cubbies and a large piece of wood. I bought a piece and had buyers remorse. It just didn’t seem thick enough. Then I was wandering around Home Depot (Like you do) and came across the perfect piece of wood. It was just a flat door. The exact measurements that I needed. (36×80) . I called my husband and he said sure. (Huzzah). One his way home from work, he rented a truck from Home Depot and brought the wood home. We then decided it would be the perfect time to go to Ikea, seeing that we had a truck.

I knew I wanted to decorate the top with pictures. I had no clue how to go about it. Somehow, I had NEVER heard of decoupage and some fantastic stuff called Mod Podge. I bought the HARD COAT, which is formulated for furniture. I printed the photos at Office Max (Apparently ink jet photos will run) . Applied zebra print masking tape on the edges and sprayed on a sealer.

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I love old vintage photos. But rarely do I see African-Americans from the Victorian Age. You have to specifically search for Black pin-ups or old Hollywood starlets. So I decided that would be the theme of my table. I think it came out awesome.

Table storage

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I went nuts at the Dollar Tree. Everything will have its place. Then I had a epiphany!!! I needed a label machine. I have never used one in my life, but I just knew I needed one. I did some research, and decided on the Brother P-Touch D200. And what do you know!? Staples had them on sale for $20. I put on my shoes and ran out the door. Sure did.

And the phrase that has saved my sewing/crafting life

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Lowercase wooden letters, again, not the easiest thing to find. The Michael’s near my house had them (yippeee), but didn’t have an “l” (Boo). I went to two others in town and they didn’t have lowercase, period. I even went to a Michael’s during a trip to Atlanta (My husband was just THRILLED), no lowercase. Went back to the one near my house the day inventory came. No new “l’s”. Finally tracked down one near the Disney area. To my disappointment the “l” was the same height as the other lowercase letters. Hello!! Lowercase “l’s” have the same height as uppercase letters. I bought two, thinking I could cut and glue together. Then I thought, “eff it”.

The chairs were a Christmas present from my husband, as were the yellow curtains and pillows. He thought the yellow would look good. I love him.

Target Bookcase

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So yeah….my room. My next project is to make a moulage for my Uniquely You dressform instead of trying to fit the one that it came with. There is a class on Craftsy (Pretty sure I bought it on sale) . PS I collect Craftsy classes like i’m a squirrel getting ready for winter. And have yet to complete one.

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DragonCon mini recap

 Posted by on September 4, 2013  Dragoncon, Sewing  No Responses »
Sep 042013
 

It was awesome. I made all my costumes even the already custom made Catwoman costume. I could barely into the one I bought a few years ago. I thought maybe I shrunk it in the wash. I ran into a girl who made the costume out of the same fabric. Apparently it just shrinks. Oh, well….

I sat in on a lot of sewing panels. And Gwen from Torchwood called me beautiful.

Mirror Universe Uhura and Spock

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Missandei from Games of Thrones

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Eartha Kitt Catwoman

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Lana Kane from Archer

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Steampunk Miss Scarlet with Ms Peacock

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And more fun costumes

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Jul 072013
 

Mirror Universe Uhura is near completion. It’s not perfect. But it’s mine. :) I search high and low for a pattern. No such luck. So I had the daunting task of drafting one myself. So, yup, full Google mode.

One Youtube channel that helped me was Secret Life of a Bio Nerd . She has a drafting tutorial for a tank top and a high low skirt. Both proved extremely helpful.

The skirt took me a few tries. It was coming out as a form-fitting high low pencil skirt. I probably didn’t spread out the pattern enough. So I just decided to draft the front of an A-line skirt, place a piece of paper over that and draw out the back. It took a minute, but eventually I had the shape that I wanted

I found the sash on Ebay. I’m waiting for the Mirror Universe insignia, which should be here tomorrow. Also need for find the jewelry.

It was also the first time I actually used my serger. I’ve had it for about two years. It skerd me. But now…LOVE IT.

My inspiration. The lovely Nichelle Nichols.

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My costume

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Better late than never

 Posted by on June 29, 2013  Dragoncon, Sewing  No Responses »
Jun 292013
 

Dragon 2013. This will happen. I’ve only been once . The year was 2010. A good time was had. I’ve been trying to get back, but things came up. Sept 2011, my husband and I renewed our vows . In 2012 I was cast in a show in Miami.

Once again, I did not start on my costumes as early as I would have liked. You would think seeing that I am self taught, I would make sure to give myself plenty O’time to Google.

Nope.

BUT I did finish something. One of the costumes will be a Steampunk Miss Scarlet, from Clue. I have finally finished the corset. I started this last August, I think. Then my sewing machine broke, then I I I I…. well you now how it goes.

So here it is.

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Mini Update

 Posted by on February 6, 2013  Uncategorized  No Responses »
Feb 062013
 

Let’s see….

 

I did not get a Bernina for $900.   I got a refurbished Janome 8050 for $199.   All in all, pretty cool little machine and my kid will still be able to eat.

My Nikon D40 (along with my Dell Mini, Kindle and all my MAC make-up) was stolen.  So whenever I even thought about updating my blog, I thought about how I couldn’t take photos and got mad all over again.  I had unwarranted rage towards my blog.  

Starting my garden, again.  Last time I had anything really happen gardening wise was 2009.  I just imported some posts from my old blog. 

That’s about it.

Jul 252012
 

I’m currently using my mom’s old Singer Athena 2000.  The woman barely used it.  She doesn’t even sew.  Iffing she did, I ain’t never seent her.  Rumor has it, she made one outfit with the Singer.  Which my dad called her $1000 outfit.  (The cost of the machine in 1978-ish)

 

I’ve had it serviced, repaired.. But with every project, something goes wrong, then back to the repairman.  I’m never 100% sure if it’s the machine or me.  And so, I don’t think I sew as much as I would like, due to the potential barrage of swear words that might echo through my home when my machine refuses to catch a stitch.

I really really like the machine. I think. Maybe.  Perhaps I like the fact that I didn’t pay for it (or have I?)  and it was my mother’s. Though, you know, never having memories of dear ol Mom sewing my Christmas pageant costumes or altering her old prom dress to fit me, I can’t for the life of me figure out my I’m being so nostalgic.

But Mama, (me not my mother) wants a new one, and she wants a Bernina . Real bad like.

Off to waste countless hours to find which Bernina would do me good.

Because I kind of worship Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing from afar, I was all about the Bernina 1008.  I even found a few on the ebay.  One went for about $300.  But I’m a bit weary about buying used on ebay.

So I decided to (make my husband) go (with me)  to a Bernina dealer.  There use to be one 10 minutes from my house, but they moved 30 minutes away. Boo.

Lynn was awesome.  I let her know that I didn’t need a lot of fancy fancy.  She showed me two:  the B215, ($749)  which I took for a test drive. MAN that thing purred.  (My Singer works hard and sounds slightly apologetic)  and the B330 ($949)

I’m leaning towards the 330.  I will have to save BIG TIME.

Jul 232012
 

Why couldn’t a Singer dressform (usually on sale for $99 every two weeks) be enough for me? Noooooooo. I had to have one  that was exactly my shape.

 

I did a LOT of research. (SURPRISE) and when the dust settled, I decided on the My Twin Dressform   Basically, you make a plaster cast of yourself and fill it with two parts polyurethane foam.  I opted to buy only the instruction booklet and buy the supplies elsewhere.

I enlisted my husband, bless him, to be the official body wrapper.  I can be high maintenance and bossy as all get out. and he has a tendency of not paying attention.  So, unless your relationship is solid and your love is deep, DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS. Hahah I am pretty  sure there are many a craft related  break-up.

 

Attempt #1:  Clusterf*ck :  DO NOT use plaster bandages from craft stores. NO NO NO NO.  When I was cut out of it, I could tell it was weak.  Plus there were holes.  I knew I had to be bandaged again.  I also took the advice of wearing heels while being wrapped.  I tend  to wear high-ish heels in life.  Standing still in heels made me mean, real mean.  Which lead to the second attempt.

Plaster wrapWeak

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attempt #2: Close but no cigar:  I decided to make a duct tape form then wrap that in plaster.  That way I could take my time and make a good cast and not worry about standing still.  I also used medical grade plaster.  The cast came out pretty good, BUT it was about 2 inches too big all around. Boo.

Duct tape prepDuct tape wrapPlaster duct prepDuct plaster

 

 

Results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attempt# 3:  I Think this is it:  I happened upon a recent youtube video on someone making a plaster dressform. Holla.  It was so inspiring !

 

 

So instead of wrapping myself in plastic, I opted to slather Vaseline on my body and apply the bandages directly.  I also, as they did in the video, did the front and the back without actually connecting. (Sorry, no pictures of the foaming process.  I had my hands full)

 

HalvessealedInside

SandedStandBootleg standCovered

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(The photo of the completed project was taken at an angle, so it’s not as crooked as it seems)

I’m very happy with it.  It’s not perfect. I was not completely straight.  But, for the most part I consider it a success.

 

Here is a rundown of my FINAL supplies.

Cast:

Vaseline (If you are not wrapping yourself in a bag from the cleaners)

Medical grade plaster bandages. OCL bought from ebay    (15 roles was more than enough for me. I’m 5’1 110lbs)

Mold release agent  Green Tincture Soap  Amazon.com

Tarp or garbage bags.

A  very patient wrap buddy

 

Mold

Polyurethane 3 lb. Rigid Foam, 2 Qt, Set bought from Douglas and Sturgess

 

Stand

Plywood

1 PVC connector

3 t-shaped PVC connectors

24 inches PVC pipe (for base)

4  8 1/2 inch PVC

2  6 1/2 inc PVC

 

Cover

Jersey knit (for me: 12 inch wide sewed into a tube with drawstring casing on bottom, then fitted to form)

1/8 inch ribbon

flat head pins.

 

Websites that helped A LOT

Stand 

http://sartorialdiy.com/post/5605391884/diy-dress-form-get-wrapped-in-plaster-2-10

hell, just google :)

But I do advise getting the Instruction Booklet from My Twin

 

WHEW!!!  On to the next project.  I’m still going to make all my DragonCon costumes, even though I’m no longer going.  I also want to start making retro inspired dresses. *Happy Dance*

 

 

 

DragonCon a no go

 Posted by on July 23, 2012  Dragoncon  No Responses »
Jul 232012
 

Alas, I will not be going to DragonCon 2012.  I was cast in RUINED at Gablestage in Coral Gables, Florida and unless I can teleport myself  immediately after rehearsals, I cannot make it.

 

 

We will meet again, one day.  Le sigh.

Jun 282012
 

Mission complete. And only one day after getting started

My arm hurts from slinging a mallet.  My fingers hurt from accidentally hitting them with said mallet.  But, I did it!  Not gonna lie, I’m real proud-like of myself.

 

Google is my BFF!

 

To recap, this was my inspiration

From etsy site Misfit Leather

 

And this is what I googled my way into making

Harness Front

 

 

Harness Back

I buckled the front unevenly, thus the appearance of being crooked. I almost gave myself a heart attack.

 

 

I will allow myself a little time for a “Yay Me” dance.  But I still have TONS to do for my steampunk bounty hunter.  Leggings (never done before),  Bolero jacket (never done before) which I will be altering the pattern to add puffed sleeves (never done before) and a corset, (Which I HAVE done before, but not this type)  AND, I really want to learn how to use my serger.

 

Google, don’t fail me now.

 

 

Jun 272012
 

One of my costumes for DragonCon 2012 is a Steampunk  Bounty Hunter.

In my hopes of hopes it will consist of:

A short stay (much like a Bra)

Leggings

A bolero jacket

Spats

Holsters

Leather chest Harness.

 

And I want to make as much as I can.

 

After much googling  on many many harnesses , I found my inspiration.  (Note, when you Google image, make sure you search STEAMPUNK harness,  unless you want to see some 50 Shades type of stuff)

 

The harness is from an Etsy  shop called Misfit Leather.  All props goes to them

I decided that I wanted only 2 rows of  buckles and I want the holes to be grommets.  (We will see if I follow through with that)

So I know what kind of harness I want.  We are all good, right?  WRONG. I’ve never made a belt and I’ve sure as shooting never worked with  leather.  I toyed with the idea of using faux leather.  (Not for moral rreasons, for I  will bite the hell out of a cow.  But I thought it would be easier and cheaper) .  But, at the end of the day, I thought leather would look better.

Off to Google making a leather belt.

I looked at a lot of stuff.  This video helped me loads.

Simple and straight to the point.

Next, Google where to and how to order leather.

After much searching I decided that Tandy Leather Factory was the place to order online. I could get everything I needed (Leather, dye, all the hardware).  My plan was to buy several inches of 1 inch wide  pre-cut straps.  The only thing, I was a bit nervous  about buying material I never felt before.  I wasn’t sure what thickness to buy, etc.  If only I could find a place nearby.

OH SNAP.  Turns out there are only four Tandy  stores in Florida and one was 15 minutes from me.  I was in my car and on my way  in 10 minutes.

My Leather Store Experience 

That place is way cool.  And the people were super helpful.  Cost-wise it was better to buy the leather in  slab.  There was sale on scrap belly leather for $9 a pop.  Two would be more than enough.  It would mean that I would have to cut the straps myself….. More adventure, and googling..

Time to make the hareness                                                                                                                                

First I made a paper pattern to determine measurements

I could have sworn I took a picture of my leather piece. Alas, it looked something like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I cut out several 1 inch pieces (each about 45 inches long) for the harness, as well as a 2 inch wide in case I wanted to make a belt.

After I cut the straps, I folded and twisted the leather, to give it a more worn look. Then I dyed and finished it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used a Crafttool Strap Cutter. It was like buttah             I used Eco-Flo Gel Antique in Mahogany and

Eco-Flo Leather Finish in Super Shene

 

Word to the wise, although very obvious, use gloves when dying.  For some reason, I did not.  I started to panic, “Oh crap, this dyes leather. Skin is like leather.  I’m doomed!”

 

No.  I googled a solution.  Lather hands with laundry detergent only (no water) then rinse. It comes off after a few rounds.

 

That’s all for now.  Next up will be the building of the harness. Part Two