Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wake up little blog

After two years of having limited internet access, we're finally back in the online world! And some days I just need a place that's not a message board to share a bit of life or rant about something (keep those to a minimum, I promise!) or show off my sewing stuff or whatever.

Plus I just discovered the craft swaps on Dear heavens those are addicting. Four down and I'm stalking the site at a ridiculous rate of refreshes to see if any good swaps are starting. No, seriously, I almost joined the apron swap and I never use the single apron I already have. It's sad. So anyway, I need another place to show off the goodies I've made and the ones I've received and it might as well be here. Plus, hey, it might encourage me to sew a bit more. My poor machines have been crying from disuse.

So, if you stop by, welcome back! I'll dust off the chairs for you and make up a new pot of sweet tea! Which, by the way, is AMAZING in a mix of half tea, half milk. Not healthy, by very, very good. Here, try some!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dream job

After a long period of under-employment and struggling, both DH and I have gotten jobs within the past two weeks.  And, for both of us, they're those sorts of jobs that we both put as dream jobs as kids but, as adult responsibilities and expectations piled up, we put aside for more practical work.  Ironically those same adult responsibilities (mostly in the form of needing food and shelter) unexpectedly threw us each right into our secret dream jobs.  How cool is that?

DH will be working as a security guard.  In his mind, they're the heros who uncover the huge plot and save the day.  He doesn't watch the same shows I do - in mine, they're the red shirts who're the first to go when paranormal activity crops up or the bad guys need to cover their tracks.  Oh, well, since the reality is that he'll be guarding the security monitors and occasionally walking in circles around the building, I figure it won't hurt him to let him write his own script.  And I'm very excited about the decidedly attractive uniform he'll be wearing.  There's just something about a man in uniform!  Since he'll also start his work at a church while he's working the security job, he'll actually be multi-classing warrior/cleric which equals a paladin.  He's very geekily excited about that.

As for me, I just got a call back today and I'm officially a Disney Cast Member!  I'll be working at one of the new, redesigned Disney Stores (not the parks, yet) and have a cast pin and everything.  I'm ridiculously excited about this.  Right now I'm just seasonal but with a good chance of moving up to part-time.  I'm a massive Disney dork so this is just beyond all imagination for me.  I'm a cast member.  A CAST member!  Only Imagineers and artists outrank cast members, in my book.  And I'll get to spread the pixie dust on people on a daily basis and help people plan their Disney vacations and just make the whole world a tiny bit more magical.  How totally awesome is that?

It's funny because, without this recession and several tough collisions of events, neither of us would have even looked into these jobs - after all, the pay isn't that great and we're both working towards "higher" callings (him, ministry, me, academia) - but because of those frustrations we HAD to look.  Nothing else was working out.  And ... here we are.  In jobs we love with all the excitement of childhood dreams.  How cool and unexpected!

Friday, August 27, 2010

It never rains but ...

it's rather pouring right now.  Not literally (though that would be very nice - it's been a long, hot summer) but very much so figuratively.  We're in the application process for our very first non-student-housing apartment (eek!), we'll be moving within the fortnight, I'm still slogging through the little doll wardrobe, and I just got a rush order for four cotton robes.  Oh, and the semester started.  And these classes, while good, are not of the easy variety.  It's all stuff I'm very, very thankful for (especially the paying jobs) but, dear heavens, it's a lot at once!

My plans for filling out my own very pitiful wardrobe might have to wait just a bit longer.  Of course, since the time I DID have to do it was mostly spent cuddling the fabric and vacilating like mad over what it wanted to be ... I probably wouldn't do anything even if I weren't busy.  Naturally.  :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Finished Snorlax (pokemon) dress!


It'll get sent off to the birthday girl recipient tomorrow.  And I'll be able to focus on my own back-to-school sewing!  

It really was a fun project to work on.  The base is a simple dress made from dark blue denim weave cotton with just enough lycra to make it comfortable.  The cotton was heavy enough to help the body keep it's shape and not deflate.  The white is a lighter cotton/lycra blend.  The belly shape is formed by gathering the waist and pegging in the hem quite drastically.  I had to add a back pleat for walking ease since the pegging allowed for very little movement.

To form the face and tummy I simply cut out two of each piece, sewed the two pieces together, turned them inside out and topstitched them on.  So they're really just giant applique pieces.  It does make it all a bit heavy but it actually works with the dress to help it all hold it's shape.  The arm pockets are made the same way with the sides left open to make them into pockets.  I based the shape on my own hand so as to make them really work as pockets.  The face and claws are embroidered on just using the zig-zag stitch on my vintage Singer.  No fancy machines needed!  Well, except for the inside where I serged the raw edges.  Or came as close to serging as my serger will go.  I SO need to replace that piece of junk.  Fortunately all that is hidden inside and I doubt anyone will look too closely at just how bad those stitches are.  They'll hold, keep the fabric from unraveling, and stay out of sight and that's all they need to do.

Anyway, there it is, a wild snorlax ready for a new home!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pokemon Dress - the end stretch

Just posting some pictures to share the cuteness.  The dress still needs a zipper, the lining fully sewn in, and a decent photo shoot.  But it was a long, sometimes frustrating two sewing days and seeing things on Elanor always makes it seem worth it.  So thought I'd share.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tiny sewing

Along with the Pokemon dress (which is still in the same state we last left it) I got hired to make a wardrobe for a collector's Lady Lovely Locks dolls.  It was a fun assignment to take as they were some of my favorite dolls as a child and the collector gifted me one as part of the payment.  I'm absurdly happy to have my own Maiden FairHair again after many years of being too "old" for those dolls.  Growing up is SO overrated.

First order of business was to make up a sloper for her and my standard method of pinfitting one on doesn't work as well when the pins are as long as the doll's arm.  So it took some trial and error.  I did discover that tracing paper makes excellent doll pattern material.  And that it's far easier to plop the pattern down on the fabric and trace around it with a mark-b-gone pen than try to pin and cut.  Some things are so different at this tiny scale.

The white dress that I deliberately left wadded in such a way that keeps anyone from really scrutinizing it was my first trial and error.  But it showed me I was on the right track in some areas.  The green dress was another trial, no error (except for the absurdly voluminous skirt) and I'll be keeping that one for my own girl's wardrobe.  The pink dress is one for the customer.  I plan on eightiesfying it a bit with a tiny tulle cape and perhaps by gathering up the overskirt tulle with some tiny flowers but I'll admit I rather prefer it as it is.  

And here's today's work.  The customer asked for three casual outfits and these are two of the dresses.  I'll make up little aprons tomorrow so the dolls can be properly dressed for princessy walks in the garden and whatever else little princesses do in their kingdom.  The coloring books and cartoons I remember show them being very friendly with woods animals and perhaps even cooking a bit.  

Before getting rescued from the problem of the week by a prince who spent most of his time as a dog.  

There's probably something deeply freudian there but I'd rather leave my childhood memories unblemished by underlying implications.  

Returning to this project, it's been interesting and challenging to work with fabric at this scale and to try and quickly make up various outfits using the sloper I created.  It's been a good exercise for drafting, matching fabric to pattern, and thinking about how different elements will work together.  Perhaps tomorrow I'll remember to photo document a bit of the process if it might help others who'd like to make their own doll wardrobes.  It is fun!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Pokemon Dress - the muslin takes shape

One client fell in love with this adorable snorlax dress made by Betty Felon

(This, for those who avoided the addiction, is a Snorlax:)

Isn't that just a happy, fun dress?

I was excited to get this assignment because it's just such a great dress that's great for showing off and a fun but not difficult challenge.

I made up the muslin today and am pleased with how it's looking so far.  The skirt is a basic pencil widened to allow for the gathering at top and then drastically pegged in by about 5" on each side to form that bubble.  To help with the imaging I gave it a face by quickly cutting a piece of paper the correct (more or less) shape and drawing the eyes and mouth on and adding the little ears.  On the actual dress the face and tummy will either be pieced or appliqued on (still trying to decide which technique would work best) with a cute embroidered face and little pocket arms.  It's been a fun project to watch come together.