February 26, 2007

kimono pjs!

I'd say they were finished last night, but I had to fix the elastic to make it tighter. So without further ado... my birthday present to me! I'm so happy... :D

I think they turned out really cute, and they're very, very comfy. I have trouble finding winter pjs that are comfortable and still fun, since I get cold very easily. Besides, I figure it's ok to wrap myself in flannel... it's not like I have anyone around to impress with sexy pajamas.

And the closeup of the kimono sleeve...
I think I might reconstruct something next. Just have to decide what. Though I also have some baby stuff to make, since a couple I'm friends with just had their son today and I told them I wasn't going to send them anything until I knew if the baby was a boy or girl. And then another couple I'm friends with is expecting, and I'm sure her baby shower is coming up soon. But the latter is a bit more unconventional, since they're very hard-core outdoorsy. So I have ideas for both babies, just need to get fabric...

February 22, 2007

pajama progress

I've started sewing the pajama top together since Tuesday night, now that my recital is done. The pictures are my progress from that night. I got the shoulder seams and the neckline/front facing sewn on (shown inside out on the dummy). If I were going to do it again, I would have put the facing in two pieces because I forgot that it was a one-way pattern and some of the Asian characters will be upside down as a result. Hopefully it won't be too noticeable.

I also got this ribbon pinned on, along the seam between the facing and the main body of the pajamas. Last night, I got that sewn on, and did about one and a half of the side seams (though not the sleeves yet). I would have at least finished both seams, but it was time to go over to a friend's to watch Lost. So I abandoned it in the middle of a seam. I think I'm also going to put some of the ribbon trim around the sleeves as well, which is why they're not sewn yet. Hopefully I can quickly figure out how much hem to do, since I'd prefer to leave that until the seam is sewn, and figure out where to put it accordingly. I'm also hoping I'll have enough ribbon left on the spool to put around the bottom of the pj pants as well. (I'm making those from a regular tried-and-true Simplicity pattern--since it fits and they're comfy, no need to come up with my own pattern for that.) Those ribbon-by-the-spool things they have at Joann's that I can actually afford are great. I'm hoping to make some good progress on these tonight, and possibly finish them up. It would be nice to have them to bum around in once I get back from my snowshoeing trip this weekend!

February 15, 2007

Noooo!

Figures... the weather caused cancellations for all my work yesterday, but before I made it down to the sewing machine, the power went out! All that free time and I couldn't sew! Oh well. I made the best of it--I finally had a chance to sit down and read through most of one of my latest scrapbook acquisitions, A Designer's Eye For Scrapbooking by Ali Edwards. (I finally had enough credit to get my own major credit card, so I got the Creating Keepsakes one so I could earn free supplies. I'm pretty good at doing sewing on the cheap because I can always resort to thrift store fabrics, but scrapbooking can be tough! I'm not going to give it up anytime soon though, because I'm a photography nut who likes to have prints, plus I've always been a journaler, so I think this will be a good thing since I have to buy gasoline anyway.) Anyway, I think that once I get these design principles down, it'll make my pages look a lot better because I tend to just throw things down and see where they fit and take it from there. I learned some design principles back in my (short-lived) art major days when I was taking 2-D design, but I don't remember anything about that class other than the frustration of staying up all night to complete projects, only to have the prof look at them, tell the class we all sucked at it and do it again. And I'll have some good time to play with layouts, since I have a whole bunch of photos from my recent trip to Chile to do something with. I had them in a temporary album but since I took a lot of vertical shots and all the photo slots were horizontal, that annoys me. I'm going to be limiting myself to just a couple of supplies for the whole album, so I can get it done quickly, so it'll be a good experiment for me. I still do need to get some things developed, but hopefully now that I have power again, I can figure out what I still want and get those soon. And maybe get some time to sew tonight. And finally watch Lost, provided my friend's coworker remembers the tape.

February 13, 2007

All the stars are out tonight...





The shirt is done!! The zipper went in really well, and I'm much, much happier with the neckline on this one. I think it'll also help having the lacing more decorative than functional, since it caused weird bunching issues before.



And here's a closeup on the decorative stitching near the top. It's just little asterisk-like stars. I think I'm going to go ahead and wear it tomorrow, since it's done. Holiday rebellion, if you will.



I also got my next project cut out... pardon my messy sewing area. Experimenting with pajama design. I hope this turns out, since the flannel feels nice and soft.

February 12, 2007

The starry shirt v.2.0


I finally had time to sew tonight-- the first personal sewing I've done since November. I got the new top of the front and the new back pieces cut out, the front sewed together, the front and back sewed together at the shoulders, and then had to do some playing around with my mannequin to do dart placement in the back. So here's how it's looking so far. The bottom of the front is from the original shirt, and I'm going to reuse the sleeves and the ribbon for the lacing in the back. But I'm already much happier with this than the original shirt. I only have the side and back darts basted so far (I had to hand-do it so I could figure out where to put the darts), but there's a fairly good chance that I may have a snow day tomorrow and if that's the case, sewing is definitely on the agenda.





February 10, 2007

Busy work

I'd been hoping to get some sewing in last night or tonight. Didn't happen. It took far longer than anticipated to defrost my frozen leftovers for dinner once I got home from work around 8:15, and by the time I'd gotten that done and eaten, since I'd also had early work yesterday I was way too tired to even think about turning on the machine. So I just did a little bit of extra needed dissection on the blue shirt. So now I'm hoping for tomorrow afternoon on actually cutting out some new pieces and trying again.

I also decided I have way too many clothes (and yet I still want to make more!!) so I decided to pare things down a bit. For tonight's efforts, I got through all the shirts in my closet (which is all the winter stuff and 3/4 sleeved things). I'm getting rid of 14, and pulled out 14 more that have reconstructive potential (though I suppose I shouldn't count two of them, since one I bought at a thrift store with the intent of adding embellishment of some form because I love the cut and fit of it as is, and the second is one that I just want to alter to make it more flattering.) I still have a lot of shirts in there, but there's actually room to maneuver on the rack now. So next challenge is my pants. The side with the longer skirts could be a bit more of a challenge, because I can't see myself getting rid of many of them and that side also houses my costume collection. Which, no way am I getting rid of those. But still, not bad for a night's efforts.

February 8, 2007

The Stargate Swap

As of tonight, the last of my projects is finished! Which finishes me up for swaps for a little bit, since I'd like to concentrate on getting some of my personal projects done (and I need craftiness without a deadline for awhile.)

But, here's what I made (so if you're dearjoan from Craftster, please don't look!)

The first project: a cd case (purchased), painted to look like the top of the Milky Way DHD. I had a heck of a time figuring out how to get the symbols on-- finally ended up drawing them with ball-point pen and then tracing that with the paint. But I'm quite proud of the results (and seriously tempted to keep it for myself.)


The second project: The Daniel notebook. Her favorite SG-1 character is Daniel Jackson (and can you blame her?) I had a lot of fun gathering pictures for this one. And fun with the captions too-- ones like "Evil Daniel", "Ascended Daniel", "Geeky Daniel", "Bandana Daniel" and so on.


The third project: The Rodney notebook. Her favorite Atlantis character is Rodney McKay, so the cover of this notebook is all memorable quotes by him (which I also had fun gathering), and printed out in color blocks that are quite reminiscent of Atlantis (and, well, now that I look at it, just about the same colors as his uniform too.)

As a side note, I had more difficulty than anticipated with both notebooks on the decoupage-- I discovered the computer paper just wasn't working on the covers, had to get new notebooks for both, print it out again on heavier cardstock, then the glue didn't want to stick on the Rodney notebook because the cover's more plasticy... it was a mess. But it's a done mess that actually looks decent, hurrah!
Of course I couldn't do a Stargate swap without using gate symbols somewhere. This was one of my quick projects, once I got it sketched on the shirt-- just went over it once with a silver paint pen and it's done. But this is the gate address for Earth.



And for tonight's finished project, the Atlantis frame. I'd originally intended to use the gate symbols from that on polymer clay. And, as a bracelet. But the clay didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, and my mom had these wooden picture frames that were leftover from a kid's craft class she taught, so I spent last night and tonight painting this. (And added a picture of McKay for good measure, though she can take that out.) I really like how this one turned out, and that if she doesn't want to be overtly geeky, it could double as just normal constellations in space.

February 7, 2007

Swaps and Starry Nights

I worked on the last of my swap projects tonight. Not done yet, but I should be able to finish it tomorrow. Sendouts are on Saturday, and I'm hoping that if I finish my stuff tomorrow, I can send it out on Friday, and then I can have Friday night to sew.

Speaking of sewing, as one of my Wardrobe Refashion projects, I spent Lost dissecting that star-studded shirt from the last post. The sleeves are detached now, and the front and back as well. My current plan is to salvage the sleeves, as well as the lower portion of the front. Not sure if the back is salvageable if I make the lacing merely decorative. But I'm really anxious to get sewing so I can actually finish some things before my four months are up (even though I have a feeling I'll be extending to six.)

February 4, 2007

Super Crafting Bowl!!

Wow, I think this may be the first time I've come to this page and didn't have to re-log in because Blogger never remembers me, no matter what I tell it. :P



Anyway, I spent the majority of my afternoon crafting, and completed another project and a half for the swap (it would have been two, but I have to reglue something.) And I had an idea to make a polyclay bracelet, but I realized that the bracelet, more likely than not, would not work. I still made stuff with the clay. I've just had to rethink what I was going to do with it, and I hope it turns out. But sendouts are on Saturday, so hopefully I can get these things worked out quickly.



I've also decided I'm going to redo this shirt:
This is one I designed a couple years ago, and I still love the concept. However, I don't love the fit so much-- the empire waist really doesn't fit me right at all, and I'm tired of it quasi-falling off my shoulders. Not to mention that, despite the fabric being rather thick and, in theory, warm, I realized this morning that the very open neckline makes me very cold. So I think this might be my first major redo for the Wardrobe Refashion, since I checked my stash and I easily have enough fabric to make some modifications, especially since I can reuse the sleeves for sure, and most likely the bottom portion of the front and at least part of the back. I think I'd like to change a few other things, like instead of it lacing to fit in the back like it does now I'd like to make that more of a decorative element on a more fitted shirt, because right now I get this weird bulge of fabric above the lacing, so I may need to add a zipper. And I'd definitely like less skin showing, especially in the back, because my shoulders got so cold this morning. I have a pattern which I think I could probably adapt for the top portion of the bodice (I just need to dig into my summer clothes for the top I made with it so I can check the fit), but if not, it'll be an interesting experiment in pattern drafting.

February 3, 2007

Temporary setback

I'm having more difficulty than anticipated with one of my swap projects. So I'm going to need to repurchase a few small things to try again. Oh well.

And I started a bit of a clothing recon last night. No pics of the before yet because I haven't unloaded them from the memory card, but hopefully it'll end up good.