December 31, 2007
-As far as creativity goes, I think I took more chances in design choices. And loved some of the results, like the kimono pjs.
-Had several firsts this year-- sewing baby clothes, doing the Wardrobe Refashion challenge (for which my pledge is officially over now, or at least I can no longer post on the blog), being chosen as a contest winner for the BurdaStyle Halloween challenge, sewing with bamboo...
-Had a couple failures this year too, mainly in drafting my own patterns. Still haven't quite gotten that one down.
-I've become less productive, I think, but a little more detailed. I say less productive because the second half of the year was pretty much dominated by one dress and the peacoat.
I don't have an exact count on scrapbook pages done, though I know I did a fair amount. But here's some other stats:
Craftster swaps completed: 2
New articles of clothing: 14
Reconned articles of clothing (which includes a few simple embellishments): 15
Bags or bag-like things: 4
Articles of jewelry: approximately 14
Totally bombed projects: 2
Scrapbook pages completed, give or take a few: 33
Favorite sewing project this year: The Titania dress. I was just so happy that I designed something and, even though I had to start with a pre-made pattern base, it worked!
Least favorite sewing project: The Felicity Peacoat. Even though I'm happy with the results, and it's keeping me nice and warm so far, it was just such a pain to make! Though I think most of that would have been avoided had I had the right pattern size to start with. :P
Best online discovery this year: BurdaStyle, hands-down. I mean, come on. Free sewing patterns that don't suck!
Best podcast discovery: ThreadBanger. Even when the projects are way more punk than I am, it's just so fun to watch.
7 Things I'm hoping to accomplish in 2008:
1. Finally learn how to make jeans that fit!
2. Get better at working with knit fabrics.
3. Use up some of my stash. Though that was part of the whole point of the WR challenge... :P
4. Finish the two scrapbooks from my grad school years, the Chile album and the road trip album.
5. Even though I didn't sign up again, I still want to sew as much of my wardrobe as possible instead of buying things new. (Even though, since my pledge is over, I did buy two shirts today. The first was an off-white cami that I've been needing for awhile to wear under things and had no luck with at the thrift store, and the other was a pretty, comfy knit shirt.
6. Try a project from this book that I got for Christmas.
7. Though it's not crafty, persay, I do also want to work on my cooking skills a little. In particular, I want to learn how to make those Chinese pork dumplings, and how to better cook without recipes.
Happy New Year!
December 30, 2007
Ta-daa! My New Year's Eve dress. I sketched out the design last night on a whim, and am quite pleased that it looks like how I pictured. I cut the skirt shorter, then added part of the bottom to the lining so I could make it an assymetric two-layer skirt. Then I took off the sleeves, took the zipper in about 4 inches, made some more tweaks to the fit, then sewed the original seam binding back onto the one armhole and used ribbon to get the assymmetric seam to stay. I was originally going to fold under the scalloped edge on the hem, but decided to leave it.
And it also gave me time to watch my Netflix rental (Premonition) as well as two of my Christmas gift movies (Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and Help!). So all in all, a good afternoon.
I just hope the party is worth the effort for the dress....
December 29, 2007
December 21, 2007
And the four of them together. I have no doubt Kathryn will be excited when she sees them-- I just hope the kids feel the same!
December 18, 2007
December 12, 2007
December 11, 2007
My mom and I made these on Saturday morning. The original plan was to collect the pinecones ourselves, but the forecast called for rain so we picked up some cinnamon-scented ones at the store instead, and then glittered them up. (Red, gold, silver and green for the colors, but only the green is pictured here because I didn't have time to get them all on the table drying.)
Then I spent Saturday night into Sunday hanging out at Nicole's--she worked on some artwork for a coloring pages job she's doing, and I worked on scrapbook pages. No pics now, and most of them were adding text to already mostly-finished pages, but I still got about 10 pages done. Which, since I'd figured I had about 50 outside of the travel albums, is pretty darn good for helping me catch up.
I also spent some time fixing this skirt. It's an old picture because I'm too lazy to take a new one. Anyway, it looks the same, all I did was take it in a bit, which involved hand-sewing in the zipper and then sewing the lining back down to it. It took a couple attempts to get the side seam to lie flat again after that, but I think it'll look better now.
I'm having a sick day today, unfortunately--had to cancel teaching and such. So I've been working on Nicole's scarf, which will hopefully be done tonight or tomorrow, and I also made these two necklaces for Mom's stocking. She wanted a black or a natural one, so I made both. Sort of. Turns out my "black" beads are actually a deep red garnet, but next to the black sweater I'm wearing today, it still looks black. So hopefully that'll be close enough.
Oh yeah... my attempt at the Nottingham shirt from the last post is officially on. I went to Goodwill on Friday and found two green shirts that looked like they might work well for it. So they're washed and waiting for me to finish the brocade jacket.
December 7, 2007
Anyway, I was looking at anthropologie today in an attempt to get some inspiration for those fabrics in yesterday's post. I've pretty much loved their clothes since first stumbling across their online catalog, so I tend to steal a lot of ideas. (For instance, the skirt I've spent this entire night hand-sewing in the zipper for because it turned out great except it was too big at my hips.) They've since wised up and made it so I can't save pictures off their website anymore. So I'll have to sketch instead. But here's a few of their recent things that I love and want to copy:
Drawing Room V-neck: This one is more for the style than the actual color. Orange generally isn't my thing--combination of a puke orange carpet in my room when I was a kid that I hated and the red tendencies in my hair that makes it clash anyway. But I do like the Asian-inspired style of it, the self-belt, and the piping. So I'm thinking maybe something along this line for that multicolored silky print that I had no clue what to do with.
Nottingham Tee: Ohmygosh I want this shirt. I love that it looks like a medieval dress, but it's a totally wearable shirt-- right up my alley! I like the colors on this one too. Will have to see if I have anything in my stash that will at least work for part of this. And if I can figure out how to do smocking.
Llewellyn Surplice: Based on how it looks on the model, I'd have to raise the neckline several inches. I know it's just a simple twist-top shirt, but I also like that puffed banded sleeve detail. And the border print look.
Snowshoe Blouse: This one's pretty much all about the sleeves and the tie at the waist. I'm wondering if I can adapt this to a longer-sleeved version so I can use the blue/green silky print on it. With maybe a different bodice too, because I don't want something that open in the winter. Maybe some kind of merging of that and the Crimson and Clover Tunic.
Cordial Tieback: Definitely not a winter shirt for this ice princess! And I probably wouldn't make it with lace. But I do like the concept of the sheer over contrasting color solid. I'd also have more coverage in the back, but that's just me.
Latticework Tank: I love the crisscrossed front. And the scrunchy straps. It really reminds me a lot of Claire Danes' angel dress from Romeo + Juliet, even though I know it's completely different in the front, but I loved that dress. This one actually has potential as a recon too, I think, if I can find the right starting garment.
So that's just the tops... I kind of ran out of time for the skirts and dresses.
Also, I'm thinking I really need to find another site to draw inspiration from--anthropologie does a great job of addressing my bohemian medieval-Renaissance loving side, but I still need to indulge my funkier side too.
Edit, 12/7: I'm so excited-- I went to Goodwill this afternoon in search of new sweaters. And only found two. But I did also manage to find two knit shirts that will be perfect to recon into the Nottingham Tee! They're even the same color scheme, and the darker green has some ribbing that will add some nice detail, in lieu of the pointelle weaving. I still need to figure out what to do about the band in the middle, whether I have something that will work for trim or I'll need to purchase a little something, but so far my version costs a grand total of $9. Yet another reason to love refashioning.
December 5, 2007
I also got started on the lining tonight, and would have gotten it to this point, but as it turns out, both sleeves were facing in the same direction so one of them won't connect to the back properly. So guess what I'm doing during Project Runway?
On a slightly more random note, these are the fabrics I got on that last trip to Joann's where I didn't mean to buy fabric. The green striped to the left is going to become a skirt of some type, though I'm currently debating what direction the stripes should go in, mainly due to that crinkled green taffetta-looking stripe. It's a heavier weight fabric, so not sure I can get away with horizontal without it making me look huge, but I'm not sure a diagonal or vertical would go right. Next one to the right will become some kind of long-sleeved top, since I need more things to wear with my navy blue cords. The teal/gold embroidered one is destined for some short-sleeved top, since my wardrobe needs such things for spring/summer in air conditioning. The one I'm a bit stumped on is the one most to the right-- the colors were so rich that I just couldn't pass up this silky print, but I have no idea what to do with it. Probably some kind of top, but I'm a bit stumped as to style/sleeve length/ etc. So if anyone out there in blogland happens to see this and has some kind of a suggestion for me, I'm open!
December 1, 2007
Went to the store with Kathryn yesterday. Got cape fabric. Not sewing it yet, because she's having the niece/nephew's names embroidered on it first, so I'll get it from her after that. Don't think those will take long.
Worked on the scarf today. Couldn't finish seeing if adding the extra yarn would solve the gap problem, since I ran out of one of the yarns. Wish I'd known that yesterday while I was actually at Joanns'.
Also made a scrapbook page today, mostly, which still needs some writing. I've been trying to get organized on my scrapbook stuff so I can get caught up as quickly as possible. So, not counting the road trip or Chile scrapbooks, I now have a list of all the pages I need to make, covering since summer of 2003 to now and 4 different albums. Got about 50, in various stages from need-to-develop-the-photos (basically anything that happened since the road trip) to would-be-done-if-I'd-just-print-out-the-journaling-and-stick-it-down. As already mentioned, I really do have more pages to do than that, since I have a half-finished album from Chile and the road trip album, which I still need to complete my paper prep before I can assemble that.
I really don't think the road trip album will take too long, though, once I get the paper done. Hopefully I can finish that in the next few weeks, between Christmas gift stuff, because I'm really hoping to be able to assemble that around the holidays, when I'll be home more often due to the inevitable teaching cancellations. I found a few years ago when I made an album from another vacation that for stuff like this, it's best to just stick to a few techniques throughout the whole album because then it's fast and easy. Then, it was the sewing machine and watercolor pencils. For this one, besides the painted paper, I'm going to stick to tearing and stitching it down (with the sewing machine, because otherwise that's way too much work and I like the way it looks anyway!). I have some travel-themed rubons, and some letter stamps that I'm going to use for titles. I won't even have to title all the pages, depending on sections of the parks. I will need to add some captions, and I think I'm just going to do that in computer-printed strips, since I got some letter-sized cream cardstock for printing purposes. I was also thinking of doing sections by days, since I have the maps and the journaling books, but I think I can probably come up with one layout that will work for all of those, and then just take the others depending on the orientation/cropability of the photos. So it will take some time due to the sheer number of photos, but with the colors, I'm hoping I can get a really rich look with minimal assembly effort.