Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Rosie Halloween!!!

It has been too long since I have posted and for that I am sorry!  I have been feverously working on my halloween project as well as taking on some new jobs.  I have been exceptionally busy and I hope to be posting some more as things start to settle.

As some of you may recall from my previous post Halloween... What to be? I was debating what to be and was appalled by the options available to me.  It seems everywhere I turned someone was encouraging me to be a sexy pirate or candy bar or some such nonsense.  So I worked out a Rosie the Riveter costume.  I based my pattern's inspiration on a sewing pattern from the 1940's and I think it came out awesome!

While it is a small portion I am proud of figuring out how to do the Rosie's collar pin.  I didn't have a button maker so I used a covered button covered in the same jumpsuit fabric.  I then printed the pin image and modge podged it on.  Not for nothing but I thought myself particularly clever.

This pattern was the first time I drafted my own pants.  Pants are a particularly difficult hurdle to jump, especially for girls like me with a bit of booty.  But I made a muslin and fitted them up, and I was jazzed about them.

I ended up removing the pleats and doing them flat. but I think that for my first real go at a self drafted pants pattern solo they went pretty well.  Hello nice booty!

I draped the bodice and did up a sleeve really quick.  I had confidence they would fit so I went straight into the real fabric.

I topped it all off with a covered belt and I have to say that I was very proud!  The belt was a little tricky as the fabric wanted to be shifty but it all worked out.

Last but least I needed the classic red polka dot head scarf. This was simple to make but not necessarily super simple to tie up.  It is one of my favorite simple ways to wear my hair.

This was a really fun costume to make and I'm sure it will be worn again by me and my wife.  When Deb saw me in my jumpsuit she checked me out and said, "You were definitely born in the wrong century."  I have to say I think she's right.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Halloween Part II: The things I've crafted for love!

My wife is an amazing teacher and an inspiring woman.  I have never met anyone who works as hard as this woman. She is the kind of teacher who should be making millions, and I'm not just saying that because that would free me up to craft all the time.

Now being the wonderful educator that she is, she believes that it is important for her to wear costumes at every appropriate moment, and maybe even a few inappropriate ones.  Over the last few years I have made her many things and some of them have been costumes.

I think the most recent achievement is quite fun! Tomorrow is one of the homecoming spirit days at the high school, it's 70's day!  What's an educator to do? I think the answer is to wear a disco ball on her head! You may ask, "Without tiny spotlights, how will it shimmer?" Don't worry, I'll feed you baby birds.

***Disclaimer: Deb wants to makes sure the credit goes where credit is due.  She says this headgear was all her idea. It was her idea, but I crushed the execution!

First off you head to your local craft store, for us it is Michaels.  I purchased everything we needed there, and I mean everything.  First of all I needed a disco ball light enough to sit on a headband.  This meant that I was making a disco ball.  Can I just say in the words of Charlie Brown "UGH".  We bought a large styrofoam ball, and then Deb decided that I shouldn't just roll this thing in glitter, a.k.a. unicorn poop, she asserted that I should take glitter paper and cut it into half inch squares and glue them all over this thing.  Isn't she a giver, sharing her input like that? Her attention to detail making sure I live up to my own high standards...Thanks (Just in case you missed it, please read that thanks with sarcasm.)

***Disclaimer #2: Deb wants to remind you (my faithful readers) and I that I'm doing it for the children.

I was hoping to make this a quick project but it was not looking like it would go that way.  We found a headband to mount it on and the only thing left was how to illuminate it.  This next part was all me!

This is the first time and probably the last time I will ever say this, but thank goodness for retail stores putting out their Christmas crap out in October! I had a feeling that I should check what was available to add majesty to any ceramic Christmas village.  Turns out that you can turn the spotlights on your own tiny holiday theatre with mini battery operated "flood" lights. What? Now we're talking.

We got home tended to our sweet beasts and then my slave driver put me to work.  I broke out the exacto and scissors and began to cut tiny half inch sparkle squares.  It was not fun and when I thought I had enough and began to glue, it turned out I had only cut enough for half the ball.  Nobody wants only half a glittery ball! So I cut more, cause that's what I do!

***Disclaimer #3: I should just call these Debclaimers, she wants it noted that she was not just sitting next to me eating ice cream and watching Twilight, she was working, making a test for the children.

After I got the ball completely tiled I had to attach it to the headband.  There was a failed attempt at a wire attachment which basically made the headband fall off so it had to go.  In my moment of desperation you may ask what time it was.  It was time to "make it work"and break out the hot glue gun.

I glued the ball on some grosgrain and then glued that around the headband. Perfection.  No for the best part! Turn on the spotlights and let the magic happen!

Isn't she a beauty! Oh I am just so proud!

***Debclaimer: She says that I should not take all the credit, the idea was hers. True but without me where would she be right now I ask you?

A new reader Susan asked me to show off some of my past costumes for Deb, cause I mentioned them in the blog post Halloween... What to be? I made a lot of these things before I started taking good pictures of things and before blogging so forgive the sparse and poor quality photos.

1) Mr. Potatohead.  I think this may be her favorite.  She's really proud she helped, she made the eyes! Her co-worker Jen is featured here as the Snow Queen.  I also really liked this costume.  To keep Mr. Potato's head light and full, we stuffed it with small balloons rather than batting.  It worked out perfectly and two years later they are still full and keeping that costume looking AWESOME!

2)I have to say I was really proud of this night.  The theme for the homecoming dance was Candyland the board game and so Jen went as Queen Frostine and Deb was Princess Lolly.  Sorry the picture isn't the best ever but it's what I got.  I fixed her wig and made her lollipop crown and she wore my wedding crinoline to keep her dress up and fluffy.  I did also help Jen finish up her dress that night.  It was a serious "make it work" moment.  So stressful that when they left I had a beer and napped on the couch till the dance was over. For that to be understandably strange you should know I was not in my house, I was at Jen's.  Whatever.

3) Finally the best of the best.  I made her lab coat for school! Her website is, and so I used monster fabric for her lapels and on the back it says Bio Monsters in black and sparkly blue vinyl cut out letters.  Cutting those letters made me fear carpal tunnel. It was another harrowing experience with me and an exacto blade, how do these opportunities find me?

I hope you enjoyed that Susan, as well as everyone else.  It was nice to see some of the past things I have done;  If there is something you want me to blog about, let me know, I'm happy to look into it.  Till later,

Halloween...What to be?

Here is the thing, I love Halloween! Like really I absolutely love it.  This is not always the case for people who work in the costume field.  Some of us sincerely HATE Halloween.  I do understand the sentiment, because when you work in costuming and Halloween rolls around everyone expects your costume to be the tits.  Sometimes that is a lot to live up to

Then of course there are people who expect you to be jazzed out of your skin and just so pumped to help them with their costumes.  They usually want this for free, like, "hey isn't this just the most exciting costume idea in the history of halloween? Don't you just dearly want to help me out, I'll allow you to do this for free!"  Well thanks for a stellar offer like that but as the joker said in the Dark Night, "If you're good at something don't ever do it for free."

***Full disclaimer and this is not an invitation to solicit me, but I often do things for free.  It's because I'm a nice person or in layman's terms, a Sucker!

All of that aside, I don't usually make my own costumes anymore because I'm married to a teacher whose high school students are thrilled when she dresses up.  However this year she has decided that rather than having me make her something new, she is really just wanted to be Mr. Potatohead again. I made her this costume a year or two ago and she sewed the eyes, she's wicked proud!

That was a really roundabout way of telling you that I get to make a costume for me this year! Hooray!, Now for the decision process, I wanted to be something sexy and powerful, yet not slutty.  This was a hard thing to figure out, especially because when you google costumes for women this is what comes up:

I fully support a woman's right to vamp up on Halloween and wear something they enjoy, and even get some consensual tail, but this is too much for me.  Sexy candy bar was never on my dream Halloween list.  So, I am going to be Rosie the Riveter and not just in a denim shirt with a bandana.  I want to go full on WWII era reproduction jumpsuit in chambray, with polkadot headscarf, and attachable placard. Basically  I want something I can be proud of pattern wise and also something comfy and rewearable. Yes I can re-wear a chambray jumpsuit, just watch me.

I want it to evoke the spirit and tenacity of these beefy broads:

Now for the jumpsuit pattern.  Of course looking through pictures of vintage patterns I have found exactly what pattern I want.  However that has not correlated to finding the actual pattern itself, because that is always the way.  I do have a patterning book from the 40's and I'm hoping that with that book and my knowledge of pattern drafting I can make it work. This pattern is white hot!

I've used this fabric width conversion chart to figure out how much fabric I will need this project. Apparently 39" fabric has gone out of vogue in the last 70 years.  So with 2 3/4 yards of fabric at 56" wide, I'm going to be in business.  I've chosen a dark indigo chambray that I will be ordering from  I'm in love and super excited!

Stay tuned for incoming updates on the costume creation.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fabric Tourists!!!

First off my wife is wicked awesome.  A week ago we went out to do some local exploration coupled with some fabric tourism.  We hit a few spots we knew and a few we didn't.  Our specific intent was to find new fabrics for our fall wardrobe.

I have made my lovely wife many skirts in the past, but this year she has endeavored into wearing dresses and so I have decided to try my hand and making her some dresses.  She had a lot of fun picking out her fabrics and me personally I cannot resist new fabrics no matter what they are intended for.

Well we found an amazing collection of fabrics for the both of us.  I am so pumped for the season of sewing. Here are our new fabrics for fall:

We are going with a great collection of jewel tones and primary colors.  I want to keep my colors bright and expressive.  As for the projects themselves I do have some of them planned.

Deb saw this Rocky and Bullwinkle fabric and wanted some PJ shorts.  My lovely wife loves cartoons and so I was not at all surprised to see her come at me with this fabric in her mitts.

Our next gem is this cotton lycra blend.  Deb is going to look great in the gem I have planned. It's a princess seamed dress with a skirt at the natural waist and raglan sleeves.

This next one is for me.  I am planning to make Colette Patterns Rooibos with pink piping.  I love the colors and it is totally for me!

Deb has this really great dress that has these great diagonal seams and a peter pan collar.  She looks so cute in it.  So my plan is to make a pattern from her dress and to replicate it, perhaps with some alterations.  I might need something similar for myself.

This next piece was a remnant and I have just about a yard of it.  I am not sure what to do with it, if I had a little more of it I would make a skirt, but as it is it may have to be a bag lining or something.

This is going to be another for my dear sweet Deb.  I'm thinking up a shirt dress perhaps or a simple bodice with an A-line skirt, or maybe a dirndl.

This sweet and simple print I think would make a great blouse.  I think for me.  I really like it, but then who knows, maybe it's destined to be a camisole.

This is going to be another of mine.  The fabric on the left is a cotton flannel herringbone and the fabric on the right is a silky poly fabric that I'm going to be using for a lining.  It's going to be my fall coat, and I will be making the Colette Patterns Anise

This is another fabric of mysterious intent.  Deb liked it and so did I.  It looks like we're going to need to see who comes up with the more brilliant plan for it first.  I was surprised when I picked it up and realized that it was 100% cotton.  I think it's awesome, but what will it be? Who knows.

This fabric is going to be a version of the wiggle dress by Gertie from her book Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing.  I want to make the version that is short sleeved with dropped waist dirndl skirt.

Then there is the camper fabric.  I started talking about my "camper dress" and Deb thought it was a style of dress.  She did not happen to recognize that the images on the fabric were campers, as in to go camping in, she thought they were turtles. Isn't she cute!!!  It is going to be a shirtwaist dress with a gathered skirt and the  button placket and collar will be in this awesome teal

Some of you may have seen this fabulous dress made up.  It is the new baby I have to love in my life.  It looks great with colored opaque tights and my new oxfords.  What's not to love?

I'm not yet landed on the destiny for this gem in particular but what ever I do will certainly have details done on the bias.  In my mind there is nothing better to do with a plaid or a check than to contrast its awesomeness with details done on the bias!  What ever it becomes it will be something for Deb whose favorite color is red.  I had originally thought button up shirt kind of camping style but she saw a dress, so who knows?

Now this one on the other hand there was no debate about.  It screamed Deb Cook as soon as I saw it.  Plus it was 50% off and it was already on clearance.  And for those of us who know anything about her, you gotta know that Deb Cook loves a deal.  For details check out the blog post about her pants, in her words "These are $7 Pants but they're not really $7 pants".  This fabric just simply has to be a dress for my amazing wife!

This last one is really fun.  LOBSTERS! My stepdad is avid boater and griller, so this is going to be a grilling apron for him.  Maybe with a tong holster, a space for a spatula?  The sky is the limit!
As you can see I am going to be a very busy girl over the next few months.  I am super inspired and I am pumped to get started!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Favorite Sewing Trend: The Peter Pan Collar

Many of you who know me know that I love a good peter pan collar!  I love them so much that I have got my wife wearing them too!  In any case they are my latest obsession when it comes to sewing.  I look at all the fabric I've purchased and think to myself, "It would look great with a Peter Pan Collar." Usually, I'm right!

It is a very versatile detail that can be taken into so many different directions.  It has it's roots in vintage fashion and you can absolutely take it there.  It's classy and sweet, just the thing to make everyone think you're darling and non threatening, then it's your time to pounce! Ok that went a little far, but you get the idea.

This classic look is perfect in contrasting fabrics like the illustration above.  It is a wonderful way to really pop the detail.

Then of course as I am sure many of you have seen, Peter Pan collars are all over popular fashion.  I mean just pop over to Modcloth, every other item has a Peter Pan collar.  You can even get them as a jewelry piece, it's a crazy amount of awesome!
What are your thoughts on the Peter Pan collar?  Do you have a project in mind?  I will be dropping a few projects of my own.  Pumped to see what you all will come up with.