sewing journal

“I will re-calculate. Your deaths will be indescribable.”

Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in dailies, sewing journal | 0 comments

So why it’s taken me so long to sew up Ro-Man from 1953’s B-movie Robot Monster, I do not know. Clearly a failing on my part. A failing I remedied this week.

Ro-Man (aka Robot Monster), 1953

 You can basically see that this 6-month sized piece is identical to the monster in the film. Maybe it’s even a bit scarier.

Robot Monster (1953) - still

Below you see that Ro-Man the Robot Monster, aka baby V., was pretty much over cute bearded dad. I mean she was into him. She’d hold his hand. She’d let him carry her around all day. But she wasn’t gonna pretend she liked it!

Ro-Man (aka Robot Monster), 1953

OK, but seriously – it was fun trying to make a “helmet” that was smart for a small baby. No globe-and-bucket (which is perfect for an adult version!) here.

Ro-Man (aka Robot Monster), 1953

HUGE BRAWNY MONSTER ARMS. Tiny little baby hands! By the way, a good quality faux fur is machine-washable, very warm, and you can clean baby puke out of it pretty easy. I’m just sayin’.

Ro-Man (aka Robot Monster), 1953

Of course, we need a powerful ape chest. And our pacifier:

Ro-Man (aka Robot Monster), 1953

Ro-Man (aka Robot Monster), 1953

 Baby V. might look like a hungover owl in this photo below but I like it anyway – because Ralph is so sweet – and hirsute!

Ro-Man (aka Robot Monster), 1953

 “I may be a hideous monster but I have adorable, delicious feet.”

Ro-Man (aka Robot Monster), 1953

And of course: a secret little monster underlap at the back, where the ensemble fastens:

Ro-Man (aka Robot Monster), 1953

Of course, you can read more about how I made the piece, and the troubles and successes I had, via the Flickr tagset. And of course, if you’re digging this exact monster, I’ve listed it on Etsy!Robot Monster (1953) - poster

 

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baby angler fish

Posted by on Jan 17, 2015 in dailies, sewing journal | 0 comments

And I have loved thee, ocean! And my joy
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy
I wanton’d with thy breakers-they to me.

Here’s the thing. I knew I wanted to make a baby angler fish bunting quite a while back. You can easily see why. This little piece is up for sale on Etsy.

Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!

Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!

 

This little critter is made from an uber-soft velveteen and lined in one of my favorite formal lining fabrics: a slipper satin, deep purple for this application.

And oh yeah. That is a real glowing lure. I mean COME ON, of course!

Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!

Fins are constructed of a waxed cotton – which makes for a leathery feel and a translucence by light.

Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!

I knit a little cozy for the lure bulb, which is lit with a battery:

Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!

Fully-lined pockets. Because you know how babies need pockets:

Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!

Teeth: a 10% wool. I needed some ferocity but everything needs to be really safe and soft!
Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!Happy fishing!

 Baby Anglerfish! & Yes That's A Glowing Lure!

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Cloned Basketweave Coat

Posted by on Dec 25, 2014 in dailies, sewing journal | 0 comments

Photos of gifts and sewn items trickling in, now that Christmas is here and photos can go public. A while back a friend in the UK sent me her coat to clone. She needed it upgraded, size-wise. We talked about fabrics and she chose a beautiful basketweave from Mood Fabrics. I chose a champagne-colored lining, a pattern for a coat base, and off we went!

Cloned Basketweave Coat

 The new fabric (left) was quite a bit heavier than the original garment. The bulkier fabric made a very different result when it came to the gathers and freeform pleats. (Well. Very different to me, but most people probably wouldn’t notice!)

Sizing up a rather complex garment was no picnic, either! But things seemed to turn out beautifully in the end. Collar:

Cloned Basketweave Coat

Front pockets: the original garment had these very small in-seam pockets – just big enough for a ladyhand. The pockets were also located in a pleated area and are rather hidden. I absolutely loved the look of the ecru satin with the shell fabric.

Cloned Basketweave Coat

Hem and lining:Cloned Basketweave Coat

I sent over the parcel a few days ago; upon receipt yesterday, my friend had to pay £38 in VAT. I’ve sent many things overseas and that’s the first time that’s happened – or at least, that someone told me about it.

Finishing the coat meant – another coat! (for a friend: photos pending), and my Christmas gifts for Ralph and the two kids. As per usual my Christmas was full of a great deal of creative exploits!

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Foxy 2.0

Posted by on Nov 30, 2014 in dailies, sewing journal | Comments Off

Five Nights At Freddy's ("The Mangle" / Foxy 2)

Borrowed from the video game hit Five Nights At Freddy’s, this morning Phoenix received her own Foxy 2/”The Mangle” hat. Those familiar with the game will think, Oh my god that is perfect! Those who aren’t will think, Why on earth would you make something so terrible?

(Why, indeed?)

Five Nights At Freddy's ("The Mangle" / Foxy 2)

Five Nights At Freddy's ("The Mangle" / Foxy 2)

Five Nights At Freddy's ("The Mangle" / Foxy 2)

Five Nights At Freddy's ("The Mangle" / Foxy 2)

The Mangle

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a bride to amazement! or, how Halloween is finally, finally, mercifully sweet Jeebus, behind me

Posted by on Oct 31, 2014 in sewing journal | Comments Off

If you have any questions as to how I made something, or where I found something – ask away! Remember anything you ask benefits those who come searching for tutorials.

Phoenix Fire Hogaboom, Halloween 2014

Last year I believe I created about a dozen pieces for people not related to me – and my children didn’t mind the modest assemblies they received as a result. This year I staved off favors and clients, sewing about six pieces. I wanted to give the kids exactly what they wanted, and to go all out.

So, that happened.

And without further ado:

10 Things I Learned This Halloween Sewing Season

(individual notes on costumes in the Flickr tagset)

Nels, AKA A Dragon

 

1. Sequin fabrics. Unbelievably beautiful, and wonderful to work with. After you’ve spent countless hours painstakingly removing, one sequin at a time, every sequin in your seam allowances. *whimper*

2. Easy “scales” makeup for mermaids, or reptilian what-nots – place a bit of fishnet or tulle over the skin to be made up, and carefully blot a little bit. Nels’ little scales (above) took about thirty seconds and I really adored them.

The Happy Couple

2. You can dye a synthetic wig with off-the-shelf hair dye. Phoenix’s friend Allison (above left) is sporting a thrift store wig that her mama dyed. It turned out fabulous! Phoenix’s wig was purchased as-is from Arda Wigs – and then augmented with a little black hairspray. Colored hairspray, in general, needs to be purchased in large quantities to make a serious dent on hair color.

3. For the bride: mixing dead colors: grey, ivory, pale green and pale grey-lavender – was a total blast! I look forward to making another layered, many-color piece again!

The Happy Couple

4. Tearing and tying one hundred billion strips to the waistline of the wedding gown: worth it. Looks great! I tore along the grain of the fabric which drastically reduces thread coming loose when you launder the costume – which, believe it or not, is machine-washable!

5. Benefits of a dead/corpse/zombie/apocalyptic etc. costume: no need to wash, set and style a wig. Just throw it on!

Nels, AKA A Dragon

6. My costumes are adored not only for their looks but for their wearability. I line and underline them which is why they last through many children. Nels wore his to school and spent our cemetery photoshoot mushroom hunting (there were a billion kinds of mushrooms out!). A garment fully-lined in satin feels wonderful to wear. And of course – I included pockets because that seems like such a lovely and humane feature to give children.

7. Dragon wings: two half-circles of crumpled taffeta, and two of regular taffeta. Each pair sewn right-sides together, then turned right-side out and topstitched. Attached from sleeve hem to hip in one straight line. Simple, sweet, and comfortable to wear.

Dead Bride Costume, Close-Up

8. Bodysuit from mesh fabric, so one can eschew body makeup for that grey corpse-like look: perfect. And surprisingly quick to make. Spandex World for the mesh – using their sample swatch service for the color.

Dead Bride Costume, Close-Up

9. Newspaper roses, spraypainted very carefully: yes. They look as pretty as I thought they might. They are actually rather time-consuming, so be warned.

To Have & To Hold. Plus, A Dragon

10. Crafting as a family affair is wonderful. The clients pictured above all helped with their costumes – and my children did their part doing extra chores so I could work on their pieces. And they thanked me about a hundred times. It’s nice to satisfy!

Happy Halloween!

 

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glad I live in a world where there are Octobers

Posted by on Oct 15, 2014 in dailies, sewing journal | 3 comments

It is getting seriously Halloween up in this here

Car Coat, Autumn

(more pictures of the jacket after the cut) -

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Little Halloween Dolls

 Seriously: these little ghoulish dolls (made by a friend; bought as gifts) are excellent). Like:

Little Halloween Dolls

 

They are slaying me!

I’ve been making stuff for myself, too. Some tights:

Multicolor Deconstructed Tights

Making the perfect-fit tight is pretty challenging. I have discovered my ankles and knees are slim, and my calves and thighs are full. These pair were my third try but I am getting it down!
Multicolor Deconstructed Tights

My ladyfriend B. sent us a care package – including some Cotton + Steel fat quarters. DROOOLLness:
Cotton & Steel Fat Quarters
Remember this skeleton thread holder my daughter drew a while back? He’s back on duty – holding my hair products.

Skeleton 'Sup?

Phee's Skeleton Thread Holder

 

Pumpkin pull-apart bread for my castmates. CHOICE
Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread, For Castmates

 

Herbet Pocket is being very witchy:

Herbert Pocket Takes A Rest

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