Mi's oft geeky sewing blog

Monday, November 16, 2015

November Happenings!

I have loads of little things in progress right now, but nothing finished just yet so it feels like I'm doing nothing >.<

So here's just a smattering of pics of two things I've been working on.

I posted this pic in one of the random pic posts before. The stooooory is, in December 2010 I went to Japan and thought I should make myself a lovely coat to wear there. This is as far as I got, that's the liner in the pic, but the shell is at the same spot. When I went to set the sleeve I reeeeeally didn't like the shape of the sleeve head, but I didn't really have time to mess about with drafting a new one, and I wanted to add some things, aaaand I ended up getting a lovely wool coat on holiday sale anyway.

It's B5425 from Butterick btw, view C cut at A's length (also note, it's going to hit just above the knees on me and I shortened it a few inches from the A cutting length, so it runs long).

Anyway, so got that other coat, folded this up to finish later aaaand... never got around to it ;_;
I'm very much deadline driven, so I have loads of half finished "real" clothes that get pushed aside for costumes or presents that have to be made at a certain time. It's been sort of nagging at me since I moved though. Then one of the bloggers I read sometimes posted about finishing a quilt she started in 1991 and I was like whoa, I do NOT want that to happen to me! I need to go through my bins and finish what I want to finish and toss what I don't.
Then I started to read Lladybird's blog, and she has an excellent post on how she sews so much, and I realized that I *am* at my most productive when I do those things, I'd just never really thought about it before. But one of the things she doesn't do, that I clearly do (did?), is allow UFOs! (UnFinished Objects)

So that long story really is just to say, I'm going to finish this coat XD

That fabric is like ... twill weight. Which is nice, but not really coat-y. So I went to Joann to get some flannel to underline it with, and it happened to be 50% off, scooore.

More pics and rambling after the cut!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Misc Catch Up Pics pt 2!

Now for some random pics from Oct!

I just planted more a few weeks ago, I didn't realize they can be sort of a year round crop here. So, excited for that.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Misc Pics Catch Up!

Realized it's been a bit since a posted! Part of the fault is I started using instagram in... August I think and so my random pics go there and I forget to put them here. Also I still haven't done anything about my camera :/ I know that it's me not wanting to face if all those pics really are gone ;_; But... I really should find out.

Anyway, so I tend to take random housey pics on my ipad mini anyway. So here's some pics from September! I'll do October in another post.

This was probably one of my last batch of refrigerator pickles, my cucumbers fiiiinally gave up the ghost a few weeks ago (no joke, I must have gotten hundreds from those plants!) and I pulled them up and planted chard, beets, and carrots there.

Lots more after the break!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Farewell Green/White Regency Shoot

Man I've been meaning to post these for ages. But for various reasons never got around to it.
Anyway! Last year I was thinking, really four Regency dress is a bit much when I have two more planned, so I decided to sell my first one.
Doris was awesome and did a photoshoot for me so I'd have lovely photos to use for etsy. It sold, right when I was getting ready to post it and signal boost, but the pictures turned out so nice I wanted to post them anyway!

We shot at Gamble Gardens in Palo Alto, and my sister Elizabeth did my wig and makeup so that Doris could take some good shots for her portfolio.

More after the cut!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sewalong Challenge #8 Complete

Whoohoo, finished one!
I've been so far behind this feels like a huge victory XD
It wasn't what I meant to do, and the whole thing took me maybe 20 minutes, but, it fulfills the challenge so I'll take it.

Some time ago some friends bought me this teeshirt:

It's a little hard to tell because of the lighting but... it's tan. 
I appreciated the thought, 'cause as they well knew I love Magneto. But I don't care for brown. The only brown thing in my wardrobe is my jedi cloak, and that's only allowed because... jedi cloak.

So I folded it up and put it aside until I could decide what to do with it. My original thought was to make a red backpack with purple trim and cut out the picture and applique it to it. But when I got it out earlier this month along with a bunch of other teeshirts I'd set aside to refashion (funnily, I was actually looking for a different shirt from the same friends in particular) the print was much larger than I'd remembered. Aaaaand I decided I just didn't like it enough to go through all the effort of making a cute backpack.

I recently started following Matt from the Great British Sewing Bee at Sew What's New (if you haven't watched that show, you should, it's full of really lovely, nice, creative people. I'm particularly fond of the history bits, and Patrick), and he posted a tee shirt refashion just this month.
I've seen these tee shirt bags before, but his tutorial is a nice clear one and I hadn't thought of zigzagging the edges to prevent overstretching.

Anyway, so I did that.
Challenge #8, Something Geek Inspired, done!
Also it's a refashion, so technically Challenge #6 done also 8D

And bonus, yesterday's harvest:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Water Bottle Holder Tutorial

So I've been pretty scatter brained lately (uuuuh... the last two years...) and making stupid mistakes in my sewing, just from not paying attention. I've found that running a mental commentary as if I were making a tutorial really helps me stay focused. So when I was making this, I thought why not just actually make it a tutorial?
Plus sometimes it helps to try to figure out how to put things into words rather than vague hand gestures.
So any C&C would be welcome!

My gramma asked me to make her a new insulated water bottle holder, she had this one she'd bought that either was for her old water bottle or she'd just bought it not knowing if it'd fit or... something. I'm really not sure. Point is it didn't fit the water bottle she uses now.
Fortunately, we have the same water bottle! This one from Target (coincidentally, we even bought the same colour). So I measured the base and the height and made a mockup for my own water bottle. I say mockup, what I mean is I just went for it 8D;; And made some adjustments to her's.

Anyway! You will need:
- Two 7.5" x 22" pieces of fabric (I'm using quilting cotton scraps) for lining and shell
- One 7.5" x 22" insulation piece (I just have whatever they had at the quilt store, I think it's Insul-Bright)
- Two 2" x 8.25" pieces of fabric for the cording channel
- Two 2" x 5" pieces of fabric for the tabs
- Two 1" x 5" pieces of interfacing for the tabs
- Two 16" pieces of cording

- One 7.5" x 9.5" "Base," if using directional fabric like I did cut two 7.5" x 5" pieces

Seam allowance is .25" unless otherwise stated.

Continued after the break!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Sewalong Challenge #8 Inspiration - Something Geek Inspired

Augh, in my mind it was "Something Quilted" and I was already sad because I didn't finish my quilt for the WIP challenge (truth be told, I hardly touched it) and I've been thinking of it for like a week now. While I'm doing dishes, while I'm gardening... while I'm at work.... wondering what I could possibly quilt that's not actually my quilt.

I even thought about quilting my sister's quilt! Which she started last month, and is already at the quilting stage. She's 12 years younger than me, so it's making me feel like a slacker!

But today... I actually looked at the chart. "Something Quilted" is for December!
September is "Geek Inspired."

Which actually might be more challenging 'cause where do I even start? I have SO MANY "geek" sewing plans.

Technically, my Game of Thrones Messenger Bag fulfills this challenge (and July's refashion challenge!) but, new things!

But in the bags vein, I have several SDCC bags I'd like to refashion, I don't have pics of all of them but here are two I remember:

 These bags are huge and refashion really nicely.

I'd also like to inject some more general geek into my wardrobe, but we'll see!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Observations from first underwater shoot!


Doris got some underwater camera gear a bit ago, she's rented the gear before and done a few shoots, you can see them here.

For the preggers one I did do some minimal assisting, so I *thought* I was reasonably familiar with the whole underwater thing.

Lemme tell you it is WAY different being in front of the camera.

Behind the camera, you're pretty much focused on one thing: getting the shot. Not that it isn't hard, you have to keep yourself down in the water and there are other water things to struggle with.


So this "shoot" was a "let's play with your equipment!" test.

We wanted to test how an umbrella maneuvers in the water, and how a night time shoot would look.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Jareth progress pics

I miss posting!
I still haven't tried to recover all those photos :/ I need to figure out a dedicated time to try, which is the real problem.

In the meantime, pictures I took on my ipad mini!

That's the next pic I have unfortunately. The paper taped on the front was so AJ could draw roughly where his weird bone chest piece goes and the size on me.
She also drew the approximate lines on the muslin sleeve, but then we both decided that sleeve head shape wasn't right. So I ended up using sleeve from Simplicity 2341 afterall, I just cut it in it's largest size for a bit more fullness at the head.

More after the break!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

2015 Sewalong update

Since I've been spectacularly lax about this (okay I have been really busy, but I feel like these things are simple enough I should have been able to get them done), I thought I'd do a quick catch all update with the things I should have made haha.

Reminder that we put two months for the something vintage challenge (which I skipped), so the numbers don't align w/ the months anymore.

#5 - June : Something for your Sewing Table

This one is particularly sad that I didn't do anything for, 'cause a pincushion can be really simple. And also because these are the two things I had wanted to do (which I'd still like to do before the year is out):

From the I Can Find the Time blog.
Think it's sad I didn't... find the time to do that?
Here's the other thing:

I have a kit to make that, minimal effort! It's not that exact kit, but that image is for a pattern from Pattern Pile.

#6 - July: Refashion an Existing Item in Your Wardrobe

I have a piiiiile of clothes just waiting for this. And I have ideas for half of them!
Since it's refashioning, I can't really find pics to show my intention, but you can take my word for it they'll be cool when I get around to it.

#7 - August: Finish a WIP (Work in Progress)

I reeeeeally wanted this to be my quilt! I've been working on it off and on for over a year now, but in such small chunks it hasn't seemed worth posting about. But I don't feel it's anywhere near close enough to finish in August. So it's actually possible my WIPs will be those challenge #6 items! 'Cause like I said, I have a pile of clothes for just that purpose.
I also have a velvet blazer I started 5 years ago or so, before I really realized the different properties of velvet. And a long jacket I started probably around the same time which is sliiiightly more likely to get finished (since it's further along).

So we'll see!
Hopefully I'll start taking pictures again soon.
Costume College this weekend, so I've been cramming.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Partial Haitus... thing

Soooo, in-between taking pics, literally from one picture to the next, my camera's SD card died. At the Cheesecake Factory of all places! (in my defense, their decor really looked like the Eye of Sauron was watching us eat...)

I take pictures of eeeeeverything, I have such a terrible memory I feel like I have to! So this is kind of a big a deal (and an excellent reminder to me to back up any pictures once a week going forward).

Before I descend into despondency I need to exhaust all my options for recovery, and sadly I don't really have time for that at the moment.

So I'm not sure how the posting will go for awhile. You guys are missing out on some great beet pictures, boiled this time! And then pickled!
Also progress pictures of my house and my sewing projects and like 500 pics from Yosemite.

Friday, July 10, 2015

CoCo 2015 progress

So I'll post about the Sewalong later, hopefully. June completely got away from me, and I suspect July will as well. I DO want to do both those challenges. I'm really going to try to complete all the challenges, just maybe not in the month they were supposed to have been done in.

Part of the reason July is failing is whoops, Costume College is in three weeks!
I really waffled on what to make, I'm just not feeling the historical vibe right now. So I wanted something cool, but not too hard to make in a short amount of time, and something I'd been wanting to do. Augh, decisions.

Anyway, I finally settled on Jareth from Labyrinth, I've wanted to make all his outfits for yeeeears. My absolute favourite is the white outfit he wears at the end, but there definitely wasn't time enough for that. So I decided to do my 2nd favourite, the one I've always thought of as his Escher outfit, but I guess it's usually referred to as his "Within You" outfit since that's what he sings when he wears it.

This is the photo most available on the internet:
Many searches don't get much better!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Sweater Weather (not really)

Oh whoops, didn't realize how long it'd been since I posted!

So there was a bit of a heat wave here in CA last week. It was super warm, as in even I was warm and that hardly ever happens. It was over 100 F but I can't remember by how much.
I decided that it was a great time to make a sweater!

A few weeks ago my sister and I went a liiiiittle crazy with the redtag table at Joann, getting loads of lovely stripey knits to create more Korean menswear inspired shirts.
I also picked up a really light weight loose weave black and white striped knit, just a little over a yard left on the bolt.

I've wanted a black and white stripey loose weave sweater since I saw it on Toshiya when this picture came out:

I don't even remember when that was now... I'm thinking 2004-2005. I can't even remember what this pic is promoing, I haven't followed dir en grey in years :/
(Side note, I'm also quite fond of Kyo's outfit, the one front & center)

I decided to do a cardigan instead of a sweater, 'cause I wanted something easier to put on and take off, since this is such a light fabric I was thinking it'd be used mostly for summer days. Plus I think the last time I had a cardigan I was 13, so it'd be a nice something to add to my wardrobe.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

2015 Sewalong Challenge #4 Complete

Augh so behind in posting.

Buuuut, I did complete challenge #4 - Something for the Home. And only two days late, so really, doing okay.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Misc May

May is over! It was so busy ;_;
I still need to do another wedding dress post, so I'll leave that out, but other than that I'm just going to photo dump pretty much XD

For Mother's Day, I made Marmalade!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

2015 Sewalong Challenge #4 Inspiration - Something For The Home

So the last Sewalong Challenge was for two months, March and April, to allow time to make a full vintage outfit. I skipped that one to make the wedding dress (which, btw, finished! Only 2 days later than my hoped for finishing date), but back to it now!

This month the challenge is "Something For The Home." I have some ideas that are way outside my time frame, and I have some ideas that require me to have actual furniture first (that's the plan for the summer! ... Hopefully), but realistically I'm going to have to stick to small things!

First up for me is resuable makeup pads!

Hopefully super fast and easy, I can use scraps, and will be perfect for the post-facewash toner. I've been using witch hazel because I read to, but I can't tell if it's made any difference because I never really looked at my face before using it to know XD Whoops.

More ideas under the cut!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

D's Wedding Dress Progress 4

Plugging away on the dress! I'm at a stage where there's a lot of hand work so it the progress looks very slow and hasn't been worth posting about. I'm in a (hopefully) final push right now, I'm trying to finish by this weekend so D has time to get it to the dry cleaners and I have time to catch up on my Arabic homework before my class is over (I keep telling myself it's just for fun and the grade doesn't matter but... yeah no).

Anyway, I realized I actually hadn't posted as much as I thought, so I *do* have something to post about 8D

I want to post more garden/produce pics though, 'cause it makes me feel Hobbity, so, later.

Right so, wedding dress.

After that stage I had D come over and we pinned lace on all over.

Looks nice right?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Back to sewing later. For now, a garden update!

I can't seem to find a pic of it totally before I started working, but here's the section of my yard I'm focusing on gardening right now.

I was scraping weeds before putting a planter box down. D gave me several of these planter boxes! This was taken in January I think.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I was going through some of my phone photos, trying make sure I sent everything to myself when I noticed a lot of hair photos and thought it might be fun to see them all in a row.
Plus it will help me figure out what colour next!
The first one is my natural hair!
The more I look at it the more I think I even took that pic 'cause it's dyed slightly darker and has lowlights that my gramma's hairdresser put in for me.

Pics after the break!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Wedding Dress Progress 3

Okay so, where did I leave off....
I think at the lining!

So after making all the adjustments on the shell, I turned towards the lining.
I took another look at the original bodice and noticed they even flatlined the lining, I'm not sure whyyyyy, I've never heard of that, but if it's good enough for Disney, it's good enough for D!

So last minute flatlined all the lining with a light weight cotton (which, ugh, means I've cut this bodice pattern out 5 times not including muslins), while I don't really get why they did that I don't mind because I like having a fabric you can trust! Instead of the flimsy slippy stuff this whole thing is made out of.
Beautiful dissimilar curves ;_; Probably the best princess seams I've EVER done, and of course it's the lining.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Wedding Dress Progress

Okay! So I checked the fit on D, and confirmed yes, I had added 5/8" twice. Better than not adding at all right?
Then we had to refit some things! Minor, 1/8" here and there. But whyyyy.
We did three mockups. Three. I don't understand.
But after being confused, you just have to roll with it!

I trimmed up all the little pieces, and onward!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Wedding Dress Remake Go!

So I mentioned working on D's wedding dress, with her permission I'm going to try to blog the process!

This dress is actually a partial remake. Some time ago D bought a dress at a thrift store to use in an underwater shoot, since it had a lovely flowy skirt. That dress was this, in offwhite:

From Disney's 2008 Wedding dress collection.

Details after the break!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Sewalong Challenge #3 Inspiration - Something Vintage Inspired

Vintage inspiration!
So we plotted this challenge to span two months, March and April, thinking that we would probably be making 50s dresses for the 40-50s picnic GBACG is having May 3rd.

Also for me, almost two years ago I saw this dress:

I love stripes, but I love chevrons.
Then pretty shortly after Joann was having one of those 50% off redtag sales and I saw a bolt of stripey baby pink and brown fabric and a bolt of baby blue and brown. The blue though... wasn't redtagged. But the exact same fabric. So I brought them both to the cutting counter hoping the blue would also be on sale. Sadly, it wasn't.
But, I'd JUST seen this dress and really liked it, so I bought the pink anyway, and a yard or so of the blue to potentially use as an accent. I already had this Vogue pattern, so excited I began to cut it out.
I totally didn't notice the fabric I got is variegated stripes, and done in such a way it can't be mirrored. Frustrated I bundled up the fabric and haven't touched it since.

But now...
I've always been fond of this look but the more I researched and watched period things, the more I really really want to do a trouser set instead. Think Katharine Hepburn. This blog has a very good article on vintage trousers.

Also I'm in love with Bomb Girls' Bettie McRae:

It's on Netflix if you haven't seen it, I really liked it.

Anyway, basically I'm finding I pin lots of fluffy dresses (especially if they have stripes), and I do want to make pretty dresses, but I want to wear the trouser sets.

All that said aaaand, I actually think I'm going to skip this challenge!
First, I'm pretty sure I don't have any appropriate fabric for a trousers set right now and I just don't feel like making a dress at the moment.
Second and more important, making D's wedding dress for May is a waaaaay higher priority, and I need to just focus on that.
I haven't decided yet if I'll post about that as I do it or wait until it's all done.

But I will probably revisit that pink fabric and actually do a 50s dress sometime, 'cause I have it and I need to use up fabric 8D;;

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sewalong Challenge #2 - Complete

So February's challenge was to make a bag, but specifically from a pattern you haven't used before. That was the challenging part for me XD I'm not that great at following directions.
As I mentioned in my inspiration post, I chose to do the “Dubstepper” messenger bag by Robert Kaufman.

All excited for my project, I took that picture on Feb 1st!
And that's really as far as I got until March 7th. Just miscellaneous life things.

A'ight so, process and completed bag!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Gallifrey 2015

Ah Gallifrey!
I arrived Thursday morning and spent the day with Miss Molly, we went to FIDM and the Getty, I'll post those pics later.

Friday morning I learned Alex Kingston had a schedule conflict, the weather was so bad where she was filming it put them behind schedule and they wouldn't let her leave. Sad! 
But it did clear up for me my musings on whether I should get a photo with her or Barrowman or both.

Anyway, this Gally felt very weird to me. I think mostly because Lyn wasn't there! Even though she wasn't there last year either, it still just feels strange without her.

I did go to a LOT of panels though. Pretty much all the classic companion ones, and there were a lot! This is the all together panel:

Look how many!
They are just so adorable ;_;

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Adventures in cooking

Sewing/cute stuff soon hopefully. February was a big wash in terms of being productive 8D;;

In the meanwhile, here's something I did last night!

As some of you know I'm not really big on cooking. In that, I tend to have no idea what I'm doing.
I can follow a cookie recipe!
Everything else is debatable.

So moving on. I went to Grocery Outlet recently and they had yams on sale, $0.99 per yam. So of course I got the largest one I possibly could (gotta get my money's worth out of that dollar right?).
It was huge:

I'll let you take a moment to realize it's about the size of a toaster (it is, it's curved here so not the best pic but yes).

Friday, February 6, 2015

Kitchen Weekend Project

Departure from sewing to do a home improvement post!

So I saw this pin some time ago about making the undersink area pretty, and thought hey I can do that!

'Cause clearly, under my kitchen sink could use some prettification!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sewalong Challenge #2 Inspiration - A Bag (from a pattern you haven’t used before)

Ack, it’s February already!

I did finish challenge #1, I just don’t have any good pics at the moment, so that will come later.

The challenge for February is a bag, easy right? I LOVE making bags, they’re such great projects for making you feel accomplished.

But there’s one tiny stipulation on this challenge… it has to be from a bag pattern you’ve never used before.


Therein lies the challenge for me! While I love to make bags I’ve only ever used a pattern for that really cute lunch bag I made several times from this great tutorial. All my other myriad (slight exaggeration, but only slight) of totes and bags and purses I’ve just winged because… bags!

I have a pretty large board for bags here on pinterest, and another one for wallets and clutches which have been mainly for inspiration.

But with the intention of following some directions I mostly cut out the “Dubstepper” messenger bag by Robert Kaufman.
So I’m going to finish that (which also counts toward challenge #8, finishing a WIP!), hopefully.

That’s the Dubstepper, I think I’m going to modify the flap though...

I’m trying to find patterns that will work with fabrics I got to make bags, and then I’m going to try to just make as many bags as I can squeeze in for this month. Of course, that was also my intention last month, to make several accessories, but I only got one done so we’ll see! I quite like this bag:


And a friend asked me for an overnight/weekend bag. So maybe?
It’s a free pattern from Noodle Head so bonus on the not spending money!

I actually have a lot of ideas already, so it’s more challenging to find a pattern that meshes with my vision!

Hopefully progress posts soon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Random Mobile Photos

In lieu of actual content, I cleared out some of my mobile and table photos, exciting right?

These are all my socks lacking a sole mate D:
Having just moved, I really thought I'd find everything. Alas.
(Actually, I did find two or three of these after taking this pic last month, but then I also added two or three to the pile!).
I'm going to give it another month, and then see what craftiness I can get up to with socks 8D

Anyway, onward!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hatting update!

Soooo, confession. The reason the posts have been so sporadic is I keep forgetting to get my cardreader from my parent's house. Whoops.

I had another Hat Party on Saturday, and Heather took pics so I have some!

We went pretty colour and pattern crazy this go around!

Our dino hats ROCK okay?

Every hatting there's at least one hat I want to keep for myself, this one was no exception! But I was good and all will be donated.

Tonight I'll wash and label them all, then figure out a good time to drop them off.

Hopefully 2015 will see lots more hats!
We've done 226 since I started this venture, that's a lot of hats!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2014 Cos review

Everyone is doing such lovely 2014 sewing reviews, I've been dragging my feet because mine is so small!

This was a super weird cos year for me, only four new costumes! The least amount since my 2nd year of costuming, and one of them doesn't even really count!

So, new stuff!