Dec 172012

I’ve been busy like a bee sewing things for Christmas and I still have so much to do, I feel like it’ll never get done. It’s my own fault, though. I sort of got distracted earlier in the month because I got my Christmas present early from my husband. It’s a 3DS XL (a limited edition pink and white one!) and a few games. All month long has been such a struggle because I know I’m supposed to be sewing but then I look over at it and I can hear Professor Layton saying, “Perhaps a puzzle might be just the thing you need to refresh you. Surely you have time for just one.” in his charming accent and then one turns into a dozen or so and I’ve lost all motivation to be productive.

Worse than that, though, is that I have just taken the plunge on the Dragon Quest series. Despite being a fan of RPGs for nearly my whole life (that’s nearly 30 years for those keeping score), I never gave Dragon Warrior/Quest a chance. So I’m 12 hours into Dragon Quest IV DS and my productivity has evaporated entirely. I’ve always identified as a Final Fantasy fan up until XI or so and have been lamenting the death of the traditional RPG since then. Apparently, Dragon Quest is everything that I wished Final Fantasy had been for these long years and it was right there under my nose this whole time. I just have to make sure I wrap it up by the time Etrian Odyssey 4 comes out.

Despite the resurgence of my video game obsession, I’m still getting some stuff done. Just not that much and I’m having to rush it much more than I would have otherwise. But look for pictures of super hero dress up clothes and a mini messenger bag in the coming days. And maybe a stuffed bear. I am definitely going to sew things.

Nov 292012

I love making my niece’s Halloween costume every year. LOVE. I always start planning earlier and earlier every year because I’m so excited to make it and this year, we had decided on making her a rainbow princess. I had sketches galore and had even started buying the sparkle tulle for the skirt and designing the trick-or-treat bag. It was going to be magnificent. Then a month or two before Halloween, she sees that I’ve bought a new pattern and it was all over. She wanted to be a dinosaur so she could stomp and roar.

Fair enough. I’m a big proponent of letting the kid be whatever she wants to be from a slice of bread to Buzz Lightyear. I’m also not the biggest fan of gender stereotypes and my niece’s interest in being pretty vs. talented. So while I was a little disappointed that I’d have to return all the rhinestones and tulle, I was really proud of her for choosing something different this time. Of course, she still wanted it to be pink.

The costume wasn’t tremendously challenging, mostly because I actually did have a pattern to go by. The fabric is a cuddle fabric of some sort, a bit stretchy, brushed on one side and sort of like a micro terry on the other. It shed *EVERYWHERE* and was impossible to rip the seams out of without ripping a matching hole in the fabric no matter how careful I was. There were quite a lot of repaired spots along the seams by the time I was done with it. Luckily it didn’t show thanks to the fuzz.

The aqua and darker pink parts are felt as is the entire trick or treat bag (which I designed and sewed in about two hours). I used fabric glue for the first time (and hated it) for all the spots and front stripes. The hat was actually pretty annoying to sew together because the frill and horns had to be hand sewn on. I was extremely lucky to find a glass mannequin head in the closet (why on Earth do I have one of those?) and the hat fit on it so I was able to stitch it on right. Otherwise I have no idea what I would have done.

So yeah, it was a big hit. She got lots of compliments, lots of candy, and proudly swung her tail when she walked. It was a nice change from the usual girly costumes and I’m really looking forward to making her whatever she wants to be again next year. Hopefully it’ll be an astronaut.

Oh! One last thing that I have to mention here. The felt I used was so nice to work with, not like that usual scratchy stuff you get at the craft store. It’s still acrylic so the price is reasonable, but it was so smooth and cut beautifully, and comes in lots of colors. I got it on Etsy from FeltForLess. I’m not really one to plug things but this is the only felt I will use now. It’s awesome and you should know about it. Brittney (the shop owner) is also really nice and she ships stuff quickly. I honestly can’t say enough nice things about her and her product.

Nov 282012

I joined an Adventure Time craft swap on Craftster a few months ago and my partner’s daughter wanted a new bag for school so this is what I came up with. It was my first time making a bag and also my first time doing any complicated applique work. I think it turned out okay! It’s all made from denim for durability except for the appliques and lining which is quilting cotton. The strap is made from nylon webbing and it has a shoulder pad thing made from padded denim and it attaches with velcro. I would definitely make some construction changes on the next one I make, like having the strap attached to the bag instead of using swivel clips because they were such a pain to find and I don’t think that the strap really needs to be removable. I would also change the configuration of the inner pockets, possibly including a zipper pocket in there.

I’ve gotten a lot of requests for me to make more of these bags for people so I’m looking forward to doing that soon. I just have to work out pricing and maybe try another one or two just for practice, but after that I’ll be taking commissions. So if you’re interested in getting one of these, let me know and I’ll get back to you with all the details once I’ve worked them out.

I wish I had been able to get better pictures of this, but I was in a time crunch to finish and send it out. I’ll get better photos of the next one I make before taking any orders.