Tag Archives: link

The Blue Knit Dress

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I referenced this dress in my previous post, the thing I preferred to work on. I based it on this ‘Summer Shift Dress’ tutorial.

The tutorial basically instructs you to take a shirt that you like, make a pattern out of that and lengthen and widen to make a dress.

Something not mentioned in the instructions: making a pattern is not as easy as Ms. Barlow makes it seem.

2013-07-28 19.12.31I have a roll of tracing paper (sold as ‘sketch tracing paper’ in some places) and a fine Sharpie which I used to trace the shirt. Then I removed the shirt, and traced the pattern again, until the pieces lined up with straight lines.  I was really happy I’d reviewed  “How to Make a Pattern from an Original Garment” tutorial from Sense and Sensibility Patterns. I kept that article in mind when I was tracing the original shirt.

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It is almost that easy – there are (not counting the hem/trim) two seams. The neckline I lined with blue bias tape, and the hems I made by folding (two creases) and sewing about 2 inches of material. I made a long sleeved version (like the shirt I took it from) from a double knit (more folds) and store bought bias tape. It’s a rather thick, and very comfortable, so It’s my winter dress.

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When to Fold? (On Giving Up)

Don't Worry. This is a muslin using an old bedsheet.

Don’t Worry. This is a muslin using an old bedsheet.

There is something to be said for being stubborn. To be an artist or craftsperson, you need tenacity, enough to see you to the end of a project. At some point (about the end of the second week of Nanowrimo) you will get discouraged. This can’t be any good you say, it’s cliche’d and badly made. You might push through, and your tenacity will have paid off.

Or not. In episode #12 of  Jason Brubaker’s Making Comics Podcast  (he also does the comic reMIND) they discussed knowing when it’s time to quit. Which got me thinking about Heinlein’s second rule of writing (you must finish what you start).

I started this jacket for a temp assignment interview, when I realized I didn’t have a suit. I had a pattern for a short jacket, and a skirt. I also had about three days before the interview. I knew from the start something extremely tailored would never work, because it’s impossible to make something professional looking in three days without any experience. I tried out the pattern before I bought any ‘real’ fabric luckily, and I knew by the middle of the second day this wasn’t going like I’d hoped. The project was abandoned and I bought something which worked (and got the assignment). Now there is no reason for me to finish the project. I don’t regret it — it will never be what I initially envisioned. Instead, I can focus my energy on to my navy blue knit dress.

There is tenacity and then there is trying to get a dead horse to run. When do you cut your losses and put a project out of it’s misery?  Knowing this is like knowing when something is done. It’s a matter of experience and a little luck (I had a printmaking teacher who would say you would have to lose something three times before you found it).

Heinlein’s Rules (for reference).

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Filed under Follow-Up, Life

Delicious Rhubarb

ImageThis is sort of an addendum to last week’s  post.

I love rhubarb.  It has an ‘H’ as the second letter. It requires sugar to eat and super easy to cook. It is is sweet-tart with a delicate flavor.  The stuff sold in stores is usually red, but it can be red or green (or pinkish, or speckled). Technically, it’s a vegetable, but if Wikipedia is to be believed, it’s classified as a fruit in the United States.
When buying, look for firm, thin stalks.

To cook:
Cut any leaf matter off the top. The leaves contain much more oxalic acid than the stalks so do this before you do anything else. Trim the bottoms too.
Chop stalks into thick slices: about a centimeter long.
Put the rhubarb in a saucepan with sugar to taste. (or another sweetener, I guess, I’ve never tried it with anything but granulated sugar) Use several tablespoons of sugar. I used four tablespoons for two thick stalks. Rhubarb is pretty tart and largely unpalatable without sweetener, so omit this at your own risk. If you don’t want to add sugar, strawberries are often added as a sweetener.

DO NOT add water.
Cover and cook on medium low heat until the rhubarb is uniformly soft and a syrup is bubbling up. The ‘stew’ is probably going to be pinkish.
Eat over ice cream, with cookies or tea, or just by itself.

Tasty!

Other sources besides my experience:

The Rhubarb Compendium
Wikipedia: Rhubarb
Martha Stewart (Includes recipes!)

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Stumptown Round-up

Lennon SketchI spent the weekend at the Stumptown Comics Fest. Both days! I went last year and I had so much fun talking to comics creators and touching the comics they created. I’m a huge fan of comics in paper-space. I like the tactile qualities of screen printed covers, and glossy or laser printed pages. I also attended a bunch of panels and workshops to learn more about comics.

Some of the awesome comics I bought:

There were so many more I wish I could have bought. It’s like having a yearly kick in the pants to do my comics.

The image is mine. I the post just needed a picture. Guess who!

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Happy Valentine’s Day- Fold Your Own Heart.

Origami Blossom Heart

I finished reading the Wheel of Time last night. I was planning to write something about writing complicated narratives, but I need a minute to process it.

So in honor of Valentine’s Day– I found this link for instructions for origami hearts (From Origami-Instructions.com)

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The Dress, Part 1

Ugh. I know this post is late, but I thought I would have this project done by now.  It’s basically done, but It needs decoration.

I made a dress! And a chemise and short stays.

Short Stays and Chemise

Blue Regency DressThe patterns are from Sense and Sensibility Patterns . The patterns were super easy to put together, even for someone of my modest sewing ability. The chemise and the outer  lining is of cotton muslin (muslin in the modern sense), the stays are line with reed boning, and it’s all tied together with ribbon.

The dress is modeled after dresses circa 1810 (according to the website). The pattern had a train, but since I didn’t want to worry about mud and twigs and dog poo, I removed it. The bodice is also lined with muslin. That’s a pillow case over the dress-form, blue on blue doesn’t show up so well.

Since this is only meant as super comfortable costume (though I may start wearing it around town) and I don’t do re-enactments, almost none of it is hand-sewn. Only the cuffs and the button holes in the back:

Hand Sewn Buttonholes Pic

I can’t say I had prior experience with buttonholes.

I have one more piece to make (after I decorate the dress– I’m thinking ribbon applique), a brown Spenser with gold buttons. Oh, and the hat, but I’m not using a pattern for that, just modifying a cheap straw hat.

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Itty Bitty Pincushions

I would really like the title of this post to be some sort of euphemism, but it isn’t.

2012-12-23 20.45.53I made tiny pincushions for some people for Christmas, following these instructions. The method is pretty basic, but the variations are infinite. They can be very simple,  or elaborate.

All the cloth is felt, they are stuffed with 100% wool roving (antibacterial, people tell me) and all the non-embroidery sewing is blanket stitch. They are built around re-purposed plastic bottle caps (like plastic soda bottle size — but I bet it would work with any smallish plastic bottle cap).

The pincushions are: A hawk in flight on a blue background. I basically made the bottle cap covering out of blue felt and appliqued a hawk in flight silhouette on with darker thread. I put a little embroidery at the shoulders and wingtips to give the illusions of feathers.

The two with embroidered diamond are inspired by temari.

The pincushion in the middle is brown bottle cap covering with ‘cushion’ part made from white. I appliqued the dripping icing as strip on the side. The strawberry was a miniature of this tutorial, though I appliqued the green leaves, and it was too small to stuff or add seeds.

The orange is a persimmon — orange felt with appliqued/ sculpted leaves.

The last is the night sky is blue ‘cushion’ with a black cap covering and stars embroidered in french knots and single stitches. The tree silhouettes are cut as part of the side strip.

Most of these I gave away as presents at Christmas, or I would take and post a better picture.

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