I'm going to the Labyrinth of Jareth masquerade ball in LA in July and need a fabulous costume. I considered using the steampunk costume,
but I'm afraid it will be too warm for a July evening. I've lost my mind and decided to make something new. I want
something froofy and girly, and decided on "Party Valkyrie" (ridiculous, I know) when I saw this painting. I'm half-Swedish. It feels appropriate.
Painting by Howard David Johnson It took way too long to find the original. This painting is plastered all over the internet.
I've decided to go with Vogue pattern V1227. Although it's not something I'd usually wear, I think it has pretty good lines for what I have in mind. Pro-tip: buy the pattern during a Jo-Ann (or your favorite equivalent) pattern sale. It was on sale for $4, down from $30! Crazy! Here's the Vogue pattern with some ideas I scribbled on top:
I'll be adding a short cape as well. Perhaps with some Swedish crowns to hold it on?
I'm using brown and tan micro-suede for the dress, and silky, brown cotton for the lining. The micro-suede looks a little leathery, but isn't nearly as expensive as real leather and much more comfortable to wear than vinyl. Here's the stuff!
Suede, cotton, interfacing, boning, thread, hooks and eyes, strap sliders and an invisible zipper
The pattern itself feels pretty simple after that jacket I made that one time. Unfortunately, I hit a bit of a snag with the corset. It's super-duper revealing. I'm not going to prove it to you because it's not something I'd want to leave the house in, let alone post on the internet, but it just doesn't fit right. My cuts are good and my seams are sound. It's not until I looked back at the pattern picture that I realized it's a rather low cut dress. It doesn't seem to be a user error.
Cutting out pattern pieces and sewing the underskirt
I don't know a thing about modifying patterns, but I'm not one to shy away from things I don't know how to do. I grabbed a pen, newsprint and my trusty measuring tape and sketched up some pieces to make my dress a little more family-friendly. The goal is "Party Valkyrie," not "Slutty Viking." It might work. It might not. I'm not sure yet.
Kinda sorta maybe
After stabbing myself with pins while trying to get the right fit with my new pattern pieces, I opted to make a duct tape dress form. I looked up a tutorial and enlisted the help of my lovely fiance, Nils. When I say "I made a dress form" I really mean "Nils made a dress form." He's very patient. Various tutorials recommend wearing a shirt to stick the tape to, which is later cut through, but I skipped the shirt all together and rolled myself up in plastic wrap to get a close fit. It was awfully hot and uncomfortable, but it worked pretty well. Here's the form before newspaper and polyfill stuffing.
I haven't finished stuffing the dress form, so I can't comment on its stability or longevity, but I can say that the cost (two rolls of duct tape) and fit (it's like hugging myself!) are hard to beat. We used two layers of duct tape, which I hope will hold up over time. I'll update this post if it starts to fall apart any time soon.
Once I finish the dress it'll be time to make a cape, a helmet and some Wonderflex armor. More to come now that I have a body-double to help me out!
I am so happy it's spring. So. Happy. Today's project is off my list, too! Huzzah!
My mom sent me a link to some plans from Scout Regalia for a planting table some time ago and I finally got around to making it. I modified the measurements
to make the table twice as tall, which in the end looks a little... leggy, but it gives the pots some nice height. I'm tired of looking at a
row of pots sitting on the ground. In the future (perhaps with a
larger yard) I might make another at the original height. I don't have
many pictures of the building process because it's quite simple and I
forgot to get any good ones.
Click to see bigger pictures :)
I used cedar 1x4s and 2x2s for the table. It was a quick build since I got everything cut to length at the store. Overall, cedar was a bit more
expensive than the wood I had planned to use, but not out of hand. I
love the look of the wood and need something that will hold up to Seattle's rain.
I realized far too
late that my wood filler didn't match my wood at all. No, it doesn't
magically dry and become invisible. This should have been obvious, and I might have been more careful with my drilling had I thought it through. Applying my weather-proofing, clear
stain just made the ugly holes stand out even more, so I
picked up some cheap brass tags at the craft store and super glued them
on. Yes. Glued. Not exactly professional wood-working fare, but I like
the effect. I've learned my lesson for next time.
The tags show no sign of falling off after a few weeks of rain and occasional sun. I rather like the speckly pattern of water spots they've developed. It makes them a little less obvious and shiny compared to the wood. I'll definitely try to match the wood filler, or use wooden plugs, for future projects, but I think the brass looks pretty nice on this one. Almost like it was part of the plan. Almost.
I tend to stick to herbs and shrubs but I couldn't help myself when I saw the rows of flowers outside the hardware store. I'll have more pictures of "the garden" once we clean up the patio.
Would you like another gratuitous close up of flowers? Here you go.
M. B. Karger, of Crafterall, makes these gorgeous topographical map/art pieces by hand. I'd love to have one of these hanging on my wall some day. I recommend taking a look through her Etsy shop. I had a hard time picking just one to share.
I made some shelves for the little nook next to my desk. The space has
been unused since moving into the house because a) no furniture fits and b) art looks funny there. After a whole lot of
procrastination, I finally got around to making some shelves.
first I had planned to make the brackets invisible, but it came down to
a test of will between the house and I. Let's say that the house won
and I'm a fool for assuming walls come together at precise, 90 degree
Plan B was easier.
Primer and Paint (White, semi-gloss to match window)
Brackets (+ appropriate mounting hardware)
First, there was cutting and sanding and more cutting and more sanding. This is the part that made me realize Plan A was impossible. I eventually just cut off a few millimeters from each end. Very glad to have the Trio!
Then there was priming. And waiting. And priming some more.
Between my layers of primer I filled some of the imperfections in the wood and sanded the coats. Eventually I got down to the final coat. I didn't want to see too many brush strokes on the final layer so I used my favorite hobby paint brush- a 2 inch, angled brush with a short handle.
I let them sit for a few days to properly dry and then attached each plank with pelican brackets. I'm still not 100% sure they were the right choice, but they're up and installed so I'm not going to fuss over it. My main complaint is that the shelves still don't feel entirely level no matter how tightly I attach the brackets. On the bright side, I like how they look, they came with awesome drywall anchors and they don't seem to be falling off the wall any time soon.
Same wall, same paint color, poor photography skills -_-
Tah-dah! Simple shelves! Easy to do (if not a little tedious) and a big
improvement for the space. I may be taking the shelves down temporarily
to paint the wall behind them so the contents are a little haphazard.
As of this evening, my pretty little nook shelf is holding a bunch of books, a plastic tub of crafting supplies, a half-made figurine, my stash of paper, embroidery floss, some photos, and a small piece of luggage. I'm a far cry from casually beautiful shelf arrangements :P
Version 2 for my Minecraft skin. The first one is OK, but I like this one better. I removed the flower, added a headband and ears, narrowed the face, raised the eyes and mouth, cleaned up the hair, and added more shading.
If you'd like to use her as is or edit her (Edit: I had to re-upload her after mindershoes updated. Link fixed!), here you go!
Drawing in pixels is fun. I dig it. (Ha. Dig. Minecraft. Eeeehh?)