March 11th, 2012
Forgive any formating weirdness on today’s SPS. I’ve just now downloaded the WordPress app for my spiffy new Andriod phone. I’m hoping having easy access to my blog on the go will allow me to use those little moments of down time to post or at least open drafts when I have a brillant post idea.
Today, I’m at work earlier than I have to be. Such is life without a car of my own. It doesn’t happen often and if I use the time to read or write, I’m perfectly happy to spend a few hours in the breakroom, drinking coffee.
My portrait is yet another Klingon wedding project photo. This time, the sash is for our friend Alex, who’ll be serving as a sort of best man. There is a Klingon word for it, but as I’m not at the computer, I won’t trouble with looking it up now. Maybe blogging from my phone is the best idea ever. Fewer distractions and more typing away.
The sash took more effort and thought than it looked like. I’ve got a layer of interfacing and a layer of muslin between the satin front and cotton liner. I first sewed the interfacing to the lining and the muslin to the satin so I only had two pieces of fabric to handle. Then I sewed the wrong sides together, creating tubes, turned them right side out, before sewing the front and back together. In writing that out, I wish I’d taken pictures of the process. Ah, well. There will be other sashes, no doubt. Klingons are big on honor sashs.
February 26th, 2012
Chris snapped my Self Portrait Sunday picture for me last night when we got home from an evening out with Alex. We’d hit the local comic book and game shop for them to play Star Trek Heroclix . I don’t care for strategy based games, but I do love tiny starships and the company of geeks, so it all works out. Afterwards, we picked up Alex’s sister, Lucy, and their mom to go out to dinner. A good time was had by all.
I’m not getting all deep with my SPS with a title like “Layers” or at least not tonight. My outfit yesterday brought to mind an article I read on Cracked a while back, The 7 Most Baffling Things About Women’s Clothes. As per usual, the piece is dead on. Thing point I held on to the most is who clothes are deliberately designed in such a way to require layering. Be it see through fabric or cuts which would reveal even the most discreet strapless bra. “Bra showing” isn’t a look I’m willing to condone.
The layering trend is has gotten to the point where it’s unavoidable. It’s even worse for girls with boobs. The dress I wore would be fine without anything under it on a someone with a smaller chest. I even wore it once like that not realizing how badly it would shift over the evening. Earlier in the week, I found the perfect printed tank-top on clearance and thought, at least if they’ve got me trapping into buying a second piece of clothing to wear with my dress, I spent less than $3 on it. I think I got the dress for $6, so overall a great deal. It’s cold enough out that tights are a must. The sweater is many years old and from Torrid. I was pleased with the look and might try more tanks and camis in the future. Darn fashion industry.
February 20th, 2012
Both here and on Facebook, I’ve been talking about little else beside my work on this dress. Between the modifications required and my lack of experience, it was necessary to do a test run. The fabric – muslin – is cheap and coarse, but it’s priceless for checking fit before cutting into the good materials.
I had a heck of a time with the sleeves. In the end, I decided to omit the big over sleeve piece. Even shortened proportionate to the total length of the dress, it looked silly on someone as short as me.
I finished the mockup on Thursday, down to adding the eyelet laces on the back. On Friday, I made the small changes to the pattern and started cutting out the pieces for the real deal Klingon wedding dress. Finally cutting into the red satin felt great.
As you can see, I was super excited that my first garment for a human being (rather than a doll) with modifications worked. The trick, however, is staying motivated rather than feeling the satisfaction of finishing a project. We are far from finished.
One thing that has helped me stay fired up are the flaws. My arm holes were too small because I didn’t understand where to cut the pattern. Easy fix.
Early on in the construction process, I suspected I would need to add a few inches to… ah… cover my bosom. Once it all came together, it became obvious the problem wasn’t really the bodice front being too low but the shoulders being too long. I had Chris pin up the shoulder and removed two whole inches from the pattern shoulders. It pulled up the bodice in front and tighten it in back along with making the sleeves fit so much better. I felt a little silly for not having thought about that measurement when I often have trouble with bathing suit shoulder straps being too long. Of course, with my newly acquired sewing skills, I’ll be modifying those rather than just dealing with the annoyance of ill-fitting clothes. Happy thought, indeed.
Now, just for fun, I have to share a picture of Chris working on the mockup of his wedding shirt. The final version will be the same red satin as mine and, assuming we don’t run out of time, we’ll be making matching red pants. Here he’s ripping the collar seam after between the two of us didn’t get it pinned on the right way. In the end, Chris sewed it on correctly. His next step is sleeves with gathers. Definitely a challenging project for a beginner.
February 13th, 2012
First, I freaking love dresses. It’s no more effort to wear something people assume is fancy. My collection is growing and I have no intention of stopping. Clearance racks are my friends.
I got this sweater dress before Christmas at Ross. The ruffle at the neck line makes me happy. The color is unusual and flattering. It’s warm and comfortable. Sleeves and a modest length made it an obvious choice for today since we’ve getting winter temperatures for the first time in a long time. I picked up the belt and new tights a few days ago. While you can’t see them in the small version of the picture but if you click to enlarge you can see the tights have polka dots. I love polka dots. I didn’t used to like belts for decorative purposes, but I now own three, plus the one I wear with khakis for practical purposes. With something solid like this dress, it feels like I need something to break up the solid block of color, but I am ever vigilant not to break too many visual lines thus making myself appear shorter.
Before I spend to much more time rambling about my all important fashion life, let me tell you about my day.
Finding I had a rare Sunday free and clear from work-type obligations, I’d made plans with Chris‘ parents since I hadn’t seen them in a while. I tagged along to the evening service and Valentine social at their church. Pro tip: Southern Baptists know how to throw a pot luck. “Not a full dinner” was an abundant feast. I think there were four kinds of meatballs and lots of other goodies. My lovely practically-mother-in-law, Sandi, organized a version of The Newlywed Game which she renamed Trulyweds since they didn’t have anyone newly married to pick on. Maybe I’m biased, but the questions she wrote were clever and creative, not to mention in the style of the old game show. It was a hit and all the participants had fun. I had fun and got my parental unit time in, always important, and a reasonable excuse for not having the mock up for my dress done for today’s self portrait as intended. There’s always tomorrow.
February 6th, 2012
Who knew I could iron?
Wash and wear fabrics populate my wardrobe for a reason.
Laziness or efficiency? Could go either way
The iron, however, has gotten a workout lately with all the sewing projects going down in our house. Yesterday, Chris snapped a few “action shots” for my Sunday Self Portrait while we worked on our costumes for the Klingon wedding. I didn’t know until I began research for this project – first people-sized clothes I’ve made – that it is necessary to iron the pattern pieces. With doll clothes, especially Barbie sized, smoothing by hand works just fine. For anything larger, wrinkles mean measurements come out wrong in the final product. The ironing of pattern pieces and, of course, fabric wouldn’t be so tedious with a dedicated work table. As it is, we’re working on a cardboard measuring board on our bed. No matter how careful, something manages to get wrinkled in the break down and set up process for each work session.
We’ve completed the pattern modifications for both his shirt and my dress except for one element of the dress I’m still working out in my head. I think, as of last night, muslin mock-up shirt is cut out and ready to sew. Once the muslin versions are sewn up, we’ll make any modifications to the patterns before working with the satin. It’s hard being a girl. I still have the lining for the bodice and sleeves to cut, plus the skirt. Maybe it’s fair my project will take longer because I have more time to work on it. So, it’s not terribly hard being me.
With any luck, next week, I’ll be able to post a picture of me in the mock up dress, either in a fully or partially completed state.
January 29th, 2012
My dear blog-buddy Cass has resurrected Self Portrait Sunday, a weekly tradition of posting a photo of oneself taken during the last week. Since I appear to be partially responsible, it’s only fair I play along. We just need Jennifer to start back up and maybe Skeet to be just like the old days.
Unfortunately, I didn’t plan ahead, so I came home from work, got comfy and snapped a picture on my phone.
For better or worse, I tend to fish one of Chris’ shirts out of the laundry to wear around the house. Can’t go wrong with Sci-Fi Janitors. I have my own, but it’s not nightgown sized, ya know, but fan-girl sized.
No reason to dirty something to sit on the couch, fix food, and maybe play Just Dance 3.
I’ve made a deal with myself that I cannot shower unless I exercise at least a little. Work doesn’t count, nor does housework. I might make an exception for whole apartment vacuuming, but considering how much I dislike vacuuming, it’s unlikely I’ll test the idea. On the rare occasions I walk home from work, I’ll count the walk. Mostly, I’ve been making a fool of myself in the privacy of my own living room. Chris has instituted a rule for himself, also. No Netflix unless he’s used the elliptical. So far, we both kept our rules even though we both had a nasty cold early this week. Sure, they were feeble attempts, but keeping up the habit was the point, not trying to workout while down and out.
Hopefully, I’ll be up to dancing at least one song. My body and I don’t always agree on these things, but I like to think I know better when it want to do nothing and I think we should move.
December 27th, 2010
I figure when a good portion of my Christmas day was spent watching BBC America’s Doctor Who marathon, I’m entitled to count the next day as Boxing Day.
It’s unfortunate we Americans do not formally celebrate Boxing Day. In fact, all major holidays should come with a recovery day. I’d be all for the Fifth of July and All Saint’s Day being official pajama and rest days.
I had a wonderful Christmas. Couldn’t have been more perfect. Spending the day with Chris and his family on our first Christmas together was topped off with a lovely layer of snow. It’s been decades since South Carolina had a white Christmas. Even the snow was perfect – a few inches of pretty without making the roads dangerous. The picture below was the view from my balcony this morning.
The self portrait was also taken on my balcony. I’d have worn a coat, but I wanted to show off my awesome t-shirt and pretty new necklace. My beloved has wonderful taste on both counts. I didn’t do well with the shirt, I know, but you can check it out on ThinkGeek. I’m mildly obsessed with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’m also enough of a geek-snob to love an obscure reference. Was super excited to get a comment on the shirt while out to lunch this afternoon. Even better, I found blue tights to compliment my first geek t-shirt. Someday, no doubt, I’ll have an impressive collection of tees a vast majority of people won’t understand. With any luck, I’ll find tights to go with all of them. Skirts, tights and tees referencing science fiction – we’ll call the look “geek-girly-girl” and go with it.
December 19th, 2010
The automatic timer on my camera is doubling as a full length mirror. Of all the things I don’t have yet, like any living room furniture, I would say I’m least worried about a mirror. The camera does the job and leaves me with an image of what I looked like at the before I head out and smudge my lipstick. Not a bad thing. I tend towards being camera shy, so it does me good to put myself in front of the camera. I intend to participate in Cass‘ Sunday Self Portrait, if not weekly, often as I did on the old blog.
I took this picture Saturday afternoon in my empty living room before heading out for a Christmas party at a friend’s house. It was a great time. Any evening which includes Chris, good friends, yummy food, and a screening of Wrath of Khan is automatically one of the best parties I’ve ever attended. Our gracious host Doug has an enviable number of Star Trek model starships. Fortunately for everyone, he doesn’t have batteries in them or I’d still be gleefully pressing buttons.
I’m digging the red tights, my newest acquisition. The only thing missing is some festive Christmas jewelry. Back in junior high and high school, I used to deck myself out in holiday accessories. Antlers, candy cane striped tights, gaudy holiday themed earrings and necklaces. I’d even made myself anklets with bells on them. If there is one thing I love as much as I love Christmas lights – and I freaking adore lights – it’s bells. Next year, I’ll have to return to the personal tradition that once had my high school counselor call me “festively annoying.” A proud moment. Where there a reasonable excuse, I’d wear bells all year long.