Oops! Apparently I've accidentally deleted all of my images. I'll see about fixing that soon.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Alterations etc

I've taken a short break from finishing up the final bits of my Dr Who cosplay to spend some time with my grandmother while she is in town.  

She brought with her a whole host of items to be altered, though, so I've been sewing like a madwoman in the few hours I've spent at home.

some of the items she needed altered

I spent several hours with her making notes on what needed to be done on each item and pinning & re-pinning till she had a look we were both happy with.

skirts: hemmed!

The skirt hems went pretty quickly, the blouse alterations, not so much.  The first one, though, didn't actually need any change in shape, just a style adjustment.  The knit blouse had an open cutwork design around the neckline which was pretty.  But my grandma found it felt too revealing and asked if I could do something about it.

When I hemmed the blue patterned skirt that went with it I had enough extra to lay behind the cutwork, which she also found to be scratchy. I handstitched the edges down, carefully cutting it to shape.  She's very pleased with how it turned out and even wore it yesterday!

The other thing we did sewing-wise while she was here was to take a bunch of measurements and also create a sloper for her.  I'm planning on doing a bit more sewing for her long-distance and want to know I am sewing for the correct shape.

The first project is going to be an old pattern of hers: Stretch & Sew 1582. The original was a rust-colored dress, but I'll be making it a two-piece ensemble out of a dark green for the fall and winter months.

In other news, we finally got a tiny bit of rain. yay!

tree is happier, but ground is still pretty parched

That's all for now. Hope you have a good Monday!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blog Facelift

This morning Smoldering Wick Designs hit 3000 pageviews so I decided it was time for a facelift.  I think I've been wanting to do it for a while, and today seemed like a good day.

I wanted a lighter color scheme than the dark red I had been using and wanted to incorporate the SWD logo into the background.  It's certainly not perfect, and I'm sure I'll want to update it again in the future. But for now I'm happy with the little changes I've made.

(actual blog post to come later)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Late Night Hodgepodge

Well, I couldn't sleep, so I updated my other blog (specifically the list of Gluten Free restaurants in the area) in case anyone attending GenCon needs to find it). But it's 2:30 am and I'm still awake, so now I'm here.

I keep a few odds and ends lying around my blog folder that are things I'd love to talk about but don't have enough of to make an entire post. (or if I did it would be long and boring and ranty...)  So I thought I'd just throw some of them out here tonight (this morning?) in a sort of catch-all post. 

one of my grandmother's aprons

There was a really interesting discussion lately on a topic that has long intrigued me: the dualistic quality of home sewing and staying fashion forward but maintaining respect for old ways/traditions/techniques.  I'm really not as eloquent a writer as Gretchen Hirsch even when I'm not sleep-deprived, so maybe pop over to her post herecalled "It's Not Your Grandma's Crafting (Or Is it?)" and take in some food for thought.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dr Who (5th) Cosplay: Jacket Lining Fail

I spent many hours the other night working on my Doctor cosplay for GenCon.  But I didn't get nearly as far as I had intended.  In fact I only got one part done: the piping on the back of the jacket.

It may have taken all evening to do, but I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I still need to give it a good steaming so the ease lays more smoothly, but I think it really gives a nice pop of color across the back.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Fire (and) Power

^^ my lame attempt at a clever title...

It was another long hot day here.  We have had record high temperatures for weeks now and not more than a slight sprinkling of rain in months.  The grass has all gone dormant and crispy and to make sure we have enough water to last out the drought we are under some mandatory water conservation orders.

So this evening as we were settling in, just as I was starting to prepare dinner, there was a loud *bang* and all of the power went off.  We could hear a neighbor outside say that a transformer had blown.

you can't see them here, but there were large flames

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Smaller Dobuku

My oldest nephew is turning 8 tomorrow.  It seems like only yesterday that I held him for the first time.  These days he's growing into a fine young man.  So when he told his grandmother (my mother) a few months back that he wanted me to make him some "Japanese clothing" for his birthday, I was more than happy to comply. (I think he had seen my father's old gi last year and been intrigued by it.)

I chose the dobuku, a short informal jacket, for this project. A while back I made one for myself so I could work out any bugs/ issues.  There were very few. I actually found this a fairly easy piece of clothing to make and will likely make more in the future.

I've changed the shape a tiny bit from mine.  He is a pretty skinny kid but growing tall quickly, so I've made it taller and narrower than my original aspect ratio, but hopefully still with enough wiggle room to last him a few years.

I also made the sleeve a little larger.

I left the sleeve openings larger for him than for me, and made the opening big enough to use the 'sleeve pockets' I've read about.

He loves the color orange so I bound the seams with some leftover orange fabric that I had used for a previous gift for him.

The hem was fell-stitched into place.

I added a tag. I hope it was all spelled correctly.

They had his birthday party early to make sure out-of-town family could be there, so I'm thrilled to say that he really liked it.  I'm also thrilled that it fit so perfectly.  Unfortunately I don't have a good picture of him wearing it as the constant jumble of excitement and cousins and presents didn't present a good opportunity.  And I didn't want to interrupt for a 'staged' photo.  Suffice it to say, he's happy, so I'm happy.

Happy Friday.

ETA: pic from my husband's ipod with our nephew wearing his gift.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dr Who (5th) Cosplay: the Skirt

I've been continuing to work on my Doctor Who costume and have finished the skirt.  I took a few minutes the other day to update my sketches to a digital format using the croquis I've modified from free ones available online.

I was really surprised at how boring it looked until I added the stripes to the skirt.  I am fully aware that there is a possibility that my costume won't look exactly like this, but it's a good visual reminder of my goal.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dr Who (5th) Cosplay: Jacket Progress

I'm making good progress on my cosplay for GenCon, which is good, because at this point it's only about a month away! yays!  If you recall from before, this was the sketch I made when I was coming up with ideas for the feminized version of the 5th regeneration of The Doctor as portrayed by Peter Davidson.

Monday, July 9, 2012

One Lovely Blog Award

Last week I was given the One Lovely Blog Award by Vala of the blog Vala Sews, with whom I am always amazed that I have so much in common.

And I did a nice little writeup about it right away.  Unfortunately I accidentally deleted all of the text from that post, and I lost every bit of it... /sigh Well, I've finally eked out enough time to give it another go, so here you are:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Guest Post: MREs

Hi everybody! My husband wrote a post for the blog that was supposed to post yesterday, but being thoroughly exhausted by the physical and emotional demands of the week (not to mention the 100F/38C+ temperatures), I didn't have the energy to get it all formatted and uploaded for him until now. Sorry! 

Anyhow, enjoy this brief respite from my own ramblings to hear from the one I love the most <3

. . .

This is Peculiarly Pink’s husband taking the reins for a day. I have a holiday from work for the Fourth of July and so I am trying my hand at the blog to give her a day off.

Unfortunately I am significantly less crafty. I paint a little, but not up to blog standards and I cook but not very well. Still, Independence Day and I thought it might be interesting to share with you something I was lucky to try this morning  and at least tangentially connected to the day’s theme of patriotism. A friend from work gave me a pair of MREs.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Good Dog

I know I rarely post personal stuff on here, so please, bear with me...

Summer seems to constantly hold such a great number of saddnesses for our family.  Unfortunately, this year is no exception.  As of a couple of hours ago our dear sweet Spencer is no longer with us.