Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Brief Hiatus

I will be taking a one-week hiatus from my blog (and all non-essential interneting, actually) while my wrists (and fingers and hands and elbows) recuperate from too much computer usage. I won't get into all the boring details, but my joints have been getting progressively worse over the last year and have stopped or limited my ability to do lots of things that I love (swing dancing, crocheting, knitting, even playing World of Warcraft for long periods of time.) I'm joined in solidarity by my friend Mike, which is a nice little morale boost! Anyway, as of midnight tonight, I will be off the 'net until the end of the day on Tuesday. I'd love it if during that time the magical joint fairies came to visit and make everything better, but I won't be holding my breath. :-P See you on the other side! (Maybe I'll have finished that project I blogged about earlier tonight?)

New Content!

So I've been quiet for the last several days. Hadn't been too much going on in the way of crafting. However, last night I made it to the local Goodwill store and in addition to finally obtaining a couple pairs of desperately-needed pants (I was down to 1 pair, eek!) I also picked up a couple of projects! I've started a neat little transformation project, inspired by a comment from my for-all-intents-and-purposes sister-in-law. My sewing machine is on the fritz, so I've been hand sewing and making it up as I go along, which doesn't exactly lend itself to a speedy final product. However, I made some good progress today and I've been taking photos along the way, so when I've got a finished project (and I've given it to her, so I won't ruin the surprise!) I will post a tutorial and photos both on here and on craftster. I can't wait to show you all...it's gonna be awesome! :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Frustration Station

Lot of crafting frustration going on here this week. I *still* can't find my sewing supplies, and I've torn the house apart on multiple occasions! I had really wanted to throw together the infinity dress for the winery grand opening (which, while hectic, went very well) but could not find my basic sewing implements! I'm too stubborn to admit defeat and just go to Walmart and buy new ones. I had been feeling pretty down today (case of the Mondays? maybe) and decided to walk over to the local Salvation Army to see if I could find any treasures or projects just waiting to happen. Turns out Google failed me - after walking over there, it turns out that it's just a donation center. They don't have a Salvation Army store in town, and the Goodwill is well out of walking distance without a *really* good reason - it's about 4 miles each way, about half of which is along a very busy 4-lane road, which is also the same road and approximate distance to Walmart. So yeah...no new projects for me until boy can give me a lift up to the Goodwill (which isn't exactly his favorite thing to do, lol, especially since I'll want to wander around the store for awhile to find the goodies.) None of my current projects are holding my attention (or I can't find the damn supplies I already bought for them! :grumble:) and it is very frustrating.

Friday, June 11, 2010

In the Works: rostitchery's Infinity Dress

The Infinity Dress (as tutorialized by the phenomenal rostitchery on her blog) has been on my to-do list for quite some time. I'm not exactly sure what makes me put off this particular project so much (we're talking over a year now, folks)...it has one seam, you can wear it a number of ways that approaches infinity...I even have all the materials sitting in a bag in my closet! I picked up some 4-way stretch jersey cotton in this beautiful dark cocoa color from Walmart of all places for $2.50 a yard. The only thing that's been stopping me these last few days (when I've been bored by the internet and joblessness) is that I can't find my damn tape measure. I have a small pencil bag in which I keep my small sewing essentials (needles, pins, tape measure, needle threader, and the like) and while boy and I both *know* we've seen it since the big move, neither of us can find it. Perhaps tomorrow I will tear apart our closet while he's at work and see if I can find it once and for all. I would love to have it to wear on Saturday...my parents own a winery and they are having their official grand opening celebration (even though they actually opened their doors to the public back in March) with food pairings and a band and such. If I am successful in finding it and manage to pull it together before we leave for my parents' house tomorrow night, I will post some photos! Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

In the Works: Corset

We recently moved (the boy had a great job offer, so we moved down to western Pennsylvania from the Rochester, NY area) but I haven't found a job yet. No job means no fun money for things like craft supplies...which might be a blessing in disguise, as having to pack up and move my craft supplies stash has made me realize how big (and random) it is! I take breaks from job hunting to haunt craftster (username: mahvelousmeat) for fun, cute little projects with which I can fill my days. However, when I do get that cash flow back, my first big project will be a corset! I picked this pattern up at Joann Fabrics during my brief stint as an employee there. It was on sale for $1, and then I got my 15% discount on it...needless to say, I bought as many patterns as I was permitted by the sale :-P I will most likely have to make a muslin mockup first, as I anticipate having to raise the neckline a wee bit (I am fairly busty and need no assistance in the cleavage department!) and I may have to adjust the hips a bit. After I make my muslin mockup, I intend to make this very sturdy:
  • two inner layers of sturdy inner fabric, probably twill
  • spring steel boning for the bust area, a proper metal busk and flat steel boning for back and sides
  • muslin for the inside, probably, unless someone has a better idea...
As far as the fashion fabric goes, I am not so sure. I am intending to wear this as a top in public (hence the neckline adjust) and I really like the matte or semi-matte, all-black look. I was thinking that I could do both the inner and the fashion fabric in a heavy cotton twill, and just do one inner layer as I would have the twill on the outside as well (or two twill and then double up the muslin on the inside, so I can channel in the boning before putting in the inside or outside layers and get a smoother look.) I am also considering taffeta, shantung and dupioni silk, though they (especially the shantung and silk) are probably far out of my price range for this. Another option is scouring my local Salvation Army for an old prom dress/bridesmaid dress/special occasion nightmare, since the corset pattern is lots of smaller pieces and could be cut out of the skirt of a longer dress without much trouble. Who knows what else I might be able to salvage from it? :)

For those looking to make their own corset, here are a few links I suggest you check out:
  • Craftster Thread: Making Your Own Corset? There are over 100 pages here on discussions of different problems people had (and the solutions to them,) steel vs. plastic boning, and tons of pictures of the beautiful corsets people have made!
  • Craftster Thread: user Roethke's genius, easy-to-follow guide to drafting a pattern for an underbust corset from your exact measurements. Tons of beautiful pictures, and 37 pages of questions and answers people have asked already! It' a great resource for those attempting a corset for the first time (or for those wanting to branch out into making their own patterns!)
  • Lara Corset's History of the Corset. Perhaps it's just the clothing history nerd in me, but I love seeing how clothing evolves over the years, and you can really see how this garment has changed drastically through the centuries it's been in use! She even provides fashion plate images to give you historically accurate resources of silhouettes, sometimes even down to a specific year!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Can you upcycle a blog?

Hello! This is the latest incarnation of this blog. It started as a humble school project (that the professor never really got together, hmm)...then became a short-lived personal blog...but now, now there is Purpose and Meaning. It will be...a craft blog!

So what, dear reader, can you look forward to? Projects: past, present, and future. Tutorials. Advice. (Even if it's "don't do what I just did!") An exploration of why I craft. (Hint: It's not because I need more dishcloths.) The occasional book or pattern review. Probably lots of links and shout-outs to those far more talented than I. Hopefully, along the way, we'll manage to squeeze in some great discussions - craft theory, construction techniques, ethics of homage/poaching a design, recycling/upcycling, responsible crafting...who knows!

I look forward to getting to know you all, and to have you get to know me a little bit better as well! :)