maanantai 31. joulukuuta 2012

New Year Promises of 2013

Well, I already did the kimono related promises, but the sewing related promises are still to make. ;)

1. Sew/knit something every week.
2. If undable to sew/knit, do handicrafts.
3. Do a weekly post in the blog.

I'm not very good at long term promises, but I hope to keep these.

What's your New Year promises? ^^

torstai 20. joulukuuta 2012

Projects for 2013....

....or new ways to shoot myself to the foot.

Aaaah, I've been neglecting all sewing/knitting projects for a while because christmas rush has been over us at work/school. Plans for new projects has been installed, but not confirmed.

The BIGGEST and BADASS project most likely will be four (4) Assassin's Creed Ezio Auditore styled costumes for Animecon. The cosplayers were given the choice of two costumes:

Ezio Auditore da Firenze / Assassin's Creed II

Ezio Auditore / Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
 Of course, all of them could not be Ezio, so we planned to make kind of a Brotherhood crew. Each cosplayer chose which costume they like'd best and then they were allowed to personalize the costume. Things that they were not allowed to change was the white base color, and the shape of the hood ("The hood stays. END OF STORY!"). Also the shape of the original costume they chose will be nearly the same, with little tweaks.

Right now 3/4 have confirmed and told what changes they want for their costumes. Two have chosen the Assassin's Creed II costume as their starting point, one chose the Brotherhood costume and one has not confirmed yet. We also chose a "character trait" for each cosplayer to go with the changes (hidden blades, sword/daggers, archer and poisoner). I'm planning on asking them to name their representative characters, so I can name the costumes I have to design after them.

I'm not sure if I have time to finish all the costumes, but I'm hoping most of them will be finished (I have two big final exams coming up this spring...).
^^''' I'm going to be so busy, but maybe keeping this blog encourages me to go all the way to finish line....

torstai 15. marraskuuta 2012

Handicrafts: Ministry of Silly Walks clock

Anyone familiar with the Ministry of Silly Walk by Monty Python? Well, I saw a clock made from that idea by Indubitably jetsam and I KNEW I had to make one of my own. All idea credits go to indubitably jetsam, I'm just an idea thief.

Materials used
- Canvas
- Decoupage paste
- A print of the body and legs + numbers 1-12
- Clock machinery

This clock still has a small problem. It works until the clock strikes 11, when it clogs up and refuses to work. Mu hubby said there might be something wrong with the machinery if it continues.

And why is there no number that is between the numbers 7 and 9? That's a joke from a Discworld. Wizards cannot say the number that is between 7 and 9. And this is the way it's marked in the Discworld Ankh-Morpork board game. Yeah, I'm a sucker for inside jokes.... >.<

tiistai 6. marraskuuta 2012

OMG Shoes!

The American Duchess has the new 23Skidoo shoes up for preorder! Anyone wanting a pair of 20s shoes? Here's where to find them: Le American Duchess Shop

The 23Skidoo
And here's some product information:

  • Uppers are high grade, soft, hand-stitched calfskin (that will stretch slightly over time). 
  • Faux leather sole with excellent wear characteristics and suitable for dancing.
  • Custom made French heels are 2 3/8 inches high, and perfectly balanced for all-day comfort.
  • 23 Skidoo has been constructed on dance shoe lasts, and is meant to fit snuggly, as a dress shoe.
  • "B" width (average).
  • It runs true to size for most customers.
  • Order a half-size larger for wide-width feet, if you prefer your shoes to fit more loosely, or intend to wear with thicker stockings.
Aren't they pretty?

torstai 23. elokuuta 2012

Skirt 2.0 and 3.0 in progress

Hi everybody! I've been doing sewing! Last weekend to be precise as the weekdays are rather full at the moment....

Anyway here's the two skirts I sewed up to the finish line last weekend.

Grey suede skirt. The pattern is the same I used for the brown one, as I've been liking the brown so much I wanted another one. In grey! Now to decide what kind of pattern to cut into the hem...

Again the same pattern, this time a little longer in lenght. The material is light wool that feels very soft to the touch. I found the material in a bargain box at the local fabric store and was very pleased! It's white, pink and black! Now to decide what kind of buttons would go with it.

I also got corset boning in stock, so I have to find a nice pattern to use it on!

perjantai 20. heinäkuuta 2012

Skirt quickie

Yesterday I finally made something for myself. For a while now I've done sewing for others only, so now was the time to enjoy doing something for me. I was inspired by the Papel Picado Skirt at Festive Attyre. This was my first try at something like this, so I decided on an easy design. The skirt itself is based on an old skirt I have. The material is suede.

Front of finished skirt.
Simple hem pattern
Skirt behind.

Waistband and buttons.

maanantai 16. heinäkuuta 2012

Animecon IX 2012 Kuopio, Finland

Well, Animecon came and went last weekend. The weather stayd nice, mild and cloudy so our cosplayers in their outfits did not sweat themselves to death. I was still sewing the buttons on Fai's pants on Saturday morning before we all went to the Kuopio Music Centre. The place was still very hot, but not unbearable like it was last year. Too bad we forgot our cameras on Saturday, so I only have a few shots from Sunday, when I and Ville did not spend more than an hour there (we were too tired to walk around in the croud).

I have to say that as a costumer, the best compliments I received from these costumes were when people asked if they could take a photo. I don't know why, but it warms my heart.

General croud on Sunday morning.

 I could not acquire a proper wig for Sakura-chan, so I butchered one of my own wigs to make something passable. I'm still sad about the sleeves....

 Her headgear is also an old kanzashi when I tried on how to make the actual kanzashi. I did not make it in time with the proper headgear, but we thought that in the image Syaorans colors are white, green and black, it would be somewhat proper ;). These are also the colors on the headband Sakura wore on this round.
 The together portrait with Fai. Fai's kimono was one pain in the butt! It kept fighting against me! I don't know how many times I took it apart and put it back together, the sleeves are a patchwork job because the original sleeves were too narrow and needed to be widened from the scraps left over. I think I could have made them a tad bit wider still... This man has such a loooooong arms.
  Fai's kimono is still missing the bead embroideries on the sakuras, but this is still a work in progress. You could say that this was the first test run.

The poor dears were quite knackered in their costumes when they came back on Sunday. The humidity made the costumes quite a pain to wear. But everyone had fun and that's what counts!

lauantai 30. kesäkuuta 2012

Fitting of Sakura

Here are  the promised pictures of Sakura fitting. Little Haa-chan looked so adorable in it!

In the first one we are testing how to shut the sleeve opening because of a calculation mistake the sleeve opening was smaller than it should have been. We were not able to get the "pouf" into the sleeve because of this. Also the collar needs adjusting. Those sleeves are really heavy and they look like they are pulling the dress off the little Haa-chan!
 The sleeve we left open for the fitting to test how well she could move her hands.
 Back with the unfinished train embroidery. Sorry about the mess on the table.
The back sat so nicely on her.
 And one very happy cosplayer! You can see how differently those two sleeves are sitting on her. Now to hunt for the wig!

perjantai 29. kesäkuuta 2012

Sakura's dress near complited

Sakura's dress is close to completion. To my dissapointment the bell sleeves were found too small to attach properly to the body of the dress, but with two weeks to the deadline of three costumes, I do not have time to redo them yet. The cosplayer of Sakura is visiting us this weekend, so I'll update fitting pictures then. I am dissapointed about the sleeves thou, but I'll need to redo them later.

keskiviikko 20. kesäkuuta 2012

Just a little update!

Just updating here on where I'm going with the outfits.

- Sakura's dress is coming along nicely, only the sleeves are missing because I ran out of ribbon again.

- Fai's kimono is not coming along nicely, we are hardly on speaking terms. How is it that with Sakura's dress, which is ultimately more complicated than 8 rectangular pieces of fabric, I had no difficulties whatsoever?! As soon as I sew one seam, I notice that I have to rip open another to do adjustments. Blah.

Back to work now...

torstai 14. kesäkuuta 2012

Starting with Fai

Since I was unable to continue the Sakura dress as the store had run out of the gold ribbon I decided to start Fai's kimono. To make the cutting quicker I lined the top fabric and the lining fabric on top of each other on our living room floor. I got the fabrics nicely lined up and then...

Kiki decided there was something immensly curious underneath the fabrics.

torstai 7. kesäkuuta 2012

After 200 bells...

So, over somewhat 200 bells... 177 are on the "half hem" on the back. Now all I can do is the bead embroidery on the cherry blossoms, because my local handcraft store had run out of the gold ribbon I've been using and it takes about 2-3 weeks for them to restock.

sunnuntai 3. kesäkuuta 2012

Jingle Bells

Sakura's dress got it's first jingly bells!
Jingle bells!
 You can see the fabric paint peeking under the seam. It looks so much lighter on camera, but it's much darker in real life.
 The cosplayer herself stitched the bells to the lace (with the aid of Fai's cosplayer). First one on the left is mine, I stitched one up to show her how it's done.
Undersleeves beginning to look finished.

Kiki thought the train was the most intersting thing ever.

lauantai 2. kesäkuuta 2012

Getting ready to be bell'd up!

Tomorrow I'm having a friend coming in to help me, so I made the "flaps" ready to be bell'd. I found a nice pink lace ribbon in our local handcrafts store and we are attaching the bells onto it.

Here's the pictures!
Kiki was found napping in the fabric bag.

Drafting the front piece.

Kiki finding the unfinished sleeves a better place to sleep.

After 4 coats of fabric paint I gave up on trying to paint the cherry blossoms and cut them from the light pink fabric.

Close-up of the pinned cherry blossoms.

After they have been sewed on.

Close-up of the sewed cherry blossom. There's two layers of hardening fabric inside the top.

Gold layers added.

The pink lace waiting for the bells.

Drafting the train.

Finished train

Close-up photo.
Tomorrow I can show the images of the added bells.

Peak at Sakura's sleeves

 I got Sakura's collars sewn in a couple of days ago and started with the sleeves. It's rather hard to see the white bell sleeve on the left arm. I also realized that I need more of that dark red crépe taffeta I used for the collar. In the image the sleeves are only pinned into the doll to see the lenght.
Sakura's dress in beginning to take shape.
Kiki making sure I do not lose pattern pieces.

torstai 31. toukokuuta 2012

Book: History of Costume by Carl Köhler

History of Costume by Carl Köhler
Dover Publications
464 pages
First published in english by George G. Harrap and Company in 1928.
Cover image by Amazon

I've been reading this little book lately. It's about the size of a pocket book, so it travels well in my bag and is not too big to dig up on public spaces and easily slipped back into the bag. It starts the historical timeline from the ancient times and goes up to the 1870, which is understandable when you look at the first publication date.

The book is full of information about men's and women's clothing, some of the garments are patterned in the book and can be remade from the measurements given (with adjusting). The book is well illustrated, this edition has all the images in black and white. The 1928 edition had some of the plates in full color. I felt that some of the images were in odd places and when reading, I needed to flip forward or backward to find the image that the book refered. Since I have a few books from this period, I'm taking it as the style of the layout.

The text in the book is well written and full of information. It's very academic language and it sticks to the facts known when written. The language is rather tiring reading, even if it is very interesting.

I'm still not knowledgable enough about how much the information has changed since this book was first written and if there are errors in the facts of the book.

To whom I recommend:
- Anyone interested in clothing history.

To whom I do not recommend:
- Anyone wanting to read a very academicly written book.
- People who need pictures to understand the text complitely. There's a lot of information in this book, more than the illustrations can cover, and in some points I felt that it was hard for me to understand because there was no picture to help me.

My general opinion of this book is good. It has a lot of the information about the ancient and middle age eras that are a black hole in my clothing knowledge. Yes, it's hard to read and understand at times, but with a dictionary and slow reading I've gotten throught.

I found my copy in eBay, but it's also foundable in Amazon.

Please note that this is purely my opinion and impression of the book!