Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cool Birds in the lake behind my place

my unsuspecting photo subjects in the distance...
check out my wings!

I love these birds!  I was able to sneak up on this group of grooming birds... and use my new fancy dandy DSLR Nikon to take some pics. 

These guys are actually pretty funny when you take a closer look at them.

lol, get that back itch!

the most dignified looking of the bunch

birdie love?  nah... don't think so

But I guess I got too close and spooked them and they all took off for the privacy of the other side of the lake... sorry guys...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

DIY Packaging for my Etsy Store :)

I've been moving pretty slowly these past couple days because of this annoying cold I caught, but one thing has been bringing a smile to my face and that's making my own little tags, etc. for packaging things for my etsy shop  I designed a logo myself on photoshop and bought a custom stamp from JLMould using the design I made.  It should come any day now and I can't wait to stamp all over my boxes (bought at and handmade tags!

I modified my little logo and printed it (on my computer printer!) on scrap-booking card stock to make backs for my fabric covered button bobby pins.

For Sale at
I used an exacto (spelling?_?) knife to cut slits on both sides of the middle so I could slide the bobbies on easily. 

I also bought a label shape die-cut punch on sale from the craft store and punched a bunch of tags from scrap-booking paper.  I've also set aside some boxes from Indian food packages that I'm going to re-purpose into tags.  The size of the custom stamp is the size of the tag so I will be able to stamp my blank tags with my logo in any color ink I want.

For other items like bracelets and headbands that don't fit on a little backing like the bobbies I made long tags that I can staple around the item.  I printed the long tags on craft paper and scrap-book paper, then I cut out and cut the edges with special scissors.  
Handmade Tags
I'm planning on making my own holiday wrapping paper with stamps on craft paper.  Here are the boxes I bought from Uline.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cute Dress- Simplicity 1716

It looks like I'm flying!  but really i'm just proud to be balancing on a big tree root in heeled boots...

I made this dress a couple weeks back and was very happy with the way it came out.  I used an April Johnson jersey print that I got on clearance from Jo-Ann's and it was like wearing my pajamas out.  Here are some pictures and the pattern review from

This pattern came with dress and blouse patterns that have interesting bust gathering detail.

Pattern Sizing: your average

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it did.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Well, I was able to follow them, but the gathering effect up front wasn't intuitive for me. You definitely want to hang on to your pattern instructions for that part.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked the ease with which it came together. Even though it seems like it would be really fussy, it was actually not bad at all. The thing I did dislike is that it seemed like it would be super hard (for me at least) to sew the last step in the front gather on the sewing machine as suggested. I didn't bother attempting and just sewed it by hand since it was only like 4 inches long.

Fabric Used:
I used a super drapey April Johnson jersey that was on clearance at Jo-Ann's. (half off clearance baby! oh yeah!) I really like the unexpected neon yellow flowers in the mix.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I went down two to one sizes from what was recommended. I added an inch to the skirt, but still kept it short.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I love this dress, I would definitely sew it again, maybe with an A-line skirt and self-belt. I do recommend it.

love my new dress

gathered bodice detail

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bjork Swan Dress Costume

I just entered this dress into a radio contest for musical costumes.  I made it a year or two ago (ah! can't remember!)  using TONS of tulle.  I made it in two parts: a satin under dress and an attaching swan neck.  I made the bodice texture by folding the tulle into little triangles and sewing it on in rows.  I was trying to approximate the look of feathers.  This is the part that took the longest.  For the skirt I made attached tiered, fluffy, voluminous skirts to the waist and also sewed a separate tulle tutu-like skirt that I could slip on under the other skirts to add to the volume.  I put in a side zipper. 

The one-shouldered strap ended about 4 inches below my shoulder and attached over a button I sewed on the end of the swan neck.  The swan neck was made like a stuffed animal, with orange felt and black pleather for the head.  The exposed area of the neck was sewed with layers of heavy duty sew-in interfacing that I cut to look like feathers.  The part of the neck that looped behind my neck was covered in white stretch lace fabric. I think I liked the swan part so much that I unconsciously made the swan head bigger than the original dress, lol, that really wasn't quite intentional, but I still like it. 

cool camera effect, huh? 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

ZombiCon 2012~ Success!

taken out by a rogue green shell, such senseless violence...
itsa him! zombie mario!
No, we didn't win the costume contest (we actually missed it ;_; ), but based on the amount of random drunken shout-outs we got we were a crowd favorite!_!  My bf cracked me up each time he responded in a high Mario voice, "Itsa me!  Maario!"  Too bad Peach doesn't have any cute catch-phrases.  The street festival was from 6 to midnight, but lots of people linger around at clubs, etc.  We didn't get there till 9:30 because we were still sewing/ making ourselves up till 9...

why so blurry???  :(

The Making of Zombie Peach and Mario:

I already had my concept drawing and had picked out a pattern at Jo-Ann's $0.99 pattern sale: Simplicity 2813, an adult Snow White/ Cinderella costume pattern.  I bought my fabric at the same sale, however the costume satin wasn't as wide as most fabrics are so I ended having to drive to the store again for more fabric-- and that's considering that half my skirt is eaten up! 

I decided to make a muslin of the bodice- my first time ever actually making a non-wearable muslin, and thank God I did.  After making the muslin I saw that I would need extra inches at the waist (and I've been so good about hitting up the gym too!  it's the pattern, it has to be!) and was able to add those to the pattern pieces at the side seams.  I also raised the neckline and added a scalloped contrast neckline edging.  First I made a pattern piece similar to the way you would make one for a facing, except with scallops and making it so it would peek out beyond the finished neckline.  I followed directions for making the Cinderella neckline (albeit, much higher because of my altered pattern pieces) and then added my scalloped edge underneath it.  For the skirt I added a contrast bottom band to the half that was going to stay intact. 

When it was all sewn up and done I did the most difficult thing ever... attack a beautiful dress I had just spent 2 weeks sewing up.  Scissors in hand I cut slashes in the right sleeve, removed part of the bottom of the right side of the skirt.  To give it a more natural ragged look I twisted the fabric and snipped haphazardly, then tugged and ripped and rubbed raw edges against the carpet to help it fray. 

For the petticoat, I made this in a hurry the day of and just sewed all layers together by making a casing and thread the elastic up top, then I cut through all layers in strips and scrunched them up, randomly tying some of them together to make it look like a proper fluffy mess.  Something to give body to the skirt and peep through the ripped mess. 

Detail of poor Ripped up Dress
Frantic Shopping the Day Of 

So.... about 1 pm after I've finished most of my sewing my boyfriend decided it was time to START work on his costume...  >.<  So we started visiting every thrift store in the area looking for overalls.  Let me tell you- apparently overalls are in HIGH DEMAND.  At the 5th store we even heard the guy behind us asking about overalls right after we had!  Finally, bf found a pair of large ladies ones in the dress section, LOL.  It had a huge Tigger embroidery on it, but I told him in the words of Tim Gunn, "make it work."  We went by Wal-mart and picked up some red fabric and felt for the hat and a red Tshirt.  I wasn't able to find the princess crown or jeweled brooch I needed in Wal-Mart, thankfully, the Dollar Store didn't disappoint!  They even had an extra pair of while gloves so I could rip one up (and still keep both the nice long white gloves I already had both intact)  For the blue brooch I was able to find a wand at the dollar store that came with removable jewels, the blue one was perfect and I glued it to a yellow felt circle backing and pinned it to the front of the dress.
Mario Cap with Peach Petticoat on dress form

The Final Stretch

I had wanted to make a mushroom purse to go along with my dress, but sadly my bf was behind in his progress and feverishly using a seam ripper to remove the offending Tigger applique.   I was obliged to make his red hat from scratch since he forgot to buy a hat to cover with red fabric.  It ended up looking more legit that way anyway, since Mario's hat is fluffier and has a shorter brim than your average baseball cap.  This was the first hat I had made with a brim and I was pretty proud of my work- especially considering that I finished it under duress in like 20 minutes. 

After all this I mixed up acrylic paint with water to a wonderful dried blood hue and splattered and smeared my dress liberally.  I ripped up my tights and applied creepy makeup, blonde wig and crown.  And then we were ready for the night!  
Costume Contest

Monday, October 1, 2012

Zombie Princess Peach and Mario

Princess Peach ~ Wii Version
For this year's ZombiCon in Fort Myers I want to do an iconic couples costume- who better than Mario and Princess Peach?  My boyfriend is willing to play the part of Mario, which should be a mostly no-sew costume.  I figure we can get overalls from a thrift store, buy a red tshirt and cover a hat to make it look like a Mario hat.  My Princess Peach costume will be made from Simplicity 2813, modified to have a higher neckline with scalloped contrast edge, jeweled brooch, and contrast hem band.  My concept is that one half is still pretty and princess-like (pre zombie apocalypse) and the other half is all eaten up and bloody (post zombie apocalypse). see below.

My concept Drawing

Monday, April 9, 2012

New Bags up on Etsy

So I'm finally getting around to posting all the bags I've been making lately onto my Etsy store. I love making them so much more than the actual business of posting them onto the site and have kind of let things slide over there on Etsy. You know it's pretty bad when you're posting an Acorn bag that you made in the Fall in April... Well, maybe people will think I'm just being really proactive. :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Veggie Hair Clips

I have been going crazy making different little projects that I might be able make with my DIY Sewing Fashionista club. These were inspired by all these annoying Bacon tshirts I keep seeing, I thought to myself, veggies get such a bad rap, I gotta make some Veggie propaganda myself. Here is the tutorial I posted on Cut out and keep:

You Will Need:

red and orange Embroidery Floss
Fabric Glue
2 Hair Clip(s)

Project Budget: Cheap
Time: half hour


Cute Veggie hairclips made from felt, using fabric glue, embroidery floss and of course- hairclips.


Step 1

Tomato: cut two tomato shapes. cut an indent in the top shape. Cut a small stem and little crown out of the green felt.
Carrot: Cut two carrot shaped cones with an indent in the top shape out of the orange felt. Cut three leaves out of green felt.

Step 2

Tomato: Glue stem to back tomato, then position top tomato over it, centering indent under the stem, and then glue crown under the stem. When gluing the red tomatoes together be sure to only put glue on the outer edge, leaving the center unglued.
Carrot: Glue the leaves to the back carrot, then glue the top carrot with indent on top of it all, like a sandwich.

Step 3

Tomato: Embroider around the edge of tomato with small stitches. I added a reflection highlight on my tomato in the top right corner.
Carrot: Embroider with orange thread using longer stitches, horizontally across the body of the carrot.

Step 4
Tomato: To attach to the hair clip cut two slits on the back tomato only and slip the clip inside (front part of clip). You can always reposition clip to make it face the other way so it can be worn above right or left ear.
Carrot: Go ahead and attach to clip with needle and thread, being careful to only catch the back of the carrot. I attached mine at a jaunty little angle.

Enjoy! Heart the Veggies :)