Friday, February 22, 2008

The Hood

If there's any question why I (still) live in Michigan, this should provide at least part of the answer.

This is literally my neighborhood.

ETA: Not that I'm all that fucking thrilled about it either.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Caution! Wild Animals!

This is a project I am very proud of, even if it did take me months to complete. Granted, several of those months involved the shirt being forgotten under a pile of other projects...

Some time ago, I bought this pattern, Butterick 4188. As much as I like it, for some reason, I decided to modify the front. (Something to do with a genetic inability to do things the way instructed.) I scanned the tissue pieces and voodooed the front panels in Adobe Illustrator to allow the insertion of -- you guessed it -- a zipper. I found a very nice dark teal woven (which the cutter at Joann suggested be my "signature" color because apparently it goes well with my coloring) and, uh, some King Kong flannel in the children's department. Oh who am I kidding? It all started with the King Kong flannel.

I cut all the pieces out and then somehow they wound up under my "mend" pile. I think I was afraid to build it, actually, because of the huge modification. But then the Dirty Show was coming up and, as usual, I decided the two rooms full of clothing I already had simply were not good enough. With that mend pile as high as it was, I dug through it to see if there was something I could finish rather than starting something new. That's when I refound the shirt.

As usual, the coloring in the photo doesn't do the piece justice. The zipper is a pale lavender and that lettering is a nice bright orange.

After a couple of dedicated evenings, it all came together. And amazingly, it fit. But the resolution brought with it another question: What exactly does one wear with a teal King Kong detailed shirt? Why, a teal King Kong detailed skirt, naturally.

This one was a lot easier to figure. I started with Simplicity 5914, a simple gored skirt, and decided to insert Kong-patterned piping to pull it together. Of course, I've never made piping, but part of the pleasure of sewing, to me, is building the skillset. I know that I could sew for the rest of my natural life and never reach the limits of the techniques other people have mastered for centuries. But I love the learning, so wherever plausible, I like to add to my repertoire.

Turns out, piping is pretty easy. In fact, I see a lot more piping in my future.

I wore the outfit to the Dirty Show with a pair of tights which were a slightly lighter shade of teal and black ankle boots with bows. (I almost wore dark red patent leather heels for the contrast, but was talked out of it at the last minute.) This time I think the testimony to the success of the outfit is the fact that very few people mentioned it. I makes me a little paranoid when people immediately ask me "oh did you make that?" Why, does it look like some hack stitcher sewed it?? This time around the couple of comments I did get were about how cute the Kong detail fabric was. So I was happy. Naturally, today's pictures are after I've worn it, so it looks a little wonky on the dummy because of the creases and whatnot, blahblah excusescakes.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Sally and Syd

Over at craftster, stitcher Aixbelle tells the story of two cute little monsters, Syd Delicious and his friend Sally. Syd was on his way to his new home in Seattle, when they stopped to take some family photos by Puget Sound.

That's when the seemingly unthinkable happened.

A rogue wind rose up and swept the two friends out into the Sound. At least, that's how it appeared. We all prefer -- and choose -- to believe that Syd and Sally simply had too many adventures left in them to settle down, and so broke free to make good their escape. Syd even looks to be hopping away in that last photo.

Their story inspired from me The Ballad of Sally and Syd.

Sally and Syd were loverly beasts,
The first ones invited to all the best feasts.

Syd's big red heart could hold the whole world,
And Sally's droll little mouth was oft wrly curled.

To their friends they were lavish -- and none was a stranger.
They set out to teach us that not all "monsters" mean danger.

"There is too much to see for us to stay in one place,"
Sally whispered to Syd (whose ears dwarfed his face).

He silently nodded and -- quick! -- looked around,
And when no one was looking, they jumped into the Sound.
Yes hand in stripey hand, they splashed into the Sound.
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