Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dragon Myself Outside...

... my comfort zone.

While I can make many wonderful things out of fabric and thread, I am not overly talented in other crafting areas.  Most of this is on purpose, as a diet of creativity and the pocketbook (hobbies are expensive), but another part of is that I have many, many friends that do wonderful things in just about every other medium.

So, when I was approached about making a Harry Potter style wand for a gal that "looked like a water dragon" in red, I said, "Uh.  Sure," and immediately started a mini-panic about how in the hell I was going to do this.  Sculpture is not a strong-suit of mine, but I figured if I kept to mostly geometric shapes, I'd be ok.

After about 5 redesigns, this was the result...

... gawsh, I hope she likes it!  >.< 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Stuffed with Madness

This Valentine's day I received an emergency commission for a stuffed platypus.

Give that a moment to sink in.

Yes.  A platypus.

Lucky, I am what can be called "clever" and "resourceful" when I want to be, and I managed to create this with one part crafty-ness and one part engineering...

He's been named "Beethoven", he's the approximate size of an NFL football, he's very cuddly, and he's very loved by his new owner.

A posting of Beethoven's picture to my Facebook page started a huge outpouring of interest and links flying and requests for other bizarre animals (for example, narwhals).  In the midst of the frenzy, it occurred to me that while I post a lot here about my costuming adventures, I'm pretty poor about posting my "Stuffie" adventures.

In the past, I've posted about Professor Bear, the Forest Nymph, and the Christmas Bears/Lion, but here are some things that I haven't posted about before...

A penguin, made for my Son for Valentine's day last year.

A fox, custom made as a prize for winning an Arts & Sciences challenge I put down.

A barn owl, version (A) and version (B).  Version (A) read a bit more penguin-ish or baby owl-ish, which precipitated the need for version (B), which the intended recipient liked much better (and I agreed!).

This doll has a removable beard to create "Season One" (unbearded) and "Season Two" (bearded) Commander William T. Riker from "Star Trek: The Next Generation".  It was a Valentine's day gift last year for my Beau.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fancy Pants

A common problem in LARPing is that our pants (or skirts, for that matter) don't have pockets.  In an age of bulky cell phones that we simply *must* have on us at all times, this is a very serious problem.  While my current line of skirts don't have pockets built into them, it is a plan for the future, and in the meantime my good friend Sue (who sings with the group London Julie) wanted a pair of pants with pockets.  Specifically, she asked for two cargo-type pockets and one back-pocket on the right-hand-cheek.

This is what she's ending up with...

They don't look like much here, but I promise you these are formidable pants.  I made them from a bottom-weight fabric, the crotch seam is flat-felled, and the side-seams are "french".  Amusingly, when I folded the top of the pants over to create the waistline (as I usually do), each seam had become too bulky to machine-sew through.  So, I hand-stitched those sections shut, breaking a hand-needle in the process.

An example of one of the cargo pockets.  They have a drawstring at the top of them in order to keep any goodies inside safe, and each is large enough to hold two... er... adult beverages.

The back pocket is a single-welt pocket and is deep enough that she can fit one hand in her pocket.

A show of how the back-pocket opens.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Leafing this Right Here...

I've been steadily receiving commissions for "Eleventh Hour Sewing" and it is truly awesome to be doing something I love to do all day long.  Seriously.  I'm amazingly blessed to not only have a skill, but to have people that want to pay me to use that skill.

This piece is today's finished commission piece...

This dress is made from cottons, which I love using for its durability and color-range.

The leaves are appliqued on, and I have to say that this is some of the best applique I've done in my life.  The leaves are small, perhaps 3x3, and are arranged to look as though they are sweeping from the hem of the dress and up the body.

The neckline and collar for this pattern goes in a little wacky, and I worried that the neckline would be pulled further down by the heaviness of the sleeves.  To solve this, I ran a drawstring into the cased-seam of the collar.  Unfortunately, it creates a ruffled effect here, on the dress form, but once it is on its intended wearer, I am confident it will smooth out considerably.

A view of the dress from the side, and how the sleeves drape.

A view of the dress from the back.  Because there are no arms on my dress dummy, it looks a bit rumpled here, but it will be nicely filled out once it is worn.

A detailed view of the back.  Those are button holes that go up to right under the collar.  What isn't shown here is the modesty panel I cleverly inserted into the back, so that any underpinnings the wearer might have on can be kept hidden.