Post Tag: amigurumi

3.02.2009

About the New Layout (plus some crochet)

Okay! I’m finally sitting down to write an update post. I’ve been holding off on posting here until I was done with the new layout. I’m going to have to break this into several posts so I don’t go crazy. First, here’s the story behind the new blog look.

I’m redoing my portfolio, and one of the items on my to-do list is creating custom layouts for my blogs under my new name: Lopapalooza Studios. For my sewing and crafting blog, I am now using the name Lopapalooza Creative Fingers. The old name, “Diary of a Sewing Novice,” doesn’t really apply anymore. Not only am I no longer a novice (hooray!), but I’m focusing on more than just sewing.

For the layout, I wanted something that incorporates both sewing and crafts with muted colors and a bit of classic charm. And of course, I couldn’t resist including my lop logo! The site should be viewable on most browsers and versions, although it will look best on newer browsers. The text is also resizable.

I used brushes and patterns from Obsidian Dawn.

I am still very much into crochet, with the occasional bit of practice knitting. Crochet has become a major focus for me, and the best place to follow my recent progress is my Ravelry page. I encourage anyone who is interested in knitting and/or crochet, even if you don’t feel like you’re very good yet and even if you don’t have any completed projects, to sign up. The number of resources on there are just amazing, including the pattern search and all the groups. At the time of this writing, you need to sign up for an invitation, and it’ll take a few days to get it, but it’s worth it.

For those who aren’t on Ravelry, here are links to my latest completed projects. I’ll go more in-depth on these in following posts:

More to come soon!

12.11.2008

Yet another big update post

Wow, has it been over six months since I posted? I really have to get better about this. It’s not that I haven’t been working on sewing and other crafts — I totally have. At least I have that to say for myself.

Anyway, I recently upgraded my Flickr account to pro, so I’m going to try something new: storing my project images on Flickr and linking to them there. Obviously I won’t be storing all of my images on Flickr — just the main project ones. Hopefully I won’t have too many technical difficulties.

So what have I done since the last time I posted?

Well, I finished my bunny shirt — the shorter version of the dress (Simplicity 3867) from my last post.

Bunny shirt front
Bunny shirt side

The chest looks kind of collapsed on the dress form, but that’s because I didn’t provide the form with the proper…support before I put the dress on it. It looks better on the real thing (me).

Then in September, I was crazy enough to sew up a Renfest costume in one week. I used Simplicity 9966 and sewed just the shirt and the over- and underskirts. I’m glad I was smart enough to use a bodice I already owned — I just barely finished the three pieces on time.

Full costume (sort of)
Skirts
Neckline detail
Sleeve cuff detail
Skirt trim detail
Skirt clasp detail
Skirt serging/hem detail
Shirt seam detail

I’m proud of how it turned out, especially since the blouse was made out of such challenging material. I used voile, which was so wispy I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to sew it. Also, I had to adapt the sleeve pattern since the fabric wasn’t wide enough to accommodate it — the fabric was 36″ wide instead of the 45″ the pattern required. Since the fabric was so sheer, I used French seams throughout. I also finished the inside of both the skirts, just for that professional touch. I probably would have been finished in half the time if I hadn’t put so much effort into serging and whatnot. My only issue with the final costume was the skirt waist — I didn’t make the elastic tight enough. I guess that’s the problem with having a dress form with a bigger waist than my own.

At the end of July/beginning of August, I went to a 3-day fashion design course, which was awesome! I learned a lot about the design process, and I have some ideas for a future custom wardrobe.

Then there’s my new hobby — crochet. I posted some pictures of my beginning amigurumi. Since then, I’ve made quite a few projects. If you’re a member of Ravelry, you can see my project page here. Otherwise, here are some pictures of my most recent projects:

Amigurumi cornucopia
Short ‘n’ Sweet bolero
Camouflage wristwarmers
One-skein scarf

There are a few more projects I haven’t yet photographed. I’m really getting into this whole crochet thing. I added a bunch of crochet books to my Amazon wishlist. Knitting books, too! That’s just what I need — a new hobby.

I also crocheted up a couple of cactus amigurumi for John, but of course I forgot to take pictures of them before I sent them to work with John. Whoops!

I’m currently working on a complete site overhaul, including a redesign of this blog. This may take me some time, but stay tuned!

5.30.2008

Massively huge update

Thanks to my friend Mary, the most productive sew-er and crafter I know, I’ve had a renewed interest in, well, sewing and crafting. During the last several months, I’ve started and finished a number of projects. While I’d like to say I’ve recovered from my procrastinating ways, the truth is that I still have roughly a million unfinished projects around my sewing room. Oh well!

Here’s an overview of what I’ve been working on — complete with pictures!

First, there’s my most recent project, which has been on my to-do list for over four years: a custom dress form! I don’t recall if I mentioned this in a previous post, but the last attempt at a custom dress form didn’t go so well. It involves taping me tightly with duct tape, and as I learned the hard way, I pass out when my entire torso is wrapped up. It makes me all claustrophobic and stuff. I paid for an online class after this fiasco — this was almost exactly four years ago. This particular taping system leaves the tummy and chest untaped until the end. I guess I didn’t have any real reason for putting off making a dress form for so long, but I recently discovered that I couldn’t go without one any longer. So I enlisted the help of John and Mary to tape me. Last weekend was the scheduled taping date.

This time, the taping went much better. Until the end. As soon as the tape started going up my neck, I suddenly got that familiar clammy, hyperventilating feeling. Luckily, the form was pretty much done by then, but it definitely was not my finest moment there at the end. I’ll just skip over the details.

The good news is that I now have an almost-completed form. I just need to double-check the stuffing, tape up the back, make a cardboard bottom, and make a cover.

The bad news is that the form isn’t as exact as it could be. It’s about an inch larger than my actual circumference measurements at the waist and hips. And…well, let’s just lay that taping during severe PMS and directly following a large meal is not advised when you want an accurate dress form in the stomach area. The belly protrudes out about two inches further than my actual measurements. As John pointed out, at least I’ll be able to eat large meals and breathe easily in whatever clothes I make.

Here are the pictures of the form so far:

Front view
Back view
Side view

I can take some comfort in knowing that that’s as pregnant as my body will ever look. :P

Next we have some items that I finished in April, but didn’t have a spiffy dress form to put them on. The first is the last of three tiered skirts that I bought material for over a year ago. This one was a particularly tricky polyester material that did not want to stay on grain. Luckily, the fabric design, color, and nature of the skirt pattern helped cover up my off-grain cutting. I painstakingly hand-hemmed the skirt to prevent the problems I had with the other two.

Flowered skirt

I bought some material at CraftyPlanet and sewed up Simplicity 3867. I made a test garment from muslin first, and to my great surprise, the pattern fit without any alterations. Which is good, because I didn’t have the dress form when I made it. The dress includes pleats at the front shoulder and the skirt. The bodice is lined, and although the pattern instructions have the raw edge of the zipper tape exposed (sewn on top of the lining), I changed the instructions to cover the raw edge of the zipper with the lining. I also finished the inside edges with my serger. I used an invisible zipper instead of a regular zipper (and changed the pattern instructions accordingly) and did a hand hem. I’m finding that I get much better results when hemming by hand, even though it takes a lot longer.

Front view
Back view
Bodice
Back closed with invisible zipper
Lining stitched to zipper
Hand hem and finished inside

The pattern also includes an option for a shirt version, which I’m currently working on. Here is a close-up of the material (it has bunnies!) and lining:

Bunny shirt bodice

Sewing isn’t the only thing I’ve been up to. I bought some earring kits at The Bead Monkey. I put them together last month. One goes with the mauve tiered skirt I sewed a year ago and the other goes with my summer dress.

Mauve chandelier earring
Blue-green waterfall earring

Last but not least, I was inspired by a recent post on the CraftStylish blog and decided to try my hand at Amigurumi. I picked up this book and learned some basic crochet stitches. Having never crocheted before, I’m very, very bad at it, but I still completed a couple of small pieces from the book. I’ll post them here for amusement value.

Egg — my very first attempt at this
Chick in an eggshell — this one is a little better

Whew! That’s quite a lot of stuff. I also finished the bunny decoration for Mary, but stupidly forgot to take pictures of it. Derp!

More updates to come! For real!