Post Tag: Rikku

8.09.2006

Sewing room cleaning and bunny hanger

I really have no excuse for not updating in the last eight months. It hasn’t been for lack of projects. In fact, I received a pattern drafting book for Christmas and I’ve been (slowly at times) teaching myself how to draft my own patterns. I’ve also completed a skirt pattern and prototype for my Rikku costume.

My current project, an extremely belated Christmas present for a friend, is a bunny wall hanger (Simplicity 4389). I already made one for another Christmas gift, which allowed me to work out most of the bugs. Here are some pictures of the work in progress:

In pieces
Stitching detail on the wrong side
Stitching detail on the wrong side 2

I took the pictures of the stitching detail (the brown line, not the yellow basting line) because I was particularly proud of it. The first one I made was pretty pitiful at this point. Unfortunately, the ears — which are basted to the head on the inside at this point — were much better on the first one. I didn’t clip the seam of the ear before I basted it, so when I turned it right side out, the ear was not totally caught in the seam. I had to re-stitch the seam on the top of the head, moving it down farther (and ruining my awesome first-time stitching job…*sigh*). I also had to do some hand-stitching to cover up the ear seam. It was a mess, but it looks fine from the outside.

The other challenge involves the ears as well. The pattern instructions call for floral wire inside the ears to make them stand up. The ends of the wire are taped together inside the ear at the bottom. Since I didn’t want to repeat the mistake of the first time where I had to sew over the wire (not good for the machine), I tucked the wire ends far enough up inside the ear that they would not be sticking into the seam. Unfortunately this (or perhaps the heaviness of the wire) doesn’t allow for as much support at the seams. When I hold the head in the center (where the plastic loop hanger goes), the sides of the head collapse, making the ears hang forward. To get around this, I’m going to sew a loop hanger to the back of the ears rather than the head. It will be more annoying to hang up, but it’s really the only way it’ll work at this point.

To be fair, the first iteration, even with its wires in the seam, may also collapse in this way — when I made it, I couldn’t find the plastic loops, so I didn’t get to test it properly.

Anyway, those problems are easy enough to fix, so I’ll just be happy that I’ve become more successful at stitching around a curving outline.

In other news, I’ve been working on cleaning up my sewing room. Not just the usual picking up, but a whole new reorganization. I don’t have a good “before” picture, but some of my earlier photos of the room show how I used to store my fabric and such. I did snap some “before” pictures this time around, but only after I’d already pulled a bunch of stuff out of my closet and reorganized the fabric.

Before:
Looking into the room
A look at the partially-organized closet and the not-at-all-organized sewing machine table
Another look into the room

After:
Organized closet
A wider look at the closet and the pattern cabinet
Looking into the room again
Ironing board and bookshelf
Pattern-drafting area
What’s behind the door
Clean sewing table
Bulletin board
Bookshelf and sexy entertainment center (with TV, DVD player, stereo, and iPod hookup)

I feel very good about this current organization. It makes me feel more creative for some reason.

I have some more pictures of the skirt prototype and my bodice pattern coming up!

12.06.2005

Rikku costume update!

I realize I haven’t written in here for a while, but it’s not for lack of progress. I’ve just been working on so much sewing stuff, I got overwhelmed. I’m still working on the Rikku costume, of course, and to add extra stress and fun to my holiday season, I’m making several presents for people this year. One of which is another dog bed, this one for my parents’ pug, Ginny. It’s almost finished, and I should have pictures very soon.

As for the Rikku costume, I have several progress pictures to share. As you might remember, here is the original costume drawing. And in one of my last entries, I talked about working on the top. Well, the top is finished except for the black strap and the front cord. I have supplies for these, but haven’t crafted them yet.

BUT! I do have pictures of me wearing the top with some stand-in straps and front cord. They’re blurry and quite silly, but they give a good idea of what the top will look like. I debated posting these pictures publicly, but then I realized that I’m going to be wearing this in public anyway. And if I can’t feel comfortable posting blurry pictures of me wearing a skimpy bikini top and “Toadily Cool” frog shorts, well, then what kind of cosplayer am I?

So here you go. These pictures contain BOOBS, such as they are. Fear my A-cups!

Jeanne poses goofily in the mirror. Sexy!
Maybe they’ll look bigger if I post a close-up shot…

As for detailed shots of the costume thus far sans my chest, here they are:
The main part of the scarf is complete!
Bikini front detail
Bikini back detail

Now, anyone can throw some trim on a yellow underwire bra and call it a Rikku top, but as you can see, my goal is to create something that looks — and holds together — like the actual top. I made some mistakes here and there, and had to make some necessary changes because of the way I constructed it (such as the location of the eyelets), but I think it’s overall successful. If I made another one, I know what I would do differently, and that’s the important part of the learning process, right?

Another thing that is important to me as I work on getting out of this pesky novice category is to make the wrong side of the costume pieces look as good as the right side. It would have been a million times easier to construct that top without making the binding look good on both sides, or by leaving the buckle strap unfinished, but I wanted it to look like…well, if the straight males in the audience will excuse me, I wanted it to look like it would if Rikku took off her top. Meaning, of course, that it is an actual finished garment. I’m sure this at least doubled the time it took me to make that particular piece.

I still have a long way to go on the costume and my sewing/costuming skills in general, but I’m feeling pretty good about this one so far.

9.25.2005

Whew. Okay. I finished the pumpkin placemats shortly after my last post. They were a lot easier than the napkins because the shapes were bigger so the curves weren’t as tight. The placemat fabric, despite its thickness, wasn’t difficult to sew at all. I had pretty much no problems with it.

Here are some finished pictures:
Entire placemat
Close-up on applique

I have my sewing salon tomorrow at Treadle Yard Goods. The purpose is to get help with sewing without it being an actual class with the cost and numerous dates that entails. It seems that sewing classes never fit into my schedule, because I always have some sort of conflict. So this kind of thing works out better for me.

I’m bringing my Rikku bikini top along, seeing as how that’s my current project. I’ve been way too busy to even think about stepping in the sewing room in the last week, unfortunately. So I set aside a bunch of time today to prepare. I actually cut into the yellow fabric. I’m such a chicken about cutting my actual fabric, so this was a big step for me. ;) Related note: I took a trip to SR Harris again on Friday and learned that my yellow fabric is poly/lycra. There isn’t any info on this in my Fabric Savvy book, but I’m sewing it like nylon/lycra. I did learn (from an online link I found) that poly/lycra has a ribbed side and a wrong side. That was probably too subtle for me to catch on my own, so I’m glad I found that.

I started keeping a sewing journal to record my observations, how I solved certain problems and why I did it that way, and certain settings that I used to sew stuff. I’ll probably pick and choose some stuff to put in here. Needless to say, I learned a lot today about cutting, sewing, binding, and putting eyelets into knits. Hopefully I’ll have more success stories tomorrow.

9.15.2005

Here’s my obligatory “I’m not dead!” post for the month.

I took about a month long break from sewing stuff in preparation for my Arizona trip — I spent pretty much all my time studying. Now that I’m back and have gone to an anime convention, which always inspires me, I’m back in business.

Before I started my sewing break, I started working on the main parts of my Rikku costume. For those of you unfamiliar with the costume, here’s a picture. Yeah. Stop laughing.

So I started work on the top. Here are some of the challenges for a novice such as myself:

1) Making it the right shape to match the costume. (Bonus difficulty: it looks different in every drawing/rendering.)
2) Making a bikini top in the first place — I’ve never made one before!
3) Getting the right amount of support.
4) Making it look good on a small-chested person such as myself.
5) Getting that edge binding to look right.

I bought some awesome material for both the top/bottom and their binding at SR Harris. Of course I didn’t bother to check what kind of lycra it is, so when I opened up my Fabric Savvy book, I found out that the sewing/prewashing is slightly different for cotton lycra versus nylon lycra. Great. And of course, the difference is that nylon is shiny while cotton is matte. Except that I can’t tell which one the base yellow fabric is — I’m pretty sure the binding is nylon. So yay for me. I found a very similar fabric on one of the shirts in my closet that says it’s nylon, so I’m going with that.

For the top, I started with a base pattern and modified the hell out of it. In fact, I did a lot more modifying than I thought I knew how to do — John was impressed. Now that I have the fabric and it’s stretchier than the knits I was using to test, I took some material off the edges of the pattern. We’ll see if that works.

And of course I’m hoping to finish the pumpkin placemats soon — I spent this evening tracing and cutting out the applique. Tomorrow I sew!

3.26.2004

Why do I always wait so long between posts? I guess because I hadn’t been doing too much sewing stuff, instead focusing on VGR and some video games.

On Saturday, I went to “Sewing Adventures 2004″ put on by Husqvarna-Viking. I ended up learning a lot and spending an assload of money on new sewing machine feet and other accessories. I bought the heirloom kit despite not having a sewing machine that can do heirloom type stitches. I will someday, though.

Last night, I went to a sewing machine foot class and ended up buying an open toe foot for my machine. I went home and practiced satin stitch applique. For some reason the fabric doesn’t like to feed through my machine when I do 0.2 length stitches, and is a little iffy in certain spots on the 0.3 length stitches. I don’t know if the presser foot is slipping on the stabilizer or what.

I’ve also been working a lot on my scarf:

The thing is, the actual scarf I’m basing it on has a color change gradient rather than bands. But I didn’t want to knit a 9 foot single-colored scarf (my first scarf, by the way) and then potentially screw it up in the dye process. So yeah, it won’t look exactly like Rikku’s scarf, so hopefully other cosplayers won’t scoff at it. :P

The other night, when I tried satin stitch applique for the first time, I was a total klutz. I managed to try satin stitching with the wrong stitch (the buttonhole stitch), I ironed the wrong side of the fusible stabilizer, and when I examined the resulting cruddiness on the iron, I managed to spill water everywhere. I don’t think I’m cut out for this!

1.04.2004

Once again, I’m cleaning my sewing room. I’ve learned that in a house with five bedrooms and two people, one or two rooms will always be the “crap” rooms. I’ve spent the day clearing the crap out of my sewing room. :P

I’m also studying the basics of sewing, both review and new stuff. Maybe someday I’ll know enough to actually sew something new!

My current costume plans are to make Rikku from FFX-2 for March and a “secret” costume for August. I’m keeping it secret until I know for sure that I will be able to make it without it looking like ass. Then, for 2005, I’m going to make hobbit costumes for me, John, Susi, and Steve. I have a long way to go before I can do some of that tailoring stuff. Sometimes it’s very discouraging.