When Doves Fly

You’re welcome for that ear worm. (And yes, I know the lyrics are ‘when doves cry’ but you don’t see any tears in this print do you? I hope not. I tried to wash them all out and cut around them. *sniffle*)

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This fabric is easily the most difficult fabric I’ve ever dealt with. It was like cutting sand. Silky shifty sand. I ended up having to whip out the rotary cutter and a self-healing mat to make things easier. It kind of did. I only had to fiddle with it to make it flat. And then again after putting the pattern piece on. Pins were my best friends.

Fortunately, the pattern drafting was straight forward. It’s a simple v-neck with plenty of ease and no defined waist. The sleeves were a different story, however. It’s probably the weirdest sleeve sloper I’ve had the privilege of drawing up. I didn’t want the sleeve to just be flowy. I wanted it to billow out at the back of the elbow; a of shape reminiscent of dogale sleeves but not as long.

90% of the seams are French seams which was a nice change from the usual and the v-neck edges/hem have tiny rolled hems.

And after that is when I gave up. It could have had something to do with me cutting and partially sewing this dress within a week of moving  but I did fold each piece very carefully and pin all the way through them with a label before they were packed away. However I think it was just the nature of the fabric that did me in.

Before this, I had no prior experience to working with sheer fabric, let alone a fabric as slippery as this. Sure there was that silky satin I used for my prom skirt but that turned out just fine. In a sewing space smaller and way more cramped than the one I cut and attempted to sew this dress in no less. So I’m not entirely sure what happened.

But every seamstress must have a failure. And it’s what she learns from the failure that is the most important. I’m thankful for the experience and maybe, when I can muster the courage, I will break this fabric out of it’s plastic bag and try again.

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The Room

Mood: I don’t want to go to bed

Audio: All the craft podcasts of Youtube.

Snack: Leftover steak pizza 

Drink: Count Traveler: A blood orange shandy

In case I did not mention this before…I moved.

We packed up our things and moved away from the city and now reside in a smaller but much more functional space in a tiny steel mill town that is slowly winding down. We have more windows and sunlight here and I can no longer complain about the commute to work.

And now that it is just the two of us and our respective fur babies, we can finally breathe and make up our own rules. And the first rule is: 

The lady of the house shall have the biggest room as her craft room.

It is in the back of the house and the only other room that has more windows is the kitchen.

Previously, my sewing space was split between the kitchen table and our computer desk in the front room. We no longer have said dining room table and the computer desk has been returned to it’s intended usage in our new office. So that left me without a space to cut on or draft on, that wasn’t previously occupied anyway, for about four  months until today.

Later on I’ll have to upload the video I made but until then, my pictures and description will have to suffice.

My table so far consists of two 3-shelf bookcases from wally world and a discontinued tabletop from IKEA. It’s not as tall as I’d like but it will do for now. And on this table, I went ahead and spent my day cataloging my fabric stash to come up with a comprehensive project list so that I can start making things right away once I build the set up for my machines.

Our house lacks furniture in a lot of places and this room is no exception. The only storage for my crafty things at the moment are the brown boxes I moved them in. But that issue will soon be put right. Just not today. Instead, today I moved all of boxes from along the wall by the entrance because I plan on putting a sewing cabinet with an attached storage space in the far corner.

I also managed to consolidate two fabric bins into one thanks to smart folding and removing some fragile objects that I had put inside for safer keeping. Yay!

And now for the pictures of my awful mess and a sneak peek into my stash catalog. (Compiling everything took all day and several cups of tea – until the water main broke anyway – but I’m glad I did it. I forgot about a decent chunk of my older fabrics.)

Thr sunlight is so strong and beautiful in this room! Unfortunately, all the other photos were taken at night with the overhead light on.

Beautiful Mistakes

Mood: Make this humidity go away.

Drink: The rest of my lime infused workout water

Snack: N/A

Audio: Hoarders: Buried Alive (I really can’t stop watching this show.)

Whilst working on this here bralette pattern:

The shoulder of the lace dress I’m also working on slipped off the narrow shoulder of my display mannequin  and this happened:

I believe the current emotion I’m feeling is love. 

Becoming a ‘Bag’ Lady

Mood: Meh
Audio: Oh the sweet sound zooming through a tunnel and flying down the hoghway because we’re more than an hour late to a birthday party
Snack: N/A
Drink: N/A

These are more pouches than they are bags but the term ‘pouch lady’ doesn’t quite sound right. I made them this morning from some quilted pink gingham fabric and some yellow fabric that I hesitate to call lining sporting 8bit fruits and veggies. I don’t want to call it lining because it feels more like those plastic table cloths than apparel lining. But it’s definitely a woven fabric and I used it as a lining so…lining it is then.

I made them in an effort to get my projects in order to keep the different pieces together. I will be making more of these in future mainly because I still have fabric leftover and, to be frank, I have no other need for quilted pink gingham fabric.

Now for the unflattering pictures. (Seriously prepare yourself.)

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And yes, there are pony beads on the ends of the ribbon drawstrings.

All Linked Up

Mood: Chillin’ like a villain
Audio: Birds rejoicing in 70 degree weather
Snack: Chocolate chip cookies
Drink: N/A

Not that you would have noticed but I’ve been spending a whole buttload of time sewing and drafting to relieve work-related stress in the evenings. But lately I’ve gotten the bug to make an accessory. Something bold, dramatic, and somewhat complicated.

Enter the Collared Epaulets of Doom.

The Collar:

I initially draped the pattern using some medium – heavy weight cotton/poly over my mannequin. Her shoulders are about 3/4s of an inch wider than mine (surprise!) so I figured I was safe despite her haute couture hunch. I pinned darts along the sides and centerfront of her neck to make the upper chest area as flat as possible so I could draw the outline.

Pro tip: It’s so much easier to pin the back (overlapping the selvage edges of course) first, the shoulder darts second, and the center front last.

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Turns out I was only half right about being okay with using her. The result was a great jumping off point but her shoulders were two inches too forward and her neck is more square than my own.

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The remedy was fairly simple: cut the front piece in half to create a pivot point to round out the neckline and shift the shoulder points backwards while maintaining the elegant curve from breastbone to shoulder.

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I was so happy with the resulting pattern that I forgot to take a picture until I had scribbled all over the fabric. But you get the idea.

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Much better don’t you think? (All seams aside and drafted out anyway.)

Be on the lookout for Part 2 where I decorate this thang!

I Might Have A Problem

I can’t pass a fabric store, or a store that  just so happens to have a fabric section, without ‘just checking’ their selection of sheer fabrics. I always walk out of there with something. Last night it was two six yard bundles of sheer fabric, a measuring tape (the thing I had gone in to get originally), and two marking pencils. Two days before that six more yards of silky sheer goodness, some cherry pin dot cotton fabric (oh so retro), and a bit of stretch lace.

I blame this upcoming festival season. (But mostly Pinterest. I mean just look up ‘sheer dress’ and let the inspiration overwhelm you.) Now that I’ll be partaking in it this summer, instead of pouting and wishing I could have gone from a nice air conditioned room, I now have to cone up with a plan of attack against the heat.

Plan A: Sheer fabrics

Something that will flutter and let the breeze through to cool me down. And while sheer fabric made of natural fibers would have been ideal, they aren’t super available nor are they budget friendly (My ticket was expensive enough). And who would wear silk canping? I mean, really? So polyester it is. The most I paid per yard for any of the sheers I’ve hoarded lately is $1.50.

The only premade thing I plan on taking with me clothes-wise may be a pair of shorts. Maybe. Everything else will be tops, dresses, and a shawl or two that I plan on featuring here. So to quote the turn of the millenia: watch this space!

P.S. The lack of pictures in this post is frightening so to make up for it here is a picture of a cute longwool sheep that I made friends with during MD Sheep and Wool Festival last year. Ain’t he just adorable?!
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At last

My rhinestone encrusted bra is finished and it only took a year of off and on glue sessions.

The rhinestones are flat backs in 4-5 different sizes that have been hot glued to the bra itself.

The dude calls it my battle bra because of how stiff it is.

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Keep Calm and Faux Curry [A Recipe]

Mood: A tad bored

Audio: The Co-Optional Lounge Episode 6 – Talisman

Drink: Cola

Snack: N/A [But dinner is on the way!]

Hello, and holy unintended hiatus everyone!

Where did I go? It’s not that interesting but if you must know: a full time job. See, didn’t I say it was uninteresting? And what exactly have i been doing in the meantime [besides, you know, not updating my blog regularly]? Well that’s another post for another time. So instead of apologizing for getting picture happy, I’ll apologize instead for no picture whatsoever to accompany the following recipe. I decided to write this up after the dinner was made and then devoured like the genius I am. But, if you’re familiar with curry at all, you’ll know that it’s not the most photogenic dish.

On to the ingredients:

– 1 lb of any meat of your choice cubed [the usual at my house is a pork steak or two cut into bite size pieces with the bones saved for crockpot stock later in the week]

– 1 and 1/2 yellow onions sliced into 1/4″ slices

–  2 medium potatoes cubed

– 1 tbsp of grated ginger [plus the juice]

– 1 tblsp of minced garlic

– 6 young shanghai bok choy pulled apart, washed, and torn in half [or left whole if you want]

– 1 large and sweet tomato de-seeded and torn into bite size pieces

– 1 to 2 tbsp of curry powder [feel free to substitute with your own blend of authentic Indian spices if you have them]

– 1/2  to 1 tbsp of sriracha

– 1/2 tbsp of tomato ketchup

– salt and pepper to taste

– sesame oil [Vegetable oil is also acceptable]

– 1/2 quart of water

– 1/2 to 1 cup of cornstarch or flour [I used a mix of all purpose flour and rice flour last night and it turned out great]

1. In a plastic bowl or on a cookie  tray, coat meat evenly with flour or cornstarch. At the same time, heat enough sesame oil to coat the bottom of a large saucepan. Heat until fragrant.

2. Add the meat, onions, potatoes, garlic, ginger, bok choy, and tomato into the saucepan. Sprinkle on the curry powder evenly as well as  the salt, pepper, srirachia, and ketchup. Let sit for about 2 minutes before adding enough water to barely cover everything. Cover.

3. Stir and let simmer [or boil in my case] until meat is cooked, potatoes are tender, and sauce is thick. Stir occasionally while preparing the rice and any side dishes. [Or if you have a nonstick: lower the heat and stir more frequently]

4. Serve over jasmine rice with  yogurt and freshly sliced cucumbers. Enjoy!