Tag Archives: sewing

Kate Is Great*

Long weekends tend to make for looooooooooooong transitions back to the real world.

Here it is Wednesday and I’m just starting to rise out of the fog.

It’s hot as holy hell around here and if you give me a minute I’ll think of more things to complain about.

If I spent the same amount of time actually doing the things I need to be more productive and motivated instead of just bitching about shit and fantasizing about mid-day naps, I would have completed more this weekend than just setting up my dress-form and getting the bejeezus scared out of me everytime I woke up in the middle of the night to see the shadowy form of its naked, headless, legless body standing just feet from our couch/bed.

truth is *i* didn't even put it together. the bee did. -10 points for me...

The dress-form is supposed to be the first step of many on my path to sartorial success on Etsy. I have to remind myself to stay positive despite the fact that the last thing I made was this, preceded only by this.

Clearly I’m far from prolific but I hope if once I get some free time in the near future I can get crackin’ with all of this pent-up creativity itching to burst from my fingertips.

Speaking of Etsy…

My friend Kate, who moved to California earlier this year to escape the evils of the East Coast, has her own Etsy shop up and running and her creations are FAB-TABULOUS!

Kate sells her own custom-made crocheted & knit items along with vintage home goods and gorgeous photo prints.

Do you have a dog?

Well HOLY SHIT, yo. Kate even makes her own dog treats!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand to sweeten the pot even more, Etsy is currently having their Christmas in July sale so select items in her store are 10-20% off their already freakishly reasonable prices!

So hop to, people! The Forest Campfire Clutch has my name written all over it so you should probably hurry…

*also happens to be my favorite Bouncing Souls song.

So there.



Filed under (me), just a thought..., projects

Hot Rod Halloween

2009 10.30 (1)

thanks to Russ & Jen for capturing this moment

This year I put in more effort in the creation of my Halloween costume than in any year before. The biggest difference had to do with the fact that I literally had to de- and then reconstruct my costume from the ground up. It was a daunting task but I really feel the end result was worth all the pain and suffering. You may remember this image that I posted a few weeks back showing the base of my costume in its original state.


I have to start by giving love to The Lonely Island Fan for his AMAZING step by step how-to that he posted last year for the creation of his own Hot Rod costume. He put a ton of effort into the detail of his, making it a spot on replica of the suit used in the film. Mine is close to the original but time constraints and plain old laziness left me with a slightly less than perfect carbon copy. I can live with that.

To start, the navy blue piping had to be removed from around the waistband of the original suit and transferred to the sleeve cuffs.


I purchased both patches online through separate vendors as the “Tony’s Auto” patch had to be special ordered through a company called Stitch-A-Logo. I recommend them highly, as the first patch they sent me was defective and they had a replacement patch out to me within 2 business days at no additional cost.


Next, came one of the hardest areas of the costume to complete and that may have been partly due to my own poor planning. The piping on the sides of the legs and sleeves required that I rip the seams out of the under arm and inner thigh areas of the entire suit in order to use a machine to sew the stripes down. Initially I’m thinking: Kill me now. In reality it was well worth all the extra effort as it allowed me to trim away some of the unnecessary cloth in those areas for a better fit.


The star was easier than I thought it would be as The Bee printed me out a star the size that I would need for the suit and I just traced that onto the fabric. Because stars are hard to draw freehand, ya’ll. Once the star was traced I took to the machine and sewed the layers together. I used about 4 layers of a basic (non stretchy <—- I cannot emphasize that enough) white cotton fabric, which I sewed together for greater ease when sewing the star onto the suit itself.


Tackling the cape was a tough and tricky task but without which I would say all of NO ONE would have known who the hell I was. I made the mistake of buying a stretchy t-shirt material fabric for the red lettering which spelled out ROD and basically had to scrap my initial attempt and recreate the letters with left over material from the red arm piping. The stretch material created too much pull and my machine skills being less than professional, made for a lumpy overlapped mess. Then I cut button holes in the top of the cape and sewed buttons just underneath the collar of the suit for easy on/off capability. Get it? Capeability. Yeah, I went there.


The final touch were the white stars which I created by using a stamper sponge that I bought in an inexpensive package of miscellaneous brushes from AC Moore. I had to cut the star out of the sponge with an Exact-o knife and it came out surprisingly well, all things considered. I used some screen printing fabric ink and stamped stars down the red and blue piping as well as a few on the chest and front and back of the upper sleeve.


The Bee went as a Ghostbuster and made this awesome ghost trap as an accessory to his costume. From scratch! This thing was a pile of cardboard, bottle caps and batteries before he gave it the magic touch.

ghost trap

I was also super impressed by these bloody finger cookies that a friend’s mom made for our party.


How cool and CREEPY are they?

Have I mentioned that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays? Because it SO is.

Can’t wait until next year!!!


Filed under (me), home, projects

Back To Business

The title for this post is indicitive of quite a few things going on in my life. For one, actual business, work related, day to day -ish needs to be revisited. It seems in the last few months, since I actually grew some balls and started doing things that actually made me happy (I know, how dare I?!), I may have put some of the less pressing on-the-job issues, on the back burner. Appropriate or not I’m gonna throw out a big ol’ “Whoops!” right about now. I still bust my ass everyday at the hell-hole, it’s just that I’ve prioritized certain elements of my life over the more mundane tasks that I once ran to for the mere reason to occupy my time and keep myself “looking busy” – in quotes because that is a phrase used often by my boss, for example :”______ will be walking around the office today. Let’s do our best to look busy“. Yeah, because “looking busy” makes this living hell any more tolerable, thanks! Nevertheless, I’ve been slacking and it shows. I do feel bad about it, but more than that I realize that in order for me to EVER reach the goal of getting out from under the corporate thumb, I need to buckle down and do the best I can here. For now.

In BETTER business news (ha, get it?) we have been immersed in projects galore on the home front. Beside the fact that The Bee has been quite the bee, busily working, after work and on the weekends, at de- and then re-constructing our soon to be new home (so excited!), I have been juggling all the other to-do’s on my list that are soon to be due, namely the Halloween costumes. Whew! It’s been fun so far and it’s given me great practice on the sewing machine, which believe me, I NEED, but man oh man, do I EVER have far to go…

 Here lies the basic foundation of my costume:


Can you guess who I’m going to be?

 I’ll give you a hint:

 The safe word is “whiskey”.


Filed under projects, work

Something to Be Proud Of

I did it! I completed a project! That, in itself, is a huge feat as I have many many many projects going and most never actually reach fruition. Well, I’m happy to say that I finally took that scrap of black fabric I displayed so uneventfully on this page a few weeks ago and turned it into something… yes, WEARABLE!!! And to think the sky didn’t fall…

Here is the lameness which was my “vest” back in August:

2009 08.23 (13)

Then I went so far as to cut the front panels and tack them:


But then it was like I got something I’ve heard referred to as mow-tee-vaish-un?, and the rest is history:


It is literally rough around the edges, but that was my intention. I didn’t have enough fabric (or patience) to try and make it look super pretty so it is what it is. I’ve bought things less finished from American Apparel so I rest my case.

I had the most difficulty getting my sewing machine to behave but once I did it was easy peasy.


Since the garment was rather box-y, I gathered the sleeves and finished them with a button to avoid any squared shoulder disasters. After reading what I just wrote, an image of Meshach Taylor in Mannequin comes to mind but, dammit, I can’t find a decent picture of Hollywood to illustrate my point. However, when I did a google search of “shoulder pads” this image showed up on the first page:

designing women cast 

Weird, right? He might be missing from that picture but everyone knows Designing Women would be nothing without Meshach…

ANYWAY, the sash was also made out of scraps from the same garment I cut apart to make the vest. They were not initially intended to be worn together but some things have a funny way of working themselves out so I’m going with it.


Next up, the Halloween costume.

I shudder to think.


Filed under (me), home, projects

(Not So) Lazy Sunday

Every weekend since returning from our Wildwood vacation, I have been 1) meaning to write a post about it and 2) basically holed up in our apartment playing PS3 (we’re working through the Lego series currently), determining which spiders can stay and which must go depending on where they are living in our home (I really hate them but they DO kill bad bugs and are especially effective if webbed near a window), and generally shirking all else of life’s duties and requirements.

Such an awesome team, we are.

Here is some pictoral proof of what we did (and did not entirely) accomplish:

ac moore

Went to A.C. Moore and bought the workings for a homemade silk screening project. We determined pretty early on that the “screen” (we used sheer curtains as suggested by a craft blogger) was a bit too porous and wouldn’t really work as-is. Any thoughts for a better material to construct a homemade screen for t-shirt printing?


Cut apart a skirt in the hope that I can turn it into a basic vest type-thingy. Yeah, that’s still what it looks like right now. I’m not sure how to tackle this one. I think I need a dummy figure so I can drape the fabric and take measurements. OR a volunteer who isn’t afraid of pin pricks. Anyone?

headband (5)

I DID, however, make this nifty little headband out of the waist band from above mentioned skirt. I used the existing button hole to pull fabric through from the other end, sewed it secure and then added a random square wooden button for embellishment. I’m thinking of creating more of these as holiday gifts for lady-friends.

cupcake (3)

This past week our family lost a beloved canine friend. The Bee whipped up some double strawberry cupcakes for our little niece to help ease the pain. In our house, the Bee is the butcher, the baker, AND the candlestick maker. Since this picture was taken, even fewer remain. They were DELISH.

b ds (1)

Here is The Bee trying to solve a tricky math puzzle on my DS. I hate math. I love my DS. It has a camera and internet access. Turns out the puzzle wasn’t math related after all. That was the trick.

making shells (5)

The Bee made dinner and was it ever GOOD. In my defense I did make the sauce, as much as throwing in some sugar & spices to a can of crushed tomatoes consitutes as making something. Though he scoffed when I said it, I stand by my statement that “These are the best stuffed-shells I’ve ever had” mostly because I’m pretty conviced they were and somewhat because I can’t remember the last time I had them. We are both very lucky that he enjoys making food for us. I don’t even know what we’d do if it were up to me…

shells tray (1)

I also succeeded at ruining YET ANOTHER article of clothing due to laundry-brain FAIL. Last month it was my expensiv-o No Doubt tour shirt that WAS hella cool and is now hella pink thanks to me washing it (unbeknownst) with a red rug. It is also apparently irreplaceable since neither or us have found it anywhere online and I’m pretty sure the tour is over, soooo…

This weekend it was a nice maroon polo shirt of Bee’s that now has spotty bleach marks all across the back due to my laying it out to dry on top of the washing machine which apparently had bleach residue on it. I’m not sure if this means I need to buy MORE clothes now or if this is some sort of sign pointing in the direction of downsizing and a general de-materialification in my life. How does one resolve the internal conflict between the WANT for certain material possessions and the NEED to live smaller & more economically?

This sounds like the beginnings of a whole ‘nother post…


Filed under (me), home, projects, the bee