Monthly Archives: October 2011

On the Track of a Renegade Gorilla….

We interrupt this blog to inform you that the escaped gorilla, Aloha Abe, has been captured by a combined force of elite SWAT team members and ninjas.

Happy Halloween!  We will return to regular blogging when this breaking story has been put to bed.

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Sci Fi Sunday

Currently watching:

Grimm, Fridays at 9 pm on NBC. Fairy tales are certainly having a moment, what with Once Upon a Time and now, Grimm. Grimm takes a much darker approach to the fairy tale world, with the series protagonist Nick Burkhardt suddenly being able to see the fairy tale creatures that lurk among humans. As a homicide detective, Nick is accustomed to viewing disturbing images but the grotesque visions throw him for a loop. In a visit from his aunt, he learns that he is part of a family of hunters known as “Grimms” that keep humanity safe from the monsters. Make no mistake, this is no Disneyfied version of the fairy tales. The pilot begins with someone killing women in red hoodies, and the general feel of the show is more Criminal Minds than Once Upon a Time. Definitely reserved for the 13-and-up crowd, or even 15-and-up if your teen is sensitive. The pilot was solid, so I’ll be watching but it didn’t capture my imagination as much as others in the fall schedule.

Dear Diary, This Week I was Delusional and My Sister was Crazy…

Just kidding. I don’t have a sister. Although I’ve been having an exceptionally stupid week — even for me.

On Tuesday I took the car in, since the “Check Engine” light was on and I tend to be paranoid. The mechanic took one minute to diagnose the car with gas-cap-left-off. I guess I should just be glad it wasn’t something expensive and they didn’t charge me for it. Then I left my water bottle behind in my haste to escape my humiliation, and the guy had to run after me. My mechanic probably thinks I’m an idiot. AWESOME.

Between Tuesday and Wednesday, I managed to offend three people by accident. Usually I offend people on purpose, but in this case it was totally open mouth, insert foot. I suck. Fortunately, they’re all still talking to me so I did apologize, profusely. I’m really sorry, guys, ok? I have the IQ of dirt right now.

On Wednesday, I got a brilliant idea for a Halloween costume and ran around trying to put it together. Realized at the end of the day that I’d spent over $75, half the stuff didn’t fit, and I didn’t even have a place to wear a Halloween costume. We don’t do parties and the adults don’t dress up for trick-or-treat in my neighborhood. Now I have to run around returning several things. If I have to dress up, screw it, I’m going as a zombie. Face makeup + torn clothes = free.

Last night, I got into an argument with Oldest about how to label the small child at the Halloween event he was assisting with (we’ll leave the whole issue with labeling people for another day). Said child appeared perturbed by the costumes and kept following Oldest around and hitting him with a bag of candy. I insisted that the little boy was mentally challenged and Oldest insisted, “No, he needs THERAPY or something!” Apparently, my kids aren’t really clear on the difference between mentally challenged and mentally ill. I would have explained it to him, but I was feeling mentally challenged. I actually just got clarity on that conversation now by typing it out.

I finally got around to cutting something out today — a McCall’s skirt.  I’m in between 12 and 14 and I only had the 4-12 size so I cut out the 12.  I’m hoping I can let out the side seams a tiny bit and still make it work, but it may all end in tears.  Here’s where I am so far:

Back of the skirt draped on my ironing board.

Thinking I can fit into a straight size 12 might be yet another delusion, but WHATEVER.  I have to go with the vision the sewing mojo conks me in the head with, and this was the vision for the week.

Maybe what I really need is to be kidnapped by hill folk.

Fairies Wear Boots

So, I went shoe shopping yesterday. I hate shoe shopping, since everything on the market these days is either crippling (stripper heels) or cripplingly dull (penny loafers).  Any shoes that manage to be neither are hideously expensive, as in I could be a millionaire and the price would still give me pause.

I might just be cheap. It’s the Scot in me.

Anyhow, I tried on every pair of boots in the store and found myself completely charmed by these:

How much do I love that the name of this company is Dirty Laundry? Very much.

I think these look like fairy tale boots, Red Riding Hood’s boots perhaps.  Or an urban fairy, if I swap the punkish red laces out for ribbons.  And the brass grommet detail?  I DIE.

Here’s another pic:

Boot, on mah foot.

These make me furiously happy.  Although I do have the Black Sabbath song stuck in my head.

Sci Fi Sunday

Currently watching:

Once Upon A Time, ABC, 8 pm Sundays

What if Snow White and Prince Charming didn’t get their happily ever after? What if the story continued — and they were cursed to live in the real world? That’s the premise of ABC’s new show, Once Upon A Time. The all-star cast includes Jennifer Morrison as the outsider who is brought to Storybrooke, Maine, by the son she gave up for adoption ten years earlier. Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Carlyle, Lana Parrilla and Raphael Sbarge round out the cast of characters. Aside from some really beautiful people — it’s been a while since I’ve seen a show with this many stunning main characters — the pilot is engaging and the story line intriguing. I’ll be watching eagerly to see how ABC develops this series. Highly recommended, seems like it would be okay for the ten-and-up crowd.

Let’s Spend an Evil Night Together

The kids and the Hubs are off camping and sleepovering (is that a word?  It is now) so I’ve got the house to myself.

Can I say how much I adore having the house to myself?  I can stay up all night watching whatever I want on TV.  I can make a mess.  I can do childish things:

This is all over my bed right now. For realz.

I got these sketch portfolio sets with stencils at Michaels.  They remind me of the Barbie Fashion Plates (remember those?).  I’ve been playing designer all evening, and I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to have this much fun without drugs.

I’ve also been listening to some Dark Cabaret:

I can’t get the Hubs to tolerate this stuff, but if you’re going to join my slumber party then you’ll have to listen to my music.  Hey, I’ll even let you use my stencils and we can sneak Halloween candy.  I promise not to put your hand in water if you promise not to put my bra in the freezer.

She’s a Scrape — Half Square, Half Drape

BONUS POINTS to anyone who can identify the movie that featured the above quote, and the character who said it!

Well, I finished my jacket, Simplicity 1940.  Ta da:

I look weirdly busty in this. I promise, it's an optical illusion.

I’m pretty happy with the way this turned out. I feel like a Pink Lady in it — never mind that it’s the wrong color. I do think the jacket is a bit too roomy in the body, but the pattern is for wovens and if I were to make this with a lining, I would probably want the extra room. Also, I didn’t mark where the collar was supposed to fall so it stops short of where it should be. I can fix that easily the next time around. Yes, there definitely will BE a next time around — I have enough black rib for the trim on at least 2 more of these jackets, and I’m thinking pink or black satin…..

One change I’d make to the pattern would be to add pockets.  There are NO pockets in this jacket, which is just silly, and I think the same design in ready-to-wear often has either side seam or welt pockets.

I’m all gangsta for the holidays.  Bring it on.

As God is my Witness, I’ll Never be Cold Again (with apologies to Scarlett)

Geez, the title of this post is way too long.  Anyways.

If you know anything about me, you know I have the circulation of a lizard.  I tend to be too cold until it’s boiling, then I’m too hot.  But generally, if there is a breeze, I’m cold.  So one of my resolutions for Fall/Winter 2011 is to sew a lot more clothes that will actually keep me warm.

This could be a challenge.  For all kinds of reasons, some involving my attention span and others involving my severe lack of interest in things like polar fleece.  Based on my past experience with resolutions, we should probably expect this to be an epic failure with some interesting sidetracks.  Now that I have you properly pumped, here’s what I cut out today:

Simplicity 1940, jackets

This is Simplicity 1940, a pattern for some righteous gangsta jackets with either a hood or rib knit collar, plus options for customization.  I’m not doing the options because this will be a sort of muslin, hopefully wearable.  I’m using a heavyweight sweater knit with matching black rib for the collar, cuffs and bottom band:

Pretty cozy, ain't it?

The directions are ridiculous, so I plan to ignore them and do my own thing (because that always works so well).  I’ll be inserting the sleeves flat, which I did with the Vippy Bunny t-shirt and that came out all right.  So this will either be awesome or a hot mess.

Tune in tomorrow for more news of our intrepid sewing lizard…

New Look 6735 — I’m a Vippy Bunny!

Over the weekend, I finished this shirt which I’m really pleased with:

New Look 6735, View C

I bought the fabric from the LA Fabric District, years ago. It’s a very strange poly blend with a pebbly texture. The guy I bought it from suggested it was for lingerie, and he may well have been correct. The print seems to evoke a bunch of pin back buttons, and I actually thought it was a promo print for the Spice Girls, because of the Spice Rule! and British flag buttons. However, there’s also a button that says “I’m a Vippy Bunny!” I had no idea what that meant and it occurred to me (halfway through making the shirt, because I’m a slow thinker) that it might mean something I didn’t want advertised on my body.

SO. I took a break and googled “Vippy Bunny.” Turns out it’s a reference to a chain of V.I.P.S. restaurants (apparently mostly on the West Coast) that went bankrupt in the 1990s and were bought by Denny’s. They still exist in Mexico where they’re — oddly enough — owned by Walmart. And they did indeed have a bunny as a mascot, with coloring books and other promos. Why did someone print this fabric with all these strange logos on it? Who knows?

I’m really happy with the pattern for New Look 6735, View C. I cut out and sewed a straight size 12, and it fits me really well. The length is where I like it on my long torso, the sleeves hit at a flattering place on my arm, and there is no pooling in the back. My one quibble is that there seem to be some slight “pull” lines that sometimes form between the armscye and the neckline. I think that might be my fault, though, as I had to squeeze this pattern onto a single yard (it was a muslin and I really wanted to use this fabric) so the neck band ended up slightly short. I just shaved off the uneven ends and attached it anyway, stretching to fit, and it seems to be ok but I think it might be pulling up a bit too much. Since this is a wearable muslin, that’s perfectly fine with me.

This is the first knit top where I’ve successfully used a double needle. I used Tanit-Isis’ method of pressing the hems with Steam-a-Seam to add stability and keep the needle from tunneling. Well, it tunneled a bit anyway but I think that’s due to the flimsiness of the fabric, which makes me extra glad I used the Steam-a-Seam. I used the 1/2″ on the sleeves and bottom hem and the 1/4″ (in strips) around the neckline to offer stability there. The end result is a shirt that will probably, thanks to the polyester, outlast us all.

Since I haven’t had a photo that showed my head in a while, here I am:

Me, looking stiff.

You can see that the Great Hair Grow-out continues at a snail’s pace.  Whoopee.

Non-Sci-Fi Sunday

While we were watching a marathon of Storage Wars on A & E last night:

Hubs:  Watching this show makes me want to go out and rent a locker, fill it with all kinds of random sh*t, and then abandon it.  Just to confuse those people.  [We live in the general area where they film the show.]

Me:  Yep, pretty much.