my crazy life

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I’m sure by now it’s clear that I like to put at least a little bit of embroidery on everything that I make. You know, how in TV crime shows the villain always has a “signature”, that kind of thing I guess.

Well in any case, I’ve fallen in love with chain stitch embroidery. I’m total pants at a satin stitch and I haven’t the patience for most of the other stitches, so its either straight stitch/back stitch or chain stitch.

And now I’m trying to decide if I want to try tambour. It looks really amazing and seems easy, but I can’t seem to find any tambour needles/how to. Any suggestions?


New year.

Wow… okay. So. I kinda dropped the ball on blogging the last couple months.  Things got incredibly crazy. Went to a convention, continued work as the registration head for Salt Lake City’s steampunk convention Salt City Steamfest, got involved as a second registration lead for an anime convention in Salt Lake City, decided to transfer schools from Logan to Salt Lake, and then everything snowballed from there.  I’m now spending most of my weekends in Salt Lake City in meetings — crazy crazy.

I promise I will do a 2012 year in review soonish. But as an update, I’m making another Princess Merida dress. 🙂


But in the meantime, here's a screenshot of my first Princess Merida dress!

Hopefully it will be finished before the 18th!

Quick post.

Okay quick post before I dash back to my mountains of homework. I’m making a cape! Well its I guess categorized under cape/cloak/thingy. But yeah. Grey wool with green silk lining. And embroidery.


I finished the Merida dress in time.


Its a screenshot From my phone but the best I can do right now. I’ll post more after finals are over.


Fun Things Not Related To Sewing

I was wandering through the local antique shop today when we came across this absolutely adorable jewelry box. I immediately liked it, but since it wasn’t in the budget I was resigned to putting it back on the shelf and coming back another day. My little sister, bless her heart, immediately handed over a five dollar bill and put the box in my hand.

On the other side of non sewing related objects, I found a cute little pendant at Micheal’s the other day, it looks like they pulled a headshot from a 16th century painting and slapped it on a pendant, but since it was only two bucks I bought it anyway.

Merida Update Oct. 3

Monday night I decided that I would finally cut out the fabric for my Princess Merida, so I carefully laid everything out on the fabric I had so carefully dyed only to find out that I hadn’t dyed enough for the sleeves. This prompted a furious trip to the fabric store while chanting the mantra, “It’s just dye. It’s just dye.”

Creative cutting diagrams…

After spending a good hour dyeing more fabric for the sleeves, I go to cut out the rest of the dress and run into another conundrum. I STILL didn’t have enough fabric! So with a bit of creative layout and piecing, I found the best layout possible with my limited fabric.  I am planning to sew the inside seams by machine, but do all finishing by hand as it looks so much better in my opinion.


Now I am only left with the issue of how to attach the sleeves. I am making a departure from screen accuracy by making this as close to medieval period accurate as possible, but I would like to keep the sleeves pretty much the same. I’ve considered making small fabric loops at the shoulder as a way to attach them, but I’m not quite sure.

Truly Victorian Ballgown Bodice

Mock-up for my ballgown bodice.

I am making a ballgown for a masquerade put on by my friend on the 13th of October and I thought It would be a great opportunity to try out Truly Victorian’s patterns as I’ve heard wonderful things about them.  I am so so glad I did! Excluding a bit of adjustment on the shoulder seam, the pattern fits perfectly! I have NEVER had a pattern fit like that without adjustments. It doesn’t fit my dressform as well as it fits myself, I need to use American Duchess’s wonderful idea of making her a bit more endowed, might do that today actually.


Boning taped in with duct-tape.

I just taped the boning in to the mock-up and even as is, it’s a really good fit. I used Store House 24″ heavy duty cable ties sold at Harbor Freight and they are fantastic! So much better than the silly plastic boning sold at fabric stores.


I feel really productive this weekend, I’ve almost completely finished the underdress for Merida and my ballgown is nearly complete!

Merida Update: Sept 28

I finished the embroidery on the sleeve cuffs for my Princess Merida costume. Technically speaking there isn’t any embroidery as far as I can tell from movie stills, but since it is on the underdress and will never be seen, I feel alright making it super pretty.

I cannot take credit for the embroidery designs, I found the border design from The Blackwork Embroidery Archives.

And the Monogram, I found at NeedlenThread.


For the underdress and gown, I will be using the same pattern as my previous medieval styled gowns.The biggest difference will be the sleeves, and I hope to have enough time to make period accurate medieval shoes, but we will see.


So, I have finally made a hoopskirt that was not a giant hassle to make, and it doesn’t engulf me in its massive girth. I used this pattern  by the Laced Angel . It was absolutely fantastic! Super easy and easy to understand.

Hoopskirt with purple linen petticoat over top. I used black thread on white fabric to make the skirt, so I couldn’t bring myself to show this on the interwebs.


What’s it made of?

  • A little over 2 yards of 45 inch wide muslin
  • Black thread (it was the only thing I had at hand, and I justified it by saying no one will ever see the hoop by itself)
  • Drawstring cord
  • Fish tape like this

I feel very accomplished as I started and completed the project in just under six hours time. It’s just big enough to be cumbersome when sitting, yet small enough to be seriously dwarfed by the Holy Batman Hoop I made earlier.

I’m trying to be better about updating more often, as I will be using this to track my progress when I finally start on the Cranach/Saxon gown I’m working on for a college research project. And since I have been honoured enough to be made Head of Registration for Utah’s only Steampunk convention, Salt City Steamfest and as such I will be attending other out of state conventions in order to do advertising, I will be making more steampunk ensembles as well as my more historical clothing, I feel like there should be plenty of sewing to be shared.

Merida Progress

Right, so life is crazy, the semester is three weeks in and I’m getting myself used to my new job. I do have a small progress picture for my Merida costume. I get hung up on the little details and end up embroidering something that will never be seen, but I can’t really help it.


So there you are. These are sleeve cuffs for the chemise-dress but they needed pretty so yeah..

Labor Day Plans

Okay, Labor Day is tomorrow. And since it’s a day off from work and school, I’m going to get off my lazy rear and actually sew. Lots! I need to get a move on all the projects I’ve got piling up on me.

Sooo, first up: Commissions, I’ve got a couple and while they’re still on schedule, I’d really just like to get them finished right away.

Mock-up for a fantasy/steampunk Kurta

Mock-up for a fantasy/steampunk Kurta

Second: I really really really need to get a start on my Princess Merida dress. I was originally use medieval period sewing techniques and construction, but as October is rapidly rounding the corner, I shall be doing it in whatever way is fastest.


If I don’t at least make some kind of progress, someone needs to jump through my computer screen and kick me in the butt!

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