ladyofthethread: (Sarah)
Hmm… It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Inspired by the panel on specialty sewing machine feet at Costume Con, I ordered a few and got them last week. I bought a walking foot, a gathering foot, and a ruffler. Haven’t tried out the walking foot yet. The gathering foot is pretty straightforward although it seems to be for lighter gathers and I still have to pull the threads to gather some more myself. (I suppose stitching a second line after the first would give you fuller gathers although I didn’t want to deal with an extra line of stitching to remove later on.) And the ruffler is kind of scary looking and needs better directions. The little paper in the box told you how to put it on the machine and change the settings but said nothing about how to feed fabric through it although it’s pretty complicated and not completely intuitive like a normal sewing machine foot. Haven’t completely figured that one out yet.

I made a necklace for a new costume and I’ve been slowly gathering lots of tulle ruffles. I haven’t mentioned what it is on here yet so I think I’ll take a progress pic after I finish the petticoat and then we can play “guess the costume.” :-D

And thanks to [livejournal.com profile] dressdragn, I have a couple of pictures of the new Ryuuren costume to post from the photoshoot with [livejournal.com profile] neoangelwink and [livejournal.com profile] athena_chan. ^_^

As mentioned last time, I improved on the hair a lot after Anime Boston. I trimmed the fake bangs some more and used hairspray and a blowdryer on them so they would be messier and not so flat. And I got one of those donut-shaped hair forms intended for making buns to help hold up my high ponytail; added a set of the short bangs from Arda Wigs for the shorter pieces at the top of the ponytail and everything is pinned together under the off-white wrap.

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Trying to hide my shortness. ^_^;;
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ladyofthethread: (D kimono)
I was inspired by [livejournal.com profile] aimeekitty’s post the other night and spent the weekend working on crafty things for auction to help the Japanese relief efforts. After dusting off my eBay account (haven’t sold anything in ages), I have posted these as charity auctions on eBay with 100% of the winning bids to go to Red Cross so please take a look.

I almost never sell my work since the things I do are so labor intensive so this is a very rare chance to buy one of my creations. Plus, the starting bids are far below what I would quote if asked to commission the items to encourage people to bid. (I would most likely ask at least 4-5 times as much in normal circumstances.)

First item: a patchwork pouch made with pink and purple cherry blossom prints. I cut fabric out for this over a year and a half ago but forgot about it until I came across the bag on Friday night and spent a good part of Saturday putting this together. There’s 59 pieces of fabric in this, mostly 2” squares. (Yes, 59 pieces of fabric for a pouch! I do very finicky work. ^_^;;) The fabric is gathered together in certain spots to give it a 3-D triangular effect. Based on a project from Kumiko Sudo’s Omiyage book and took about 6 hours of work.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320671829382

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Next item: a fabric covered box made with 9 different Japanese print fabrics. There are 43 pieces of fabric in this, 37 of them in the top of the lid which is padded for a 3-D flower look. (Again, I do very finicky work. Trying to fold 3/4 inch squares of fabric in half diagonally, put stuffing inside and glue the edges together was a challenge. ^_^;;) Under the fabric is multiple layers of Bristol paper stiffened with lots of glue so it’s pretty sturdy. Based on a project from Kumiko Sudo’s Omiyage book and took about 8 hours of work.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320671832985

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Last item: a needlepoint kimono. I actually made this years ago but never got around to framing it. It’s the most labor intensive out of these and probably took at least 15 hours of work and $30 of materials to make since it was a handpainted canvas and those are expensive.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320671835214

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And if none of these catches your fancy but you have friends who might be interested, I’d greatly appreciate it if you would share the links with them. :-) Thanks for reading!
ladyofthethread: (Tamaki)
Here’s a photo of my outfit from Sakura Matsuri, taken by [livejournal.com profile] dressdragn. So, I basically started with the idea of making a Western style dress in Japanese print fabric. And I wanted it to be cute and pink although I wasn’t trying for a lolita look or any actual Japanese fashion style. The dress is fully lined and I made a petticoat to go under it since I thought it would look cuter if it was poofy and the patterns on the fabric would show better. To give it another Japanese touch, I made a pair of sakura kanzashi out of leftover dress fabric to wear in my hair. I like how this came out although I think it would have been cuter if I had bangs; I couldn’t find the clip-in set I had for Tohru and Youka. -_- I’ll probably rewear this dress at cons for going out to dinner/later at night when I don’t feel like wearing actual cosplay. Might add more sakura accessories sometime since I still have fabric left.

ladyofthethread: (Ekaterina)
My fabric didn’t get here Saturday as I was hoping. Finishing the dress shouldn’t take too long but I hope it gets here today so that I’m not sewing really last minute. :-/ Since I don’t have my main fabric yet, I sewed together my lining and made a petticoat to wear under the dress over the weekend. Also experimented a bit with folding kanzashi petals. Not completely sure if I got it right or not.


And since I haven’t done any memes for a while, here’s one copied from [livejournal.com profile] viewpoints.

Pick 20 movies/anime/video games/literary works and put their summaries from Better Than It Sounds and WITHOUT CHEATING have your friends guess.

I included some musicals, too, since there are a lot that I like. And for fun, I wrote a few of my own descriptions in the same vein for things that weren’t listed on that site. :-D

1) A young pirate proposes to his girlfriend. She swiftly turns into a statue.

2) America visits Japan. America leaves. America comes back, followed by several European countries demanding trade, diplomatic relations, treaty ports, and extraterritoriality. In song!

3) A poor girl is forced to pretend she's a boy and hang out with obnoxiously rich bishonen as punishment for destroying private property. Ouran (Guessed by [livejournal.com profile] anodracs)

4) She's a spooky story-loving high school girl! He's a paranormal investigator! Together, they fight crime go hunting for spirits! Ghost Hunt (Guessed by [livejournal.com profile] furubariceball)

5) A Swedish lawyer and a pea-brained dragoon fight over a middle-aged actress. Meanwhile, the lawyer’s wife falls in love with her stepson, who is studying to be a priest, and they run away together.

6) A girl enrolls in a mysterious academy where fencing is practically a way of life and everyone has issues. Revolutionary Girl Utena (Guessed by [livejournal.com profile] cutewishes)

7) Spunky Japanese acrobat gets put through hell in order to make it big with American knockoff of Cirque du Soleil. Kaleido Star (Guessed by [livejournal.com profile] cutewishes)

8) Woman time travels and bakes cakes for dinosaurs to save her wedding.

9) Elderly former showgirls have a reunion at their theatre the night before it’s demolished for a parking lot.

10) Girl suffers a bad case of amnesia. She and her friends must travel to regain her memories, while dealing with more moles than a Whack-A-Mole factory. Mind screw ensues. Tsubasa Chronicle (Guessed by [livejournal.com profile] fleur_eternelle)

11) Teenage girl pokes her nose into other people's business. (Hint: She’s been at it for 80 years!) Nancy Drew (Guessed by [livejournal.com profile] stillvisions)

12) Like Law and Order, only the bad guys can throw fire around and crush you with their minds. Witch Hunter Robin (Guessed by [livejournal.com profile] loudnbothered)

13) Various fairytales get Crisis Crossover'd with each other. The main conflict ends halfway through, at which point Happily Ever After begins to get deconstructed. Violently. Into the Woods (Guessed by [livejournal.com profile] gallifreybebe)

14) Mysterious bishonen runs evil pet shop with poor customer service and no return policy. Petshop of Horrors (Guessed by [livejournal.com profile] anodracs)

15) You take over the old family farm, hang with the locals, and get married. That's about it. Harvest Moon (Guessed by [livejournal.com profile] stillvisions)

16) A boy and his butler solve murders and sometimes commit them. Sometimes there are zombies and often there is incest.

17) Dr. Frank 'N Furter, Doc Brown, and a bunch of other blackmail victims run around a big house looking for a murderer and debating simple mathematics. Clue (Guessed by [livejournal.com profile] anodracs)

18) Investment Fraud: The Musical The Producers (Guessed by [livejournal.com profile] stillvisions)

19) A man who randomly transforms into his sister tries to prevent the French Revolution. He is resisted by zombies, catholic rune magic and lethal poetry. Meanwhile, Japanese writers fail French history to a truly spectacular degree. Le Chevalier D'eon (Guessed by [livejournal.com profile] gallifreybebe)

20) The Cold War boils down to a Jerkass facing an adulterer over a really old board game. The adulterer falls for the jerkass's manager. Chess (Guessed by [livejournal.com profile] gallifreybebe)
ladyofthethread: (Eugenie)
Another little picture update. (I guess this is what happens when you cosplay for 3 weekends in a row. ^_^;) [livejournal.com profile] thedreamerworld posted a lovely preview shot from the Count D kimono shoot that we did with the cherry blossoms on Sunday. For those who haven’t seen it yet: http://www.acparadise.com/acp/display.php?c=36049


Unfortunately, the flowers in that photo will probably be gone by the time next weekend comes so I don’t want to bother with a real cosplay for Sakura Matsuri; my brother and I are probably only going on Saturday and taking the subway which doesn’t work well for the kimono style costumes I like to use for the festival.

Instead, I’m planning to make a Japanese print dress to wear. I went out on Tuesday to check the selection at The City Quilter. There were some pretty fabrics but I wasn’t completely satisfied with anything for a dress. :-/ The stuff in stock ran mostly towards dark colors while I wanted something bright and pink or red. Then, some prints were too pastel or subtle; I also wanted it to look distinctly Japanese and not just like a normal floral print at first glance. These two seemed to be the best out of what was there. I didn’t completely love either of them for this project but I bought them anyway, thinking that’s all I would have to choose from.



Then, I came home and did some looking around on eBay. Found a pink print I bought a tiny piece of last year. I’d actually wanted that one when I made a dress last summer but the quilt shop no longer had it the next time I was there. So, I checked with the seller to see if they had enough for a dress and how long it would take to ship. There should be 3 yards of it on its way from the west coast and hopefully, it’ll get here tomorrow. It’s probably a bit crazy to be ordering fabric online this late. >_>; But I want to be cute and pink! Since I don’t fit cute characters very well and usually don’t get the chance to wear that kind of thing when I cosplay.



While I’m waiting, I’m working on cutting and sewing the lining. I’m reusing the pattern from this dress I made last year since I was able to get the fit about perfect and won’t have to fuss with alterations. And I want to figure out something cute to do with my hair. I might take a stab at trying to make a simple kanzashi.
ladyofthethread: (Herald)
Merry Christmas! Hope everyone had a nice day. ^_^

It’s been a somewhat busy week so it’s nice that I can relax now. Monday evening, my brother and I dropped by [livejournal.com profile] neoangelwink and [livejournal.com profile] loudnbothered’s place for a few minutes so I could give them their card and present. Tuesday was a business meeting and lunch, which went a few hours, followed by a little last minute shopping. Our solstice celebration was that night so there was a big dinner. I had a bit of a headache so I napped for a couple of hours before helping my mother and sister wrap presents for some of the store employees. This year, we put together gift bags with a bunch of candies and snacks so there were lots of little things to wrap and we didn’t finish until around 1 AM. Wednesday and Thursday included some last minute crafting (I went though more than half a bottle of tacky glue within the past week! o_O;) and cleaning.

Today was spent at home. My family tends to be impossible to shop for so I just bought The Muppet Christmas Carol for us to watch this afternoon. We rarely watch movies together so it was something nice to do. And tomorrow we’re having relatives over for a dinner party to celebrate my mother’s birthday.

I still have to visit one friend over the weekend and give her my present but most people have gotten my crafty little gifts by now. So I can post some of the stuff I’ve made these last few weeks with out ruining any surprises! :-D

I made this pouch for neoangelwink. It’s another design from the Omiyage book; this one is called “Avalanche Lily.” The bottom piece is a large star and there are little triangle pieces sewn like godets between the points. It has a pretty interesting shape with the bottom being a pentagon and the sides slanting inwards towards the top. (My brother thought that it looked like a weird tiny hat when turned upside down! XD) The closed pouch is supposed to look like a star-shaped flower from the top but I think the cotton was a bit too stiff for it to work as well as the model in the book.



another pic )

The crochet project I mentioned some weeks back was a baby blanket for [livejournal.com profile] sakuralenayuy. I used a free pattern I found on the Lion Brand yarn site and their Wool-Ease yarn in pastel yellow. I actually made it yellow because of a story that my mother told me about a neighbor making a blanket as a gift when I was born; the neighbor had made it yellow so it would be suitable for either a boy or a girl.



detail pic )

I stitched a Christmas ornament for [livejournal.com profile] ngmaster and an extra of the same design for myself. The design is called “Emerald Teardrop” and it’s from a Mill Hill kit from the mid-1990s. I originally stitched the design ages ago but the hanger broke some years back and I’ve been meaning to remake it since then. I got new beads and finally got around to doing it this year!

ladyofthethread: (T-Chan)
Earlier, I was working on the wedding outfit for Sunday and my dress form collapsed down the pole and clamped the side of my finger, near the vein. x_x There was bleeding and I was freaking out a bit but it looks like it should be okay.

My outfit still needs finishing work but I don’t want to work on it while my finger is bandaged up with oily Chinese ointment. (Dress still needs to be hemmed, the jacket appliques have to be stitched down, and the jacket needs a hook and eye closure.) Fortunately, my mother offered to finish it up for me and I’m going to accept since I don’t think I’d get it done otherwise.

Here’s the jacket and a closeup of the appliques I bought. I got 2 mirror image pairs of the appliques but decided using all 4 would be too much. And to go under the jacket, I have a plain, strapless dress in the same red satin.



Tomorrow is Halloween and I should be somewhere around the city during the afternoon as Daphne from Scooby Doo. Hopefully, my brother will get some pics for me but I’m not sure where we’re going and we’ll be going home around 6. If anyone wants to hang out or wander around with us, let me know tonight or call me! Happy Halloween!
ladyofthethread: (Default)
Went into the city today to get some stuff to finish the wedding outfit and my Halloween costume. I bought some sequined appliques to use on the red jacket for the wedding outfit although I’m not completely decided how I’m going to place them. (whether I’ll do something symmetrical or asymmetrical and if I’ll use all 4 or only 2) Except for closures, the jacket is otherwise done but I still need to make the dress.

I also got some cheap shoes and leather paint so I can paint them purple for my Daphne costume. And I bought a new pair of pink tights since I decided the first pair was a bit too bright for my tastes. The clothes are nearly finished. The dress is done but I’m going to remake the scarf since it came out a bit too short and bulky to tie nicely. Also still need to cut bangs into my wig. Should be done by this weekend. I kind of wish I could go to the botanic garden for pics this weekend but my brother is probably going to be busy with a paper for school. (The garden’s annual Halloween event is this Sunday and I find it’s a good time to take costume photos without seeming weird.)





And a book meme from [livejournal.com profile] athena8

1. Pick 10 of your favorite books or series.
2. Post the first sentence of each book. (If one sentence seems too short, post two or three!)
3. Let everyone try to guess the titles and authors of your books.


This is probably going to be super hard (unless someone is bored and starts Googling stuff XD;) since I tend to read a lot of series mysteries (only 2 of these are non-mystery) and most of my favorites aren’t that known. I might do another post after several days to explain where these come from. Extra hints: There’s one classic, all except 10 have series, and all series are the first book except for 5 and 7.


1) A surging, seething, murmuring crowd of beings that are human only in name, for to the eye and ear they seem naught but savage creatures, animated by vile passions and by the lust of vengeance and of hate. The hour, some little time before sunset, and the place, the West Barricade, at the very spot where, a decade later, a proud tyrant raised an undying monument to the nation’s glory and his own vanity.

2) Dr. Bartholomew Slocum was definitely dead. Inspector Gerald Witherspoon stared morosely at the body slumped over the huge mahogany desk and fervently wished he were home sitting in front of a roaring fire instead of standing in a gloomy Knightsbridge surgery.

3) I know what people say about me: that I am willful and opinionated, shockingly eccentric in my manner of dress (this is because I will not wear a corset), altogether a trial to my father. These things are true except the last.

4) Kate Ardleigh glanced warily over her shoulder. The late-summer night was black as the pit and stormy, lighted by the intermittent blue-white glare of lighting flashes.

5) Hands on hips, brows lowering, Emerson stood gazing fixedly at the recumbent ruminant. A sympathetic friend (if camels have such, which is doubtful) might have taken comfort in the fact that scarcely a ripple of agitated sand surrounded the place of its demise.

6) Athena ran blindly down the dark country lane, her breath coming in short, harsh gasps. Her school jacket with the St. Polycarp’s logo sewn to the pocket was no protection against the sudden drenching spring rain.

7) Lady Colveden stabbed a brooding knife into the breakfast butter. “I do wish,” she said, in a plaintive tone, “that casting wasn’t always so difficult…”

8) “I see…” said the vampire thoughtfully, and slowly he walked across the room towards the window. For a long time he stood there against the dim light from Divisadero Street and the passing beams of traffic. (Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice, guessed by [livejournal.com profile] gothic_lolita)

9) After I completed my four years at Yale College in 18—, I faced the inevitable decision of what to do for the rest of my life. Conscious as always of our family’s standing as one of the oldest and most respectable in New England, my father encouraged me to read for the bar.

10) If only Simon weren’t such a practical joker! The other booksellers with whom she dealt were not given to joking about their profession—as one of them gloomily put it, peddling the printed word to a nation of semiliterates was no laughing matter—and Simon, of all people, ought to have been free of that weakness.

*looks over list* I certainly seem to like verbose writers, don’t I? :-P
ladyofthethread: (Default)
Today, I visited my old friend who I had last seen back in August and we finally made it to Alice’s Tea Cup. ^_^ Her boyfriend, who I hadn’t met before, also came along and the three of us had afternoon tea and a nice chat. Had a huge pumpkin scone and tried the birthday tea, which was scented with tropical fruit and flowers. The tea tasted kind of weak although it smelled very fragrant.


Not much else of interest has been going on this past week. I’ve started on both my Halloween costume and the wedding outfit. For Daphne, I’ve gotten the headband covered in lavendar fabric. (Something I’ve noticed is that although her headband is light purple in the show, it often seems to be dark purple on DVD covers. I decided to go with the light purple since that’s what it is most of the time.) Plus, I did most of the sewing on the dress but decided I left too much ease in the hips so I need to take the skirt apart and take it in. For the wedding outfit, I started making a long sleeved jacket in red satin. Still need to find some kind of trim to use to embellish it. If I had more time, I’d be tempted to do beading or something on it since I love embellishing but haven't had a chance to do it on any of my costumes lately. The dress isn't started yet but hopefully that won't take too long since it's just going to be plain.

Only two more weeks until Halloween and the wedding so I need to get in more work on both of these over the weekend. ^_^;; Off to do a bit of sewing!
ladyofthethread: (Eugenie)
More photos updates from my brother. (It’s a record! He actually finished con photos in a week this time!)

[livejournal.com profile] yeu, the photos of you and your groups are up.
K-On!: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotofong/sets/72157622386531139/
Macross Frontier: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotofong/sets/72157622516829904/

And [livejournal.com profile] neoangelwink, the pics of the cupcake dress you modeled for the fashion show are up: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotofong/sets/72157622516727310/


Dim sum yesterday was fun. ^_^ Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] neoangelwink, [livejournal.com profile] loudnbothered, [livejournal.com profile] athena_chan, [livejournal.com profile] ifuritaoni, [livejournal.com profile] lampbane and her boyfriend for coming! Unfortunately, it started raining while we were at the restaurant so the ending turned out rather soggy with trying to walk everyone back to the train and bus in the rain. ._.; It would have been nice to hang out longer if it weren’t for the weather.


Now that NYAF is over and I’ve caught up on some other things, I’m thinking a bit about what to sew next. I don’t expect to go to another con until Anime Boston in April but Halloween is coming up and one of my mother’s friends invited us to a wedding the day after.

I bought a couple of yards of shimmery pink fabric and a pattern a while back, thinking I’d make a dress to wear for the wedding. I’ve kind of lost my enthusiasm though since the weather suddenly got so cold last week and I have a sleeveless dress pattern. :-/

For Halloween, I’m tempted to make a Daphne costume from Scooby Doo… And now, people are probably thinking I’ve finally lost my mind after Ekaterina and all the other huge projects I normally do. :-P But seriously, I loved Scooby Doo when I was a kid and I’ve been feeling nostalgic since I picked up a couple of the box sets recently. And I could probably get away with using the red wig I bought for Youko although it won’t be exact; I don’t see myself wearing this at a con other than maybe NYCC/NYAF when they’re combined next year so I’d rather not buy a new wig for it. >_>;

I’m kind of trying to decide whether I want to do the regular purple dress version or the Clue version where she’s dressed as Miss Scarlet. I think the Clue version might be more fun since I love alternate costumes but I don’t think anyone would get it unless I carried around a Scooby Doo plushie dressed as Colonel Mustard. Otherwise, I’d probably just look like a redhead in a red cocktail dress. ^_^;; Normal purple dress version would be much easier to recognize without props and warmer though since it has long sleeves, a higher neckline and the green scarf.

ladyofthethread: (Herald)
I finished sewing this summer dress several days ago. ^_^ The fabric was stuff I bought at a quilting shop while hanging out with neoangelwink a few weeks ago; I actually wanted to make a dress in kimono fabric but didn’t find one I liked. I’m quite pleased with how it came out and I completely lined it since the background color was light. I’d started it before I left for vacation but didn’t get to finish then since I had to fuss with the bodice to get it to fit properly. -_- I had to trim the whole dress down a size from what I originally cut and the neckline still gapped despite it fitting pretty well everywhere else. Tapered the top of the bodice pieces down another size and made a couple of other little adjustments and the pattern is about perfect now.



My brother is still working on the photoshoots we did while on vacation. Hopefully, I’ll have those pictures in a few days.
ladyofthethread: (Sarah)
For those of you going to Otakon, have fun! :-) This will probably be my last post before everyone leaves for the con. And since I’m leaving for the Adirondacks on Sunday, I probably won’t get a chance to read con reports and such until a week later. My siblings might bring a laptop but I have no idea if there’s going to be an internet connection at the townhouse. I’ll have my cell phone though and might try setting up phone posts before I go. And maybe, I’ll mail a few postcards if I find some nice ones. But don’t expect to hear from me much between the 19th and the 26th. ^_^;

Meanwhile, I’m working on making up a couple of kits for projects from the Omiyage book to handsew while I’m on vacation. I expect quite a bit of quiet time since we’re going to be staying outside of the village. Might be nice to just sit on the balcony and watch the lake and sew. ^_^

I also got started on a dress with my new fabric over the weekend. I’m making View D from this pattern although I’ll probably omit the bow:
http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M5094.htm?tab=list/dresses&page=all
It’s going more slowly than I’d like since I’ve had to fuss with the bodice. I’ve already taken it in one size but the neckline still gaps, especially in the back, even though this is the smallest size that will fit the middle of my bust and my ribs. -_-; I was hoping to finish it before I left for vacation but not sure if that’s going to happen.
ladyofthethread: (D with bird)
I went shopping with [livejournal.com profile] neoangelwink Friday, which was fun. ^_^ We went by Macy’s first since she needed a dress to wear to a wedding. After we laughed about how ridiculous some of the cocktail dresses there looked, she found one she liked. We had to argue with the salesperson though since there was a 25% off sign on the rack but it scanned at full price. >_> Of course, they had to give the discount since the sign was there.

Next, we walked downtown a bit and visited the quilting shop I went to with [livejournal.com profile] ifuritaoni the other weekend. After making that little pouch with the Japanese prints, I was tempted to go back and buy a couple of yards to make a sundress. Unfortunately, the print I was hoping to get was out and some of the other designs seemed too busy for a whole dress. :-/ I eventually settled on a floral print. It was shelved with the Japanese prints and had similar gold outlines but doesn’t look especially like kimono fabric. I guess I’ll try going back some other time to see if they get something new. I think a Japanese print sundress could be cute without looking too weird to wear normally.

On our way back uptown, Carrie picked up some thread and we stopped by Borders where I got a couple of Ouran volumes with a coupon I had. Afterwards, we went to Kinokuniya and hung out in the café chatting for a couple of hours.

We went separate ways around 5 and I picked up a zipper before heading downtown to get a ride home with my father. Maybe, I should have just gone all the way home on the subway though. Coming down the stairs at our store, one of my heels got hooked on a step and I stumbled, giving myself a bruised knee. ._. (What is wrong with me this year? I’m not usually that clumsy but that was my second mishap with stairs in as many months. o_O) I’m okay though and the bruising isn’t too bad.


I finished the skirt that I’ve been working on last night. I didn’t have enough fabric left to recut the design I messed up so I pulled out a different pattern to use. I started from a Simplicity pattern but changed it to have 3 overlapping tiers of ruffles instead of 2 non-overlapping rows. I think it came out cute. ^_^ Nice to get a chance to sew and wear cute stuff for a change. I don’t really get a chance to do it for cosplay since I feel I’m not suited for cute younger characters. :-/ But I can wear ruffly summer stuff like this as myself if that makes sense. There’s a metallic blue shimmer to the fabric but it’s not very visible from a distance.



I’m not going to Otakon but it turns out I will be traveling next weekend. :-D My family is going up to the Adirondack Mountains for a week; my father just reserved a townhouse on a lake and we’ll be leaving on the 19th. Kind of sudden but some places were all booked and/or more expensive later in the summer. ^_^; Should be relaxing. We went to that area for vacations a lot when I was younger although our last trip up there was seven years ago. Should mainly be a relaxing vacation. We stayed at the same place once before and it’s pretty quiet and has a private beach.

Photography is one of the main things my brother wants to do during that week and if he’s willing, I want to bring along a couple of costumes and do cosplay photoshoots while we’re up there. >_>; I’ve wanted to take pictures of Count D’s vacation outfit at a beach ever since I made it but I’ve never gotten around to it. And lake scenery would be good for my earlier Ayame costume since he wore it in the manga when they went to the lake for Golden Week.
ladyofthethread: (Eugenie)
Boy, I feel like a dunce. ._.; I cut out my fabric for a quick summer skirt last night and sewed for about an hour today before realizing it was too small. It was supposed to be a flared skirt with an elastic waistband and part of the problem was that the pattern called for 60” fabric and the stuff I wanted to use was 45”. There was a lot of ease in the hips and I found a smaller size would just fit my fabric when shortened 3”. Since the waistband was going to be elastic, I figured I didn’t need to worry much about it and forgot to make sure the measurement at the waistline would be large enough to get over my hips. -_-;; I haven’t got enough fabric left to try again with that pattern but could probably make a different skirt.

The extremes of my sewing this year seem laughable. I’ve managed to build my first corset, first panniers, and first hoopskirt. I made my phoenix prop in 3 weeks. I made Tamaki’s ballgown in 3 weeks. And yet I mess up on stupid stuff like this; this is the fourth garment where I’ve had fitting issues this year. o_O


On a more cheerful note, I finished my first project from the Omiyage book a few days ago. ^_^ It’s the pouch design titled “Candy Twist.” The pattern called for one light fabric, one dark fabric, and checkered fabric so I only picked the floral prints. (Colors are a bit murky in the pictures; it looks nicer in person.) I used more of the checkered fabric for lining and the bottom of the bag is gathered into a fabric-covered button. I want to try more stuff from that book and will probably do one of the flower-shaped pouches next.

ladyofthethread: (Cecelia)
Still behind on commenting since I’ve been out more than usual lately and have spent extra time digging through papers. Had business appointments in the city both last Thursday and Friday morning plus another tomorrow and one more scheduled later this week.

Thursday afternoon, I went fabric shopping in the fashion district with [livejournal.com profile] athena_chan which was fun. ^_^ And I got more stuff downtown on Friday. Picked up some silks and taffeta to use for Gankutsuou costumes plus some fabric paints to add all the crazy designs.

Still need some more things but I should have enough to get started on Eugenie. I’m going to do Valentine too but I need more fabric and planning for the designs first. I also need to get something to use as a base for her parasol, which is more of a dome shape than a regular umbrella. Checked around online a bit and thisTotes bubble umbrella looks like it that would work; I’m going to devise some kind of fabric cover to put over it. Need to see if I can find one in the city or if I’ll have to order it online.

I was also looking for some cute cotton prints to make random summer clothes but didn’t find anything good. It looked like a lot of prints were selling for $7/yard, which seems like too much for regular old cotton considering I can usually buy the brocades, satins, and taffetas I use in my costumes for the same price or less. :-/ Plus, I needed about 4-5 yards for the patterns I wanted to use because of layers, flounces, or full skirts. If it’s going to cost me about $30 to get cotton prints for just a normal skirt, I might as well just walk into Macy’s during one of their numerous sales and buy one. >_> Bought some shiny synthetics instead. I just can’t seem to get away from shiny fabrics!

Just made a new icon with a Cecelia photo taken by [livejournal.com profile] stillvisions. I like the full version of the pic better though. A lot of my favorite photos for certain costumes just don’t translate as well to square icons or I’d redo some of my older icons, too.
ladyofthethread: (Herald)
Hmm… I know I’ve been lazy about posting and commenting lately. Should try to work on that a bit. ^_^;;

July 4th was rather boring here. Went to JoAnn’s and the mall with my family. I picked up the latest volume of Fruits Basket at the mall and got 3 yards of floral print cotton at JoAnn’s (under $8 thanks to a 40% off coupon). Made a relatively quick skirt with it over the weekend.



I used view A of this Vogue pattern. I wanted to try out one of the views with more layers but I bought all that was left of that print and it was only enough for A. Nothing else really caught my eye at JoAnn’s although I was hoping to get 2 or 3 different prints to make some random summer skirts and dresses. Will check the fashion district later this week for that and costume stuff.

In other news, we’ve been having problems with leaks lately. My parents had to patch the roof on Sunday and we still have a moldy closet to deal with. -_-

Banks have been a bit annoying, too. If any of you ever get a name change (like getting married), make sure that it’s done consistently across different accounts or you might end up wanting to bang your head on a wall when you need to do a transfer in the future. My mother learned this the hard way!

We’ve also been talking a bit about whether we’re going on vacation this summer but haven’t come to a conclusion since it’s ridiculously hard coming up with something that everyone would agree to. Among other things, my siblings never want to go anywhere on vacation and seem like they’d rather just sit in front of their computers. >_>
ladyofthethread: (Sarah)
Hmm… Several days ago, I was flipping through my historical costume books and photographing things since [profile] natalie526asked for ideas for her draping final project. I’ve gotten pretty good at dissecting outfits for cosplay but some of the asymmetrical Victorian designs were so complicated that I couldn’t even completely visualize how they would look in full. ._.; (For example, this and these) Reminded me I still have much to learn and try in sewing.

Also, while looking for ideas for Natalie, I stumbled on some exciting news about a favorite musical of mine, “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” ^_^ I found out the Takarazuka Revue is supposed to be giving the show its Japanese premiere this summer. Although I’ve seen some gorgeous cosplays from their shows (like HCC’s Rose of Versailles costumes), I haven’t really investigated Takarazuka so far. I’ll have to remember to check into this during the summer though since I’d love to see what they do with the costumes. ^_^ The site only has a few tiny pictures of the three leads so far.

And I finally got around to making a bag with a kimono fabric handkerchief that I had picked up at NYAF. Basically, it’s just a lined circle with a drawstring threaded through series of buttonholes near the edges. Really simple and only took a couple of hours to make. (Yay for the automatic buttonhole feature!) If I do another one though, I’ll put the buttonholes closer to the edges. I think this one came out looking a bit more like a giant flowery wonton rather than a bag since I left so much fabric at the top!

I also started on that new Count D costume I mentioned last time. (Yes, I am obsessed with his wardrobe. ^_^;; I love dressy clothes and he has so many nice outfits! He probably has the largest wardrobe of any male anime/manga character considering how he always gets at least 1 or 2 new outfits per chapter in addition to all the covers and artbook stuff!)

Went shopping for supplies last week and found a light green leaf-patterned Chinese brocade to use for the skirt. Of course, it had to be at the last store I checked, which is normally the first but I had the bright idea of starting on the other side of the street this time... -_-; (Fabric shopping is definitely not my favorite part of costume making. I feel like I often end up on a wild goose chase when trying to find certain patterns!) The shimmery cream brocade was left over from an evening gown I made years ago and will be used for the tailcoat. I would have liked to have a little more contrast with the trim and the green brocade but the next darker green was an olive which didn’t look as good with the cream. 



I worked on the skirt this weekend and it’s done now. ^_^ (no progress pics yet) Did the usual seam finishes and stuff inside but it’s just rectangular panels gathered into a wide waistband. I’m going to make the front of the coat a little lower since I didn’t really want to make a whole dress to go under it. >_>; I’m just trying to do this one relatively quickly to get it out of my system since I already have so many D costumes. Maybe, I can wear this for Sakura Matsuri if the coat doesn’t take too long…
ladyofthethread: (Count D)
“Please, follow me. I have just the pet for you, right behind this door…”


So, here are the rest of my brother’s photos from Anime North. I love this photo of Count D, taken by the Chinese paneling in the basement. *_* I look appropriately pale for D, the door looks like one you could find in the back of his shop, and I seem to be beckoning some unsuspecting customer off-camera to their doom. The shadowy corner in the upper left adds a touch of creepiness, too.

I did Photoshop out a door in this pic because it was distracting (my brother didn’t want to do it because a friend had borrowed his tablet). It was painted to match the wall but the doorknob (which did not match) was right behind my arm. That’s why there’s a break in the wooden trim running along the base of the wall. ^_^;

More pics: Twelve Kingdoms, formal Terra, and new Count D costume )

And a question if anyone here is familiar with adjustable dressforms… I ordered a Singer dressform from JoAnn’s and it was delivered yesterday. I didn’t have any problems getting it assembled but when I was trying to set it to my measurements, there were several times when a dial would go snap and jump back down to a smaller measurement.

So, I’m wondering, is that normal O_o; or do these things just not work well with bigger differences between measurements since my measurements don’t all match up to one standard pattern size? (I was trying to set 38” for the bust and hips and 27.5” for the waist.) We always had the solid, non-adjustable forms when I took classes at Parsons so I’ve never worked with an adjustable one before. If anyone knows a way to avoid the form snapping back to smaller measurements on its own or has other tips for working with these forms, suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks. ^_^
ladyofthethread: (Layla)
Well, my brother managed to get his photography portfolio together in time and had his interview at FIT yesterday. He says they seemed to like his stuff. Now, that he has time again, I should be able to get some pictures to post. ^_^ I asked for the ones of me that he included in the portfolio plus a bunch of others.

Work on Ayame’s coat was started over the weekend. I changed my mind about the coat pattern I was going to use after deciding it was going to take a lot more alteration than another one I’d sewn with in the past. (Folkwear’s Model T Duster: http://www.folkwear.com/230.html) Plus, since I’d already made a coat with the Folkwear pattern, I could try it on and better see where I needed to modify. I’ve figured most of it out except for the sleeves. Will probably have to experiment and do something in muslin first for that since the pattern has a fitted two-piece sleeve but I need something that flares a bit instead and with extra cuff details. I did try drafting a one-piece sleeve from instructions in my draping book but not sure how well it’d fit since the cap’s shape differs from the original pattern piece a lot. ^_^;

But most of the fabric for the body of the coat has been cut out and I might start on a bit of sewing later. Should try to go shopping for notions soon since I need things like buttons for this coat.

Last Week

Feb. 26th, 2007 01:01 pm
ladyofthethread: (Ayame)
Ramblings about NY Comic Con are still being written up but meanwhile, here’s an update on other stuff…

I finished my part in helping my brother with his portfolio. That probably took a good 15 hours out of last week and a half which was why I didn’t get a chance to update much then. It took ridiculously long since he was doing studio shots and kept fiddling with lights. We did photos of 4 outfits, the first being my nyosen costume. Wearing it again reminded me of how bothersome it is to get together due to how easily it wrinkles and the hair. x_x;

Second was the Chinese brocade dress I use for my original Count D outfit on its own. That thing was definitely not meant to be worn alone; We had to keep working around the fact that the side slits went up to like 6 inches below my waist. >_>;; (And that’s why it will never be seen in public without something else underneath!)

Then, we did real Count D pictures with the peacock dress and a bunch of stuffed animals. There are some pretty silly ones from this since my brother said he wanted one more humorous photo. XD

And the last set was just normal clothes. I most likely won’t be getting copies of any of these until after my brother’s portfolio interview at FIT in a couple of weeks. He still needs to actually process and print stuff so nothing to show until then.

And… the sewing machine I got a few weeks ago had to be taken back to Sears. The presser foot started acting up last week when I was working on the little bag to match my original Count D. It was refusing to come up easily and seemed to have gone out of alignment; I figure something must have been loose inside since it was going back and forth between working and not working. I guess that particular machine was defective. o_o; Fortunately, when we brought it back Friday night, they gave us a new one without any fuss. ^_^

Now that Comic Con and the portfolio things are done with, I must catch up with paperwork. Need to get back to working on the new Ayame costume, too.

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