Flying Geese in Rainbow Colors

Arts & Crafts, Colors, Design & Designers

Work in progress: a prototype with flying geese piecing made from scraps in rainbow colors.

Work in Progress Apr 26

This is one possible layout. I was originally thinking two mirrored table runners or small mats, but seeing them on the floor like this makes me wonder whether one lapquilt might look better after all. Clearly I will have to experiment! 🙂

Prolonging the Life of a Torn Bag

Arts & Crafts, Fabrics & Materials, My Spaces

I love my blue Marimekko unikko (poppy) bag to bits – literally, I’m sorry to say. Something had to be done.

Poppy Bag Damaged

Ta-dah! Reinforcing the torn edge with buttonhole stitch should give it a few more years.

Poppy Bag Fixed

I used regular cotton embroidery floss, since that was the best color match I had. I know it’s not the most durable of threads; I’ll have to see how well it does under the rigors of everyday life.

IRL and In-Game Sewing

Arts & Crafts, Games, Geek out!

This might be one of the very few times I’m doing the same thing in a game and in real life. Last week I both started looking for inspiration to sew something summery for myself…

Sewing Ideas for Myself

…and leveling my WoW tailor:

WoW Legion Sew It Begins

The first of these projects is a part of my two-year resolution of not buying new clothes. (Apart from socks and underwear.) So far, so good on both endeavors; it’s great to return to sewing things to wear. Now, if only I could both play and sew at the same time… 😀

First Batch of Reflectors Is Now on Etsy

Ahem Ahem!, Arts & Crafts, Leveling Up

The first batch of reflectors is now listed in my Etsy shop.

1st Batch of Reflectors

These 2-sided personal safety reflectors are meant for pedestrians. They are designed to attach inside a coat pocket and to hang down at your side when in use. The reflectors come with a safety pin and string for hanging. Like so:

Reflectors in Use Not in Use

The concept is based on the reflectors I wore in my childhood, growing up 2 hours south of the Arctic Circle in Finland. In fact, I still use them – even though Massachusetts isn’t nearly as dark as Finland in winter, here in the south it gets dark year-round. The reflectors increase your visibility so much in low light conditions that I almost feel naked without one. Each of my jackets has its own dedicated reflector, and I keep extras around just in case. (They do occasionally break or get lost.)

Made with polyester felt and reflecting fabric in three silhouettes: heart, minimalistic feather or dragon’s head. Each of the three designs comes in two or three different colors.

Dragons Head Reflector Colors Collage
Feather Reflector Colors Collage
Heart Reflector Colors Collage

Check out Flickr and Twitter for some work-in-progress photos.

It’s exciting to get a new project out into the world! 🙂

Hogwarts Dueling Club Tablecloth Transformed into Wall Hanging

Arts & Crafts, DIY, Stunt Double

Alicia Sivertsson took a close look at the props for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and re-interpreted a table cloth as a narrow wall hanging:

Alicia Sivert harry_potter_duelling_club_moon_rug_10

Alicia Sivertsson at Alicia Sivert.

Isn’t it fantastic? It’s adapted from the huge blue table runner that shows phases of the moon in gold from the Harry vs. Draco dueling club scene.

Alicia Sivert harry_potter_duelling_club_moon_rug_4

Alicia Sivertsson at Alicia Sivert.

A very beautiful and neat smaller scale version. Jättesnygg! Kudos!

Visit Alicia Sivert for more photos and video clip from The Chamber of Secrets with views of the table cloth. (NB. In Swedish.)

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

A Feathery Sneak Peak

Arts & Crafts, Behind the Scenes, Colors

…of my current project:

Turq Feathers Partly Done

I’m making reflectors; this batch is based on my feather doodles. I’ve already done turquoise and white feather reflectors. I’m still trying to decide whether I’ll make other colors. Any input?

P.S. Other behind-the-scenes photos connected to this project are included in my Flickr (July 2016).

More Mainstreamed Cosplay Patterns

Arts & Crafts, Design & Designers, DIY

Cosplay has definitely gone mainstream. Earlier I wrote about cosplay fabrics available at everyday fabric chain stores and a line of cosplay patterns from McCall’s. But I missed that also Simplicity offers cosplay patterns. The latest of those are two packages of 18th century Scottish outfits inspired by the success of the tv-series Outlander.

Lauren American Duchess Simp-OL-J-G-render

Original drawings for 18th century outfits for Simplicity cosplay patterns by Lauren at American Duchess.

Lauren (who spearheads two historical shoewear companies, American Duchess and Royal Vintage) designed both for beginning sewists; i.e., they had to be easily made with a sewing machine from modern materials.

However, she will also write a series of blog posts on how to hack her patterns into a more historically attestable dress:

“I mean that here starts a blog series that will show you various techniques that you can use to take these patterns to the next level. Such as:

  • Hand-stitched eyelets instead of metal grommets
  • Creating robings and closing the bodice with pins
  • Interior lacing, buttons, and other bodice closures
  • Drafting and applying a 1740s winged cuff
  • Redrawing bodice seams and stays boning patterns
  • Drafting skirting for the bodice, to create a jacket
  • Extending the front edges for a center front closure
  • Setting sleeves with the 18th century method
  • 18th c. hand stitching techniques for finishing edges and sewing seams
  • Fitting through the side back seams the mantua maker’s way
  • Proper silhouette through bum pads, petticoats, and more petticoats
  • Binding and facing the stays with chamois leather
  • Proper materials – wool, linen, cotton, silk
  • How the heck to get dressed

And plenty more. I have a huge list. It’s going to be great!”

Now that’s a fantastic idea – way beyond call of duty! More info in Lauren’s introductory blog post and YouTube video.

I’ve got little interest in the 1700s specifically, but I’m defnitely going to read Lauren’s articles out of textile history geekery interest. 🙂

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

Cosplay Patterns Gone Mainstream

Arts & Crafts, Design & Designers, DIY, Geek out!

Pattern company McCall’s has released three patters made specifically for cosplayers as part of their initiative, Cosplay by McCall’s.

McCalls Cosplay Patterns Envelopes_crop

Cosplay by McCall’s.

Among other resources, McCall’s also has a cosplay blog (updated infrequently, it seems) and a photo gallery for outfits made with their patterns.

Interesting. Cosplay is certainly going mainstream (or gone already), if one of the larger patterns makers creates a line for it.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.

A Star Wars Upcycle Project: BB-8 Bag

DIY, Geek out!, Stunt Double

At the end of last year, I wanted to make myself something fun. Since the new Star Wars release date was coming up, that something turned out to be a BB-8 bag.

I used an old pair of pants and various fabric scraps to make it, so the materials were completely free. The bag took me a few nights to make – combining all of those little pieces adds up surprisingly fast. The most time-consuming part for me, though, was deciding on the droid design.

Here’s a quick how-to in pictures:

Making BB-8 Bag1Making BB-8 Bag2Making BB-8 Bag3Making BB-8 Bag4


1 of 4: Deciding on the droid design and cutting as large piece as possible from one pant leg.
2 of 4: Adding stripes and pieces of fabric to the outside to suggest pieces of the droid.
3 of 4: Making box corners, adding an edge binding strip to the top, and adding an inner pocket.
4 of 4: Finished bag.

Not bad for a little fur ball zero dollars! 🙂 If I were to make another, though, I’d probably try a different droid design and fiddle with the inner pocket so that it has more compartments.

In a Mockingjay Frame of Mind

Arts & Crafts, Books & Mags, Geek out!, Movies & TV

To prep for Mockingjay – Part 2 premier, I’ve rewatched all the previous Hunger Games movies, reread Mockingjay, altered my mockingjay bag

Mockingjay Bag Alterations

…and oohed & aahed over this Effie Trinket cosplay:

Effie Trinket Morisa9 on Deviantart

Morisa9 on Deviantart.

It’s made by Morisa9 on Deviantart. The butterflies are the most stunning part – she cut, spray painted and detailed all 400 or so of them. Wow! Love it!

Bonus links to arrow motif tutorials: pencil case with embroidery by Glòria Fort Mir (Catalan and Spanish) and gold vinyl sofa pillows by Ashley Phipps at Simply Designing.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to mention this; just passing along a good thing.