Thursday, December 23, 2010


She is left-handed, so I will need to transpose, *BUT* it actually makes sense now! Over a year of searching for good instructions (and countless books bought) I find something that adequately explains the dreaded PLAITED BRAID STITCH!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy Birfday to me + some sewing updates

I woke up this morning to a birthday email from my sis. It really made my whole day! :D My mom and dad gave me a beautiful topaz ring (purple, of course!), and a JoAnns gift card.

My sweet hubby gave me a great camera! I think the quality of my posting pictures is going to improve greatly!

My happy birthday mood was ruined somewhat by the two-and-a-half hour commute in the snow. Grrrr.

But when I got to work, I was greeted by even more birthday wishes, so it all evens out in the end. :D

Last night I was able to finish up the frogs - I just need to make the buttons and attach them.....then the over gown is finished! Yippee!

Also, here are pics of the sleeves that I worked on over the weekend....

And, the infamous shoulder treatments - DONE! (Well, they still need to be attached to the dress) They look kind of dumb lying flat - they're curved to fit the shoulder, so they look super nice when worn - not quite so much like lumpy black slugs! I ended up doing a four-strand braid with a thread button at each cross. I think it ended up quite nice! (even though they are a bit uneven - I should have done them both at the same time! The one on the bottom is pulled tighter than the one on top - it's not terribly noticable, I hope!)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Seekrit Project


So - if you guys haven't realized already, my hubby and I are huge nerds.  You know what else is nerdy?  QR codes. I'm also a big 'ole textile/craft nerd (whodda thunk it, right?!)  I am making mah hubby a QR code sampler for his b-day....which is tomorrow.  Which is why I'm crowing, I just finished the last stitch moments ago.  All I need to do is block and frame it!


Wanna know how I did it?


1.  I went to this website, and created my QR code.  I used the "XL" size, and the "text" options.  When the code generated, I saved out the image.  It looks like this:


2.  I messed around with some free cross stitch pattern generators, but for such a relatively small and concise pattern, I couldn't get anything to work.  So.  Being the nerd I am, plain old graph paper isn't good enough, so I used excel instead.  (For the nitty gritty:  I bordered every cell, and created a 5 count using 'thick border'.  I used a dark color, but not so dark, I couldn't see the grid lines.  (I used color, rather than symbols, since I hate reading x-stitch patterns with symbols with a firey passion))  It ended up looking like this:

3.  Then.....I stitched away!  (Ok, what you really wanted to know were the details.  Ok....It's an 18 CT, and I used double stranded floss.)  Anyway, this is what the finished stitching looks like:

I'll unlock this post tomorrow so the surprise isn't ruined (In case hubs swings by for some random reason...), and post a picture of the final framed piece.

So, it's a little later than 'tomorrow', but here's the picture of the finished piece.  Hubs loved it!  :D

Thursday, December 2, 2010

In the spirit of getting back into the swing of sewing posts.....


Here's the gown I'm attempting for Solstice (12th Night if I can't get it done in time...)

I've made up the bodice, and I'm finishing up the last of the eyelets TONIGHT.  (No really, I am!)  I'm using this fabric from one of the German gown options (I'm keeping the other choice for the German gown, and that works out perfectly, since this fabric works better for the Italian, and the other works better for the German, so........ WOOHOO.)


Apologies for my excessively poor photography skillz - the  fabric is actually a higher contrast green/gold than it shows in the picture.  Honest.

I've also made up 36 teeneh-tineh tassels for the sleeves. (Of which I will take pictures of and update this entry tomorrow.)  I have the best hubby in the world!  He braved my sewing room and took a pic for y'all!  I used sorta-kinda the same method I outlined in this post, but wrapped the 'head' super-duper tight and long to mimic the look of the shank on the tassels as seen in the gown.

I ordered some Austrian velvet ribbon to create the scallops around the neckline and sleeve slashes.....

But when it arrived, it was ever-so-slightly too bright to work.  (Especially since with my eyelets and tassels, I've gone the more 'olive' route than the 'apple' route.)

So, I've up and ordered some Italian (heh) double-faced velvet ribbon.  (Which hopefully, will be here tomorrow) I'm really hoping that this color works out better, because the double-face is probably going to be easier to work with to get the scallop look.

If all else fails, I know I've seen velvet ric-rac (I know, I KNOW) in some of the boutique-ish type shops around here.  Hopefully I won't have to go that route, but it's a last ditch.

OK - On to the PARTLET!

As much as I'd love to do something closer to the portrait and be all smashing and completely fabulous.........I don't have the time nor energy to devote that much time to a silly partlet.  As much as I want THIS:

Ahem.  Back to what I was saying.......I have a pattern that I used for the partlet for my black gown & purple gown - it's pretty much exactly right what I need, down to the ruffle at the edge.  (Although the portrait hints at a separate collar piece - look at the right side of her that a seam between the collar front edge, and another running at an right angle around the neck?)  Anyway, point being - I can get the look without having to draft something completely new.  To get the chock-full-of-stuff 'look' without putting in the (wo)man hours to embroider, I'm going to use some fabric that has some stuff already onnit.  Like:

.....then all I'd have to do is add tassels and whatnot to make it *pop* just a bit.

If all goes well, I'll finish the eyelets and be able to try on the bodice tonight to make sure it is going to work the way it's supposed to work.  (I'm a bit terrified it's going to be too small.)
Ok, well if that isn't a big enough post!  ;)

Monday, November 15, 2010



I had a lovely time at T4T - I really like this event, nice and mellow!  I was one of the judges for the Arts and Sciences competition, and spent a good deal of the afternoon at the judges table.  (It always is a pleasanter experience when you get along with fellow judges, and it ended up taking a bit longer because we were having such a good time!)  I had the opportunity to judge the most SPECTACULAR mead I have ever had in my life.  HANDS DOWN.  It was so delicious, it was almost unfair to the other entrants.  (Almost)

Evening court was fabulous, with both Marguerite and Maysun receiving their Golden Maple Leafs.  FABULOUS!  I am so glad I actually, for once, had my camera on hand.  (See slideshow below)  I kept the flash off for most of the pics, so they're not the bestest in the world, but you get the idea......

Sunday morning Sis and I had a 'tea party' for Lil Miss.  She was seriously the cutest thing ever!  I really wish I had the presence of mind to pull out the camera - but I will try to remember next time!  She had a fabulous time pouring milk from her little teacup back into the creamer jug, and back again.  The best part was adding sugar cubes and stirring Mommy and Auntie Wells tea.  (There were times I wasn't sure I would get my cup back....)  I really want to get a full tea set for us to use - Miss would get such a kick out of it!!!

The remainder of the morning/afternoon was spent hard at work in the sewing room.  (With a couple hours worth of bread to go to my moms house for some yummy dinner with Sis and her fam)  We finished up embroidered underclothes for Sherece, and I'm 89% done with Sherece's stays.  Also, Astrid finished her FABULOUS stockings.  (I have some serious stocking lust, people.  Must.  Have.)  I'm completely motivated to get a pair of my own and finally use the garter buckes I purchased at Estrella a couple of years ago!

I'm 89% done with Sherece's stays.  (Woohoo)  I didn't get any time to work on the scroll for various and sundry reasons (ahem), but I have every intention of getting it done by Tuesday.  Cross your fingers for me, Imma gonna need it.
I finished up the weekend with emboidery on the PPoD (which is so close I can *TASTE* it), and watching the latest episodes of Dexter and Walking Dead.
On to the next week.........  >.< appears that my slideshow isn't properly embedding.  Holly,  here is a direct link to the album, since it's mostly for you to get copies of the pics anyway!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Angry Bird(s)


I've been working off an on for months trying to get a workable Angry Bird.  This morning, Hubby had mentioned that there are now real plushie Angry Birds.  (which there wasn't when I went on my initial search for Angry Birds merch)  *OH NOES!*  My awesome plan of giving him a one-and-only Angry Bird is dashed to pieces!  I was on Mock II when I heard the news, so I dashed off to finish it up, even though originally it was not meant to be given.  (I wanted to tweak the beak and the bottom seams - they're a bit wonkly)

Anyway, so Hubs got an Angry Bird today.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Product Review - SCA Edition


I <3 my new shoes!

I love my new shoes so much, I just have to tell you all!  I have abnormally wide feet, so at first they were really hurt-y, and I was afraid I'd have to get an even bigger size to accommodate the ball of my foot - but I decided to suck it up and experiment......I put on my thickest pair of socks and shoved my feet in with a shoe horn.  I soaked my feet in a bathtub, and then wore them until they were (nearly) dry.  I wore the shoes with my normal stockings all day at Collegium and they were super, super comfy.

If you're in the market for new shoes, I'd very much suggest popping by and checking out

(The stock shoes come in black)

The (almost) finished plum gown


I really need to learn how to pose properly.  I look awful in this picture, but at least you can see the dress!  I forgot my petticoat, so the skirts felt a bit limp, but it all turned out OK.  I think the kirtle skirt ended up too full overall, so that'll be something to note for next time.

(Ugh.  I really do look bad in this pic.  I felt so fantastic that day, and actually felt really pretty.  I'm kind of let down by the photographic evidence.)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

OMG TEH CUTE! It burns!!!


I wish I had seen it all in person!  (Pictures totally stolen from my moms blog)

Shawn went as a scary monkey dude Guerilla Gorilla- Bowen made a very awesome Popeye - and Michael.....he went as a HERD of dinosaurs.  (BWAHAHAHA!)

Ok.....have your insulin ready, because the cute is so sweet it's gonna put you into sugar shock......

Aislinn as Alice in Wonderland....complete with tea set and bunneh!  (OMG!)  It was raining and pretty cold when they went out to trickOtreat, so she had to bundle up a bit, but still cute as an effin' button!!!!

(This is part of the tea set I made for her birthday - I made the stripey tablecloth, the cookies, and the embroidered napkins.  Man, I still don't have a cute picture of her day!)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010



This has nothing to do with the remainder of this post - but I've been noticing lately that a number of Italian gowns have HA-UUUUGE patterns (Like - way bigger than I had ever imagined would be the case, since I had never really noticed or paid attention before.)

Exhibits A, B, C - They're all three Florentine, if that makes any difference.

Anyway, back to the regularly scheduled blogginess -
I'm closing in on the finish line (only hemming and shoulder treatments to go!), and I'm feelin' like TEH STIG.  (Yes, once again I've moved half my sewing room down to the living room.  *sigh*)

Ok, now, really, back to what I am supposed to be bloggity blogging about - Aiglets!  Because this project was super-duper last minute-y, I didn't think about aiglets until I had finished the sleeves and went "wait, wut?!" and realized I needed more, since Jaquelinne kindly bailed me out last time I needed 'em.  (My aiglet stash ran out about a year ago, and I've not replenished.  Bad seamstress, BAD!)

I went on a futile search for the filagree aiglets I normally used, and was at my wits end last night  - I bought a whole bunch of 'cone beads' all in a huff last night thinking to myself "Well, if all else fails, I can figure out *something* to do with these....." and was all angsty and bummed out I couldn't find my regular aiglets.  I went to a couple more stores after finding these and realized that this was it - this is what I was gonna have to 'make it work'.  (My hubby totally said that to me in the Tim Gunn voice when I was getting all stressed.  It was the best - I laughed and stopped stressing so much)
I felt they were a little to small, and too plain, but then I realized that they're just perfect.

So - this is what I did.......Last night I had measured off, knotted the ends, and attached the ribbons to the top of the sleeves, so I was ready to jump right in to the aiglets before sleep took me.
The knot is knotted in such a way that the ribbon kind of curls in on itself into a tapering point, rather than a bunch mess.  (Folded in quarters before setting the knot in the end)  I shoved the cone bead on the end, then used the tip of my pliers to really pack it down as much as I could.  (About 1/8" or so.  I could/should have taken the time to dab some glue down in there, but I didn't.  Do as I say, not as I do.)

Then, I took the same pliers and crimped the tops down around the knot.  On some of them, I had to go back and do a bit of damage control on the seams and squish the shape back into place, but more or less worked out great.  I tested each one by yanking on it to make sure the crimping covered the knot completely.  So far, so good.

Repeat 20x and you've got some pretty OK aiglets!

It's coming together!  (The sleeves really not as baggy as they look in that last pic - I was trying to hold them up and take a picture at the same time.  Not-so-Stig-like.)