Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Great tutorial!

So, this tutorial is for metal tipped shoelaces, but how awesome would it be for aiglets?


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dickens - Down to the Wire

I did end up piping the waistband....and I really like the way it looks!
If I'm ever in the market to do this type of dress again, 
I'll certainly be doing piping everything!
Because the universe has conspired against me in the last two weeks, I'm not going to be able to finish nearly as much as I had originally planned, but we both should have new dresses!  Last night I finished up the buttons on the bodice (still need to do the wrists, though), and started attaching the skirt.  I dug out my petticoats, and decided that re-doing the waists and properly starching everything is a project for another day.  

I cut the sleeves much narrower than I would have liked,
because I was worried that I would not have enough fabric for the skirts.
What I ought to have done was to leave the sleeves for very last....as I 
had plenty of leftovers, I could have made the sleeves any way I wanted. 
Oh well.  Lesson learned!

My good friend Strid is letting me borrow her boufty wedding petticoat instead.  Not the best solution, but certainly the easiest.  I'll re-do the waistbands after Dickens so they'll be ready for the next time I need emergency petticoats!

I ended up piping the curved back seams, the waistband, collar, 
and the sleeves.  I think it gives it a  nice finished look.
(And also somewhat hides some of the less-than-perfect 
pattern matching...)
I'll also probably re-do the buttons at some point, they're too big and white - and too closely spaced for my taste.  I think they'll look a lot better as something darker that will blend in, rather than 'pop'.  But that's a project for another day....my goal is to be able to put the dang thing on!

I really want to get a lace collar and cuff done, but if it is not to be, I'll be OK.  I'm not particularly worried about someone snarking my garb, I would like to be as accurate as time allows, if nothing else, for my own satisfaction!

....And here is the whole bodice - before buttons and skirt attachments.


































Melia and I also raided my hat stash last night, and came up with a cute lace cap & bonnet combo.  As much  as I wish I had a bonnet as well, I have a pretty spiffy antique lace cap that I am going to wear instead.  Not the right time period, but considering the suggestions for headwear in the vendor packet, I don't think there is any room for complaints!

We also found my old black crochet sontag for Melia to use - I have the feeling that it is going to be pretty bitterly cold in there!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Dickens Gown 2012

I would say my Dickens gown, but since Melia and I have such similar measurements, we're going to be trading off gowns throughout the fair.  I'm making one new gown, and refurbishing my green gown so we both have something to wear.

I haven't quite decided which seams will be piped (at least sleeves and back curves and neckline - maybe waist and wrists as well?), so I just made a whole load of piping, so I would be ready for whatever I decided to do down the road......

I used 2" wide strips of bias, and using a zipper foot, sewed against a core of cotton cord (some cheap white off-brand cone of cotton crochet yarn I bought about eleventy-billion years ago, like Sugar & Cream, but cheaper!)



I ought to have taken pictures while I was doing it, but here is some awesome paint illustrations... :) The easiest way, I've found, to cut a moderate amount of bias is to open up the fabric:
and fold so the cut edge is matched up to the selvedge:
And at this point, you can cut the bias starting on the fold.  If the fabric is thin enough, you can fold one more time, and cut through 4 layers.  (Cutting bias is SO MUCH easier with a rotary cutter.  I'd highly suggest using one!)  The first cut on the fold should be 1/2 the width of the total width of the bias strip.  Every cut thereafter should be cut the full width.










Thursday, November 15, 2012

Alice in Wonderland Tea 2012

Finally, some pictures of the Tea!  I was awfully sick, and should not have gone (I hope no one caught my cold!!), but I am so glad I did!  It was so fun to have a large group of friends there, including Jannean all the way from CA, and Holly, even though she had so many other obligations that day!

Here are a couple of quick pics from my phone:

Quite a blurry pic, but honestly the best one of the bustle!   Melia makes quite a fine Queen of Hearts, does she not?!  Jannean and Holly make an accidentally matching pair - CUTE!  Jannean had the most AMAZING hat - she's lucky she made it home with it in her possession, I was planning a liberation.
There was a professional photographer, Pete Hanson (who is really awesome, btw) hired for the event and he got some really great pictures.  (See here for the full album)

Here are a few of my favorite pics:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The (Short) Tale of the Last Minute Pansy

This is by far the most theatrical thing I've made in a very, very long time, but heck it sure was fun!  I really wish I had occasion to make more pansy hats, as I have some ideas on how to improve the method.


Basically, what I did was this:  (And by "I", I mean, directed Melia and Holly on what to cut out, while I sewed button holes and sniffled through a head cold)


Cut 2 large petal shapes of one shade of purple
Cut 1 large petal shape of another shade of purple
Cut 2 small petal shapes of yet another shade of purple


The pieces look like this:

 The pieces, when assembled, should look somewhat like this:

I zig-zagged down the center, attaching all the pieces, like so:
I put some hot glue in the center and shaped the flower.  After that dried, I put a drop of hot glue in the center of the yellow circle, and squished it all together, and then glued that in the middle of the flower.

A couple of things I would do differently if I ever have the occasion to do felt pansies again: 
-Take the time to stitch the petal shaping, rather than using hot glue (hot glue works, but it's messy, and not quite as exact as I would like)
-Make the yellow center just a teeny touch bigger
-Potentially do more shading on the petals, either with embroidery, markers, or layers of different colored felt layered.

To make the hat, I glued each flower facing outwards on the outer edge of a fascinator blank, making kind of a 'top hat' shape out of the natural shape of the flowers.  I stuffed some green green netting in some empty spaces, and filled in the center of the fascinator with some more of the flowers.  As a last-second addition, I threw some green tulle as a veil at the back.  (Which totally makes the whole thing, IMHO!)



Friday, November 9, 2012

Melia's Red Queen Gown

This is a really quick post, as the construction is pretty much all old news at this point!  :)

I haven't been posting update pictures of Melia's gown - all we have left is the buttons, and potentially some neckline options!

Here's the basic gown:

And the gown, with the over skirt (which actually, still needs permanent bustling, come to think of it!)

 I need to speak to Melia about it, but here are a couple of neckline trimming options:  (I'm leaning towards the lace)


Monday, November 5, 2012

A Cunning Hat Indeed!

My brother received his hat this past weekend, and as payment, sent me a picture of himself wearing it.....


It kind of makes me giggle with excitement - I think this is the best version yet!  (Although the ear flapadoodles are way, way curly....I think (hopefully!) they'll relax over time with some tugging and whatnot!

I've made massive progress on the Alice in Wonderland Tea gown for Melia, but I need to get around to photographing what I've done!  Less than a week away, and as a super-bonus, Jannean is coming out to visit that weekend and attend the tea as well!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dickens Ponderings - Continued....with pics*

Dress
Met: Gown 1840-45




Out of all the gowns, this one most closely resembles a dress I already have.  What can I say?  I love the checks, and gathers at the waist, and the nice, boufty, comfy sleeves!  Nice and simple, not too stuffy!  I might have some appropriate fabric in my stash, but would certainly need to check and make sure!  The good thing is, that if I decide nothing in the stash would work, it shouldn't take too much out of the budget to procure suitable fabric.








Met: Gown 1840







Oh. My. Goodness.  I L-O-V-E this dress.  Everything about it.  The jewel-tone color!  The sheen of the satin!  The cross front!  The sleeves!  The only satin I have in my stash is cream-colored, and I would certainly want to do this dress out of a nice, heavy satin.  No other fabric would do it justice, right??  (That right there may strike it from the list of possibilities!




Dress
Met: Gown 1841-45







A simple fan-front may fit the bill - although I'd certainly need to jazz it up with accessories.  I have some fabric that I could probably use from the stash for a similar gown.  (I think I've seen fan fronts in a plaid/stripe before too....that honestly would be my first choice, I think!)





Dress
Met: Gown 1841-43







This one is also kind of fan-front-ish, but mostly put it on the list because I adore the lace collar, and the muted plaid!











And last, but certainly not least, a dress from further out of period than I probably ought to do, but, oh how I do want pagoda sleeves!  Delicious, swoopy, awesome pagoda sleeves......nom!







*Clicking on the caption will redirect you to the source image on the Metropolitan Museum of Art website

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Costume Ponderings RE: Dickens

I just found out the other day that my sis and I got into Dickens this year - and what am I to do?!  I don't have anything appropriate (that will fit)!  Without resorting to a crash diet, the options are:

1. See if I can alter either the Cranford or Tea & Skate dress to fit (Boo!)
2. Make a whole new dress (Hurrah!)

While I've *cough* outgrew the dresses, I think it would be a relatively simple thing to alter the underthings to fit properly.  I'm pretty sure that it's not as scary as it sounds to make a whole new dress.

The other hurdle (at least for me!) is that there are absolutely no guidelines on time period, at all.  And I very much care.  (The rules appear so far to be "no tennis shoes, no jeans, and skirts for women.....broad strokes much?)

In the handout for vendors, there is a page of 'hat ideas' - and each and every illustration is NOT from even a remotely Victorian time period.  (Seriously.  There is a 16th c ish man and woman, a couple of 18th c ladies, and a .....I don't know what the other one is supposed to be, but it looks early 'teens to me!)

As soon as the Wonderland costumes are taken care of, I think it's time to tackle the Great Dickens Beast!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Alice in Wonderland Tea - Melia's Dress

Sis and I started in on her Tea gown in earnest last night, and got amazingly far!  The plans (as they are wont to do) got bigger the more we looked at stash options (we're both still very much on a from the stash kick!), the more ideas came together to make a whole new outfit.....mostly because I happen to have this red silk, and an awesome patterned and textured red and black organza fabric that has been waiting patiently for the perfect project......

Can you guess who she is going to be??  :D
Doing a whole new outfit is less scary than it sounds, as we've already figured out the patterns that we're using, have already gone through all the fitting hullaballoo, and all the underthings are done and ready for wear.  Last night we got as far as cutting out nearly all of the bodice, and the entire skirt is sewn together (it just needs waistband and hem!)


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tale of the Cunning Hat - Continued

So...I nearly finished up my Mock I version of the Jayne Cobb hat.....and I decided to try the bulkier yarn I had already purchased, on the off chance it looked more Ma-Cobby-looking, despite my lack of correctly sized needles.  HURRAH!  I ended up liking the outcome much better - but the sizing could do to be somewhere in the middle!  I used 64 stitches around, where I could probably do to have 68.  Using this same weight of yarn and needle, I would probably say that 64=M 68=L 72=XL.

If you look at this specific image, you can see that the outer part of the ear-flapadoodles are knit, and the inside are purl (the underside of the flap by his right ear) - I think that's called stockinette?  Anyway, it took me a minute to figure out what stitch would  do the distinctive curl at the ends!  I did a few rows straight down, and then decreased at either end of the knit side, and then used the end to tie off two strands that I ran through the edges of the flappy parts.

This hat is due by 6:30 am tomorrow, so I'll probably let this one go as is, but continue the perfection of the Jayne Cobb Hat for a certain brother.....  :)

“How’s it sit? Pretty cunning, don’tchya think?”

Friday, October 26, 2012

Event PSA - Alice in Wonderland Tea!

There is a lovely be-costumed Tea scheduled for the 10th of next month!


I've been thinking off an on again about hosting my own Tea, since the last one was such a success, but this is even better! 

My good friend Jannean is visiting for the weekend, and will be in attendance as well as my sister and her Hubs!  If you'd like to go, buy/reserve tickets ASAP - the host is getting nervous that there are not as many attendees as hoped.  (It will be a fabulous party, no matter how many people are or are not there!!)

Please note, costumes of any sort are encouraged!  The photography alone is worth it - if you've never been to Thanksgiving Point, you certainly should go!  (And what better time to go, than with fellow costuming enthusiasts?!)



Tickets

Come out and enjoy the beautiful gardens of Thanksgiving Point through the doorway of Alice and Wonderland Steampunk style!

Partake in the delightful and delicious treats and sweets picked by The Hatter himself and dance around with the March Hare and the darling Door Mouse (should she wake up.)

The menu is:

- Assorted Petites Croissants
- Fresh Seasonal Sliced Fruit
- Garden Vegetable Crudites with Herbed Ranch Dip
- Petite Fours
- Assorted Tartlets (Chocolate Raspberry & Lemon Berry)
- Flavored Cheesecakes (Vanilla & Raspberry Swirl)
- Lemon Bars
- Dozen Cucumber & Cream Cheese Canapes
- Sparkling Cranberry Juice and Hot Tea


Take pictures with Alice or BE Alice, the White King or Queen. But whatever you do, however you are, just don't miss out on this scene!

- Costume contest for the best Steampunk'd Alice in Wonderland Character.

- Door prizes by the Door Mouse.

- Marvelous Music

Tickets are $20.00 per person, which includes food, drink, and photography in the gardens.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Tale of the Cunning Hat


Jayne: “How’s it sit? Pretty cunning, don’tchya think?”
Kaylee: “I think it’s the sweetest hat ever.”
Wash: “A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he’s not afraid of anything.”
Jayne: “Damn straight.”


This project was meant to be.  I quite literally purchased the yarn for this project from a gal named Kaylee. KAYLEE!!  It totally made my day!

If you haven't guessed yet, I am attempting to turn this.....

I'm feelin' mighty 'Ma Cobb' right about now!

Now, if there is a level below novice, that's where I am when it comes to knitting.  But.  I am determined!  I read as many knitting patterns* as I could manage, and tried to digest what they were telling me.  (I have the same disease in knitting that I do in crochet - try as I might, I cannot understand a pattern to save my life!)

Unfortunately, my local craft store choice was quite limited RE: circular needles and yarn weights.  I had read that a bulky yarn is preferred, but I could only find 'Super Bulky', and no corresponding sized needles.  I had also read elsewhere that a double strand may work just as well, but, with each skein at $4 a pop, and lack of appropriate needle sizes, I thought better of it, and went with a regular (...whatsit.....worsted??) weight.

I ended up getting (I kid you not!) Vanna White's brand of yarn; "Vanna's Choice" in Cranberry (180), Terracotta (134), Rust (135), and Mustard (158).  You'll notice I got two versions of an orange-y color....I couldn't decide in the store which I liked better, and I ended up using the Rust.  (I think.  I'll double-check that!)

I bought a size 8, and size 10 set of circular needles, because I wasn't quite sure which size would be better, and out of 3 stores I went to, I couldn't find a 9 (which apparently is the correct size to use with this yarn??)  except in hugely expensive knitting kits, but neglected to remember to check the length of the circular  needle.  I ended up doing an emergency needlectomy and shortened the plastic connector-y bit by a good 6" or so, using some pliers, scissors and glue.....and so far so good.  (Which leads me to wonder.....is there such a thing as circular knitting needles with elastic in the middle bit?  If not, it should be invented, stat.)

Holy 'Twisted German' Batman!
One particular set of instructions mentioned that the cast-on technique for the original was probably 'Twisted German' or 'Estonia'.  Huh.  I had no idea that there even was more than one cast on technique!  Second hurdle: Learn new cast on technique.  Enter Youtube!  I watched a few 'how to' videos on Twisted German Cast On, but the one that finally made the 'CLICK!' sound in my brain was this one, from iknitwithcatfur.

I messed around with using the cast on technique, and trying to get it to be a somewhat relatively even tension, and ended up with a pretty acceptable approximation, I believe!

There is certainly room for a whole load of improvement.  However, the Jayne Hat is a bit on the.......rustic side, so I'm not at all worried about making my version look too terribly polished!  (Thank goodness!)

Ribbing accomplished......eventually!
The next hurdle was to remember how to to rib knit.  For some reason, even though I actually was doing it right, it kept looking wrong to me - so I ended up ripping out the first 3 rows + the cast on over and over and over and over.....wasting precious time practicing my new-found and remembered from dusty recesses knitting skillz.
The lesson learned here is to forge ahead and do it even if it looks wrong.  Wait, that is a terrible lesson!  Hah!

I probably could have done the ribbing a couple of rows shorter, (I ended up doing 6 rows in this version) but I think it'll be OK, especially once stretched out over a real noggin'.  :)  Next time I'll probably do 4 and call it good.

Ribbing + knit.
I think I eventually got at least close to a perfect size (if a little bit on the big side) with 100 stitches around.  If I had to take a wild stab, I'd say that 100=XL/XXL, 96=L 92=M 88=S 84=XS.  Ish.

And now on to what I'm comfortable with....straight up knitting for rows and rows and rows and rows.....

I'm a teeny bit nervous about the red ear-flapadoodles (decreases, ZOMG!), but I have a while to go before I tackle that particular beastie!


Oh, and also, remember how I've confessed that I am a terrible gadget junkie?  Well.....do I know how to make pom poms without a special gadget?  Of course.  Have I been making pom poms without a gadget as long as I've been needing to make my own pom poms.  Of course.  But then.  As I was perusing the paltry selection of knitting needles, what did I spy?!  Yes.  Yet another gadget.  It still remains to be seen as to how well it functions, but I now have another doo-dad to add to my ridiculous collection!  I'll post about how well it works when I get to that point!

*A list of of the most helpful patterns and instructions I found on the Jayne Hat:
Keiyla's Blog (This one has particularly helpful; it has a lot of screen caps that I used for visual reference, and some pretty danged detailed observations - most of which are far too detailed for my purposes, but extremely interesting, nonetheless!)
Katydid Knits  (PDF)
The Canny Crafter
Dryope
Craftster
Ravelry/Erika Barcott
Geek Crafts
Redshirt Knitting
Knitting Ninja


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

D'aaaaw!

Sanna, over at Rococo Atelier has kindly nominated me for 'The Versatile Blogger' award.  Thank you, it is just the boost I needed as I re-gather some much-needed energy in my sewing (and blogging)!!!


The rules are:

1) Thank and link back to the person who nominated you
2) Paste the award to your blog (I'll work on that....my Blogger layout has been kind of funky for a while!)
3) Tell 7 things about yourself
4) Nominate up to* 15 other blogs



7 Things About Me

  • Halloween has always been by very favorite holiday.  (Tis the season, and all)  Oddly enough, the more I got into costuming as a hobby, the less and less I've done things very Halloween-y.
  • I've been a member of the SCA for going on 13 (or 14?) years.  My early years were more focused on the martial combat aspect of the game, but as I grew older (and suffered multiple car accidents), my focus (quite happliy) has shifted to clothing, embroidery, cooking, illumination and music.  The SCA has been the bulk of my costuming experience, although I'm trying to branch out!  I've been out of the loop in my local SCA group for far too long, and I thoroughly intend to get my act together soon and start playing again.  (I miss my friends!!)
  • I am super-lucky that my wonderful husband completely supports me and my costuming habit - even if he doesn't quite.....get it.  (Love you, honey!)  In the last few years, I've been attempting to stretch my costume making and events to include other eras.  I'm hoping to make next year a better year than the last few for costumed events!
  • I am an addict for sewing gadgets and specialty gizmos.  I can never, ever have enough!  My two favorite things right now (because I used them both so much on my last project!) are my applique scissors, and my rotary cutting machine (I just wish they had a bigger selection of cutting blades!).
  • I hate sleeves.  With a blinding and bloody passion.  I dread, and sometimes choose my next project solely dependent upon the sleeves.  (I am going to follow this tutorial faithfully next time I have to do set in sleeves, and see if I can manage a set of sleeves with minimal angst!)
  • I've been able to survive costuming almost solely from my stash for the past 3+ years!  (Granted, one year of that has been all quiet on the costume front, but still.....)  I'm not sure if that is a good thing, or a bad thing!  (Actually, one of my upcoming posts is probably going to be along the stash-busting lines...)
  • My very favorite colors are lavender, sage-y green, and an awful shade of green, that my good friend Holly calls "Greemp" (Funnily enough, when going to look for a color swatch, the one that most closely resembles my fav color is called, of all things, "Offbeat Green"!)

Nominate Other Blogs**

In no particular order:
  • To Bead or Not To Bead  Phae is a ridiculously enthusiastic and awesome costumer who does Queen Elizabeth for local Ren Faires.  She is so generous and lovely!
  • The Compleatly Dressed Anachronist  I have been lurking and following Edyth for quite some time - and I love her!  (She has prompted multiple linen and wool splurges that I have yet to delve into!)  Is is creepy to say I've been thinking of a trip to an event in the Middle on the off chance of meeting her IRL?  Yeah, probably creepy. 
  • Bella Miss Ella  I've been a fan since the good 'ole Livejournal days!  (And I have to admit, I've been awful about keeping up with my good friends over at Livejournal.  Boo!)  She has such a fun outlook, and is such a creative costumer.  I can't say enough about how much I wish to meet her some day!  
  • Madame Isis' Toilette  I have been following Isis' 18th c. blog, Isis' Wardrobe, but somehow missed the fact that she started a toiletries-centric blog!  A woman after my own heart!  
  • Is that an Apres?  Hastings puts the phrase "over the top" to shame!  She's constantly doing crazy, huge, detailed projects that would put me in an early grave!  This gal knows how to dream, and dream big!
  • See Jane Sew  It seems like yesterday that I (very uncharacteristically, by the by) spotted and immediately accosted Jane at Uprising!  I wish I saw her more often nowadays, and it does seem that I saw her more when she lived out of state!  I miss you, Jane!
  • Mode Historique  It's no secret - I want to grow up to be her!  The few times I have met her in person, she's been as kind and gracious as I would imagine she would be.  She's ridiculously talented, and has a head for research - and certainly knows her stuff.  My husband probably thinks I'm nuts....The first time Sarah commented on my humble blog, I went flying downstairs and shouted "MY COSTUMING HERO COMMENTED ON MY BLOG! OMG!!1!"  A while after that, at my first attendance at Costume College, she stopped me in the hall, and introduced herself.  And guess what - after she continued on her way, frantic phone call to my husband followed....and you guessed it......."MY COSTUMING HERO JUST RECOGNIZED ME IN THE HALLWAY AND INTRODUCED HERSELF!  OMG!!1!"  So yeah.  It's true, I'm a fangirl.
  • The Path Within  Jaquelinne can do anything.  She's like Superman, only prettier!  Seriously, folks.  Her extensive repertoire of crafty craftyness is mind-boggling!  I adore this woman!  She has such a steady calm and grace about her, that one can't help but feel at peace whenever she is around!
  • Festive Attyre  I've been avidly following Jen since the Festive Attyre website.  She's been such a huge costuming inspiration over the years!  I love her incredible range of work - holy cow, this woman does everything! 
  • The Anéa Journal  If you looked for Italian stuff on the internet, you've no doubt stumbled across her blog.  She has got an amazing array of pictures and resources, too!  I am so in love with the gowns that she makes - enough to make one drool!  Italians represent!
    Desperate Needle  Have you seen her Mina gown??  If not, go.  Look now.  I'll wait......You're back?  Gorgeous, no?!
  • Before the Automobile  I cannot believe how insanely perfect this woman looks.  I love her look - she's so poised and put together from head to toe!  Were I a jealous person, I would most certainly put her at the top of my 'so very jealous of' list!
  • The Couture Courtesan  Another fine lady I've been covertly stalking since LiveJournal.  I am always amazed at the wide array of skill she possesses!  I'm pretty sure by now, she's done one of everything!  She always looks so classic and stylish - no matter what century she's wearing.
  • Costuming Drama  That fateful day at Costume College when she declared "We have the same name, we have to be friends!".....And dare I say, although I've been an awful, absentee friend the past year, I love this girl!  She is So Awesome.  The 'Other Noelle' has so much energy and talent - I wish I could live like her!
  • Démodé  What I wouldn't give to spend a weekend sewing with Kendra!  I just want to lick her brain and gain some knowledge!  As a side-note, unbeknownst to me, I met her briefly at Costume-Con 23 (I think it was 23?), when I swerved, stomped on my brakes and headed towards all the pretty, be-costumed people walking down the street.  I then called my friends,forced them to dress up in the gowns I had made for them, and show up to this 'Thing' that was going on.  (At the time of the frantic phone calls, I still had no idea what was going on!)  I'd been avidly devouring anything costume-related I could find on the internet - I would have died if I known the person I was talking to was The Kendra. 

*my own addition.  :)
**I know not everyone participates in 'blog awards', but I thought it would be nice to be able to give a shout-out to people I think are pretty dang rad, whether they've already received, or do not participate in blog awards!   

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ironing and Ironing Accessories pt. II

Boards and Hams and Pressing Aids, Oh My!

Pressing hams are the best!  They come in two basic types (although there are all manner of shapes to be had) - a ham loaf-y looking thing with one end bigger than the other (hence the name, I suppose!); and a thinner log shape.  If you were saying to yourself "But Noelle, how do I press open curved seams?" in the last post, well, this is your answer.  There is almost no curve in the ham loaf-y thing that will not fit a curved seam with a little fiddling.  But next, one might say "But Noelle!  What about narrow items that I can't press open seams without squishing the rest of my thing?!" (narrow things like sleeves)....for that you have a ham.......log?  (Just googled it.  I guess it's called a seam roll?  I like 'Ham Log' better, personally.)



For longer seams that I can't just throw over my ironing board (things like pants legs), I use a mini ironing pad....thing.  There are specialty ironing boards for such things, but I find my simple little pad does a great job.



And then, there are the ever-vexing corners and points - how in the world does one press those seams?  Well, enter a point presser!  I happened to find mine jumbled in with wooden decor items at my local thrift store (they obvs. didn't know what it was!), and purchased it for a whopping $0.50.  It does look like it is hand made, rather than purchased, and I'm pretty sure it's not a hardwood, but for fifty cents, who am I to argue?


The other side of the point presser is called a 'clapper', and aids in setting seams - just steam a seam open, and use the base to hold (really, really press down!) open the seam until cooled, setting in the seam or crease.  (This is super helpful for bulky seams that just don't want to stay open.)



Now, on to the ever-familiar ironing board!  The most important thing here is to keep the cover clean.  Ironing board covers are really easy to make, too!  There are a ton of tutorials out there - just make sure you pre-wash, the fabric is color-fast, and can hold up to a lot of abuse.


One of my favorite things in my sewing room is my pressing board....a vast expanse of ironable surface!  (Here's how I made it)  You can use the same principle to make any size or shape of portable ironing board....pretty sweet!

On a side-note, a few layers of towels can be used in a pinch as a portable ironing board...just be sure that you're not scorching whatever surface it is resting on!




Another nifty little gadget is this finger protector thing I picked up at some point from a quilting shop.  It comes in really handy when doing fiddly little ironing bits.  (It kind of looks like a knitted finger balaclava...)




And speaking of fiddly little ironing bits, a couple of things that are handy to have (although by no means are necessary) are mini irons.  My favorite is a clover brand crafting iron - the little iron-shaped head is super helpful for pressing corners, and the ball and wand shapes are fantasic for partlets and other shaped things.

The little electric mini iron (of course it's lavender!) is great for getting into tiny spaces that a regular iron couldn't dream of...







Saturday, October 20, 2012

Blogger Help? Non-sewy post...

I'm having some trouble making my gadgets show up - they'll show up when viewing individual posts, but are all mooshed towards the bottom when viewing the main page(s).

Does anyone have a suggestion of what I can do to fix this?

Melia Wonderland Costume

Melia is re-purposing her ball gown for the tea as well - we'll have and update for you for soon!

Upcoming Costumes...

I don't have the time (or funds...hah) to put together a whole brand new outfit for the upcoming Wonderland Tea - so I've decided to cannibalize my 'Midnight' gown to put together a little something....see if you can guess!! (ok, not that hard to guess, but still....)



22" Clip-in Straight Hair Extension (Neon Pink)22" Clip-in Straight Long Hair Extension (Purple)