Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It seems like I'm on a bit of a spandex kick

One of my friends recently asked me to make her a little party dress out of this cool, shiny black and silver spandex. I was kind of worried about how it was coming out while working on it because my machine was not doing well with the stickiness of the fabric, but I'm pretty happy with the way it looks when it's worn.

I didn't use a pattern for this. Instead, I traced a top and dress my friend owned for the bodice, and made some layers of circle skirts for the bottom. At first it was only going to have one black and one silver layer, but it came out a bit short so we added one more black layer.

These stripes on the sides gave me the most trouble. They stretched out a lot when I was sewing them to the black layer. This fabric irons well enough though (for something that looks like it would melt instantly) and I got them to lay a little better with strategic ironing. Pretty much everything is zig-zag stitched to preserve the stretch of the fabric, including these applique stripes.

The fabric is relatively heavy and has a lot of bounce to it. This makes the skirt move really well when dancing; I was pleasantly surprised how nice the different layers looked.

I feel like I'll never wear this skirt

I made this skirt a long time ago (a couple years I mean), and I still haven't worn it. I just want to rant about it for a minute.

Looks cool right? I thought so... but it's pretty much impossible to wear. The fabric shows absolutely everything - it's somewhat sheer somehow, and also follows every wrinkle underneath, so you can't wear shorts or tights or even underwear for that matter, without it showing through. I took these photos very strategically, and you can still pick out where my panty lines are and the facing at the top of the skirt.

Other than that, this skirt is pretty cute... No point if I can't actually go out in it though, bah.

I'm doing that thing again...

... the one where I make new clothes if I can't figure out what to wear.

I went to a new fabric store the other day, and got some super cool spandex, including this pink one. I'm planning to see Lisa Lashes (a DJ I quite like) this weekend, so I thought I'd make a little top to wear. I've made these before - they're comfortable and easy to make, and I can always use another crop top.

I made binding out of some wet-look spandex. It's a little difficult to control this binding since it's kind of sticky. I also sewed it on with a straight stitch at first, promptly ripped it in a couple places trying it on,  and re-sewed it with a zig-zag like I should have done (seen above). The inside of the top is just plain (below).

I make these tops without a pattern, just tracing a crop top for the length and width, then cutting the armholes/neckhole by eye.

Isa Cosplay

I started this costume a couple years ago, but didn't finish... until now!

Originally, a friend and I were going to dress up as Lea and Isa from Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep. Unfortunately, we kept putting it off so long that we don't hang out anymore, so I got myself together and did the Isa costume alone.

I wore this to PAX East a couple weeks ago. Not many people knew who I was, but I pretty much expected that. This was also my first time styling a wig like this, and I am pretty happy with how it came out.

The costume consists of purchased white jeans, black shoes I painted with white soles, a purchased black t-shirt, and (the thing I actually made) a sweatshirt. I searched thrift stores for a sweater and shirt that were both that light blue color to use as trim on a sweatshirt I made from scratch. It has welt pockets, which are just crazy to do in sweatshirt fleece. The wig has almost a full can of hairspray in it... there's still hairspray on a bunch of my stuff (like my computer mouse).

Sorry I don't have any good full-length or construction photos.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Super space dress three million

For the past couple weeks I've been strangely determined to find galaxy print fabric. There's a lot of galaxy print stuff floating around these days, and it's always caught my attention. I don't really care about trendy things for the most part, but eh... this is pretty cool.

Anyways, I spent a while looking for a woven cotton with galaxy print that pleased me and didn't cost a bajillion dollars. This apparently doesn't exist. Then one day I got home to a package waiting for me... did I order something and forget about it? It's happened before, but not this time. Turns out my friend Bria gifted me with some awesome galaxy print fabric! It's a knit not woven, but heavy enough that it acts more like a woven would (for example, I had to use princess seams because it wasn't stretchy/form fitting enough when cut flat like for a typical knit dress).

I was so excited to make a dress that I just kind of started cutting, so there's some things wrong with the final product that could have easily been avoided. The hem is a touch shorter than I wanted (I cut it expecting not to fold a hem under, but then I did), and the waist is a bit too high. When I cut the front pieces using a pattern I had around (I think it was from McCalls, but I don't remember which one), I had to reduce the width of the pieces by the seam allowance. Somehow this caused the side front pieces to be much shorter than the center front piece, and when I evened them out the waist became too high. Not much I could do though without re-cutting and this fabric was too precious for such things. Other than that, the bodice fits quite well.

For the back, I used this netting I recently picked up (also in navy and yellow... I had no plan for any of them at the time). Netting like this is one of the worst things to sew. It's literally holes. There's so little fabric for other things to attach to. I figured I'd bind all the edges, but it's super hard to tell how much to stretch the netting while binding for it to lay flat when on a person. The binding also didn't play well with the knit, so I ended up cutting it off the front and just rolling those hems.

Here you can see my poor attempt at binding. The back neckline sticks out a bit (some more ironing might fix this, maybe), and there is some ugly joining at the shoulders. It's not overly visible since my hair typically covers this part anyways. 

Because of the lack of structural integrity in the netting, I also bound the back waistline seam and added some elastic for extra support. I used french seams on the sides and shoulders for similar reasons.

In conclusion, yay space dress!