Friday, 18 January 2013

Hangin' with my Gnomies...

Here is another man tie creation which shall henceforth be known as the Gnomie Tie set. And it is awesome. Sheer awesome:

Gerald's excited face.
So on our anniversary, Trev and I found a fabric store and found this Michael Miller fabric in it. Immediately we purchased it with the intent that a tie be made for our friend Gerald. See, Gerald and Trevor used to steal each other's gnomes and hold them ransom (and sometimes smash them into bits and send some bits with the ransom letter). Eventually, it evolved into a game wherein Trevor hides the gnome in as many places as he can so Gerald cannot find it for some time (strapped to the roof of his house was a good one). So this tie and cravat were born out of this tradition!

AND I actually took a few "during" photos!!!

Now, I am working on creating my own tie pattern to use for future ties, and this was a tester. Because The fabric I used for the tie was a cotton something-or-other, and not silk, like fancy ties should be, I had to do a fair bit of extra inside work for this tie.

I picked up some sort of thick stretchy wool to go into the middle of the tie. I know that some higher end ties are lined with wool, so I went into The Wool House in Toronto and the man in there helped me out, he was very nice. I don't think that I actually wanted something stretchy like this for the inside, but it was cheap, so I'm not complaining. The man who worked there seemed very confused about why I would want to make all this extra work for myself  by putting an inner bit in. But regardless, when I made Trevor's tie, it was thin and cheap feeling, and Gerald's tie benefited from the extra stability. It felt worthy of being a gift. I didn't really sew this to the fabric so much as I sort of tacked it into place and sewed it where my seam was. It worked well enough for me.

Underneath this wooly bit of lining, I put some fusible interfacing down the centre of the tie. This also helps with the stability. I suppose with the wool lining there, I might be able to omit this part, but since it was a gift, I didn't want to risk it turning out like a piece of crap. I like making ties; they are pretty quick to make, but all the hand-stitching was only going to happen once. So maybe I'll try omitting it next time.

 So, I decided to get fancy and I picked up some polyester shiny yellow stretchy fabric for the back part of the tie. I used it for the back of the cravat as well. I liked using it for the part where the tie gets held in place. Puuuurty.
My technique is far from perfect, but it turned out much better than I had anticipated. Plus, it was a present for no reason! Those are the best kinds of presents, in my humble opinion!

Anywho, in other sewing news, I am giving in. I am going to try to use this tutorial to make a sloper bodice. I have had enough with fiddling around with the Simplicity 2444 bodice, trying to alter the huge neckline gaping, the hugemongous circumference, the extra shoulder material, and the bust darts. Why not start from scratch and make it something really special. So I'll try to keep everyone updated as I go. This should be interesting at least!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Hello 2013!

Well HELLO 2013! How you doin' you sassy minx?

Can we just get this out of the way and start by saying that it's a good thing we made it through this:

It's a new year, and although that means for most people it is resolution time, I've never been one to make a resolution (except that one time in grade school when I resolved to eat less chocolate, which lasted all of like a week). I don't see a point in thinking up some new form of torture that is going to magically "help me lose weight" or "keep on top of my school work" or something. In reality, it will likely only make me hate my life and I will quickly go back to doing whatever I was doing before, right?
However, having said that, after a three week long vacation wherein I ate many a things I wouldn't normally eat (Did someone say DAIRY FREE BROWNIES?! I'll take four thanks....) and drank many a things I don't normally drink (Gluhwein anyone?), it is hard not to think about change.

I won't call these resolutions, per se, but rather goals for the next little while. They have been on my mind for some time, but there never really seemed a good time to start.

For personal goals, there are two small but important ones:

1. Try to wake up at 6am everyday and have an early walk with Trevor and the dog.
This one will be tough for a few reasons: because I hate waking up before 7am when it is still pitch black outside, the dog (okay, me too), is less than enthused to go for a walk when the weather outside is cold or rainy, and because sometimes I work late and so an early bedtime just is not possible. Having said that, getting up and going for an early walk is lovely as heck because there is no one out, so it is super quiet, and the sunrise is pretty damn awesome on a winter's morn. Also, nothing beats getting a bunch of stuff done and then realizing that it is only 9am and you still have the rest of the day to do more stuff! Sometimes, fun stuff you hadn't planned on having time for!
2. Eat more greens.
I actually want to eat a salad every day. Not like a meal salad, just like a healthy handful of leaves with a bit of oil for dressing on top. Because I eat breakfast as soon as I wake up (early), and I usually work at schools with an early lunch, by the time I get home, I am starving before I even start tackling dinner. So if there are always so yummy looking greens in the fridge, then I will try to eat those and then tackle dinner. That way I don't start snacking, but I am still hungry enough for dinner. This is a big deal for me because honestly, I did not start eating salads until about five years ago. For reals. But I do like a few greens now and I know how important they are for health, so I am looking forward to feeling better.

I also have a few sewing/blog related goals:

1. Take time to think about what sort of style I want to have, works for me, is practical.
This one is a difficult one because it is so overwhelming when you think about it! There are so many different fabrics and patterns and notions out there that it is hard not to want to make everything that pops into your head. There are things that I like, and then there are things that would look good on me. There are things that look good on me, and then there are things that look good on me that don't require I constantly adjust where my skirt sits on my waist, how my neckline is sitting, etc. And on top of those things, there are things I would love to wear out and about, and things I would wear to work, and things I would wear to both. So I need to give this one some thought.

2. Take my time with things.
I think almost every one of the sewing blogs I read in the past few days listed this as a goal. But for reals, as nice as it is to say, "I need a dress for event x", sometimes it is nicer to have no deadline and end up with an incredible result. I think this goal also includes learning how to properly fit a muslin, and learning new techniques as I go. I want my garments to be beautiful inside and out. I want all those details that make it "wow". I don't want any more mishaps like this:
3. I want to make some blogging friends!
I am trying to be social by commenting on my favourite blogs, and so far it is pretty awesome when people respond and are nice (Thanks Sunni, Tilly, Lauren, and Oona!!), but really, I need to start some conversations, maybe join a sew a long or two? I just need to be social!

Now, I could save this last bit for another post (this is getting awfully long now), but I can't. It'll be quick though, promise. I'll just save some vacation photos for another time.
While in Oxford for part of our vacation, there was a farmer's and antique market, in which I snagged some cute buttons:
I have a project in mind already.

Can't wait to see what this will become!

My favourite ones! How cute are they?!

All together now!
And also, at the Alice in Wonderland Shop, my new fav:
I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!
Isn't he cute?! Trevor thinks it's funny because I'm always late. It was a toss up between him and the dodo bird. Maybe next time.... Regardless, I have the itch now to design some sort of an Alice inspired dress.

Anywho, that's it for me, more posts coming soon. I have things to show you and to talk about and to plan for! I'm pretty pumped up!

Have a wonderful evening love!

{I'm late!}