Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Slowly But Surely... (more in-progress Space Coyote Dress)

Guatemelan Insanity Peppers- fresh paint
So this is taking a bit of time since the painting has to be done in stages (in particular the glow-in-the-dark fabric paint takes four hours to no longer be tacky, and my evenings retain far less free time than that). I anticipate completion this week, however. The peppers still need outlining, the dress still needs buttons, and the complementary necklace needs to be made...
Dried Glow-in-the-dark paint
I haven't had much luck before, even with cranking the exposure up on the camera and following various other tips, but I'm going to try none-the-less to get a 'glow-in-the-dark' photo of the dress. So...


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Space Coyote (Painting Process Photos)

Since I completed my To Do List for February (all the items within my capabilities, anyway), I'm treating myself to a whim project that struck me on Friday last.

Denim Dress with Space Coyote (Simpson's episode 'El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer') and Insanity Pepper theme.

Already finished the dress but for the buttons, using Simplicity 2246 'lisette' pattern. I had just the right amount of scrap denim lying around. WOO! Thus, I'm still behaving and not purchasing more fabric or supplies...
I've got the Space Coyote (voiced by Johnny Cash in the episode) completed. Am still working on the insanity peppers. I'm thinking glow-in-the-dark paint needs to be involved...

Use of various media, including painter's pens and fabric paint.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Braided Belt (w/ tutorial)

Tried making a macrame belt, but the jute I found just wasn't jiving. It wasn't soft or flexible enough for the knots specified by the pattern I was following. From a vintage 70s Macrame book my mother acquired on my behalf from a library sale. Guess they just don't make jute like they used to...

Anyway, brilliant idea, use fabric instead. And while we're at it, wouldn't it be easier to make thicker bands and braid instead of macrame? And why, look! I've got some leftover faux buckskin...

And a chance to try out my new finger-saving device, the simple bias-tape maker (not to be confused with the mondo-expensive electric ones). Initially started by using as an aid to press the strips into bands, which usually results in some near-burns of my poor fingertips. Then I realized, bam! It works better than a fancy hem-foot, no pressing required! LOVE IT!

Ahem... Anyway, onto a TUTORIAL, if anyone is interested in making their own spiffy braided belt.

  • Fabric (I used faux buckskin. A faux leather, heavy suedecloth or anything with little to no stretch would probably work best) Depending on the width of the fabric, you won't need much
  • Cutting Implement (rotary cutter and kit, scissors, or etc.)
  • Thread to match fabric
  • One set (two) D-rings (or the like)
  1. Cut 4 Strips, 1.5" in width. I had to piece mine in order to obtain a desirable belt length.
  2. Fold strips in half lengthwise. Press. This is the center line. Take raw edges and fold in to meet this center line. Press again. You have what looks like single fold bias tape. Turn this into something that looks like double fold by refolding along center crease and pressing. Stitch closed the open edge. OR Use handy dandy bias-tape maker and stitch fabric strips into straps/bands/whatchyamacallits
  3.  Align ends along strip of fabric, stitch ends in place (I basted and then zig-zag stitched).
  4. Braid.Key is to be consistent and try to keep smooth and even for entire length of belt.

  5. Finish ends by sewing them to a strip of fabric. Thread belt through both d-rings. Turn end of belt to 'underside' of belt and stitch, capturing d-rings in place.
  6.  To finish the other end, turn end towards underside, stitch end-piece fabric (that band ends are sewn to) in place, same as with d-ring end of belt. I added a decorative tip, which was really a fancy pendant
  7. Wear either by using d-rings or just tying. Mine ended up rather long so I can tie it, and let the ends hang decoratively. Enjoy!
Also goes well with hippie Tie-Dye dress

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Steampunk Gypsy/Peasant Dress (Finished)

 I know, not much different than the In-Progress version... When we last checked in, I was debating whether I wished to finish it with pockets, patches or both. I was erring toward 'both' until I realized the stretchy nature of the jersey would prevent successful alignment of stripes for the pockets. And that would just be entirely unacceptable. Plus, this dress works great as a layer, and the pockets may spoil the lines of whatever would be worn with the dress, or be blocked off/inaccessible at any rate.

So I opted for patches in nifty gear and clock face fabric. A little fusible web to stick them in place and some brown embroidery floss for visual effect...

Monday, February 20, 2012


UP FOR SALE! by Benevolent Bart's Barely-Used Bazaar


Hooded Waistcoat

 Whether flying through the Aether, or tracking Wendigo through the Northern Woods, intrepid explorers must not suffer the distractions of arctic temperature climes...

This waistcoat smartly follows current trends, mimicking its menswear equivalent with double-breasted front and stylish cut, lending any lady explorer that professional look.


Perfect for Yeti hunting!

 I never really played dress-up as a child, but apparently I'm trying my darnedest to make up for it now... I think my favourite part of making pieces to put in my etsy shop is when I can dress up to take photos of them in action. 

This outfit is composed entirely of my own creations: long john top and bottoms, chemise, corset, dress, waiscoat, spats, fingerless gloves, goggles, altered steampunk gun. Okay, I didn't make the shoes. They were acquired about four years ago for $2 at the thrift shop in brand new condition (best thrift purchase ever!)

Feeling entirely useless today, since a sinus infection is threatening to implode my head. So much for 'Yay! A three-day weekend!' I hate being sick on a day off! However, I completed my Arctic Expedition series, so this month has so far been quite productive. Maybe the rest will be, too?

Sunday, February 19, 2012


UP FOR SALE! by Benevolent Bart's Barely-Used Bazaar

Yeti Pelt Vest

Made from the hide of that most elusive of arctic creatures, this vest adds that much needed extra layer of warmth.

A rare opportunity! 

Lined with plaid flannel for extra insulatory layer.

Those who know the difference, know the softest fur does not come from baby seals, but abominable snowmen!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


UP FOR SALE! by Benevolent Bart's Barely-Used Bazaar

Wendigo Pelt Vest

Made from the hide of that rare, much feared creature of the deep Northern Woods, this vest adds that much needed extra layer of warmth.
A rare opportunity!

*Possible side-effects of prolonged use may include insanity, bloodlust and cannibalism

 This is my first attempt at the faux fur pelt vests.  Definitely the look I was going for... More primitive than a structured vest. The sides are left open, belted at the waist to hold it together. I would've done it out of one piece to truly resemble a basic pelt vest, but I wanted the grain.nap of the fur to be proper both front and back, so it's made from three separate pieces; back, two front. Joined at a shoulder seam, lined with brushed cotton plaid for extra warmth ;-) (aka so I could just sew the fur to the lining and turn it to finish). With longer pile faux fur, some of the effect is lost when the strands along the edges get caught in the seam. This is easily enough remedied by combing at the edges with fingertips to free up the fur.

The front panels turned out too narrow for someone my size, but apparently is perfect for a smaller individual (such as my display form demonstrates). I'm going to alter the 'pattern' slightly to make the yeti pelt vest a medium/large...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

40s Outfit (to go with retro CBC bag)

The skirt and blouse were made using Simplicity 3688 in wool blend houndstooth suiting and dark magenta silkessence (poly faux silk). I should've made a slightly larger size in the blouse, or actually bother to alter it to fit. It's a little tight in the bust and shoulder/back. However, an overall larger size will be too loose in the midriff.

The vest was based on this pattern sketch I found after scouring the internet for 40s style vests. Again, probably should've done a mock-up first instead of just winging it, because it turned out rather tight in the bust. Even with strategic button placement, it requires a pin to prevent gapping between top and second button at bust. Well, live and learn. And maybe not be so lazy... (a tendency I have when making clothing for myself)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

What I've been working on...

This (when I actually get something done instead of zone out, exhausted when I get home from work and piddle away my nights)...

Better pictures will be taken when it's completed. I was just excited that I actually got some sewing done tonight!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


  • ARCTIC EXPEDITION (Winter Steampunk Style Series)
    • Spats (already done! Woo!)
    • Wendigo and Yeti Pelt Vests 
    • belt
    • Hooded Waistcoat
    • design (done last month)
    • phase I
  • RETRO OUTFIT to match my recently acquired retro-style CBC messenger bag (which I shouldn't have ordered, but totally caved and did... but I only have one messenger bag and it's falling apart. And besides that, I only have my ancient/awesome LL Bean back pack, bunny bag and inherited vintage purses that are reserved for 'good' wear)
  • Custom order MRS. FITZSIMMON'S OUTFIT (depending on customer, it may be done this month)
    • Vest
    • Sleeveless Shirtwaist
    • Bustle Skirt