I'm Laura. I am a gamer, a bookworm, a knitter, a spinner, a tatter, a seamstress, pierced, tattooed, musical, vehemently geeky and occasionally ineptly artistic. She/her.


How to contact me:

     laura @ cybermenology.com
     Cybermenology Handmade

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Our 100th Sale Giveaway Contest!

Posted at 04 Dec 2020 01:33:19 PM


Y'all, 100 sales. 100!!!

This is so far beyond what I envisioned back in March when I restarted Cybermenology, and I could NEVER have done it without all of you <3. So let’s do something fun!!

Here are the rules:
Follow me on Instagram @cybermenology, and leave a comment here or on Facebook telling me what your favourite fandom is - on Sunday night (08:00 CST) I’ll tally up and randomize to pick a winner. Tag a friend to get an extra entry! (Limit one extra entry per person.)

Winner can pick any $25 clutch in my shop OR pick a fabric and I’ll make you a one of a kind!

You've been amazing to me this year, and I'd like to return the kindness. Thank you so much, everyone!!

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Everything geeky - except when it's not.

Posted at 21 Sep 2020 08:17:19 PM

I love when this happens. A casual conversation starts out with:

"I really love this style of bag that you make! I, ah.. just have to figure out what material I want…You'll have to show me some samples."

Game ON!

Believe it or not, my fabric stash is not exclusively nerdy. Some of it, you might even say, is downright elegant. And along with this customer, we went (virtually) sorting through my stash and I even made a trip to our local Tandy Leather store for the perfect combination. I'm in love with the finished product: buttery soft natural leather, a tone on tone mandala-style print, and gold hardware accents to round it out.

As with almost any custom project, I learned a LOT. For instance, I learned that my rivet press is not in love with leather (that's putting it mildly). I learned that if you are going to make a habit of hand-sewing leather, you should oil your needle. And lastly, when my Juki's even feed foot experienced a very minor explosion during the last stage of sewing this project … I learned to improvise.

Thank you, J.! It's been a lot of fun sewing for you <3

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Procure at Home - Spotlight

Posted at 09 Aug 2020 11:48:37 AM

Hello all! Swing by The Women's Creative Instagram IGTV page (@thewomenscreative) on Sunday 9th August at 3p CST to see me being awkward on live internet!

I will be showing off some of the Cybermenology Handmade handbags I’ve made, talking about what I do and why, and maaaaaaybe sneak peaking some cool new fabrics and lace?

Many thanks to The St Louis Women's Creative for this awesome opportunity!

Follow this direct link to get to my Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/cybermenology

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The Boronia Bowler, Two Different Ways

Posted at 26 Jun 2020 08:03:31 PM

The Boronia Bowler Bag by Blue Calla Patterns is quickly becoming one of my go-to bags to sew. It looks great, and is roomy enough to fit your keys, phone, wallet, book, current knitting project, Nintendo Switch, and the half-eaten granola bar your almost-seven-year-old inexplicably handed you yesterday. ...Hypothetically, that is.

It zips all the way open -- and with gussets on both sides, I do mean all the way. No more losing your keys in the bottom of your purse!

But rather than just extolling the virtues of what's quickly becoming my favourite handbag, today I'd like to look at the differences that fabric choices can make in a bag.
Take, for example, my original:
A moderate sized purse with red and purple flowered fabric and black vinyl.

This version features a striking purple and red floral pattern in front of a black geometric background. Complimenting the background are black vinyl accents running from base to strap, finished with bright silver accents. It looks modern, professional and eye-catching.

And here's that same bag, but this time in a stunning gothic & floral-themed print with gold vinyl accents and straps:

Gone are the base-to-zipper strap connectors: this time I chose to cover up as little of the pattern as possible and instead used rivets to attach the minimalist straps.
Keeping things consistent, I finished it with antique gold hardware and custom zipper pulls that continue the floral theme.

So... much... room!!

Y'all: I love this bag. And I hope its new owner loves it even more!

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New items in the Etsy shop!

Posted at 20 Jun 2020 05:53:42 PM

Yesterday I uploaded the last couple of weeks of makes to my Etsy shop! These mini backpacks are a lot of fun to sew - expect more in the future :)

And this one ... gosh, I love this bag. It was my first time sewing the Boronia Bowler pattern, and I did not do an adequate job at all on the inner boxed corner. In this pattern, that's not just for looks, it's for structural stability - so "unfortunately" this one is not for sale. I'll just have to keep it! ;-) But I am looking forward to perfecting this and making more of them!

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A couple more

Posted at 20 May 2020 08:38:19 PM

Two posts in a month. Seems almost unbelievable, eh?

Thought I'd follow up with a couple more totes that I've made as gifts lately. The Seuss is a gift for kiddo's kindergarten teacher, who has really given her all to stay in touch with the kids in this weird Coronavirus world. I appreciate her so much!

The Minecraft tote was REALLY fun to sew. It's a graduation gift for a special young lady, and I hope she loves it. It's big enough that it broke my photo "lightbox" - sorry about that.

In Progress...

I love these zipper pulls!

Posted in: sewing


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Custom Crafting

Posted at 14 May 2020 11:31:50 PM

Hello, loves.

Of late, some of the custom clothes and handbags that I've made have been making the rounds of the internet. If that's what's sent you here, welcome!

I love to craft, and I love to share it. As I said .. about a year ago now .. most of my sharing is now on websites dedicated to that purpose, and ye olde blog has mostly gone the way of the dodo. But it does make for a good landing page, and I'm glad that you're here.

I'll share below some of the things I've made recently. If you are interested in having one for your very own, please reach out to me!

Here's the obligatory caveat: crafting is not my job. Hell, it's not even my first part-time job. It's maybe somewhere around third or fourth, if you count Covid-19 homeschool teacher now. I do not - let me say this again in italics - I do not do deadlines.
And here's the other Very Important Notice: my cats are allowed in my craft room. If you or someone close to you is allergic and will be adversely affected by cat hair or dander, please do not order from me!

Here's how this works:
  • We'll have a conversation about what you'd like, and I will share the fabrics I have on hand. We can do this via text, video call, or email.
  • Once you approve a design, I'll get a mockup together. This may take anything between a couple of days to a few weeks, depending on availability of materials and whether or not I needed to order anything. I will send you a photo of the mockup, and ask for your approval.
  • Once you approve the mockup, I'll invoice you for the price + approximate shipping cost (usually around $8 USD for domestic shipping).
  • When payment is received, I'll get to work! Again, depending on availability of both materials and my 'free' time, this may take from days to weeks.
  • When it's done, off it goes in the post, and I hope that you are delighted!

How to contact me:
laura @ cybermenology.com

I sew a LOT of my own and kiddo's clothes, but let's leave those unedited selfies over on ig, shall we?
Instead, here are some pretty handbag examples:

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Oh, hell with it

Posted at 26 Jun 2010 11:47:08 AM

I'm finally surrendering on the matter of the white linen dress. I love it, I really do, but I can't stop it from gaping at the armholes unless I make the bust darts ENORMOUS. And if I do that, I take away from already very-needed top hem fabric that's really quite necessary to get the silly thing ON.

I can't imagine how the pattern designers (Vogue, if you can believe it) thought that normal people could get this thing on. There is no zipper to be found. It's backless, yes, we understand that, but even a backless dress has to be able to extend around from top bust (read: rib cage. Non-squishy. Finite circumference.) to my back while getting over the shoulders. And this one most emphatically does not. My shoulders can disjoint at will and that is the ONLY way that I've been getting this thing on over my shoulders/collarbone, and we're reaching the end of that ability.

And still the shoulders gape. Aaaaargh.

Maybe a much more experienced seamstress could fix this, while figuring out how to put a zipper in after the fact, but I really can't. And given the secondary problem of the hems being visible through the linen, I'm no longer even inclined to try. I give up. I'll just shove it in the closet and wear something else on Friday.

I'm just pissed off that I wasted so many hours on it.

Posted in: sewing


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FO: Penguin Messenger Bag

Posted at 28 Aug 2009 11:50:48 PM

I went to Joann Fabrics today in search of some fabric for a new apron for my niece.. and came out with two different penguin prints. Funny how that happens, isn't it?

I made myself not work on it until I'd all but finished the semiformal dress I've been working on (or had hibernating) for the last couple of months. The dress still needs the straps sewn in, and I need to deepen the bust darts, and do the bottom hem, but aside from that it's done.

So, to reward myself:

I did a fair amount of topstitching on this one, and I really like the way it looks.

There are 2 inner pockets, a smaller one and this larger one. I managed to pattern-match it, which is nothing short of amazing. After the picture was taken I added in a snap closure as an afterthought.

Really, I'm just giddy over it. PENGUINS!

Posted in: sewing

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Happy Hallowe'en!

Posted at 11 Dec 2008 11:59:36 AM

Randomness: Updated the laptop to Ubuntu 8.10 when it was released yesterday. Think I'll wait a bit longer on my desktop at home... some graphical hiccups combined with the failure of my embedded terminal (via devilspie) makes me think that it could use some ironing out.

Food: Made orange marshmallows for the office Hallowe'en party today. A LOT of marshmallows. They're sweet and fluffy, lightly flavored, and completely addictive. I am confident that there won't be any left after lunch! I copped out on making the planned mint chocolate oreo brownies - after the apple butter and the marshmallows, both of which were 2-day projects, I didn't want to look at the kitchen last night!

I have my first sewing class tomorrow, and due mostly to the fact that I was waiting for a still-unreceived email confirming that the class has enough attendance to take place, I'm completely unprepared. And in the rush of getting out of the house this morning, I neglected to pick up the sheet of paper detailing what, exactly, I need for this thing. Crap. >:o I can pick up the notions tomorrow morning, and won't need most of 'em the first day anyway, but I'm going to have to get the fabric and thread today come hell or high water... I won't have time to pre-wash, dry and iron it otherwise. So, since I don't know exactly how much to get... guess I'll just have to guess and get extra!

I also signed up for a short 2-week knitting class, starting on Wednesday. It was actually kind of serendipitous - I was looking for local yarn stores, and also rather curiously for armwarmer patterns (don't shoot me - they're nifty!). The class is both local and will be making armwarmers, so I figure it's a sign! I actually called the store and spoke to the lady who will be teaching it, since I wasn't sure that with my experience (read: I can knit and purl. Beyond that? Lol.) it would be worth it to sign up. She said that I sounded like a good fit for the rest of the class, though, and I'm a fast learner anyway. I'll try to get some practice in this weekend.

All of this stuff is more or less aimed at getting me out of the house a bit more consistently. I know that I'm rather a recluse at the best of times, but it's getting absurd - I leave for work, food and UFC. Good excuses, yes, but lacking a bit in companionship? A lot of the problem is that I'm tired after the work day and Just Want To Go Home. Also, if you know me at all, you know that in general a group of girls is not something I'll go out of my way to join, nor are "clubs" that just sit around and talk about things (even neat things, like linux or video game design)... but maybe if I start out knowing that we've got a common practical interest, it won't be so bad?


Etsy Shop

Things I Make!

Laura Helton Designs @ Ravelry

Patterns for Knitting