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.


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Oh, hell with it

Posted at 26 Jun 2010 10:47:08 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.

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FO: Penguin Messenger Bag

Posted at 28 Aug 2009 10:50:48 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!

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Happy Hallowe'en!

Posted at 11 Dec 2008 10:59:36 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?

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I have craft-A.D.D.

Posted at 23 Oct 2008 10:46:32 AM

I've recently been told that the subjects of my blog entries are, to put it kindly, diverse. I choose to believe that this is more of the enigmatic behavior described by my boss, instead of concluding that the reason I did poorly on so many book reports in school is that I cannot stick to one topic for more than two paragraphs at a time.

So. Sewing. And.. knitting? At the moment I can't knit to save my life, but having just finished Drunk, Divorced and Covered in Cat Hair, written truthfully and hilariously by Crazy Aunt Purl, I think I might want to try. (Buy the book! It's funny, when it's not being serious (and sometimes even then)! Also, a whole bunch of knitting patterns in the back!)

The odd thing is, I don't have any desire to make anything -other- than scarves, necessarily... it just seems like yet another way to tame my restlessness and burning desire to do more than one thing at once at any given time. Her little bracelet clutch bag does sound adorably cute, though...

*ahem* Knit wraparound shirt -- must stay focused! There shall be no learning of new skills until after I have finished the projects that I have purchased fabric for.

The thing doesn't look tricky, except for the whole 'knit' part, and maybe sleeves. However, because of needing things like synthetic thread and ball-point needles, I'm procrastinating. (It never occurred to me that sewing machines could have more than one needle. In my mind you just put one in when you buy the thing and sew until the machine breaks down... apparently this is incorrect. There's even something called a double needle, which looks rather terrifying.)

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Skirts, a la eternalmagpie

Posted at 20 Oct 2008 09:30:00 AM

I've almost* finished two skirts using eternalmagpie's tutorial. The hallowe'en one is lined, and the red one is a black satin base and red shimmery sheer layer.

I still have one more black satin base, which will be made into a 3rd skirt as soon as I find another mesh or sheer layer to put over it. I thought I had enough of a remnant from some other projects, but not so much as it turned out.

* All I could find for elastic was regular ol' quarter-inch, but didn't realize it 'til after I'd already sewed the layers together at the top (folded outwards). So now I'm going to grab some wide satin ribbon to do a quick foldover binding at the top to hide the rough edges.

Seems I can't put fabric on the floor for 15 seconds without someone getting curious...

Close-up of the hems and layers, sans cat.

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Posted at 06 Oct 2008 10:16:19 AM

We're back from our mini-honeymoon!

We left late Friday afternoon, after Dan was home from work, the laundry was done and Liz came by to pick up the dog. Had an easy drive down to the lake, and found the resort without too much trouble.

Mostly we relaxed -- did some shopping on Saturday at the outlet mall for KitchenAid toys and a shiny new handbag for me, played a round of mini golf in which we both lost horribly but him slightly less so than me, ate out a bit, and hung out in our room. I got a manicure & pedicure at the spa, which surprisingly enough has lasted at least 'til today. Another 24 hours or so and it'll win the prize for most persistent manicure I've ever had ;-)

There was a tiny black kitten hanging around the restaurant we chose for dinner on Saturday. Poor little guy seemed to be hated by the staff, and was shy as anything... there wasn't any practical way that we could have rescued him, what with being in a hotel and the long car ride, but I still wish there had been.

We stopped at St James Winery on the way back up for a quick tour and tasting. In addition to grape-derived beverages, they make some really fantastic fruit wines; we picked up an "assortment". *grin*

I got what might loosely be termed a head start on the dog bed project - I'm going to have to rip out most if not all of the seams I did last night, but now I have a better idea of how things are going to have to go together. And I think I may need to pick up a yard or so of some heavier fleece to use for the outer layer... the red that I was planning to use is maybe pillowcase weight at best, and I don't think that just the sherpa wool alone is going to be warm enough for the li'l guy.

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I think I'm getting ahead of myself

Posted at 08 Oct 2008 10:22:45 AM

Projects currently on my plate:

* Bodice. Have I mentioned that this is still not done? Seriously, least-intensive sewing project of all time, and I'm a lazy bastard. This is mostly because once I hit a snag in something I put it away for fear of ruining it, and the snag in this case probably resulted from my seaming the front and back pieces together instead of having the thing lace up both the sides AND back. Long story short, the side seams are designed straight, and the lacing is supposed to account for my *ahem* feminine curves. However, in a brilliant move of dumbassery that not even the muslin I actually made accounted for, I didn't realize that perfectly straight seams will result in my looking like a toilet paper roll. So now I get to fix it somehow.

EDIT: Done! Pics are here.

* Dog bed. I found an adorable idea online that doesn't -look- like it'll be too hard (google for 'dachshund cave bed'). Seems like I can find a comfy pillow and sew a cover for it - the bottom out of something heavy, the top out of sherpa fleece. Then it'll just need an appropriately-sized 'tent' for it, sewn into the top seam along about 3/4 of the circle.

Alternatively, I could make it square and use one of our/a new bed pillow, resulting in a sort of sleeping-bag contraption that I've seen online as well.

The tricky part'll be where to put the zipper seam, so we can wash the darn thing.

EDIT:: Done! Pictures here and here!

* Fishtail skirt. This one's on the back burner until I can find a pattern for it. You wouldn't think it would be difficult, but it is! Mermaid, no problem (if I was a size 16 and wanted it loose and floaty). Size 4-6 bodyhugging fishtail? Can't be had for love nor money. I actually have an alchemy request on Etsy right now, begging someone to PLEASE make me a pattern for this silly thing.

I'm just not good enough to contrive one up, and to be honest I don't even know where I'd begin. The skirt on Kate's Clothing is so perfect, but it's upwards of $80-$90 including shipping. There's one on etsy too, but aside from being not my size it's also $80. Yikes, people! Just tell me how to make the damn thing already!

A couple of easy skirts a la eternalmagpie's tutorial here. I've picked up some black satin and a truly kickass sheer red & black print, and have some neat black & embroidered flower netting at home. I may do a rolled waistband with elastic in it, rather than a wide lingerie elastic band.

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Bodice, part 2.

Posted at 09 Sep 2008 02:18:45 PM

Hooray! I got more fusible interfacing today. Maybe I can actually finish this bodice in something like a couple of weeks instead of half a year? From the research I did (after the fact, of course) I believe that I sewed one of the pieces of rigiline in 'backwards' - that is, curving away from the body instead of toward it. However, since it's such a tight-fitting garment anyway I'm not particularly worried about it.

Am starting to think that I'm going to end up buying a fishtail skirt, just so I can take it apart and get a pattern that way. It's irritating, honestly - how hard would it be to make a real pattern for this?

Still annoyed at my hours at work, and no sign of them changing soon even just for raid nights. Over-privileged, if this is the worst thing to happen to me, blah blah yadda yadda. Still annoyed.

I picked up a 5.3cu ft. chest freezer this weekend, and cleaned out the upstairs freezer as soon as it'd been cooling for 24 hours on the dot. Hooray! Now I'm contemplating the freezer specials at John's Butcher Shoppee (I swear, that's spelled right) as they look like decent deals. One could wish they included some lamb, even just chops or stew meat, but maybe I can wrangle some sort of swap.

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The nerves are setting in

Posted at 04 Sep 2008 09:40:17 AM

With the calendar now showing September, it's starting to sink in: I'm getting married this month.

How very... bizarre.

Purely mundane matters are mostly in hand -- we've got the location, my ring is finished and I picked it up last week, Dan's has been ordered, my dress is hemmed and hanging in the closet, the food is ordered. Invites have been sent and more RSVPs are arriving every day. We'll have to pick up some of the food, plates, etc a day or so before, and with Mom's help we'll make the cakes on Friday. I'm still not convinced that we won't need a chest freezer rather soon after the shindig, because we will have quite a bit of extra food, but I'm not going to stress over it if I don't have to. Everyone'll be over for UFC this Saturday, so we can take care of the officiant's ordination then.

Honestly, I can't think of anything that we haven't taken care of. Is there anything it sounds like I'm forgetting?

Had a good three-day weekend. We picked up a new desk for Dan (at long last!) and it looks fantastic. We had a shot at putting cable into the back bedroom, but were foiled by firestops in every single wall, damnit. We don't have a long enough drill to take care of it ourselves, so it looks like that projects is postponed yet again.

I started work on my bodice, and aside from a hiccup that made it necessary to lengthen the pattern by 2" all 'round, did quite well on it. The mockup fits well, the lining is done, the boning is in and the top layer is cut. I probably could have finished it yesterday, but the 3/8 yard of heavy fusible interfacing specified by the pattern didn't come CLOSE to being enough (aaargh). It's pricey but a good heavy weight, so it looks like another trip to Jackman's fabric will be happening on my lunch break.

Joann's had a spectacular sale on Vogue patterns for Labor Day - everything, even the $20 and $25 patterns, was on sale for $3.99. I raided their bin while waiting for chinese takeout on Friday, and got what -may- be a good lead on a fishtail skirt. Patterns for that sort of skirt are few and far between, and it's driving me up the wall! I want one rather badly to wear with my green corset, and apparently I'm the only one!

Having rather a home-decorating love affair with CB2. I want one of each of these rather badly, and this is amazing. I have Dan's blessing to get one for the bathroom, so now that gives me a rather good head start on the theme it'll be. I'm not quarreling with the dark green paint*, but the square silver towel bars are a) cheap and b) falling off. I'm thinking now of replacing them with fixtures like this - something square and wrought-iron.

*Ok, maybe I quarrel a bit with the sloppy edging at the ceiling. Not enough that I'm willing to fix it just yet, though - if and when are redo the whole room, I'll get up on a ladder.

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A pattern has been located!

Posted at 26 Aug 2008 09:32:16 AM

Last night, while watching (semi-appropriately) Robin Hood: Men in Tights, I dug through my fabric tote and turned up the next winning pattern. I'd forgotten I had this, to be perfectly honest with you, and I have no idea where I got it.

Probably Ebay.

This is the best link I can find in 20 seconds: McCall's 4107: Renaissance Bodice(s)

I'm thinking of making A, without the lace-up sides and I'll probably lace the back in ribbon instead of cord. Still need to locate fabric for the sides and back, but probably black something or other. The fabric I want to use for the middle contrast section is this (warning: big cameraphone picture). It's actually left over from my bedroom curtains back in Binghamton, if anyone remembers those -- a reasonably heavy, shimmery red fabric that doesn't flash gold or silver like most metallic-threaded fabrics do; instead, it shimmers black. Really badass fabric - I wish I had more left over than the yard or so that I do.

The potentially tricky part is to procure the semi-necessary yard and a half of boning.

Also tricky is losing the 4" at my waist that will be necessary for my peace of mind, my wedding dress and the bodice, but let's not dwell on that.

(By the by - the skirt that was mentioned yesterday? I took a look at it last night, and if it were shorter I think I'd like it better. It's foot-wide strips of dark and light purple satin, and as an ankle-length skirt it's just too much. It's consigned to the scrap bag until further notice or resurrection as a pillow cover.)


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