Halloween 2015: Queen of Hearts

I’m not finished with my Halloween costume yet this year, but I wanted to get a head start on blogging about it because I always get caught up in festivities and don’t take any solid pictures. So here’s a teaser of a (very unfinished) Queen of Hearts costume. I’m proud of my progress so far — the jacket is really dramatic (and can easily be left off to make the whole costume way more casual), and I really like the asymmetric, kooky tulle skirt. It goes with the unpredictable, off-kilter character trope. I’ll be posting more about both of those when they’re a little more complete, along with the crown and a matching scepter. The idea is that I’ll have tons of interchangeable options for bar hopping, concert-going, hanging out with the Male Compatriot’s coworkers, and even going to a theme park. So watch this space!



Self-drafting leggings: Tips and tricks

I made some leggings a while back, and posted about them on reddit’s sewing subreddit. Someone asked about tips, and I wrote a long post outlining my tips to make the whole process easier/more successful. So I’m adapting/recreating it here; hopefully someone finds it to be useful! (The post took longer to write than the leggings did to make. Talk about an instant gratification project!)

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Deep V cutout shirt/dress: Semi-Wearable Muslin and DiY

Hey everyone. This time, I have a legit excuse for the time between posts; I moved! To an apartment with a big white wall, no less, so I can hopefully take better pictures.

Recently, I saw a lovely shirt with lots of cutouts. Kind of an edgy, slightly more covered take on a super low-cut shirt. But it was for sale for several hundred dollars. So I decided to recreate it and share my process.

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Adventure Pants: Using an old garment to make something completely new

So… the first part of this post was TWO YEARS AGO. Bad, bad sewing blogger! Check it out — I detailed my process for taking apart my favorite pair of pants and using them as a pattern. Part One here.

One good thing about the super long gap between parts is that I was able to test my labeling system. It held up! So yeah, write notes onto your fabric. It’s super helpful, especially if you have a lot of pieces. My pants have a center front seam and with the way the pockets are constructed, it’s super easy to get the crotch piece and side pocket piece mixed up. One can never have too many notes and arrows.

This post is to show a pair of pants that I made modeled on the old ones, and to showcase how far you can go with the basics of an old garment that fits well. I was able to keep just about everything I liked about the fit while eliminating some of the weirder pockets, also eliminating the fly (partially because I actually wanted a crazy exposed zipper with the crazy fabric, but also partially because I only have a serger at the moment and flies are hard enough.)

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Swords and sorcery!

Dragonscale belly dance skirt/bra project notes and tutorial…ish.

Two posts in a week? When it rains, it pours. And guess what? It’s another super wordy post! I love seeing myself type, I guess. As always, for the straight tutorial, skip down until you start seeing bold.

I made a swords-and-sorcery-inspired costume. For some reason, I enjoy the late ’70s and ’80s fantasy comic-book/video game aesthetic. It’s just so gloriously over the top. It’s not gritty or dark. It’s colorful and shamelessly self-indulgent. I wanted a costume for a party that would be utterly ridiculous, colorful and silly. Like something out of Elf, maybe, or early Thor comics. Or even Everquest, come to think of it.

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Easy pants variation

I’m all over the place, aren’t I. I made some pants this week that I really enjoy, and I’d like to share how, since it’s really easy.


Draft a simple pair of knee-length elastic-or-drawstring-waist pants with side seams, adding about an inch to each side seam compared to what you’d normally wear. Or, use your favorite pattern, and add an inch or two extra at the side seams. (You could even do this with a non-elastic waist band with a fly, if you want. Just make sure there’s a waistband, or it’ll look really strange.)

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This shot doesn't have the underskirt in it... I'll fix it later, but the underskirt picture turned out really badly.

A Wind Waker Halloween Costume Journal (Princess Zelda): Dress

Man, long absences all over the place. Well, my excuse this time is that I got married (I know I still need to do more posts about that…) and went to Burning Man and thought that we were moving, but we haven’t yet. Which means another Halloween with my friends! Yay. It’s not that long until Halloween, at least in the complicated costume-making realm, but a friend of mine said she was going to be pajama Link from Wind Waker. I jokingly said I’d be Zelda, when another friend piped up that she wanted to be Tingle. Yep. Tingle. Then we got a Ganon, and were good to go.

By the way, this is a long post. If you just want to look at the pictures… I try to caption them so they get the info across and you don’t have to slog through my incredibly wordy prose. So read on, skim on, however you choose to experience it.

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Dragon Hoodie

I made this. No, there’s not really a tutorial, sorry, just wanted to share. Mostly I made a basic hoodie with extended, widened arm-gloves. Oh, and little ‘spikes’ inserted into the hood and arm seams. The rest of the ‘spikes’ are small triangles of fabric sewn together, stuffed, and attached by hand. The tail is quilted, and the scales are leather scraps glued and stitched down for extra security. That took freaking forever.

Obviously, my inspiration was Calgary Cosplay’s dragon hoodie. Well, mostly just the arms and scales. The head is constructed much differently because I wanted a different look. Also there’s no front zipper, mostly because I didn’t want to buy one.

I wanted to make my own so that it would fit me better than the Calgary ones, seeing as I have my own measurements. Also, it was a whole lot of fun to puzzle out and make. I really like the over-sized forearms!

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Beaded costume/bellydance belt tutorial

Confession: This wasn’t meant to be a tutorial at first. Originally, the belt was supposed to be over a sheer paneled floaty skirt; the idea was that I’d make it, photograph it, and maybe try and sell it if it turned out especially amazing. But I just started hating that idea, until I decided to leave it as a belt. Then it just seemed a little too simple to keep to myself; it’s time consuming, but by no means a work of artistic genius. Finally, I kept changing my concept as I worked, which led to some severe uneven-ness in the beading, and some crazy wonky grommets.

So instead, how’s about a tutorial so you can make your own? I might still offer a 2.0 version in an Etsy shop or something in the future, since they are super time consuming for such a small accessory, but it’s nice to share how to make things.

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