PAX East 2014

PAX East 2014

I FINALLY finished editing all my PAX photos! The photo quality isn’t the best because I sort of underestimated how dark it was in there so some of them are a little grainy.

I also completely forgot to take photos of myself, although to be fair it was like two full days of overstimulation. Plus walking in that cupcake dress took a ton of concentration. I actually only lasted three hours in it. Whoops! Anyway, here is a photo stolen from a friend’s phone. We ran into the cutest family dressed in Firefly gear and Tiny Jayne lent Boyfriend one of his guns for the photo. And then I died of cuteness.

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There were some really sweet cosplays happening. Like this guy.

PAX East 2014

This guy yelled at me in a Batman voice. It was awesome.

PAX East 2014

This is what I meant by “overstimulation.” We just sort of wandered around staring aimlessly at things.

PAX East 2014

PAX East 2014

PAX East 2014This was actually probably my favorite part of PAX. They had all kinds of board games set up and you could just walk over and sit down and someone would teach you how to play. We played Boss Monster (which I then bought because it’s’ awesome), Smash Up, and Ragnarok.

PAX East 2014

I’m a little sad we didn’t get to play this one. It has “Carson Cards”!!

PAX East 2014

This is also a thing that exists.

PAX East 2014

Our characters in Ragnarok. I think mine was the dude in red with the smashy hammer thing.

PAX East 2014

And then Saturday night there was the concert! First up was the cutest nerd folk duo, featuring nerdy lyrics and a cat keyboard: The Doubleclicks. At one point people started waving their DSs in the air, instead of lighters or cell phones. Hee.

PAX East 2014

And then VGO played and I basically died again. These guys are insane. Plus they brought in vocalists and some strings this time! And they did Skyrim. -ded-

PAX East 2014

Anyway, PAX was amazing. I’m super tempted to go to Boston Comic-Con in August and I’m already thinking up ideas for costumes. I REALLY want to do Elsa from Frozen even though I haven’t actually seen Frozen yet. (I know once I see it I’ll have to drop everything and make that one dress so I’m saving it for when I actually time time/resources to do so.)

Also Kaylee dress photos are coming as soon as these gorgeous pink flowers by this gorgeous reservoir nearby bloom. Hopefully soon!

Review: The Shop Company

dress formEons ago when I was a fledgling seamstress my mom brought home a dress form and asked if I’d like to use it for my sewing projects. It was an adjustable blue one that had no stand and was about ten sizes too big for me but for some reason the idea of having a dress form sounded really cool so I said yes.

Except I had absolutely no idea what to do with it. Not having a stand didn’t really help either, especially considering at the time I was pretty much exclusively sewing historical gowns. I vaguely remember propping it up on a stool and just having excess skirt fabric constantly drooping onto the floor. Whoops.

dress formFast forward to college when I decided it was time to invest in a dress form for realsies. Except I had still never learned how to properly use one and how they can be helpful. I bought a random adjustable Dritz one from Joann’s on sale and pretty much ended up using it to display things like scarves and abandoned WIPs (I think my philosophy was that if I had to see it every day I’d finish it.).

The moral of the story is that when The Shop Company emailed me a few weeks ago asking if I’d like to try out one of their fancy professional dress forms, I pretty much jumped up and down for an hour. (Note: The Shop Company provided me with a dress form for this review but all thoughts, opinions, and stupid sewing mistakes featured are my own.)

I chose this model, which I highly recommend. She’s beautifully made and just looks so fancy. They offer sizes 0 to 20 so you can select one that actually matches your measurements. I was a little between their sizes so I chose a 4, which matched my bust size (but was a little bigger than my waist and a little smaller than my butt). I figure of those three I’d rather have the bust be spot on and the waist be a little looser in case of food babies. Plus the vast vast majority of what I sew are dresses so hip measurements aren’t quite as important to me as the other two.

dress formThe model I chose also features collapsible shoulders which is an absolute godsend for those lovely moments when you’ve pinned something just right and then can’t get it off the damn mannequin. You just squash them in and remove the garment! Easy peasy.

Even the stand is fancy! And it’s pretty easy to figure out. I had to enlist Boyfriend’s help in putting it together but I blame an intensive bicep/delt workout that morning that left me unable to lift my arms. You just pop the wheels into their slots, slide the coil onto the pole, the pole into the hole, and then squeeze together two pieces at the top of the pole as you pop the dress form onto it. Don’t worry, the package comes with a sheet of diagrams that does a much better job of explaining it. It took about three minutes to figure out.

dress form

Once it’s all set up you can wheel it around, swivel it around, and make raise and lower her just by pumping the pedal. It kind of reminds me of a barber’s chair. Actually, to be totally honest, it reminds me of this barbershop scene from Monkey Island.

You guys. She has a BUTT. How awesome is that?

dress formAnyway, she’s been teaching me all about fit and I am absolutely floored by how simple that cage makes hemming. I usually stick with rectangle skirts so I usually run into some trouble when it comes to making circular skirts even. I tested her out when finishing up the top of my Kaylee dress and it was amazing how much easier it was to fit it when I could just pin it to something that actually had my measurements! I think my days of sewing in my undies so I can try garments on every five minutes have come to an end.

Sidenote: see this photo for some pretty hilarious evidence of previous statement about sad skirts.

dress formAnd speaking of beginner seamstress mistakes, WHAT is happening with this zipper I can’t even.

dress form

Anyway, my new sewing buddy has inspired me to whip out my longest-abandoned WIP (hah. See what I did there?) and to try to finish it as next month’s WIP Confessions. I think this’ll be my only one for next month, since it’s a bit of a doozy. I think I started this one in 2007? Ish? Here’re a few sneaky peeks. Spoiler alert: there are three skirts.

dress form
dress formdress form

dress form
Anyway, thanks so much to The Shop Company for my new friend! And check out Megan Nielsen’s guide to buying a dress form for more information on the different types out there. I highly highly recommend not going the adjustable route.

Katniss revisited

Katniss reaping dress

Katniss reaping dress

Katniss reaping dress

Katniss reaping dressdress: self-made, pattern here // boots: Clarks

One WIP down! Three to go.

You guys, you have no idea how amazing it feels to finally have fixed this effing hem. You can see my original post with construction details here. (Basically just a modified Darling Ranges bodice with a self-drafted quarter circle-ish skirt. Is that even a thing?) It’s kind of hard to believe that was two whole years ago and this poor dress has been sitting abandoned in the closet ever since. All because of the stupid hem being completely off. By like 4″ on one side. If you go to the original post you can see what I’m talking about in the first photo. But I’ll get back to that tomorrow.

I wanted to style it Katniss-y for photos but I love when costumes are really secret costumes and I can still wear them in public without looking silly. I’m totally going to be wearing this with my Swedish Hasbeens and an over-sized cream cardigan. Or just on its own with some cute sandals.

Mend & Make Fabulous giveaway winner!

Mend and Make Fabulous - jacket art

You guys. When I asked for stories of garment repair disasters I knew there’d be some funny ones but you guys nearly made me pee. So many crotch stories! You guys are awesome and hilarious.

Anyways, the winner of the Mend & Make Fabulous giveaway is…

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Congratulations Clara! Hopefully there’s a way to save those shorts! Please contact me to receive your prize.

WIP Confessions – vol 2

Polka dot ElisalexVintage dressBirthday dress

Three of four completed. I’d say the first of the WIP Confessions has been a success! Especially considering the giant capstone project thrown in the midst there. This is fun! Let’s keep this going, shall we?

Here are my projects to finish for the next month:
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This was one of the first projects I started when I started sewing regular clothes a few years ago. I’m pretty sure it’s only missing a zipper.

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This is another one of those stupid WIPs that’s just missing a few buttons and a hem. Not sure why that’s so difficult.

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I made this Katniss dress a while ago but didn’t notice immediately that the hem is completely off and therefore haven’t ever worn it. Should probably fix that.

Andd we’ll just sneak this Archer in again since it’s still sad and neglected.
Polka dot Archer

Feel free to join if you want!

PS Dress was finished in time! PAX was amazing. Pictures to come.

PPS One more day to enter the Mend & Make Fabulous giveaway! You guys are cracking me up with your numerous garment crotch issues.