Hello again


I don’t ever plan on taking the summer off from blogging and somehow it always seems to happen. This year was partially due to a move across the country and partially due to losing my camera remote, but also just wanting to enjoy summer and sewing for hours and not worrying about (mostly self-imposed) blogging deadlines and whatnot.

But now I’m missing it again so hello from California!

Things I’ve been up to:

  • Saying goodbye to Boston and the lovely Crafty Foxes and moving back home to California. Hello drought and heat waves and having a backyard!
  • Sewing all the things. ALL the things. I have such a backlog it’s ridiculous. Forgive me if my next 15 blog posts start with “So I sewed this back in xxx month so I don’t remember how I did it.” If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen that my mom got sick of my sewing stuff rapidly infecting the entire house so she cleared out our storage cottage thing in the backyard and I now have a tiny little sewing studio. It’s small but so easy to disappear into for hours. If the lighting weren’t so terrible in there I think I’d sew through the night.
  • Visiting Boston because my sister now lives there. No joke, she moved there for school a week before I moved back here. We own all the same furniture and appliances though, so we pretty much just traded.
  • Taking a flat pattern class at a local CC. This has been SO much fun. I was introduced to the sewing machine by my mom and then mostly self-taught from there so it’s been so refreshing to learn “the right way” to do a lot of things that I’ve just sort of guessed at. Also I’ve learned that darts aren’t scary. And that it’s super fun to move them around, especially to weird places. (And no, there will not be a Peneloping pattern line anytime soon. Talk to me in many years when I get tired of my day job. This is purely for fun!)
  • Getting ready to move again! Boyfriend and I decided we’re finally going to tolerate each others’ presence (just kidding) and move in together. Just as soon as we find an apartment. Which is super fun and not at all difficult in the Bay Area. Nope.

I also sewed this skirt! I bought Simplicity 1366 when it came out because it has a giant bow across the crotch, and when Boyfriend *finally* graduated from his program I decided it was the perfect occasion to wear it to. I was also deep into my “I’m about to move so I can’t start sewing a dress that will probably require a total of upwards of 50 yards of fabric” angst so I chose a very Cinderella-esque periwinkle for it. It’s coming off more blue in the photos but in person it’s more purpley and a bit paler.

I was originally going to do the top in the pattern too but all the fabrics I found that had the right stiffness looked too polyestery. Plus there was the issue of the one skirt fabric I fell in love with also being sheer, and me not wanting to deal with drafting a lining, which led to me deciding to just make a Nettie dress to wear under the damn thing. It worked out great! (It’s usually not quite as obscenely short as it looks in the photos..) The only downside is that I can now only wear this skirt with that dress, unless I decide to go back and make some sort of slip, which I kind of want to do just so I can wear it with some kind of cropped top.

Anyway, it’s super fun to wear (I felt slightly like a peacock with all that extra fabric hanging off my bum) and I definitely want to make another one but it’s one of those skirts where you have to stop yourself and think, do I really need this in two different colors? And then the answer is always yes. But hesitantly yes.


Linden + Jamie


1: top: Linden sweatshirt // shorts: American Eagle
2: top: Linden sweatshirt // pants: Jamie Jeans

Check out my review of the Linden over at the Dress Up Party!

In other news, I’ve been a bit of a Jamie Jeans factory lately. I realized that I’ve had exactly two pairs of jeans for the past year (or however long it’s been since I discovered I could make jeans and got rid of all my RTW pants) and that this is probably problematic. I made these a few weeks ago as a summery pair and I’ve been wearing the crap out of them. I used an 11oz denim with a tiny bit of stretch from Fabric.com.

These were almost a disaster. I forgot that I hadn’t thrown the fabric in the dryer when I pre-washed, and accidentally machine dried them after washing the sewn jeans for the first time. Suddenly tiiiny pants. Luckily I had had to take them in on the sides so my seam allowances were more than 3/8″ so I was able to take out the seams a bit and now they fit great! I also shortened them to more of an ankle length and they’re great with sandals and summery shoes.

Now I should probably invest in some summery shoes.

The cold bothers me a bit

ElsaJust a disclaimer, this is going to be a long post with a ton of photos! You’ve been warned. :]

Frozen came out in 2013 and I spent the better part of the next year hearing “You haven’t seen Frozen?? Why not? It’s so good, you’ll love it! You should watch it immediately.” Why not? Because of this post. I get a bit, shall we say cuckoo in the head with certain films/tv shows and develop an urgent need to run to the nearest fabric store to recreate 1-5 costumes. In 2013 I was in a place of definitely not having the time or funds to do so and even without having seen the movie I could tell Frozen was going to be one of those films. So I held off for about a year.

You guys, it was immediate. Within two days of seeing the movie I had a long list of things to buy and was spending 3-4 hours a day pricing fabrics and craft supplies and reading up on different techniques of creating the bodice and different fabric combinations for the whole outfit.

From start to finish I think this took about six months, although I wasn’t working on it continuously.



The bodice was definitely the most fun so it’s what I started with. I started off with Butterick 4254 View C and made a corset, complete with plastic boning. I used old cotton twill Ikea curtains for the outside, interfacing, and some turquoise rayon challis for lining. Once the corset was put together, it was time to figure out how to get the scaly rectangular effect of the bodice.

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There seemed to be two main techniques that were popular, which was using custom cut rectangle sequins and using glitter craft foam. I didn’t love the effect of the sequins so I went with the craft foam. I ordered eight sheets of turquoise glitter craft foam from this eBay seller (I ended up only using about five sheets). I experimented with rectangle sizes and ended up decided to cut them primarily in two sizes, bigger ones for the bottom layer and then smaller ones for a second layer to fill in any cracks where the white of the corset showed through. I used craft glue which worked pretty well, although I did notice when wearing the corset that some of the rectangles came off where there was a lot of motion, such as underarm areas and the bottom edge around my hips. I’ll have to do some maintenance and will probably look into a stronger adhesive for that.

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Once the glitter foam was glued on I used a combination of seed beads and square rhinestones as embellishment. Using reference photos, I concentrated most of them on the bottom edge. After that, I used spray glue and iridescent glitter to try to ombre the whole thing to be more screen accurate. I don’t think it made that much of a different, to be honest.

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For the closure, I used six silver grommets on either side and white cording for lacing. It’s not turquoise but it doesn’t show through the cape so I was fine with the effect. The only thing I don’t love is that it doesn’t look so good without the cape on since you can clearly see white laces and white where the turquoise rectangles stop.



The skirt was easy to draft but kind of a pain to find fabric for. I was shopping for skirt fabric online right before my Taiwan trip and found this fabric, which seemed perfect except there was no way to touch it and make sure the color matched and it was a little more than I wanted to spend on just the skirt. I ended up holding off and then finding the most perfect fabric at a random fabric store that we wandered into on our first day there.

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It’s kind of a light sweater knit with gorgeous silver strands woven in and the color works beautifully with all of the other turquoise shades. I decided to line it with a mysterious Sewfisticated fabric that looks like a cross between rayon challis and some kind of crepe. Then I used ribbon to close the seam and to add extra shaping to the bottom edge of the skirt, kind of like a faux horsehair braid effect.

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Drafting the skirt was pretty simple. I basically just cut one piece for the front and two identical pieces for the back, allowing for a bit of a train. I made the skirt a little fuller than Elsa’s actual dress but it feels a little more princessy so I’m ok with it.



The undershirt was a hilarious endeavor. I needed a raglan top made of mesh so it could be skin-tight and sheer so I bought some cream colored mesh and dyed it turquoise. Then I needed a raglan top and the Linden pattern I had just bought happened to be sitting next to me so I just decided to use that. I had to size down a lot and ended up taking in the sleeves an extra inch at the end but it worked really well. I omitted all of the bands and sewed a row of silver seed beads around the neckline. I also left the sleeve edges raw and cut them at an angle to be pointy.

I also did some last minute attempts to create the sleeve patterns with glitter and spray glue but ran out of time so I may have to go back and finish that someday.



The cape was so stressful but also so much fun! I started off with 5-6 yards of 60″ wide sheer curtain fabric from Sewfisticated.


I cut out a super long cape and while it was gorgeous it still felt like it was missing something. I ended up getting two more yards and adding “wings” on either side so the edge of the cape hangs around the knees and doesn’t actually hit the ground. Much better. I used French seams and burned the open edges (yay polys!) to finish. In total the cape has five separate panels.


Then came the hard part. Elsa’s cape has a giant pattern in it that’s super hard to see because of all the folds and super hard to recreate because of how massive my cape was. I used painter’s tape to tape the edges of the larger designs, and then used glitter and spray glue for the actual designs.

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I used a mix of iridescent glitter and glow in the dark glitter from Michael’s and I love the semi-glowy effect in the photos.

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The snowflakes were easier since it was just a matter of spacing them out evenly. I chose about 5-6 different snowflake designs and traced them onto sticky paper, then “laminated” them with packing tape.

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Then I cut them out and used/reused them as sticky templates with glitter and spray glue to make snowflakes all over the cape. The large center snowflake was harder because I had to sketch it out from a screen shot and make a special template for it that was much bigger. I love the effect though!



I spent a TON of time researching wigs because I’d never worn one before and it seemed like a lot of fun. I was originally going to go with a platinum blonde wavy one from one of the many reputable eBay wig sellers (like this one and this one) but then discovered Arda wigs.

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Arda actually released a wig specially designed for Elsa cosplayers that is almost perfect for recreating Elsa’s hairstyle. It’s super long and has layers cut into the front. It’s super nice quality and the Titanium Blonde color is so perfect for Elsa.

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For styling, I trimmed the layers a bit and used Got2B Glued hairspray (that stuff is no joke) to spray everything into place. I used a little bit of the Got2Bglued spiking gel that came with the spray to style the spikes above the braid too. I also trimmed about 3″ off the end of the braid because it was a bit too long. I ended up deciding the braid wasn’t thick enough and I bought a second crappy $10 Amazon wig to cut up and sew into the Arda wig, but the color was off and I ran out of time to find one that wasn’t orange. If I were to do it over I’d get some extra wefts in the same color from Arda and sew those in to make the braid more substantial.

I also bought these snowflake hair pins to decorate the braid.

For colored contacts, I bought a few different options because I had no idea what I was doing. These ones were probably the most natural. The diameter is the same as normal contacts and the blue is a pretty natural shade. I also picked up a pair of these for funsies (I’m wearing them a few photos up and in the photoshoot). They’re a larger lens and give you a bit more of a cartoon-ish (or “alien”, according to Boyfriend) look. Both pairs are good for a year upon opening the package. I also bought some single use disposable ones in Taiwan but never actually tried them out. Whoops.

Someday I might make Elsa’s shoes but since this was for PAX I wanted to make sure I could actually walk around all day. I ended up snagging a pair of athletic-looking silver flats that did the job nicely.

PHEW! The end.










This pose is for Jenny.

I finally managed to go through the endless photos of Elsa and edit them and here they are. I’ve been so excited to share these!

These were taken at a lake in Plymouth, MA which somehow magically froze to 14″ this winter, making this photoshoot possible. Photo credit goes to some combination of my roomie, her dad, and her friend. This is such a fun costume to wear, especially when running into tiny humans at PAX and I’m so happy with how it turned out!

Next up will be the process and materials used, so look for that in a few days.

Lady velvet




IMG_3822dress: self-made, pattern here // shoes: Seychelles

*The fabric for this project was provided by Funki Fabrics and all opinions, anecdotes, and messy hand-stitching are my own.

I feel like a lot of my project posts start off as “So Katie from Skunkboy posted this awesome outfit and I ran off and copied it.” This is not dissimilar from those. At least it’s not Dear Creatures for the umpteenth time!

This dress was inspired by a Black Swan dress that I decided needed to be made in navy velvet with black mesh detailing. Funki Fabrics had just reached out to me about doing a collaboration and their navy stretch velvet sample was everything I was looking for for this project.

I started off with a lady skater and didn’t change too much. I omitted the neckband and arm bands to start. I also hacked off about 1″ from the bodice and 1/2″ from the top of the skirt. I cut a 1.5″ rectangle of black stretch net and sewed it between the bodice and skirt, and then top-stitched to keep it in place. Easy peasy. For the diamond cutouts, I drew up the shape I wanted, cut it out of the dress, and sewed mesh bits in by hand. They’re a bit messier than I would have liked; sadly my Bernina is sick and I’ve been using the back-up Brother which is just not up to working with difficult fabrics.

I think if I were to do this project again I would either leave out the diamond mesh cutouts or use a more stable knit. Or you know, have a decent working sewing machine. Hah.

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