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Showing posts from 2018

Missing in Crafting; Good News!

Well, this was bound to happen! Whenever I'm pregnant everything to do with my hobbies gets pushed to the wayside. And boy am I! I'm 5 months along with #4, who we are happy to announce is another BOY! He is due in May.

I am still sewing and crafting, but my ability to photograph and post these projects is spotty at best. I do have a few backlog projects to post, and preparations to make for the spring Sherwood Forest Fair, and another baby boy quilt to make! I'm feeling pretty good after a very nauseous first few months, just tired as can be expected. We're all really happy and excited and can't wait to meet our new little guy in May.

American Girl Doll Camouflage Utility Army Uniform

This month I needed a break from quilting and wanted to make something for my doll! I had a long-sleeve camo kid's shirt that was too small for my boys and instead of throwing it away, I bought this pattern from Pixie Faire to make an Army uniform! I used up eeeeevery inch of fabric in that shirt and it was just barely enough! In fact, I didn't actually have quite enough to line the inside of the cap, but I made it work anyway. 

I think it turned out great! I also made a rucksack out of some scraps of black canvas. I was inspired by the big green bags my parents had when they were in the Coast Guard. I want to make some cute duffel bags and backpacks for my dolls too, but I haven't had a chance to play around with it much yet. This rucksack was just the beginning! I also think this uniform would look cool in all black, like a SWAT or FBI type uniform. It also makes me want to make a Star Trek uniform for my dolls! 

Jack helped me take the pictures for this project too! I …

Archive of Our Own

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE FANFICTION. I started reading and writing fanfiction in middle school, and even participated in a massive role playing/fanfiction message board for years. (Shoutout to my VH peeps!) I still read and write fanfiction on fanfiction.net, livejournal, and most recently A03.

I am strongly of the opinion that fanfiction, fanart, etc are transformative works; they take what was published and transform them into a new work, and also that fanfiction is an essential way for consumers to respond to our culutre. Fanworks are social commentary, they are community building, and they are legitimate art. Some fanworks have gone viral and for good reason--someone's imagining of the Disney Princesses as real life women says a lot about how we view women in our society and the changes that we wish to enact.

I also believe that once a creation has been released to the world, it belongs to the world. Not like, literally, but that people will respond to it and reac…

Make a Wish Doll sized Quilts

I've been doing some major scrap busting to clear out space in my closet between bigger costume projects, and this past week I finished up two doll quilts using scraps leftover from Rosemary's Make a Wish baby quilt.






I was originally going to make a scrappy binding for the baby quilt, but decided against it, so I ended up with a bunch of small strips. The backing for each doll quilt is a fat quarter that came in the pack that I decided not to use in the quilt top, ditto the binding on the strips quilt.



This one was bound in plain white, and is made up of leftover quarter-square triangle pieces. I bound it in white quilter's cotton and quilted it in diamonds. No way was I going to stitch in the ditch again, after breaking 5 needles on that previous quilt!  I gave this one away as a birthday gift for my friend's little girl Marigold. I'll definitely be making a ton more of these to give away! The strips one I am keeping for Rosemary, so when she's old enough for an…

DIY Minecraft Steve Head

He's been played with and worn a lot, so he's a little beat up. 
The head is made from five 8x8 squares of foamboard that I cut with an exacto knife and hot glued together. This was very messy and the foamboard wanted to warp, so I did a little bit of filling in gaps with the hot glue and then painting over it. The black squares of the eyes I cut out for eye-holes. 
After they were glue together, I used a ruler and drew a 1 inch square grid on each side




Inside, I glued a piece of foam to the underside of the top piece to get it to the right height for his eye-holes, and then two pieces of foam where his nose rests. The elastic strap keeps the head from sliding around while he's wearing it. 

Purple Doll Sized Quilt

Another quilt! This time a mini-quilt. I saw a pack of 2 inch squares at the fabric store and wanted to see how it was working with such small pieces. My mind went right to doll quilt, and a few days I had a finished doll quilt. It was fun and quick, and I've made a few more out of scraps and blocks leftover from other quilts. They are so cute and easy! 

I bought this old American Girl doll rope-strung bed off of ebay because it reminded me of Little House on the Prairie. The quilt totally doesn't match time period wise, but it looks cute on the bed anyway.  I used scraps from this project to make some matching pillows, of course. Waste not! The back, which I forgot to take a picture of, is leftover purple minky from Saoirse's quilt. I always buy way too much backing!



James helping me with photos. Thanks James! 


Youtube Spotlight: Colin Furze

Check out this crazy inventor guy Colin Furze on Youtube. He inspires me to create and invent. I'm a little jealous of his workshop and his underground bunker. Someday...

My favorite project of his that he's done is the hoverbike:



But all his projects are pretty cool!

-John

Our Very First Costumes

Angela and John as Ukyo and Ryoga from Ranma 1/2, plus Nick in a Party City Spider-Man suit.
Way back in 2001, John and I were in middle school. We had loved Sailor Moon and Pokemon for years by then, and through our local comic book shop and our friends, we started watching other anime like Ranma 1/2 and Tenchi and Inuyasha. We LOVED it! We wanted to dress up as our favorite characters for Halloween, and for Austin's very first anime convention, Ushi-con! 
Back then we didn't have Youtube or costume tutorial websites or anything. We were on our own. So we found an old Singer sewing machine at a garage sale (which was so wonky that we needed channel-lock pliers every time we wanted to wind up a new bobbin) got our parents to take us to Hobby Lobby for fabric, and we taught ourselves to sew! We didn't know how to use patterns, so we did a combination of modeling off of our own clothes and draping and pinning things on ourselves. We were very determined! We made our own pro…

Starting My Dream Quilt

A few weeks ago a friend of mine showed me a project she was working on--a hexagon quilt made from a bunch (thousands) of quarter-sized hexagons. She had a little plastic craft box that she kept in her purse for when she had some down-time she would work on English paper piecing hexagons and stitching them into little seven-hex flowers. She made three or so flowers a month and planned to just collect them for years until she had enough to make a king-sized quilt. It was super cool-and she agreed to teach me English paper piecing so that I could make my own hexagon quilt:




 The Catan Quilt!
 I've wanted to make a Catan-themed quilt for a very long time. The game Settlers of Catan holds a very special place in my heart and means a lot to my family and my group of friends. It was one of the first "euro" board games that we got into, so much so that my best friends Tiffany and Tom have matching Settlers of Catan tattoos and a collection of over 200 board games! When I was i…

Breath of the Wild Link's Hylian Tunic

Link and a little fairy! 
So there's a story behind this tunic...last October John's work was having a costume contest, and because it was just work and not a con or something, John ordered a tunic from China on ebay for super cheap. When it arrived, we saw why exactly you shouldn't order a costume from China on ebay for super cheap. It was child sized (even though he ordered men's medium!) the design was just laser-cut stickers barely sticking to the fabric, and the material was really thin. 
So with a week until Halloween, John and I made a new one. He bought some nice heavy bright blue cotton twill, I whipped it up into a tunic, and he hand-stitched thin white bias tape into the design you see below. I think it turned out pretty good! Needless to say, with his accessories and his little fairy companion, he won the costume contest at work and at our friend's Halloween party. Because we're just extra that way. 


Homemade leather sword strap and chain-mail!

Acc…

Weekend at the Lake; Plans for Embercostumes

I just wanted to take a minute and talk about my plans and goals for this blog. Embercostumes started out as a website with the blog on the side, but the website was difficult to maintain and eventually I stopped updating both. (Though neither John nor I stopped crafting and making things!) When I decided to come back to Embercostumes, I thought it best to archive the website and just focus on blogging about our sewing and crafting--but there is a lot of content on that website that I'd like to share. Old costumes, tutorials, articles, etc. I'd like to share those on the blog too as well as new stuff. I've also considered blogging a little bit more about real-life stuff on the blog too, but not quite into the realm of the mommy blogger. While I love reading mommyblogs, that's not what I have in mind for Embercostumes.

 I've been posting pretty much weekly for a few months now and I want to continue doing that! But my posts will probably range a lot more and not ju…

American Girl Doll Casual NASA Outfit

To go with my previous post, I made a cute "casual" NASA outfit for my doll! I used the free t-shirt pattern, The jeans bundle, and pixie sweets slip-ons all purchased from Pixie Faire

The shirt took a few tries because I'm not great with hemming knits. I tried a few different ways and ended up taping down the hem with washi tape to keep it from stretching out, sewing over it, and then ripping the washi tape off. It worked great, but getting the bits of washi tape out was a pain. It worked, but I need to do more research on sewing with knits, and definitely more practice! The NASA logo I just ironed on...the first shirt I tried, I held the iron on too long and burned a shiny yellow iron print onto the shirt. Oops.

The pants turned out good.. I had a few problems. I love this pattern, actually, but I used a stretchy fabric with too much bulk. I also had trouble placing the pockets properly on the butt--they are too far down and too wide set. I also, and this is totally…

American Girl Doll NASA Flight Suit

For this project I used the Koski Flight Suit from Pixie Faire, with the intention to dupe the official American Girl brand NASA flightsuit, but I made some changes and if I make it again I will make even more changes! Overall it was a good pattern and pretty easy to make, with excellent details and options that you can skip for a simpler suit if you want. 


 I found the pant legs are too short and the crotch was waaaay too small. I ended up having to add a gore to the crotch seam to make it work. (User error?) I'll try to remember to take a picture of the gore.
The pockets were also...well, I don't know if you can tell form the picture, but the breast pockets aren't perfectly symmetrical (my fault). The official AG version appear to have fake pockets outlined in stitching, which is lame. This pattern gives the option for zippered pockets or these welt pockets, which I opted for. I highly suggest doing a few practice welts! It took a few tries to get it to look good. I als…

American Girl Doll "Victorian Unmentionables" Outfit

I've been having lots of of fun making doll clothes lately. I tried out the Victorian Unmentionables pattern from Pixie Faire because I thought it would be a good base layer for any fancy ball gowns or princess dresses I want to make in the future. I also have a deep love of Civil War era dresses and underthings because of my previously mentioned Little House on the Prairie obsession of my youth. I made the corset, petticoat( underskirt), and crinoline (hoopskirt). I didn't feel the need to make another chemise (underdress) or another pair of drawers (underpants) and just re-used the ones I made from the Kirsten's Pretty Things pattern.



This is how the hoopskirt turned out. Pretty good! I didn't have enough boning of the right size, so I used some heavy-duty zip ties and cut them in half down the center--this was not ideal because the edges were a bit jaggedy and got caught a lot as I tried to slide them into the channels...which were not perfect and every time there w…

Angela's Craft Room Tour

The smallest bedroom in the house is the "office" that I use as my crafting space. This is the view when you're standing at the door. The bookcase between our two desks holds various fantasy and sci-fi series, plus all of Gunnar's D&D manuals and school Textbooks. 

These bookshelves were bought from a friend of mine who salvaged them from a bank that was closing. They are very heavy and solid! The one closest to the door holds Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. (The empty shelves used to have kids books, but we recently got them their own bookcase.) The shelf in the middle picture is directly on my right when I'm sitting at my desk and has top to bottom; my favorite childhood books, photos in boxes and a few comics, scrapbooking paper and supplies, and more scrapbooking paper and my fashion and sewing books. The shelf beside it, closest to the closet, holds CDs, Terry Pratchet, Nonfiction, and a bunch of unsorted stuff we aren't sure if we&#…