A World Less Magical

sophie-green05Over the weekend, one of my favorite and one of the most delightful writers of YA fantasy passed away, Diana Wynne Jones.  She was of course the author of Howl’s Moving Castle, which became quite famous after the production of the Ghibli film of the same name, but her wealth of other literature was equally amazing.  Her close friend and fellow author, Neil Gaiman, has written a lovely blog entry about her passing and their magical relationship.

Even though I came rather late to Diana’s fantasy party after seeing Howl, I still loved her books once read, and look very forward to sharing them with my future students and children.  I was of course inspired by the movie to make several of Sophie’s dresses, and always intended to make a dress more in the style of Diana’s description from the book, Sophie of the red-gold hair and drab grey dress.  Maybe this will be the year to do it, in her honor.

Thank you for your worlds and words of magic, Diana Wynne Jones!  You have been so inspiring.  Enjoy walking over rooftops.

Baby’s First…

My friend’s beautiful daughter just had her first birthday over the weekend.  She specifically asked for handmade gifts, and I was delighted to get the chance to create this fun little project that I saw recently over at Craftzine Blog.  I didn’t make mine into a game, but included instead several different options for a delicious sandwich: peanut butter, jelly, ham, and cheese, and two pieces of bread, of course!  Each piece was machine-stitched with the name of the item, as well.  The birthday girl loved it!

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Refia, finally!

A quick (and hilarious) shot from Animeland Wasabi of my Refia costume.

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I love tea from Starbucks.  I need a slightly different wig, as this one was a bit light and definitely too short.  But otherwise it was a great, comfy, fun costume!  Love it!

Additionally, I plan on participating in the For Japan With Love Bloggers Day of Silence on Friday.  Bloggers will keep a day of silence for the people of Japan, as well as direct donations toward shelter boxes.  Don’t forget that you can also donate by text to Red Cross, or donate via your PayPal account, like I did this morning. =)

Weekend of Fun!

I was busy on Friday checking in people at the cosplay contest at Animeland Wasabi here in Denver, hence my lack of post!  I will resume regularly posting this week, but here’s a quick shot of where I was!

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Not the greatest shot, taken from my phone, but it was a wonderful time and a very successful contest!

Also want to mention, of course, to please pray for and send support to Japan in any way you can.  We wouldn’t have cosplay as we know it without the Japanese culture that influenced it, so please show your appreciation!  You can text 90999 to REDCROSS to make an instant $10 donation or visit the Red Cross’ website for more information.

thing-a-day twenty-six: finally fitted

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There we go!  A nip and a tuck here and we’ve got a better fitting dress.  This is the lining, with edits pinned.

Wonder what’s going on with my funny dressed dressform?  Well, it’s not exactly my size, so I padded it with some extra fabric and an old, er, undergarment.  Fixed!

thing-a-day twenty-two: snippity snip!

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Not bad!  It’s a good fit other than in the hips.  A little more adjustment next time, and it’ll be great.

thing-a-day twenty-one: Refia’s dress pattern

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I started out the day patterning from what turned out to be entirely the wrong starting point; I made a too-huge mess of an unfitted top, and decided to start over.  I cannibalized a different pattern that I KNEW fit well, redrew it, and that’s ready for cutting tomorrow.

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thing-a-day twenty: Refia’s boot cuffs

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Into the twenties we go!  Just eight days left!  I believe I will be able to finish Refia’s costume in this last week; that’ll be my goal for the end of this experience!

I purchased these great boots and only needed to add a white cuff to them to create the effect in the images of the character.  A bit of the main dress fabric lined with some leftover white satin and done!  They’re even removable, set in temporarily with washable hem tape so I can wear the boots without them in the future.

I’ll be wearing this to Animeland Wasabi next month if you’ll be there, so keep an eye out for me (but look fast ‘cause I’ll be gone in another second, organizing the cosplay contest again!).  See you there!

thing-a-day sixteen: part two of the copyskirt

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And we are finished!  I’m especially pleased with the ruffle, and the stitching detail around the waist.

Sadly, I will not wear this… I managed to make it too small for me.  Alas.

thing-a-day fifteen: day one of the copyskirt

Halfway there!

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I’m attempting to copy this sandy-pinkish-brown paisley skirt in my green-blue-cream paisley fabric.  The pink one is one of my favorites, so I really wanted another in the A-line style.  Here’s the first day’s work: main skirt body and lining cut, sewn, and zippered.  The strips for the bottom ruffles are ready to go tomorrow!