It seems like I have been gone for years from my beloved blog but it’s only been about 6 months. In those 6 months I’ve finished at least two sewing projects and half of the scarf I am knitting for my husband, gone to NOLA/Gulf Wars and returned, had my laptop die, purchased a new one, started a new job, competed in the CrossFit Open for the first time, and completely replaced the plumbing in our house.
It’s been pretty crazy to say the least.
But I’m back now.
Things are still pretty crazy but I am going to be posting at least once a week and I will be starting with some of the things I just listed to catch all of you up on what’s been going on in my life.
It feels good to be back!
As you can probably tell from my post the other day that I’ve been learning to knit. Last Saturday I took a beginning knitting class at a local shop in Cary, Warm n’ Fuzzy. The class was excellent as you can see I am super excited to finally be able to both knit and pearl (previously I had only been able to knit, which was…limiting to say the least).
The second part of this two day class is this coming Saturday. I’ve been practicing and I can already see and make some corrections when I mess up. It’s a lot of fun and I can’t wait to post some more pictures!
My very first stockinette!
I can’t believe it’s 2015. In fact, here I am, 9 days into 2015 and I still feel like, “Where did November go?!?” 2014 was both awesome and crazy. I feel like I accomplished a ton of sewing projects but at the same time I also feel like I got next to nothing done.
In the end I managed to finish 6 things this year:
- A hood for my husband’s protégé
- A Louise Belcher Costume
- A DC Bombshell Batwoman Costume
- New blue linen doublet for my husband for Jamestown volunteering
- A red wool doublet
- A brown linen petticoat with red wool guards
(And I still need to post pictures of most of these)
And alter 3 things:
- My red wool petticoat (re-did the waist band)
- My blue linen petticoat bodies (shortened the hem by about an inch and re-pleated the petticoat)
- My husband’s leather arming jerkin (re-did the skirt from tabs to pickadils-still need to add lacing holes)
But I still have several projects in process:
- Hoods for my apprentices
- A project for my husband
- 19th Century pants for my cousin
I need to finish the project I currently have going in the next couple of months but I’m starting to think about what I want to do over the next year. What do I want to work on? What new skills to I want to pick up? Where I am going with this? What does it all mean?
Until next time when our intrepid heroine attempts to figure out what she wants to do with her fabric.
Our DC Bombshells group at Dragon*Con 2014. Picture by Michael Kannon.
I can’t believe it has taken me this long to write about Dragon*Con and how my costumes turned out! I have sat down to write this post at least 6 times but I kept getting pulled away to finish other things. I am going to make a decided effort to get back to regular posts because when I’m not blogging about my projects it just feels like something is missing.
So back to Dragon*Con. I made two costumes for Dragon*Con this year: Batwoman from the DC Bombshells and Louise Belcher from Bob’s Burgers. I was very happy with how the Louise costume turned out but sadly none of the pictures turned out. 🙁 I’m pretty bummed about that but my husband promised to take some more so we just need to take an afternoon and get a few more pictures so I can post some. It was a super fun costume to wear and I’m looking forward to taking it tome more cons.
DC Bombshell Batwoman Cover
My Batwoman costume turned out great and we did get some good pictures of it. I based the costume off of pictures of the uniforms of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and pictures of the costumes from the movie A League of the Own.
Close up of the front of my Batwoman costume
The cover art doesn’t show the front of the costume so I based that off the 40’s AAGPBL uniforms and custom digitized an embroidery design for the emblem. I plan to make the file available in my etsy shop before the end of September.
The only thing I really want to fix is the belt. I’d really like to make a red leather belt like the original AAGPBL uniforms.
I have wanted to learn to knit for years. I spent months working on it two years ago but only succeeded in learning the knit stitch, not the pearl (so I can pretty much only make garters and garter stitch scarves). After much frustration I pretty much gave up on it.
This winter I’m going to try again. Because I need this:
Totally awesome Wonder Woman sweater designed by Natalie Burszytyn and available on Ravelry.
So once Atlantian 12th Night is over I’m going to start learning to knit again and maybe I can have this sweater for 2016.
The past two weeks have been great! I’ve been making great strides towards finishing my Dragon*Con costumes.and I’ve even picked back up the project that had been giving me trouble in May with plans to finish it off by the end of the month. I had been thinking I would wait to blog about my DC costumes until after the con but they’ve been turning out so well that I can’t help myself, I’m going to just have to start blogging about them while I work on them. So if you are interested in seeing them I will be posting pictures on Facebook and Instagram while I work on them, as well as blogging about them here weekly as they progress.
Recycling at work!
In the mean time I have fun little project I finished last weekend to talk about: new reusable shopping bags I made! I cam across these directions on Barkpost and once I saw them I couldn’t wait to try making some bags of my own! So I saved the next two dog food bags we emptied and washed the bags out with water and dish soap.
After they dried I cut the bag to size leaving 3/4″ seam allowance since I didn’t know how well the plastic of the bag would turn and I wanted to make sure I had enough seam allowance.
I used the remaining top of the bag that I cut off to cut out two straps that were 2.5″ wide each. I learned that I needed a bit less seam allowance that I had originally thought but I like the width of the straps. From there I hemmed the bag and the straps and sewed the straps to the bag using the kris-cross design you can see in the pictures.
I haven’t gotten to use them yet but I’m going grocery shopping this weekend and I can’t wait to try them out!
After a rather unusually quite May and June spent working mostly on top secret projects (that I still can’t discuss yet) suddenly projects are bursting forth and plans are coming to fruition.
- Awesome happening 1) My fabric and bits for Dragon*Con 2014 costumes are here!
- Awesome happening 2) My cool new books have arrived!
- Awesome happening 3) Top Secret Project #1 is coming along beautifully and I’ve learned a ton. Tutorials to follow unveiling!
- Awesome happening 4) The first major step of Top Secret Project #2 is finished an on it’s way to me! I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
I think it goes without saying that modern life is pretty busy. Yes there are many factors that play into that, some within our control and some somewhat out of our control, but when it comes right down to it, if you are like me there are many days you get home from work thinking you have tons of time time for your project only to find out that after dinner is made, eaten, and cleaned up it’s nearly time for bed. So how in the heck are you supposed to find time to work on all those beautiful projects running through your head?
It’s something I struggle with quite a lot. I’m struggling with it right now in fact. I’ve got a big project that I’m trying to finish up, two projects to make for Dragon*Con (in 2 MONTHS!!!), a big project I’m already planning on sourcing for January, a full time work schedule, a husband that loves me, two dogs and a cat that want nearly constant pets, and a home that I would be reasonable clean and presentable. All in all its a recipe for a lot of stuff that needs to be done and not a lot of time to get it done in.
This is one of the big reasons that I advocate planning as far in advance a you can. Right now it’s about all I can do to work in a few minutes a day or a couple hours a week for my projects. And that’s OK. Sometimes that’s all you can do. If you can plan in advance then hopefully you have more a chance to get more done during the slower times when not as much is pulling on your schedule. The big key though it always try to keep working forward, even if it’s just a few minutes a day.
That’s what I’m trying to focus on right now. In fact I think I will try to go put in a few minutes of work on a project right now, before I need to make dinner. 🙂 So what do you do when you have a million other things pulling you in different directions, all asking for a bit of your project time?
I will refrain from singing although my inner Disney Princess is greatly saddened that she has to hold back.
There’s a reason why every article I have ever written on project management (in the SCA and out) includes the advice that you need to pad your timelines because you never know when chaos will strike. The mid-May deadline on the project that I was working was pushed back. Although I didn’t know it at the time this was a lucky break because I had a project mishap at the worst possible time (really, these things never happen at times when we can fix them easily) and I got so frustrated I just had to walk away.
Never forget to add in your Just-Step-Away-From-The-Machine time when you are planning your projects. It will save your sanity.
But while it is all working out for the best in the end it has meant that I’ve needed to rearrange some of my other project timelines and reevaluate my Dragon*Con project list. A big part of project management is the management of multiple priorities and multiple concurrent timelines. Yet another reason why it is so important to pad your timelines. External and internal factors will affect your timelines and changing timelines affect priorities. You have to be able to manage that and shift your task schedule (or the task schedules you have delegated) in order to accommodate that.
So that’s were I am. I had to walk away from my project for a bit but now I’m back at it. I did manage to fix the mishap pretty easily; sometimes all you need is a little distance. Now I’m reevaluating some timelines and project priorities but in the end All’s Well That Ends Well as The Bard says.