Well, I am officially homeless for the immediate future. All I have to do now is sit around and play Pokemon until the big day of departure. Since Mister Boy pointed out there has been quite a bit of “the sky is falling” in my recent posts, here is something completely unrelated to moving or impending doom.
Remember those plushstaches from a while back? It turns out making your own mustaches is dangerous, because it’s hard to tell when to quit. At first it’s fine to have just a couple, but soon you find yourself asking “do I really have enough mustaches?” Today I will be the villain, but what if tomorrow I need to be a stoic cowboy? Black and brown are so droll, what about pink or teal? Or sparkles? It is truly a dangerous path.
Lucky for you, in the ongoing quest to fill-out my cache of ‘staches, I have created some new patterns! These are made the same as the previous ones, but in case you need help, here is my handy tutorial.
For your wearing pleasure, I introduce to you:
The dapper “Little Belgian Detective”
And the sure to impress “‘Boh ‘Stache”
You can get both patterns (it’s a two-in-one) right here:
Good luck and remember, a girl (or boy) can never have too many mustaches! Especially if they are horrendously trendy.
I’m a bit of a packrat crossed with a magpie. I collect all sorts of little odds and ends. Over the years, I’ve managed to curb most of these tendencies, but one thing that remains a great weakness is fabric remnants. Every time I go to the fabric store I am compelled to beeline to the remnant bins and rifle through those half-price goodies. I know I don’t need them, but how can I resist? It’s like a treasure hunt and it’s rare that I walk away empty handed. These frivolous purchases have come to make up a large portion of my fabric collection. I suppose if I was a quilter it would all be perfectly justifiable, but I’m not and I refuse to be. (I’m pretty sure it would spell certain doom for me and the livable space in my apartment if I had that kind of excuse to buy fabric.) Luckily I’ve become quite skilled at coming up with other uses (excuses) for my ever growing collection. Most often I channel this into one of my sewing favorites, all manner of bags.
Last year I started making these particular little lined drawstring bags. They aren’t anything new or amazing concept-wise, but they are pretty cute, easy to make, and don’t require much fabric. Perfect for using up those remnants and fat quarters.
I also think this is a good way to practice hand sewing, if you’re into that sort of thing. Despite the fact that I own three sewing machines, sometimes I just want a good hand sewing project. I find it pleasant and calming. And sometimes I get struck by unbearable envy of little Japanese women who hand sew everything, and it’s all disgustingly cute.
If you don’t like hand sewing you can whip these little bags up lickety-split with a sewing machine (less than half an hour if you are on good terms with your machine). Either way I think this is a good beginner sewing project. They are cute, easy, fun, and also make nice little reusable gift bags. Continue Reading…
To be the owner of a handsome mustache is quite a thing and seems rather popular these days. However, life is very unfair leaving some of us genetically powerless to grow our own or forbidden to do so by the edicts of fashion or significant others. Long troubled by this problem, last year I finally created my own solution to this age old inequity without the need for razors, wax, or hormone treatment. It turns out it is quite simple (and inexpensive) to create your own facsimile of awe worthy facial hair. All you need is some felt, a needle and thread, and some sort of stuffing. Although perhaps not as satisfying as the real deal, a plush-stache is still very enjoyable. In fact, if you are already a mustache bearer, you can even increase your coolness without all the maintenance. Continue Reading…
Back in the saddle again! Thanks to all of you who made me feel guilty about not posting. Guilt is sometimes a pretty good motivator. I didn’t realize that I was letting peoples down. So why did the Jefita disappear you say? I was doing so well, what with the semi-regular updates and the like. Did I have grand adventures or was I just slacking off? Well, I did have a few adventures, and maybe I did slack off some, but I was also in an epic struggle with one of my ancient foes, The Beast of Time Ill Spent. I have many foes, but The Beast is probably foremost among them.
A while back, I accepted a commission to make a gazillion tiny plush koi fish for wedding favors. I had worked out all the details, what they were supposed look like, how big, what color, etc., and then I got stuck. I didn’t know what to make them out of. Normally I use felt for my little plushies, but I needed something with a particular fish scale pattern. After an exhaustive search I hadn’t found anything that fit and I was actually starting to consider ways to paint the scales on. Then in a moment of brilliance, I remembered hearing about an awesome sounding website called Spoonflower a few months back. Spoonflower offers custom printed fabrics and the minimum order size is less than a yard. I have to admit, once I remembered this I was thrilled to have an excuse to try it out. The idea of being able to get exactly what I wanted without all the searching was pretty fantastic. So I whipped up the pattern I needed and ordered me some fabric. A week or so later, and ta-da! My fancy fabric showed up in the mailbox.
An introduction into the properties of faux fur and where to acquire it.
Long ago when I first became a maker of plushies, all I used was craft felt because it was well suited to the tiny creatures I made. Also, I was dead broke and that was all I could really afford to work with. As I got further into the world of plush I dreamed of the days when I would have a vast array of fabric at my disposal. Having inherited my mother’s weakness for outrageous colors and fabrics, I yearned for all sorts of exotic materials. In particular I lusted after a stash of wild and colorful faux fur. Continue Reading…
A couple of weekends ago, I decided to venture into Baltimore to witness the event that is Otakon. For the unaware Otakon is a large annual convention for fans of anime, manga, video games and the associated culture. There are lots of fun events, artists, and vendors of all manner of strange wares. In essence it is a huge Otaku geekfest. Now, I’m not really an anime nerd, but I’ve never gone to one of these events and I have to admit I was rather curious what it was actually like. Last summer I happened to be passing by Otakon and the bizarrely dressed throngs of people were fascinating. The vast majority who attend Otakon dress up or cosplay as their favorite characters so it is quite something to behold. Despite Otakon being focused Eastern Asian art and culture, the variety of costumes also spreads across the rest of the geek spectrum. So, truthfully the primary reason I attended was to see all the people who turn out for this sort of thing.
Resolution at last! Often I have this overly optimistic uncluttered timeline that I think I work on. In reality, unless someone is paying me, things never get done like I imagine. I actually finished this up last weekend, but it took me a whole week to get the time to post it. I’m still figuring out this whole blog thing.
Anyways, picking up from where I left off last week, this is the exciting conclusion of my companion cube tutorial. At this point I have the six sides of my cube finished and it’s time to transform it into a 3-D shape.
Well, I have recovered enough from my grievous thumb injury and mostly caught up on work to continue on with the undisclosed project. Now for the big reveal! I am working on making a Weighted Companion Cube. Again. This is not actually the first of these I have made. Two years ago I had just finished playing Portal and was still feeling the pangs of loss over The Cube. In my grief I decided to make an effigy for Mr. Boy. At the time I was very satisfied and even made a crude tutorial.
Now it has recently been announced there will be a Portal 2!! My inner fangirl went squee and decided I must make a new and improved homage to the beloved cube. And so we are brought to the present.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let Wikipedia enlighten you or better yet, go play the game. In short, Portal is a delightful first person puzzle game and the Cube is part of it. It’s hard to understand what the fuss is about unless you have played the game, but the wiki will give you some idea what I’m making.
Now back to what I was doing…
If you would like to follow along with this project listed below are the things you will need. Just a warning, this isn’t a particularly expensive or difficult project, but it is a bit time consuming. There are a lot of little pieces to put together and it is all handsewn. It is not a quick afternoon project. Unless you are some kind of sewing wizard. I’m not quite at that level yet, but I’m working on it.
- 1 9×12″ sheet light gray felt
- 1 9×12″ sheet dark gray felt
- 1 9×12″ sheet light pink felt
- light pink thread
- light pink embroidery floss or pearl cotton
- gray thread
- polyester fiber fill (or other stuffing of choice)
- rice or plastic pellets for weight
- extra felt, fleece or quilt batting for padding
A few notes on materials: The first time I had trouble finding both colors of gray felt in the handy 9×12″ sheets so I used white and gray instead. I eventually realized the felt can also be found on bolts in the regular fabric section. A quarter of a yard is plenty for this project. If you check the remnant bins at the fabric store (usually near the cutting tables) sometimes you get lucky and find the colors you want and it’s super cheap. Another option is to buy all of it online where there is usually a greater selection all in one place.
A pattern might also be handy at this point, and luckily I happened to have made one. This pattern, left unsized, makes a cube that is 3″ big.
On to the nitty gritty!
- First off I cut all the pieces out. My pattern has the corresponding color and number of each piece conveniently marked, so I end up with 6 dark gray squares, 24 light gray corner pieces, 12 light grey tabs, 6 light grey circles, and 6 pink hearts. I also wanted to add a bit more dimenstion to my cube so I cut out extra pieces to go underneath the circles and the tabs. I have lots of fleece scraps so that’s what I used, but felt or quilt batting would work too.
- Starting with the bottom layer details, I used pink embroidery floss and the backstitch to add the lines that cross the center of the cube. The stitching doesn’t go all the way to the center or the edges since other pieces will cover those areas.
- Next the little hearts were sewn onto the gray circles using whip stitch. From here on whip stitch is what I use to sew everything together unless I state otherwise.
- Taking the padding and the just finished small circles, I carefully center and then sew them on top of the dark gray squares.
- Now comes probably the most tedious part of this whole venture: attaching all 32 corner pieces to the squares. The corners are lined up on top of the squares with the edges sticking out and sewn together where they overlap. It makes more sense if you look at the pictures.
- And that’s all for part one! Now there are six finished sides and all that’s left is putting them together and stuffing. Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion sometime next week.
There’s no sense crying over every mistake
You just keep on trying till you run out of cake
Once upon a time there was a girl who came to be know as a Maker of Things Varied and Wonderful. All sorts of curious things did this girl create–hats and pastries, monsters and all manner of fantastic beasts. One day it was suggested that perhaps the Maker of Things should share her adventures and secret knowledge with the world. Acknowledging a desire to share her learnings and accomplishments, the girl set forth to pen her adventures for the edification of all. Here begins her epic tales of craftery. Continue Reading…