Science Girl Drinks Beer… yes, again.

Science of Beer is coming up, hopefully I can get this made by thursday for Science Girl, it’s been awhile since she’s made a real appearance. I loved the interesting gradient effect on their poster and wanted to emulate it. I’m also trying out a 3D modeler that allows me to see a dress concept without going to the expense and bother of actually sewing it. Its fun to play with!

Pattern is Burda 122- Cap sleeve Godet Dress


Hops and wheat designs by Phillip Markel on spoonflower.

The middle yellow has the chemical makeup of ethanol (like the second panel in the poster) and was “designed” by me for the purpose, as well as the pale gray with museum butterfly logo.


I reviewed this dress pattern here: Burda Style Cap Sleeve Godet Dress ★★

50’s Mad Hatter Dress

A friend of mine was having an Alice in Wonderland themed party, and what else could I do but go as a 1950’s style Mad Hatter?

The dress is mostly spoonflower’s organic cotton sateen. The overdress is hand dyed, and the underskirt is printed textured checkerboard (because with Alice there must ALWAYS be a reference to chess!) The top of the bodice is purchased lace, and you can see in the back where I used the pretty edge of the lace.


The pattern is my ever favorite Butterick Retro B5603, which if you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll notice I’ve made this dress five or six times. (I reviewed it here: Butterick Retro Dress B5603 ★★★★★). However, I made some pretty substantial alterations to it, this time around. The sweetheart neckline and lace is all mine, as well as the pleats up the left side. I had a lot of fun making this dress up as I went along.


The final picture is my favorite from the night of the party. Alice, the birthday girl is centered, with a rave-styled Cheshire Cat on the left. We clearly had the best headgear at the party (Photo by Jayce Williams). Also pictured are my fellow Fifties Caterpillar (see the long cigarette holder? Hehe), and her Cheshire Cat (his bowtie has orange kitty faces on it!) One of the best nights I’ve had this year.


Yellow Lantern

Remember when I said I’d been really really busy? This was part of that busy. This is me learning things about Spandex. And Foamies. Yes…. Lots of learning. So this was a project for a friend. He wanted a Yellow Lantern costume that wasn’t necessarily screen accurate, but more fun to wear (And with black boots, because finding yellow boots for men is apparently rather difficult. :-D) The costume itself was designed byNick Fair.

Somehow I only ended up with one in-progress shot, me carving up a bit of foamie for the chest emblem. However, for about two weeks, my dining/sewing room was an exploded mess of yellow and black spandex and craft foam. Seriously, an army of suicidal craft bumblebees decided it was an appropriate place to explode.


I’d never made a body suit before, especially for someone of the male persuasion. Men’s bodies are weird. I’m just going to put that out there. That whole hips the same size as the waist thing really weirds me out when I’m drafting pattern pieces, they look like the wrong shape. Anyways, the body suit wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be. I got some awesome advice from the Lake Fairy (facebook, etsy), and spandex is very forgiving and stretchy.

I’d also never worked with Foamies before. Yes, those silly sheets of craft foam that I never thought I’d touch again once I’d left the second grade. Apparently, its pretty awesome and has some good uses in “serious” “adult” costuming. Well, I had a mixed experience with it. For the shoulder armor, belt, and chest emblem, it worked pretty great! It has nice clean sharp lines, doesn’t fray, and best of all will actually hold a curved shape if you heat it up (hair dryer worked fine, no need for a heavy duty heat gun.)

However, its also rather fragile. I made the mistake of trying to close the bracers with snaps, but the snaps just rip straight through the craft foam. (I didn’t have enough time to remake the bracers before my friend up there had to leave for Shevacon, hence no bracers in the picture.) Its also difficult to find a glue that will actually bond to the foam strong enough for a BIG GIANT GUY to casually abuse it when using it in a costume. Costumes come under a fair amount of wear and tear, and I’d prefer to find something that actually held up for more than one con at a time. Luckily, foamies are super duper cheap, so remaking everything three times over still comes out to cheaper than the rest of the costume.

All in all, it was a pretty good success, and I learned a lot. And once I get a chance to fix the little things that are bothering me (the way the coat curls up at the edges and shows the lining at the chest *sigh*) it’ll be ones of the costumes I’m seriously proud of.

A Dress for 1914, January

So, I was teaching myself about gradient dyeing…. I wanted to create a dress for Neil Gaiman’s Calendar of Tales, from his January story. This is 1914’s dress. If you haven’t read his stories, or heard about his project, you need to! No really, check this out, right now. I’m not posting a full image of the dress here, because I want the final image to be a bit of a surprise…

My objective for the dress was to imitate the styles shown in Downton Abbey, the season 1 dresses at least, because they were mostly set in that time.

I’m not entirely satisfied with this dress. Its a beautiful dress (if I may say so myself!) but its not the effect I was going for in the end. To me, it looks more disney princess than anything else. I think my problem is mostly that I used two such contrasting colors. Most dresses from the time stuck to one color family. However, The Man Himself specified 1914’s long white skirt, and, well, I didn’t want to do an all white dress because it’d feel too wedding dress-y. And I was in the mood to try something new, I’d been reading about ombre dyeing and I wanted to try it myself.

The dyeing went wonderfully! That was also half the problem. My original plan was to have an over dress of the white chiffon that toned down the darkest purple on the bodice. But that shade of purple was just so beautiful, and the chiffon wasn’t as transparent as I wanted it to be, so ended up not doing a full over dress.

I think if I’d had more time I could have added a lot more embroidery, and that would have been truer to the 1914s super elaborate styles and fashions. If I could have added some beading and heavy embroidery to the skirt, I think it would have been perfect.

Gradient dyeing was definitely fun, and an effect I plan to use again in the future.

We had the photo shoot for the project last thursday. The picture is from when we were preparing for the shoot, we were gathered in the lobby of a local building, and my glove was feeling rather contrary (Photo by Kelsey, a gorgeous model)….


This photo is of the scene in January, when 1914 greets 2012 in the place where years go when they’re over. In the background, you can see several of the other years hanging out, enjoying life beyond time.


The photography was done by Sonja of Soulfire Studios ( facebook , tumblr ). Isn’t it fantastic? Everything feels magical and sort of timeless. (My favorite part is how she got the color of the water to actually match my dress, haha).

2012 is modeled by Matthew Sumner, of Beat Down Boogie.

I think my favorite part of this project is that I didn’t even know half the people I was working with when it all started. I just decided “Hey, I want to do this. I won’t be able to pull it off alone, so I should find some other people who want to do this.” And I sent out a bat signal, and friend of friends of friends responded. And this happened. And it was fantastic. Love of art and love of neil gaiman collide, and cool things happen.

I chose to work with the January story for several reasons. One of the easiest reasons is because it was one of the only stories where clothing was mentioned, and I wanted to sew something fantastic and fun. It was also the most Gaiman-esque story in my opinion. It left so much open, there are so many more stories just aching to be told. One year, one lifetime, second by second, battling a fight…

Anyways, this is the dress I imagine 1914 would be wearing. I copied a style similar to what fashion was like historically during that time, with a high waist, straight skirt, and lots of embellishments But I took a few liberties of my own, of course…

I also very much liked the imagery of sand trickling through an hourglass, and I tried to incorporate that theme in as many places as I could. The main fabric of the dress is gradient dyed, going from a deep midnight purple at the top and fading to timeless white. The embroidery on the bodice echoes that transition, and the shape of falling grains of sand. The beading in the back train of the dress does the same, individual beads trickling away like seconds of time.


Gaiman builds an image at one point in the story, the final grain of sand caught in the hourglass, the final second of Twelve’s time… One grain of sand per a second, for a year. I’d like to say there are as many beads on this dress as seconds in a year… But I did the math, and that comes out to be 31,536,000. Thirty one million, five hundred thirty six thousand seconds, in a normal year. (I wonder if the personalities of leap years are different? See, there’s a whole new story someone could write within this story…)

There aren’t that many beads on this dress, but there are probably a good couple of thousand.

Edited at 1:26pm local time (which happens to be 5:26pm GMT): Actually, I missed submission time by TWENTY SIX MINUTES. FML. Stupid Greenwich Mean Time. Also curiously appropriate, given my mental meanderings on the meaning of seconds, and time, etc etc. *sigh* Oh well. such is life.

Science Girl Glows

Here she is…. Science Girl: Glow! This was my last minute outfit for the GLOW event at the Museum of Life and Science. Its made out of two XL tshirts (one black, one neon yellow) some neon thread accents, and some glow in the dark pink puff paint. For about 2hrs work I think it turned out quite wonderful. Its even got some jelly fish painted on the hem, since they were the feature on the Glow poster.

GLOW was featured on WRAL’s website. I appear in one picture, next to the people with the incredibly awesome hats, by Hannah Pertalion, who happens to be one of my oldest and dearest friends.

The Fantastic Flying Books

This was a very minor character in a short film and children’s book entitled “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.” The trickiest part will be getting floating books to look awesome. Luckily I’ll have help.

I’m meeting a friend to help finish the flying books today. I designed the fabric myself, and printed it on spoonflower’s cotton sateen. I call it “Lorem Ipsum” … because I am a dork. You can see the fabric on spoonflower here: Lorem Ipsum Fabric.

With a purchased shirt, and pretty basic shoes, it’s one of the laziest costumes I’ve done in awhile. But if I get the flying books just right, that will make aaaaaaaall the difference.

Also, evidently I’ve been raised on too many princess movies, and believe there is nothing more adorable than a bow in the back. ❤

Science Girl – The Beginning

What is this? Oh, its just the poster for the awesome event at a local museum. SCIENCE FICTION with actual SCIENCE. Oh yes, its real. If you’re local to Durham, NC, you should check out the NC Museum of Life and Science’s After Hours events.

They have cool stuff like “Science of Beer” and “Science of Wine” and other adult topics. Heroes and Villains is all about the science behind movie special effects, board games, comic books, and cool geeky stuff. I have named the super hero on the poster Science Girl. And yes, I am going to make that outfit and wear it to the event. ‘cause I am just that awesome.

EDITED: Oops, actually that’s not an original super hero, evidentially its Mary Marvel. Clearly I’m not exactly up on old-school comics. Oh well…. I still might make something to wear to the museum event, haha.

Since I’ve been posting super wordy long posts lately, here’s a crappy low-quality picture of the Science Girl costume! While it may be one of the coolest, its not the neatest thing I’ve sewn in awhile. (See what I did there? Puntastic!) But I sewed it in about 4 hrs straight, and it only had to survive the one night of Heroes and Villains After Dark. And it was a fantastically fun night.

Sadly, I don’t have a good picture of me actually wearing it. I seriously need to get better about that. Oh well.

Pikachu Onesie

Yes, this is exactly what you think it is. A full-body pikachu suit, made of comfortable, cuddly, fleece. It even has a tail. One of my friends commissioned it as a Christmas present for another of my friends. The pictures were taken on the fly in his kitchen, so they’re not the best. But seeing as the girl wearing it regularly models, I’ll see if I can get some better pictures.

I reviewed the pattern I used here: Simplicity Animal Onesie 2853 ★★★

Shots of the pikachu outfit worn at illogicon 2012, in Raleigh NC. Photos by Jayce Williams, you can find his whole album of the con here .

Adventures in Steampunk

Yes, I know, its not as cool now that everyone knows about it. Still, there’s something about it that draws my heart… I think its the idea of pure adventure. So many people have so many different ideas about what steampunk “means,” but there’s always the common tie of good old fashioned romantic ADVENTURE. Not romantic as is gooey romance, but romantic as in fanciful, unrealistic, idealistic, completely and utterly impractical (I mean really, people flying zeppelins in corsets and bustles and top hats, that must be the best example of impractical anyone could ever come up with).

So anyways, even though “everyone’s doing it now” I still love steampunk. The problem is, I don’t have a properly amazing steampunk costume. Also, due to my incredible good fortune of befriending a certain someone in highschool, I have a free ride to GenCon in Indianapolis this year. So I need a good steampunk costume. A properly impressive people compliment me on my awesomeness as I walk down the hall steampunk costume.

The pictures you see here are just the beginning elements. I haven’t even decided what direction I’m going to go in yet, I just went to my closet/fabric bucket, and picked out anything remotely steampunk-esque. Most of it is just fabric draped over a mannequin at the moment, I don’t even know what I’ll end up using in the end.

Obviously, the leather buckled corset is a necessity ( I actually know these people and have worked with them, they’re pretty awesome).

I haven’t decided yet if I want to keep the circular hoop skirt and go with a romantic style, or work without it and do more of a bustled victorian look.

Also, I would love to create some sort of awesome jacket to go with the whole thing, but that would cover up the buckles in the back of the corset, which is pretty much the main feature of the top…

The hot air balloon fabric is just awesome, but probably too busy for clothing. I just can’t think of a way to incorporate it without looking gimmicky…

Choices choices, what will I do? (Life is just awesome)

This is a crappy picture of a very cute bolero I decided to make for the steampunk costume. Short in the back to show off the buckles of the corset, and looks good buttoned or unbuttoned. I used the Butterick 5232 pattern, technically, and then altered the sleeves to fit what I wanted. I might change them again, just because they don’t leave me with a good range of motion, but it looks pretty good on, so I’ll have to decide.

I wrote a review for this pattern here: Butterick Bolero B5232 ★★★★

These are the final pictures of the steam punk outfit. Sort of. They’re not great pictures, because its night and I couldn’t get good lighting with my dining room chandelier, lol. Also, I’ll probably still wear the red corset, but the blouse shows the details of the jacket better in photographs. Anyways, I ended up making the lace detachable, because I still couldn’t decide which way looked better, now I can change my mind as much as I want. Also, I can raise and lower the rouching at will, in four places.

Gen con was a great success. There were beautiful costumes, fun games, much drinking and partying! And a life-size TARDIS of course!

Victorian Dress

I created this dress for the 2011 Victorian Ball (put together by Triangle Vintage Dance). No, it is not strictly victorian, I decided I’d just rather have fun with it, and create something I thought was pretty. The dress is two separate pieces, the green overdress, and the cream ruffled underskirt. Also, I specifically taught myself how to crochet just so that I could put my own lace on this dress. And in case anyone is wondering, I’m really bad at crocheting, I much prefer knitting.