Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fashioning My Cyber Microcosm: Scary Spooky Numbers.

I don't know how other sewists keep track of all the numbers we deal with, but I surely cannot. Even when they belong to me.
I can't ever seem to remember my own measurements, no matter how often I use them; numbers never had sticking power in my head, unlike interesting tidbits and catchy jingles...
It was with this in mind, and the fact I go through plenty of notepads losing the notes I make, I bopped around the internet in search of a good spooky template to use. In doing so I discovered a really cute blog that offered a printable template that exemplifies the awesomeness all over this blog; I speak of Tea and Craft. Her template is cute, really damn cute-- much like her!
However, as cute as the template was it didn't perfectly fit the need I was looking for; I needed it to be a little more basic and bold since my eyes play funky tricks with small text. So I took to the internet again, but not for another template. I wanted to build on her awesome idea and add more Halloween kitsch to it!

Click to be directed to google docs for printing
After visiting the Graphics Fairy, with nothing but Pixlr and Paint at my disposal...the result is a printable that has lines for all the basic measurements one has to remember for sewing patterns, and a little room for the real specific ones, just in case-- all large enough to hang and glance at quickly. With Tea and Crafts blessing, this template is available for you all to use at your leisure!
Go ahead, print and be merry knowing you won't have to remember all those bloody numbers!
Be very sure to visit and thank Tea and Crafts for inspiring us all.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Mortem's Trick or Treats: What The Copy Bat Wants, The Copy Bat Gets.

Now I know I've been quiet, and that shouldn't shock anyone since I go long stretches without a peep... but I will agree it is rather strange for someone who is especially active around October. It is currently 6 days 18 hours and 43 minutes till the grand finale of the best month of the year. I have been scrambling to round off my Hallowe'en shopping, but a certain impulse put a kibosh to not only that... delayed the completion of a few projects.

Luckily I recovered from the delay in order to get one of my commissions done and...

New Look 6773. If it looks familiar, it's because it should... oh yes, the copy bat has struck again! This is my attempt to copy bat the purple batty dress from Sourpuss. The days of the original dress are numbered, every time it was washed it got a little more faded-- not to mention some of the seams have become undone on some places, and I always wash in delicate settings with cold water and woolite for blacks. The fading and fraying has gotten so bad that I have all together stopped washing it in the general wash, and have now added it to my pile of dry cleaning. It's so sad to see such a beautiful item just be an all round disappointment in quality.

Anyway, I vowed to copy bat the dress because I adore that dress. I am not going to buy another one, because the cons of doing so are just too great. It's so much money to gamble on a potentially bad product-- could have been mine was just some bad dud, but I don't want to risk another one. Not when I have the ability and know-how to make a similar one. So I did.

A couple or so Hallowe'ens ago a good friend had purchased me a couple yards of this wonderful spider web fabric. I see it every year now at Walmart-- seems like it's a popular one. I knew it was just the fabric for this copy bat dress I had in mind when I was organizing my stash for the move... but, it wasn't until I actually moved to San Antone that fate brought me together with this out of print pattern during a sale.

And it all came together just like that. Bodice view B and Skirt view K made an almost identical dress in style and cut!

So I began my work a week or so ago, when suddenly I sent all my machines in for work on the oddest lark I've ever felt.

There is sat for a few days, taunting me on my dressform-- laughing at me for my impulse. I couldn't even do any retail therapy because the cost of sending in my machines was a little too sudden and large of an expenditure. Although, my serger was aching for a new plug; the plastic around the socket was smashed during the move since the movers had packed it with my very heavy and very metal exterior singer machine. Lucky it didn't affect the electrical, it was just an annoyance because the plug wasn't as secure as I liked. It was really dumb, but I'm over it now.

About the only problem I encountered with the pattern itself was the left side back bodice piece alone was gaping under my arm in the most unusual way. I'm positive it was because the tension on my serger was a little too strong and it warped ever so slightly to create that gaping. I had to retinker with the settings on all my machines on their return naturally, which I thought I nailed by the time I put the final garment through. To fix the problem I reopened the seam and tucked the excess and hand stitched it back. Not the proper way, I'm sure, but it solved the issue and it appears flawless lol.

This dress is fully lined, and despite the tiny hiccup, it wasn't much of an issue. Though I truly do wonder if I should have lined it-- there is a reason I never line the dresses I make. It's bulky, and a pain with static. Hate that clingy feeling... it hasn't happened yet, but we'll see. I chose a lightweight cotton for the lining, none of that synthetic stuff notorious for static charge. I didn't see much of a choice for including the lining because the collar is attached to the edge of the dress... I guess I could have just drafted a facing like I do with everything else, but I suppose I felt I needed to change it up?(??)

Ah well, whatever the case, now I won't feel quite so bad when the bat dress and I part ways, because I know that I can always make the replacement, heh. I might just even make this in different Hallowe'en prints too! That might be really fun.
The rough cost break down of this dress was:

  • $4 per yard for spiderweb (x2), 
  • $2.00 per yard for lightweight cotton (x2)
  • $7 per yard for black twill (.25)
  • 12 inch zipper $4 (1)
  • Pattern (on sale) $1
Making the grand total: $18.75 and 5 hours total of labor (not including the long pauses between actual work). If I calculated in minimum wage for those hours (going to put it at $10 because that was what it was in New Mexico), it comes out to be a touch more than the one from Sourpuss but only for that reason alone; I only calculate wages if I was actually going to sell it, which I am not.

I hope you enjoyed this episode of "The Copy Bat"-- bringing you ways to make the things you want on (mostly) a dime.

P.S. the shoes I'm wearing are ones I modified once upon a time-- for a better look, and the story behind them, check out the old post!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fashioning My Cyber Microcosm: A Quiet Evening & A 3lbs Bag of Candy Corn.

Tis' a quiet and uneventful afternoon; I'm sitting and eating away at a 3lbs bag of Brach's candy corn, as I enjoy the tranquility.

Normally by this time, I'd be cursing the weather on the cooler side... thankfully, at least for a cold blooded one such as I think myself, the weather hasn't shut down my senses and threw me into hibernation mode. No, it's warm and still into the 90F (30C) here in the deeper end of Texas.
Call me crazy, but I still manage to not only knit but go so far as to wear a warm hat on my head while doing so... though in my defense, my husband does keep the house on the cool side.

I think I have officially completed my Halloween shopping... I was, like everyone else it would seem, just a tiny bit underwhelmed at this years choices. Halloween shopping seemed to wind down a lot earlier than I am used to-- I was left with the conclusion that Texan's (at least in my area of San Antone) do not really care too much about Halloween enough to let it have its month before all the Christmas takes over the main traffic displays. I wonder if it was any different in the other parts... it is an exceptionally big city after all. I bought many things after having gone all over our side of town-- and I mean it, every day it felt like I saw something online and then went to every shop near my vicinity in order to find it and buy it. It would have been nice having the option of simply purchasing them online, but in many cases it wasn't able to.

I bought many nice things despite encountering many bare and minuscule shelves... and perhaps some nice things for a potential giveaway.
Hmm, I've probably said too much...

A couple nights ago I was tagged by the marvelous Curious Professor Z and then again today by the delectable Mourning Glory Designs for a Halloween tag; how fun!
Let's get down to business:

1. Favorite Halloween song?
Hmm, well let's see-- Bobby Pickett's Monster Mash for a truly Halloween tune that gets me feeling very festive.
Confession #1: I have always wanted to break out dancing to Thriller, and have people join in on it donning their costumes...

2. Witch of Vampire
My younger self would have jumped in quickly with vampire-- I had such a thing for them, and was an avid reader of the Vampire Chronicles. Though, I'm going to go with both on this one-- I like witches a lot too now.
Confession #2: I gave serious thought to the consumption of blood during my vampire obsession, researching cultural practices in depth. It never happened other than a few well seasoned medium rare steaks, heh. These days, I don't care much for red meat anymore.

3. Favorite thing about Halloween
I suppose I like the feeling of general society also partaking in the enjoyment of spooky stuff. My husbands birthday is on the eve of Halloween, so we get to celebrate his existence then too.
Confession #3: I love every kitschy detail of Halloween, from cheap plastic fangs and fake blood to timeless decadent batty decor.

4. Halloween party or scary movie marathon?
Definitely scary movie marathon; I like people, but it's hard to stay around them. I have a threshold where I can comfortably hang out for a couple hours, but once it's up you can physically see me draining of energy despite my desire to stay.

5. Skeletons or Zombies?
Can I choose both? I like watching zombie movies, and decorating with skulls and skeletons...

6. Favorite Halloween candy?
Candy corn without a doubt, but I do also really love caramel apple pops. Rockets are good, too...
Confession #4: I hated/loved smarties double lollies. I loved licking them till my tongue was raw and almost bleeding. I hated them for the same reason.

7. Favorite Halloween movie?
Well, I don't think there's any movie that I save specifically to watch during Halloween, but if there were it'd probably be Hocus Pocus, Halloween Town '98, Under Wraps '97 and every classic universal studio monster movie. Also this, definitely this (go on, watch it-- it's the best ever!):

8. Favorite Halloween costume?
I saw this image of an artist's concept of a pyramid head from Silent hill gender swapped carrying a staff made from the church steeple rather than the giant sword, and I still think it's the best idea for a costume ever. One day I'll get around to crafting it... but I would want to give it my all, and to not have an event to wear that amount of work to has really kept me from committing to starting it.

9. Favorite Halloween store?
I liked Dollarama-- super cheap, cute and neat stuff most of the time. Don't have Dollarama's in the U.S. that I'm aware of, at least not in the states I've lived in. In New Mexico and Arizona it was Kmart as they had the cutest damn decorations and clothing; good quality and good price. Since there are no Kmarts in San Antone, it's now Joann's and Target. Nice stuff, but they border on the pricier side of indulgence.

10. Jack-o-lanterns, yes or no?
I think the answer is obvious, heheh... *glances over to background*.

11. Bats or Black Cats?
Bats and black cats invade every aspect of my life. I have a black cat named Khan (after the Star Trek super villain, but he is referred to as the Genghis from time to time), and I'm adorned by something batty 90% of the time, back in New Mexico I enjoyed watching the bats at night and frequented Bat Flight at Carlsbad Caverns.
Confession #5: I'm actually terrified of anything flying, so the bats that hung out at my house in New mexico would often scare the bajeebus out of me when returning home at night. They liked my front door for whatever reason, and I never had the foresight to leave the porch light to prevent them from hanging out there...

12. Is Halloween your favorite holiday?
That would be an unequivocal yes. I consider myself a Halloween Town denizen more than I consider myself a goth-- much more accurate description of my style and self.
Confession #6: I get a huge kick from scaring people, especially small children. I would be one of those annoying pranksters that a lot of people seem to hate when it comes to Halloween time... *sings* Life's no fun without a good scare.

13. Pumpkin spice latte or hot chocolate?
If it were not for a deeply seated, totally embedded and general disgust for coffee... I would have tried a pumpkin spice latte long time ago. Alas, I always feel malaise whenever I near the coffee shop thinking "this year's the year!". Hot chocolate is the logical choice for me... better yet, make it a chocolate chai latte or a london fog!
Confession #7: I tried coffee when I was a child, since that is the only drink my mother and father ever seem to drink... it was so bitter and horrible even with cream and sugar that I vomited immediately. I have never again tried it since.

And that concludes this tag, heh.

I will now in turn tag some fellow bloggers:

I hope to see your answers to these questions soon!
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