Princess Leia

 I've been working since January or so to make Alex's Halloween costume. she decided a long, long time ago (probably the day after Halloween 2014) that she wanted to be Leia. I didn't really think thru the fact that it would be such a popular costume this year. but she doesn't seem to mind. in fact, she said hers would be better than everyone else's anyways because i made it. so anyways, here's how i made Alex's A New Hope movie accurate Leia costume. I started with the hat. I asked Alex if she wanted to wear a wig or a hat and she wanted nothing to do with a wig. so i set out to find a Leia buns hat pattern. I didn't really like anything I found so i pieced together a few different patterns and put my own twist on the buns to crochet her hat. I love the part in the hat - i had to redo that several times to get it right. And the hat is really warm and cozy - it basically has built in ear warmers. Then I started working on both the belt and the dress at the same time. The dress looks rather simple to make, but as it turns out it is way more complicated than you'd think. It's a double layered white jersey gown with the long hood - that's a lot of fabric. I basically made this dress twice since I made the pattern myself and made a few mistakes along the way. I researched and read a bunch of different tutorials and padawan guides for making adult sized Leia gowns. I took Alex's measurements and set out to make a pattern out of excess old fabric that I had on hand. I had to make adjustments to the pattern, but not too bad. I wish I had made the arms a little longer, but I am happy with the length since I didn't want her tripping over the gown. There's even the slit in the sides like in the movie. I don't have a lot of experience with this type of fabric and i hand stitched quite a bit of it (which I prefer to machine sewing anyways.) I made the hood pattern wrong the first time - math error! so i made that part a second time as well. and i had never made a keyhole opening in clothes before nor had I made a mandorin collar before. I made the collar wrong the first time as well, but re-measured; made a new pattern and made it again. So, yes, I made every single part of this gown twice! and before i hemmed the bottom of the dress I sewed an elastic waste into the gown. I know, that part is not movie specific, but this is an 8 year old and it would be way easier for her to wear with that waste line sewn in. And finally I hand stitched the hem of the dress. I am so happy with how it turned out. It did not dawn on me until I finished that she would be wearing this at school at most likely get chocolate frosting or cupcake or something on this gown. I sprayed the entire thing with scotch guard - recommended by a friend of mine (thanks for the fabulous idea, Alison.) We'll see how well that works, but I figure if it doesn't then she'll just be post trash compactor Leia then. Finally the belt. I made the fabric part of the belt out of faux leather - I kind of wish I had gone with real leather just for the sturdiness and thickness of it. the faux leather was kind of a problem. the first time i tried putting snaps onto the belt for fasteners they ripped right thru the fabric. so yes, I also made the belt twice! This time i used snap fabric strips that I sewed onto the faux leather as the fasteners and those seem to be working beautifully. the plates on the belt: I cut them out of aluminum sheeting; filed down each one; and punched a hole in the middle. I then attached those to the belts with an eyelit brad (or whatever you call those things) using a resin button that I had made as a washer. They still were rotating and spinning so I did add some glue (e6000) to the backside of the metal plates. I bent the plates to curve around her waste for betting fitting. Finally i finished off the belt by glueing silver button covers over the hole of the plates. Oh, the blaster. I bought one of those cheap toy blasters that are white and orange; spray painted silver first; then spray painted black; sanded some areas for wear and tear so the silver would show thru; and sealed it with a matte coat. I made the blaster strictly for pictures; she will not be leaving the house with it. She loves the costume and might even wear it (if it survives the weekend) when we go to see The Force Awakens in December. Happy Halloween.


Star Wars Paint By Number

Alex and I started some paint by number projects earlier this year. I found her some downloadable beginner print by number pieces. They're super cute and still in progress; I will definitely show those pictures soon. I got myself some advanced versions of the downloadables that go with Alex's sets. I also set out to find some geeky ones for long term projects for myself. I was looking to find some Doctor Who, but I didn't really find any that I liked yet. I might draw my own and print some on canvas paper. I did however find some awesome Star Wars paint by number. I found this old kit (circa 70s i believe) in its original packaging and sealed on eBay cheap. the paints are all dried up so I'm just using them as reference. I've been painting bits on this after Alex and I do a color on our smaller paint projects. I think this one might take me until I'm 90 to finish, but so far i'm loving it.


sugar skull mask

this year i was asked to participate in the sugar skull mask show at work. i was so excited. i believe this was the second year the hispanic resource network group put together this show. they have a limited budget, therefore limited masks; so they ask a select number of artists from different departments around the company. i had a couple of ideas immediately, but went with a more traditional look for the sugar skull. i love sugar skulls by the way. i started by cutting off the jaws of the mask (i forgot to take a picture before i cut them off and put down a base white coat front and back.) i painted my design on the skull next and drilled holes at the forehead for the flowers to be added later. at the same time i started making little red and pink resin cast skulls that i put as the center of the roses (you can't really see them in the final piece because of the rose petals, but i still love how the resin skulls turned out.) next i started gluing on all those tiny little gems over my painted designs. originally i was going to cover the entire white part as well in gems, but i stopped because i liked the look with just the colored gems. and finally i glued the rose headdress into place. the show turned out great - we have some incredibly talented people here at work. happy (early) day of the dead (dia de los muertos.)


sneak peak on halloween

i haven't posted anything in a while - i'm either working on gifts, longer term projects, or just outside enjoying the nice summer weather. so i thought i'd give a sneak peak into our halloween. can you guess what alex decided to dress up as? yes, she's going to be princess leia for halloween this year. i still have quite a bit of work to do on the costume - the gown and belt will be movie accurate (but child sized and one other detail that you won't even see but makes it easier to wear.) so here we have the hair. alex has short (well, currently short) blonde hair. she did not want to wear a wig whatsoever. so i crocheted her a hat. it will actually work perfectly since halloween here can be so cold and part of the costume struggle is always how to keep her warm enough. i like the part in the middle of the forehead, which was a little difficult to get right - i think i redid that a couple of times. and i just love the buns. i basically crocheted a tube then stitched that into a spiral. i did want the buns to be bigger so i then stuffed the buns and stitched a circle of felt to close them. i attached the buns right over the ear area which also creates some ear muffs to keep her another level of warm. she says the hat is really comfortable and she can't wait to dress up as leia. now if i can only finish the rest of the costume in time :)


rose pin

i crocheted a rose and turned it into a pin. this will be a piece for one of alex's cosplay outfits for next year's wizards world comicon. i have 3 outfits planned for alex and me: a different theme for each day of the con. one of the days will of course be doctor who. we will match as far as general theme, but we will be cosplaying from different doctors i think. for this upcoming halloween, alex had her choices narrowed down to 3 ideas (she has since chosen.) one of the ideas was rose tyler from the idiot's lantern. that is such a niche idea (and i love it) however there probably wouldn't be a single person at school or on her trick-or-treating route that would know who she was supposed to be. so instead that will be one of her cosplays. in the episode rose tyler is wearing a pink dress with a jacket. on the jacket is a little pink flower pin. so here is that little detail of the outfit. i found an easy crochet flower pattern on pinterest. it was literally two rows of crochet and then sew it in a spiral with the yarn tail. super easy (although i did follow the directions incorrectly the first go around, but that's typical for me, haha.) then i simply glued a pin to the back. it'll be perfect for the outfit. next i need to make a mask that looks like her face has been sucked off into a television set :)


bald gene simmons cat toy

haha, so this happened. i set out to make a baby gift for an expecing girlfriend. i thought it would be cute to make her a gene simmons doll from KISS. i had a plan and started crocheting...and this is what happened, haha. it does not even look like i had in my brain. i cannot give this as a gift - way too embarrassing if the receiver has to struggle to figure out what it is. i originally planned to give him some black yarn hair as well, but i decided to not bother. since i wasn't going to gift this anymore, alex asked if she could have it. but then we discovered that the cat seemed to fancy bald gene simmons. so voila, now it's a cat toy :)


feeling squatchy?

my nephew just had a birthday and he is often looking for sasquatch. so we put together a sasquatch themed birthday present for him. it included an awesome bigfoot metal lunchbox, a bigfoot gentlemen bendy doll, bigfoot bandaids, and this plush ragdoll that i made. you can make one too: http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/3907165. i made this one out of faux suede which gives it a soft feel and it washes wonderfully. his shirt says "don't stop believin'" haha and there's a bigfoot silhouette on the back of his shirt. he does have big feet and big ears and a funny little tushie. his arms and legs are pretty long making him even sillier. i am working on making a yeti version as well: http://www.spoonflower.com/designs/3985196.
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