Sunday, December 30, 2012

Tangled Sun Banner DIY

Another DIY Sunday post, except today I actually made something! I know someone who's really crazy about the Disney movie Tangled, and who one day hopes to get the Tangled sun motif as a tattoo.

image via Google
To make my own recreation of the above, I drew a template based off of screenshots from the film. For the yellow fabric, I snipped up an old pillowcase, and for the purple material, I used the same purple satin from my Hermione's Beaded Purse DIY.

I appliqued the sun pieces with a discreet stitch so that minimal thread would show on the back side of the satin. I Fray-Checked the edges of the satin so it wouldn't unravel over time, as well as all the edges of the yellow pieces.

Just a few knots in the back, not too bad!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I Won the Sew Well Pearl Necklace Giveaway!

I know I should've told you all this a while ago, but I was the winner of Sew Well's Pearl Necklace Giveaway!! I'm so excited to have won this beautiful necklace, it really is quite a dream--I think I'll have to buy some tickets to the opera just to wear it right!

The packaging of the necklace showed a lot of thought and care, which I really appreciated!

Beautiful design on the shipping address.

And a fleur-de-lis covered box! How cute!

Even though this was such an impromptu photoshoot, you can still admire how lovely the necklace is.
And here's a fun shot with an old lace scarf and the necklace twined in my hair--the best I could do at an Edwardian hairstyle.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Portugal 2012: Part 3

Let me resume my tale of my summer vacation by elaborating on the next stop of my journey! After a week in warm coastal Portugal's beaches, we decided to travel through super historic southern Portugal. The Iberian Peninsula's architecture was influenced by many different cultures throughout history, especially as part of the Roman empire, and because of Moorish occupation for several centuries (until the Portuguese gradually pushed them out through a series of wars). Anywho, we drove up to Beja, on our way to UNESCO site Evora (but that's for a different post!).

Beja Castle--look at the original stones, and the replacement ones! Such a difference.

A deteriorating archway to the castle...was this grassy area once an outdoor room? Or did the archway lead to a stable house or training grounds? Squee it's still so cool!
Detail of the door
The outer courtyard, as you enter through the big doors.

The inner courtyard, some winding steps, and a beautiful and interesting tower!
The parapet above the courtyard.

Look at that view! Here, the landscape is flat and dry, unlike the scrubby mountains.

Lichens on the rocks!

Another shot of the inner courtyard. That's a beautiful baroque church in the back!
A statue of a Medieval Knight ermehgerddd! I believe the statue was made of Limestone because it was soft enough that people had etched their names into it.

These photos were from within that beautiful tower. There was even a carved coffin lid that must've been for a high-ranking knight--and the date inscribed on the bottom said it was from the 13th century!

This knight had a big nose--and some SWEET armor, too.

For my hair that day I used the Hot Cross Bun Tutorial from The Beauty Department, even though it didn't come out well, but at least I tried.

The archway from the inner courtyard to the outer courtyard, with a nice little tree.

The baroque church and courtyard outside Beja Castle.

And so we commenced our journey to Evora! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

18th Century Embroidered Pockets

If you remember, back when I made my Chemise a la Reine, I also made the correct undergarments to wear with it. These undergarments included a set of 18th century pockets. However, unlike extant examples, I never got a chance to embroider mine.

From the Museum of Bath, England, mid 18th century
That is, until now! I picked up my pockets the other day and bought a package of embroidery needles and a few colors of thread: a soft, mossy green; a deep blue; a cornflower blue; a powder blue; a magenta; and a dusty rose. I used a satin stitch technique I found in a book from my local library, and I love how plush and full this stitch is.

This project doesn't really have a deadline, it's more of like a pick-up-put-down project, like I'll work on it in the car or when I'm waiting around without anything else to do. I've found that embroidering is CRAZY good at relieving stress, I did the bulk of this in school and on vacation, and in school it really helped me to block out all the stress and noise for a little while.

My embroidery design is loosely based on this image:

So, how about some in progress pics?

I really do love the color scheme, the muted raspberry and golds against the strong azure.

Some more work still to be done on the left side...

All that's left on this side is to fill in the stems and vines with green thread!

I started filling in the stem here, but don't like the color green I chose. Going to tear it out and try using the same green as the lighter green of the leaves and berry stems. But look at that crazy gold flower!

The other pocket--not nearly as much done, but you can see the faint outline of the design.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Portugal 2012: Part 2

Time for some pictures of the wonderful quasi-tropical super quaint paradise that is Southern Portugal! These are from the old city of Albufeira, Algarve.

The cliffside beach wasn't this big the last time I visited--it must've had sand added to it.

No waves!

The view of the newer portion of the city, from the room we were staying in.

That cool, clear water!

The traditional white facades and orange tile rooftops.

Cliffside graffiti!

Hibiscus flowers in a church garden at the top of the cliff.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Female Link Cosplay Commission

Sorry I  don't have a DIY Inspiration post for you all today, things have been a little hectic up here in the East Coast! Thankfully my family and I weren't battered too badly by Hurricane Sandy, but there are places so close to us that felt the awful effects of such a powerful storm. That was followed up by a bit of snow right before my 19th birthday, which was not too bad at all (:

Anywho, since I haven't posted about sewing in a while, I figured I might show my readers one of my recent sewing commissions: a feminine Link costume!

My client wanted to cosplay Link for Comic Con (jeez, I know, I should've made this post about a month ago!), but wanted a dress she could wear for other occasions--in other words, not something so obviously costume-y.

I designed and drafted a pattern for a princess-seamed dress, with a high-low hem, a soft v-neck, and short sleeves which would retain the iconic characteristics of Link (the particular shade of green, the v-neck) with wearable modern touches (the high-low hem). My dress had gores between the seams from the hip to the hem, adding nice swishiness to the dress. The dress was completely lined in a complementing shade of green polyester satin stuff (seriously, the fabric one buys at Walmart, sometimes doesn't even FEEL like fabric...) and the zipper (brown, to pick up on the brown tones of the character's belt and boots) was completely hand sewn in, nested between the lining and outer fabric on the center back seam, and definitely my best zipper to date. I also made Link's cap, literally two triangles sewn to a band which was then turned under and slip-stitched.

And might I add she makes a great Link! 
A view of the whole dress--the princess seams fit perfectly!
Close-up of the princess seam

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Portugal 2012: Part 1

This summer, my parents and I vacationed in Portugal, running it nearly from tip to tip! It was a great vacation, and truly, Portugal is overlooked as a tourist destination. It has great beaches, natural parks, waterfalls, Roman ruins, architecture that spans the ages, quirky museums, folk art and music, and a super quaint atmosphere! Also, the country has some really great modern infrastructure too, which makes a timeless, almost magical environment.

747 (:

We traveled with the German airline Lufthansa, honestly one of the best we've ever been on. We did a stopover in Frankfurt, Germany, so we could stretch our legs for a few hours. Finally, we arrived in Lisbon, Portugal!

It feels nice to rent a luxury car! A big change from the clunker I drive at home, lol

Leaving the airport

The Vasco Da Gama Bridge--its huge!!

The chapparal landscape as we drive down south
 We leave the airport and drive to the south, our destination being Albufeira, Portugal, where we will enjoy the beach and the nightlife for a week.


Albufeira is located between Portimao and Faro.

Dry and scruffy! And look how busy this major highway is!! Its almost empty :o
The lush tropical landscape as we drive into Albufeira!