Monday, January 18, 2016

Web Comic Review: Broken Telephone

Real talk folks, I read a lot of web comics. Like a ridiculously large amount. I think it's a really great way for artists to tell a story and I love some of the ingenuity that comes out of it. One really interesting format I ran into was Broken Telephone ( The concept is that each character has their own stories to tell and their own way of telling it and each story has a different "truth" of sorts. The other interesting portion of this comic is that each story is done by a different artist. It really sets each story apart while the story line holds them together, like a different thread colors in a tapestry.

I honestly had a hard time following some of the stories and was often times disappointed that a story had already moved on. I really enjoy learning about the many facets of characters and to just get a flash in the pan of each one was difficult for me to swallow. It was probably a good experience for me....even if I didn't care for the lesson.

Since there were so many artists, there were some styles I really enjoyed (Rachel Dukes, whoever did the arc "Threat Languages", Ryan Estrada and Will Kirkby, Jenna Salume, and Chad Thomas were my faves) and a few that weren't my groove. To each their own right?

All in all, an interesting experience. I do honestly wish there was more fleshing out of the story....but I guess that means there is a good foundation there?

It's worth the read if only for the experience.

Sunday, January 17, 2016



So, I vowed I wasn't going to buy more animal print fabrics for Jungle January. Then Joann's had 50% their red tag fabrics. So that vow went right out the window. I ran into some lovely rainbow leopard/cheetah print cotton that screamed "MAKE ME INTO A DRESS!"

The Details:
Pattern: Lisette for Simplicity 1419
Alterations: I put a button on the top back because I wanted the zipper lower because of my curves.
Fabric: A cotton rainbow leopard/cheetah print! $1.50 a yard. Oh yes. Plus some black heavy cotton from my stash.
Snazzy Details: It has pockets! Cute button for front keyhole. Color blocked back (see history). Peter pan collar. Pleats!

History: So, there's not a whole lot of history behind this one. It's one of those fabrics that sang to me. The only problem is that there was only a bit over two yards of it. NOOOO! I wanted a dress damn it!! So I improvised.I dug through my stash and found a pattern (I've been meaning to make one up anyway). It wasn't too much shorter that the required fabric for the dress without sleeves but I wanted sleeves (of course). So, through clever laying out of pattern pieces on the single, I was able to get everything on there except the back piece. I wanted to have a contrast collar anyway and had just enough to get the back pieces on it too. So color blocking it is. I actually really like how it turned out:

I ended up having to take in a little bit of extra width all the way around because I'm between sizes. The keyhole was a bit interesting to put together.....getting that facing to lay flat is a pain! Collar worked out good which is a miracle considering my previous experience with peter pan collars.....let's just say my first experience wasn't a pleasant one and I haven't touched them until this pattern. I was also able to use a very random but cute button from my stash. WIN!


Collar and Keyhole!




Here is my second Jungle January make! A lovely 50's styled dress. This was actually an unfinished object: a muslin that I had made for the bridesmaids dresses for my sister's wedding. This is how the bridesmaid dresses worked out:

That's right....I even managed to make this dress for a second person. WOOT WOOT!
But on to the JUNGLE JANUARY VERSION!! It was sitting in my UFO pile to have the skirt attached and a zipper put in.

The Details:
Pattern: Sew Chic Tia Dress (w/ Craftsy Class alteration)
Alterations: The contrasts are not in the original pattern, I was taught how to do them on the Craftsy class (Flirty Day Dress I believe is the name). As such, I won't show you how to do them as the class is actually really helpful. However, be aware that if you wear larger sizes like me, the contrast across the bust needs to be extended in length from what is said in the class. (ASK ME HOW I KNOW....thank GOD again for muslins)
Fabric: $1 a yard cotton that I picked up a long while ago. Working through my stash!
Snazzy Details: Front Patch pockets, contrasts, crinoline worn underneath (from pettiskirt style)

History: My sister and her now wife asked me to make the bridesmaid dresses for the wedding since they couldn't find anything they liked at a reasonable price. I got to choose the pattern and my sister chose the fabric. Since it was a pattern and company I'd never worked with before (I got the class and pattern on sale as a bundle for $20 WHAT A STEAL! SO WORTH IT! about 6 months prior) I decided to do a muslin to check for construction pitfalls and fitting issues. And after I got what I needed......There it sat. Unfinished. Looming. Jungle January gave me the kick to finish it:

Initially I had added length to the shoulders (as it seemed like it would be short) but after construction found I didn't need it (therefore, saving headache for the wedding dresses). So I had to take that back out later. I also found out that using actual lining material for the lining......sucked. Big time. The contrast construction didn't lend well to it. So I did cotton lining for the bridesmaid dresses and it worked out much better especially since it was a September wedding and was WARM. Cotton >>>>Polyester in hot weather for linings. All in all, with the class, this dress was fairly easy. Would it be easy without the probably not as easy. Especially if you want the contrast as those directions are NOT in the pattern regardless of what the picture on the front of the pattern looks like!




Puff Sleeves!

Monday, January 4, 2016


I started off Jungle January by making some quick jammies. They have been sitting in my "To Do" pile for years and Jungle January was just the push I needed.

The details:
Pattern: Simplicity 2811
Alterations: Added 1 inch to the sleeve length, added pockets
Fabric: Jungle flannel my mom and dad gifted to me years ago
Snazzy Details: Racing stripes on the pants

History: Long, long, ago, in a state far, far away (ok it's only a few states away-Montana) I was gifted 5 yards of a cute jungle animal flannel and a pack of matching bias along with a pajama pattern. It went to college with me and then through several other moves. It languished in my stash for years until the Jungle January gods led me to it in my fabric closet. And thus I decided to make:
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So I made these up really quick (about 2 hours or so) I did a quick length check and thankfully added 1 inch to the sleeve length. I also made them big so as to be comfy. Everything came together very easily. They have you bias bind the back neck and since I had a full pack of matching bias I decided to add racing stripes to the sides of the pants because I had so much bias left over. I mean really, I only needed like a foot for the back neck binding. It screamed to be used. It was a very unique color so I knew it would just hide in my stash unused otherwise. I also added pockets because pockets are the best.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tears...Nothing but Tears

The road to hell is truly paved with good intentions.

I started out my holiday shopping season with grand ideas. I would embroider a whole bunch of gifts for family! It will be personalized! And awesome!

I was doing really well too.
Got through my sister's gift, my mom's, my father-in-law's and one of my mother-in-law's. Then I get to my dad's and BLAM! Tension issues all over the place. Thread breaks left and right. Then WOMP WOMP WOMP. The dreaded shutter and safety message. Machine needs to be serviced now :( Nearest service place is 3+ hrs away.
And....uhoh. I need to figure out what to do to make my dad's gift and a second half of my mother-in-law's. CHRISTMAS IS 2 WEEKS AWAY!! QUICK! HIT THE PANIC BUTTON!!

Yeah....that was me. Then I started breathing again. And gave myself a weekend to think. I ordered 2 shirts for my dad. I can buy an applique for the MIL's. Then I thought of another way I could do my dad's. So that all worked out nicely. Except I still have to pay to get my machine serviced....and I just got new embroidery designs. Tears....nothing but tears. And maybe brownies.

The comic is from Abby Howard over at and I love her stuff and YOU SHOULD TOO!

But! I will persevere! I am almost to my vacation. Cue "I Will Survive"

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

AAARRRGGG a.k.a. Why I Will Never Have Superpowers

AAARAARRRRG!!! I have said this multiple times every day this week. I can't seem to tame all the nasty, irritating things in my life this week.

This is what I felt like doing to multiple people. Thankfully, I didn't and therefore still have my job. I ran into a person (we'll call him Fred) who downright disrespected me during a presentation then proceeded to imply that the group I work for is pretty much useless. And I felt like punching him in the face. But I didn't. I was polite. Then I had a whole bunch of chaos in my personal life and scheduling which makes me crazy. Plus losing sleep. Plus having tons of stuff to prepare for the weekend. And so on. Then in comes the depression, self-hate voices. Those are always a blast.

Anyway, I was reflecting on what I need to do to rectify a few of these situations. I came up with a few personal organization items to get the chaos under control. I'm stuck at people though. You can't magical make people more pleasant. I learned this a long time ago. And I love my job most days which means I'm staying right here. And Fred isn't going anywhere. And I have to talk to Fred to do my job. *Sigh*

So here's what I'm doing. I'm going to vent here. Then, I'm going to seek supervisor guidance and I'm hoping intervention. If I had superpowers, I would explode his head, fly him to a deserted island or brain wash him (telekinesis, flying, and telepathy respectively). But this is why I will never have superpowers. I would use them. Like, all the time.

Then I'm going to try this:

So, here are some things I love:
-Music! I play in a community symphony band and love all sorts of music.
-The Body Love Movement. This has been a powerful movement for me. It has moved me a lot in the past few months. Moved me to self-love and acceptance. To be more accepting of others in any size.
-Animals! My pets are the best and cheapest therapists. They are all adopted and all wonderful. Adopt!
-Sewing. So therapeutic. Plus clothes are born of it.
-People I work with in my department. They are seriously awesome people.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Body Love Y'all

Hey Y'all. This is one of those "this-is-what-I-struggle-with-and-think-about" posts. So probably TMI for most. You've been warned.

So, I've been struggling with body image my whole life. I have always been wrong in some way according to doctors/peers/media etc. In my younger years, I let it bother me a lot. I was teased for being fat by peers, called overweight and/or obese by doctors, and constantly being told by clothing companies and media that my body was not worthy of trendy clothing. Eventually, as I hit college, I said "fuck it" and became comfortable with what I looked like. Fast forward 7 or so years and I'm in my doctor's office for a yearly. I've been to this doctor 2 times prior and she doesn't say boo about my weight. All of a sudden (due to a 10 lb gain because I quit yo-yo dieting), she is lecturing me about food and exercise and whatnot. Suddenly, I'm back in middle school worrying about every bulge and curve. I worked out like crazy and heavily restricted my calories. UNHEALTHY. I lost 8 lbs in a month but, y'all, I was cranky. And it was never enough. I always wanted to lose more. But here's the really crazy part. My blood pressure was great. My cholesterol was good. EVERYTHING ELSE WAS GREAT! I was, for all intents and purposes, healthy-even at that weight.

So, here's the moral of the story. Hating yourself does you no good. Ever. After my craziness, I bounced up in weight and then finally settled back down exactly where my weight was before. I learned to love myself as I am and guess what? I haven't changed size but I'm happier and more relaxed. All those things that people say losing weight does for you. And you know what? One size doesn't fit all. Loving yourself does way more for you than losing a couple of pounds.