Monday, October 11, 2010

Double UP! Brief flowy shirt tutorial

For the last year+ I've been wanting to make a dress form to help me make my own clothes.  Thanks to Subversive Seamster, my DH helped me make one.  Major props to him :)

I have named her Janice (as always, the first name that comes to mind!) It's interesting to have a 'double' of myself that is now guarding my studio...

She helped me make a shirt this weekend:

  1.  Take two squares of fabric, put one on the front and one on the back of Janice, and pin the shoulders together (sewn together for about 1", leaving some slack in both the front and back for the neckline).  If you do not have a dress form, I suggest having someone help you with measurements.
  2. Pin the sides together, hugging the torso, leaving the excess fabric on the sides to create flowy edges.  I left approx. 7" open from the shoulder for the armholes.  
Once everything was pinned, the fabric and I had a hot date with the sewing machine, and voila...

The fabric is a light jersey cotton blend.  It held up very nicely for the bachelorette party I went to that night :) (action photo to come soon!)

If I wasn't clear enough on the details, please comment with your question in case others are wondering the same thing! I will answer promptly :) I am a beginning sewer, but I'll try my best to help you out.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

social psychology : me vs. 'the antisocial nod'

When you're walking down the street, and you are coming close to passing an individual, do you ever notice what I like to call 'the antisocial nod'?  You're staring ahead (if you're not texting... sheesh), you make brief eye contact with the person you're approaching, they look down/dip their head (as do you, most-likely), then slowly bring your head back up and look forward as you pass. I've picked this up since I was in college and have noticed it to be pretty common in other cities in the good ol' midwest. Has anyone else noticed this?

For the past few years since I've been in and out of college and into grad school, I've tried to avoid this occurrence, at least on my part.  If eye contact is made, I might then stare ahead, but not look down, etc.  Not too much difference on the others' part. I just don't like being an ant and going my merry way, avoiding people.

While I was walking to the local hospital for a flu shot the other day, I decided to entertain my inner nerd again.

For every person I approached on the sidewalk, walking toward me, I would keep my head up, make some eye contact, and smile a little but not say anything. I would then look ahead (don't wanna be rude, right?) but not completely disregard the person.

Most of the time, people did the typical 'antisocial nod' and avoided eye contact. One lady said hi, but she also was walking two dogs, and it seems that people who are walking dogs often are sociable to others on the same sidewalk, being apologetic for their dogs barking or sniffing, etc.

One person however surprised me, and my assumptions proved me wrong about this individual.  I find myself to be fairly multiculturally aware, but I assumed this individual would do the 'nod'. He appeared to be hispanic, was wearing a black 'do rag, saggy pants, you know.  

He said 'hi' to me.  Then I replied with a 'hi', and we passed each other, going our separate ways.

He was the only person who said hi... the person whose appearance, in our white-dominant culture, would have probably made people assume he might be the most antisocial person out there in comparison.  I passed numerous hospital staff, students, and other pedestrians on this walk, and he was the one.

I love when people prove me wrong.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

canvas card + 'genius' envelope tutorial

I've been meaning to send snail mail to folks that I don't see often (i.e. we only communicate through Facebook as of late), and I want to change that.  Today was the first step.

Thanks to inspiration from JournalGirl, I decided to experiment with canvas:

I gessoed the outside to make it more sturdy and less permeable, then decorated with stamps and staples.
Added a notecard on the inside to (again) make more sturdy and provide an easier writing space.  
Next, I sewed the notecard to the canvas (it can be attached other ways, like staples, eyelets, etc.)

...but this is what I'm really excited about.
I know how to make an envelope, but anything I tried to do just didn't seem to go with the card.
I took one large notecard, cut a 'V' shape close to one corner, threaded through a strand of yarn and glued to the card with rubber cement.  
Without thread in the sewing machine needle, I made two rows to create a perforated 'edge' to allow the envelope to be torn open easily without damaging the card on the inside (kind of like a gum package wrapper or padded envelopes you can buy).
To seal, I placed the card on the inside and sewed the cards together around the edge.


Still figuring out how to make a set of cards to put on Etsy; it doesn't seem possible with the sewing-shut part. 
Will have to experiment.

Small Art PenPal Swap: This Just IN!

Hello hello hello.
When I got home last night, Phil said to me, "You got a special piece of mail today. It's as 'Chelsea' as you can get...!"
Thanks to poor lighting, I waited until this morning to take more photos of the awesome work by the lovely Marya...



inner envelope

some words of inspiration :)

small art!

...and a recipe for veg. pasta salad :))) love love love.

When JournalGirl posts all the project participant photos from *around the world*, I'll let you know!


Monday, October 4, 2010

kitschy and substantial...?

The past several weeks I have been discerning my artwork, kitschy-craftiness, and how to make both more substantial. I love repurposing and remaking for less what I see in a store... however, it never seems to result in something that could be lifetime quality, let alone heirloom material.

I want to make something like that.  I want to do this without having to become a metalsmith (even though that would be a m a z i n g).

How to transform my work?  Can it be the way it is yet higher quality?  Practice practice practice.


Also, I have figured out why I haven't been working on the scrapbook documenting the engagement photos and the wedding day of Phil and me.  The day was wonderful, we were (and are!) so happy!  I've bought a photo album and have some ideas for color schemes and layouts... What is holding me back is that we're not fully pleased with the photos.  Some things were out of our and the photographer's hands, some things weren't, and there's me (I can be very critical of how I look in photos).  As a creative person, I suppose I'm aggravated that I did not see more options or had more ideas for shots on either of those days... but being in the moment, it is difficult to be the outside observer.  Conflicting emotions.  Always conflicting emotions!

It is what it is.

I will get to it soon.  May it be sooner rather than later.  Perhaps over Christmas break as a reminiscing activity, since it will be close to our first anniversary :)  Another reason to continue cranking away at the thesis!  May I transform my thinking and remember there is no past in regards to photos. They are what they are and it is up to me to remember what they are documenting and cherish that.
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