Pawnee Goddesses

Leslie Knope is easily the best TV character of all time. Not only is she Feminist AF, but she’s a fantastic friend….even if a little over enthusiastic. When I grow up I want to be Leslie (or Anne, because how awesome would it be to have Leslie as my BFF?)

One of my favorite Leslie moments? Season 4, Episode 4, Wilderness Weekend with the Pawnee Goddesses. (This also happens to be Treat Yo’self 2011. Purely coincidence.) If you haven’t seen it, go and watch it right now. It’s on Netflix. I’ll wait.

So yeah, Pawnee Goddesses are freaking awesome. Which is why I had to make myself a Pawnee Goddess vest.

I purchased my iron-on patch on Etsy from FerdinandWorks, and the fabric and yellow trim (ric rac) can be found just about anywhere (I got mine from Joann’s). I used New Look 6036, model E, for the vest pattern.

Of course, our sewing session turned into a full-on sewing party….

20170721_152714

20170721_152859

This is actually a great project for an advanced beginner! A little tricky with the curves, but you can either line it, or use bias binding to make it easier. None of my friends had ever sewn a garment before, and they turned out really great!

1487045832004-892

I am a goddess

A glorious female warrior

Queen of all that I survey

Enemies of fairness and equality

Hear my womanly roar.

Up next: I make my very own Gertrude Stein!*

*That was a joke.

Photos by Nabila/One Tiny Dinosaur

Advertisements

LOTR Brunch: Gandalf the Grey-ish

Last Sunday’s Geek Girl Brunch had us making a visit to The Shire to hang out with our favorite hobbits, elves, and wizards. The theme: Lord of the Rings!

GGB_LOTR_Brunch

Group shot! Photo courtesy of Geek Girl Brunch Miami

Aside from the great brunch (Thanks Ms. Cheezious!) GGB is always a fun opportunity to dress up, whether in casual cosplay, serious costuming and props, or anything in between.

I landed somewhere in between as Gandalf the Grey. I wanted to keep my costs low while still making an effort to get crafty. My solution: a grey dress I already had, a self-made fleece hat (Gandalf’s signature wardrobe piece, duh) and a grey “cloak”.

GGB_Gandalf

That’s me! Gandalf, sans staff. Photo by Melificent

My so-called “cloak” was made by simply taking a rectangle of fleece, gathering the corners, and pinning them to my dress around the shoulders. Done! (#lazycosplay)

I put a bit more effort into the hat since I wanted it to be the defining piece of the outfit (although if someone shows up in grey to a LOTR event, you’re kinda going to guess that they’re Gandalf….) After reviewing several pictures of Gandalf from the movie and random cosplayers, I figured I could get the effect I wanted by making myself a “witch hat” and then bending/stuffing the cone to get the Gandalf look.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I made the hat without a pattern, using only math as my guide…and the only math you really need to use is to determine a radius to make the brim.

While I used fleece, I’d actually recommend using something stiffer, like felt. For the brim I had to use an interfacing to keep the hat from becoming a floppy fleece beach hat.* And then because of the interfacing (it was white and wouldn’t look great exposed) I had to use a 2nd layer of grey fleece for the bottom of the brim. The trickiest part of the project was sewing the cone to the brim, but with plenty of pins and some patience (always my weak point) it didn’t turn out too terribly. 

In total I used about 2.5 yards, keeping my project under $12. I managed to wear the cloak a surprisingly long time, considering it was in the 90’s in the courtyard. I kept poking people and getting stuck in tree branches with my hat, so that was amusing.

To finish, I’ll leave you all with a picture of our swag from the brunch. Isn’t it awesome?!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

*Now I can’t get the image of Gandalf sunbathing with his floppy fleece beach hat out of my head…

Mythical Creatures Brunch: Totoro

Have you heard of Geek Girl Brunch? If you haven’t, go check it out right now.

I joined as soon as they launched a chapter in Miami, and I am not exaggerating when I say its one of the best things I’ve done in the last few years. I have met so many great people through Geek Girl Brunch (GGB) and it has legitimately changed my life.

Last weekend the Miami Chapter had their November brunch with the theme of “Mythical Creatures” in honor of the new Harry Potter movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. It took me a few weeks to find the proper inspiration and I finally made the decision with less than a week before the event. I decided on one of my favorite mythical creatures: Totoro, from “My Neighbor Totoro.”

wp-1479576888972.jpg

As soon as I made my decision, I knew exactly how I would make this happen, and all without having to buy a single thing! (You see, hoarding does have its benefits!)

All I needed was a grey dress, grey and white fleece, and a headband. The most complicated part was the headband. I had purchased a few pairs of kids bunny ears at Target back around Easter (yay for the Dollar Spot!) so I used one as the base for my Totoro ears.

I was crafting this all the night before, so I didn’t get any progress pics. However the process is simple. Once I had the headband and wires exposed I shaped them into the general shape I wanted. I traced this shape onto the fleece and cut out 4 times (I added a seam allowance, but in hindsight I would make it smaller, or eliminate altogether) and sewed two pairs together to make 2 ears! (Sew right sides together, trim excess fabric, and turn right side out!)

If you don’t have a sewing machine I’m fairly sure you can recreate this by sandwiching the wires in between two layers and gluing together.

I slipped them over the wires and glued down the base of the ears to the headband. To cover up the band I cut out a rectangle long enough to cover from end to end, and tapered the width to match the headband. I measured out the location for two slits through which I could squeeze the ears through, and then glued it all down with a glue gun. (I won’t show you the inner part of the headband, because like I said….I was in a hurry so it does NOT look pretty!

The bib was the easiest part to make. I grabbed a piece of fleece, eyeballed the width and height I wanted, and cut out the shape with scissors. I cut out and glued the little crescents with a glue gun. Once dry, I safety pinned (from the inside) to the front of my dress. Definitely not the most impeccable items I’ve ever made, but it was quick, fun, and dare I say cute!

wp-1479575867964.jpg

My best attempt at imitating Totoro’s expression.

Geek Girl Brunch always does a fantastic job at the brunches. If you consider yourself even mildly geeky I’d suggest you check it out! The brunches are very popular, thus a bit difficult to get into, but so worth it! (Did I mention there are swag bags?!)

15042261_2139152742977205_4105326318345738731_o

Group shot  courtesy of GGB Miami

 

 

Channeling my Spirit Animal: Stimpson J. Cat

 

 

A friend of mine recently celebrated her 30th birthday with the best theme ever….Nickelodeon of the 90’s!

Of course, dressing up was encouraged and there were SO MANY great shows to choose from! From the game shows (Legends of the Hidden Temple, Gutz, Double Dare, What Would You Do?), to the cartoons (Doug, Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy), and other classics like Salute Your Shorts, Clarissa Explains it all, Are you Afraid of the Dark, just to name a few.

I decided early on I wanted to be Judy Funnie. However when I realized I’d be Judy Funnie minus the orange hair, minus the purple dress, and minus the glasses….I knew I had to do something else. Unfortunately that was the day before the party. I was out of time.

I brainstormed that morning, and something drew my thoughts toward everybody’s favorite cat…Stimpson J. Cat!

Stimpy

My spirit animal.

I had a burgundy shirt that would work and I would recreate Stimpy’s goofy face on my shirt!

With some white, blue and pink fleece from leftover projects I could make it happen. I was a little short on time, so after a few attempts at using a satin stitch for the mouth (the sewing machine kept jamming) I decided on using a Sharpie to outline his eyes and his mouth. The tongue was sewn only on one end which left it wagging a little (a feature I was very excited/proud about for some reason).

The hardest part was getting the face onto the shirt. Fleece doesn’t stretch very much. On the other hand the shirt was very stretchy. I hand sewed the top corners, and the rest I safety pinned to allow it to stretch and move without bunching up. (Plus, I wanted to be able to use the shirt later without Stimpy.)

It doesn’t look exactly like him, but for someone who doesn’t draw at all, I’d say I’m close enough! Most importantly I had a lot of fun making it and wearing it!

Any other 90’s kids? What was your favorite Nickelodeon show?

 

The Triforce Pillow

My boyfriend is a life-long Zelda fan. To the point that he has a Zelda-related tattoo…The Triforce. Hence my decision to make him a Triforce pillow.

Originally I had planned on this being a birthday gift, but of course, I am a procrastinator and I missed the deadline. Instead…he got a Valentine’s Day gift this year!

The materials were few: a pillow form (I used 18″), hunter green fleece, yellow felt, and matching thread for each color. Tools needed: cutting tools, measuring tools, a sewing machine and paper (to serve as a pattern for the triangles).

2016-02-05-21.34.09.jpg.jpg

I prefer fleece to make pillow cases because 1) its softer, and 2) it has a stretch that’s a bit easier to shape in the end. For the “shapes” I  prefer felt over fleece because it WON’T stretch (as much) and is less likely to get distorted while sewing.

2016-02-05-21.32.55.jpg.jpg

I wanted to keep it simple and opted for an envelope closure for the pillow, meaning the back would consist of two overlapping pieces….it also means you don’t need a zipper or buttons. I added a bit more overlap than I probably needed just to be safe….(you can see the 3 pieces in the picture above. From right to left is the front, the back top piece, and the back bottom).

Next up: The Triforce!

In this case it was super easy laying out and cutting the Triforce….after all, its 3 equilateral triangles. How hard can it be??? (Its not, just remember to make them truly equilateral….which means the overall height is NOT going to be the same as the width. Oops. I missed that on m first attempt.)

2016-02-13-17.56.38.jpg.jpg

Once I had my paper pattern I used a rotary cutter to make sure all my lines were extra clean…I don’t know about you, but my scissor work can get a little ragged…

2016-02-13-17.58.03.jpg.jpg

Another word to the wise: Iron your fabric beforehand. Not only do pictures come out better, you ensure you’re laying everything out correctly. (I lightly ironed the felt after I cut it out.)

Cutting: simple. Layout…..slightly trickierI always struggle a little to keep shapes perfectly aligned, and when you’re trying to match these tiny points with a fluffy fabric it doesn’t always turn out right. However, I’d say I did pretty well….

2016-02-14-23.23.20.jpg.jpg

I stitched the outline of the larger triangle first, leaving the inner triangle last.

2016-02-14-23.24.42.jpg.jpg

Once that’s done, its ready to become a pillow!

I laid the “top” section first (because I wanted that to be on the outside once I flipped it inside out), and the “bottom” section on top of that…

2016-02-14-23.26.50.jpg.jpg

2016-02-14-23.27.56.jpg.jpg

Sew around the border (1/2″ seam allowance), clip the corners, and flip!

I’ve got myself a pillow!

Er, I mean….the boyfriend has a pillow…

 

 

 

Candy Heart Garland

Sometimes you get something into your head, and there’s no way to get it out except to force it out. This was one of those times.

I got it in my head I wanted to make a candy heart garland for Valentine’s Day, so one random night I got home, pulled out some yellow felt, and started working. I stayed up much too late, and in the end I made….well, a creepy looking heart that was completely the wrong shape, with some lame looking letters. Not what I was going for. Frustrated, I put the project aside and gave it up as a failure.

But it wouldn’t leave me alone. I decided to try again….this time with fleece. And instead of embroidery for the letters  I’d cut them out of felt.

The moment I picked out my fabric colors at JoAnn’s I knew I was headed in the right direction….I mean, how cute are these colors?!

2016-02-11-22.43.11.jpg.jpg

For the shape, I wanted similar proportions to traditional candy hearts without making them flat on both sides. It took me a few rounds of trial and error to finally get a shape I was happy with.

Once I had my template ready to go I cut out two hearts from each of the fabrics.

2016-02-11-22.45.04.jpg.jpg

The process of actually making the hearts after this was pretty quick and easy….I sewed all the way around with roughly 1/4″ seam allowance, leaving 1-2″ open, then I flipped and stuffed. The last step was to hand sew that 1-2″ opening to seal in the filling.

My favorite part of the whole process was making the letters. I’ve always enjoyed cutting letters out of construction paper. I find it oddly therapeutic.I purchased a couple of sheets of fuchsia felt from JoAnn’s which I cut into 1″ strips (for a consistent height).

2016-02-11-22.40.39.jpg.jpg

Why are M’s so hard to make?!!

In my research, I was amused to find that candy hearts nowadays often say “Txt me” or “Email me”. There was none of that around when I was a kid! I went with the traditional “Be Mine” and “Kiss me”….and decided to throw in a “Bae” reference since, you know, I’m cool and stuff… (“cool” is still a thing, right?)

wp-1455249419867.jpg

Because I wanted the flexibility to take these on and off a garland (not ’cause I’m lazy or anything…) I used safety pins to attach a ribbon to the very top of each heart.

2016-02-11-22.50.07.jpg.jpg

Last step: string a ribbon through those babies! I did tie a loose knot at each to maintain the separation between them once they got hung up.

2016-02-11-22.52.09.jpg.jpg

2016-02-11-22.33.41.jpg.jpg

In the end I’m very pleased with how they turned out! They’re far from perfect, but they make me happy!