Bananya Cosplay

If you didn’t believe I was a total dork before now, you will after this post.

You see, I’m somewhat obsessed with Bananya. Don’t know what Bananya is? (You’re not alone.) A bananya is a cat….that lives in a banana. And it has many other Bananya friends (there’s baby bananyas, black bananya, vain bananya, tabby bananya…) Basically, they all live in bananas and they hang out on the kitchen counter when you aren’t watching. The episodes are less than 5 minutes long, so if you have a chance check out a few and come back. Its ok. I’ll wait.

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Thanks for coming back! Did you fall in love?

My friends know about my obsession, and when discussing potential cosplays for Florida Supercon one of my friends made the suggestion. I’m pretty sure she was joking, but I fell in love with the idea!

The pieces slowly came together in my head:

  • Cat headband (felt ears)
  • Tshirts
  • Yellow fleece pants
  • Yellow and white banana peels

The first item I tackled was the pants. I used Simplicity 2290 as the pattern and only changed the bottom hem by adding elastic to make sure they bunched up.

It took me a little bit longer to decide how to tackle the peels. I knew fleece on its own wouldn’t give me the drape that I wanted, but after a couple of trips to 2 different Joann’s I was able to find the perfect material, 1/2″ thick foam.

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For the peels I did use a tiny bit of math to figure out the width of each (widest waist measurement divided by 4 = Peel width). They are fluffy, so if you fudge the numbers a bit its not a big deal. Once I cut 4 rectangles in width needed, I drew a tapered peel shape and cut it out. I used that as the “pattern” for the remaining peels.

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I used that same pattern to cut out 4 pieces of yellow fleece and 4 pieces of white fleece.

To sew together I layered the fleece pieces on top of the foam (yellow on top, white in the middle, foam on the bottom) and sewed as close to the edge as possible with about 1/4″ seam allowance around the curved parts leaving only the straight bottom section without sewing. Once all 3 layers were sewn I turned it right side out, leaving the yellow fleece on the bottom, and the foam sandwiched in between the fleece layers.

I wanted the option to be able to take off the peels if they became a nuisance (since we’d be wearing them practically the whole day, plus, you know….bathroom breaks…). This also allows the pants to be worn again sans peels. In order to be able to get them on and off relatively easily, I attached them all to some webbing and attached a buckle that allows you to tighten as needed.

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I left the cat ears for last, since they would be fairly easy to make. (For reference, check out my post on making a unicorn headband!) All I needed was 2 headbands, which I already had, and some felt in black, pink, and white.

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I’m pretty darned happy with how this costume turned out, and that’s saying a lot! I tend to be very critical and tell myself everything looks like crap if it isn’t perfect. It wasn’t perfect, but I still loved it!

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A Bananya in its natural habitat.

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A big thanks to Will for indulging me and taking these pictures during a random trip to Fairchild Tropical Garden. (And yes, those are banana trees I’m sneaking behind!)

 

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Stranger Things Ugly Christmas Sweater

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ll know that Stranger Things is life! While we could debate whether Season 2 was as good as Season 1 (it wasn’t, sorry), pretty much anyone will agree its a great show. Back in October Target released a line of Stranger Things themed apparel to herald in the new season of the show, including this winning Men’s sweater.

Target Mens Stranger Things Sweater

Ugly? Really?

I’ll be honest, I’ve gotten pretty tired of seeing cool sweaters being called “ugly” just because they look like they were knitted. Now, a tacky, truly ugly sweater? That is a thing to behold…and that is what I would make!

The image came to me right away….red sweatshirt (as big and awkward as I can get), felt Christmas light bulbs, and painted letters.

Supply List:

This project was suprisingly quick and easy. The hardest part was probably fitting all the bulbs onto the shirt.

Step 1: Cut out 26 bulbs out of the felt squares, alternating between pink, blue, green, and yellow. Cut out 26 small rectangles from the grey felt. (I don’t have a template to share for the bulbs, but you can freehand it.)

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Step 2: Arrange the bulbs on the sweatshirt in rows. They don’t have to be super straight, or even point in the same direction. Be sure to leave space underneath for the letters, and little bit more for the “string” if you want to make it loopy.

Step 3: Once you have your layout glue the bulbs and the grey caps to the sweatshirt using felt glue. If you really wanted to take it to the next level stitch them on! I think it would add a great touch.

Step 4: Write out that alphabet using the black paint. (Make sure to not get distracted and skip letters. Not that I speak from experience or anything….). Your goal is to have each bulb have a letter underneath. Crazy kindergartner looking letters are encouraged!

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Step 5: Connect your lights using the green paint. You can use a direct line or you can make it loop. Go crazy! Follow your heart!

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Step 6: Step back and admire your work. For 4 hours. Because that’s how long it takes for the paint to dry.

Its rare for my projects to turn out exactly how I envision them, but this one did! Best of all it was easy enough to do in a group, and we were done in a couple hours!

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Of course, once our ugly sweaters were dry, we couldn’t resist an 80’s inspired group photo….

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A big thanks to Nabila Verushka for bringing our cheesy 80’s family portrait dreams to life, and for taking all the photos included in this post!

Side note: This sweatshirt is SO comfy and cozy, don’t be surprised if you catch me wearing it during our next cold front!

 

 

 

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….

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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!

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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

That time I made Unicorn Headbands for a bunch of grown women…

What happens when a group of grown women get together to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of a magical friend?

We wear Unicorn Headbands!

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I recently volunteered to make Unicorn headbands for a magical themed bachelorette party. With the much appreciated help of a friend it wasn’t too difficult. By the end of the night we were Unicorn Headband making pros.

Supplies needed:

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  • Headbands (we used 1/4″ white plastic)
  • White felt (you can fit 2 horns onto one sheet)
  • Colored felt (we used 5 different colors, 1 sheet will get you 2, maybe 3 sets of ears)
  • Gold thread (we used embroidery floss, but recommend using something that won’t fray at the ends)
  • Glue Gun (and about 1 stick of glue per headband)
  • Tulle in assorted colors (6 – 3″x6″ strips for each headband)
  • Polyester fill/stuffing
  • Scissors

There are a few tutorials out there to make the horns using different methods. We ended up using the pattern from HowToGal’s Unicorn Headband tutorial and drew inspiration from a combination of headbands out there on the internets. You can improvise and make your own pattern, but having one premade sped things up (even though it took us a while to figure out exactly how to roll up those horns….)

The ear shape was drawn freehand and required one larger shape, and a smaller one to fit into the larger shape.

First step: Cut out the parts!

The white felt is used for the horn, the inner part of the ear (2 needed) and the base of the horn (2 needed).

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The colored felt is used for the outer part of the ear….so you need two! To minimize the amount of cutting the pattern is meant to be cut on the fold! If you don’t do this, you won’t be able to attach it easily to the headband.

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Be sure to cut on the fold so that both sides of the ear (front and back) are connected!!

Once you have all your parts cut out….

Step 2: The horn

This isn’t as complicated as I convinced myself it was…you basically apply a strip of glue to the edge of one side of the horn piece. Then you take the other edge, and rolling the piece, you place it over that glued edge.

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There’s probably a proper way to deal with the tip of the horn, but life is short, so most of them ended up with a little gap up top.

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Your horn is going to end up a little asymmetrical, so you just chop off that extra piece.

Step 3: Stuff and wrap! (Still working on the horn)

To properly stuff the horn you should use small pieces of fill to get to the very top of the horn. Then you gradually use larger pieces until the whole thing is firmly stuffed. Make sure to stuff the top well or your horn will droop later on.

To ensure that your horn does not look like a dunce cap, you can’t skip the gold thread! Start by tying the string as close to the top as you can. Then you bring the floss down in a spiral until you reach the bottom. The tighter you squeeze, the cuter it will look! Then you glue the end on the bottom, and tuck the loose end under.

Finally, apply glue to the bottom perimeter of the horn and attach to one of the circles. The circle is going to be bigger than the base of the horn so that you can trim it down once the glue has dried up.

Step 4: The Headband!

Now that you have a standalone horn, take the headband and find the center. Apply some glue (about 1-1/2″ wide), and stick that horn on! Then take the 2nd white circle, and glue that to the bottom so that the headband is sandwiched between the horn and the circle.

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Step 5: Ears!

Attaching the ears was my favorite part! Open up the “ear” piece, apply glue on the inside, and close it with the headband on the bottom edge. Make sure to leave room between the ear and the horn for the tulle!

Repeat that on the other side, and then glue on the inner ear.

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Step 6: Tulle!

The final step is adding the tulle strips! First you decide what order (yellow on the inside? blue  on the outside??), then you take one strip at a time and just tie it onto the headband!

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….and you’re done!

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The headbands were a HUGE hit at the party, to the point that we wore them again to the Bridal Shower (and I wouldn’t be surprised if some make an appearance at the wedding next month as well).

I’ve been asked a few times whether I will be selling these. While they will not be listed in my Etsy shop, I will accept custom requests! Contact me for more information.

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.”

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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!

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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?!)

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Group shot  courtesy of GGB Miami

 

 

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).

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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.

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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.)

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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…

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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….

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

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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…

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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…