It’s Curtains For Me…

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This was a very fun sewing project and another I did without a pattern which I’m rather proud of if I do say so myself.

The skirt is a simple pleated skirt. I drafted it using 3 rectangles one very large and two half its size. I then just continuously pleated the rectangles until they fitted the waist band which I replicated from my polk a dot shorts pattern. I even relocated the longer band(which if you recall I didn’t like because it was hard to hook the hook and eye closures). I used some vintage plastic buttons for the band which are a lot easier to button then the tiny hooks.

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I used interfacing to stiffen the waistband and horse hair braid to give the skirt volume without any petticoats underneath. The horse hair braid is from Amazon because it was much cheaper there than my local Joanns-I picked the the one that was about a half inch in width.

Everything about this was simple and easy but there is a funny story with the fabric(which was also used as the lining in my shorts heart pockets). My coworker insisted I take this fabric home with me because she loves to up cycle everything! But the fabric is her shower curtains!!!! You would never guess right? 😉

Not much else to say here!

-Happy Sewing!

The Antispoiler Hero

A Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

**Spoilers Ahead**

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Alright people! In the last book Vin accidentally released Ruin. In the plot twist her attempt to follow the rules set for her turned out to be a trick all along. The villain who is an alrighty God (possibly?) Ruin has been planning this for hundreds of years just waiting for the right moment to strike. Now Vin with Elend(who is emperor of all) are racing against the falling ash trying to find all the food cashes that the previous ruler had hid for this very time in history.

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What do you do if you can’t trust your words and you can’t trust the written word? What if all your thoughts are the only things safe from Ruin?

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I don’t want to have any spoilers so what I will say is thought this book gave a very real and honest depiction of depression and grief. Anderson’s depictions of the character Sazed emotions throughout the book were so spot on to how it really is in peoples lives. I feel that in a lot of fantasy novels the characters emotions get put aside quickly to move the book forward(which is completely understandable) but it dishonors the bonds created between the characters in the story.

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All your favorite characters are adventuring and working towards the ultimate goal of the book: saving the world(duh). You get to learn more about the side characters like the Kandra, Hammond, Breeze and especially Spook which I really enjoyed. Good guys become bad in this book and the creatures you thought bad you realize might have just been misunderstood.

I’m realizing this post is rather convoluted but I am trying so hard to do absolutely no spoilers because I really, really thought the book was so fabulous and the perfect way to wrap up the series. GO, GO, GO to the book store and pick up this series today!!!

-Happy Reading!!

Whats Love Got To Do With It?

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I’m calling these my What’s Love Got To Do With It Shorts because of the heart pockets…duh. It’s not the most creative of naming but I like it so who cares? haha. I made these when it was much too cold to actually wear them anytime soon because when you get a sewing craving you go for it right?

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Anyways, I got this shorts pattern from Joanns on one of their fabulous pattern sales(the only way I try to buy non indie patterns these days because patterns are expensive). It is McCall’s M6930. I had to wait for nice weather to photograph them because I came across the same problem with my Tilly Arielle skirt where the denim was too dark to photograph well in the house and still show the gold polk-a-dots well which honestly is the very best part!

Okay on to the shorts! the pattern is pretty damn simple. I broke my rule of tracing and not cutting the pattern because I had read lots of reviews on the pattern and read it ran large so I did my measurements and went from there. I cut out the pattern(still a few sizes larger than I wanted and folded down the seam lines to get my size.

Cut and traced the pattern and went from there. I chose to do version A but with version B’s heart pockets because they were just too darn cute to resist. I used the same gold polk a dot denim as previously mentioned and then used some white fabric from my stash that had matching large gold polk a dots to line the heart pockets. Though the lining isn’t visible I love those secret touches of some what matching lining fabric-I think thats what really makes home sewing so special.

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Things I had trouble with: Getting the heart pockets that perfect heart shape but I was very picky and didn’t want the hearts to seem too pointy. Also the inseam on the crotch. I had to adjust that a few times and I’m still not happy with how much fabric is there but the shorts also have full useable pockets in the front(amazing for women’s shorts I know) so I think I’m just not used to having to make space for useable pockets in the front of my garments without a front zipper. I used Singer The Perfect Fit Sewing Reference Library for help/advice on fitting the shorts. I bought 3 different versions of the Singer Reference Library at my local Goodwill and couldn’t be more pleased with the purchase! So helpful!
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Things I Changed: As a petite woman who also loves short shorts I cut quite a lot of length off the shorts but I should have widened the leg holes because once I cuffed up and seamed it also added to the poofing in the front that I mentioned I had trouble with earlier. I think it doesn’t look bad though and gives it a more retro feel to the already high waisted shorts.

Things I hate: OMG I absolutely HATE the way the shorts close in the back. I will definitely be changing the way it closes when I make this pattern next. the zipper is great no problems there but the piece of waist band that covers the zipper and goes farther to the left and then is closed by the tiniest hook and eye closures(which this is my problem for picking those out). But my goodness they are really difficult to catch and close especially when you are in a tiny bar bathroom and don’t have a lot of turning/reaching room. I consider myself a pretty flexible person and I have a lot of trouble reaching around and catching them so it is without a doubt a huge problem.

Overall, the pattern was fabulous and easy and a great addition to a summer me made wardrobe!!

-Happy Sewing Everyone!

Wonder Woman: A Caricature of Empowerment?

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Wonder Woman and the quest for women’s empowerment. Now I have mixed feelings about Wonder Woman as a whole. I like what she represents but hate how she has been turned into a caricature of a powerful woman. I won’t claim to be an expert on Wonder Woman by any means…I’ve only read one of her comics and watched her in animated shows as a kid until seeing the new Wonder Woman movie(which is absolutely fantastic-go see it now, now, now!!!).

Her creation story is fabulous because her creator was inspired partially by birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger and was meant to be a feminist icon. Diana has had a lot of different powers and looks over the years. Her skills are her Amazonian training like tactics, hunting(which I found interesting considering I remember her being a vegetarian) and combat. She also has the lasso of truth, indestructible bracelets and a tiara that serves as a projectile. Now she is seen as regularly using her sword and shield.

 

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Wonder Woman has also had in my opinion a lot of foolish and ridiculous abilities/accessories that led towards my feelings of her frequently being a caricature. At one point Diana owned a pair of glowing, red, magnetic earrings that allowed her to receive messages(before cell phones were common I’m guessing). There is of course the stupid invisible plane and the telepathic abilities she possessed through her tiara allowing her to summon the plane on command. There was also the purple ray capable of healing fatal gunshot wounds even through a person’s brain and a Violet Power Ring of Love(yes that really is the title) that enabled her to alter her costume at will and not only that but the ring reveals a person’s absolute true love to them. On top of ALL THIS RIDICULOUSNESS Diana has mental radio waves that could let her receive messages from those in need of her.

No wonder Wonder Woman isn’t taken seriously…if all those powers aren’t an example of how society is supposed to view Diana throughout the years to top it all off when she was finally allowed to join the Justice Society of America it was as their damn SECRETARY!!!!

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I really hope that this movie inspires a powerful reboot of Wonder Woman bringing her back to the feminist icon she once represented with a modern twist. As of now I feel she is on par with Super Man who is considered the laughing stock of the comic book world characters. He has been unable to keep up with the modern age and times and hopefully Wonder Woman won’t fall to the same fate.

-Happy Reading and Go See Wonder Woman!!!

Sewing In A Cinch…

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I Made A Thing!!

I made a project bag because what is the best thing about picking up a new hobby?? All the new fun accessories and books you get to add to your project collection!

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Once I realized that yes I am liking picking up and relearning this whole knitting thing again and after having to run to Joanns/Michaels to pick up different sized knitting needles for projects I promptly decided their had to be another/less expensive way(in the long run) to go around all the needle needing. I did some research and decided that I just HAD to have interchangeable knitting needles. I asked around, did some research, examined my budget and then also used a birthday Amazon gift card and bought myself some interchangeable ChiaoGoo bamboo knitting needles. I have to say so far I LOVE them. The set is beautiful and came with three different cable sets in two different sizes(small and large) the lengths are 14”, 22” and 30”. It also came with a whole bundle of stitch markers and other fabulous things.

Anyways, this is getting off track. The whole point that I was making is that I’m getting into knitting and then had to make a thing-and that thing is a project bag to carry my new shawl I’m knitting in! I found the outside fabric from Michaels and it is by Loops & Threads. It’s a beautiful blue with fun pink and yellowy-green yarn balls. The inside is a baby blue with white polk-a-dot fabric fat quarter square from Joanns.

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It was a pretty simple project. the dimensions folded in half were what I was looking for. I decided not to cut out a separate circular bottom for the bag this time because I didn’t want to add a third color to the mix and wanted to sew and go haha. I stitched it up inside out-leaving one small part of the side open so I could pull it inside out and then folded down the top and stitched down and then pinned the sides inside out and stitched away!

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As you can see from the above pictures I originally had the tie band for the bag that was a cute pink tape measure. I had bought one in pink and blue from Joanns for a dollar each in a haul earlier planning on finding a project for them(and I really thought this was the perfect project!). Sadly though it just was not meant to be because I couldn’t really cinch in the bag while using the tape measure so it had to go.

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I decided to use some extra bias binding I had laying around from previous projects. I had a bit of pink and just enough dark blue. I just folded the ends and stitched them down to create a tab on each end and then stitched down the binding sides with matching threads and then weaved it through the top of the bag.

And there we have it! An easy-peasy cute project bag!!!

 

-Happy Crafting!

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust…Will They All Fall Down?

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Mistborn trilogy book 2!!! A book dealing in consequences of actions, relationships and the notion of whether attraction is more important than similarities in personality.
Oh Brandon Sanderson…this book didn’t get as good of reviews on Goodreads  but I really have to disagree. I found it even better than the first. I like the way the author dealt with aspects of the human condition and how their can be consequences to abuse and violence.

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The book begins where the second left off. Keisler is dead but Vin has succeeded in achieving his dream of overthrowing the thousand year reign of the Lord Ruler. What do you do if you have achieved the plans of someone no longer alive and don’t know where to go from there? This is the main issue in the second Mistborn book. Vin has made Elend King but can a philosopher really be a good king? Can a relationship work if balance of power is unequal forcing one partner to essentially use the other as a weapon? Is it possible to consider that a form of love?
Battles are won and lost as ash rains down from the sky smothering farms and mists begin to fill the daylight hours causing deaths among those brave enough to wander into them.

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Sanderson really knows how to tell and epic tale with a fantastic feminist, female main character. Where her strength doesn’t make her unloveable but enables people to love her and appreciate her more. I think this is Sanderson’s greatest strength as a fantasy writer…his ability to write a fantastically created well rounded world.

I really don’t want to accidentally give away any spoilers so I will just say this… give this fantasy series a try the second book is even stronger then the first in my opinion and well worth the 600 plus pages to read it(if I’m remembering the page length correctly).
-Happy Reading and Crafting!

What the Hell Have I Been Up To??

OhMyGoodness! Where the heck have I been??? I feel like it has been ages since I’ve posted and it kind of has…

I promise I’ve been sewing, and reading(so much reading!!!) and I relearned a new hobby…Knitting!!! Which means I’ve been a lot more active on Ravelry so if knitting interests you find me there! I’m happyechos just like on the blog 🙂

I have been sick twice with a terrible cold in the last month and been down for the count and definitely not up for writing up posts and really really not up to photographing myself in the items. Work has been chaos on so many levels which cut in greatly to my crafting time and increased my stress/exhaustion level quite a bit.

So what do you have to look forward to seeing?

*a ton of book reviews since I have read 41/110 of my book challenge books this year so far! This leaves me just a tad behind schedule at the moment 😉

*some fun sewing project success and fails! Though I am going to label the fails as works in progress because I haven’t give up on them yet!

*a new knitting/yarn section since I am on my 3rd knitting project after reteaching myself about a month ago!!!!

*And I am thinking about adding a what I’m watching/what I’m wishing for/listening to blog post maybe twice a month or so

Also since I posted I had a birthday and turned 26 and decided it was time to get my act together and head back to school to finish up my degree so I’m in the process of that!

Okay so that was a lot of rambling about future things to mostly show that I promise I’m still here and thinking about this blog! I’m going to leave you with some sneak peak shots of all the fun projects I’ll soon be blogging about so stay tuned!!

Hope you’re all having a fabulous weekend and are reading, crafting and enjoying the sun just like me!

The Blood Tells All…

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This book is the definition of a can’t put it down urban fantasy series. I received this first book for free at Emerald City Comicon and didn’t have high hopes for it…don’t ask me why because now that seems so foolish. I wanted to read it as a break after the Brandon Sanderson Mistborn Series novels before starting a different book he has written. Instead I have now ordered all four of the other books available in The Others Series on amazon and am impatiently awaiting the 3rd one now.

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The book introduces you to a world of “the others” and humans. They may coexist now but it certainly isn’t a peaceful one without trials and tribulations. The humans and The Others are both creatures of Namid who created all creatures on earth. She gave The Others all the forest areas and the humans safe places where they could grow and develop as a people. The trouble with humans is we always want more don’t we though? Soon people overgrew their areas and tried to shove their way into The Others areas but how can humans win out over claws and mystical powers? And when it comes down to it should we really triumph over everything?

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The series tells the story of Meg, a lone girl who has the simple power to change everything for The Others and humans alike…though we’ll have to see if it’s for better or worse. Once Simon allows Meg into the Courtyard there is no turning back for either of them, will Megs abilities sink ships or keep them afloat allowing the tides of change to keep them current(could I add any more water themes to that sentence??).
I don’t want to give away any spoilers so I’ll just say this… if you like books about vampires, werewolves, coyotes who turn into people and have ever wondered what the seasons would be like if they were represented in children this is the book for you. I couldn’t put it down and Anne manages to keep you on your toes wondering what will happen next till the very last page.

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When A Girl Walks Into A Clock Shop…

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What would happen if Pride and Prejudice met a steampunk universe? We’ll you would get Arabella of Mars by David D. Levine. I came across this book by going to a panel at the Emerald City Comicon in Seattle Washington. David was part of this really cool panel called Kicking Ass in a Corset: An Homage to Fearless Ladies in Fantasy! And three out of the four panelists were dressed in Victorian-esc clothing which instantly won me over because if it’s themed and you dress up I will instantly be a fan.

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Anyways, I’m allowing myself to get off topic. David of course spoke about his book and I loved the concept so I went and purchased it right after the panel so I could also have him sign it-because again I’m a sucker for anything that I can get signed by the author/artist. Sometimes this is a really successful move and I’m really happy with the purchase other times not so much. Luckily for me it was the former instead of the later.

Arabella exists in a world where space travel on ships that sail in the Victorian era is possible. She has lived her whole life on a colony on the planet Mars. She was able to learn English Victorian customs but also have the unique situation to be raised by a Martian and learn all the customs and freedoms that come with living on Mars. As what happens in all good stories this life promptly come to an end when her mother decides that she would behave in a more lady like manor if she was back in traditional London, England on Earth. Will a lady or an adventurer triumph in the end?

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The book is filled with all kinds of space adventures while fitting in with the societal requirements of the era the story is based in. I thought the concept was really interesting and it covers a lot of topics including immigration, race and gender bias while keeping the book light hearted and fun. It took me about a hundred pages to really get into the book but once I did it just zipped by. David had all kinds of unexpected plot twists that allowed for a lot of character development for not just the main character but the side ones too. If you like imaginative stories with strong heroines then this is a book for you 🙂

Time For Some Coco And I don’t Mean The Beverage Kind…

Say What? Another Coco…well this might be the first coco you’re seeing but it won’t be the last because I actually made three in quick succession. All very different of course 😉

 

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This was the last to make the cut(haha). I’ll in honest, it was totally supposed to have sleeves but I severely underestimated the amount of fabric needed- so sleeveless it became. I still really like it.

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The fabric is a super soft knit from Joanns because that is the only fabric store my town has to boast -which is still better than my last town which only had a Ben Franklins and they only carried quilting fabric(not that I’m complaining THAT much because that is where I found my precious banana fabric haha). Anyways I’m getting off topic…

The details of the last Coco I made but the first I’m blogging about. By the time I made this pattern it was an easy trick. This one literally took me I think two hours at most to make because the pattern was already traced and cut to my size.
DETAILS!!!

-I made fairly large because I really just wanted a comfortable top to drive to Seattle in and long car rides are no fun in restrictive clothing(at least I think so)
-I made it sleeveless and just did a simple seams around the arm holes with no bias binding or anything
-I made the back slightly longer than the front because I plan on wearing it with leggings and boots around town and wanted my butt to be slightly covered haha
-I did make the collar piece but it isn’t very obvious because I made it shorter with no interfacing so it kind of just drapes around my neck

-It’s made with a knit from Joanns that I picked because I LOVED the coloring and wanted to feel like I’m wearing pjs when I’m not(that is how I judge most of my comfy clothing)

As with all of Tillys patterns the instructions were so, so easy with fabulous pictures to explain every step along with all her blog posts you can visit. Also you can look up her patterns on pinterest and see what anyone under the sun has posted to get ideas of different looks and shapes the pattern can take. I followed my usual system of laying out the pattern, checking what the finished measurements would be and tracing it in wax paper. This pattern follows all the things I love/look for: looks nice without a ton of effort getting dressed, feels like pjs and transitions well for any season because I am not the kinda gal to have a seasonal wardrobe.