May 1, 2015
Totoro is one of my favorite Miyazaki films and I’d always planned to make Totoro costumes for The Brood. When Cation Designs announced the “Small Human Being Sew-Along”, I decided this was the perfect time to make them. Lorelai joined in, making a costume for her tadpole so we had a complete set.
(Did you know the blue and white ones actually have names? Chu Totoro and Chibi Totoro. Who knew?)
Construction was on these was pretty simple with the hoods being the only tricky part. I used my trusted Simplicity 1767 for the bodysuit, and modified Simplicity 1477 for the hood.
I also referenced the Totoro tutorial from you & mie. (Her daughter is the super cute Totoro you see whenever you search for Totoro costumes.) I liked how she put her zipper in back, so I followed her example and modified the Simplicity pattern to be a one piece front and installed the zipper in the back. The tummy and tummy designs are appliqued on. I used Pellon’s Wonder Under which did a great job of stabilizing everything without making it too stiff like Heat n’Bond which is what I used to use.
I mocked up the hood from 1477 and altered it to remove the seams in front. My biggest problem ended up being that the ears were so heavy, they didn’t stick up properly until I stabilized them by hand-stitching them to the base. A lot of time was spent trying to make the eyes look right. I was trying to go for cute and spacey, but not possessed or creepy looking… which was surprisingly hard! I ended up with a lot of reject eyeballs…
For some reason I had convinced myself that the Larva was going to be the problem child for photos. What was I thinking? You can at least bribe a 2 year old to stand still (and actually she was super cooperative once we got the costume on), but a 9 month old? Yeah, there’s no convincing her to stay put. We ended up taking around 200 photos between all the cameras and cell phones, and I think she’s not flailing in like… 5 of them.
We tried to get group photos on our couch but it was really hard to get the babies to sit still… or to sit at all, so every single photo was blurry. They’re still pretty cute though so here’s a couple:
Then we decided to take the kiddos to the park in our complex to get photos. We had 7 adults to wrangle 3 kids… it was quite a production getting out the door.
Ma… this hood sucks…
(Notice how it’s my brood that’s being difficult? LOL)
A few more photos.
And look we put tails on all the outfits!
Lorelai wore her super cute Totoro poncho. I think I will make one like it when I get some free time. (HA)
And then it was time to cart all the small human beings back home.
Game of Thrones Costume Event in Napa
March 27, 2015
Last month, the GBACG held a Game of Thrones costume event at the Castello di Amorosa winery in Napa. It’s an entire medieval castle smack in middle of Napa and it was the perfect backdrop for Game of Thrones costumes.
I actually hadn’t watched Game of Thrones yet when I bought my ticket to the event so I was on a clock to watch the show, pick a character, and make a costume. Thankfully the seasons are short and the show is really good.
So then it was time to make a costume choice and I really liked Margaery (although I have to admit I barely remember her from the books… but I read the books a long long time ago). Margaery has gorgeous outfits in the show, but I didn’t want to do a named character, so I went back over her scenes and checked out her handmaidens in the background. They all had outfits very similar to hers which was perfect. I chose elements I liked and designed my own. (More photos of my costume this way if you’re interested.)
Cheryll went as Ellaria, Aimee as a King’s Landing lady with a dress modeled after one of Sansa’s, D went as a lady from Quarth, and Judy was also a King’s Landing lady with a dress similar to one of Cersei’s.
There was a huge turnout for the event and the winery was still open to the public, so I think the muggles were pretty confused (but hopefully entertained!) by us. The castle is amazing! It has everything, including the dungeons and torture room (which I could have really done without seeing). The castle is set back from the road so I never noticed it despite driving past it a lot to go to one of my favorite wineries, Sterling, which is right across the road. If you’re ever in the area, I really recommend checking it out!
Here are some shots where you can see the beautiful embroidery and stumpwork that Aimee and Judy did on their dresses. Look at Judy’s tree! I have to admit that part of reason I picked a handmaiden role was so I wouldn’t have to do all the crazy embroidery that is on the noble costumes. Embellishment just isn’t my thing… I think I’m too lazy for it. =D
The girls of the summer climates were very cold this day. It was supposed to rain, but thankfully all it did was drizzle a little and then the sun came out. It was still really chilly though…
The tour took us through the great hall and then down into the catacombs underneath. No photos of the torture chamber cause serious squick there. We did some wine tasting…
And then they set us loose in the castle and we went around taking photos.
I love this photo of me, Aimee and Judy.
And some final group shots!
I’ve already picked my next Game of Thrones costume after seeing the preview of the Sand Snakes. =D
Kate Spain Good Fortune Jelly Roll Quilt
March 9, 2015
I’ve been meaning to blog about my latest quilt but I started playing Diablo III again and all of a sudden, I have no free time because I’m busy gaming. =D
I purchased a few jelly rolls when I started looking into quilting 3 years ago, but haven’t gotten around to using them. Jelly rolls are actually kinda big and they were taking up a lot of room in my bins, so I figured it was time to start using them. I picked the Kate Spain Good Fortune jelly roll and the For Emma pattern from the Jelly Roll Dreams book.
There is definitely something to be said for having all your strips pre-cut. Piecing this quilt went very quickly!
In an awesome stash busting move, I dug out some quilting cottons I got in Hawaii for the backing. I got these fabrics 4 years ago when Aimee and I were taking our babymoons together in Maui. I hadn’t even started quilting at that point, I just bought the fabrics because I thought they were pretty.
(I really need to try to expand the color palette that I buy fabrics in… but I really really love blue!)
So, I’m terrible at color coordinating and I would never have been bold enough to try all the colors in the Good Fortune collection together. I love having fabric collections to buy from because someone’s already done all the hard work of coordinating for me! This quilt top turned out so bright and happy!
I still have to finish the applique flowers so the quilt top isn’t quite done yet.
I stopped working on the applique a few weeks ago to work on my Game of Thrones costumes… and play Diablo… so yeah, it may be a while before this quilt gets finished.
Fleece Hats for Chemo Patients
January 28, 2015
I’ve been sewing fleece hats the last few days while watching Game of Thrones.
Yes, I am one of the few people left who hasn’t watched Game of Thrones. I’ve actually been avoiding the show because I’ve read the books, and it’s hard to watch the show when you know every bad thing that’s going to happen. Season 1 was the hardest for me but once I got past that, I was pretty hooked. HBO did an amazing job with the show and of course, I love the costumes!
Anyways, back to the hats…
Mi holds a hat making party every few months. She gets a bunch of people together to make fleece hats which she donates to a local hospital to hand out to patients undergoing chemotherapy. It’s a fun event with friends, food, and lots of sewing machines and fabric, and all for a good cause.
I’ve been so busy with the new baby that I’ve missed the last few hat making parties. I was really looking forward to going to the one she had 2 weekends ago… so of course the Larva got a sinus infection the day before. We decided it would be best to stay home and not expose everyone to our little daycare petri dish.
Mi was nice enough to stop by afterwards and drop off the hats that had been cut at the party but not sewn up yet. The hats are pretty simple so I was able to sew up all 11 hats in a few nights.
Here my KidRobot Tako plush modeling some of my favorites:
For anyone who’s interested, Mi wrote up a tutorial on how we make these fleece hats.
Here’s hoping I can make it to the next hat making party!