The Braid is Back

The reversible braid jacket in now in the 'material gathering' phase (which, when you use recycled materials, can take a while) but I decide to do a sample in the actual weight/type of materials I wanted to use, just to make sure I was on the right track.
And hooray, everything seems to be working fine! It is very hard to photograph something double sided like this though! This project seems like it will be a good continuation of Leoh's Coat: now with both sides patchworked together. But similar idea, gray/black outer, dyed bits of silk insides.
Both sides. I haven't yet decided how I will join the strips together, probably bias strips of some kind though. Also, the grays here are from the lighter gray pile, I also have a pile of dark, dark charcoal, and I'm not sure how I will arrange the colors.
The silks in the sample above were from a lovely gift from Astrid, and they'll certainly make it into the finished project, but they're not enough, so I've gone through all my scraps of silk and sorted them out. I still need more though, so a trip to the thrift store for more awful silk shirts is in the cards. Then to dye them all green/blue/purpley.
And my boxes to keep the little pieces in. Woefully empty now but I'm sure they'll be overflowing soon enough.
The skirts moving along. I was awful and did cut away the back on a whole panel, I just couldn't resist the temptation. The executive decision was made to nix the braid motif above this one, so once I'm done this last panel, I'll start sewing them together.

Drawing Dump

One of my other resolutions this year was to draw more, and I have, so just a quick post of some sketches and a little progress on other projects.
Playing with braid designs, and going back to Leoh's design, some of the basic components could be fixed, still want to make some decent pants.
I move my book around as I draw, sorry! Teoh, some thoughts on support garments for Mariah, based on something I saw on the Met online archive.
Mariah, wearing the skirt I'm working on now.
Thinking about outer garments using that double sided braid I made a sample of earlier, also a sketch of a tabard-type thing made of a traditional shell one-patch design.
I also did a thrift-store run, $30 gets you quite a bit of stuff. Most of this is for my student's 'thrift remix' project this semester, but the grey wool pants and white twill collared shirts are for my own work.
The pants have already been disassembled into chunks of fabric, I think these will become that braid-coat I sketched above.
And the cut-work skirt is continuing, I'm about halfway through the 3rd piece of it.

Triple Metallic

Primed--and that matte gray is sort of lovely in it's own right.

Top masked off to do the first layer, the sole.
Gold soles achieved, then the soles were masked off.
Uppers sprayed copper, then the wingtip details were carefully taped off.
Careeeefully removing the masking tape!
And all off! I did mess up and get some drips and chips but all in all I think they came out pretty well. I need to get some new laces though, their old black ones don't really work.

Cutwork Begins

Since my five-year-old Macbook Pro finally started to bite the dust, I sucked it up and bought a new laptop, so if my images look a little strange, bear with me, this screen seems really different than my old one.
I got a Lenovo x120e, I would have loved another Macbook, but all I really used it for was Netflix, the internet, and fixing up images, so I think this one will do just fine for that. It's very sturdy too, which was my main concern, I would be frightened to lug around a Macbook Air.
The four pieces of the new skirt have been cut out of the boiled wool welding trousers, and the bottom pattern has been traced on. I've begun to do the buttonholing and bars now, and I know I shouldn't, but I did cut out one just to take a peek at how it looks.
Promise I won't cut the rest until it's all done! Please with the effect so far though.
Also got the design for the braid finished. I think I'll see how the horns look on their own though before I decide on it, now I'm wondering if that will be too much.
I also got the supplies to make over this pair of Dansko oxfords. I love their chunky shape (reminds me a bit of the Prada platform oxfords that I'll never be able to afford) but I already have one pair of black lace-ups, and I honestly don't wear much black, so I'm going to give these a metallic finish! Just have to wait for a day when it doesn't look like it could rain any second.

A Quick DIY and Progress on the New Project

I've been seeing shiny little collar tips and embellishments for a while now, and kept saying "Ah, what an easy DIY!" So I finally put my money where my mouth is and did one up on a plain denim shirt I thrifted a while back. I'm pretty pleased with it, and it was quick, only a few hours' work.
And I'm finally pushing forward on my next narrative piece. I'm keeping it fairly simple, I find in the past it was the basic garments that maybe got a little neglected, so I'm trying to really consider them this time. The boiled wool welding pants are going to become a very simple A-line skirt with cut work lace around the bottom.
Wow, I was so, so certain I had posted this sample a while ago when I made it, but I just went to link it and apparently I hadn't. Okay, so this is why I need to post more frequently. Anyway, this is the technique (basic buttonholed cutwork) that I want to use to create the pattern around the bottom of the skirt.
Other samples that I swore I had already discussed. Hmm. Maybe it was just on Tumblr? Very excited about the braid, it's double sided, I think there's going to be a really interesting strip-built cloth application for it eventually.
See? So it can be colored on one side, and not on the other, or different patterns, ect. Not sure whether I want to use the technique with whites (cotton/linen) or dark wools. Might be interesting for a religious outfit in whites.
Drafting out the skirt pattern, I've got the bottom horns pretty well figured, now I'm working with the braid above. Also a little sketch, you can see I'm already thinking about those double-sided braids.
And I made a hat, which sadly ended up too small for my head, thankfully it's just frogged yarn so I have plenty more, I'll probably try again. Pattern is Gingerbread Hat from Ravelry.

More Neckwear and a Gift for my Gift

So after my successful yellow silk bowtie I made the other day I began to think about how to change and alter the classic bowtie (I've been playing with collars lately too, I have to remember to take photos of that) and I thought about making a bowtie with a shaped front. After a bit of fussing I think I did it.
Little wings! This fabric was not the best choice, it's a little floppy and odd but I'm rather pleased with this. More neck-wear experimentation to come.
I also made, then forgot I made, a cover for my new cherished Kindle. The ones online were awfully expensive and in stores most seemed to be made for the bigger models. This one works pretty well, I used cardboard to make it sturdy and batting to cushion it out.
The elastic on the spine side got a lit bit screwed up, if I make another I'll handle the spine differently.
Strips made with my patented "grab a few colors you like and cut them into random strips" method. Got really wobbly as I sewed them on, but I don't mind.

New Year, New Post

You'll be happy to know that more frequent posting is one of my New Year's resolutions. I don't normally make a list, but this year I felt compelled to. Other goals:

-Draw everyday
-Stop buying lunch at work
-Wake up at 8:00 am *every* morning (I've been having problems sleeping in too much)
-Be more socially proactive
-Make more clothing for yourself

Anyway, here's a catch-up post since Christmas.
This is really just a show-off post, look at that delicious Xmas dinner! It was just me and Seamus, nice and quiet and relaxing. I got a Kindle from him which I'm very excited about.
And he, of course, was gifted his two custom-made shirt from me. Sorry about the web-cam pictures, I haven't gotten a proper picture of him in them yet.
You may recognize the rosy cross pin, I made it for him long ago. The lizard ring was a gift this year. Anyway, it's great to see him wearing them, it's a sense of satisfaction that I don't get all that much, since a lot of my work is not 'everyday wearable.
'I also used some of my Christmas Amazon cards to get a new shelf for my studio. I'm not much for decoration so industrial steel shelves are good enough for me. I re-organized the room a bit too and I think it works better now.
Clothing rack moved into the corner, I'm much happier to have it there, it was up next to the window before and I was getting worried about things fading.
Dear Jane keeps plugging along, here's B-5 and B-6. B-6 was a beast! Definitely my least-favorite so far. So many little strips! And the colors I pulled for it (I try to pick them semi-randomly) are my old high-school sports colors.
I also finally figured out how to tie a real bowtie, and liked it enough to pattern it out and make another. (the original bowtie I actually bought for Seamus for Christmas, though he hasn't figured out the tying yet.)
Well, now I can have any color or pattern I like!