Pillow Patrol

Did you guys do any Black Friday shopping? I got so many e-mails about sales. It was ridiculous. It took soooo much effort not to blow my entire paycheck on fabric and cosplay supplies. I only indulged in a few things: a cute bowler hat, a blonde wig from Epic Cosplay (my first from them), and a pair of black sneakers. Any guesses what they’re for?

In an effort to keep to my stashbusting pledge, I decided to make a few envelope pillows and other DIY projects out of my leftover novelty print fabrics. I only anticipated making 3-4 pillows, but I grossly underestimated how much spare fabric I had. I wound up making 7 pillows total and a botched 8th. I also cut pieces for two bow clutches, my upcoming Korra cosplay, and my upcoming Ms. Marvel cosplay, but I’ll get to those in a later post.

There are a ton of great pillow tutorials on the interwebz, but here’s the one I used. It’s very simple and straightforward with lots of pictures. Yes, you will want to cut your fabric the same size as your pillow to make it look fuller, but don’t cut smaller or this happens.

Image
Hungry, hungry pillows. My BF is playing the new Assassin’s Creed. I love me some sea shanties.

As a reference, the pillow covers I made for myself were cut to 13″ by 13″ measurements, but my pillow forms are 14″x14″. Oops. Just an excuse to buy more pillow forms 😉

All in all, it took me 2 hours to sew all 8 pillows. Cutting took a while because I had to play fabric cutting Tetris from scraps.

cutting fabric
It’s mathematical! Pardon, I’ve been binging on Adventure Time lately.

I mentioned that I botched one of the pillows. I made a rookie mistake and sewed the right sides of the back to the wrong side of the front. I had no interest in seam ripping, so I’m tossing it back into the scrap bin to be reborn as a clutch in the future.

Derp.
Derp.

Pillows are such a great way to practice and learn new techniques. You can keep them as simple as you like, or make them super complicated and frilly. I stuck with basic envelopes for time’s sake, but it wouldn’t have taken too much effort to add some piping, make and add some ruffles, toss on a cool front piece (I may make a few nerdy logos out of felt for future projects), or add a zipper. It’s also a great time to practice new hemming techniques like a blind hem or a narrow hem, because if you botch it, no one is really going to see.

Just for the record, these aren’t all for me. I’m keeping one of the Marvel, Star Wars, and Wonder Woman pillows, but the rest are going to family members (namely, cousins in the 8-12 age range) for Christmas. Here’s hoping they like ’em!

Photo Nov 30, 10 51 05 AM

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Star Wars Cambie Dress

Chillin' with some ewoks. No big.
Chillin’ with some ewoks. No big.

I finally had a chance to wear my Star Wars dress at Dallas Fan Days. I’ve been meaning to post about this dress for a while now. Originally, I decided to make this dress and wear it for Star Wars Reads Day at work. Planning fell through, and we didn’t wind up having an “event” per se. So that left me with the con. I planned to attend all 3 days, but between sickness and terrible weather, I decided just to go on Saturday when my SO could accompany me. Since I wasn’t feeling like going in a full costume, I took the opportunity to wear my dress!

I got so many compliments, it kind of threw me off. I still don’t feel like I’m a very good seamstress, but several people made comments along the lines of “That’s amazing! I could never make it!” It was encouraging to think back and remember that just a year ago, I’d probably be saying the same thing.

The Basics: 

Pattern: Sewaholic Cambie, view B. Guys, I love this pattern. Tasia is amazing about posting tutorials and alterations for this and all her other patterns (Her blog is one of my favs and one of the ones I’ll drop whatever I’m doing to read the newest post. Also, I want all her patterns. Make it so, Interwebs). Cost: $20~ with shipping. Higher than what I normally spend, but it’s got the highest ROI of any pattern I own.

Fabric: 3 1/4 yds of Star Wars print fabric and 3 1/4 lining. Total cost: $40. Again, kind of high, but I didn’t time my sales shopping well. So there ya go. Still, it’s significantly less than what I’ve spent on the majority of my costumes 😛

Alterations: None, really, aside from adding 1 1/2” to the bodice (long torso) and 2” to the skirt length (long legs).

Time: 7~ hours. I could have probably finished it in one weekend, but I promised the SO that after D*C that I’d do things like spend quality time with him so that he doesn’t have to keep talking to the back of my head while hunched over my sewing machine.

Notions: Invisible zipper, bias tape used on the lining.

Make it again? Absolutely! I’m actually working on 2 other versions of this dress right now: one for a friend’s wedding (stashbusting some satin I bought for a costume ages ago), and one for my Belle costume. I also have plans to make a few more versions of this dress over the holidays, including one to wear to work and one for yet another costume.

Favorite parts: Pretty sleeves, inseam pockets, and giant poofy skirt.

Other thoughts: I love this dress. So much. I loved looking at all the pretty pictures on the Interwebs of other people’s versions, but I never thought I’d make one of my own. I’m so glad I did. It’s super flattering, comfortable, and came together much quicker than I imagined. I didn’t think that I’d like the gathered skirt, but turns out it works perfectly for my giant petticoat. Check out more pictures of my trip to Fan Days on my tumblr!

Given how well this went over, I think I’m going to start incorporating more nerdy dresses into my con mix. Be on the lookout for a Marvel-themed Macaron at the SciFi Expo 😉