Deadline Work (6) – Backpack Finished!

Last but not least, the backpack. The backpack has been chronicled before (here, here, here, here), but I didn’t post the finished thing. I think that was because I wanted to test run it to see what improvements were needed. I only found two, the closures were not tight enough so there was some movement and the pack didn’t close easily. In the .. say 2 hours before I left for the event and on the car ride there I managed to get those issues sorted.

The solution to the first problem was to stitch the little round bits down further. Now they are attached over about a centimeter instead of the single line in the middle they were before. This worked very well when tried out in real life larp. You can just about see it in the picture below.

Updated closureThe solution to the second problem was to attach a small tie to close the front and the back. This was easily incorporated and works very well as a simple closure.

New closure

Now, as you may have gathered, I gather a lot of stuff. I like to store all that stuff somewhere and that was what the back was for originally. This is what it looks like when all the books and papers are taken out. It is almost full when all of that is also in there.

Flap Insides 3 Insides 2 Insides 1

Last but not least, the front and back. I’m very happy with those straps, they carry very nicely and were a nice copy of some straps of another backpack that I own. I’m still very surprised that that worked out as well as it did.

Back Front

And now the working to a deadline saga has finished. I’m going to see if I still have inspiration to actually make something in the coming days. As always, keep getting creative!

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Deadline Work (5) – Apron

I used to wear a shirt with a lot of pockets when I went larping (here). However, I found out that this was not very practical. It made a lot of noise, I lost a lot of stuff and running was extremely difficult. That’s why I decided to make the backpack. The skirt did have some redeeming qualities, namely the two large front pockets where I could store my books. After testing out the backpack at the last event, I discovered I really wanted those pockets back. So I made an apron. With pockets.

I went through my ‘do something with this you were unsatisfied the first time around’ box, which has bits and pieces of discarded projects to find the skirt portion of this dress (here). I removed the centre back panels and zipper and created ties out of the panels. I can probably reuse the zipper in the future. I hand hemmed the sides of the apron and attached the ties. I found some brown home dec-ish stuff and made two large pockets. I embroidered a raven on one of the pockets as my character is a firm believer in the god Raven (of knowledge). It’s a very faint outline, but I know it’s there.

Raven embroidery Embroidery

I also attached some small leftover pockets to hold my pencil and other small bits that might be handy to keep close. This is the finished thing, front and back:

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And this is me in full costume. You can see the shirt, the apron, some belts and other things I wear. I’m quite packed with stuff, while some others wander around with practically nothing. To each their own, as they say.

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You can just see the straps of my backpack, I’ll finally post the last update on that backpack as the last entry in this series.

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Deadline Work (4) – Buttoned Shirt

Gala, Queen, Wedding, and larp, the most illustrious in that particular bunch. As you may know, I tend to want to make things for larp, mostly in the week before I have to leave, which may not be the best of planning decisions. However, this time this was the case again. In my productivity I managed to make a shirt, an apron and finally finish my backpack to satisfaction. All will be revealed in the coming posts, but first, the shirt!

So back in winter 2013 I discovered a pattern in a Simplicity magazine that I really liked for larp. It was a kind of peasant top with gathered neckline with the possibility to attach a yoke that closed with three buttons. I only took me 10 months to trace the pattern, so that’s almost a record.. I searched my stash high and low for some appropriate fabric and eventually found some of the most fluid, ravelling, presumably fake grey linen with black lines on the outside. Those lines weren’t really appropriate but the back was plain grey, the perfect plain grey for my top.

The Saturday of the cutting of this fantastic fabric was also the day I was scheduled for a very long first aid session at a film festival. I thought, correctly as it turned out, that nothing would happen at a film festival. So I had brought some of the fabric to make buttons, a tutorial of which I found here, quite a while ago. So I made myself a bunch of cute fabric buttons.

Back home, I cut the rest of the shirt, stitched it together, put it on and .. looked like a Michelin man. The arm holes almost came to my navel, but after some surgery I managed to take those in for a more comfortable fit. I finished the sleeves with cuffs that featured my buttons and the yoke too.

Sleeve cuffs Close up of yoke

I hand sewed every stitch that would be visible on the outside, so the sleeve opening, the collarstand, the hem and the yoke facings. It was a nice detour from my usual machining.

Hand sewn hem Yoke on me

I finished all the inside seams with the serger and used the serging to create the gathering at the yoke. I was too lazy to change the serger thread so it’s white with the light blue I used for my gala dress, this did make it a lot easier to find the right thread to pull.

Inside back Inside front

While at the larp a got quite a few compliments that I didn’t even initiate (and some I did, sorry I was proud of this make). It is nice to hear that people like what you’ve made. This is the full view on me.

Front Back

Next up: the apron.

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Deadline Work (3) – Wedding Present

Last time was the Tuesday made shirt, well that Friday it was time for the wedding of the person I’m still in (sporadic, but still) contact with that I’ve known the longest (i.e. since I was 10 years old). I was there the day she came back to school with the biggest grin on her face, she’d just gotten together with her boyfriend, now husband. It’s nice to see how people grow and evolve even if you aren’t going that fast yourself. I knew I’d be too exhausted from the week before to make something to wear, so I settled on a party dress I wore for a 25 year-wedding anniversary of my parent’s friends, I think. However, the present, that was a different matter…

On Thursday, which luckily is the day shops open till late, I was scouring pinterest for fun origami money presents when I found the bill-butterflies. I combined those with the ‘Jar of Luck’-idea I’d come across some time ago. I found a nice jar at a store and got two cups to go along with it, I found some nice bills and started the project.

Side I folded three bills into the bottom part of the wings. The top parts were quotes I found appropriate on pictures, with a hand-written wish on heart themed paper on the back.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” ~Franklin Delano Roosevelt
“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

I also cut some colourful feathers and made a bunch of confetti for in the bottom. I then attached the butterflies to the top of the jar with bouquet wire, this made them seem suspended in air. I personally was a big fan of this.

Front

Last I attached the cups and wrote the card. The idea of the Jar of Luck is that whenever you break something, you keep the shards in the jar, and when you need luck the most, you turn to the jar. In Dutch there is a saying that ‘scherven brengen geluk’, shards bring you luck [bad literal translation]. So this jar is for the times when it isn’t going to plan. And if you need some instant luck, there are two cups you can break easily. I hope they liked it, they did enjoy their party enormously so that was a good start to a hopefully fantastic marriage!

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Deadline Work (2) – Cowls

The first deadline went by, then came the second. The important visit, said visit was the Queen of the Netherlands, the real one. I came so close I could have touched her if I wanted to, which I didn’t because I value my life. Anyways, the brief was to wear something formal but festive. I knew I wanted to wear something I’d made myself. I’d already decided that I was going to be too busy to make something new, so I’d settled on wearing the grey pants.

But, lo and behold, I managed to have a Tuesday off which I’d sort of forgotten about. I thought that that would be enough time to make myself a cowl top. I traced a shirt I already owned with a cowl and frankensteined it with a shirt pattern I’d traced long before, that has formed the basis of several shirts (here and here and here) I still wear. I found some grey stretch stuff with blue that I liked in my stash and sewed up a storm. I finished this thing, from pattern making, to cutting, to sewing, to finishing that same day. That almost never happens. All in all I was very happy with the end result, see before you the front and back.

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I personally like the cowl a lot, a close up is on the left here. I was also doubting how long I should cut it. In the end it turned out I could wear it as a dress, see right, if I felt inclined to show more leg above the knee than below. I don’t, but I couldn’t resist seeing what it looked like in picture form. I will not wear this out of the house like this, it is so far out of my comfort zone that the Oort cloud is closer by.

Cowl Almost dress lenght!

I do like this shirt, is comfortable and I see quite some wear for the future. Next segment is the wedding present.

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Deadline Work (1) – Gala

The last couple of weeks have been quite busy with a few events on the calendar. First, we had a gala on Friday, which ofcourse required a new dress. The Wednesday after we had an important visit for which I wouldn’t mind something new, I had a wedding that Friday and just now I’ve come back from another larp event, for which I wanted a new outfit. So all in all I have a lot to tell you about the things I’ve made and produced.

Let us start with the gala dress. I wanted a new one and at some point before the gala was actually happening I set out for some fabric. My first idea was to make something with a draped cowly bit. However, I couldn’t find any fabric I liked for that. Eventually I found some blue fabric with a design that I really liked, so I bought a meter of it. Not long after I found something that coordinated (at least in my head).

The plan became a top based on the pattern for the larp top (here) from the patterned stuff, and a simple A-line empire-ish skirt from a pattern in a simplicy magazine I already had. I also wanted to a different ish strap because it would be too boring otherwise. Well this is the finished thing:

Front dress Back dress

And on me. Excuse the mirror pictures, it’s difficult taking photographs when alone. As you can see though, it is a bit long, I’m not wearing heels in these pictures, but even with heels, it’s a little too long. That’s what you get for hemming the morning of the feast, I guess. It is a bit tight at the top, but I quite like that, if I’m honest.

Front Back

And lastly, it turned out that my fidgeting to get the back point right turned out wonderful, check that matching point across the zipper people!

Dress match

Next up, a shirt fit for a queen.

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Knitting a Lady

To me, Myrna is a girl’s name. I think I actually know one although I’m not sure of the spelling anymore (primary school seems so long ago..). However, when I saw the OAL posted by Lladybird (here), I couldn’t help but be impressed by the pretty red knit that fellow Outfit Along (hence OAL, I guess?)-host Andi had made and designed. I wanted one, for sure. So I bought it on Ravelry, I believe that was my first time purchasing anything there, and it went well..

For some reason I decided that gray/grey would be the best choice, although I now believe I should have just started a red version. My original Ravelry notes are here, if anyone is interested. I had to cancel on the first attempt because the armholes almost went to my navel. But by sizing down and removing 8 rows where there were no increases or decreases I managed to make something that actually fits, it doesn’t help that my rowgauge is of by about a mile. I like it a lot, although I cannot help thinking about running a thin ribbon through the holes or something.

I learned a new method of knitting sleeves, with short rows already attached to the bodice. I do not wish to return to the old method of having to set in sleeves that were separately knitted ever again. I found I wasn’t dreading the whole sewing sleeves on part, so I’d like to adopt this method as favourite, so far anyways.

The weather on the day I finished this gray thing was weird, one moment cloudy (left) and one moment extremely sunny (right). This made picture-taking even more difficult than usual. But below you can find the front of the thing, and then the front again.

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Next we’ll see the back with the cute little hole in it, I adore this feature!

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Here it is inside and out (I think, I weaved in the ends so I don’t know for sure anymore), you won’t be able to spot the little ribbon I sewed along one of the button bands for stabilisation. In a later picture this will visible clearer.

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This is the set in sleeve, I did a good job I think.

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Also that ribbon and the buttons I chose. I like how the buttons almost disappear.

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I am very proud for actually finishing this thing, and in so short a time period too! Ravelry says I took a month and a half. Of course it helps that the sleeves and the body were short, but I enjoyed knitting this thing on the round needles. I have cast on another one, I’m not sure yet if that will get finished, but I hope so!

 

 

 

 

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