Wednesday, February 24, 2016

DIY Geeky Pillow Cases

There is an often a dearth of practical geek goods that don't cost you an arm and a leg, like bedding. There are some out there, but they are often made for child size beds. The adult size geek bedding is often made out of crappy fabric --- I'm looking at you ThinkGeek and your polyester bedding! And I've been longing for my old Star Wars, Batman, and Holly Hobby ones (hey, don't judge...:-P)

(Edited to add: Someone just pointed to PotternBarn Kids, where they have QUEEN size sheets of the old Star Wars prints!!

I've been wanting to remedy the situation for myself. So I was at the fabric store the other day and found some geeky type fabrics in the remnant bin of soft cotton flannel with each one was about not-quite 2 yards in length. I knew the perfect projects for them, and they only cost me $5.00 per remnant.

So I got to serging and sewing.
Since standard pillows measure 20x26, the amount I got was more than enough to make a good size pillow case. Plus, as pillow cases are rectangular, it took a total of 20 minutes to make two pillow cases.

The following diagram shows the dimensions I used for the pillow case.

(Note: This is a quick and dirty tutorial. There are more elegant ways to make a pillow, and certainly one with more construction effort. However, this is what I did.)

  1. WASH and DRY your fabric first before you start sewing. So, you know how much you actually will have before you start sewing. It'll be tragic to sew your case, then have it shrink in the wash.
  2. Measure & cut your fabric per the diagram.
    • I simply folded the fabric so I would have less sides to sew. However, you can also cut out two pieces of fabric instead.
    •  Pinking shears are your friend!
  3. (Optional) Serge all of the edges or use an zig-zag stitch (on your regular sewing machine)
  4. Fold over the fabric, as shown in the diagram, and measure accordingly.
  5. Pin the wrong sides together along the longer side. Sew both the long sides.
  6. Turn the Top Hem by 1" all around the edge. Pin in place then sew. (You can have a bigger top hem than what I did with mine. I was just constrained by how much fabric I had.)
  7. Turn right side out.
Viola! Finished pillow case!

I love flannel fabric. It's so soft and warm. Even one of the Boys helped me test drive it.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Rosie the TARDIS

I've always wanted to do a TARDIS-inspired outfit, but unfortunately, there are a bajillion versions of the TARDIS outfit, including a lot of commercially available TARDIS dresses and patterns, which are pretty cool-looking, but not unique to me.

From Her From Simplicity Patterns

I wanted a different take on my TARDIS outfit. The idea finally came to me while I was prepping for the  world-record for a thousand Rosies that was being held in Richmond, CA. 

I was unable to actually attend the event, BUT, the idea stuck with me. Rosie wears a dark blue work coverall, which are close enough to TARDIS blue; the official Pantone color is 295CC (despite there being a number of different hues of the TARDIS over 50 years). I knew it'd be an easy costume to create. I could use the coveralls that I had purchased online for the event and re-purpose them into a most comfortable hall costume.

I took the extra POLICE BOX sign that I had created for my TARDIS messenger bag.

And sewed it to the back of the coveralls. I also made some "windows" for the back. I made different versions of the windows to see which one would work well.

First, I thought about just using fabric paint, but ended up using an applique stitch. (I ended up using the 3rd from the left.)

I took some of the patches that I had purchased previously and added them to the front -- because who doesn't have Doctor Who patches lying around? ;-)

Also, to simulate the Union pin on Rosie's collar, I added a Gallifreyean pin that I had purchased while at the convention.

Luckily, I already had a Dr. Who themed bandana to wear with it! I had made it back in August 2015. I just love being able to re-use the things I make into different costumes.

The result? One Rosie the TARDIS...although it's probably closer to Idris the TARDIS.
From one TARDIS to another

Rosie wears workboots in her poster, and I thought it appropo to wear the 10th Doctor's Converse shoes as a contrasting point for the outfit.

The outfit was utterly comfortable to wear around all day. AND, it had POCKETS so I could stick a plethora of Con-gear into them -- hotel key, wallet, phone, small knitting bag, fan, etc., Plus, it was a big hit amoung the other costumers as it was a completely different take on the entire TARDIS costume. I got stopped for photos quite frequently. My Dear Viking joked that next year at Gallifrey, we would see more Rosies.

Friday, February 19, 2016

GallifreyOne 2016 - ConReport

Earlier this month, I attended GallifreyOne, the Doctor Who convention, in Los Angeles. It's always held at the LAX Marriott hotel, and the hotel, itself, really gets into the swing of things.


There are some pretty amazing costumes at Gallifrey, like this Davros.

There were folks in "older" Doctor Who.

And new Doctor Who, and as evidenced by the photo, the same people cosplayed different eras of Whovian characters.

As always, there are some pretty creative fiber artists who make their costumes accordingly.

And some very creative takes on iconic pieces, like this Dalek Fez.

And some pretty awesome mashups -- like this 10th Doctor Jedi

There was even a T-Rex carrying around a small little TARDIS that she would occasionally spit out. :-)

I was on a couple of panels, including Doctor Who Crafts -- a panel for crafters that love Doctor Who. Topics ran from how to manage your crafting to how to make money from your crafts. I'm considering writing up an article about that for the blog.

I also was on a panel for Cosplay Diversity, which was also pretty interesting. My co-panelists were from different walks of life and we covered a range of topics at a fairly high level.

This was my first year doing panels at GallifreyOne, although I've done them for years at other conventions. I had a good time and met some pretty amazing people on them.

The guests were amazing. Sir John Hurt was one of them, and the crowds to listen to him being interviewed were huge. My DH Viking got Sir John Hurt's autograph on an ALIEN chestburster, because, well...that's just how he rolls.


I, of course, cosplayed throughout the convention, but only managed to get a few photos of me in them. One of them was my "comfy" costume, Rosie the TARDIS (which I'll post about later, including the making.)

Overall, it was a most excellent convention, and one that we're looking forward to attending again next year.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Extermi-KNIT Project Bags

I was at Joann's Fabrics, and found some more awesome Doctor Who Fabric. (Previously, Joanns had some great geeky fabrics. They still have some of them.)

Because, at the time, GallifreyOne 2016 was just around the corner AND I've been itching to get more stuff done AND I am on a panel for Doctor Who Crafting, I thought it'd be awesome to get some quick project bags made to show off at the convention.

I had to make up for the fact that I only had ONE completed costume for GallifreyOne, instead of my grand plans to wear my Missy outfit, with Michelle Gomez being present -- DAMMIT! (I am severely disappointed in my inability to make this outfit, especially with the actress who portrays Missy at GallifreyOne this year....)

Luckily, I've already outlined how to make little ditty bags on my blog, so I just followed my own instruction, with minor modifications, because I can't leave well enough alone.

I made one big enough for a sock project. I used the Dalek fabric for the outside and the TARDIS fabric for the inside. It's small, cute, and just the right size for purse knitting.

The other one is big enough for a medium sized project. This time I used the TARDIS fabric for the outside.

And the exploding TARDIS fabric for the inside.  It's big enough to hold a shawl or cowl project.

These were the perfect sized bags for taking my knitting projects to GallifreyOne, and was a hit. I also used the small one as a reticule for evening, as it also held my wallet and hotel key for Gallifrey.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Celebrating Chinese New Year with Finished Objects

Happy Chinese New Year! It's the year of the monkey.....the year of smart & clever people (more or less).

(Image from Google Doodle)

I'm hoping to be smart & clever this year, at least with my crafting and making. And auspiciously, I finished my Fire socks just in time for Chinese New Year.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Falling Behind

I'm really behind on things. The whole of January was unproductive and super busy at the same time. First, I caught a most horrible cold from the Viking and was laid up for nearly a week. My view of the world looked like this:

My cats were super happy that I basically spent a week sleeping either on the couch or on the bed. It meant that I cuddled.with them But even after I got better, I had a lingering cough that went on for weeks. But, unfortunately, all that coughing meant that my back was not happy. I basically threw out my back, which prevented me from doing a lot of the things I was hoping to accomplish.