Tag Archives: DIY

In regards to the McKittrick fabric, ablipintime wrote:

OH GOSH I got your thank you email and like, giggled madly since I bought that fabric in October! Or earlier I can’t remember…

I made bowties from it and lots of people got really excited over it the two times I’ve worn them to the hotel!

Either way it rocks, though I wish I had a variant with a smaller thistle pattern and some day I hope to have a vest made of it too but yeah totally going to buy more!

My day is made.

I was super excited by a recent email from Spoonflower, congratulating me that someone had bought my McKittrick fabric.

McKittrick fabric

It turned out that three people had actually bought it, over the course of many months, and I was just bad at filtering emails.

This fabric was originally designed for my Caroline dress. I wore it upon my second trip to Sleep No More, an incredible, immersive show that fueled my inner DIY-er. After my curtailed first trip (from which I already concluded Sleep No More was the best show ever), I decided to return for a second visit, and return in a grandiose manner. I sewed a dress, minted a coin, and created my own interaction with the actors. It was a really good time.

While I’ve stopped paying my patronage, I’m super excited that others are craftin’ away with the fabric. I hope to see some pictures of epic fan-creations, and perhaps the vicariousness will bring me back to the McKittrick once more.

Last Wednesday was surprise mail day!

A couple of weeks ago, I treated myself to something that had been on my wish list for a long time. Up until mail time, I had completely forgotten about the gift to myself.
I love you two-week-ago me!
note to self
My self-fulfilling surprise was a DIY Star Projector.
The kit was super easy to assemble. Infmetry provided a nifty instruction video, so I didn’t even bother with the manuals.

Halfway through assembling, I plugged my lamp in for the first time. My heart palpitated as I pressed the ON switch. Little did I know know I had nothing to worry about. This kit was super well designed. A lot of pieces had nice grooves for a quick, error-proof build.
My friends and I huddled in a dark closet to test out the projections. It was absolutely gorgeous. We were enveloped by the evening sky.
starsstars closeup

It reminded me of a night in the Negev desert. Laying on the roof of a caravan, I watched the entire Milky Way twinkle as shooting stars slinged across of my field of vision. It was incredibly beautiful.
Negev with Sirrice
I have to say, for $22, this projector is a super worthwhile investment.
It’s dim amber light makes it perfect for a night-light.
From now on, I’ll be swimming in stars as I slip off to dreamland.
It will be heavenly.

A few people asked me how I made the fan-memorabilia coins for the amazing show Sleep No More.
coins!I followed this amazing tutorial.

Here’s some more technical details for those who want to attempt this.

The coins were 14-15 gauge, rimmed brass stamping blanks, and the etchant was copper etching solution (ferric chloride) from Dick Blick.

I made a total of seven coins, with the image on both sides, using the same etchant bath. Some of them came out significantly better than others.

all the coins
In the picture above, the coins are arranged from the least time in the bath to the longest time in the bath.

The first two coins were placed in the bath first, for 30 minutes. They resulted in a super faint design.
Along with the first two coins, I had also etched a copper disk, for comparison.
The copper disk didn’t have significant difference from the two brass ones.
However, I believe it did pollute the bath.

All successive coins I had a rust-colored coating, that may have been the result of the eroded copper in the bath.

The next two coin were left in the bath for 2 hours, and the remaining three were left in the bath for 3 hours. There were not much difference between them.

As for the rust-colored coating, it only happened on one side: the side that was facing down in the bath. As seen here, the two sides of the same coin came out drastically different.

heads again!

Hope this helps some crafty folks out there!

A little while ago, Marley asked me if the fabric for the Caroline Dress was available on Spoonflower. I’m happy to announce it is, thanks to the amazing folks at Sleep No More.

Time to indulge your SNM-obsessed DIY-er!

May I interest you in a bowtie?
Bowtie Loose
Bowtie Tied

Bowtie Patterns:
David Bowtie – BurdaStyle
How to Make a Bowtie – Prudent Baby
Bowtie Pattern – LA Times

Caroline Pattern:
C Dress by Masty (with minor modifications)

Sleep No More – Spoonflower
Sleep No More Fabric

I can’t wait for summer.
Over the weekend, I visited Florida, and savored the sunny beams.
If only home was as lovely.

I dream of warm nights lounging with friends and ocean waves unfurling over my toes. Of course, I also dream of summer insects, like cicadas.

Cicadas are awesome. Their gentle hiss greet summery days, and they leave intricate exoskeletons for collectors.

Two years ago, I waterjetted rings featuring cicada wings.

wing ring
I named them Butterfly Landings, due to their deceptive appearance.

However, that is injustice!
Those wings belong to cicadas!

To rectify, I now present to you Brood XXV.
Brood XXV

Brood XXV back

This is their second reemergence from the jewelry box.


Last night I dreamt I went to McKittrick again…
…except in my snazzy new dress!
I’d wanted to make a 1940s dress ever since my first Sleep No More escapade.
The vicarious excitement from my friend’s recent trip set the motors of my tiny sewing machine in motion.
With permission to incorporate the McKittrick pineapples, I designed and printed my very first fabric through Spoonflower.

Spoonflower Fabric

I present to you: Miss Caroline.

Miss Caronline with Mask
It features a bold print, sweetheart neckline, and long sweeping skirt; a refined version of my Dandyweeds Dress

Miss Caroline
Caroline Dress
I’ll be donning this for my second visit to the McKittrick in May.
I’m looking forward to all the things I apparently missed.
I really want a 1-on-1 experience but those seem wretchedly rare.
Either way, I’ll be bloody bold and resolute.
Mad Dash
Maybe I will pay fortune a visit.
I hear she has favorites.

*Edit: Apparently they aren’t pineapples, according to scortchedthesnake, they’re thistle, whoops ^^;

*Edit again: Fabric now available on Spoonflower, with approval {Link}

I present to you a l i o t h, a day and night themed shirt.

It’s features two kinds of fabric, a white muslin and Starry Night by Cranston Fabric, as well as LED sequins and the Aniomagic Sparkle.
starry night and aniomagic

I am a big fan of joodito, and this was inspired by her p r o c y o n.

I really enjoyed making this shirt. It was my first attempt at pattern drafting. It came out pretty spiffy.

modeling alioth

Watch it twinkle:

Cords were always cluttering my desk. I could never find a place to put anything down.

No more!
I designed the cor(d)set to cinch the cables together. One sweep can clear everything away!

I used Grace’s Garden print, by Sweetwater for Moda, for a little whimsy and the LEDs for a little excitement.

Graces Garden
Cor(d)set is made from small squares (from one fat quarter of a Moda Precuts bundle) quilted together with batting in-between. Being my first time quilting, I think it came out pretty well. I learned a lot from wonderful tutorials online. My tiny Continental Electric pulled through for me.
blink blink

It was also my first eTextile project! It was surprisingly easy. I found the Aniomagic Sparkle to be a great first microcontroller for eTextiles. There are others like Lilypad and Flower, but those are more involved. Building the LED circuit was super fun. A little work for a lot of pizzazz!


See it in action:

*The credit for the name goes to a very awesome friend, Stephie.

I’ve been working on a couple of projects so I haven’t had much chance to update. I’ll post the results as soon as I finish.

Meanwhile, let’s talk sewing machine.
Since all of my work-in-progress projects require sewing, I have a handy little Continental Electric.
sewing machine
I picked up this gem at a garage sale. It’s about the size of two stacked loaves of sliced bread, only half as long. I was cruising the streets on my way home and spotted it among art decor and electronic refuse. The $8 price tag made this a steal.
At the time, I didn’t know how to sew. I spent long hours deciphering the manual and Youtube instruction videos. Eventually I learned the basics, like how a sewing machine interlocks two threads to sew, one from the top of the sewing machine, and one from the bobbin below.

I really pushed myself to master this device. I carted it around in my backpack to and fro when I was taking a creative fabrics workshop. Eventually, from this tiny beast, the Dandyweeds Dress was formed.
Dandyweeds Dress
I highly recommend this sewing machine, as one novice to another. It’s super portable! Just plug it in and sew! It’s incredibly sturdy and has held up well to my abuse.

I do have a few complaints. The sewing machine only sews straight stitches, which makes it difficult to work with knit fabrics (knit fabrics are stretchy and straight stitches do not allow fabrics to stretch much). It’s really light, so when I’m applying a lot of force, the sewing machine may shift a little on the table. I usually put a large jar candle behind it to give it more support.

There’s also no back tack. Back tack is when you sew forward, back, and forward again over the same spot. This allows for the thread to be locked in the fabric, similar to knotting it at the end to prevent unraveling. Unfortunately, on the Continental Electric, I have to manually rotate the fabric, to get the back tack effect.

I’ve recently spotted it for $17.99 on Amazon. That’s still an excellent buy. It will enable you to dip your toe into the world of DIY fashion. Think custom shirts, custom dresses, custom everything! With a few practices, you’re only limited by your imagination!

You could even make a seriously cool kimono jacket designed by Alexander McQueen!
McQueen kimono jacket
I’m definitely going to attempt the McQueen jacket. For now, I’m midway through two projects.
Here’s a teaser:

Project 1:
starry sky
Edit: click here for Project 1

Project 2:
dances with daffodils
Edit: click here for Project 2