Saturday, November 26, 2011

Winter is coming! Update!

As promised, here is a full-length shot of the Game of Thrones-inspired cloak. Not only am I pleased with the way it turned out, but I think that Dave carries it off. Not all men can wear fur without looking like a popinjay, but I think he looks masterful and rugged.

Winter is coming! Part 2

It's Dave's birthday, and I surprised him with a warm cloak in the style of Game of Thrones. As he was preparing to head to the gym and was wearing shorts, he would only let me take a pic from the waist up, but later on I'll add a full length shot and show some of the details.

I made the body of the cloak from a coat-weight, coarse-woven bit of wool. I'm not sure what kind of animal (sheep, goat, alpaca?) gave the fleece for the wool, but it smolders and goes out almost instantly when subjected to a burn test. It's wonderfully warm.

The fur around the shoulders is wolf. Yes, it's real. But it's also vintage, so if you feel bad about an animal dying to make this fur, then you can rest assured that it would long ago have died of natural causes by this time anyhow.

As you can see in this inspiration picture, the cloak is fastened by way of two leather straps which attach at the shoulders. I did a little research and believe (though I've not been shown any evidence from the GoT series or costumers) that the straps continue around the body and are fastened at the back with a buckle. I used two matching leather belts and they worked perfectly, though there weren't quite as wide.

It's a good thing I made my plan to construct this cloak way back in August, because it took me a long time to find all the pieces I needed -- especially the fur. That was a real steal at Goodwill for only $20.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I cleaned out my sewing stash/corner. I took before and after pics, but I'm too embarrassed to post them -- no one can know I'm creatively messy! -- so you'll just have to imagine the piles of yardage and spools everywhere and pins, pins, pins.

Did you know I've drafted around a dozen patterns since this time last year? Dresses, pants, sleeves, shirts -- all sorts of things. If I hadn't been folding them into marked 9x12 manilla envelopes, I wouldn't have believed it myself.

I threw out that sottana I started. For one thing, I never really liked the fabric. For another, one of the small side gores was upside down because of the way I had to cut it to conserve fabric, so it looked odd. Just grabbed the whole mess and stuffed it into the trash. I didn't even stop to try to think of something else I could do with the fabric -- it had only cost $4 to begin with -- and it felt so good, you guys. Whew! One less half-done project dragging at my brain.

All my spools are on the rack that I got at Joann Fabrics -- all 60 of them. How can I have so many colors and shades, and yet not have anything to match the fabric I'm working on when I go look? Oh well, thread's pretty inexpensive too, for the most part.

I have yards and yards of pretty jacquard ribbon, in all kinds of colors. I love the pretty flowers and patterns, but somehow whenever I think I'll use some of it in a project, I end up deciding it looks fussy and wrong and I throw it back in the drawer. One of these days I'll put some on the cuffs of something, honest!

Imogene, my dress dummy, is wearing a purple coat, a tan hooded capelet, and a green velvet top hat. She has such a sense of style ... and humor.

Anyway, this post goes to show that I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. The holiday season is going to be keeping my busy with projects and clients, but I'll do my best to scribble an update here whenever I can. Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Winter is coming!

It's cold outside and I have made ambitious plans for making holiday gifts for my friends and family. This is something I think of every year, but this year is different in that I actually made the plan while I actually had time to do the work. Yes! No more waiting til the week before Christmas to decide that handmade gifts would have been very nice.

Ooh, Wenny! I can hear you say, What are you making? I want to see!

HA! No such luck! For many of the recipients are probably reading this right now and that would spoil everything.

I like italics today.

Dave gave me a coupon he found for 50% off any item at Goodwill. I hope I can find something really awesome to get with it. And that's about it for now. Except that I will mention that if you receive something knitted from me, please believe me when I tell you that it was made with love. Because I hate knitting so very, very much, there must be a lot of esteem for you to make me pick up needles.

p.s. I hate knitting.