Sunday, April 23, 2017

Brass Rat

It's been a loooong time since I've blogged. I'm still sewing, but since I'm now busy with school and living in a small (and messy!) dorm room, I mostly make clothes over the summer and when I go home for break. And I'm still blogging over at the MIT admissions blogs (you should really check out my post about the Costume Design class I'm taking right now!).

But recently, I made something so important that I really have to share it.

A life-sized sketch of myself wearing a bird costume!

Just kidding, that was my costume design homework for this weekend.

I made my first-ever formal gown!!!

What was the special occasion?

Ring delivery!

Ring delivery is a celebration held for the sophomore class where we all, after months of anguishing over the appropriate bezel size and antiqued finish, received our class ring...the brass rat.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Crazy Pants

Have you ever had this experience where you look at a piece of fabric, and your first thought is, "Wow that is really hideous." and your second thought is "But also kind of awesome. Where can I fit that in my sewing queue?"

This happens to me quite frequently.

"I have never seen a more obnoxious seizure-inducing shade of electric blue. Where could I put that on a piece of clothing?"
"I can't buy that, orange just isn't a flattering color! Does it count if the fabric is half yellow?" 
"Seriously?! A tent dress?! That's not going to look good on anybody!...Except me. If I make it in that awesome psychedelic 60s print..."
That's the sort of gut reaction I had when I found these pants.

Yes. FOUND them. In a STORE. With two fully-formed legs and a TAG. Cut me a break, I was shopping for college clothes!
I mean, the picture pretty much says it all. I wear the pants around my dorm constantly, but I'm afraid to wear them outside my dorm because I might show up on Google Earth.

*Note: I am apologizing for the nosedive in quality of my pictures. I now live in a college dorm, and I have a camera but I no longer have a tripod or a clicker or anything. These pictures were taken by photographing myself in the mirror of my closet. See?:

Featuring: my overstuffed closet, and a bedsheet hung over a pipe on the ceiling behind me to mimic a backdrop. As Tim Gunn would say, "Make it work!"
*End note. :) 

For some reason, people seem to notice when I wear these pants. My flowy pants have been known to transfix passersby. A friend in my dorm is convinced that I never wear anything but these pants (*not true. She just doesn't notice what I'm wearing unless I'm wearing the pants). I have even been told that they are so much a part of my identity, that I practically wouldn't be the same person if I didn't own The Pants.

It's fate. Crazy comfy pants are my new wardrobe staple.

So I made three more pairs!

Crazy pants are pretty my substitute for sweatpants. They're just as comfortable, but they've got so much more character. Plus, you can do laundry in crazy pants and look like you're making a fashion statement as opposed to (what you're really doing) dredging up lounge clothes out of your two-week old closet.

PLUS, crazy pants are a really quick project--a few hours at most. I whipped out a pair when I was home for Thanksgiving break, and made two more over Christmas (in addition to a coat and almost every dessert recipe on this blog!)

This was the first pair of pants I made.

The only way I could photograph the back of the pants. 
I used the pants from a Very Easy Vogue pattern: 

V9159, a tunic and flare-leg pants pattern.
I think I made a size 10 in the waist and cut down to an 8 elsewhere based on the measurements on the back of the pattern. I also added some length to the pattern when I cut it out, which probably wasn't necessary but I like to be safe. The fabric I used was an ITY knit from FabricMart; I think I got it on sale for a few bucks per yard, and I LOVE the blue/black/yellow coloring and the 60s-inspired print! 

In my second pair of pants, I wanted to try to replicate the flared silhouette of the original Crazy Pants, so I altered the pattern I used for the first pair of pants. I marked where the widest part of my hips would fall on the pattern piece; I then decided how wide I wanted the leg to be at the bottom and drew a straight line from the hips to the hem. The circumference around the bottom of the leg ended up being 35 inches. :O

This fabric is an athleticwear knit from FabricMart. The colors are very vibrant and it has kind of a sparkly sheen on it. I didn't have enough fabric to cut exactly on-grain, and the pants turned out fine. Oddly, I did have some problems with the side seams puckering, which I was little worried about. Then I put on the pants, and realized that nobody was going to notice the puckery seams.

Oh, and just in case you were afraid these pants couldn't quite keep up with the originals: 

I did in fact replace the waist elastic with a big stretchy panel, as if to cover as much of my surface area as possible with neon fabric. :D

For my third pair, I went the other direction and made leggings. 

I scavenged the pattern from a Cynthia Rowley pattern in my stash. 

Simplicity 1372, a top and leggings pattern.
There is supposed to be an exposed zipper in the back of the leggings, which I did not include; unfortunately, I forgot to cut the center back seam bigger to make up for the space where the zipper was supposed to be, so I just made that seam really small and I think took in the center front a little bit to make the front/back waistband the same length and it worked well. I also had to take in the leggings a little bit around the knees, which is strange because they fit ok everywhere else. 

Once again, this fabric is a product of (totally justified) FabricMart impulse buying. It's a beautiful, thick, primarily cotton, lime green and tangerine Pucci knit. 

This has nothing to do with the post, but I love Pucci fabric.
Doesn't my fabric kind of look like Jupiter? 

If you appreciate that comparison, you would really enjoy moon or frying pan
That's my pants collection! 

I haven't posted in a while because school has been really busy! 

ice skating with friends! 
Look, some homework I haven't deleted from my phone yet!
Making actual food (as opposed to just dessert...)
And I've been publishing on the MIT admissions blog

And this is a picture of the State House that I took from my room with my new camera! A little more picturesque than the inside of my closet :) 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Boston Fashion Week and what to do with your leftover coffee filters

I was pretty excited to learn that I now live within walking distance of a fashion week.

One Saturday afternoon some friends and I headed over to the Back Bay area to the big mall in Copley place to see an exhibit put on by the Massachusetts College of Art and Design called "Wearable Art."

It was straight out of a Project Runway unconventional challenge.

Forget recycling. "This garment was crafted out of cut and scrolled aluminum cans and wired to window screening. Designer: Jessica Soter". This looks like a treacherous dress to make--those aluminum strips are probably really sharp! Also, can we all take a moment to admire how adorable it is that she used a row of can tops on the back of the dress to mimic the look of sewn-on buttons and loops?

"This garment is made from woven raffia on a loom and sculpted by hand. The skirt is from brushed lambs wool and baby's breath. Designer: Elle Audra Mackey." I love the back!

Remember when you did that art project in like kindergarten where you microwaved scraps of plastic cups to make a pin or something for your mom? 

This person took that idea to a whole new level. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Prospects for the future, a new blog tagline, and a cake!

Just over a month ago, I moved 3000 miles across the country to a new city.

And got to move in to my dream school.

Clearly my selfie angles need work. 
It seemed only appropriate to ring in this new period of my life with an appropriately-themed cake. Which my mom got to with a knife before I could with the camera...but you get the idea! 
This change of scenery, of course, will necessitate some radical changes in sewing and cooking habits. Fortunately, I don't have to give up sewing and cooking entirely. Mainly because MIT is an awesome school. For these reasons.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Missoni Maxi Madness

This is an example of total fabric inspiration!

I would never have pictured myself making this project on my own.

Prior to making this dress, this was my mental picture of a maxi dress:

Pretty much a tube of fabric (which I don't mind, I love fabric!) except that maxi fabric is usually ugly and clingy and sometimes the stripes don't match up and really the only good reason I could think of for wearing one was if you forgot to shave (...actually, that's a pretty good reason).

And this was my mental picture of a Missoni dress:

....And I was like eeeeeeeegh I'll just wear jeans.

And then Elliot Bermann had a promotion, and among my mom's haul from the sale was this gorgeous swath of textile.

Disclaimer: I got permission from my mom to steal this fabric.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


Aren't rompers super-cute? I think so. They're also in-style. I know because I went to a school-sponsored event the other day and a bunch of the girls were wearing them...which probably means they're already on the back-end of trendy... (I'm really out of touch with clothing that ironic?) 

My brother, who is not as fashion-oriented as I am, insists on misinterpreting the name of my newest garment. Whenever I'm wearing it, he makes sure to tell me to "break a leg" or "break out a dance move!" or "I know you have senioritis, but don't break out of graduation practice." In Spanish, you see, romper means to break. 

And actually, that's a pretty good metaphor for this article of clothing. Por ejemplo: 

One usage of "romper" is to describe waves breaking. Which is appropriate because SUMMER IS HERE and I am officially BEACH-BOUND!!!  Smiley

Celebration shot!

Romper can also be used to mean "take a break"...which I seriously need. High school is over...I know where I'm going to college (more on that in another post)...time to de-stress and kick back. 

Not intended to refer to acne, tears, or prison. Read below.
Because the future is bright, my friends! I'm on the verge of adulthood, and I'm ready to break out into the world! 

Thanks, WordReference!
And finally, if we want to talk about the most literal definition of breaking (and actual sewing, because that's what this blog is supposed to be about), this project was definitely a stash-buster

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Pretty Pictures of a Summer Apricot Tart

The other day, my family went to our awesome local grocery store. My dad likes to bring me with him when he goes because I used to play basketball, and buying produce there requires a lot of the same skills as grabbing a rebound.

"Boxing out"
Just as we were walking through the fruit aisle, a worker came by and unloaded a beautiful, mouth-watering, glowingly fresh batch of apricots on the stand. Chaos ensued.

Considering that several people were shoved out of the way in the name of these apricots, I figured I had better make something extra special out of them!

I didn't take pictures of all the steps that went into making the tart, but it turned out so pretty that I thought I would post some pictures and a link to the recipe I used.

This recipe is for an apricot tart with an almond-flavored custard made with mostly eggs, extracts, and cream. The filling and crust of the tart ended up being pretty sweet, while the apricots added a little sour kick. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly and it turned out beautiful!

Side note: my #1 favorite part about this tart was the crust. The tart slid out of the pan so easily, there was no weakness or sogginess in the bottom, and the crust was delightfully crunchy and even caramel-y.

P.S...I know I haven't posted in forever (shame on me. Life has been crazy lately.) That will (hopefully) be rectified shortly. I'm a few buttons away from finishing a sewing project!