26 november 2016

Do your bones glow at night?

A lot of the drawings I used to make were inspired by music and songs I liked (see here, here, here or here). There's loads more of that in my teenage sketchbooks! The last few years most of my drawing has been 'functional' in a way, either work for other people or things I intended to sell. I recently got the urge to draw some things just for fun, and went back to one of my favourite subject!

The Veils recently released a new (great) album, and one of the songs immediately resonated, so I made this:
It's entirely hand cut out of black paper (by drawing the mirrored image on the back in white pencil and then cutting all the unnecessary bits away).

Here is the song, for those of you who want to hear it:

I saw them play live at Botanique in Brussels last night, it was a great show and fun was had by everyone, even my slightly sick boyfriend. I got to give the drawing to the band in person afterwards which was awesome!

Would you like to see more of these? If so, I'll keep posting them every once in a while!

13 november 2016

You just watch me jump in my stretchy pants.

I have made a proper pair of jeans!

There have been some forays into sewing pants or sewing with denim in the past, but I had never made a simple, basic pair of jeans before, mostly because I rarely wanted to wear one. However, my single pair of black skinny jeans (an impulse buy from a few years ago when I thought I needed maybe one pair of pants that wasn't paint-splattered) was getting a lot more wear recently, even though it's getting a bit too large. So I decided to give the Ginger jeans a try!

My boyfriend told me to try and look tougher.
According to the chart I am between a size 8 and 10, and decided to go for the size 8 since the denim I was using is pretty stretchy and doesn't have the greatest recovery. (I used it before to make these dungarees). This was intended as a wearable muslin so I didn't make any alterations. They fit pretty well straight out of the envelope, but I'm not sure if I want to be super nitpicky about the fit on a thing like jeans.

Sewing this was quite straightforward, and the instructions were very clear. I decided to go for view A, a low-rise jean with a stovepipe leg. I like my skirts and dresses to hit me at the natural waist but I don't really like how it looks on pants (especially with a contrasting top).

Making these without making a proper muslin first was a bit of a gamble since you can't really try them on until pretty late into the process. There aren't any huge fit issues though, so I could breathe a sigh of relief there. The rise is maybe a bit lower than I expected, but the waist fits snugly which rarely happens with storebought jeans.

I did mess up somewhere along the way, and it was while installing the front fly. I don't really understand how I can install a fly front zip perfectly fine using only Burda instructions and black magic, but manage to do so many things wrong when I have clear instructions and a great tutorial at my disposal. I screwed up the topstitching and had to unpick and start over (the fact that I was using a triple stitch instead of changing my regular thread to topstitching thread every five minutes made this unpicking even more fun) so the fabric looks a bit... chewed up in places. I also feel like the interfacing I used was a bit too lightweight for the tight fit of these jeans, and there's some pulling. I checked my storebought pair (which is a similar fit and made from similar fabric) and it feels like there's some kind of tape along the edge of the fly to keep things stabilized. I decided to not let it bother me enough to not wear these, especially since the majority of tops I'd wear with this hide the issues anyway.

So stretchy!
I also had to shorten the zipper by a considerable amount (the pattern tells you to get a 13 cm zipper and even a 12 cm one was way too long, I think the final zip is more like 10 cm) and of course managed to pull the slider off after assembling everything and attaching the waistband, so I had to do even more zipper surgery to avoid taking EVERYTHING apart or something. It worked.

This was not at all related to the above picture but I'm not going to keep posting close-up pictures of my crotch. Here's one of my butt instead:

I'm pretty pleased with the topstitching on this. The triple stitch stands out nicely and since it's slower than a normal straight stitch it almost forced me to be more accurate. I stuck with the pattern markings for the back pocket placement, mostly because the idea of pinning these onto my butt and stitching them on accurately after the whole thing was assembled gave me a headache.

So yeah, I might be getting back into wearing pants. I have some stretch jeans with a faux-leather coating around that might look snazzy. But for now I'm going to leave you with this:

Boyfriend: 'Do something cool!'
Me: '...'
Boyfriend: 'No, not that.'

03 november 2016

I'll call this business casual.

Me, unpacking fashionable Halloween accessories at work:

'Hey boss, can I dress up for halloween?'

Boss, looking at cute bat-shaped hair clips and dainty fascinators:

'Sure, that could be nice!'

Surprise surprise, this was what was behind the cash register on Saturday 29th:

(Sorry for the horrendous quality but by the time I got around to taking this picture I'd been wearing facepaint for ten hours and was too desperate to wash it off to wait for the boyfriend to come home)

(at least there's a cat in the picture)

So yeah, I didn't do cute or subtle. I got this gold foil-printed fabric at the shop and used 50 cm to make a simple skirt. It's a self-drafted pattern with four slightly flared gores, a very narrow waistband (no fabric left) and an exposed zip in the back. I paired it with a lace bodysuit and spent the entire day annoyed about the snap crotch. I also scared some kids. Win!

Anyway, a good friend was celebrating her birthday at a costume party nearby, and she promised anyone who came dressed as a saying or expression a drink. Challenge accepted!

The first important element are the two dead birds on my head.

The second important thing to notice is the bloodied rock around my neck. To kill two birds with one stone! Get it? Haha!

I decided not to buy anything for this costume and work with stuff I had around the house (or, as was the case with the rock, found in the park). I drafted a pattern for a stuffed bird and roughly sewed two out of black canvas. The wings and tails got some structure with metal wire, and then I generously splattered them with acrylic paint. Put them on a headband and bam! The rock is a painted rock on a string. I paired it with my velvet beekeeper's dress and did a really poor job of washing the black skeleton paint away around my eyes.

One more because I like the smiley face thing in the background. It's a hat the boyfriend made to go celebrate Vastenavond in Krabbegatje last year. GOOD TIMES.

I remember how much I love making costumes every time I have to make one. Adding the challenge of not buying anything to make it with makes it even more fun! I'm sure this dead bird headband will get worn loads more times.