Let’s Be Online Besties!

Steampunk-Cutie-Mark

One of the drawbacks perks of being included in my inner circle of best friends and family is that I will obsess to the ends of the earth over every costume that ever touches your body. If we’re really close, chances are I’ve forced you to let me  offered to make you a Halloween costume at least once. I just can’t stand to see a good idea go to waste!  I pout for weeks when someone declines and then comes up with a crappy slapped together costume they made the day before a party.

The WORST is when someone asks me how to do something for a costume (the usual request being how to do something on the cheap) and then says “fuck it” and does the exact opposite; ending up with something more expensive and less effective then my original suggestion! ::cough:: Double Dragons 2012 ::cough, cough:: You know who you are…

But the worst is only occasionally. I’d say about 90% of the time (don’t worry no mathematicians were harmed in the writing of this post- its just a statistic I guessed at) it works out great. Fantastic ideas are given, people surprise me with their level of craftsmanship or I somehow end up on a costume bender going broke making 15 different costumes for various people. It’s that last one there that really takes the mickey outta me, so over the years I have learned to exercise some self control. Nowadays I still make costumes for people, but I now I always ask them to buy the supplies and sometimes actually pay me a small fee for the umpteen billion hours I’ve spent turning those supplies into something awesome.

In an effort to learn and grow (i.e. smack my inner perfectionist bitch into submission) this year I’ve decided to try something new. Simply designing costumes for other people. They give me their dream, I give them an idea with a hearty dose of how-to advice and then they are responsible for executing said idea. It’s been super fun so far, as my first request was for something very unique that I had to really put some extra thought into: Steampunk Rainbow Dash. Oh yes, you read that correctly. The science fiction sub-genre that combines steam powered machinery and the 19th century fashions of Victorian England and/or the American “Wild West” mashed up with… a flying, rainbow hued My Little Pony character.

Challenge accepted.

Thank you to Cat Fernandez for this amazing challenge! Making the Steampunk Rainbow Dash Cutie Mark was super fun, I can’t wait to finish designing the rest of this costume!

Do you have a challenge for me? Message me on Facebook or leave a comment on this post!

Crafting Tools 101

GlueGun_2

This is my glue gun. There are many like it, but this one is mine…

By far, the hot glue gun is my most favoritest crafting tool of all time ever. I use mine on almost every project and the love and good times we’ve had together are evident in the little community of crafting scraps making a home stuck to it’s side. Some  would say it’s gross, I prefer to think of it in the same category as a well-worn, dogeared copy of someone’s favorite book. It looks hideous because it gets a lot of use!

GlueGun_1

Anyways, glue guns generally come in 2 sizes (one for little glue sticks and one for big glue sticks) and range from obscenely cheap to fairly expensive. I prefer the small size, because they seem to fit my hand better, but in all honesty, I’ve been using the small ones for maybe 10 years now and maybe I’m just used to it. I think this is the one time where “size doesn’t matter” is actually true. Am I right ladies? Oh snap, I sure did just make a dick joke…on a crafting blog. Go me!

Back to topic: This little bugger cost me $3.99 and I’ve had it for at least 3-4 years, so in my humble all-knowing, all-powerful opinion, the expensive ones are a waste of money.

Besides my trusty ol’ glue gun there are other tools I like to keep handy. If you’re a veteran crafter you’ve probably got your own little arsenal of crafting weapons, but if you’re new to crafting you totes need to start your own crafting kit!

So here’s my suggested list for beginners:

  • Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
  • Crafter’s Knife (also known as an Exacto knife)
  • Sharp Scissors
  • A Hole Punch
  • Pencils
  • Ruler
  • Measuring Tape
  • Black Permanent Marker
  • Masking Tape
  • Scotch Tape
  • Cardboard Scrapes
  • Sewing Needles
  • Black & White Thread
  • Straight Pins
  • Multipack of Assorted Cardstock

Fabric 101 for Noobs: Beginner’s Guide to Buying Fabric for Cosplay

Maybe you finally decided to ditch the lame (and expensive, and ill-fitting…) store-bought Halloween costumes and make your own this year. Or maybe you’re just not immune to the Call of the Geek and you’ve finally caught the Cosplay bug. Whatever your reasons for making your own costume, if you’re a beginner you’re going to need some help getting started.

So, young Padawan, if you’ve never shopped for fabric before, allow me to drop a little knowledge on you.

The first thing you need to know about choosing fabric for crafting/costumes is what kinds of fabric to look for. Stuff that doesn’t fray is really great (unless you are willing to invest the sewing time or are going for a shredded look.) Also, unless you are just determined to sew everything you touch, you’ll probably be doing a lot of hot gluing so you don’t want it to melt. You can check out my favorite fabrics for crafting & costuming to get ideas.

Any questions you have about what a fabric is called, what it is made of, cleaning instructions, and size can be found in one place: the bolt label. (That’s also usually where the price sticker will be located.)

Unless you’re a textile expert, the bolt label is your best friend. Know it. Love it. Cherish it’s sweet, sweet wealth of information.

Here’s a shot of the bolt label of the polyester crepe fabric I used for my Easy No-Sew Cape:

bolt label

The second thing you need to know is how to get the right amount of fabric. Most fabric sold by the bolt comes in 2- 3 standard widths. The most popular widths you’ll see are  45”, 54” and 60”. Sometimes the fabric is folded. You will have to pay attention to this when shopping for fabric. If the fabric is folded and says 54” on the bolt label your total width will be 108”. (That’s 54 x 2, in case the math threw you.)

The fabric I chose for my cape project was 38” wide and folded so my total width to work with was 76.”

Wtf is a yard you ask? Oh yeah, that’s the super funnest part of fabric shopping: it’s not sold by the foot, oh no. That would be too easy. You gotta earn the right to play with fabric my friends! One yard is equal to 3 feet and 3 feet is equal to 36 inches.

(I’m not going to explain how I arrived at 36 inches. If I’ve lost you on the math at this point you probably need adult supervision.)

The third thing you need to know is that fabric is sold by the yard. So if the price sticker says $5.99 that means $5.99 per yard. That’s important when calculating cost. $12.99 doesn’t seem expensive… but buying 4 yards would be almost 52 bucks! Unless it’s some really great fabric, I say that’s way too much, but it really depends on your budget and the fabrics available in your area.

After you’ve determined how many yards you need (and can pay for), take the whole bolt to the cutting table. They will measure out what you request, cut it and give you a “receipt” with your total cost to take to the register and pay.

Be patient if you head to one of the big chains in the season leading up to Halloween (mid-August through October). Actually, August through November, because the little old grandmas really love to sew stuff for Xmas too. Anyways, be sure you have the fabric you want and have your measurements ready when you get to the cutting table.

Once they cut the fabric for you it’s super douchy to change your mind.

So now you know, and hopefully you won’t look like too much of a Sewing Tourist down at your local JoAnne’s.

Fabric Buying Cheat Sheet

  1. Love the bolt label

  2. Make sure you get the right kind of fabric

  3. Pay attention to width & fold

  4. Width= inches, Length= yards

  5. Price = per yard

  6. Try not to suck at math

  7. Don’t be douchy at the cutting table

Taking Pictures is Hard You Guys!

So I am quickly learning that the most difficult part about blogging is taking the f@#$ing pictures! DIY projects that take 30 minutes to actually do, take like a billllliiion hours to photograph! Big thanks to my lovely friends Natasha and Kelsey for coming over last night for manicures. I’ve got some awesome DIY Nail art that I can’t wait to share. It took like all night lol. Thank goodness we had sangria to make it through. My recipe is delicious and so easy even a Kardashian could do it.

Hopefully I’ll have the first DIY nails up in time for all you Lazy Sundays out there. XOXO