Archer of the Diabolical Kind

A while ago, Peneloping posted about her Archer shirt. I went to investigate and discovered the pattern is by Grainline Studios. Needing a plaid shirt of my own, I purchased the pattern and set out to turn some red and black flannel into an Archer of my own.

Unfortunately the flannel was AWFUL to work with. It mucked up my iron on the low setting and kept shifting in the cutting process. I decided to scrap the project and turned the remnant into a makeshift draft guard for our front door. Still wanting an Archer, I figured a plain shirt might be easier and more versatile.

But then an idea struck me. I was completely enamored with the painter’s smock Jamie Moriarty (played by the lovely Natalie Dormer) wore in the opening of the Elementary episode “The Diabolical Kind.”

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Not much is shown about the shirt except that there is a zipper in the back, it has a mandarin collar, and is long (almost to the knees).  The sleeves are rolled/pulled up so no telling if there are cuffs or what kind, and she wears it unbuttoned with plain buttons.  Nothing overly special about the shirt, but I adore the zipper in the back. I had to have it.

A trip down to my local fabric shop had me purchasing some plain white stretch poplin and a gold metal zipper. I knew I didn’t want the long length of the shirt so I kept the length of the size 2 Archer. I also knew that my personal style meant the cuffs would be rolled up 99% of the time so I wasn’t too concerned if I messed them up. Luckily Grainline gives wonderful instructions with its pattern so figuring out the cuffs and the plackets was easy.

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I made a few modifications to the back to accommodate the zipper (omitting the pleat and adding 1/2″ to the yoke to fit the zipper, and omitted the main collar piece. The shirt took me about 6 hours, start to finish. It came out lovely, very simple in the front but then the zipper pops in the back.

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The zipper is fully functional, but is more decorative than useful as it does nothing but open a gagging hole in the back.

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I intended this project to be a more “inspired” than “replica” since I have no intention of cosplaying Jamie Moriarty. I wanted this to be a usable piece in my wardrobe with an interesting detail. If someone recognizes it, great but at least I know what inspired the shirt.

I find I really enjoy Grainline’s patterns.  I want to try their Moss skirt pattern since I have an awful time finding such skirts to fit my hourglass shape. Plus, I found a wonderful black on black embossed corduroy in my search for the poplin I really want to work with.

Next, however, I think will be a copy cat of a Modcloth dress, again inspired my Peneloping’s version. 🙂

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Swirls and Twirls

There was this one day I was in the fabric store. I can’t remember what I went to buy, but as I was walking the aisles of fabric bolts I came across this beautiful black and silver reversible brocade.

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It was calling to me, but it was expensive so I resisted buying it for a few weeks. Eventually I broke down and purchased 1.5 yards not knowing what I was going to do with it. I had the notion to turn it into a skirt but didn’t know what kind.

The pattern is quite intricate so the skirt had to be simple. Nothing with pleats or anything fancy. I ended up deciding to turn it into a circle skirt. After searching the web and viewing various tutorials on how to make a circle skirt without a pattern, I decided to give it a try.

It took about two hours and just a little bit of fudging but I got it right.

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It’s nice and swishing and has a beautiful drape. It is a little fancier than most fabrics or clothes I wear but I think it would be able to spruce up otherwise plain outfits.

I didn’t photograph the back but I used an exposed metal zipper as a closure.

The brocade is the perfect weight for cool weather, and the color is ideal for fall and winter.  It’s just a tad too cold right now to wear it (at least until I find some warm leggings to wear with tights).

And thus my first circle skirt of the year is complete. If I never get around to making another, at least I filled another of my New Year’s crafting resolutions. 🙂

Three Cardigans For The New Year

Before 2013 ended, I finished knitting two cardigans by Andi Satterlund and was in the process for finishing a Ginny Weasley inspired owl cardigan. I didn’t call any of them “done” since I didn’t block them. Each of them has a lovingly made mistake somewhere that just goes to show how imperfect of a knitter I am.

Marion is the first cardigan by Andi that I completed knitting in September. I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Dove Heather. The yarn was originally intended for a Hermione fair isle sweater but I frogged the project.  The bottom band and neck band were completed before I discovered the wonderful thing known as a stretchy bind off.  I also made one tiny mistake in the cabling on the right side but it’s not very noticeable. I plan to knit Marion in a lovely yellow at some point.

imageHortencia is the second cardigan by Andi that I started and completed in November. It was actually done as a test knit for her pattern.  Knit in Cascade 220 Heathers in a lovely shade of dusty purple, it’s a cropped cardigan with full length sleeves and a collar. I have the perfect dress to wear with it, and the heathered yarn makes it lovely to pair with other pieces. The mistake in Hortencia is in the collar; somewhere on the left side I picked up two stitches in the same place resulting in a hole. However, due to the wide collar the hole is safely hidden from sight.

imageGinny’s cardigan is knit from Berroco Vintage DK in a dark teal color. I picked the yarn for it’s washability and it’s color. If I had to go back and do it again, I think I would have chosen Berroco’s Ultra Alpaca instead since the nylon strands in Vintage DK felt “weird” in my hands (I find I am more of a wool/alpaca blend kind of girl).  I make a mistake on the third owl from the bottom, but it’s not very noticeable. I left off the decorative pockets since they are not very functional in their small size (I need functional pockets). Blocking this was a bit of a pain since the Vintage DK contains nylon and acrylic, neither of which blocks very well.

imageIt took me so long to consider these cardigans complete because I have been adverse to blocking. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be, but wool/wool blend with alpaca definitely blocks better than wool blend with nylon/acrylic.  It takes a long time to dry though; I had to lock the projects in my room while they dried to prevent one of my cats from playing with them and ruining all my hard work.

While I love wearing cardigans, I am slowly not liking knitting them. Except for Andi’s cardigans (which are cropped and quick knits), they take forever.  I thought I would never get done with Ginny’s cardigan.  The back and forth knit and purl rows were starting to drive me crazy. I have one more cardigan on my 2014 plans but the rest are pullovers.

Mary Margaret’s Lace Tam

First completed New Year knitting project!  😀

Once Upon A Time is one of those shows that when I first saw it, I thought “I’m going to watch that.”

And I never did.

Once the Doctor Who 50th anniversary and Christmas specials were over, I had nothing good to watch. Thank goodness for Netflix having seasons 1 and 2 available online.  I watched season 1 during my Christmas break.  One of the things I fell in love with was Mary Margaret’s wardrobe, especially her hats.  Many of them are knitted, so I jumped on Ravelry to find any patterns. Luckily, one of my favorite of her hats was available as a free pattern.

5665_originalI used this pattern and Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in steel cut oats (I chose the color to match Mary Margaret’s but to also give me a versatile palate for my wardrobe).  It was a quick knit but took a while with the large number of stitches and small sized needles.

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I was determined to finish this hat quickly so I could wear it this season, but in doing so I made my right shoulder a bit sore.  I get a bit enthusiastic with certain projects to the point that I physically injure myself; my shoulders and hips frequently protest against my creative endeavors.

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Since the Ultra Alpaca Fine comes in a skein of 433 yards and I only needed 200 yards for the tam, I have plenty leftover for another hat for a Christmas present.  I am slowly loving working with alpaca blend yarns.  It runs through the fingers and needles so nicely and feels very warm but not itchy on.  I may be doing more projects in alpaca.

Katniss Cowl Take 2 + Accessories

Once I had finished my Katniss cowl, I wanted to make another one that was more screen accurate. Two of my friends on Tumblr had made one using herringbone stitch, which is closer to the original piece. I can’t make up patterns on my own, so I chose to knit the cowl designed by AnaidDesigns on Etsy.

Originally I was going to follow the pattern exactly, except I planned on wrapping the icords with extra yarn. However, once the cowl was complete I didn’t like how wide the collar was on me and how it bulged in the back. I spent two days and a lot of hours ripping out seams and redoing everything. Eventually I got it the way I wanted and that best replicated the original.

Here are screen shots of the original.

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And here is the second cowl I knitted.

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And the back.

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I wanted to complete the outfit, so that meant a quiver, arrows, and a bow. I managed to find the NECA bow replica from the first movie still available at an online Halloween store. I didn’t need anything that I could shoot, just something that looked like I could.

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I made the quiver following the instructions from this blog. I had to make stuff up as I went along but managed to make a decent looking quiver. The arrows were made on the fly from six 5/16″ dowels, an exacto knife, feathers, and paint. Again, I wasn’t looking for something that could shoot, just look it.

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Now that everything is 100% complete, this cosplay is ready to wear this coming weekend to Ichiban Con.  I’ll be going with my favorite photographer, Sarah of Starrfall Photography, so there will likely be more photos later.

P.S. Please excuse the crappy iPhone photos.  I was in a bit of a hurry and haven’t charged my Canon camera batteries.

Happy New Year

Happy 2014 everyone!

2013 ended with me being lazy and productive at the same time.  I didn’t do any work related things and I didn’t do any traveling; while my mother/roommate went to visit my brother in New York, I stayed at home with the kitties and knitted to my heart’s content.  I completed a few projects and made headway on others.

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but I’ve started to make a few. Since this blog is all about my sewing and crafting, I’m only going to discuss those resolutions.  My crafting resolution is simple: knit and sew more.  I have plans to knit all of my close friends winter accessories as Christmas presents.  I have already started, but since I don’t know who follows me here I am going to refrain from posting any specifics.  I decided to do this now since there are tons of patterns and things I want to knit, but I knit so much for myself I can’t use them all.  There are going to be a lot of hats, cowls, and gloves coming off my needles before December rolls around again.

I also plan to sew more. I have this affinity for skater and circle skirts lately so I am going to attempt to be making a number of those.

As for cosplay plans, here are the top 5 picks for the time being.

1506258_699637143403097_1049951217_oI have no plans for anything anime/manga/kpop related. All of my plans circle around my current obsessions: Doctor Who, Hunger Games, and Once Upon A Time. Three outfits on my list – Katniss hunting, Katniss training, and Clara – are done except for a few accessories (shoes and/or wig).  I’ve already started the mock up for Katniss’ parade dress, and have a decent pattern in mind for Snow White. Since there isn’t much to be done, I am likely to add to this list (tentatively, I am considering adding Katniss’ arena outfit from the first movie and a Mary Margaret outfit).

As for the knitting, the following items are on my list to complete by the end of 2014 (and yes, these are for myself):

Dr. Watson’s Cabled Crew Neck Jumper
Chuck
Mereweather
owls
Effortless Cardigan
Mary Margaret’s Lace Tam
Mary Margaret Brioche Pullover
Kalaloch

I said I wasn’t going to knit a lot for myself and now look what I did. In my defense, I have the yarn for three sweaters already, and the lace tam does not take long.

Can I make these resolutions?  Crossing my fingers that I can.