Who Am I?

Since I have decided to make some changes to my page, I thought it was high time I actually talked about a topic I know the most about. Myself! I’ve already mentioned the fact that I am a self-taught costumer and knitter. But what else am I?

-I’m a certified photographer. In June of this year (2015), I completed my certificate in Professional Photography from the New York Institute of Photography. Because my professional career keeps me busy most of the year, I don’t always have a chance to play with my camera. And when I do, I’m often too tired to want to.

-Speaking of my professional career, I am currently employed as a science instructor at a local community college. I’ve held this position for the last decade, and even once actually coordinated the department. While I like science, it’s been my whole life of the last 16 years. I’m very much looking for a change.

-I’m a hiker. On the occasional weekend – I try for at least twice a month – I strap on my hiking boots, load up my backpack, and take off into the woods. I am, admittedly, a day hiker; I don’t do backpacking and I don’t do overnight camps. The longest hike I’ve completed in a day is 20 miles completely by accident – that’s a story for another time.

-I like reading, but it’s really hard to get me intrigued and keep me entertained. Mostly I read comic books and young adult fiction. Both are short and keep me engaged. But I can be picky with what I like.

-I like stationary shops, zoos, and aquariums. Whenever I go on trips, if there is any of these stores around, you can bet I will make a point of visiting them.

-The US city I have visited and love the most thus far is Boston, MA. I love Boston so much I want to go back, even live there for a time if I could. The US city I want to visit the most is Portland, OR.

-I have traveled overseas to France, the UK, and Japan. I want to visit them all again, plus a few other European areas. I want to photograph their beauty, watch their people, shop their stores, and consume their food. But I hate flying. I really, really hate flying.

-Once upon a time, I was a fan fiction writer. Mostly in the Tolkien fandom. I knew – still do – a lot about the elves of the First Age. The Fall of Gondolin was my speciality. The Flower and The Fountain, those were the days. Sometimes I contemplate doing some actual writing of my own.

-Once in my life, I was an artist. I could create decent sketches. Not so much anymore, but my head won’t stop filling in pretty images begging to be put to paper.

Lastly, at least for now…

-For Christmas, I’m going to Disney World. :3

 

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Unexpected Hiatus

Greetings!

It’s been a bit, hasn’t it? I’m sorry about that. I’ve been on a sewing slump lately and haven’t really made anything. I have mock ups for two Peggy dresses that have just been sitting on my chair waiting to be stitched. The semester has started again and the seasons are changing – which I love but autumn leaves me tired all the time.

I’ve been spending the last few weeks collecting a lot of gently used (and loved) Orphan Black screen accurate clothing. OB has been my latest geek obsession. I managed to cosplay Sarah already but have no photos. Cosima is my favorite so most of the pieces I have been collecting are hers. I am hoping to soon have enough pieces to start collecting photos of me wearing the pieces. But that first requires a camera with wireless remote capabilities. Since my current Canon Rebel does not have that ability, I am saving for a more advanced model and a place in or near my home I can take good pictures with as a backdrop. I am hoping to achieve that soon.

Since my interests constantly change, expect blog posts to change as well. I may show more of other crafts. For example, did I ever mention I collect geek cookbooks? I have two new ones in my hands and am itching to start those recipes. Also, I got a few more knitting books and with the change in seasons it’s time to dust off my knitting needles. I hope despite the changes you will still find something here that interests you.

Thank you all for still sticking with me even though I leave you hanging often. I really appreciate all your support. 🙂

Do You Commission?

I have been on hiatus for a bit. I am currently on summer break and have been laaaaaazzzzzy. Soon I hope to get my motivation back and show you all what costume I have been working on.

In the meantime, I thought I would answer a question I keep getting a lot. I have been receiving a variation if the same question:

“Do you commission?”

The answer is: No.

I am not one of those costumers who has taken my hobby and turned it into a side job. There’s a few reasons for this.

I am awful at deadlines. Work is different; I have various bosses at different levels who will light a metaphoric fire under my bum. As a commissioner, I would be my own boss. Judging by how well I follow deadlines for my own costumes, this will not bode well.

I have fitting issues. I can reasonably fit things to my own body, but to others? That second Clara dress I made went to a friend who is nearly my size. I made her dress exactly identical to mine…and she couldn’t zip it up past her ribs. Just think of the implications if my customer is not my size.

Most importantly: price. I am not a cheap commissioner. I use good materials, take my time to overlock, stitch, and press seams. I don’t skimp or cut corners. I like quality and will settle for no less. I’ll be damned if I don’t treat others the same way. This means costly fabrics and notions, and payment for my time. Since my skills have been cultivated from years of trial and errors, my labor costs would be at minimum $10/hour (according to my mom who has witnessed my progression firsthand, I should charge $15/hour). Since I take my time, labor cost add up.

So, no, I won’t make another Clara dress for you. I won’t knit you a Katniss cowl. I will not replicate a Daenerys dress for you. Mostly because I do not want to disappoint YOU. I don’t care about the money or the reputation commissioning brings. I am more concerned about disappointing my customers.

Secondhand?

I’m just going to put this out there…

I do not buy or sell anything secondhand.

Many people will think I am being a vain snob when I say that – there are perfectly good items out there at good prices secondhand – but that’s just my nature.  I donate gently worn clothes all the time, I give items to friends all the time, but I never sell anything secondhand.  I also do not buy items secondhand.  It’s just the way I grew up.

I take good care of my things, but I can also be a bit hard on them too.  When I buy things – I mean really take the time to consider the purchase – I keep things for a good long while.  I know I am going to keep something when I waffle back and forth on the logistics of buying something, put it back, don’t think about it for a while, and then suddenly it pops into my head and I buy it.

I also get really reluctant to sell anything because most times I took a long time (and maybe a lot of money) to acquire it.  I also never know what to sell things for.  I don’t believe in selling a screen accurate item for high prices because “it’s rare and everyone is doing it.”  That’s total BS to me.  The original purchase price is never as high as how jacked up the prices can be.

The only times I bought items secondhand was for my Amy cosplays.  The Noa Noa dress was never worn, and the Topshop shirt was only worn once.  I found them both for extremely decent prices and couldn’t pass them up.  I’d never sell them because since I acquired them they have both been damaged (not noticeable but still damaged) and I love them both.

Point is, I have nothing against secondhand; I just don’t do it.  So I apologize for anyone who might be considering purchasing any of my screen accurate items.  They are mine until I give them up for donation or they fall apart on me…most likely the former.

New Name!

Hello everyone!  If you originally came here looking for “Twilighter’s Closet”, don’t worry.  You’re in the right place!  My posts have slowly morphed from being about movie replicas to being more about my crafting.  I’ll still include movie replica reviews but Sew Kurafty will be largely about the items I craft.

I’ve got some new sewing items to debut soon so look for that, and possibly a review on a Mortal Instruments replica.  Stay tuned!

Not Gone Yet

I haven’t disappeared, just been busy.  Let’s see…in the last month I have:

-Completed a 2 day/20 hour level 1 yoga teacher training.  I am currently doing 8 hours of community service yoga teaching to officially complete the training and get my certificate.  In 2 weeks I have the level 3 training to complete (skipping level 2 for now).

-Completed sewing two skirts.  Both are purple/blackberry skirts, one is corduroy and one in cotton sateen.  The cotton sateen one still needs hemming but that can be done later.

-Work, work, and more work.  We started classes again January 7, and every Friday since I’ve had meetings that lasted until well after lunch (Fridays are supposed to be our short days).  It’s been a good semester so far but hopefully the Friday meetings will stop for a bit so I can get some rest.

-Been watching a lot of Doctor Who lately.  I finished watching the 9th Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and am currently on the 10th Doctor with companion Donna Noble (David Tennant and Catherine Tate).  I am about halfway through that season.  I am trying to catch up by March 30th when the current season resumes on BBC America.  I found a Tardis inspired skirt on Etsy that’s so cute.  I want to make one myself but need to find the right color blue fabric.

I have plans to spend the forecasted rainy weekend pattern shopping and sewing another dress.  I don’t know what kind of dress, but Peneloping is being so inspirational right now with all the dresses she has made.  I don’t want to copy her dresses, but it’s so difficult not too when they are all so cute.

Forays in Sewing

I previously made a blog post on clothing pieces from movies/tv series I wanted to replicate as part of my New Year’s resolutions.  I expanded on that this weekend by completing a dress and knitted hat.

The dress is based off of the What a Ketch dress on Modcloth that is by designer Dear Creatures.  I first saw Peneloping make her own replica of the dress.  At first all I thought was “How cool is that?” but recently I had been thinking “Why can’t I make that?”  I used the same Simplicity pattern as Peneloping did, but I had to make some modifications.

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I used a cotton stretch sateen since I could not find a navy knit in the right color or weight (the sateen was just lying around from some project I can’t remember; I literally stumbled across it while rifling through my fabric storage).  The sateen gives it a more formal feel making it work appropriate (once the weather cooperates).  The front darts were not aligning with my body, so I redid the top with princess seams that fit better on me and match the original dress.  I also lowered the neckline to just about my collarbones, and lowered the hem to just below my knees. The armholes were widened a bit which makes them a little wonky, but I plan to always wear this dress with a cardigan or shrug (I’m really not one for completely baring my shoulders to the world).

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The design doesn’t line up exactly in the back despite my best efforts.  It’s also a little more narrower in the left shoulder than the right.  You’ll also have to excuse my dressform; it’s shorter in the torso than I am.  The dress fits very well on but it hasn’t been washed so I’m not modeling it.  But, overall, I love my new dress, but I think it looks far better on Peneloping than it does on me.  :/

The second project I completed this weekend was a knitted Doctor Who inspired slouch featuring the Tardis.  Pattern is on Ravelry by Shawna Synder.  My cat Kulin is my model this time.

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It took me 8-9 hours to complete while watching the Presidential inauguration, followed by a Law & Order marathon and the evening news.  I love this new hat and can’t wait to wear it.  My mom also likes it and would like one knitted for her even though she is not a Doctor Who fan (she finds the series rather odd).  I am also planning on knitting one as a belated birthday gift to one of my oldest and best friends, Shannon, who is a huge Doctor Who/British tv fan.

My next non-replica sewing project is a skirt.  I have tons of eggplant and sky blue sateen that I plan to turn into two skirts.  Once those are complete (or nearly so), I am going to attempt to finish my Hermione sweaters and get started on sewing her red dress.