2013 Planned Sewing and Knitting Projects

No replica posts today. I haven’t had a chance to take any photos – good or bad – since work started up again on Wednesday. Classes begin on Monday so the last few days have been a blur of meetings, professional developments, and getting things ready for class.

Instead, I am posting a list of some replicas I plan to make myself. Two of my New Year’s resolutions are to 1) spend less money and 2) sew more non-cosplay related items that I can actually wear. Here are the items I plan on making if the chance and time permits.

Hermione’s Red Dress

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Hermione wore this red number to Bill and Fleur’s wedding. It is normally not a dress I would wear myself, but I had a lot of red satin from a cosplay I never finished, and I got matching red chiffon for a good price. I already have everything I need for this one except beads, which is put on afterwards anyway. Though I don’t plan on wearing this much, it would be nice to have for any special occasion that arises.

Hermione’s Navy Blue Asymmetrical Top

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This is one of the first items in Deathly Hallows I absolutely loved. The only problem is I haven’t been able to find the proper knit fabric. I am still looking but haven’t found anything so far.

Bella Cullen’s Blue Transformation Dress

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I actually want to try to make the movie version and the book version. The movie version is something I could probably wear to work and on special occasions. The book version is described as ice blue dupioni, which is an expensive fabric, so that will be more of a special occasion dress. The book version is also going to take more time to figure out since it isn’t really described.

I actually want to make a lot of Bella’s vampire wardrobe. Human Bella’s wardrobe is more my style, but I love vampire Bella’s style and darker, more subtle colors. I just wish my body was more to my liking to fit the style.

Bilbo Baggins’ Backpack

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My Tolkien fan side is being aroused again with the release of the Hobbit. One of things I really want is Bilbo’s backpack that he carried up until the goblin capture.  I can’t make an exact replica unfortunately.  I’ve been having difficulty finding buckles that are similar without having to get them custom made, which will be expensive since they require molding/sculpting and casting (not to mention I’ll need at least 5 of them in 3 different sizes).  Also, I believe Bilbo’s backpack was made of leather/suede but the most my machine can handle is suede like upholstery fabric (and that can get pricey as well).

I am also planning a messenger style version as an alternate since I much prefer messenger bags.

Dr. John Watson’s Jumper/Sweater

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My fascination with BBC’s Sherlock and Martin Freeman’s portrayal of Dr. John Watson had me scouring the net or anything related to the series I could find.  Alas there is no official merchandise, and since Sherlock and John are both men I can’t purchase their clothing replicas.  But John’s sweaters (jumpers on the UK) seem to have become popular with the knitters on Ravelry.  This is on my list of knitting projects once my current queue of four sweaters is finished.

Hermione’s Phoenix Stripe Sweater

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Currently I have two replica knitting projects on needles.  I’ve been working on them since October and am only about halfway finished.  I knit slowly and then got busy with work and generally lazy over the winter break.  Now I’m trying to finish them before beginning anymore projects, or buying anymore yarn.  One of the two sweaters is Hermione’s striped sweater from Order of the Phoenix. I am using this pattern on Ravelry and Swish DK yarn from Knit Picks.  Currently the back and 1/3 of the front is finished.

Hermione’s Deathly Hallows Fair Isle Cardigan Sweater

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This was the sweater that got me into knitting in the first place.  This sweater has been quite the feat.  I had to restart it twice since the first time my fair isle stranding was horrible.  I am about halfway done with the body (the hood and fair isle yoke are done) before I begin the sleeves and pockets.  I am using this pattern and Wool of the Andes Worsted weight yarn.  It has a positive stretch so it is a little bigger than I wanted but not overly so.

I have already knitted the scarf that Hermione wears in the above picture I will need to remember to post.  I may also knit Harry’s sweater if I can ever find a pattern.

It is going to be a busy sewing/knitting year.

Jackets, Jackets, and More Jackets

Work has been extremely busy lately with finals starting Thursday.  Posting will have to be put off until then.  I am hoping to take more pictures of other replicas I haven’t gotten to over the break, and work on a few sewing projects.

The post for today deals with jackets.  I love jackets but don’t wear them nearly as much as one would think.  I am still working on building up my movie jacket collection but people ask for crazy amounts when they find out the jackets are in some movie.   Today I am featuring four jackets from two different movies.  Two of these I wear constantly, one occasionally, and one I have never worn…yet.

First up is the BB Dakota lake blue jacket Bella wears in Twilight.

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Everyone knows this jacket, right?

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This was the second of Bella’s jackets I acquired and after lots of searching as I was a bit behind on collecting her items.  I always through movie clothing looked ordinary but always were brands I couldn’t afford.  Twilight changed that, still it was two years after the movie release that I decided to find the jacket.  I found it, luckily, at Modcloth.com but they no longer carry it.  My tag actually says Jack Dakota but I believe it is the same jacket.  I ordered a medium but somehow got sent a large so it isn’t as fitted on me as it is on Bella.  I’m fine with that since it is my go-to cold weather jacket and I can wear layers and sweaters underneath.

The first Bella jacket I ever bought was her New Moon green cord jacket.

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Of course I bought the Neca replica version from Hot Topic as soon as I saw it.

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Like the blue Dakota jacket, I bought this one in a medium so I could wear layers underneath.  This turned out to be a good decision since my shoulders are just a touch broad from my small frame; the small and extra small I tried one just didn’t feel right.

Interestingly when I was checking out the cashier made some comment about how the fact that this jacket was from Twilight detracted her from buying it.  She said that she wanted to buy Bella’s dress but it was “Bella’s dress” and that stopped her from buying it.  I just gave her a smile and left quickly after that.

The last two jackets are different versions of the same, very familiar and very popular jacket: Katniss Everdeen’s District 12 arena jacket.

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Both jackets are Neca replicas.  The first is the “simple” version, the one I call the windbreaker version.

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And the second is the full replica.

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I got both versions off of Amazon.  The windbreaker version I wear in early spring and late fall, when it’s just cool enough for a jacket but still too warm for a thick one.  It holds in heat really well; as such, I have to take it off and air it out often since it isn’t exactly machine wash friendly.  The full version has never been worn and still has the tags on it.  Both are size smalls but they could be smaller (extra smalls, according to the measurements, were only an inch smaller).

There was this little fiasco on Amazon regarding both of these jackets.  The windbreaker version was supposed to retail for $49.99 and the full version for $119.99.  I preordered a jacket for $49.99 and thought I was getting the windbreaker version.  But it was advertised as a “full replica” and had the image that went along with it.  In the month since I preordered the image changed twice.  When it finally arrived (and my cc bill not too long after) I received a full version but was charged for a windbreaker version.  Amazon has since never corrected it.

I had read some reviews that others had the same mix up before I received mine.  Since I wasn’t sure what I was getting, I jumped on Amazon again and bought another jacket for $69.99.  I figured if both jackets turned out the same I would just sell one on eBay.  Turns out this second jacket (which arrived a week after the first) was the windbreaker version.  So, in the end, I got both jackets for a total of $119.98, a penny less than the full replica was supposed to cost.

I love when things like that happen.

My Favorite Bella Items

I’m going to start off my posting with my favorite Bella items.  Almost all the items I own are favorites, but I’ll narrow it down to three for now.

Bella isn’t my favorite character in the Twilight series – I’m not actually sure who is.  But my fashion sense matches human Bella the most.  I’m not very into dresses or skirts or fancy shoes.  I’m most comfortable in a pair of jeans, sneakers, and a fitted cotton based shirt.  I don’t wear make up except for cosplaying, and I usually have my hair up in some kind of braid.  In many ways, my fashion style is very tomboyish and very Bella Swan.

One of my absolute favorite items that I own is my leather peacock print bag.

And here’s my bag.

As you can see, my bag is EXACTLY the same.  I purchased it on Etsy from the lovely Angela of Stitch and Swash. It was her bag that appeared in the movie and after its release she started making her bags available to fans who wanted one.  The peacock bag is made of recycled leather that is super soft but makes each bag unique.  The inside is turquoise cotton with one pocket and a hook for your keys.  I get so many compliments when I use this bag.  I have walked into the Fossil watch company store and was given compliments on three separate occasions by three different employees.  Even my mother loves this bag.

The peacock bag is quite large, but Angela has also made a petite version of the bag available for a slightly reduced price.  She can make any of her bags in the peacock style or you can choose your own leather colors and print.

My second favorite item is the Lucky Brand rose embroidered tunic seen when Bella is in the hotel with Jasper and Alice discussing what to do about James.

And of course mine (mind the wrinkles).

I got mine off of eBay so a fairly reasonable price (close to the original price I think) considering Lucky Brand is not exactly an inexpensive company.  I wear it often in the early fall and late spring months with jeans and a tank top underneath.  I usually wear it with the elastic sleeves up to my elbows so as not to get in my way.  You can, on occasion, still find the item on eBay but the price has gone up drastically.

And last and most likely my most expensive Bella item, her Cullen Crest ring that made the briefest of appearances in New Moon.

Neca’s version

And mine.

I looked everywhere for this ring and the only thing I could find anything but the Neca replica.  I love Neca replicas and own many of them, but there were two things that kept me from buying their version of this ring.  First, it was base metal and I didn’t want this ring rusting or becoming damaged in any way.  Second, it came in a size 7 which doesn’t even fit my thumb.  I wanted a ring that would fit my size 5 ring finger.  I’m not even sure what keywords I put in to find them, but eventually I stumbled across Artisans Designsout in Portland, OR.  Imagine my surprise when I found out they were THE jewelers for Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse (not sure if they are the jewelers for Breaking Dawn, but I imagine so).  They hand make all of the Cullen Crest jewelry from the first two movies by hand with the same molds.  They also make a version of Bella’s moonstone ring and two versions of her engagement ring (one was approved for the movie).

Their craftsmanship is simply stunning.  Their prices are high, but you get quality work well worth the money.  And all the rings are crafted to your exact size.  II only have this one ring, but I do plan to purchase the smaller version of Rosalie’s original necklace and Bella’s engagement ring (if I can ever save up enough).

About six months after I received the ring (and had loads of students admit their jealously of my piece), I received a certificate of authenticity for it.

I got another surprise when I saw that my ring was the 14th one made.  That put a smile on my face.  😀

That’s it for today, but I have more favorites coming.

(Originally posted on Blogspot on November 19th, 2012)

Curious Gypsy and Mitosis

After reading the response to an email I sent to the lovely Christilynn of Inside Bella’s Closet, I figured I need to keep up with the posting here.  So my next item I am featuring is not only one of my favorites, but it has a rather interesting back story.

Here is the (in)famous Curious Gypsy thermal top Bella wears when Edward first speaks to her in biology class.

And mine of course.

I love this shirt for various reasons.  It’s light enough to wear all year round with a tank top underneath and various t-shirts and other tops over.  I am in love with the thumb holes; I simply adore shirts with thumb holes.  But, most of all, I got this shirt for free.

You read that right.  I paid $0 for this shirt that retails around $60 (when you don’t count eBay’s jacked up prices).

Now, before I begin my little story, note that I absolutely cannot remember where I purchased this shirt.  It was online through some retailer in California, San Fran I believe.  They cater to college students and it is run by four very young gentlemen.  I tried finding them again but I could not find their website, and they were pre-Facebook for me so I never liked their page.

In any event, through some crazy amount of internet searching I found this website that was selling the actual Curious Gypsy thermal.  They were hidden from the world since they only mentioned Twilight and Bella in their description and not the title of their item.  I recall seeing their price was around $60 or so.  I spent a long time debating the merits of owning a thermal shirt in that price range when JCP had thermals for $10 (and they had thumbholes too).  Eventually I wanted the shirt too badly and bit the bullet, ordered one, and waited.

And waited.  And waited.

Two weeks passed and I never received a shipping notice or an item.  I emailed the company.  I called them and got an answering machine.  No response.  I emailed again.  I called again.  Still no response.  I gave up calling since they apparently didn’t keep the office hours they posted and continued to email.  My emails went from civil to getting borderline PO’ed.  After 5 weeks and 5 emails (mind you they said they respond to emails in 24 hours), I finally said “Forget it.  Cancel my order and refund my money.  And I’m never referring anyone to you ever.”  That got their attention and they promptly canceled my order.  I thought that was the end of it and lamented not getting my shirt but thought it wasn’t meant to be.

Three weeks later I had completely forgotten the incident…only to come home to my mother going “You have a package.”  Let me cut in briefly and say that between prop replicas, cosplaying, and knitting, I get a lot of packages.  But I wasn’t expecting one this time so I opened it and out slips my shirt.  Gobsmacked is the only way to describe my reaction, but then the adult kicks in and thinks “Did they charge me?”  Because, seriously, that would be poetic justice that I get charged for a shirt two months after the fact.

But they never have.  And I now own probably one of the most sought after Bella Swan items and didn’t pay a cent for it.  Awesomeness.

Also, I would like to take this opportunity to say that every time I teach a mitosis lab, I giggle.  Every.  Time.  It is one of my favorite scenes from the book (the movie lacks something I can’t quite put my finger one).  Mitosis was also the subject I had to mock teach when interviewing for my job.  I think that even if I leave the teaching profession, mitosis will follow me for the rest of my life.
(Originally posted on Blogspot on Sunday, November 25th, 2012)