Jess’ Red Dress

Normally I am a t-shirt and jeans girl. But lately I have been heavily influenced by the new autumn items at Modcloth, by Peneloping and her creativity, by Jess’s style in New Girl, and by Clara’s style in Doctor Who. I have been impatiently waiting for autumn and cool weather so I can wear skirts and dresses with tights and leggings (I do not like my legs bare so tend to wear a lot of hiking pants in summer since jeans are too hot).

Red is usually not a staple color in my wardrobe.  I’m rather drab with mostly blacks, grays, and darker tones.  But I have been gravitating towards bright colors to help with my mood (which has been somewhat down lately).  Jess’ red dress in New Girl is just what I need.

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I used practically the same patterns Peneloping did (Burda 7309 for the bodice, Burda 7739 for the sleeves, and Simplicity 1873 for the skirt).  I didn’t intend to; I was going to use just the Burda for the bodice but the pattern(s) I wanted to use for the skirt were not going to work out.  Also, using Burda 7739 for the sleeves made them puffier than I intended but I like the effect.

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Normally I wear my skirts a little below my knees because I have ugly knees.  But I hemmed this one to just above the knee since longer made it seem dowdy.

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Since I don’t wear a lot of bright colors (my complexion is more suited to muted, darker colors), I intend to wear this dress with accessories to tone it down.  I am already knitting a Marion cropped cardigan in a light gray wool and it’s going very quickly.

I already have an idea how to put together an outfit with this dress come next Valentine’s Day despite the fact that I am single and will be spending it at home with my cats.  At least I will look nice for work.  :3

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Hermione Granger’s OotP Striped Sweater

Finally!  I have finished knitting my first sweater!  Granted I didn’t think it would be this sweater but still.

Just as a reminder, here is the sweater in question.

Picture-1And this is the pattern I used: Hermione Grainbow by J.R. Lockwood on Ravelry.  I used Knit Picks Swish DK in Marble Heather, Peapod, Sugar Plum, Twilight, Carnation, Hollyberry, Honey, and Amethyst Heather on size 6 circular and DP needles.

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I started knitting this sweater in October of 2012, got so tired of the repetitive stockinette stitch that I stopped, and picked it back up in August of 2013.  It sat in my knitting bag with a finished back and half of a front; when I picked it up again, it took less than a month to finish the front and both sleeves.

That was the easy part.

I am not a fan of picking up stitches, I just don’t like it.  I have a difficult time with it.  I actually had to shush my mom when she tried to ask me a question while I picked up stitches for the collar.  I got the right amount but ended up with a hole in the front on the right side just above the last red stripe.  Easy fix with some scrap gray yarn and a little darning.  The right side of the collar looks a little different from the left, but nothing a scarf or collared shirt can’t hide.

Mattress stitching is entirely new to me.  I had read how to do it but had to watch 4 YouTube videos before it clicked…and that was after I used my typical whipstitch to graft the shoulders together (again, hiding with scarf or shirt).

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.

Bilbo’s Acorn Button Pin

With the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I am beginning to feel a bit of nostalgia.  Ten years ago, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was released.  At first I was adamant about not watching it.  You see, I’m one of those people that when others talk about something and hype it up I instantly don’t want to see it.  It’s not that I mind spoilers – because I love them – but I don’t like people telling me every little detail about something before I’ve had a chance to see it.

And then there was the hype about how gorgeous Orlando Bloom as Legolas was.

A friend and I went out one night to see a movie.  We were supposed to see Harry Potter (can’t remember which one) but it was sold out for the time we were there and we didn’t want to wait two hours for the next one.  I reluctantly agreed to go see Lord of the Rings since it had just barely started and I didn’t want the night to go to waste.

Best decision ever.

I watched the movie, devoured the books, and started writing fanfiction to satisfy any fangirling.  It was really my first foray into replica purchasing and there are things that I couldn’t afford then being a poor graduate student that as a full time instructor/department chair I am trying to find now.

Now that the first of the Hobbit movies is out, I am attempting to purchase all the LotR items I didn’t get and get some of the new items too.  The first item I received was this beautiful replica pin of Bilbo’s acorn buttons.

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I love Martin Freeman, by the way.  I haven’t actually seen The Hobbit (motion sickness prevents me from going to movies in theaters these days), but I love him as Dr. John Watson in the BBC’s Sherlock series.

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First off, the quarter is merely for size reference.  The pin is actually larger than the quarter though you can’t really tell in the photo.  The Noble Collection didn’t give any dimensions for the pin (they hardly ever do) so it’s size was rather a surprise.  It’s also quite hefty.  It’s a nice solid piece for its size, but if you purchase this make sure you wear it on something as equally sturdy.

I love this pin.  I have been purchasing items from Noble Collection on and off for the last ten years.  Their items are well made; many are wearable and those that are not are wonderful display pieces.  Their Lord of the Rings inventory is smaller now than it used to be, but with the Hobbit release I can’t wait to see what other items they have coming.

Breaking Dawn Part 1 Replica Jewelry

Breaking Dawn part 2 is the last of the Twilight Saga movies.  While I enjoy the series, I far prefer the books.  I also have friends who have not read the books or seen the movies and yet completely despise the series.  Whatever.

The replica addict in me jumped on the many BD replicas, some from the first movie and some from the second.  I am most especially attracted to the jewelry replicas that all the Cullens wear.  Since there’s so many of them, I decided to split them between what was released when BD Part 1 came out and those released when BD Part 2 arrived.

I will admit, though, some of these items I held off getting for a while.  Good thing too because I got some of them at a reduced price.

Rosalie’s BD pendant

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I loved Rosalie’s original Cullen pendant, and I’m still trying to save enough to get the sterling version from Artisan’s Designs.  But this one caught my eye very quickly.  I love how it’s similar in its placement and relative simplicity, but different in this coloring and overall design.  Initially I disliked Rosalie but her character started to grow on me towards the very end of New Moon.  And at $9.99 from Target.com, what is not to love about this?

Alice’s BD triple pendant

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I much prefer Alice’s Cullen choker to this triple pendant.  However, Alice is one of my favorite characters so I had to get her pendant.  I held off getting this because others have commented on how the chains break.  I saw it once at Hot Topic and was taken aback by how “big” it was compared to the choker.  But, once again, Target.com came through and I was able to purchase it for $13.99

Bella’s St. Jude bracelet

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Technically this isn’t a BD item, but it was released (rereleased?) along with the other BD replicas.  Not a big fan of this bracelet, and I’m not sure why.  But since I have a lot of Bella items I figured I should have this one.  And for only $4.99 from Target.com, why not?

Bella’s wedding ring set (parts 1 and 2)

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Yes, that’s right.  I have the wedding ring set from both parts 1 and 2.  Which are exactly the same except for the packaging.  The above picture is only showing the part 1 set.  My set is a little scuffed, especially the plain band.  I can’t wear the rings though since they are size 7 and that is too big even for my thumb.  I do also have other versions of the engagement ring.  Along with my part 1 set is a costume jewelry piece from Infinite Jewelry (left) and one of the two handmade inspired pieces from Etsy (right).  I’m not sure what this first Etsy ring is made from but the second is sterling silver and looks almost exactly like Bella’s.

Bella’s Hair Comb

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Probably one of my favorite items but I held off buying it for a long time (actually, I bought all of the part 1 pieces just before/after part 2 was released).  I got it off of Amazon.com, and thanks to some cc reward points it was free.  I have had no occasion to wear it so it remains in its velvet box inside the Neca packaging.  It’s gorgeous though.

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.