Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Bride of Dignified Pullover Garment

Don't call it a reboot.
Well, it actually is.
Just a really tardy one.
Garments of a Dignified Lady
I wish I remembered why I ditched this version in 2015. I think it was the fabric weight and possibly too many large polka dots. Oh, and the seams were nasty to finish but too rough to leave alone. Joanns, sometimes you vex me.
As the Professor (King) says, you should mark your pattern pieces as if you might be struck by amnesia at any moment. Because you will.

She bought all the Eames shirts at Uniqlo for this
I was honestly going to do this for Refashioners 2018, but it seemed less like an "inspired by" and more like a "coming up with a rationale to include this make in the contest"

I mean, I really do like this piece.

Diane Ericson's Faultlines jacket
But what I want isn't inspired by this, just reflected in this.
Read the rules.

I found some pretty cool knit collage stuff.
Okay, maybe not precisely this Matty Bovan. But you get the general idea. And now, months later, I have several collections of fabrics that want to become Dignified Pullovers.
Hulk wants shirt that fits SheHulk from too small shirts

Three BeBop that want to be worn at the same time

Because I love Cowboy Bebop. A series with a beginning, a middle and an end.
And that Eames pile

There's stacks and stacks more, but the Eames, the Bebop and the Hulk want to happen now.

I'm working on another toile from the pattern I traced off.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Technical Difficulties Plague Ophelia Overalls

Warning: black corduroy overexposed for details.
They are too big. But yes, I can get my arms in there, with room to spare. 
Yes, this is my Ophelia overalls post.
Yes, I have been dragging my feet on it.
Supplies gathered and ready to go.
 I paid retail, baby.  And yes, I started on them February 20th. Yes, today is March 24.

You know, when you're working on something, and it's really fun and you have a plan and it's going great. Really great.
I changed up the side pockets, I added a zip to the bib pocket, I lined the bib and the straps.
Did I mention the straps were lined? I would not want to forget to mention that.
And that topstitching? Ow, I hurt myself, it was sooo good.
Inspiration overalls that no longer fit me. Leaving with Blondini, who is that thin.
And then one damn thing after another happens? 
And It. Just. Grinds. To. A Halt.
overexposed because black corduroy
It's a couple of things. Not the instructions or the style lines. I'm loving those.
It's the buttons and the straps and the overall width.

Yeah, that's what we got here.
There's nothing wrong with the pattern...

I saved up the hardware and top stitching thread in a project bag. These bags have plastic hooks on the top. This has been hanging on the wall in the cave for months and months. 
The problems started with the fasteners.

I was pretty sure I had used these jeans buttons before, without errors.
You're drunk, button. Go home.

And they just kept failing. The shank of the nail would not go into the hole in the button with moderate hammering. The shank would bend and fail first before it would go in - it preferred folding to going into the hole.The next step was wailing on them with a bigger hammer.
That trick never works.
I had to crank on them with a wrench to finally close them.
Which after awhile means I get irritated and sloppy and I don't take as much care to not make marks on the face of the button.

And then they looked wrong, making the strap bend out strangely.

I had lost my wrench with the leather facing on the teeth (prevents tooth marks on metals).
I needed to make another.
I did make another. You glue/sew on leather over the teeth on the faces. This is how long I've been stalling on finishing this post and these overalls.
I made bound buttonholes to fit the jeans buttons.
They are holes with a lot of stuff around them. I can pick them all out, but there's still that hole. A not insignificant hole.

I removed the jean buttons.
They will not go quietly - I have a pair of end cutting pliers

They are just able to cut the nail off , just below the head. There's enough space in there to do it.

And I did. I replaced them with  sew-on shank buttons and redid the buttonholes as per the directions.
The buttons are huge and when I put the overalls on, the buttons feel like they are on the wrong face. And this is following the directions.

Wonky side opening mismatch before it mysteriously resolved itself
I had a question about how the side closures would work for me (as written, they are a set of tabs with a slider buckle joining them), but decided I would just progress with the project and come up with a solution as I worked towards the problem.

I did not come up with that solution.

I like the look of the straps and buckle, but between the button and snaps at the side opening, and that buckle, there's too much stuff going on the sides that I won't be able to manipulate properly. I won't be able to rethread the buckle closed.
I just don't bend that way very well. 
partial tab or full tab? No, this is not up for a vote
I know that I can come up with a solution that will work for me and retain some part of the style element that I like.  The way that gather makes the top of the pocket bend outwards is very attractive to my eye. I changed the side panels and pockets and retained that look. I'm kind of committed to this feature.
Yes, I am round. I do go in at the middle a bit more than you'd think looking at these, but I'm okay with that. And no, I'm not likely to get better photos of me in these. The photographer is on strike.

They are very comfortable, but they are very very big. I cut them in the size per the envelope, and I've got a couple of cats worth of space leftover in there (I'd say I have five more inches of ease that I need, and I like em baggy). And that's with half the side panels gathered and pinned in place. 

I like things baggy but maybe a few inches less baggy? And the photographer is going back on strike. The look on my face is: "Just take the picture. Why are you so close? Can't you back up or something so I can edit this the way I want it?

I trimmed the leg seams in about an inch or so before cutting the pattern. I CARVED down the legs on the inside seam after I tried them on. They are still very baggy, but proportionate to the piece. I am thinking I want to cuff them to make them come in a little more at the ankle.
I changed the pocket significantly.  I will make another pair of these and illustrate what I did. Or just make another post showing that with drawings. But not today.

I am going to take out several inches in the hip by cutting out that side seam. I don't know that I will get that topstitching down the side again. I will probably retain a vestigial amount of side tab.  Just for grins, maybe with a snap. Probably not. 

Meanwhile, I have been wearing them around the house. I have other work to occupy my brain, and doing other things sometimes shakes loose a good solution.

Or a good enough solution. 

Sunday, March 17, 2019

On female characters and women at comic conventions (no sewing content)

I love the 'this is my real family' vibe of Emerald City Comic Con.
(though I'd venture all conventions have this appeal).

Lots of people into the same stuff cram into a building for four days.
They wear lots and lots of very different costumes
Gonna lasso up some costumed characters!
I go to mingle with my costume making family.  It's one time where you can meet with hundreds of people who made the thing they wore, or paid someone to make the thing they wore. There's RTW in costuming, certainly, but this is a different level of engagement.
As usual, I took few photos but talked to many people about their creations.
There was an ongoing series of princess group shots with a single nonprincess. It's a thing, I know. Princesses hang in packs. If you haven't seen that scene in Ralph Breaks The Internet, go check it out. 

There were a lot of elves this year.  They both had home made wings. She's not my child, so even though I had permission, I took our her face. Note: there is a green shirt volunteer in the background.
Local news station footage: (plus 2018 vid of Thranduart's win):

Also, metal detectors at the doors for the first time.
No more annoying than entering a stadium event.

Generally, cons are full of things from your childhood that were loved and have returned to claim your attention and your pocketbook. 

There was a Bakugan cage fight.
A ....whu? What did I just type? And why is Bakugan a thing again?
Yes, I talked to several of the employees in that booth, and it was a big booth (more like a large two bedroom apartment) and there were a lot of employees in it. Discussion results:
eventually, everything will come back again. And there are worse places to work than the Bakugan booth.

There are lots of artists who make comics. 
Made myself a cheater map cause that's a forest of tables and people
You are aware that not all comics are for kids anymore, right?

I gave these people a small fortune, well spent, for some of her art. That's David, that's Erica Henderson, who drew Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and the revival of Jughead, and has an Eisner award or two. She'll have more awards before she's done. She has a new book, Assassin Nation, for Image.

ECCC is a great opportunity to meet with my heroes in the illustration world. I have gushed at people, I have wept and shaken hands. Sometimes I get photos.
A few years ago, I got to talk at some length with Mike Mignola, who wrote and illustrated Hellboy for many years.
What did we discuss?  Our teenagers. I couldn't take his picture after that. That would have been weird. 

There are panels to discuss issues in comics and pop culture.
I didn't go to any on Friday, as the ones I wanted to attend were on Sunday. They don't schedule these until long after you get your date specific tickets, so this can get awkward. Fabrical Chemist has led a few, and I have missed them all, because dates.

Adding insult to injury for me after the cancellation of Anglicon 2018, there was no meetup for Doctor Who on on the Friday schedule (I found out it was Thursday, on Friday), so it was just me and the art and the merch floor.
This is a photo from San Diego CC 2018, but it could be any big con any year. The floor is dominated by the big publishers and their large booths. Marvel has it's own con now, so their booths are no more
For a bigger world view on this topic,
go to 

By volume, a con is mostly merchandise. It used to be just comic books (they started out as trading conventions for publishers and buyers. Let me buy you a stiff one to tell you about how I didn't go to San Diego in 1987)(another time, I understand). Now it's plushies and pins and shirts and posters and fake props and clothes and games and games and did I mention plushies? 
Pickle Rick (lower bin) was everywhere. Yes, I love Rick and Morty, too, but it's just one gag, kids..and no, it is not a children's show.

Hundreds of booths of stuff.
Some of it is good, funny, original.
I love J's stuff (he's on the left); Go look him up, it's not just the memes. He's a sweetie.
But a lot of it is the same stuff over and over and over again.

Towering towers of merch. 25 feet tall. This is a photo from a booth in 2018, and it's still the same stuff in the same booth for 2019.

"There's something for every fandom"

Well, that's what they say.
 I'm going to use this year's tower of t's to reflect on this ideal. I may wander into the weeds for a moment or two, but I promise we're going to end with an action packed, uplifting 'kaPOW' ending.
Lots of stuff here for Doctor Who and mostly Doctors 4,10, and 11. It must have been a little disheartening for Peter Capaldi (who walked the floor on Saturday) to not see much for  his turn as number 12.
Look up. There's Clara, one of the companion characters and a rare one to get her image on merchandise. 
There's her shirt
Short Clara character history: They just won't let her die and stay dead. So she dies over and over again so the Doctor can try to save her. And fail. Did I just ruin her story for you? Good. Clara Oswald: The Ultimate Fridge Girl.

The only female Doctor Who (lucky #13) material in the building was worn into the convention, on the cosplayers.
Karen Hallion's artwork on the artist's floor,
one of several items by Hallion featuring Jodie Whittaker as the 13th doctor, photo is linked to her Etsy shop

 I saw no other merch for Jodie Whittaker's Doctor. None of her props or costumes or t shirts or nothing.
I saw none last year either. And believe me, that stuff is out there on the web. Howdy BBC! Hello Hot Topic!
It's just not in here for sale.

So not all the fandoms are here. Let's continue.

There's a recent article on Breitbart (that I am not linking here), headlined that heterosexual men were being excluded from official pre-events at this convention. Actual content was complaining there were some events aimed at the queer community.
 I did not see these signs this year.

But if the white cisgendered men were feeling the pain
I saw no lack of them. 
They were out in force.
I heard a lot of them as they passed me. 
The first time someone saw me and hissed, I blew it off. 
There are assholes everywhere. I ride public transportation.

But there are rules at the con. 
This display was on the floor in  2017

This  red and black image used to be posted repeatedly on the show floor and on the back of your show badge, for pointing out purposes.

This was on the website this year:
Yes, it was hard to read on the website too.

You can still be removed for making derogatory comments about someone.

But as the con has grown and the new owners (Reed Pop) dilute the message and remove the signs and get fewer volunteers to roam the floor and keep the peace, the sniggers and the yukyuks have returned.
Remember that guy behind the elves? I do not know this person. Don't harass him. This photo proves there was at least one volunteer. I'm sure he did his duty well.
Emerald City used to be the shiny example.

But let's circle back to that huge tower of t shirts (it's hard to miss and there are several of these towers).
I was surprised to see Brave Clara; it's such a creepy image.
It's a bigger surprise that they sell anything with Clara on it at all. She's a plot victim, but she's a school teacher and does not do sexy. Cute yes, sexy not really.

We've had an empowered Wonder Woman movie for a couple years, and you would be hard pressed to find a costume for her for sale at this con (unlike hundreds of male super costumes, Peter Porker the Spider Ham was abundant this year). No costumes for Harley Quinn either (the sexy murderous girlfriend/victim of the Joker in the DC comics). Both WW and Quinn have boatloads of posters and statues and t shirts, all busty and sexy and grinning. 

You cannot buy the Wonder Woman lasso of truth at the con.
Why is this?
Let me be blunt:
Truth isn't sexy.
Woman Woman is an demigod who goes to work in a short skirt and a corset.
Harley Quinn is a homicidal victimized baby doll, in short shorts and a corset.

Lots of women dress up as WW and HQ. Now that I am really old, I'd like to tell them: You can tell yourself that you are upending the paradigm by being a sexy warrior, but the sexy part is the only part they see.

Women can attend, but they aren't welcome.

So when I get repeatedly hissed at for wearing Captain Marvel
(the Air Force pilot superhero who can punch spaceships whose eponymous movie is making bank at the box office)

I am not going to let it go.
You mad about a girl breathing your air? Playing in your territory? It's about to get worse: I'm going to TALK to you. 
And I did
A sharp "Excuse me?" plus my baby blues staring up got quite a few "I'm sorry"s
(Nobody admits to hissing their granny, btw).
I only had to ask: "So, who are you dressed as?" once.

On the other hand, I got a lot of "Attagirl!s" and "Is that the Elhoffer Corps dress - OMG!!!!"  I'm glad I wore it. It's an amazing dress, it's well made, felt good, wore well, I felt like a million bucks in it. That Elhoffer knows her stuff. I was pleased to spread the word.

When we are positive, and acknowledge each other and call out the good stuff (a wordless 'love it!' gesture goes a long way), we really truly are all better together.

I had a good day, because I brought my positivity game.

And speaking of fans and heros...
the woman who designed this dress and the one who played the character that inspired it:

from Twitter, Catherine Elhoffer and Brie Larsen on the carpet at the premiere
and IG: Peter Capaldi and Karen Hallion, at her ECCC booth. She's in a Elhoffer 13 sweater.