Monday, 29 February 2016

Little Black Hats (New Start!)

Got a new piece going yesterday!

It will be the last one that will fit on this fabric. This is 'A Conjugal Tie' (small version), and will depict a married couple. I changed up the hair completely, keeping it lighter than the others, but not as brightly highlighted as in the original; I prefer the blending to be a little more gradual here. It looks bigger than the others? I hold it up to the other two, and the heads are the same size, but as I'm stitching it looks so much bigger!

I update more frequently/more promptly on the Facebook group for Soda Stitch, since Facebook is a better medium for snap updates, so please do go check it out!


Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Scottish Folds, Soda Stitch, and Tornado Warnings

A new finish!

I started this set of small pieces back in 2014 and left this one a little over halfway finished in September of that year. I joined a Facebook group for Soda Stitch and wanted to take pictures of what I had - & finally remembered that I had these floating around somewhere!

I changed the pattern a little in this one - I didn't want to stitch a small dog, because I really don't like small dogs of any type. But I love cats, so I thought: why not a Scottish Fold? I wouldn't have to change the ears much, and the fluffiness of the head/chest would work well with a Scottish Fold! So I eyeballed a place to stop on the ears and changed the outlining a bit to suit the different shape; paying special attention to reworking the tail to make it more like the cat I was imitating (pretty much just a page of Bing Images of various Scottish Folds!). I think it turned out pretty well?

Other than that, I replaced one thread colour in the hair to smooth out the blending (780 instead of 783), did a whole lot of fudging to 'correct' (work around) an error I made somewhere in the region of the boys hands and lower body, and after all that, I think this is possibly my favourite piece of all time. Of everything I've made. XD

Today's finish is thanks to the alarming weather in the American Southeast today: we had a tornado warning this morning when we got up, and a funnel cloud was spotted about 5 miles away from us. We didn't leave the house today as we had planned, so I stayed in and stitched!

This piece has a few names. '복 받으세요' (bohk bahd-euh-say-yoh) is Korean for "Receive Happiness," translated on the pattern cover as saying "Receive Good Fortune," and is commonly said around the New Year, both Solar & Lunar. This one is Lunar - you can tell by the pale pink blossoms behind them (meaning early spring, not December), as well as their attire: Lunar New Year is when many families visit with each other, dress traditionally, eat traditional foods, and make a New Year bow to their elders, a more formal, extended bow all the way to the floor. (I've chosen the tag "Give A Bow" for this piece, since it relates to what is shown in the pattern.)

You can kind of see the dog in the cover photo here:

Thursday, 18 February 2016

2 Seasons Down, 2 To Go!

What an exhausting week - but a very bright spot tonight!

She's finished! I love the bright, vibrant colours of this one.

Carrying a Lucky Bag

Character for 'Autumn'
As with my last finished piece of this series, I wanted to share some pictures of real-life Hanbok as depicted in the stitching so people unfamiliar with Hanbok can put the pieces together a bit better!

The top headpiece is a particular one worn by young, unmarried girls (there are others worn by married women such as those once worn by queens), known as baetssi daenggi (배씨 댕기). Varying in size and design, it is tied onto the top of the head, and worn with the traditional braids.

There is another piece in the back, known as dwikkoji (뒤꽂이) (lit. 'back flowers'), which are beautiful ornaments that can adorn the sides or back of the hair in many different fashions!

She's wearing a double skirt here, the red an overlay on top of a bright sunny yellow. Occasionally, the top skirt will be tied up in some fashion to better show off both (or more!) layers. You can see this quite often in depictions of Kisaeng/Gisaeng, Joseon-era female entertainers, and also in that of Queens and royalty - multiple layers of expensive, embroidered cloth.

And another lovely part of Hanbok that is rarely shown - the shoes! One tip of a brightly coloured shoe peeps out at the bottom of that full red skirt on this piece. There'll be another one in Spring, but until then -


A good deal of women's traditional shoes nowadays have at least a small heel on them, as you can see above, but not all of them do. Some are rubber, others are embroidered, and they are an essential piece of the whole ensemble!

Finally, she's holding a beautiful little 'lucky bag' or substitute for pockets. I think it's one of my favourite things about this piece - how brightly coloured it is!

As ever, a great place to look up more information on Joseon-era headgear, male & female, please check out this (and other) fantastic posts over here at The Talking Cupboard. I got a few of my pictures there and though it's not too in-depth, the amount that is covered is amazing!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Italian Renaissance Returns!

Remember this?

Nearly a full year later, I've gotten around to making the rest of that project! I did finally fix up the back. I wanted to make that panel in the upper back smaller so the top straps of the sleeves would stay up better on my shoulders. It is a much better fit now!

Since the last time I took pictures of this I was still using my laptop to do so, I figured it'd be good to update some of those images here - the rickrack on the sleeves especially. This was the blouse I made from two skirts: the body of the shirt and the back panel are made from the built-in underskirt from regular store bought skirts. The body was easy enough - I cut out the longest underskirt I have, from a long yellow skirt and simply attached the rest to it, nothing else changed. The best part of it was that all the hemming and side seams were completely done, no extra work, this way.

The back panel was the remainder of an underskirt that had ripped. It's really very flimsy; I've no doubt the first thing to go on this would be the back panel!

The sleeves are made of one skirt, the top portion of the same skirt that the back panel is made of. It was a very flared skirt, and I thought I might have enough for two sleeves out of it. I cut off the waistband and used that as the straps, cut the skirt in half lengthwise to form two separate pieces, and simply gathered the wide lower hem for the cuff, nearly at the end so that it would leave a bit of a ruffle at the hand.

Now for the next stage! I've got the bodice mostly ready, and the skirt is in its earliest stages. I got a fabric specifically for making a mock up, so I don't have to ruin the special fabric I've got for the finished dress. It's not anything fancy, just a heavy red fabric, but the last thing I want is to ruin it!

As you can (sort of) see below, I started with the bodice being a square neckline, but messing around with it today, I found I liked it better with the corners removed. I want to draft the skirt to have a center panel of a different fabric between, though I don't know what fabric that will be, and whether I'll make a separate skirt or just sew in a panel down the front. Nothing but the bodice sides are sewn together, so everything is a little droopy around the pins.

The skirt is very much a work in progress. I have four rectangles pinned together with a hasty gather pulling the back two panels together. I'm going to work from there - I need to relax the lower hem so that the skirt swings full instead of pulling back as it tends to now: that'll mean cutting the panels into more tapered/triangular pieces, with more material at the bottom and narrower where it will join the bodice. I want to gather just the centre back, not the full back two panels, but I wanted to be able to pin it on today and see where I was, so that's how that happened. It won't look like this when it's finished.

I may keep the draft of the square neckline for the under dress, or the panel, as the case may be. As I can only work on this weekends when I have the spare time around homework and odd evenings, this may be a long project in finishing yet!

Thanks for looking!