Category Archives: for shame

pants inaction.

Holy hiatus, batman.

I think I’m officially back from blog sabbatical. I’ve got some stuff complete that I haven’t written about yet, some stuff almost complete that I can wrap up soon and a positive spring outlook. Or something. I dunno. I’m going to try to get back on schedule, one project a week plus miscellaneous posts when I have the time, ambition or just a damn good story to tell.

This week I made pants. I made these pants, specifically: McCalls Melissa Watson for Palmer/Pletsch M6405. I’ve been meaning to make these pants for months. In fact, I meant for them to be winter pants. I wanted to make a mock-up first to test out the fit, since I haven’t made pants since middle school and that was a bit of a mess. With that project, there came a point where I decided that the waist band was too confusing, so I just didn’t do it.  This meant that they had a front rise that would make Britney blush and my mom kick my ass if she knew that I wore them to school. They were stretchy grey corduroy and they didn’t hold up terribly well in the wash.

ANYWAY. Pants. They’re seriously tricky to get right. I did not get them right, unfortunately. I got annoyed with the mock up portion of my creation and stopped after I did the fly (as that is seemingly the most complicated aspect of this particular pattern). I should have continued with the fake pants but I thought the pattern would just work. I will never assume this again.

Fake pants with a zipper.

Real pants with a zipper.

After I finished the fly, I sewed up the middle and the sides and put them on. Where these designers get their measurements is beyond me. With the standard (5/8 inch) seam allowance, these pants were about 30+ inches at the waist. I have a 26 inch waist and made the size corresponding to that. I had to figure out how to trim back 4 inches. Even more frustrating was the shape of the legs. They’re supposed to be slim-legged. Not skinny, not wide, slim. These had the absolute least flattering cut I have ever seen. Consider:

This guy and I are in an MC Hammer cover band called Bawl P. and Lil Mallet.

It isn’t much of an exaggeration. I even used a stretch gabardine (as suggested by the pattern), so they were kind of shiny. Also, the gabardine was the most unruly shedding beast, everything I touched during this project was covered in tiny black strings.

I finally pulled out a pair of jeans that fit pretty well and traced them onto the pants. Then I set about trying to take these stupid things in. I got them to a point where they looked pretty sharp, attached the waistband and was happy to be done. Well almost done. I still can’t find the hook and bar fasteners that I bought when I bought the fabric, so they have no top closure, but whatever. That’s what safety pins are for. I was ready to wear them, come hell or high water.

Ignore the messy room. No one else was home to help me stage this photo.

After having them on for 20 minutes or so, I had realized how un-stretchy the fabric was and uncomfortable they were going to be. But I was committed. I had to wear them at least once, right? Here’s how that day at work went:

12 pm: Work is hectic and I’m moving around more than I expected. This will surely shorten the lifespan of these pants.They are shedding everywhere.

12:55 pm: Man, this waistband is high. Good thing it looks awesome. Wait. The safety pin is tearing the gabardine. And you can totally see it. Whatev.

1:35 pm: They’re kind of tight. Took a cool pic sitting at my desk. Glad I brought jeans for when these things split at the seams.

Never mind, this picture’s not that cool. I already put it in the post though, so it’s staying.

2:28 pm: Finally had to go pee. I had forgotten about the safety pin latch on my pants and that’s an annoying thing I hadn’t considered when I came up with this solution. Also annoying: the way these pants shed little black threads constantly.

3:40 pm: Had to pee again. Should quit drinking so much water. Little black threads in my underpants. Am currently eating pizza (three pieces total), will certainly be more uncomfortable soon.

4:20 (ish): Compliments from my friend Daina on my outfit today. Didn’t want to sound like an idiot so I didn’t mention that I made the pants, but still feeling smug. I am cute and wonderful.

6:18 pm: My enemy Nik tells me “those pants are weird” and also asks “what’s with your pants, they’re weird?” I explain that I made them. I was hoping everyone would stroke my ego, but instead we talk about The Vagina Monologues. How hysterical would it be if one of the monologues was just a long burp?

6:57 pm: I don’t know why, but I’m convinced these pants are actually making my arms go numb. I can’t explain it. But seriously, any time I lift my arms above waist level they go numb. Am I pinching a nerve?

7:16 pm: Almost quitting time. Made it all day in these suckers. Sweatpants, here I come. 

Finally, here’s a picture of how tremendously helpful it is to have a cat when working on a sewing project. Notice the completely open room around her and how she’s decided to sit on my pattern pieces instead.



Filed under for shame, sewing, vintage looks

lundi gras.

I gave up blogging on time for pre-Lent. For real Lent, I’m giving up giving up blogging.

Kait seriously loves to host, she knocked it out of the park. The coins! The baby cake! The garland!

If you haven’t guessed from the title of this post, I celebrated Fat Monday instead of Fat Tuesday this year. And I celebrated this ever important holiday with my closest crafty friends at a craft party (note the compulsory upgrade from “night” to “party”). Kait went all out: decorations, glitter buffet, hurricanes and red beans.

We really operate on a level just above summer camp. And I think the only reason it's a higher level is because we have legal access to booze.

I was damn sure I was in New Orleans;  Jodi even flashed Ife for beads. There was such a good response to Kait’s craft party invitations that we had to work in shifts. There was a queue for the glue guns.

If you think a party with 10 available glue guns would have enough glue guns for any situation, you'd be wrong.

Anyway, since we’re soooooo far from the date at this point, I’m keeping it short and sweet. Here’s a collage of some of the masks:

Clockwise from top left: My mask "mask (#2)," AJ's "fabulagasm," Chelsea's "I'm Too Pretty for my Face," Kait's "Dobby on Ice"

Anyway, the night was (as always!) a big success. I got that strange baby in my cake and was thus King of… well… I honestly don’t remember from French class, I guess King of the Craft Party. I was a judicious leader, mostly using my crown for great photo ops and not to take people’s land or attack Spain or anything.

Instagram: You'd be surprised how easy it is to make ugly stuff look kind of good by making it blurry. Oh wait, that's how one night stands work.

As for my recent absence, I think I’ve mentioned something about working at a new place. It’s been a lot making such a drastic change. Yinz know me: I worked with Trent for four years, dating for a lot of that, and this is the first time we’ve been really separated. I work 10-5, he works 6-whoknows? On top of the normal new job stress and a transitional period in my relationship, I sold my car last month (a combination of things made this a necessity, including the fact that I can’t park at my new job) so I’ve been walking and busing everywhere. Maybe one day, I’ll craft an offering to the public transit gods in hope they hear me and know my pain. (The next time some jerk from out in bum-fuck rural Pennsylvania bitches that his taxes shouldn’t go to pay for bus infrastructure in Pittsburgh, I’m going to absolutely lose my shit.) On top of all this, we’re still actively looking for a house and things just feel constantly tenuous. I’m totally fine, I’m a tough lady, but more than I’d like to admit, I can commiserate with Allie Brosh, over at Hyperbole and a Half. I love you guys for reading. I do.


Filed under craft night!, for shame, Uncategorized

back in the (craft) saddle again.

I’m back! This time for the foreseeable future. I think. Happy belated holidays! Happy early New Year!

I’ve been crafting like crazy during the holiday season while also blowing my life savings on dental work, shopping for Christmas, celebrating Trent’s birthday, working more than I care to and ultimately getting a new job. It’s been a busy month. And, really, my crafts were all Christmas gifts anyway, so I used that to justify not blogging during the busy (nearly over) month of December. I should have checked in, but instead I’m going to cram this week with multiple posts to chat about each of my silly projects and what’s on the horizon for 2012.

Oh, and, if you think this has anything to do with Zelda, it totally doesn’t. I haven’t played the game for 3 weeks. LAME.

Let’s start there, actually.

I took a night off work with the intention of playing Zelda and drinking Vernor’s Ginger Soda in my sweatpants. In preparation for this evening, I woke up early, worked out (another thing that’s been on hiatus) and cleaned my entire house. I wanted to feel absolutely no guilt for the 15 hour video game indulgence I had planned. According to the UPS tracker, it was going to arrive any minute. I felt like a little kid, sitting by the window, the blinds drawn, just waiting for the guy in the brown suit to bring my new toy! Oh! Was that a knock? But I didn’t see the truck… Must be a friend visiting my downstairs neighbor. I couldn’t quite see who it was from the angle I was looking, so I made a quick dash to my neighbor’s door to see if it had been left there by mistake. NOPE. Instead, I found one of those horrible little brown and yellow notes informing me that they couldn’t get my signature and so had to take the package with them.

Anyway, after many tears and a few texts of (bewildered) consolation from the boything, I mustered up the courage to make arrangements to just pick the stupid thing up from the distribution center in the city the next morning. This worked out swimmingly, rendering the previous eve’s tears unnecessary, though my plans to stay home and play by myself were still ruined. The game’s awesome. I haven’t finished it yet, but I’ve already got some ideas for the craft that I’ll do to commemorate that day.

Speaking of dreaming up great crafts, I’m looking for some suggestions. After all the pain (and time and money) involved in fixing my tooth, I’ve got some great souvenirs. I’ll show you those in a minute, in the meantime, let’s take a pictorial journey through my dental procedures.

WARNING. There are about to be a lot of pictures of my teeth. Don’t know if yinz like that or not, but there you have it.

Step 1. I break my tooth and ignore it for two years. I finally decide to get it fixed when I start having some jaw pain. The dentist is impressed with how crappy my teeth are. Dr. Julie thinks a crown will be a good solution to the problem of the hole in my tooth. Also, after several x-rays, she reassures me that the pain is not caused by a bunch of tumors in my head. We decide that I probably grind my teeth. Cause, you know, it’s comforting to know that even while I sleep I’m angry.

See that guy, wayyyy in the back? He's an asshole.

Step 2. The dentist sends me to an endodontist to see if I might need a root canal. Dr. Mario (no joke) determines that I do not. He sends me back to Dr. Julie to start the process of getting the crown. This will require them to file down the tooth into a gross little nub after cleaning out any decay. She straight up hits a nerve with her evil little buzzy tools and back to Dr. Mario I go. Surprise! Root Canal!

Step 3. Dr Mario starts to give me a root canal. It hurts way worse than the last root canal I had and I cry silently in his chair while his assistant tries to wipe away my tears. He finishes it up and says “Come back  in two weeks, we’ll finish it up.” I continue to cry and pay my bill.

Step 4. Dr. Mario finishes the root canal. It doesn’t hurt the same way as before but my jaw locks up pretty bad and I spend the next week with the most god awful tension headache and a shitty spackling job of a temporary filling in my mouth. No pics cause it hurt to open my mouth.

Step 5. Back to Dr. Julie for the crown! Yay! Finally! Wait… it takes two procedures too? Oh ok. I was reassured by the hygienist that I would not need the painful looking metal rods jammed into my jaw because “Yeah, we only do that if you get, like, hit in the face with a bat or something.” I needed the stupid rods anyway, because “[I] really don’t have much tooth left for the crown to stick to,” according to Dr. Jules. They put a temporary crown on my tooth and it looked like it had Down syndrome. It hurt and stuff got stuck in it all the time.

It's all round and not toothy. Also, there's a hole in it already. It's clearly weaker than it's predecessor.

Step 6. Get the permanent crown and everything’s hunky dory.

Look at the detail. Those crevasses. That's a tricky fake tooth right there.

They pretty much just popped the temporary crown off in one piece and my mouth felt so much better. I kind of wanted to leave without getting the permanent. But it was already paid for and they assured me it wouldn’t hurt like the temporary. And anyway, the good thing about having your crown worked on is that it doesn’t happen in your mouth. So while they were filing and grinding away at my fake tooth, we were chatting about all manner of silly things. Like how Jules is really angry about the success of one Malcolm McCormick a.k.a. Mac Miller a.k.a. her neighbor’s son who just sings too many darned songs about weed, donchaknow? When I had a moment alone with the hygienist, what ensued was one of the more awkward conversations I’ve had recently.

Me:  So… do you think I could take home my fake tooth?

Her:  You want it?

Me:  Yeah, did you already throw it away? I mean that’s fine, I’ll still take it.

Her:  No, it’s right here. What are you going to do with it?

Me:  Well, I don’t know yet. But I have a craft blog and… well, I don’t really know. Make a necklace out of it?

Her:  A craft blog.

Me:  Shit. That sounds worse out loud. Never mind.

Her:  No, it’s fine, you can totally take it. Here do you want this mold of  your teeth too?

Me:  REALLY? I mean, you don’t need that for… the future or something?

Her:  No.

Me:  This is AWESOME.

Her: I’ll get you a bag.

So that’s how I ended up with a mold of half of my mouth that my little crown fits into perfectly. It’s sitting on my mantle currently and I’m trying to decide what exactly to do with it. Should I make a necklace out of the crown? Like a little resin charm? Anyone have any suggestions? I feel like eventually, the fake teeth need to be spray painted gold. Or maybe I paint it super realistically and just paint the crown gold and they stay together as a little weird sculpture. Hey the internet, let me know your thoughts! Here’s what we’re working with:

Finally, when I’m looking for craft supplies, I always check out the Frick Market. You can get anything there.

I’ll be posting for the next couple of days, going back in time to cover my Christmas crafts and other adventures. Sorry this one wasn’t craft specific. I’m planning for the future. Also, I’ve got to acknowledge some fun blogsy stuff. My girl Yinzerella needs a solid shout out and my next post will be perfect for it.


Filed under for shame, inspiration, off week, upcycled

you can lead a horse to joann’s but you can’t make it craft.

So this week is my first official craft and blog fail. I didn’t make a new craft at all and I definitely didn’t blog in time. Things that happened:

Bought the wrong size pattern and couldn’t get back to JoAnn’s in time.

Got a root canal.

Made my first from-scratch macaroni and cheese and some totally bangin’ catfish.

Went to visit Penn State just in time for the shit to hit the perverse fan.

Finished these Electra bags that are already sold and need to get put in the mail:

I suppose the bags could count as a project for the week, but I still had other plans. I was pretty bummed out when I realized that I bought the wrong size pattern, especially since I liked it so well. I stopped at JoAnn’s last night after we got back from State College and, while they still had the pattern in the size I needed, it was on sale when I originally bought it and I didn’t feel like paying full price. So that’ll have to happen next time McCall’s patterns are on sale I guess.

That leads me to now and I’m about to start working on the current week’s project and watching Death Becomes Her. This movie is perfect.

Bruce Willis and Meryl Streep, amirite? So good. And Isabella Rosselini was a pleasant surprise. I’m also a big fan of this scene:

Oh wait, that one isn’t in the movie. People that like this movie just happen to make a lot of weird videos in response. I’ll let you open that can of worms for yourself though.


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Filed under for shame, off week