Project ‘Project Runway’

I know every one is probably tired of Project Runway by now.  It’s overloaded with product placement, drama, some silly challenges, but truth is I never get tired of it.  I wish I could see more of the designer’s creative processes and techniques, but that stuff just does not make for good TV.  No matter how unbearable it gets I will still tune in just to see the creative things people can dream up in just a few hours.

So that I can let it live on while it’s in the off season, I’ve taken on a project inspired by the show: Revisiting past challenges and attempting to recreate or re-image my favorites (or not so favorite) using a half-scale model.  I’m so product oriented I don’t take enough time to practice draping, pattern-making, and just plain ole’ playing with fabrics and design.

I am no match compared to those skillful designers and because of that I don’t even know how far I can take this project, but I hope to learn a little more about clothing construction in the process.  Everything is always a learning process.

Instagram is my new best friend since I can keep it short and sweet and that is where I shared my first go at this.  Now I understand a lot more about hiding darts in seams.  Is it wrong that I want this in my size?

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Project ‘Project Runway’

Egg-Shaped Dress

My last project completed in 2014 was an egg-shaped dress (BurdaStyle 10/2014 #127B).

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Most of the time, I am drawn to the oddest (but still kind of practical) garment the magazine has to offer, but this shape isn’t as unusual as I originally thought. It’s actually a nod to style from the 1960s, it appeared in several styles in 2006/2007 and again on the runway in 2013/2014.

Balenciaga coat

Balenciaga Coat (Photo credit: Pinterest via Balenciaga.com)

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Jil Sander Dress (Photo credit: farfetch.com)

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ASOS Dress (Photo credit: asosrp2010.cloudapp.net)

It’s definitely one of those shapes that few people wear really well, but that never stops me from attempting the impossible.

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The original pattern has only a slight egg shape and made in a wonderfully bright striped jacquard.  The fabric selection is probably the real reason I love the dress so much.  That and I needed a shape to hide those few pounds I knew I was going to gain during the cookie holiday season.  No need to walk around holding my breath and sucking in my belly!

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I was unable to find any fabric like it that wasn’t heavy upholstery fabric, so I settled on a lightweight jacquard that still kept the horizontal striped layout. The pattern did not call for lining so I took some time (okay, quite a bit of time) to Hong Kong finish all the seams, make my own piping, install my first exposed zip.

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Of course there was the usual full bust adjustment, but I made no other alterations.  There is enough fullness to add another me into this dress.  I wanted to pair it with a black mock turtleneck as similarly styled in the magazine and a simple wedge shoe or a tall boot, but I don’t own either.

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I will probably never sew this pattern again, but it was fun to make and a very easy, cozy dress to wear.  Best of all, I got to try techniques I haven’t done before.

-Nizzy

Egg-Shaped Dress

Happy New Year!

2014 wasn’t as busy as I thought it would be in terms of crafting.  I did spend a lot of time thinking too hard about how to keep up with the Crafting Jones’ which made me lose my way a bit.  However, I refuse to give that any more energy and I plan to move forward.   I don’t know what 2015 is going be since I don’t have a complete plan yet, but I know what it cannot be.  It cannot be a year of:

– stockpiling materials to excess

– an overabundance of unfinished projects

– forcing myself to finish projects that I fall out of love with half-way through

– being too much of a perfectionist that leaves a project unfinished

– letting what others do distract me from my process

– letting fear hold me back from attempting new challenges

I just need to get out of my head.  So, Onward and Upward!

-Nizzy

Happy New Year!

Self-Discovery Art Journal Project

I’ve always kept a journal.   I would say the earliest ones I still have are from elementary school.  What was going in my life in those early moments that I needed to work out through keeping a diary?  Well, plenty, of course! There were the boys, who got on my nerves that week, what I thought mom did to ruin my life, cute boys, escapades with friends, dreams I had, my latest music group obsession, and did I mention BOYS?

I periodically wrote through middle school, high school, and some college years, but I had to stop for a while because I found that I only used it to vent all of my angry moments.  I didn’t want remember just the angry parts of my life.

In recent years I’ve returned to the journal, changing its format a few times to more of a daily log.  And as you see, if you’re reading this, I’ve reached out to embrace “the virtual journal” to document my creative goings on.   I guess journaling will always be a part of my life in some format.

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This time I am embracing my interpretation of the art journal.   There are some amazing examples out there.  I can’t guarantee that my journal will be as beautiful and art filled, but I

It will be serious, silly, embellished, written in, quoted up, doodled on, colored, painted, etc. The plan is to make some use of the 92 bazillion unused scrap-booking paper and materials I have from a craft long abandoned.  I have no plan, no format, no layout, no rules to follow, no set topics…just self-discovery and creativity one topic at a time, one moment at a time

 

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All of my random thoughts, favorite quotes, creative writings, photos, likes, dislikes, dreams, and things that I learn about myself through this project will be condensed to several 8 and 1/2 x 11 sheets of colored paper.

- Nizzy

Self-Discovery Art Journal Project

Finally Sold on Dresses…and Capes

It took a while, but I finally came around.  I’m officially sold on wearing dresses.  I’m not planning on replacing my whole wardrobe with them, but let’s say I now appreciate the femininity and ease that a dress offers.

When you are short on time and can’t decide on separates, a dress is simple solution.

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Unfortunately, I did not get to make all of those lovely dresses for the summer as I had planned, but I managed to squeeze out this just before “Fall” showed up.

Now that I”m all for wearing dresses, am I brave enough to bear them in the winter?

Now, for capes (Simplicity 5794), this one I made was purely for costuming purposes, but I’m kind of diggin’ the effortlessness a cape/cloak presents: Just throw it on! No fiddling with buttons, belts, or buckles..just one hook on the neck to encase your body in warmth.

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I added some trim to this basic cape to give it a little somethin’ somethin’.

I might consider making a fashion cape for this season.  If I do, I better get on it now, because it’s already cold.

-Nizzy

Finally Sold on Dresses…and Capes

I was tagged!

I was tagged by the lovely D’nali for this creative musing, so here goes.

1.    What am I working on?

What am I NOT working on!?  I seriously have my hands in everything right now.  I knit/crochet, I’m making jewelry, I’m sewing for myself and learning to sew for others, I’m designing patterns, experimenting with fashion draping, I’m crafting soaps and other natural beauty products, I’m gardening, and playing with photography and photo manipulation.  There are so many other things that I haven’t named, because I am still trying to find out how I can incorporate them in my creative work.

2.    How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My jewelry pieces are my creation.  I love a good knitting or sewing pattern, but I enjoy more working from those items as inspiration.  As easy as is duplicate another’s work piece by piece, it’s more enjoyable (and sometimes agonizing in a way) to try to come up with my own variations.  I really feel like I put my heart, soul, and energy into the things that I make.

3.    Why do I write/create what I do?

For pure enjoyment:  I love creating things, learning something new and refining my techniques.
For the challenge:  Creating relieves stress, but also challenges me at the same time.
For necessity:  I like natural products and like to know what goes into my beauty products.  I like a wardrobe that fits my body better than ready-to-wear.  I get to eat food that I grow!
To give to others:  I’ve become more open to the idea of sharing more of my creativity with other people.  It’s still a struggle, but I’m getting there.

4.    How does my writing/creating process work?

I’ve tried the process of long-term planning of what I want to work on, but that works out only so far in advance.  I usually have to feel what I’m working on.  If I’m inspired by a bead, or a piece of fabric, or an outfit, or a scent, I just go with it.  For me, inspiration is EVERYWHERE, from the smallest concept (a color, a shape, a bead) to the biggest theme (a subject, a season, a destination).  Once am idea pops into my head I need to see if I can get it out.    As much as I love being spontaneous,  I still need to keep in mind that planning is important.

I never know who to tag in these things.  If you stop by the blog and want to participate in this, please do it and let me know that you did so I can come read about your creative process.

I was tagged!

Gardening has it’s ups…and downs

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There is something wrong with my tomatoes!

The one in the picture above looks pretty mild compared to some of the other beefsteak tomatoes.  Several of them have had really deep, dark, and dry-looking grooves on the tops and they also have holes in them, some small and some large.  However, the leaves are pretty much in tact.  I think it might be the case of a worm (tomato worm, horn worm, pin worm) which means I have to go out there and have a closer look.   This is the part that I DO NOT like about gardening.  Creepy crawlies?! And especially WORMS?!  Oh, dear!

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I was hoping I could snap a clearer picture, but I had to be fast before something landed on me.

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I’m also getting powdery mildew on the leaves of my squash plants.  The fruit itself is fine, but the leaves have this unpleasant look about them.  This condition has affected the zucchini (also infected by stem borer pests), the cucumber plant, and now the butternut squash.

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Plants get sick, too!  Looks like I need to find out the cure for these ailments.

- Nizzy

Gardening has it’s ups…and downs