Friday, July 27, 2012

Costumes Part Five

Hello everyone! This update is a little early because Isaac and I are going on vacation for about 10 days. I will not be able to work on anything while I am away (sad), so I figured I would update now and then work and update again after I return. (But I will probably post about the vacation :) )

Exciting news regarding my costumes.
One: I learned what an ease-stitch is and how to do it. (For my fellow amateur seamstresses, here is the most useful link that I found: I needed to do this on the sleeves of my Shuiichi shirt and many sites talked about gathering and puckering and puffy sleeves, which helped me not a bit. Glad I found the link above otherwise I would have been out of luck. The sleeves were a bit puffy, but not too bad when they were finished.

Two: I ordered two of the three wigs I need! Woo! Both are for Kurama costumes and were bought under advisement from my friend, Cat. Check her out, she does commissions and she is just amazing: or

My wigs can be found here: and I will need to make some alterations because they need to look like this:

I will be consulting Cat some more on how to get Shuiichi's hair to do that...

I also think I found a wig for my Jareth costume. Another magnificent suggestion from Cat. I will post more about that once I order it.

Sadly, little progress has been made with my Katamari costume. Kinks are still being worked on by the "professionals" (Cat and Jhenn) for the heads and faces (like how exactly we will see out of them). And I have yet to start the dress, but I have white fabric and fabric paint for the circles. I don't have a pattern for this one and I think I may have to find one if I am going to get up the courage to make it. Free-sewing sounds like a bad idea for me.

Also, no progress has been made on my Jareth costume, either. I'm still scared of it. On the plus side, I have Yoko's costume finished (once I fix up the wig a bit) and Shuiichi's nearly finished! I need to make the pink belt-tie thing and put the yellow trim on. I'm excited! Once everything is finished, I will post costume test and and make-up and hair test pictures.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

An Update and Amish Friendship Bread

Sorry for the lack of updates (again). One of my best friends was in town and I don't get to see her often, so I spent TONS of time with her and our circle of friends.

So today is Tuesday: my turn to make dinner! While my friend, Amie, was in town she gave me some Amish friendship bread (AFB) aka a yeast starter. That was exactly 10 days ago. I was very excited to experiment with it. I knew that I would end up with enough AFB by today to make 3 items and still have one left over to continue my starter. One I will be giving to my mom, so I have 2 to work with. (Also, I am going to have to freeze a lot of this if I can't keep up with the baking! Let me know if anyone needs a yeast starter!).

So I'm thinking: dinner and dessert (who doesn't love dessert?). I really wanted to make pizza and chocolate chip cookies. Both of which I have made before (though it has been many years since I have made home-made pizza) so I figured they would be alright.

To begin, it was nearly impossible to find a recipe for AFB pizza dough. I finally stumbled upon this blog post: This was the recipe I followed. Only thing I didn't follow was letting the dough rise for 12-18 hours... because I did not plan this far enough in advance. Story of my life. I settled for putting the oven on very low and leaving it in for about 30 minutes. It didn't rise much. I am not sure it mattered all that much. Next time I will do it correctly and let you know.

For the sauce I used this recipe: The sauce was the main success of the dish, I think. I altered it a bit (no anchovy or honey, to name a couple changes), but overall that is roughly what I made. I used lots of mozzarella cheese and a pre made pizza mix. It was a good combo: mostly mozzarella with a little provolone, parmesan, and romano.

Main problem: The pizza dough didn't cook in the middle very well. I put it in a little longer but didn't want to burn the cheese. Thoughts for next time: Cook the dough for a while on it's own before adding sauce and cheese. I am not sure that will work, but it's worth a try. Otherwise it was pretty good. Due to the AFB, the dough was a touch sweet for my taste, but since the sauce was a bit spicy, it worked out pretty well.

This website came with the AFB and has lots of info and recipes: Using this I found this recipe for cookies:

I did not use shortening. I don't have any (and have never used it before) and I did not want to go to the store for the second time today and the third time in the last two days. Instead I used a little more butter. Most sources I found said that butter or margarine can be used in place of shortening in equal exchange. I did not do a full equal exchange because it already had butter in it and I couldn't bring myself to put in THAT much butter. The cookies turned out alright and they tasted pretty good. Next time I should try using shortening, however. Next time. Sigh. Another side note: this recipe makes LOTS of cookies. I feel like I was baking all night.

In other news, I have worked on my Shuiichi costume a bit. The shirt that scared me? I'm still a bit scared. However, I managed to get it mostly put together and (drum roll) I made a collar! I was excited. Of course I made the whole thing before I remembered it was supposed to be blue, not white... so I made a little case for it. Like a pillow case. It worked fine. Right now I am tackling the interfacing (I hate interfacing) which is supposed to go on the shoulders and down the front. It isn't actually *attached* to the shirt yet, however, but is attached to the facing.

During all of this, I learned what it meant to layer a seam. I had no idea what this meant and my google searching failed to clear it up until I found this wonderful video: Cleared everything right up. There are some other parts I am going to have to look up later. I will be sure to share those for any other amateur seamstresses out there. I will  post a picture when it is finished.

And I promise that I will be posting about my new little niece very soon! With a couple pictures because she is the cutest baby in the world (surely no bias here...).

So there you have it. An update and my Tuesday cooking. Sorry for the lack of pictures, I just wasn't feeling up for the extra work.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Costumes Part Four

Sorry I haven't updated in so long! Work got kind of crazy--I worked some late shifts and had some meetings, etc. We should be about back to normal now, so be expecting more updates.

So! Costumes!

I am pleased to report that Yoko Kurama is almost complete! I fixed up the ears and the tail (the tail wasn't long enough or fluffy enough for me and the ears weren't fox-y enough). I used a white (that ended up being a little off-white, unfortunately) fake fur and a little bit of quilt batting for the tail. I just wrapped it all up and hot glued everything. So this is what we have now:

I also managed to put in a little pocket. Let me tell you: they are much easier to do BEFORE you actually sew the pants together. I think I have learned my lesson. And the little sash to tie the tunic shut and attach the tail is finished. Yay! Just need a wig now! (And contacts? I still haven't decided. Based on my financial situation, I am guessing no...). My friend, Cat, helped me find some good wigs for all of my costumes, now just to save up and purchase them. I will post links when I make my final decisions.

For Shuiichi Kurama I have finished the pants. With a pocket! I haven't tackled the shirt yet because frankly it intimidates me a little. That is the next step, however. Hopefully next week will see some of that finished.
 I still haven't done anything besides the belt for Jareth. Cat has done my mask prototype, but I haven't seen it. I'm sure it is going to be great! I am scared about doing his outfit, too. I might leave most of it for last.

We have all been working on our Katamari heads! My friend, Jhenn, is amazingly brilliant! She came up with the whole mascot-head design, made all the measurements, and made templates. We all traced the templates onto cardboard and cut every tiny little piece out. So I ended up with this pile of cardboard with no notion of how it would all come together.

Jhenn began fitting it all, and we hot glued everything together. So here are some progress pictures:




 Side note, hot glue guns for a project this big got glue strings EVERYWHERE! Leading to various lines such as "Holy glue strings, Batman."

And the finished product on my head! Soooo fun! And isn't Jhenn amazing?! I can't believe that she could visualize and create these! I am exceedingly impressed.

Next step: Cover the head base in quilting batting and cut a piece of cross-stitch mesh to put over the face. Then hot glue it all together!

And this is what I have!

I still need to put batting on the ends. We are looking for fabric to put over the face so we can paint on Katamari faces and still see out. All of us still need to make the outside cases, but more on that later.