Friday, July 21, 2017

Working on Scarlet Witch's Coat: the Hard Parts

DragonCon Countdown: 42 days!

So I started adding all of what I consider the hard parts of the coat, the collar, the belt and the skirt part.
Collar Added
Belt added

The collar is still a bit wonky, but I'll have it all tidied up by the end of the weekend hopefully.
Adding the side panels to the skirt

The original coat had pockets, so I decided to make sure I incorporated those into the panels for holding my phone, ID, etc during DragonCon.

I then spent the afternoon painting all of the collar, belt and panels with acrylic paint, so it looks like faux leather, because I didn't think I would easily find slightly different shades of red leather and this seemed like a good option. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. 

I then made and attached half of a full circle skirt with the fabric to give it the nice flow she has on the back of the coat. 

Back with awesome flowy circle skirt
Front, testing out look of hem

I'll be spending most of the day cleaning up all the loose ends:
  • hemming
  • making sure pockets don't show
  • cutting off any extra fabric
  • making sure all the seams are tight
  • finding a way of pulling it tight against my waist
 Hopefully by the end of the weekend I'll have a picture of the full outfit!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Scarlet Witch's Coat Started

Is it a coat or a jacket? Google defines coat to be: "Coats have tended to be longer than jackets. A jacket goes to the waist. A coat goes down to your thighs. A coat is a long garment worn by both men and women, for warmth or fashion." (play on "Merriam-Webster defines love as...", get it :)

Well actually mine is a bit of both. I'm yet again hacking apart some goodwill finds to make this coat.

Ignore the constant mess,
that means progress :)
Can't wait for a better phone camera...
I started by removing the frilly bits on the red leather jacket. It has some amazing strips that end up being almost exactly the right size for what I need, so I just removed the ruffly fabric and added my own.

Since the jacket was a 3XL, I had to take in the sleeves a bit too, but in the end, I had a pretty nicely finished sleeve. 
FYI, these scissors were an amazing investment.
MIL said the titanium is worth it, and so far she is right.
Just had to get an exact sleeve on the other side as well :)
I added zippers to underside of the sleeve 
Finished both sleeves!!

Now that I have that done, moving onto the collar of the jacket!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Finishing Scarlet Witch's Vest

DragonCon Countdown: 44 Days!

So this is how I started the morning, still needing to finish the bottom hem, add the lacing, and inserting all the boning.

I have never added boning before, so I Googled it and found lots of great help. I sewed casing for 1/4" boning, then trimmed the boning to size. It was pretty simple to do, most time consuming part was drawing on the lines with chalk prior to sewing it and making sure that my parallel lines were even. 

I bought some black shoelaces for the lacing then painted it a color very close to the color of the fabric with acrylic paint and textile medium. I let it dry for a few hours and recoated it to make sure I had good coverage. 

Then I strung the lacing, and the vest is done!! Moving onto the coat!! (excuse the poor photos, using an old phone this week)

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Working on Scarlet Witch's Vest

DragonCon Countdown: Day 45!!

Since I have this week off work, I've been working mostly on my costumes for DragonCon. The biggest project for me is sewing the costume for Scarlet Witch.

Lately I haven't had much luck with sewing patterns fitting me properly, so instead for her vest, I decided to purchase one that fit me, take it apart and make a make a pattern off of that. This is the vest I found at Goodwill, it had a similar neckline to the photos. 

I separated the front from the lining and made patterns from the three pieces, lengthening the front piece to match hers.

I decided early on that there was no way I was going to re-tie the bodice every time I put it on, so instead, I added a zipper at the back. 

Once I got it fitting me nearly perfectly, I added the eyelets for the front lacing. Isaac spray painted the very yellow gold eyelets a bit black (I am horrible at spray paint, I always overdo it). I then spent most of the evening cutting out holes and hammering the eyelets into place. 

This is the progress I've made so far! Next I need to work on finishing the hem of the vest, adding the boning, and threading the eyelets. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Getting in Wonder Woman Shape

DragonCon countdown: 46 days!

I don't know how many of you have seen the new Wonder Woman, but I loved it! I didn't grow up on comic books and haven't seen the original TV series so didn't have anything to compare it to. Maybe it is because I am a woman (Isaac thought it was good, but wasn't as excited as I was about it) but I thought it really captured the essence of a strong woman, using her emotions as strength and power and not deterred by what others thought she could do. And her outfits were amazing, I'm in love with her wool coat!

This was so much fun to photoshop!
Plus Gal Gadot got into epic shape to play Wonder Woman, and while I was considering dressing up like her for DragonCon, I decided I need to get in epic shape too :) I've been struggling to keep myself motivated and lose the last couple inches off my tummy. Just like after having Olivia, I cut calories to lose the initial pounds from having Juliet, but I know that I am in my best shape after strength training. For me, strength training and weight loss don't mix so I don't watch the scale while strength training, just how clothes fit me better.

I found out with my original weight loss from Olivia that I really hate cardio. I hate how sweaty and tired I get without feeling like I've really made any progress. I've tried running (currently training for a 5k), but I feel exhausted afterward and dehydrated (as I don't drink  enough water anyway) and it feels hard to track daily progress with running. For some reason I keep signing up for 5ks (I know I said I'd never do them again Katie and Rebecca) but the high I get after having a good 5k race makes me want to do more and improve somehow. Initially I wanted to get under 35 minutes, then I wanted to be able to complete an entire 5k without stopping to walk, now I'd love to do a 30 minute 5k so I'm working towards that.

My favorite workout program is the Female Training Bible on It is something that I can adapt to do from home (critical with kids and Isaac's work schedule) and each week I can track how much progress I've made by seeing how many extra reps or how much additional weight I use. I was reading something the other day that said how important it is to write down your plan and progress for exercising because humans use visual cues to perceive progress and otherwise it is very hard to visually see progress with exercising (wish I could remember where I read/heard this). Below is my current workout schedule leading up to DragonCon. Plan is to run Tuesday, Thursday, Saturdays/Sundays and Strength Train (ST) in between. The paper on the right is my progress for strength training each week so I know how many reps I did and what I am improve on the next week.

In great shape after 2 12-week programs
 of Strength Training, pre-Juliet

I know most women say they don't want to strength train to bulk up, but it only make me leaner and stronger which makes me love it. I've had several women ask so here is a link to my adapted Female Training Bible from Home. I own dumbbells and a barbell so I can do everything in my adapted version from home!

I'm glad to be moving towards Wonder Woman shape, so keep an eye out for my progress!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Epic Goodwill Run!

DragonCon Countdown: 48 Days!

I don't know if anyone is as much of a Goodwill shopper as me, but when I go to Goodwill, I usually have something specific in mind. I don't go to browse, as I'm not typically much of a browsing shopper anyway, I would be overwhelmed!

Last night, after putting Juliet to bed at 7pm, I went in search of:

  • Light Purple Tank for Claire Dearing Costume
  • Purple Belt for Ms. Frizzle Costume
  • Blue long sleeve shirt for Olivia's Super Girl Costume
  • 2 pots for beekeeping stuff

As you can see, I left with all of them!! I knew as soon as I found the purple tank it was gonna be a good trip. I've been scouring many stores for a light purple tank but haven't found any because apparently light purple is not a common color for tanks or maybe because everyone likes them and don't want to part with them!

Spending the day sewing, so hopefully some progress to share by the end of the day!!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Cow Appreciation Day 2017!

DragonCon countdown: 49 days!

Tuesday was Cow Appreciation Day, so we ran to Chick-fil-a before work to enjoy some free Chick-fil-a! For the past several years I've printed off spots and just taped them to everyone's shirts, but of course with little kids, that means that usually all of the spots are off by the time we arrive at Chick-fil-a... 

So Tuesday morning as I started to figure out outfits (because I decided to wait til the last minute, morning off), I crazily decided that making shirts for Juliet and Olivia would be way easier than printing spots and trying to attach them. Especially since Juliet is not very good at keeping things on, see below as I tried to make a cow ear headband and she was trying to take it off before I even could take a picture.

And it was easier! 15 minutes and two rectangles of white jersey fabric with sharpie later, I had cow shirts! I just folded a rectangle in half, sewed along the sides up until the arm holes, and cut a hole for the neck. Olivia's looked really cute on her actually and she even loved wearing the mask (wasn't sure she'd go for it). I do have an amazing sewing machine (Bernina B215, Christmas present from Isaac suggested by my Mother-in-law) so it was so easy!

For 30 minutes total of work, we got chicken biscuits and chicken minis! Another quick fun sewing project complete!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My Crazy Ideas and those who support them

DragonCon countdown: 51 days!

Sometimes I'm amazed by the people in my life who support my crazy ideas. Yesterday at work I mentioned wanting to find some additional costumes for DragonCon, and my co-workers sent me a list of redhead characters, sent me links on how to build some parts of my costumes and we spent our lunch hour discussing some how we might rig something to work (for a crazy addition to a costume I'm not yet ready to reveal cuz not sure it will work/how much it will cost/etc). They all were so supportive, didn't say "that can't be done", gave me some good feedback on how it might not work and generally helped brainstorm.

Ellie Sattler last year
Then yesterday I got home and told Isaac about the same crazy idea and he immediately started offering his own suggestions. Not "you shouldn't do that", not "you don't know anything about that stuff", not "you are crazy". We have been discussing costumes for a while, and he had discouraged me about trying a Wonder Woman costume this year because of its popularity. Not because I couldn't pull it off (I'm still working toward being in Wonder Woman Shape ) or because it was too much work, but because he remembers my disappointment last year with my Ellie Sattler Costume where I didn't have nearly as much fun as years before where I was Ms. Frizzle. I love how people's faces light up when they saw my Ms. Frizzle costume! I love how unique it was and how people appreciated my effort.

About 5 minutes into my conversation with Isaac, I asked him why he didn't tell me I was crazy and shouldn't try. He said because I'd want to do it anyway so he might as well help. He sure does go along with my crazy ideas that usually require work on his part (Airbnb, honeybees, built-ins in our bedroom, raised garden beds, DragonCon stuff) with very little complaint. I'm so lucky to have him.

And everyone who supports my crazy ideas: my parents for their initial support (remember that time I painted a mural on the basement wall...), my friends who I'm sure roll their eyes, but sometimes come along for the ride :) Can't wait to see how these new costumes turn out!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

DragonCon Count Down!

52 days!! 

I only have 52 days and after a successful sewing project this weekend (I made a lacy t-shirt out of some leftover fabric while Isaac was at the Metallica concert), I have gone crazy decided to add two
costumes to my wardrobe for DragonCon 2017.

I still plan on wearing my Ms. Frizzle from a couple years ago (now that it fits again)

Claire Dearing from Jurassic World

and Scarlet Witch from Avengers.

Figured I might as well lean in with the redhead thing :)

Plus Olivia has decided she wants to be Supergirl, so have that costume to work on as well (I was trying to convince her to be young Elsa, but she wouldn't go for it...)

I already own:

  • All Ms. Frizzle
  • White skirt for Claire (purchased yesterday at Goodwill)
  • White blouse for Claire (purchased yesterday at Goodwill)
  • Beige Heels for Claire (owned)
  • Black pants for Scarlet Witch
  • Black Boots for Scarlet Witch
Things to work on:
  • Purple Tank for Claire
  • Necklace for Claire
  • Flare for Claire
  • Corset Vest for Scarlet Witch
  • Red Jacket for Scarlet Witch
  • Glowing Gloves for Scarlet Witch
  • Necklace for Scarlet Witch
  • Dress/Cape for Supergirl
  • Boots for Supergirl
I know it's crazy so getting started as soon as I can! Keep an eye out for progress! I have a week off next week so hoping to get some work done then!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

French Yogurt Cake from Bringing Up Bebe

Pulled from Orangette (can't get to her site anymore, so reposting here)

This type of cake is an old classic in France, so simple kids can make it. It is also very forgiving, so even Olivia can help and over/under fill and still will taste great. Traditionally, the ingredients are measured in a yogurt jar, a small glass cylinder that holds about 125 ml. Because most American yogurts don't come in such smart packaging, you'll want to know that 1 jar equals about 1/2 cup.

For the cake:
1 jar plain yogurt
2 jars granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 jars unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 jar canola oil

For the glaze:
Juice from 2 lemons
1/2 jar powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, sugar, and eggs, stirring until well blended. Add the flour, baking powder, and zest, mixing to just combine. Add the oil and stir to incorporate. Pour and scrape the batter into a greased 9-inch round cake pan.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the cake feels springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.

Cool cake on a rack for about 20 minutes; then turn it out of the pan to cool completely.

When the cake is thoroughly cooled, combine the lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl and spoon it gently over the cake. The glaze will be thin and will soak in like a syrup.