Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sewing accidents - is there insurance for that?

This past week saw me working on a project for the Brecksville Little Theatre's production of "Mister Roberts." The director asked if I could make "three or four of these." It looked easy enough. I went home that day early from work and started right up. I happened to have the perfect color denim on hand (what? I'm not making them for real. They didn't have to be actual floatation devices), actually had just enough to make four of them. So I cut a muslin, mocked it up and decided "yep, I can totally do this."

I went to the hardware store and got the necessary parts to make faux valves, couldn't find any black tubing to fit it, so I decided I'd figure that part out later. I managed to get all the pieces and parts cut that day and also managed to burn my hand on the iron while I was at it. Gah. Strike one.

A couple days later, I started sewing them up. Somehow managed to put a needle in my fingernail during the process. Strike two. Then my sewing machine broke. Strike three. Somehow when using the buttonhole attachment to create the hole for the valve, the vibrations shook loose a screw in the gearbox of the machine. I didn't know that's what it was - I just knew the machine was broken. Bummer. Hubby took the machine to the repair shop and it was fixed the next day. $70 later, the machine is working again. In the meantime, I had replaced that machine with a backup machine of the same make / model and had been sewing more of the vests when the belt broke on it. Strike four. Oy. I hadn't picked up the original machine yet from the repairman, so I turned the crank by hand to finish the one vest I was working on at the time.

The next day I picked up the first machine and put it back in the table and got right back to work. I was determined to get these cursed vests done and out of my life. All was going well until the very last vest. I was putting in the rubber tubes (my solution to the lack of black rubber tubes? Clear vinyl tubes with black pipe cleaners inside of them!) and was cutting one down to size and misjudged my cut and managed to slice my knuckle open. Strike five. Ugh.

Anyway.... after all is said and done, the director is super-pleased with how they turned out. I am too, all things considered. There's definitely more I could've done, but seeing as how this is a volunteer project and the only thing I'm getting compensated for is the supplies, I wanted to cut my losses. No pun intended.

And now, the pics:

photo photo


The current project I'm working on is another commissioned piece. "Can you make a Muno costume?" I have no idea who or what Muno is, so I googled it and turns out it's a character from Yo Gabba Gabba. I've only seen snippets of the show, but I understand it's a pretty faboo show.

When I say yes to making the costume, I have no idea how I'm going to do it. It's a basic jumpsuit, to be sure, but it's bumpy and has an exaggerated headpiece. I've done three-dimensional characters before (a Pink Panther head, of all things!), so I didn't figure it would be too difficult - just time consuming.

I set out over the weekend to get it started and hopefully get it done. I worked most of Sunday afternoon and got the main body done (with the exception of hemming).


...and got the basic pieces of the head cut (after some basic drafting and trial muslins).

Last night I assembled the head and am super pleased at how it is coming along.

Miss P modeling the pre-stuffed head:
(All those rolls of paper behind the girl? Patterns. I definitely need to come up with a better storage system.)

And here's the stuffed / completed headpiece.

Tonight's project is to finish the hemming and make the feet. (Which is going to necessitate another trip to JoAnn's - grrrrrr....)


On the running front - still in training. I've been slacking too much there. Being sidelined with yet another sinus infection is killing the training. I think I should probably just start running while sick. Gah. It's so tough, though.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Another Costume and Happy(?) Birthday to me.

On the last episode of Sew N Sew Runs we discussed Miss P's latest obsession, Pocoyo.

Today finds us with yet another costume from the Pocoyo world, Pocoyo's best friend Elly. I hesitated to make this costume because I didn't want the girl to get over-obsessed with the characters to the point that I'd end up having to make Pato, Sleepybird, Lula or Fred. But alas, who can resist that adorable face? Not me, apparently. So Friday we (P and I) set out to make an Elly costume. Simple sleeper pattern with modified headpiece. The head took the longest - there was hand-sewing involved (and we know how much I *love* hand-sewing...).

Here's the resulting costume:

She's very happy, but not satisfied. Now she wants a Pato costume. Oy.


Monday saw me celebrating (hah) the 21st anniversary of my 21st birthday. Unfortunately I did NOT get carded. Oh well - can't have everything, right? Sparse year for gifts, though. :( I received (in no particular order): $120 from the in-laws (to buy a new jogging stroller), a Keurig coffee machine (from the hubby - which he'll get more use out of than I will), a framed pic of hubby and P, and a couple of cards. Miss P wrapped up one of her craft projects for me. That was cute. We had dinner at Big Eye Sushi - which actually was disappointing. I mean the company was great, but the food itself was disappointing. It was my idea to go there (as I've had sushi from there in the past that was amazing), and when all was said and done, I was sad that we didn't just go down to Sushi Katsu in the valley. Oh well - what do you expect from sushi in Ohio?

The best part of the birthday, however, was Facebook. Now what would you imagine the rate of return is on FB for birthday greetings? I would think, as with anything marketing related, a 10% return on investment is amazing. Somehow I managed a whopping 27% return! Can you imagine? I had 160+ well-wishes from my friends! The love in the room was amazing! Friends that I see every day, friends that I see once a year, and friends that I haven't seen in 25 years - warm fuzzy feelings abound!


No real other news to report. I'm running again, having issues with my knee. Hopefully I will be able to push through it for the RR Marathon. I only have to run 7.9 miles. Shouldn't be a problem. Hopefully! Anyone want to train with me? It's 5 weeks from Saturday. I can do that, right? I ran a half-mary for goodness sake! Oy.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Miss P has a new(ish) favorite cartoon: Pocoyo. One day I posted on FB that I had sewn a Pocoyo costume for P. Very shortly thereafter I received a request to make one for the son of a friend. Never one to turn down a paying gig, I made one the next day for him.

Miss P as Pocoyo:

Larson as Pocoyo:

I'm happy with how the costumes turned out. P and I made the faux-zipper pulls out of Fimo. First time I've ever used it and I really didn't know what I was doing, but I'm good with them. I think they look cute.


More pics of the girl in action:

Stay outta my kitchen!

Pics from a photoshoot:
021481-R1-15-16 021481-R1-14-15

Me & P at Meadow Brook Music Hall in Detroit:

At work with hubby at Meadow Brook Music Hall:
Hard at work

Random pic of me, proving that I'm just.not.there.yet.


On July 12th we took a road trip to Detroit to see Weird Al Yankovic in concert. On the way there, I ended up driving over a nail and punctured the tire. Not in a place where it could just be patched. Oh no, if I'm going to pop a tire, I do it right. We checked in to our hotel and when it was time to go to lunch, we went out and found the flat tire. Nursed the car to the gas station to fill it up, drove it out to the Goodyear joint in Rochester Hills and waited while they told me that they'd have to ORDER a tire. Stupid special tires. Oh well - good thing we were planning on staying the night anyway. So while they put the donut on the car, we went to lunch. Got the car back and proceeded to head back to the venue. I hung out with Bermuda while he worked on his kit and hubby and P went back to the hotel for a swim / nap. Had dinner, then went to the show. Seeing as how we had just been there four days prior for hubby's show, the crew at the venue knew my car. Well, that and the fact that I've been there so many times in the past few years that already knew me anyway! So yeah, rockstar parking! Anyway... here are some cool pics from the show:

Bermuda working on his kit before the show:

Polka Face!
Polka Face

Bermuda at work:

Al working the crowd:
Wanna Be Ur Luver

With the 501st Great Lakes Garrison during "The Saga Begins"
Saga Begins Saga Begins

Bermuda during "Yoda"

Technical difficulty-filled show, but a good show none the less. Al will be back out this fall. Check the tour dates to see when he'll be in your neck of the woods. I can't sell the show enough - it really is a good show.

After the show, P was super-stoked -- not only did Al sign her copy of "When I Grow Up", but his daughter Nina (to whom the book is dedicated) signed it to. According to Al, P now has the only copy with both of their signatures! Too cute.

(This pic isn't from this particular show - this one is from the show back in May. P was so cute - she waited in line to get her lanyard autographed and then when it was her turn, she showed Al a video of her singing "Pancreas". Too adorable)


Other than that, I'm back in training mode. I'll be running the 7.9 mile leg of the Road Runner Akron Marathon on September 24th. I'm lamenting the fact that I'm going to have to switch back into regular running shoes - I'm having issues with overpronating my left leg which is causing issues with my knee. Grrrrr... I really, really love my Vibrams. They're so comfy and I love the ground feel. I wonder if there's another minimalist shoe I can switch to and just put an orthotic in. Hrmm... Oh well. I'll figure something out.

Hope you and yours are having a wonderful summer!