Month: October 2013

i am that person part two: a TARDIS costume for my cat

One of the truest joys of cat ownership is occasionally dressing your cat up in excellent/silly outfits.  That joy is even more pure when you personally created said excellent/silly outfit.  By this point, my current sky-high level of happiness should be understandable: behold CeeCee’s handmade (by me, not her, that would be freaking incredible and we would definitely be making the daytime talk show circuit at this point) Halloween costume.  She is a TARDIS, although her personality is infinitely more suited to that of a Dalek (maybe next year, CeeCee – I know you can’t wait).

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This was both simple and cheap – important things considering that cats are otherwise naked approximately 364 days out of the year, and would probably prefer to be naked for all 365.  I made the cape-let out of felt and puff paint, and then used felt straps with velcro to attach it to her cat harness, which we already owned (yes, we are leash training our cat).

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If I never post again, feel free to assume that it’s because CeeCee murdered me in my sleep.

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medusa – another cos(ssss)tume

Now that you’ve seen David’s getup for this year, it’s time for my costume!  After a very exhausting and emotionally damaging Halloween 21 years ago when I was Percy the train from Thomas the Tank Engine (the costume, while awesome, prevented me from climbing any steps while trick or treating and my dad got sick of hauling me up to the top of every front porch in the neighborhood so we stopped early resulting in an abysmally small candy haul), I foreswore all elaborate, uncomfortable and heavily structured halloween costumes. That’s my excuse for being kinda lazy every year.  And medical school. Also always a good excuse. ANYWAY.  This year, I was Medusa!

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I painted some dollar store snakes silver, cut them in half and glued them to a headband.  For the mask, I used a variation on this DIY to make a masquerade mask using puffy paint and tulle.  This costume, like too many of the other things I do, was totally last minute – I was standing over the mask with a hair dryer until 10 minutes before we had to leave. Consequently, the paint job makes me cringe, but meh, good enough.

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fine fresh fierce – katy perry halloween costume DIY

This is probably my least unisex and most sexy costume I’ve ever made, all in one go.  A few weeks before Halloween last year, I was chatting with a friend about Halloween plans and costumes.  She casually mentioned that she would like to be Katy Perry one night, and I immediately got super excited at all the crafting and costuming possibilities (specifically from the awesome music video California Gurls).  I didn’t really give her a chance to refuse my offer to make a costume, and then off I went.

Did you know that the Internet is chock full of Katy Perry costume instructables? From the quick and dirty (“dirty” being taken to all sorts of figurative interpretations) to the people who spend over $100 making artificial cupcake breasts, videos and DIYs abound.  I actually used one of those excellent sets of instructions for part of the cupcake bra, but I modified it and I thought I’d share how.

In the end, I settled on making the cupcakes out of newspaper/papier-mache because it seemed to be the best combination of verisimilitude and and cheapness.  The instructions I used are from a blog that is now defunct, but they were super helpful. I wish I could post the link here though. ):  Anyway! I used the newspaper papier-mache instructions to create the frosting tops, but then I also created some cupcake body using the same technique (rolling newspaper, dipping in glue, curving to fit proper shape).

I connected the top and body with some heavy duty glue (o how I love thee, E-6000), painted everything, added some bangin’ sprinkles and some pom-pom cherries, glued the suckers onto a bra, and that was it!

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Because I value the privacy of the boobs of the person for whom I made this costume, y’all will get a photo of the finished product as modeled by me. At 1 AM. To my Macbook. The night before an exam. Over my pajamas. With my boyfriend playing video games in the background.  I know, I know – this is the only way the world could handle my blistering sexiness.

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Cupcake boob triumph!  I’ll get back to y’all when I figure out how to engineer the whipped cream bra.

avocadoism

Even before I met David, he was very good at coming up with strange, excellent Halloween costumes.  Then he started dating someone who sews (me), and thus the excellent partnership of bizarre ideas and mediocre sewing talents was born.  He’s been Prince (seriously, the resemblance is uncanny and I feel like I unknowingly sold my soul to the devil when I discovered that jacket in a thrift store),

13939_1172221702466_2068911_nhe’s been a squirrel (twice, actually, but the second iteration was much more convincing),

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We started with a chunk of cardboard, cut it into an avocado shape and painted. David’s head would be the pit. Being epic procrastinators about basically everything, the back of the costume was a little lacking. I should have started ages ago and done a proper papier-mache back, but we ran out of time and ended up gluing green fleece to the back. David’s giant melon rounded out the back of the avocado quite nicely, and the fleece was a nice toasty touch on a very cold night.

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After going out last night, I can say that the costume was an unexpected hit. Everywhere we went we heard a trailing chorus of “avocado?” “AVOCADO!!”  Someone (a stranger) even ran up to David, declared that she loved guacamole, and then bit him right on the chest. I guess everyone loves avocados.

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skirting the issue

There is no issue. I just like puns.

Actually, that’s a lie. The issue is that I don’t have enough professional clothes to meet my growing need.  I do have one skirt, but there is nothing professional about reaching up your skirt in public to pull the lining down from where it has come to rest in a bunch around your butt cheeks. I figured it was time to make a skirt that I could wear that would, you know, actually fit without any major wardrobe malfunctions.

Instead of going the pencil skirt route, I decided to go for lots of luxurious pleats a la Simplicity 1873. Actually, exactly a la Simplicity 1873 – I used the pattern for the skirt pieces and just added a waistband. I did have some troubles when it finally came to sewing the waistband down on the wrong side of the dress.  I have a very standard sewing machine, with very standard needles, and this skirt brought them to (and past) the limits of which they were capable.  There were just so many thick pleats on pleats on pleats, and then adding four layers of waistband fabric to sew through created quite a workout for my poor needles. I first had to change one after it became impossibly dull, promptly broke a second needle immediately after inserting it (whoops), and then finally made it across the waist with bated breath on the third try. Ugh. Lesson learned.

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Needle mutilation aside, I am very happy with how it turned out, and just in time for me to wear to school today!  As shown below, it’s quite twirly (not that I’ll be doing any twirling in the hospital).  Not shown below: the photo David snapped immediately afterward, in which I accidentally twirled right into the door.

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i am that person: birthday celebrations for my cat

I know, I know.  Sorry world.  I promise that, in the distant future when I start to rear actual human offspring, I will be nowhere near as disgustingly obsessed with said children than I am with my cat.  All apologies aside, CeeCee turned two the other day (approximately – I’m not 100% sure of her actual birthday, but it’s October 11 +/- a day) and of course I wanted to celebrate our awesome cat’s existence just a teensy tiny bit.

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This hat was 100% inspired by the genius that is Adam Ellis’s Tiny Hats for Cats. If you haven’t seen it, check it out (then go rush to make your own feline millinery).

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CeeCee was not super chuffed about the birthday hat but she did enjoy the extra yummies and ear scratches.  Being indulgent cat parents, we also bought her a present – a crinkly kitty tunnel!  She was very interested immediately and has already figured out that she can scare the daylights out of me when she lunges out of it.  All in all, birthday success.

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oh what a weekend

Weekends are a strange thing in medical school. Many weekends I spend working way more than I’d like, and other weekends I spend working way less than I should. But only very rarely do I have a weekend with absolutely nothing academic to do – and this past weekend was one just like that.  Hallelujah!  (Sorry in advance for all the iPhone photos, our camera is out on loan this weekend.)

Of course, I took this time to catch up on so many projects!  Remember my attack of the WIPs post from last Wednesday?  I finished all the projects featured in that photo – WIPs no more!  After putting the finishing touches on (or knitting entirely) four gifts for other people, I felt the urge to be just a teensy bit selfish, so I might have also knitted a cabled headband for myself with some stash yarn.IMG_0307 IMG_0311

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After a long quest to the enormous and magical fabric store in Pilsen earlier this week, I was also ready to dive back into sewing.  For myself, I’m working on a poly poplin pleated (just got really excited about that alliteration) skirt in black.  The pattern is the skirt from Simplicity 1873 with an added waistband. I just love the fullness of the pleats and how twirly the skirt feels (however, I’m making this for “professional” med school attire, so I don’t think that I’ll be doing much twirling when I wear it to school).  Sorry for the primitive-ness of the photo, but this thing still doesn’t even have a zipper yet.

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I also helped my awesome friend and upperclassman big sib Phoebe make a Sorbetto top out of some awesome partridge-patterned wax print fabric (her blog, while it features much less sewing/knitting, is infinitely more awesome largely because of all the donuts she posts on there).

Phew. Sorry this was so long-winded (I wasn’t kidding about having a busy weekend). Now, off to more sewing and some delicious sesame balls!