Month: March 2014

troublemaker shoes for a troublemakin’ lady

Two things have already been established on this blog: I am currently studying my little buns off for a big exam, and I also really like drawing on shoes.  Both of these factor heavily into the story that I’m about to tell y’all.


I purchased a not inexpensive subscription to a very popular question bank to help me prepare for the big exam. This question bank is so good, so popular, and also costs so much moolah that the company is veeeeeeery invested in making sure medical students don’t rip them off by copying all the questions and distributing them amongst ourselves.  So, if you use any sort of copy-paste functions, or screen capture software, or sometimes just random other applications while a test is active, the question bank just goes AWOOGA and shuts down and your name gets put on the bad books somewhere.  Very understandable, non?  ANYWAY. The other night, I was in the middle of a very stimulating set of questions on the musculoskeletal system when I minimized the test to go use the restroom. Upon returning, I completely forgot that I had an active test running, and started putzin’ around on the magical Internets.  I somehow almost immediately ended up on the Vogue website, looking at a photospread of cats posing with fancy, expensive and hideously fashionable shoes (I know. Don’t ask). And then I saw one pair of magnificent Mary Janes with cats on them.

Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 9.02.22 PM

I loved them. I had to have them. Except not, because they cost more than I spend on rent and groceries combined in a month.  So of course, that means I had to make them.  And what did I do to preserve my memory of these magical shoes, for crafting at a later date?  I took a screenshot. (We pause for a moment of realization of my foolishness.) Of course, my QBank immediately went into Defcon Zero Threat Level Midnight Mode and sent me a very polite popup informing me that my exam was terminated and a recording of my user ID and aberrant behavior had been sent to the company.  Ruh roh?  Being a high strung medical student basically means that I am guaranteed to overreact to any trigger and naturally, I became convinced that I was in Big Trouble for taking this one silly screenshot. So then I sent a very apologetic email in which I also attached the screenshot that caused all the trouble, figuring that an open admission of complete idiocy and frivolousness would be enough to absolve me.  And you know what? It did. Granted, my email and the picture of the shoes are probably hanging on a wall of shame in the UWorld office somewhere (at least it wasn’t a screenshot of parasites falling out of people’s butts (whichItotallydonothavesavedonmyharddrivenopenoway)), but that’s a price I’m willing to pay.  Having no dignity and an unabashed love for cats does pay off (sometimes).


we attempted to take a photo like the vogue shot, but (unsurprisingly) ceecee was not very obliging.

Once I knew I was not going to end up in medical student jail (like, jail beyond the metaphorical jail that is being in medical school, yuk yuk), this was just a quickie project – sharpie on a pair of canvas sneakers I had already.  Safe to say I’ve learned my lesson and now I have the shoes to remind me.


one more cat photo. the end!


spring sprang sprung

Except not, because I woke up to SNOW this morning.  That’s not going to keep me down – I made some cupcakes today to spread the springtime love (and mostly just make a desperate appeal to Mother Nature to finally warm the F up).  They’re carrot cake with caramel frosting, from the Betty Crocker Big Book of Cupcakes.


I was not too big of a fan of the caramel frosting, but David just came home from work and promptly devoured three cupcakes.  Success.

the mad scientist at rest.

I’m at a weird point in school where I no longer have class or homework, yet I’m working harder than I have in the past year and a half.  Why? It’s boards time!  By all accounts of med student peer pressure, I should be studying 12 hours a day and freaking out about my future, yet here I am talking to you about a sewing project I finished the other day.  Two worlds. I is straddling them.

_MG_7307 So anyway. Yes, this is a bathrobe. And yes, that is mad scientist print flannel.  My old bathrobe was just that – old.  I think there used to be a photo on our fridge of my mom wearing said bathrobe, and that was taken before I was born.  (Coincidentally, she made that one herself!)  I love it and use it all the time, but it’s a bit…short.  I could not take the cat litter to the trash chute in the morning without fear of someone seeing the underside of my tush. Not desirable- it was time to trade up and get weird. This bad boy is sufficiently long – and sufficiently science-nerdy – for me to spend all my mornings until the exam wearing it while I study.


I used McCall’s M5248, which was a really simple pattern.  This was a fairly quick and very easy project without any major snafus.  Even though it’s not the slightest bit fancy, I took it as an opportunity to practice my fancy techniques, and French seamed pretty much the whole thing (aaaand my topstitching turned out to be not-very-crooked!). Get back with my bad self.  And speaking of getting back… it’s time to get back to work.

sewing like a mad woman

Behold!  The fruits of my procrastinatory labors.


currently #1 on my shitlist? our camera’s self timer.

This dress was a long time coming.  Once upon a time while perusing sewing blogs on the internet years ago, I saw a brief mention and screencap of one of Peggy’s dresses from Mad Men.  I immediately became obsessed with the idea of the blue dress with the red pleats tucked in and sort of hidden away.  When I gained more confidence with my sewing (and also bought Simplicity 1873) I realized that hey – I could maybe actually make that myself.


This was yet another project where I went to bed one night thinking everything was hunky-dory and then woke up the next morning with my first thought being “oh god I have made a terrible mistake.”  I cut out the fabric for the bodice at 2 AM (dumb) and of course cut out the wrong bodice for the dress view (dumb dumb) I wanted to sew (pretty sure I’ve done this before and I just haven’t learned my lesson). In order to have enough for the skirt, I couldn’t re-cut the bodice so my dreams of a faithful replication of Peggy’s dress were out the window before I even really got started on the project. Womp. This turned out to be okay because the amount of fabric I had left for the skirt was not long enough to make it 1950’s appropriate. Double womp.


quality assurance cat

I cut a circle skirt out of the navy and then sliced out some chunks to make the red pleats.  While we’re on the topic of the circle skirt, I have to say that I had my fair share of screwups with that part too.  Embarrassingly, I went to a state-funded high school specially geared for the maths and sciences.  Obviously the whole science thing worked out with me in medical school, but I frequently feel ashamed that taxpayer dollars funded my education in mathematics, which I apparently squandered to the extent that I do not know enough geometry to plan a circle skirt.  Oops.  Anyway, I eventually got it figured out enough to piece the thing together. I  am not exactly pleased with the spacing and location of the pleats (I wish they were closer to the center), but I don’t think I’d be able to make it better so that’s that. The inside of the skirt is finished with French seams – not because I’m fancy, but because this awful fabric is just determined to fray.


Highly conveniently, I sewed about half this thing before I started following Julia Bobbin and realized she had a Mad Men sewing challenge going on right this second.


Sewing bloopers aside, I still finished this in time to wear it to the premiere party for a show David worked on – Chicagoland!  It’s on CNN starting 6 March at 9p central time. WATCH IT. It’s so good (and I’m not just saying that because I like him).