28 April 2014

Why should I let the toad work squat on my life?

Update (12/14)It's time to do something I should have done a long, long time ago.

(Now isn't that dramatic.)

As you've probably noticed, since the untimely demise of my old camera last year this blog has drifted away from sewing into cartoon work and editorials. I mean, I'm not complaining, and neither, I think, are you. As the saying goes, you came for the sewing, you stayed for the...thoughtful opinions. And maybe the ridiculous doodles. And, quite possibly, for that drawing of Anthony Kiedis hiding behind a sewing machine.

But the thing is, Blogger's system isn't really a convenient way for me to post my drawings stuff, and the url of this blog stopped being a good match for me quite a while ago. From now on I'll be posting my doodles and drawings—as well as a whole lotta books and literature goodness—over at my new tumblr blog, Those are writing words! It's more of a personal blog (which means more rambling) and because of my other writing projects I think it'll take me a while to get it off the ground, readership-wise. But do check it out. There will be art.

(Actually there is art, already. Go on and click!)

And, just fyi, I'll be keeping this blog up and monitoring it if you want to keep using the tutorials, sending comments, or getting in touch. I just wanted to officially let you know that whatever I'm working on is being posted to a new space. Carry on!

Hello! I have a new drawing for you.

Regretful toad cartoon - What did I agree to? What have I done

And by “you” I mean those of you who like drawings and don't mind the absence of recent sewing project photos. What can I say? What explanation can I give for it? None that will satisfy, so here, have some updates instead.

  • I've been feeling busy and harried but—despite what the drawing above tells you—I am not seriously regretting any major life decisions. That picture was drawn out of the horrified certainty that I would one day embody the kind of life Philip Larkin writes about in "Toads" and "Toads Revisited", but thankfully the worry has passed. Also, if you take Larkin's word for it (I'm not sure I do), being a toad isn't so bad. (Yes, the title of this post is from "Toads". Go on, click the link.)
  • I have been doing a little sewing, some writing, have been preparing to move and have also been sick in very particular, painful ways, on and off, for about three months now.
  • Other than that, I'm looking forward to the summer. I have an evening writing class starting up in May, I'm moving soon, and I've got some appointments scheduled soon (again), and hope that will help with being sick.

Also, I'm super excited about the Textile Museum of Canada's sale at the end of May—I haven't bought any fabric since last summer because of fair-trade sourcing concerns, so I hope I get to find some really nice vintage and old fabric at the sale. I might even do a proper post/email letting sewing people know about it (or doing a meet-up type thing!) but there's still time for that.

There is so much time!

I think that picture should be my new signature. What can I say? I'm excited about the summer.

14 July 2013

Spool O'Thread

spool of thread drawing

I have this bad habit of storing needles by sticking them into spools of thread, instead of a needlebook.

hands and spool of  thread

As with a lot of my bad habits, I started it because I was lazy. Unlike a lot of my bad habits, I continued it...

drawing a needle sword

...because it means I get to pretend I'm unsheathing a sword (alternatively: pulling a sword from a stone) like, every time I go to hand sew something.

Of course, a sewing needle's a little small for me to wield as a pseudo-sword, not to mention that it rests in a spool of thread on the table instead of a sheath by my hip. It occurred to me, while drawing the above needle-unsheathing-scene, that there are far better—ahem—candidates, for wielding a needle-sword.

That is my only excuse for the following bit of ridiculousness.

spool of thread needle sword comic

what are you looking at

Not a very polite swords-spool, but I think that's all right.

04 July 2013

Everybody wants a magenta quilt.

Actually, what they (I) really want is for an imaginary magenta quilt to float behind them (me), impossibly large and strategically faded, while they (I) sew in mid-air. But that's not going to happen outside of their (my) daydreams.

This is all to say, I made another drawing:

sewing cartoon, anthony kiedis

Tiled background! Colours straight out of 2003! A sewist who looks like they're spinning tunes at the machine! All my favourite things are here, obviously.

Though sometimes I do wonder just how much my personal aesthetic has been shaped by listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers during most of high school.

(Also, I have a sudden, terrible suspicion that that is Anthony Kiedis--circa 2006--hiding behind the sewing machine. What have I done.)

That drawing was actually originally part of a quick sketch/comic I did earlier this week, but then I got all intense and started adding things like colour and hair and the magenta patchwork quilt. The sketch was pretty basic, went like this:

sewing cartoon

I was originally going to add a(n ironic!) caption like "Need for Speed" or "Fast and Furious", just for kicks, but I decided that the internet doesn't need any more of that kind of thing. Anyway, this blog has too much subtlety and class for trashy font overlays, right?


(Anthony Kiedis I see you there.)

29 May 2013

Camera-less blogging. Also, what's up with these in-seam pockets?

So, me-made-maybe ended up being almost entirely derailed by my abysmal camera skills—or, in other words, by me breaking my old, faithful Sony Cybershot. (Can you top that in terms of photography failures? No, no I don't think you can.)

I just really like this photo

It was also derailed, I'll admit, by the not-exactly-surprising discovery that I really dislike standing in front of a camera and/or posting photos of myself online (my facebook photo for three years has been an applique of a dancing fruit, no I'm not a crazy axe-murderer, I promise) ...but it was mostly the fault of the broken camera.

Now I'm stuck trying to blog without taking photographs, which is just a little disappointing because, with my last year of school finally out of the way, I've actually had time to work on things. Namely, a couple iterations of Simplicity's Amazing Fit 2339, one in linen (yay linen!) and one in a silky white fabric. You'll have to take my word for it that I've been sewing?

2339: Boo to having to rely on online images

(Neither of my versions had the front ruffles, by the way. Just thought I'd get that out there.)

Actually, though, as much as I like the fit of my 2339 blouse, I'm not sure I'm totally behind the Amazing Fit series. On the one hand, the designs are nice and not too simplified, they fill the "well-fitted staples" niche that I think the designers were going for, and the instructions include a few really neat construction tricks. On the other hand, though, there are some pretty weird design choices.

Case in point, the pockets on this jacket pattern:

Maybe you can't tell what I mean from this photo—I didn't notice, after all, until after I'd bought the pattern. Here's a closer view:

...Is it a pocket with a flap? No! ...Is it a pocket inside a seam? No! ...It's—a vertical inseam pocket RIGHT UNDERNEATH a fake-pocket flap!

All caps and exclamation marks are not at all my thing, by the way, so I hope you understand how flabbergasted (there is no other word for it) I was when I saw this. I'm fine with fake pocket flaps and I'm fine with inseam pockets, but together? I just don't understand.

Maybe the pocket flaps are there to mess with the heads of the people around you when you're in public—people who will, after all, be surreptitiously watching you because of your classy jacket.

They watch as you lean casually against a fence or a wall, relaxing in your sweet blazer...

...They watch as, after a while, you decide to raise the cool factor and put your hands in your blazer pockets...

...They watch as you lift the pocket flaps, they watch as you start to slip your hands into the welt pocket under the flap ... They watch as—WAIT ...

...You slip your hands into inseam pockets instead!

Ain't no welt pockets here.


PS: On a completely unrelated note, the me-made garment in my last post was the brown/tan jacket. Thanks to those who guessed here and on flickr!

03 May 2013

Me-Made-Maybe Round 2

First of all, thank you to those who made deductions in Round 1 of Me-Made-Maybe, here and in the Flickr group! I had a really fun time seeing your guesses. And maybe now you're wondering about the puzzle: did you guys get it right? Which one was the self-made item?

The Big Reveal: It was...the grey shirt! Collared, cuffed, made in linen and worn open, it's actually a favourite of mine. The bright floral top was a bit of a red herring, I'll admit, but it's so nice I kind of wish I'd made it.

Round Two
Again, anything's game except for my shoes, my glasses, and any clothing that you can't see at all. Before you start, though, I've added a clue to this round, if you'd like to use it. Just click on the word "CLUE" below, and the clue-card will reveal itself.

CLUE (go on and click!)

And here is the outfit photo:
That's a playground, yes.

Go ahead and guess—and please let me know how you found the "clue"!

PS: There's only one outfit photo this time because, well, it was really windy out and I wasn't using the mini-tripod, so...my camera fell twice and the second time, the lens got stuck. (Yeah. Self-photos are not working out for me too well—but at least I have a whole month to get better at them, haha.)

The camera's 6 years old—it was my first "big" purchase in high school—and I'm sentimental about it so I'm going to muck around and try to get it working.

In the mean time, though, here's a photo to cheer you (and/or me) up:

It's from the first time my camera fell (I don't know why I didn't just stop shooting at this point). The timer went off just after it landed on the ground and I came over to look. Doesn't it look like those scenes in movies, when the camera takes the point of view of someone who's just fainted, and then blinks up at the crowd around them? This is what my camera woke up to, post-faint.