Showing posts from 2012

Holiday Ball -- or party, depending on who you ask

The Holiday party was probably the most fun I've had with my friends in a while.  We made sure to take some pictures before everyone starting trickling away, but I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I expected to.

The bling necklace -- materials

This is a post about the materials/construction of the bling-y-est necklace that was every blinged.  To see all of them, follow the "Blingy Necklace" tag at the bottom of this post.
First, every chain mail necklace needs jump rings.  A lot of jump rings.  Close to 500 of them.  I am making them all by hand (ie, wrapping the wire around a dowel, cutting the coils).  I think I had 281 of them at the last count.

I bought four different kinds of chain.  Three of them are pictured here and the other is a ball chain, which came in a package and is not very interesting to photograph.  Unlike the chain you can get at a fabric store (or at least the chain that I got at the fabric store), these are actually metal -- I got them at OSH, which was one of the few times that OSH has worked better for me than Lowes.

The charms are triangles cut from sterling silver sheet metal.  I used a thicker gauge than I normally do when I make jewelry because I do not want these to bend.  I will textu…

Inspiration for the bling-y-est necklace that has ever been blinged

Whoa.  I haven't done a jewelry post in a while.
I think the last thing I posted about was my steampunk eyepatch?  I have since finished the eyepatch, but need to add or fix some little things, which will take some time as I get the supplies I need.

The next project I am tackling is either my "chain mail necklace" or my "bling necklace" or the "bling-y-est necklace that has ever been blinged," depending on how you see it.

The idea for this necklace effectively starting sometime last May.  I knew I wanted to do a collar necklace similar to the type that the Egyptians wore, but with more metal (cause I'm taking a metals class, not a beading class) and more stones.  My original idea was to have a couple of panels, each with a number of large stones set on them, connected by a chain mail jump rings -- kind of similar to the inlaid collar below but mixed with more chain mail.

And then I met the gals of Damsel in this Dress (and their Facebook and thei…

The Lady Mother's Pirate Costume

The Lady Mother is off on a cruise right now.  Right before she left I whipped up a pirate costume for her to wear on the cruise's "pirate night."  It was a combined effort on both of our parts to cut and sew the fabric in time for the cruise.  The Lady Mother did the cutting and some of the pinning and I did most of the sewing.  
The entire costume is straight from Butterick's B3906.  I've only ever done the dress for it before, as an underdress for my steampunk Irene Adler costume.  The entire costume was extremely easy to throw together.  I'm sure that someone working diligently could make the whole thing in just a few hours.
I had intended to tailor the vest to fit better because the vest looked huge once the Lady Mother  upscaled it to fit her, but after a few tries and fails, I gave up so she wore it without any tailoring.  It ended up fitting rather well around the body, but the shoulder straps did not stay up.  However, I looked at some reviews of th…
Cast silver, beads.

This was my first attempt at cuttlefish casting, which is really easy and I highly recommend.  It's relatively quick and it gives the piece a unique texture (that I tired to capitalize on).  The one downside is the smell.  Burnt fishbone smells gawd-awful.

I emphasized the texture by placing the pendant in a sulfur solution to darken it, then using a piece of steel wool to polish the raised bits.

I also made a clasp for this necklace, but it got corrupted when I put it in the pickle because some stupid idiot thought it would be a great idea to stick a penny in the pickle pot.  (A pickle pot is a heated pot, normally a crock pot, containing a slightly acidic solution that cleans a metal piece after it has been soldered by removing some of the flux and oxidation.  The first rule any one learns about using a pickle solution is to NEVER, under ANY circumstance, put something other than copper tongs and your piece in the pickle pot.  A pickle pot will strip the lay…

Jade cuff bracelet

Sterling silver wire, scalloped bezel, backplate.  Green and pink jade.
This bracelet is simple, but elegant.  I cut out shapes in the backplate after soldering the bezel on.  I like how it has a secret, that only the select few know about the hidden design.  It's really cool when you hold it up to the light.
You might recognize the sun from Tangled.  It's such a beautiful stylized sun.

Steampunk Eyepatch

Part of the steampunk eyepatch project.  Copper.  This is the piece that makes the eyepatch eyepatch-y, so it will go in front of the eye.

Please note that the lacy design is not my own.  I am terrible at drawing, so I found this design with a Google search.

Steampunk eyepatch

This is the concept sketch for a steampunk eyepatch.  I like to hold on to my original ideas so I can see what changes I make on the final piece.


The orange skirt is made from sheer fabric we have lying around the house.  I have no idea how we came to have so much of it.  Anyhoo, I cut two half circles and sewed them together (you can see how it makes a circle skirt).  Making a circle skirt is relatively easier than making a skirt with rectangular panels because you don't have to gather at the waist or deal with sewing many panels together.  Though I do have to say, I found this to be difficult because of the length of the bottom hem (the circumference of the larger circle) and also because, according to my sister, this fabric is very prone to ripping, so I was taking care to treat it gently.

Since the fabric is sheer, I made sure to get an underskirt at Goodwill.  I took this picture after I ironed it, and let me just say that ironing it made the biggest difference.  It doesn't even look like the same skirt anymore.

 Here's a pic from Comikaze of the skirt and underskirt with the overskirt and bag.


This started life as a long skirt from Goodwill.  It was too big for me around the waist, so I took it in by putting some darts in the back and adding a waistband.

I stuck some small tabs in the waistband so I can hang accessories (chains, ray guns, etc.).  These ones began as small strips of fabric around three or four inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide.  Fold a strip over like double fold bias tape so that there are no raw edges, starch, press, and sew down the open side.  Then, pin them to the skirt and sew over them when you add the waistband.  I pinned them in such a way that the two sides that make the loop were next to each other, but you could do it any number of ways.  Just be sure that the raw ends are tucked nicely into the waistband before you sew.  That way, the yucky ends are hidden and the tabs are secure!

I also created bustles by pleating the skirt along the side seam that already existed and sewing them down.

My grandmother has collected buttons from various projects…