Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Second floor is mine!"

Holy crap!  Remind me NEVER to make a Mimi G pattern ever again.  This process was so painful, but I now finally have the end scene Holtzmann jumpsuit.  This is the scene when they finally get the firehouse.  There are tons of photos from this scene out there but for your pleasure:

So this is the pattern I used.  It's Simplicity 8060 but it's not at all easy:

For starters there are 9 billion pattern pieces and there are lots of complex finishing touches that I normally don't have to do when I sew.  Additionally, the fly is really really complex, and I'm almost certain I didn't do it right.

Anyway, here's mine:

(Please note that I don't have a cool Holtzmann belt, but I do have a cool X-Men belt.  I'm sure Holtzy would approve.)

Now no way is this perfect, but I'm wearing a smirk of satisfaction on my face because I literally cried while making this.  It was massively difficult and quite possibly beyond my ability level.  (You'll notice I'm surrounded by boxes because I'm moving in like 3 days.  Therefore, I had to give this pattern my all so I could finish it before moving.)  Now I know the picture makes the fabric look brown but it's actually an army green color.

It really photographs weird.  It's also pretty delicate and really slippery fabric adding to the difficulty I faced while constructing this.

I made a few changes to the pattern.  First, I made the sleeves long sleeves so they could be rolled.  I also did away with the drawstring waist and attached the top directly to the pants.

I'm so glad this is done.  It was an absolute nightmare to put together.  Next time I see you, I'll be sewing from my new sewing room!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Burda 6817...

Hi, I made a pair of pants last night!  It's another for the Burda adventures.  Holy cow, I cut this pattern bigger than last time because the last pair of pants made with this pattern (not pictured on the blog) are a little too tight.  Now this pair was too big and had to be adjusted.  I seriously do not get Burda patterns man (or maybe I just don't get fabric man).

Just like before Burda 6817:

Here are the pants:

I swear I ironed these twice, and they're still wrinkly.  Sheesh.  Just like before so easy to assemble, no problems in construction.  I'm pretty happy with the way these turned out.

Here's a close up of the fabric:

Tiny dots!

Now while these aren't an official Holtzmann costume, I really think this is something she'd wear.  Don't you?

That's all for today!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

"You try saying no to these salty parabolas" Part 1...

Just a quick hello from Holtz Center here in Japan.

Forthcoming will be the entire Salty Parabolas outfit.  I currently need the overalls for my Halloween costume (which is unfortunately not Holtzmann).

Meanwhile, take a gander at the crop top I "made". 

Made is in quotes because I kind of made it in just 4 easy steps. 
  1. First, I bought a forest green shirt from eBay.
  2. Second, I cut out the neck as is the Holtzmann way.
  3. Third, I hacked off the bottom of the shirt.
  4. Finally, I hemmed it so it wouldn't roll.
That's it!  Half of the Salty Parabolas outfit is done.  Stay tuned for the overalls following Halloween.

"Second floor is mine" Sneak Preview...

About halfway done with this but couldn't help snapping a sneak preview pic for ya.

This has been an absolute nightmare to construct.  Full details to follow.

Monday, September 5, 2016

"Rhythm of the Night" Part 1...

Perhaps you remember this iconic scene when Holtzmann dances to DeBarge's Rhythm of the Night even though Abby didn't mean to "DeBarge in".

If not, look at this GIF.  Look at it for a long time.  It's okay.  I'll wait.

Finished?  Need more time?  Take all the time you need.

Okay, when you're back to reading, I made some pants I'd like to share with you.  To get Holtzmann's wide leg high waist vintage look, I went to Burda.

I used this pattern (Burda 6817):

Once I figured out what size to cut, assembling this was no problem.  (However, I cut another pair of pants out using a dramatically different fabric and they didn't fit, so I clearly do not understand Burda patterns.)

They turned out pretty good (the zipper bunches a little but that could be my inexperience as a seamstress).  (Uh...about those Spanx I still need...)

Now these shoes are outfit correct.  I bought mine on eBay.  Make sure you get brown and white as those are screen accurate.

That's all for today.  Stay tuned for "Rhythm of the Night" Parts 2 & 3!

Monday, August 29, 2016

"Abby, come and get your sandwich, come and get your sandwich please" Part 2...

Oh we've been busy around here.  Unfortunately, not busy making Holtzmann clothes.  The other kind of busy. 

On a side note, I'm so glad I can sew.  It lets me geek out to levels not everyone can reach.

Perhaps you remember Part 1 of this series.  If not, you can reread here.

All caught up?  The Holtzmann Abby's Possession outfit is done and done.  I'm so happy with this outfit.  I'm also rather impressed with my skills (just don't look at the inside of the garments).

For Holtzy's vest I used New Look 6914:

You can use any pattern but, if you use this one, make A because the other ones are shorty vests.  This pattern was pretty easy to make, no problems with construction.

I used some silver buttons because I'm cool like that but holy hell 6 buttonholes!  I almost had a heart attack.  (Buttonholes are probably my least favorite thing to sew).  I think this vest looks fantastic!  It might be too early to say but so far this is my favorite Holtzmann outfit.

Now if you scrutinize the YouTube videos like I did, you'll find that the vest is actually a different color (and possibly a silky texture) gray in the back, so of course, my vest is almost the same.

Also, Holtzmann's vest has a back buckle belt.  You're in luck because this pattern does too, therefore, so does mine.

This is the best picture I could get:

(Her shirt looks green there.)  My vest back isn't silky like hers though.  I used just a basic gray suiting for the back.  You can see the back buckle when they fall to the ground after Patty hoists Holtzmann through the window.

Here's the whole finished product:

What a difference a clean mirror makes!  I'm standing on a towel because you don't wear shoes indoors in Japan...ever.  You might be interested to note these are not the shoes that she wears with this outfit (those shoes are currently in the US).  The shoes I'm wearing in this photo go with the "Rhythm of the Night" outfit.  I think I must have had some bloat going on when I first made the pants.  For some reason they fit better now.  I still don't have the right shirt to go with this outfit.  Is it like a turquoise color or green?  See that picture above really confused me.  I guess I'll just have to go see the movie again.  ;)

Holtzmann has a couple more vests in the movie, so this would make a good pattern for those as well.

That's all for today!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"Abby, come and get your sandwich, come and get your sandwich please" Part 1...


I've had a busy day making pants over here.

First, I made my first ever Steampunk pants!  Here:

I feel like these are something Holtzmann would buy if she happened upon them while thrifting.  I don't know how I feel about these on me.  Are they weird?

Here's the pattern I used:

And since I'm lazy (you know that) I cheated on the cuffs, but on further analysis of the pattern I probably shouldn't have because all those bells and whistles. are what make the pants pleat in the back and make them hug tight to the calf.  Oh well.  Also, I was thinking that since this pattern is still in print, you could use it to make Holtzmann's jodhpurs.

Second, I really love Holtzy's menswear style in Abby's Possession scene.  It's pretty grainy, but here's a behind the scenes pic of what I'm referring to:

Careful scrutinization (after I already made the pants) show that hers are most likely straight leg and not wide leg like the ones I made.  What a ding-a-ling.  Also, her pants have pockets, mine do not.  (And if someone wants to send me some Spanx that'd be great.)

Be kind to me, I don't have the blue shirt (because I haven't found the right shade of blue yet) that appears in this scene but I did my best with what I have:

This is the pattern I used:

If you're going for screen accuracy, I'd recommend making C instead of D or finding a pants pattern with pockets.  Now it's entirely possible to make mine into straight leg pants, but I don't think I could bring myself to do it seeing that they turned out so damn well.  I'm pretty proud of them actually and I don't say that often about things I sew.  However, there are a couple places where the fabric has pulled and might end up with a hole, so maybe there's a future for straight leg pants after all.  I think Holtzmann would probably wear these because we all know she's a fan of the wide leg vintage style.  (On a interesting side note: Holtzmann is not wearing any of her signature glasses in this scene.  Probably because she was just out getting sandwiches and/or she's about to be thrown out the window.)

The fabric is an English wool (blend?) which I stumbled upon at a discount store in the fabric district here.  There were only 2.5 yards of it and it cost me about $2, so these pants cost me about $4 to make.  Can't buy that anywhere (just like I can't buy pants in my size here).

Anyway, my plan was the make the possession scene outfit (meaning pants and vest).  I'm calling the pants made (even though they are not screen accurate because I don't have any more of that fabric, and I'd prefer not to start from scratch.  Stayed tuned for "Abby, come and get your sandwich, come and get your sandwich please" Part 2 in which I showcase the vest.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

You just got Holtzmann'd baby!

Didn't everyone?  I mean women anyway.  If you're in the dark here, I'm talking about the new Ghostbusters, and the eye candy that's not Chris Hemsworth's Kevin but that is Kate McKinnon's killer Holtzmann.  And I mean killer.  Lesbians and bisexuals fell hard for brilliant engineer and all around wacky Dr. Jillian Holtzmann, and if you do a general internet search you'll find that straight women are claiming they'd "go gay" for Holtzmann.  Now on a soapboxy note I don't think anyone can "go gay".  Either you were to begin with or you're just saying that and you'd chicken out when it comes to the deed.  (You know what I mean here.)  But that's a rant for another time and place.

Anyway, I'm at the point where I'm just gonna copy her entire wardrobe and only buy things that are Holtzmann-esque from now until forever.  I'm not kidding.  You should see the stack of Holtzmann patterns I've got ready to go.  You should know that this is not a new thing for me.  I've been dressing like movie (and later TV characters) since high school when I used to dress like Ted from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

First of all it's worth noting that if I had a cosplay blog it'd be called The Lazy Cosplayer because even though I'm all about accuracy, I'm more about achieving said accuracy via the least amount of work possible.

With that this lazy cosplayer brings you Holtzmann's jodhpurs.  These appear in the hearse scene and  in the credits.

Here's some reference pics:

So there they are.  Fortunately today I was really lucky and I found two knits that matched these colors pretty damn closely and to top it all off, they were $1 a yard.  Not kidding.  It was my lucky day.  I say knits because I used this pattern:

(Remember Lazy Cosplayer.)  A side note about this pattern.  I made style B in 2011.  You can check them out here.  Basically for the last 5 years they've been one of my favorite pairs of pants.  I can see this happening with Holtzmann's jodhpurs as well.

Anyway, here's the finished product:

Please note that the brown patches are pretty close to even (they just don't look that way because of how I'm standing).  Technically they are not patches but a brown semi-textured knit fabric (which surprisingly looks a bit like leather.)  I'm not an expert here but I would recommend using two knit fabrics because of the way knits need to be sewn together (stretching and all that jazz).

Now, in case there are those out there who'd like to make a pair like these I'll briefly run down how I altered the pattern to make what you see above.
  1. Cut out pattern back and front as per usual.
  2. Casing was cut double in size to make these more high waisted (as is the Holtzmann style).
  3. I cut out the cuffs but decided after watching this scene on YouTube 150 times that cuffs were not needed, so to save you time and effort, you don't need to cut out the cuffs.
  4. Don't sew anything yet.
  5. Use the front pattern piece to line up and cut the inner edge of the brown patches.  I just eyeballed the outer curved edge.  Sew the brown patches on before assembling the rest of the pattern.
  6. Assemble pattern following directions omitting cuffs and just hemming the legs.
That's it!  The only thing that was really time consuming was sewing on the brown knit patches.  I'm so happy with the way these turned out!

I've definitely been Holtzmann'd.

Friday, August 5, 2016

The things that were and those that weren't...

I had designs for some of these patterns and what came to be was not often what I had planned when I pulled out the pattern envelope, but sewing often works that way.  I'm going on vacation next week and in a crunch to get everything done before then, I knocked out 4 pieces.

First is McCall's 7152.  Here's the pattern:

Now it says you can make this with knit, so I did, because knits are awesome.  Maybe that wasn't the best idea because whilst making buttonholes, my machine decided to hate me and refused to sew more than half the buttonhole and ended up ripping the knit.  I swear to everything knit rips if you even look at it wrong, so I cried about it and after attempted to save the dress by just attaching the shoulder, but I had to cut off the ripped part making it shorter than it should be.  In the end, I am not super impressed with it.  I mean it's wearable but not great.  I also sewed on some decorated buttons to distract from the mess that it is.  Oh well, at least the fabric is cute.

Next is McCall's 6083.  Here's the pattern:

Now my intention was to make the jumper with sleeves (the green one), but I just got a new tattoo on my back so why hide it?  Before cutting, I decided to make the sleeveless jumpsuit with the neck strap from the white one added to it since it ties in halter style.  I am super happy with how this turned out.  Especially since it has pockets.  Pockets!  Easy to sew pockets!  I will definitely make this one again, and I'd like to make the white one next time.

Apparently it was McCall's week.  Next is McCall's 6559:

I made F but I don't like maxi dresses, so I figured I'd just not attach the bottom piece, and then I'd have an asymmetrical hem.  Well, that part turned out okay but the dress sits weird in a couple places (like the middle).  Also, I wanted to attach the star but at that point I was afraid of screwing up any more things so I just left it off.

Anyway, I dunno?  Maybe after it's washed it'll relax a little bit.  Right now it's not my favorite thing.

Finally, I finished the last piece this morning a mere two days before vacation.  Close call!  This is New Look 6291:

Now when I shopped for fabric I had decided to make B, the shorts jumper.  However, I realized before I cut it out that it was almost identical to the blue McCall's jumper I had just made, so because I bought extra fabric, I decided to make D (the dress with the sort of tulip skirt).  I had bought the ribbon for making B, and since it matched so well, I decided to use it for the belt and for a neck strap like in A.  I really love how it turned out!  Even though the hem on the skirt was really hard, it ended up looking great once it was pressed!  I will definitely make this pattern again.

There you have the summer wear.  I'll be looking lovely and stylish in Okinawa next week!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Simplicity 8089...

Okay one more and I'm done for the day.  I've got other things to do!

First this is the pattern.  It's Simplicity 8089:

This pattern comes in XXS - XXL sizes all in one envelope.  BIG DISLIKE.  Because the individual sizes are cut for multiple measurements, these tend to not fit me well.  Last time I made one, it was too big.  This time to try to remedy that I cut in between two sizes and then just ignored that I did that and sewed the biggest inseam possible.

This is the fabric I used:

It's a supercute mint knit.

Here's the top:

While the sleeves fit fine, the bottom half of the top seemed a bit big. (But maybe that's the dolman style?) Regardless, I like it and am not gonna alter it.  Really, that's all for today!

McCall's 7313...

Hello!  It's not quite vacation yet.  I still have one more day of work.  However, I didn't have to work today so I made a dress!

McCall's 7313 is a Learn to Sew pattern.  Obviously, I know how to sew because I have a sewing blog duh.  However, I love these beginner sewing patterns because they are super fast and easy.

Here's the fabric I used:

Super cute right?  Even though it doesn't photograph well.  It's a dark pink animal print knit that I bought from Joann's last Christmas specifically for this pattern.

Here's the dress:

I made C with the shorter A/B skirt.  I love the way it turned out!  Plus, I knocked it out in less than 2 hours.  (Extra time for fixing the neck and hem.)  Even though this was thin I didn't put any holes in it.  I'll definitely make this pattern again!  That's all for now.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Great Shorts Project 2016 Part III...

Alas, the Great Shorts Project comes to a close.  Unfortunately, one of the fabric scraps wasn't big enough for another pair, so I ended up with only this adorable pink pair.

The waist shot didn't photograph very well, but these ended up high waisted too.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the Great Shorts Project 2016.  I'll be back this summer with more clothes as I'm currently drowning in knits (not like that's a bad thing).  See you soon!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Great Shorts Project 2016 Part II...

Hello!  I made some more shorts!  I'm almost out of scrap fabric.  Just two more kinds left.  We'll see if they're big enough to squeeze two more pairs of shorts out of.  I hope so because one fabric is pink.  I heart pink.

Today I made these:

These are the shortest because the fabric was a little uneven toward the bottom.  Also, I am not a fan of that waist.  I ran out of the denim looking fabric, but I figure no one will see it anyway.  I feel a little self conscious wearing these, but this is Japan, and I've seen much shorter.

Next, I made these:

Another high waisted pair, these ended up being bigger than I wanted them to be.  I figure I can just wear these to the buffet.  ;)

Possibly two more pairs of shorts, and I will definitely be surviving summer in Japan.

Stay tuned because I'm almost on summer vacation, so I can sew for fun because I'll have no responsibilities!

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Great Shorts Project 2016...

Hey!  I don"t have much time to sew these days because I've been so busy.  However, summer is here and it's hot!

Recently, I realized that I have like two pairs of shorts.  Unacceptable!  However, it's damn near impossible for me to buy shorts here (especially since I gained a little weight that I'm slowly working off after being injured last year).

Over Christmas, I bought this pattern:

This is a vintage Simplicity 9487.  I bought it for the knit top (because you know I love the knits).

Well, this is the only shorts pattern I have in Japan.  About a week ago, I dug through the box of fabric scraps I had.  Some of the fabric was from stuff that doesn't even exist in Japan (as in stuff I made in America that's either gone or still there).  So with the fabric scraps and this pattern I set to work.  Now this pattern has the shorts pleated (nope) and a zipper (nope).  I scrapped the pleats and zipper and just added an elastic waist.  I'm all for simplicity man.

So far here's what I've done (forgive the crappy pics as it's really hard to photograph shorts apparently):




 (Though #2 and #3 look the same, #2 is knit and #3 is a shiny cotton perhaps sateen?)


#4 actually looks the most like the pattern shorts.  They ended up super high waisted.  I ain't mad at that.  They're actually cute.

Hold on kids!  I'm not done.  I still have 4 more different fabric scraps.  We'll see if they are big enough to squeeze out four more pairs of shorts.

Happy summer!  Stay cool!