I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghosts!

So, I dressed up for our trick-or-treaters this year, re-using an old Ghostbuster’s costume. The costume is pretty simple, just a jumpsuit with a patch. The best part is my photon pack- its a little kid backpack spray painted black with a larger patch, great for a costume cause it works to store the jumpsuit and doubles as a bag to hold your wallet and halloween candy when you’re in costume. I’ve also got a water gun spray painted black with some sash cord looped into the pack. I wasn’t expecting a ton of kids, I think they mostly flock over to the nicer side of Broad. But we usually get a few, some of the kids on our block anyway. I rushed home, got changes as soon as I got in the door…. and waited. I don’t know if it was because of the hurricane or just because we have less trick-or-treat age kids, but we didn’t get a single knock on the door. I even turned on the pumpkin lights I had strung up in the window as a sign of festivity. When Chris got home he just laughed. Then he put on a cowboy outfit and suggested we head out to the local bar. Even the bar wasn’t very festive. Oh well. At least some guys in a car yelled out “Who you gonna call??” as we walked home. Glad someone was in the Halloween spirit!

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Turkish vest back patch

I’ve been meaning to make more patches for a while. I made the original one pretty easily. I wanted the letters to be green, so used the inside part of the stencils. I’m pretty happy with how it came out. So were the rest of the girls. Cue- more patch requests! Its been on my to-do list, and the theme of this week is cross-off, cross-off. After some website coding this morning (sent out some cover letters with a link that changed when I updated my site… OOPS!) and some work emailing, off to make patches. Hours later… still making patches. So here’s the thing. The first patch was done with fresh stencils that lay quite nicely against the fabric. Not so much the second time around. I did two rounds of not-so-great results before I decided to cut the letters out of tape. Yup, cause I use my skills in the best way possible. Let me tell you, cutting some packing tape with kitchen scissors is probably not the most clever way to do this project. Perhaps contact paper? Or laminate stencils with some spray glue? Lately I’m all about using what is on hand, though, and I wanted to bring the patches with me to practice tonight.

An absurd amount of patches

So, stencils done, and I have at least one good patch for each girl, plus a few dodgy extras. Now, off to pick up some extra lamp oil before practice and to the b-ball courts I go!

The whole blind laid out

Last weekend was the third weekend of the infamous window blanket project. Back in the spring at one of the famed ‘family five’ meetings (infamous and famed of course only makes sense to people in the Carter family…) we were all talking about ways to make the house in Martinsville more energy efficient. The house has a beautiful picture window that, while is great for observing birds, is terrible for retaining heat. I’m not sure where I saw it, but I knew there was a DIY way to make insulated shades. So I ended up volunteering myself (and Mom) to make on for Gramps’ house. Yeah, not as easy as it sounds (that is, if anyone else thinks it sounds easy, which I thought it did.)

First weekend: Our task- buy fabric in Philadelphia, sew the blanket at my house, based off of the measurements we took at Gramps’. Issue #1- we had moving blankets for our ‘warmth layer’. Yup, that didn’t work. Way too heavy. So we ordered some quilt batting, and set the rest of the project for another weekend.

Sewing the test swatch

Weekend Two: Batting in hand. Fabric bought. (mind you, this is Christmas weekend….) Matching thread, insulated layer, everything is set. Everything except enough fabric for the front and back. Yup, back to Philadelphia for another round at the fabric store (Jomar!!) Project put off for another weekend.

Weekend Three: Finally enough fabric. Batting. Everything in order. Gramps on vacation (see “tourists caught in Peru” stories!) so we can take over his house with our sewing masterpiece. Enter this weekend’s hitch- the car won’t start. Awesome. Another roadblock in what should be a relatively simple project….

New battery, visit by AAA, and we finally got to working. What made me ever think this would be easy?? Yipes. I suggest never trying to sew Mylar. Its all about ripping. And shifting. Ugggg… I’ll leave you with some pictures instead of describing the whole process right now, because, frankly, its late and I’m tired.

pinning the evil mylar

By the time we left on Sunday, we had sewn much of the blanket/curtain, but it still needs a two cross seams, and the edge hemming. So perhaps its about 85% done. More progress than the previous weekends, for sure…. but still not done. I feel like this project will never end.

Its still a work in progress, but at least it has spikes now! (**Here’s a post with a photo of the finished costume**)

spikes!

spikes!

materials

materials

For some reason I decided to be a lizard for halloween this year. When looking for ideas, I saw this great lizard costume on flickr- its super cute and I figured I could definitely make something like it. First, for the fabric… I tried ordering some stretch jersey fabric online, but it didn’t really work out. The green was way too bright, thin and spandexey. The yellow was dull and fuzzy… not quite what I wanted, but at least workable. Last year I bought a green dress from American Apparel for my Jean Grey costume, and realized it would be perfect to alter to the lizard. And this year, it was on sale! I got two, one for the main body, the other to make a hood and tail. A trip to Jomar (very strange store, I like it!) and I got green and yellow thread, as well as a whole bunch of shoulder pads for the spikes.

I wanted to make a tutorial about making it, but I really only photographed the spike part. The hood was rather complicated, and I was too wrapped up in figuring it out to take any good shots. A bit of a how-to for the spikes after the jump…

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jean grey, pre halloween

Originally uploaded by ducksRfriends

my costume, minus the gloves. You can’t see the boots in this shot, but they really make the whole thing. I couldn’t find yellow gloves at any of the halloween stores in Philly. If I had really thought about it, I would have ordered them online, but instead I tried Rit dye. Which doesn’t work on polyester. So I bought some spray paint. Which means the gloves reek… and are a bit stiff. But they’re yellow and thats what counts. I’m pleased with the way the whole costume pulled together. Hopefully I’ll get a better picture of the whole thing. And yes. I will wear it to work tomorrow. Cause halloween is AWESOME.