Ballerina-inspired sewing ideas

For all my concern about my sewing projects being too feminine, I have wanted to make a ballerina-like skirt for a long time. When I was in college, I saw a lady walking in downtown Portland wearing a black blouse and the most beautiful, flowing knee-length chiffon skirt. I haven’t been able to find a skirt or skirt pattern quite like the one I saw all those years ago.

I’ve been periodically musing about making a chiffon skirt, but hadn’t found good inspiration for one for a while. And then I was noodling around the internets recently and visited Jessica’s “Hapa Time” fashinon blog. I think she’s beautiful (even if I feel insecure in my self-image for a bit afterwards) and her Chiffon Cross aquamarine dress from in Love with Fashion caught my eye. Uhm, I hope this isn’t too creepy:

Photo from "Hapa Time:" http://hapatime.blogspot.com/


She is wearing one handsome dress with the right amount of flowy chiffon without the frou-frou flouncy tutus of other ballerina dresses. However, I have had bad luck buying dresses that I’ve never tried on (ie. Modcloth dabbling disasters). Whoa, could I possibly make something similar? It looks like a fairly simple design: 2-layer 3/4 circle skirt, waistband, back bands, and v-necked bodice. The bodice would be the trickiest part to fit, but it’s refreshingly simple.

I also found a Mango Wrap Ballerina Skirt by ASOS which hits some of the major characteristics of what I was thinking of, but not as mandible dropping. Still, it’s a skirt to consider.

Mango Wrap Ballerina Skirt by ASOS


So I think, once I finally get my sister’s skirt done, I might start with making a chiffon 3/4 circle skirt. If that looks good, I’ll try my hand at making a ballerina dress!

Undecided: Darling Ranges

Oh heck, why not one more post? I also finally wore my version of Megan Nielsen’s Darling Ranges dress last week since it was finally warm enough to wear it outside.
I lengthened the torso and shortened the skirt by just making the hem wider, which makes it look bulkier than I anticipated. (I have this fear of cutting off excess fabric *in case* I may want to lengthen it someday.) Overall, I’m pretty happy with how the dress turned out, bulky hem and all. However, that said, it’s not quite “me.” Oh, it’s cute, but a little too feminine (housewifey?) and not quite…I don’t know, threatening enough? I don’t know how to describe my style yet. But it does have pockets….

Actually, here I look confused because the lower left car just beeped at us. Must have thought us a threat through its proximity sensor.


I have found, however, that this dress is great to wear to ballet since I can easily throw it on top of my leotard and head out. So will probably wear it for that if nothing else. =)

So say we all: Emerald City Comicon

While I’m updating about conventions, I also went to Emerald City Comicon, which was the week before Sakuracon. The residents of downtown Seattle did look confounded after two weeks of intense costumes. I didn’t go in costume because, well, I am not a big comic book reader. Except for Fables by Bill Willingham and Bone, which are both fantastic. I did go to see the lineup of guests, which was really stellar this year: Edward James Olmos (Admiral Adama from Battlestar Galatica), Adam Baldwin (Jayne from Firefly), James and Oliver Phelps (Weasley twins), Summer Glau (River from Firefly), Pendleton Ward (creator of Adventure Time), John DiMaggio (Voice of Bender and Jake the Dog), Rob Paulsen & Maurice LaMarche (Pinky & the Brain) Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones, and a whole slew of comic book artists and cartoonists. And Wil Wheaton. (WHEATOONNNNNN!!!!)

I picked up this artwork from BritSketch as well as her book. Her artwork is so fun and bubbly! I found her last year when “Up and Away” caught my eye! I wish I had been able to pick up more of her art, but you know… space and money constraints. In the future! “Rain Boots,” “Laka,” and “Morning Fog” are on my wishlist. =)

Sadly, due to poor planning on my part, I was only able to attend panels with the first 3 since I was only there for one day, but they were worth going for! I thought about going to see Pendleton Ward, but queuing through the enormous line of people/kids dressed as Adventure Time characters would have meant that I wouldn’t be able to do anything else.

I did get to meet Edward James Olmos. Granted, it was in the signing line, but he was very personable to every fan of his that came by. *fangirl flail* He shook my hand! And said he was very proud of my accomplishing my PhD when I told him I turned in my thesis! And was really nice in person! And is a certifiable badass! Seriously, he was invited to advise the United Nations on racial relations and told them “There is no such thing as a Hispanic race, Asian race, African, European. Yes, there are cultural differences, but we are of ONE race: the human race.”

EEEEEEeeeEEEEeee! Admiral Adama congratulated me on my PhD!


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Scenes from Sakuracon

Monsieur French Toast crossing the street

I was a bit underwhelmed at this year’s Sakuracon, but I’m not exactly sure why. I think it’s because I usually go for the costumes and my standards are now higher due to working on the monster hunter armor. Or because I was listless from coming down with what I will dub the “Sakuracon plague” from not sleeping properly for a week: runny nose, constant sneezing, coughing, FATIGUE. My friend’s outfit still came out AWESOME though.

My friend's armor at Sakuracon

As a side note, I find that costume-making is incredibly creative and geek/nerd culture is naturally exuberant. You have people wanting to share their excitement with other enthusiasts, something that they aren’t able to at home/school/daily life. The energy level is intoxicating as you wander around, watching people enjoy themselves. And fairly safe since volunteers and security officers are peppered throughout the convention.

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