Día de Muertos

¡Feliz Día de Muertos!

Happy Día de Muertos!

Saturday was All Hallows’ Eve, Sunday was All Saints’ Day, and today was All Souls’ Day. My family has a very strong connection to Mexico and Mexican celebrations and culture, so we always celebrate Día de Muertos. Last year, I even brought sugar calaveras to my French students to have them decorate the extra sugar skulls from an event my mother had led (and with which I had helped). Talk about mixing cultures, eh? Houston kind of already is a huge mix of cultures, and in various ways, so I grew up in a world of mixed culture, with my family embracing the people around us in life. In other words, mixing cultures is totally normal for me and to me. 😉

This year, I created a special project for myself. Mattel created a Día de Muertos Barbie both last year and this year, but sells the collectible doll for far more than I could afford to pay. (Though, to be fair, she is stunning. They both are.) I found myself wishing I could have just one of these Barbies, perhaps one day, and, as I was looking at photos of them, my brain somehow developed an idea.

You see, there have been several old Barbies – from my childhood – in a box in my mom’s laundry room for ages. They, for some unknown reason, are all naked, and they have always kind of reminded me of a graveyard of Barbies. Though, I’ve never used that word, graveyard, as I’ve always just thought of them as, “the poor, dead Barbies”. It seemed like an extremely low-risk situation, since, and I mentioned, the Barbies were already “dead” anyway. So, I went for it. And I had a student join in with me.

I brought a bag-o-Barbies (yes, all still naked) to her house, and we each selected a Barbie. We then painted their faces and bodies, over a few days’ time, to be the designs we each wanted. Afterward, I then shopped for some ribbon and tulle, picked up a few fallen fake flower bits at the store, and then sewed a couple dresses for the dolls.

I hadn’t played with Barbies for probably about two decades at this point, but I think this really was some of the best fun I have ever had with Barbies. 😀

Alas, here are the process and the final results of today. Enjoy!

And the dresses…!!!

Post-a-day 2020

Making clothes work

Well, I asked my mom to make me an outfit this year for RenFest.

She is a seamstress as one of her many roles, and so is very capable in the world of sewing and creating clothes.

She has made many outfits for me over the years, and they have all been great, if not always finished exactly…

I definitely have worn various outfits with safety pins all over their insides, holding together the parts that just didn’t get completed on the sewing machine or by the hand sewing.

And, usually, they keep the safety pins forever more, even after the initial use of the outfit.

Though, she always says that she’ll finish it for real afterward…

Tonight, I am going to bed well after midnight due to yet another of her ‘running out of time’ scenarios.

This outfit she agreed to make for me, when I asked her months ago, and for which we finally bought the fabric (read leather or skins) about a month or so ago, and for which I have asked her constantly about what she needs from me regarding measurements and/or fittings, has now been made by yours truly.

I am not a seamstress.

I can do basic hand sewing, and I know very little about what the best stitch for what is, or how to hide anything other than a straight seam.

Making outfits is not in my skill book at present.

But, she ended up not having the time (read my making the time or not arranging her schedule to be able) to make it, and instead told me “how” to do it.

Suffice it to say that I am not very pleased with the results at the present moment.

I was supposed to have an awesome, somewhat sexy but appropriate outfit that makes people go, “Wow…”

Instead, I have something that looks like I am a young girl practicing my hand for the first time at clothes making in the cave-people era… someone with a small hearth let me have his/her small extra skins, so I could begin to learn.

Hopefully, the cloak part that I told her I needed her to do will turn out well, and will make the piece come together beautifully.

I know the cloak can be great, but she pulled some nonsense about using wire threading to make loops to attach binder rings…. instead of finding a clasp…., so I’m not too sure… it could be another case of safety-pin-style nonsense that is utterly impractical…

I’m hoping dearly that it is beautiful and functional.

I will find out in the morning, and I, hopefully, will look awesome in my full outfit and even my partial outfit, without the cloak.

Well, we’ll see.

For now, let us pray I be blessed with beautifully fulfilling sleep tonight, so that I might be physically and mentally prepared for the long day that tomorrow will be.

If nothing else, my knees need the rest tonight to manage all the waking tomorrow.

Anyway…. bottoms up!

Or, as Aunt Sadie always said, Tally-Ho!

Post-a-day 2019

Stromae to Mosaert

After writing about Stromae the other night, I looked up to see if he had any tour dates in the US anytime soon.  Unfortunately, he does not.  However, I discovered that lots of his efforts have gone into his clothing brand lately, and that the brand is spectacular.  All of the clothes are unisex and super cool, are fair-trade, are made in Europe, have an emphasis on sustainable/organic fibers and eco-friendly sewing tactics (to waste as little cloth as possible), and are in limited numbers.  (The last part means that only a certain number, say 25, for example, are made of any one item.  So, for a t-shirt, there would be 4 XS, 6 S, 6 M, 5 L, and 4 XL made, and that’s it.  Once they are sold out, there are no more of that particular t-shirt made again.)  They also include a chart on the cost of production for many items, detailing how much money it actually costs to produce that specific item, thereby explaining why an item is being sold for its specific price.

Check it out.  Here’s the page all about their being an awesomely responsible company, from which you can click to the shopping area to see the awesome clothes, and here’s the page for the company as a whole, which is more than just a clothing brand – check out their About page found on that one.

I just wish I lived a life where it would be practical and affordable for me to get the cardigan 7, which is a sweater I loved when I first saw it in one of Stromae’s interviews (actually, the one I linked here the other night!).  The sweater was cool in and of itself, but it was made even cooler by the fact that Stromae himself actually wore it.  Alas, I do not live such a life (and am instead barely getting by financially as a crazy person doing full-time grad school and part-time-ish work), so the cardigans will go to those who do live such lives. 😛

Post-a-day 2018

 

Like a true man

To this day (literally), I still practice the t-shirt uniform stretching technique taught to me by my heterosexual, male cousin, back in the days when he first started sewing.

It’s spectacularly genius, and it never fails to give that perfect uniform stretch and proper shaping.

(Funny how many of those are not words often found together in a sentence about the same person, isn’t it?) 😛

Post-a-day 2018