Crystal Prep Skirt – Creation and Sales

Information on how to order the skirts and necessary information will be below the image. 

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It is finally time to post the information on how to order your very own Crystal Prep Equestia Girls Skirt!

Up first, let’s talk about the specs:

~The skirt is made with a plaid and solid color, 100% cotton flannel and is machine washable (I do recommend hang drying the skirt, followed by a nice steam ironing to get the pleats to pop back into place)

~Each skirt has been cut, sewn, folded, and adjusted by me. There will be small hiccups in each skirt. However, I will not send anything out I wouldn’t use myself.

~The length of the skirt is roughly 13in with a 2inch waist band. The back has a zipper and hook and eye for easy wear. Skirts up to 45 inches around will be the same price. If your waist/hips are passed that number, there is an extra fee. All information on pricing can be found on the etsy listing (posted below).

~The only measurement needed for the skirt creation is your hips/waist (AKA: where you want to have the skirt sit on you). I will probably add 1/2 inch to that measurement to make sure it’s comfortable. If the skirt does not fit right, you didn’t measure yourself correctly and that’s on you to be honest to yourself and myself as well! I don’t care about your size. I promise. It’s just another number to me that I will forget after I ship out your skirt.

~Turn around time is between 2 to 3 weeks. There is a chance it may be less if I have the fabric pre-created. If you want to know if there is any fabric made ahead of time, you can reach out to me. Please note that I cannot and will not rush an order. I have a life and it doesn’t revolve around making skirts all day and night.

~If you are interested in a longer/short skirt, this will be a custom order and I will have to treat it as such. This means you’ll need to message me with the length you are after. We will continue discussion after that.

~I do not know how long I can order the plaid fabric or if it will be discontinued in the near future! I cannot place holds or reserve an amount for you because you plan to buy it later. If the fabric gets discontinued, there is nothing I can do and I will end orders for the skirt until I find something else to work!! AKA: wait at your own risk!

 

Interesting in ordering a skirt? Click the link here to place your order.

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Nintendo Switch Fabric Cover

I recently had a friend ask if I could build them a pattern for a Switch fabric cover. Apparently the Switch has a little…quirk where the stand will scratch the screen, so people have been created 3D printed stands and also fabric covers for the screen.

After getting the measurements from my friend, I have finally built a decent pattern for the cover.

Please note: This is a rough pattern that I have not tried yet and there may be errors! Please take your time and be willing to test the design. Feedback on this pattern will help so much!

Seam allowance: 1/4inch, already included in the sizing.

Skill: Beginner

 

Front fabric piece (This will be the part that is visible. Make it as fun or nerdy as you want!

7.5in x 5in (Idea doodled onto a sticky note for those that prefer visuals)

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Back fabric: 7.5 x 4 in

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On the front fabric, fold 1/4 inch of the fabric twice to create a rolled hem and sew across to hold the fabric (I do recommend folding the fabric, iron the fabric down, fold again, iron, then stitch. This will keep the fabric still and make sewing easier.) Note: Fold the right side of the fabric to the wrong side of the fabric.

Repeat this with the back fabric as well. This will make the bases clean on both sides.

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With right sides together, sew the front fabric to the back with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. The front fabric will be about 1 inch longer so be sure to continue the seam down to seal the sides of the front fabric.

Now, if I did this correctly, (and you did as well) you should have a Switch cover that will fit snuggly and keep your controller scratch free!

Sewing Machine 101 – Picking out the best for you

Today will be the start of a several part tutorial on sewing machines. I’ll be going over the process of how to select your machine, how to use your machine, and how to care for your machine so it’ll last as long as possible. There will be little blurbs along the way for tips and tricks as well.

I had the opportunity to work at a sewing machine shop (I sold sewing machines during that time) for about 6 months and I learned a lot about sewing machines, companies, and who’s the best for what type of sewing machine. Many friends have come to me for my opinion on what machine would be the best and why. After realizing I more or less say the same information every time, I decided it’s time to write it all down for others to enjoy and use.

*DISCLAIMER*

All the information below is biased, personal opinions and NOT sponsored in any way! You may have different opinions or information than I do and that’s okay! I’m not here to tell you who’s right and who’s wrong. This is all MY opinion and MY knowledge.

 

Sewing Machine Companies:

There are several different sewing machines out there. I am just going to touch base on the companies that I know the most information about.

Brother –

  • Sister company to Babylock (Which is why their machines look similar in a lot of ways).
  • Cheaper made machines (plastic parts) so prone to breaking if worked too hard.
  • Cheaper parts = cheaper machine so good start machines when learning or on a tight budget.

Babylock –

  • Higher quality machines vs Brother
    • (Fun fact! Babylock intentionally has Brother machines cheaper so you’ll want to upgrade to Babylock machines. They look the same for that reason. “Yes, it works the exact same as a Brother machine, but it won’t break as quickly.”  I have had a sale person tell me that exact line.)
  • Costs more than Brother due to the different innards used. However, the machines work just about the time.

Singer –

  • Not worth the time. Seriously. Just don’t. They use to be good, but not anymore. If you can find an older machine and a shop willing to service it, you’re set. However, do not get a new machine from them.

Pfaff –

  • See above. Same story. They got sold to China and the machines are just NOT the same anymore.

Janome –

  • Metal innards, so less breakage.
  • Higher end of the price range, but the cost is worth it for the machines
  • The company focuses on quilters and clothing makers.

Juki –

  • Not a lot of personal information available. I didn’t sell them, or service them.

Bernina –

  • Not a lot of personal information available. I didn’t sell them, or service them.

 

Best Kind of Machines from Each Company

Most sewing companies have one specialty they prefer to focus on, or one of the first companies to create that type of machine, so they more “perfected” on that type of machine.

Brother/Babylock – Embroidery machines were one of their focuses so their embroidery machines are setup pretty well. The sewing normal sewing is good as well. If you need a serger, Babylock is the company to get them from.

Singer/Pfaff – Back in the day sewing machines were great from them. Now a days, no so much.

Janome – Janome’s focus as been on sewing machines mostly. Yes, they are expanding to embroidery, but their sewing machines are the main focus if you were to get a machine from them.

Juki – Their older sergers are very durable. Not much information passed that.

Bernina – The sewing machines are good. Not much information passed that.

Where to Get the Machines

I am going to get a lot of flack for this answer, but it’s the honest truth: Go to a shop to test the machines, purchase online unless the shop has an AMAZING deal.

I love Ma and Pa shops. I worked at a Ma and Pa sewing shop. It’s a wonderful place because you get to play with the machines and test what you like. However, the prices aren’t always the best out there. HOWEVER! I have seen many good deals that make purchasing from a shop better than online. Some shops will have upgrade options (trade up the machine within a year and we’ll put the cost of the machine towards the new machine), or payment plans (Which, most cases this IS a credit card. Be sure your credit score is good enough to allow this). Ma and Pa shops may also offer extra goodies or classes that make shopping there worth the difference.

So keep and eye out on the deals and see if they’re worth it to you, or if Amazon has something better.

How to Decide What Machine is Best for You

This is one of the hardest questions to answer because what is recommended depends on what YOU want in YOUR machine. Do you want an old fashioned no tech machine? Do you want something that will automatically cut the bobbin and top threads with the push of a button? Do you want something that’ll warn you if a bobbin is low? How about speed control? Do you want the option to not have to use a good petal? How many stitch types do you want (As a side note: you need at least forward, backward and zig zag for the minimum. Everything else is a perk).

Depending on what you are after will depend on what you need in a sewing machine. The best idea is to have an idea of what you want, how much of a budget you have, and got explore. Check out a sewing machine shop, tell them what you want and see what they offer. Don’t tell them your budget or they will low ball. However, when they tell you the price, feel free to say “That’s out of my budget. What’s the next step down?” and keep going until you get a chance to see all the options for what you want. After you see it all, make a decision from there.

What I Own

I know this question is going to come up, so let me break down everything I have and what it does.

Brother SE400 – This was my first embroidery machine that has now become my normal sewing machine since my Babylock Encore has finally given up the ghost.

Brother PE500 – This is my embroidery machine and nothing else. This one doesn’t have the 2-in-1 option that the SE400 has.

Brother PE770 – I own 2 of these guys thanks to a friend selling her 770 to me because she didn’t use is. This has a larger size from the SE400 and PE500

Juki Serger – The model I have isn’t even created anymore. I was given this serger after my grandmother realized she was too blind to sew like she use to. This serger is very, very old, but still works like a dream.

Babylock Serger –  Yet another “This serger isn’t made anymore” moment. This was one that I’ve had for many, many, many years and still works well.

How to Dye Wigs with Fabric Dye

I had made a tutorial on how to dye wigs with ink and since then, I have learned another technique on dying wigs: Using Synthetic Fabric Dye.

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The reason synthetic fabric dye works is because wigs are synthetic as well! Convient! Now, there are a variety of synthetic dyes out there that you can use. I have used the two dyes I just linked and they both have worked quite well for me.

So, here’s the process on how to do this. In most cases, just read the directions on the bottle and follow them.

Step one: Add the dye to the pot of water and mix.

I actually have a pot I use specifically for my dyes that we got. At the time of these photos, I was living in an apartment and I used the pot on the stove and did my best to clean any splashes so they can’t dye anything. In the future, the goal is to have a spot outside to do this.

As for what I use for stirring the dye and wig, I tend to just grab a few skewers and call it good.

Step Two: Insert your wig and make sure it’s all soaked.

I can already hear the questions popping up on the comments so let me answer it here: The color of the wig will affect the final color! The lighter the wig, the richer the color. No, you cannot dye a black wig another color, you cannot lighten a wig, and asking to change a red wig blue will end up purple. You treat wig colors like fabric colors when dying them.

Step three: Stir, stir, stir; wait, wait, wait

Friendly reminder that the pot of water needs to be hot! You will have the heat on and you need to keep mixing the wig! The longer you soak the wig, the more color will soak in. Also, remember that the color you see when the wig is wet will be lighter after it is dried. So if you see the perfect color, give it another few minutes to be just a little too dark. You will thank yourself.

Step four: Pour and rinse

I cannot stress the importance of rinsing the wig in a metal container. YOU ARE WORKING WITH SYNTHETIC DYE YOU WILL END UP DYING YOUR PLASTIC SINK OR SHOWER IF YOU POUR THE DYE. There is a reason fabric ends up in a washing machine to get rinsed out: they’re made of metal. Metal won’t take to the dye. Do not blame me if you get a colored sink. I just warned you.

Now, dye rinsing on wigs will take forever. FOREVER. Just let the cold water run through the wig. Once the wig is cool enough to pick up, you can start moving the fibers around and help. Also, yes, your wig will be a ratty tangled mess. I will show you how to fix that.

Step five: wash, wash, wash.

The amount of washing needed is pretty crazy, but you need to make sure all the dye is out of the wig. What I tend to do is wash, add shampoo, rinse out, shampoo again, rinse out. If the water is still colored, do it again. If it’s clear, start putting in the conditioner. However, leave the conditioner in.

Note: To answer the pending question: You can use your own shampoo and conditioner. You do not have to use wig shampoo and conditioner if you do not want to. I personally have not seen much of a difference if I use normal shampoo or wig shampoo.

Step six: Comb, detangle, rinse.

After the water is running clear, place the wig onto a wig head and stand and start GENTLY combing out the tangles. I tend to add more conditioner in this step and slowly, SLOWLY work my way up the wig and remove all the tangles. I cannot emphasize this enough, but you need to TAKE YOUR TIME when removing tangles. It’s better to work one tangle at a time, work from the bottom of the wig up, and do NOT pull on the fibers. Wigs cannot grow hair back. You lose fibers, they’re gone. So TAKE IT EASY.

Once all the tangles are gone, rinse out the conditioner and let the wig dry.

Step seven: Style and enjoy!

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(Photo courtesy of Lochlan O’Niel)

As you can see, the wig is much lighter than the photos of when the wig was wet. This is why it’s important to wait out the color just a little longer than what you think. A lot of coloring is trail and error.

Happy wig coloring!

Cosplay in the Media: Why I don’t care

I’ve been asked by a few friends why I’m not upset about how the media is showing Cosplayers at this time. There is a new show out that focuses on cosplayers and news articles being written by people that have not done in depth research about the hobby. A lot of my friends have been upset about this, up to and including writing their own articles about how cosplay is given the wrong light.

I, personally, have been quiet and have been continuing on in my life like nothing is going on.

My reason? Because I don’t care what the media is saying about my hobby.

This isn’t the first time the media has shown something I do (or live by) in a bad light and this won’t be the last time this happens either.

Instead of standing on a soap box and shaking my finger at the media stating it’s wrong and giving my reasons why it’s wrong, I’d rather just keep going on like it doesn’t matter.

Let me give a past example about when this has happened before and what I did through it all:

I’m LDS (most people know the religion as Mormon), which has gotten a lot of attention by the media for many, many reasons and many, many times. I’m pretty certain that in the future, it will get just as much press coverage for something else. However, instead of standing up stating “the media has it wrong!” or “these are the facts!” I’ve learned to wait for people to ask me about it and get answers that way.

Time and time again, when people learn that I’m LDS, I start to get little questions that tend to end up in a fun, enjoyable, educational discussion about the religion. By the end of these discussions, most people have sat back and said to me “Boy, the media spun it in a completely different way.” Which causes me to laugh, nod and point out “Aren’t you glad you got it from someone that lives that lifestyle instead of just believe the media?”

Cosplay is the exact same way. Of course, cosplay is a hobby, not a religion, but the ideas of how to combat bad media is the same. Instead of standing on a soap box, writing articles and ranting and raving that “we’re not like that!!” I’d rather keep on with my life so when it does come out that I’m a cosplayer, the person has a chance to ask questions without feeling like I’m ranting and raving about the media being wrong.

I have a personal belief that cosplayers need to help one another to grow and progress if this is going to be an enjoyable hobby. The fact that people are expending their energy on writing articles about how the media’s giving us bad coverage instead of writing articles on how to create the best pleats ever, or how to find that perfect shade of wig, makes me a little sad. Since when did we care what “the normies” thought about us and when did it matter what people that haven’t sat down and asked us questions about why we do this think about us?

If we want to prove to the media that they’re wrong; that we have lives outside of cosplay, that we don’t spend our entire lives on this hobby, and that we don’t act how the media is showing them to act, we need to start by ignoring the media and going back to helping others in our hobby and enjoy our hobby that much more.

Dying Wigs with Ink

I’ve been dying wigs for about 3 years now and I’ve finally took the time to write down my general information on how to make a good dye. This technique also works great for dying synthetic furs as well.

Ingredients:

70% Isopropyl Alcohol (found in any health wellness section of anystore)

Acrylic Ink (Personal fan of Dr PH Martin’s Bombay Inda Ink. http://www.dickblick.com/products/dr-ph-martins-bombay-india-inks/ Found in Hobby Lobby {After a good hunt around, the current confirmed Hobby Lobby that carries it all the time is located at 80th and Wadsworth} or Amazon)

Recipe:

Roughly 8 droppers of ink for every 1 cup of alcohol

Variations/Lessons learned:

Want a lighter color? Less ink

Darker/richer color? Add more ink

Red and blue easily overtake other colors. (IE: after a pale green? 6 droppers of yellow, 1/2 a dropper of blue (maybe even less), slowly add more blue if needed.)

There is no such thing as black ink. It’s normally a dark green/red/purple. If you’re after black, you’re going to have to get Katie Bair’s wig dye (even then, I’ve never tested the black, so I don’t know if this is true)

Application types (GLOVES!! DON’T FORGET GLOVES!!):

Soak – Basic and easy. Fill a sink/bowl with the color (Note: Plastics WILL get dyed. Stick to metal or be willing to sacrafice a container), add wig or fur to the container. Swish around, pull out, let set somewhere to dry .

Spray – Fill a spray bottle with the dye (note: that bottle is now stuck for that color {or close variations} for the rest of its life. If you’re going to do this, go to Sally’s and get a cheap bottle from there) and spray wig/fur with the dye. (Note: This one can end up with spotty affects if it’s not saturated enough). For a wig, comb through. For fur, rub through. Let dry.

Paintbrush – With any brush (personal fan of foam brushes), apply the dye, section at a time (good for streaks, layers, blending, etc etc). Comb through material, let dry.

Drying information:

THE LONGER YOU LET THE DYE DRY, THE BETTER IT’LL STICK TO THE MATERIAL. I cannot stress this enough. If you add the dye, then rinse it off, it won’t have time to stick. It’s good for insanely pale colors, but if you want the color you see (or close to), let the material dry COMPLETELY.

Rinsing information:

Stick the fur/wig in running water until the water runs clear under. I prefer cold water since it doesn’t affect the material (hot water can alter a wig if it’s too hot, etc etc) but do what you like.

Personal step: Use shampoo and conditioner on the material. The shampoo pulls the last of the dye out and the conditioner seems to help reduce the damage the alcohol does to the material. Also gets rid of the alcohol smell.

Again, let try completely. Use/style as preferred.

Some Completed Wigs:

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