Thursday, February 28, 2013

WGT 2013 - The petticoat

I showed you the pocket hoops yesterday and spoke about the petticoat. Which is already done, yay! ^^ I'm starting way early for WGT this year -from my perspective, others are probably done already. This is due to my Thesis which I have to hand in in the beginning of May. Which leaves about 2 weeks until the WGT. Which is also the reason why I will wear "old" clothes a lot. Well, this doesn't mean ugly, just not freshly sewn for this occasion!

Anyway, the skirt... I already showed you the sketch some while ago. The inspiration is the 7 sins, in my case Gluttony. The dress will be black-red-white in reference to this cake "Schwarzwälder Kirschkuchen" (Blackforrest cake):

The underskirt is red and made from fake raw silk - the fabric is great to work with, cheap (4,50 Euro per meter) and looks lovely, you can get it here. As for the pocket hoops, I used a historical pattern and sewing advice from the Marquise page. The only thing I added was a row of ruffles (2:1) on the front panel of the skirt.

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front view
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Back with folds instead of ruffles
The skirt without pocket hoops already makes wide hips, as Neisella's boyfriend mentioned. But well, that's the look I'm going for! But if you add the pocket hoops:

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Bang! Next step will be to work on the dress, where I will probably show you some work in progress pictures. The petticoat was done in one afternoon, I guess the dress will take a little longer! ;)

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pocket hoops of doom

I know it seems hard to believe if you check my current output, but I'm still sewing!  In the meantime I had some time to sew my pocket hoops for one of the outfit ideas I had for this year's WGT...

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I used black cotton for the pockets and 7mm steel boning for the hoops. A nice feature is that you can really use these pocket hoops as pockets by a slit in the pattern! Now I can smuggle about 10 liters of mead into every concert location! ^^ I used white bias tape with little red hearts for tunnels to include the steel boning. I reduced my stash and will always have a hearty laugh when I check my pockets!

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Pocket hoop construction was very easy, I used the German tutorial (which also includes a pattern to draw yourself) from this side. As I already showed you, this year I will wear at least one baroque robe, the famous francaise with manteau foldings. Further undergarments include a corset (one of the roundish ones without much waist pronunciation) and an underskirt. Let's see when I will get started on those...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

More jewelry, more shiny things

As I said on Friday in the review of last week, I made some more jewelry. The nail polish jewelry is the perfect thing to do while watching TV. You start watching your episode after searching all of your supplies:
  • acrylic glass cabochons
  • nail polish in various colours
  • settings for said cabochons
  • quick setting glue
  • chains + pair of tongs
  • rings
  • closure
  • lace
  • hot glue gun + glue (try to never be out of glue sticks, I usually come up with great ideas when the glue is gone!)
So, you start watching your TV show, be it a episode of a series you love or a whole movie. During the first add break, you will add the first layer of nail polish to your cabochons. I get about 5-6 done.

Next add break, next layer of nail polish. The time between the add breaks is usually enough to dry the nails polish! I don't need more than three layers of polish, so this takes up 3 add breaks.

In the fourth add break, I'll glue the cabochon to the setting with fast setting glue. When only watching one episode (of Bones for example), this is it. If I watch a movie, I usually have 2 more add breaks.  So I can continue...
  1. For a choker: In the next add break, I'll cut enough lace to wrap around my neck. I sew on ribbons for closure or press on the metal snap buttons (see picture below, I believe they are called CAM snaps?!). Last add break, and the only thing that is left to do is to glue the cabochon (in the setting) to the lace for my choker. 
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  1. Or, if I want to do a chain instead of a choker: In the first add bread, I'll cut the chains with the tongs to the length I want and add rings to the cabochon setting. In the last add break, I will put the chains in the rings and close the rings. At last, I'll add the closure to the chain.
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Jewelry making session with a friend

On Friday, my friend Ina visited me spontaneously. We cooked some stuff, turned on a video in the background (Zoolander ^^) and did something useful with our hands:

We made jewelry!

I tried my hand on nail polish jewelry again, but this time I also painted cameo setting and not only glass cabochons. Here are my works:

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And this is what my wonderful friend made:

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She is much more artistic than me, don't you think?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday sweet - Cheesecake brownies

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I made something similar years ago, but unfortunately the blog I linked to is gone. So I looked up another recipe and found this on (a German recipe site):

125 g chocolate (the bitter the better)
125 g butter
270 g sugar
  2 Tsp vanilla extract or vanilla sugar or vanilla
75 g flour
1 pinch salt
200 g creamcheese or Quark

Melt chocolate and butter together. Beat two eggs with 200g sugar. Mix 1Tsp vanilla with the eggs, chocolate-butter, flour and salt. Spread in a brownie form. Mix the creamcheese with the third egg, 70g sugar and 1Tsp Vanilla. Pour on the brownie mix.
Bake in the oven @220°C for ~25minutes until still sticky in the middle. Serve and enjoy!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Week in Review 8/2013

What did I see?
 The full movie "Die hard 5". We finally got around to see it Yesterday. And I liked it! Also, I did a "Game of Thrones" marathon on Saturday and now have to wait for the third season... *grrr*

What did I listen to?
"Wolfsheim" and "Welle Erdball"

What did I ask myself?
How comes February is almost over? Wasn't it 2012 just Yesterday???

What did I read?
I read "Trotzkopf" by Emmy von Rhoden (which seems to not be available in English. Bummer, because it's the story of a rebellious girl during the Victorian times. Very interesting!). And some free Japanese stories for the kindle.

What did I work on?
Nothing much. But this weekend I will meet with Neisella for a hopefully productive sewing date!

I was happy about...
Some stuff going according to plan. Cool new nail polish. And books!

I was annoyed about...
My thesis progress. I procrastinate too much!

I bought...
Ahem... A mixer, tupperware for said mixer, more nail polish *wince*, a pullover

I'm considering going on a shopping diet. Do any of you have tips or web pages to motivate me?

How my brain fells right now...

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A simple jersey dress?

I detected an awful lack of comfortable black jersey dresses in my stash and decided to use up a bit of the jersey I still had at home.

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I made the pattern myself which was not very hard to do:
  • I traced a well-fitting sleeveless shirt -front and back- for the top part and cut it just below my bust (of course leaving a seam allowance!)
  • Next I just draw from the top part in a wide rectangle form (again: Folks, don't forget about seam- and hem allowances! I tired that and ended up with a long top that doesn't cover my ass... -.-)
  • At last I cut a strip of jersey that was 4cm wide and about 1.2m long to use as fake seam binding
I started sewing one shoulder seam with the overlock. Then I sewed the fake seam binding strip to the neck with the overlock. After closing the second shoulder seam, I serged on the fake bias binding to both arm holes. Now you just close the side seams. If you are lazy, you are done now. For a fancy finish of the hem, get out your twin needle and hem the dress. And you are done in almost no time!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Winter coat with pink leopard lining

This coat was actually done way before the the crinoline outfit (I think I did the finishing touches around New Year's Eve), but I somehow never got around to take pictures of it. The pattern was Number 19 from the Ottobre design magazine 3/2012:

I didn't buy any extra fabric for this jacket, I used everything from my stash: Wool mix for the outer layer, some old cotton flannel (which were leftovers from my mum's attempt to sew pyjama pants) for the inter lining and polyester jersey in bright pink leopard for the lining. I even had the Snap buttons and the zipper in my stash!

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I liked the pattern although I had some troubles with the zipper, I think I sewed this in 5 times in total (two times together with the lovely Neisella who really helped me work out my twisted thoughts!). But I like the look and the jacket is so warm that I didn't freeze when I walked around for 2 1/2 hours at -5°C!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cell phone loading hammock

To be honest with you, The taille of the crinoline outfit really killed my sewing mood for several days. The front made no problem, but the back is a totally different topic... *sigh* So while I was demotivate from what should have been worn nearly a month ago, I decided to do some small in between projects that will be easy and make me hate sewing a bit less.

Enter the cell phone hammock. I saw them on several blogs -for example the one from Natron- and since my cell phone is a smart phone which needs to be recharged every night (unlike my "stupid" normal phone which I charged about once a week), I thought that a device that keeps me from accidentally stepping on my cell phone and that keeps the cable mess at bay would be a good idea.

As you see, the pattern is fairly simple: Just cut some form (rectangle or circle), add a pocket for the cell phone, cut a hole for the charger and you are set. So this is what I did. I actually cut the same for my boyfriend, so we have cell phone hammock twins! ^^

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Friday, February 15, 2013

Burda Style 3/2013

I can't believe that it is time for another issue of Burda Style already! Is it just me or is the time passing really quick in 2013?!
I have to say I'm not happy with Burda only presenting some of the patterns in the Internet on their home page. I'm considering quitting this reviews altogether if I can only judge some models but not all online. And I will not take pictures of Burda pages (which is BTW problematic because of the copy rights) to judge the patterns that don#t make it into the current issue pre-presentation!

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The patterns I liked were pretty easy to find. The "historical" blouse on the left is a good idea, but technically is not historical but rather authentic seventies. Nevertheless it looks nice and sewn in black would compliment any goth's wardrobe! I like the little standing collar and the underlined lace so that this pattern is not revealing in the typical Burda manner.
The second best pattern is a bridal one. I like the dress because it offers sleeves and a wide skirt. Many brides (at least on TV, I don't see many brides around) wear strapless dresses which in my eyes is seldom flattering. This vintage inspired dress could also be sewn with a shorter skirt and in a less bridal fabric!
The winner is - no surprises here for regular readers- a jacket pattern. It looks a bit unspectacular in this small picture, but it contains a lot of stitching details that make it special! I like the biker flair but the unusual combination with an vertical instead of angled zipper.

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On to the bad patterns in this issue. Third worst goes to the dress on the left, also from the bridal collection. Has anyone ever heard of a woman complaining that her under bust measurement is too small? Maybe to downplay her chest? I certainly haven't so I'm wondering who wants to wear such a dress that makes your chest look smaller while increasing your waistline. Any ideas?
The second worst pattern is only on this list because the pattern is a waistband with several rectangles. Do you really need a pattern for this? I don't think so. Even if you'll need one, you can find plenty free sources on the Internet...
Well, on to the worst pattern of the Burda Style issue 3/2013. Burda calls this a cape, I call it and abomination. I combines the ugly features of a parka (drawstring waist, bulkiness) with the uselessness of a cape that is drawn in at the waist. I have no idea how anyone is supposed to move his or hers arms in this! Maybe this is an undercover jacket for the Penguin from Batman?

Week in Review 07/2013

What did I see?
Half of "Die hard 5". Why half? Because at first the movie missed the subtitles for the Russian part, then the voice over was gone for 15 minutes. They offered to start the movie over - without knowing if this would eliminate the error - about half way in, but that would mean to come home way after midnight. So, we just went home. I'm so pissed!
Otherwise, I saw the second episode of "Game of Thrones" plus another Bones episode. I love Bones, she will be the funniest mom ever!

What did I listen to?
Some "Deine Lakaien" (always great) and "Wolfsheim" (for calming down)

What did I ask myself?
Why do I not panic yet? Calm before the storm? oO'

What did I read?
I'm done with Bram Stoker's Dracula!I got another book from Meara (thanks again!) which I will start reading this weekend.

What did I work on?
I made some more jewelry and started working on the da***d crinoline Taille again. Dear nemesis, I will finish you!

I was happy about...
Having some days off, a nice weekend with the girls and my boyfriend and unexpected visitors!

I was annoyed about...
Everything just went wrong. Experiments, stuff from students I supervised, the Galley proofs for one of my papers... And today, finally, our dishwasher leaked. I think I'm done with bad luck for now, right?!

I bought...
I bought two nail polishes (actually, I bought 5, but I gave 3 away!) and the entry fee for a conference.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mid Month Status Report - Love what you do

Another blog I'm happy to have stumbled upon is "This is Corp Goth" by Trystan, which is a blog about fitting into the world of "Real Jobs" while still maintaining the gothy part of yourself. This is something I really struggle with.

The task this week is to remind yourself why you do what you do. To phrase it in her words
"Love What You Do. Describe and try to show what you love about your job, career, school, or vocation. Few jobs are perfect, but most jobs have something that keeps you hanging on. Whether it's a decent paycheck, reasonable hours, fun coworkers, being able to wear what you want, what makes you appreciate your line of work? Tell us about it and include a picture to symbolize that. If you're studying something you love, share the details. Or maybe you just left one career and are striking out on something new? Do you love that prospect? Why? We spend so much of our lives working, we better find at least one thing to enjoy."
And I agree that it is very important to keep in mind why you originally wanted the job you are doing and to keep checking once in a while if it still fulfills you and makes you happy. Of course, working is not always rainbows and lollipops, but if I didn't like my job I would do it.

I'm a biologist working on human genetics. Scientific work and especially writing a PhD thesis take a lot of time and devotion. I spend time in the lab, visit conferences where I present my findings and learn more about the news in my field, I write papers (in English which is not my first language and German), I visit other labs to learn about new techniques,... You see that I have a lot to do and as in many jobs, the time required to do the job is not necessarily the time your boss thinks is adequate. So I'm usually at least a bit stressed. The pay is horrible (don't even ask, I make less than 20.000 Euro per year) and the hours are even worse.

But - which is an important BUT- I like it. I love to learn new stuff. Digging into new projects makes me giddy with joy. Finding out how stuff works is immensely satisfying! I love to interact with inspiring personalities and wise professors. I like that I can combine practical work with science on the edge - working on stuff that maybe 5 people from my field understand in the same depth than I do.
 I'm near the end of my thesis and now have to decide how I want to continue in future. I know for sure that I can't stay in this lab unless my grant application goes through (which is not that likely). But whether I want to stay in Academia - with low pay and long hours, but the satisfaction from doing science on the cutting edge- or will work for a company I'm not sure. Both have their advantages. If I'd do a Postdoc in Academia, I could do that somewhere, anywhere in the world. But it would be nice to earn some money for a change, which is better in business.

At the end of this month I'll have to start to apply for jobs. I think I'll just look what interesting positions I'll find and see where my life takes me!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Professor's Monthly Homework Assignment - Date Night

I just realised that I never told you about the amazing blog of "Professor Z", a fellow gothic in academia. While she is also writing her PhD thesis, she is in the field of historical arts while I'm in human genetics. She often speaks about the troubles and little successes on her blog which I can very much relate to! Writing a thesis is hard, but she does post a lot more often than me. Not only does she include  lot of outfits, but she also has a feature named "Bat fit" which is essentially gothy folks gathering together to get fit and maybe loose a little weight. I can only recommend visiting her blog!

 She also does this feature of a "Homework Assignment" which I'd like to participate in. This month's topic is - how very fitting so close to Valentine's day!- "Date Night". I actually do think that date nights are necessary to keep a relationship alive. Let m define date night first: A night were both partners consciously spend time together. This does not include sitting on the couch while watching TV. Of course you can do a movie night at home with a (rented) DVD, but you have to plan in advance and omit all other electronic devices. Sitting next to each other on the couch while surfing the Internets and having David Letterman on in the background doesn't qualify as date night!

from the Disney movie "Lady and the Tramp"
You also don't have to go out like in the proverbial date. This may be fun to do, but the most important thing is that both of you take time off for the date and both agree on what to do. While I like visiting Museums once in a while, my boyfriend hates this. Obviously not a good choice for date night. On the other hand, he plays Ultimate and I accompanied him to some tournaments. I always bore to death, so this was no good choice either! It is indeed good to try new things, but you don't have force each other into the date! ;)

So what do we actually do for date night? A lot of things:
  • Playing video games together (old school like Super Nintendo Mario Cart or new stuff like Dance Dance Revolution on the Wii) 
  • Go to the movies - we both like action and zombies, so choosing a movie is quite easy! The next one will be "Die Hard 5"!
  • Visit Zoos. We both like animals, so this is always a winner!
  • Go to a fancy restaurant - since this is expensive, we don't do it very often. But every once in a while, we try something we can't cook at home like Egyptian, Mexican or Japanese food
  • Cooking dates - where we try new stuff we never cooked at home, sometimes inspired by the stuff we ate in the restaurants or various cook books
  • Go shopping - no envy here, but the boyfriend likes to shop. So sometimes we go to the mall or the city centre or some flea market and buy some stuff!
  • Movie date night at home - As I said, it is hard to put the PC and cell phone aside, but when we watch his Bond Movie collection or other movies from his extensive collection we also get some quality time together
  • Sports - this is kind of tricky since I'm not that much into team sports, but I'll try!
  • Visiting sights - this weekend we did the SeaLife centre! We also like the parks nearby which are plenty!
You see, there are plenty of options which we do on our date nights. And we have them pretty often; we usually reserve at least one night a week for time together were we mostly crush on the couch and watch TV series (sometimes recorded) plus one day of the weekend. This might not seem like much to you, but we both do sports (he more often than me, usually 5 days a week), I sew and DIY, he plays PC games, we both have extensive groups of friends which we also like to meet plus family who want to see us once in a while... And I work about 45-50 hours a week. So we do what we to keep the relationship fresh. And we are already together for 6 years, so it seems to work!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Oberhausen SeaLife

On Sunday, my boyfriend and I spent some quality time together in Oberhausen where we visited the SeaLife centre. We bought this year's Ruhr.Topcard which costs 50 Euro but offers a lot of free entrance into several Museums, sights and baths here in the Ruhr Area. This was actually the first time using it with me being sick and some meetings with friends, but we are trying to get some bang for our buck! SeaLife would have cost about 17 Euro per person...

Surprisingly (at least for me) we had to wait about 30 min for the entrance, I didn't think that during Karneval (a German tradition which includes dressing up like Halloween and parades that throw candy) many people would visit other attractions... Stupid me, this was our line:

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We then entered SeaLife and saw plenty of fish, crabs, corals and even otters!

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Paul, the octopus. He predicted soccer results during the last world championship. And he's cute!

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Ombre anemone
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Otters! Under the red light!
I even wore matching makeup for the occasion, inspired by beach and water:

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All in all, the trip was nice, but not worth 17 Euro. We spent about 1 1/2 hours in there and we we not hurrying - the boyfriend hat to take pictures of everything that moved! ^^ Since we omitted the entrance fee with the Ruhr.Topcard it was okay, but otherwise I would be a bit disappointed!