September 30, 2011

Sober for October?

I have just a little over a year left until my 99 in 999 days in over! I have been so busy this year and my posts are few and far between and I apologize for that. Grad school has taken over any and all free time, work is same ol' same ol' and working every other weekend for the past few months is rough. I will be lucky if I finish reading 7 more books by next September. I really had to skim through the last half of the most recent book: The Shack. Of all the books I have put on my reading list, this was the most, hmmm, annoying? book and hardest to get through. Sorry.  I've finished three in the past month though, so maybe it is possible!

Sober for October
Yep, Oktoberfest will not be celebrated this year! After Mandy and Robert's wedding on the 1st, I'll be on my sober platform until Halloween. And this being the last Halloween, I HAVE to enter in a costume contest. My mom and I started sewing together what will be the best costume I've ever made....even better than this:

September 8, 2011

Fall is quickly approaching!

I have more than cool weather to be excited for!

  • I begin sign language classes in 4 days! I've been hoping for this opportunity since before I even started my 99 list :-) So excited that I've taught myself the pledge of allegience...though this is a CE class, not 1st grade so I probably will not use that piece of knowledge.
  • Football season is here and we started our season off with a W against ECU.  I had forgotten how much I missed football
  • My college roommate and friends from HS are getting married ON their 10 year's been a long time coming and a day we've all been anticipating for quite a few years!

  • The SC state fair
  • "R" months = oysters!!!
  • Halloween! This is the last Halloween in my 999 days so I have to enter in a costume contest.  Earlier this year, I fell in love with Aronofsky's film, Black Swan.  The makeup and costume design were absolutely genius and I knew this would be so fun to dress up as!! The creative juices started flowing and mom and I started to recreate the tutu Natalie Portman wore.  There are a few costumes I found online but they look no where near authentic! So I decided to make the whole thing myself.   Being the first halloween after the movie, the tutorials to make the costume are few and far between so I studied multiple pictures and videos of the tutu, and watched traditional tutorials on how to make a pancake tutu.  I sketched it out drew out the dimensions; I should've taken pictures of our 7 step process cus it would make a great DIY tutorial!*  Not to toot my own horn, but it is already looking amazing.  With all the work going into this reincarnation, I better win this damn contest.
  • Last but certainly not least: SOBER for OCTOBER!  Yes, since I've made excuse after excuse since the very start of my 999 days, I am making a 3rd attempt to make it past 2 weeks of alcohol-free living...I'm goin for the big 30! I will start after Mandy and Robert's wedding (of course!) on the 1st and end my sobriety on Halloween. Help me Jesus

*For those truly interested in my process "How to make a DIY Black Swan costume," here ya go:
(Sorry I don't have a step-by-step picture process, but I'll post pictures within the next two weeks of each finished step)

What you'll need:
-3 different types of tulle (3 yd netting, 1 yd fine/pliable tulle, and 1 yd stiff tulle)
-1 yd black silk (use the cheapest, LIGHTEST material you can find)
-length of elastic that, once stretched, fits around your waste
-black cheerleading bloomers
-pack of Silver "sparkly" pipe cleaners (I think I only used 4 or 5). a pack of 25 was completely unnecessary unless one day I decide to make a bunch of crappy Christmas ornaments
-black corset
-pack of black ostrich feathers
-crystal jewels (these must be FOR clothing...don't use sequin. Sequin isn't porous and therefore will not stick if glued to your bodice)

Phase I- Skirt
  1. Cut 6 lengths of netting using a 4:1 waste ratio, decreasing each layer's width by 1.5 inches. If you think about the tutu like the layers of the Earth and you're the "inner core" (don't laugh, this will help), these 6 layers are the "mantle." I used a netting which, once starched, holds up the "pancake" shape very well.  Widest (top) layer will be 16 inches and go down from there with the shortest layer being the one that'll be closest to your legs.
  2. Pin the stacked 6 layers in place, lining them up along the top edge where you'll be sewing them together. Watch the YouTube video (yea, this is a step, again don't laugh) on how to pleat and sew tulle together.  There's only one good'll see it.
  3. Once the 6 layers are pinned and pleated together, the loooong length you started with should perfectly wrap around your waste.  Sew this onto a length of elastic that wraps perfectly around your waste when slightly stretched.  Sew the ends together to form a skirt, leaving some space at the top for some snaps, buttons, whatever you wanna use to fit the skirt up your thighs and keep it around your waste!  The tulle should "point" upwards so that when you flatten around and starch, it will be parallel to the floor.  Call this the pancake.
  4. Repeat Step 1 & 2 using the stiff tulle and a 3:1 waste ratio.  The widest layer will be 8 inches, smallest being 1 inch.  Once pleated and sewn together, sew onto bloomers and again, sew pointing up so once flattened, it will be parallel to the floor.  (This might actually take two people...I stretched the bloomers while my mom sewed on the tulle.)  Figuratively, this is the "outer core."
Go have a beer.  Hard part's over.
  1. Lay the silk over your pancake and cut a hole in the center where your waiste goes and around the edges of the skirt (Yea, I know that not supposed to be the way you sew, but I am a layman).  Cut a slit to match up to the opening/closure of the skirt, and sew to the wasteband. Now you have your "crust." 
  2. Hot glue some of the crystals on the left corner, saving the rest for the bodice.
  3. Use the fine/pliable tulle to gently lay across the skirt as sort of a fluffy, barely there layer.
This is why I used the Earth as an example.  Once your bloomers are on, the stiff tulle should stick out parallel to the floor without starch (outer core). Skirt/silk/soft tulle (mantle and crust) should fit right over the bloomers and stick out like a pancake.
And there's your skirt!

Phase II- Bodice
I bought a very plain black corset and attached the ostrich feathers to the top right boob and a little along the wasteband of the skirt. Bejewel as you see fit, but I stayed as close as I could to the original!

Phase III- Crown
Using the silver pipe cleaners, abstractly bend them in a way to look like a tiara. (I promise I'll post pictures since that was entirely too vague)