Custom Style

Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic

Tag Archives: Jack Russell Terrier

Just One More Sleep ’til Christmas!

It’s Christmas Eve… so how about one more post for 2013!

What kind of costumer would I be if I didn’t dress my dog up for Christmas?

Wensley makes a cute Christmas card. It’s the Jack Russell in him. =)

You may remember last year’s card, which was his first. We didn’t try any dress up then because we didn’t know how he would take it.

This year we pulled out the Santa hat we had for our last dog and I shortened the elastic a bit to fit Wensley.

My good little Santa dog sits well on command this year. =)

We only pulled out the front window tree with its plastic ornaments this year (I’ll do battle to protect the special glass ornaments on the bigger den tree from the dog next year).

The front window tree is an iridescent white tree with colored lights.

I love how it glows like a beacon at night!

Coming up in future posts (in no particular order): the details of the Wonder Woman cape build, some handmade Christmas gifts I stitched up, pattern testing results, and a giveaway.

Merry Christmas, everyone! May you all have wonderful holidays with good friends & family!

See you next year!

A Liebster Award (with Pics!)

I’ve recently been bestowed a blogging award… twice!

While I was busy sewing cheer uniforms, I was awarded a Liebster Award by Julie of ParyMoppins.net (you may remember her vintage hat that I restored).

And before I had a chance to “accept” it, my new blogging friend (via Twitter) Stephanie of Love-Teach-Sew also awarded me the Liebster!

I am doubly honored. =)

I do have to say that a lot of these blogging awards confuse me. I think I’m just too logical to completely understand them, and the rules always seem to change as they get passed around from blog to blog.

Case in point, the rules from both my nominators were completely different when it came to passing it on. I’m so bad about passing awards on (sorry!) because a) it seems that half of the blogs I would nominate already have the award and b) the rules usually disqualify the other half.

Anyway, to show my appreciation to my sweet nominators, I will combine their questions into a list of 11 and share 11 random facts about myself. (The number 11 is inexplicably the one consistent thing about all the versions of the Liebster Award rules.)

I hope everyone enjoys the randomness… with pics! =)

11 Questions:

  1. Cats or Dogs? Little dogs. Especially Jack Russell Terriers.

May I sit on your lap? Pleeeeze?

  1. What is your favorite form of social networking?/ What do you do in your spare time?  I have considered blogging my hobby for a while now, but I would say that Twitter is more addictive. More instant gratification I suppose.
  2. Coffee or Tea?  Tea. With milk and sugar – the British way. I can’t stand coffee because I’m a Supertaster and it’s disgustingly bitter to me.

  1. How many siblings do you have? One younger sister.
  2. What’s the first thing you’ve sewn?/What’s the first wearable thing you’ve sewn?/Why did you start sewing? I don’t really remember what the first wearable item I made was, but these questions are all answered to some degree in this blog post.
  3. Who’s your biggest inspiration?/Where do you find new sewing inspiration? Lots of creative people inspire me and many of them are my blogging friends and commenters when it comes to sewing. The online sewing community is amazingly cool. Sewists, #sewcialists and Sewasaurus Rexes all!
  4. What’s your favorite craft besides sewing? I really like millinery but I don’t have all the tools I really need/want. And I miss my college days of stained glass making. Once again, lack of tools. I do occasional origami – sometimes in miniature.

Each little “flower” started as a one-inch square piece of paper.

  1. What’s your dream project? To work in a costume shop for a big budget period or sci-fi/fantasy movie with amazing costume designs to build. And then NOT to work full-time on set once they are built. =)
  2. What’s your favorite sewing snack? I often forget to eat when I’m involved in a project, but I try to keep nuts (especially almonds or cashews) nearby. Often, they are candied or chocolate covered.

Currently, I have Cocoa Almonds and Chocolate Butter Toffee Peanuts.

  1. What’s your craft space like? See for yourself – it’s the most popular post on my blog (and here’s the sequel). It’s even in a book!
  2. Which projects were you most excited about that turned out a complete fail? I had a lot of fails as a kid trying to learn to sew without much guidance. But the most epic fail I remember was one when I was probably in 8th grade. I wanted to make a jumper (dress worn with a shirt underneath) that I could wear to school. I chose a nice simple princess seamed pattern but I used denim that was WAY too thick. Once it was made, I hated how stiff & belled the hem was – it stood out from my legs in the most unflattering way. It was a complete disappointment. Most sewing fails are the result of bad fabric choice.

11 Random Facts (in Random Order):

  1. I was Salutatorian of my graduating class in high school. (But there were only 29 of us in the class.)

A page in my senior scrapbook from high school. One of my good friends was the Valedictorian (on right) – that’s why we both have medals.

  1. Randomness/improv is amusing and makes me laugh, but I completely stink at being random. I’m too cerebral. Just ask my husband. (You have no idea how hard it is to come up with random facts about myself!)
  1. I play piano. I got my very own upright grand vintage piano (1927 I think) from a neighbor two doors down. It’s so heavy took 3 men to wheel it down the sidewalk and then lift it over the threshold.

My vintage upright grand piano.

  1. If I were rich, I’d pay my sister to do all my cooking. She’s better at it than I am and she actually enjoys it!
  1. My husband and I met online BEFORE it was cool. (I’m talking in the days of dial-up!)
  1. Star TREK is my first sci-fi love, but I enjoy lots of other things like Star Wars, Firefly, Back to the Future, Doctor Who – yeah, I just plain like sci-fi.  But not horror.
  1. I don’t have a personal Facebook account – just my “business page”.
  1. I originally wanted to be a Disney animator.
  1. I have an Uncle Donald who was a safety engineer at Disney World until he retired a few years ago.
  1. I’ve moved 18 times. Some of those moves were in the same town and others were across the country. I don’t ever want to move again.
  1. I have really good color memory. I do really well at matching shade & tint in the store without having the object I am matching with me.

___________________________

Okay, your turn! Share something random/funny/interesting in the comments. =)

A Custom Style Christmas

Every year, my husband and I design our Christmas cards using a simple photo that always involves our dog.  I usually come up with the concept and he helps me execute it.

This year was the first year we’ve had Wensley for the Christmas card, and we weren’t sure he would be as easy to photograph as our last Jack Russell, who was an old pro at our crazy photo shoots.

Well, Wensley was amazing, and I managed to get the exact photo I wanted by take 7 or 8!  Lots of treats were given (so he was well paid) and he had so much fun playing the new “game” that he wanted to keep going long after we called it quits.  (I think 100 photos is more than enough, dog.  But thanks!)

UPDATE 10/17/13: This card is now available for sale in my Zazzle store. Can be customized.

So to my online friends whose physical addresses I do not have for sending cards, here’s a virtual version of this year’s card:

Card Front
I tied some red ribbon around our green storage ottoman to use as the “gift” prop.

Photo Inside Card
Wensley stands & sits on our ottoman all the time because he’s not allowed on any of the other furniture, so this was an easy shot to get.

Inside message:

Merry Christmas!  from the Wilkersons

“Oh, that birth forever blessed,
When the Virgin, full of grace,
By the Holy Ghost conceiving,
Bore the Savior of our race,
And the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,
First revealed His sacred face
Evermore and evermore.”

                        Of the Father’s Love Begotten – hymn stanza 2

Card Back
We usually use a funny photo or outtake on the back, but we decided on something normal this year because it was the first time some of our friends & family would be seeing our new pup.

And here are two of my favorite outtakes that were not included in the original card:

“You want me to do what? You’re crazy.”

Most people know JRTs are fast, but here’s some proof.

Have a wonderful Christmas holiday, everyone!

My Blog Turns 2 – with a Post Count Milestone!

November is a month of birthdays for my household.  Our puppy Wensley started the month when he turned one on the First.

Don’t let the cute face fool you – he’s no saint, despite his birth date!

Then I got old…er.

Then my husband had his birthday.

And now my blog ends the month with a birthday.  So with the 60th post, happy second birthday, little blog!

In some ways, I can’t believe it’s been two years since I started this blog.  In other ways, I can because it seems like I’ve been actively a part of the blogosphere forever.

Thank you so much to all my regular readers and commenters – you all make me smile every time you take a minute to share your thoughts!  I really enjoy the interaction, and I enjoy reading so many of your blogs as well!

I have a list of ideas for upcoming posts.  There will be some stories about childhood sewing and excitingly successful research about my vintage Wizard brand sewing machine to share.  I’m currently in the middle of making Gandalf the Green his own table (so there will be another sewing room IKEA hack coming up) and I have a bunch of mock-ups ready to fit after I clean up my sewing room a little.

I hope you have enjoyed how my blog has evolved over the past two years and will continue to come back.

And if there’s anything specific you would be interesting in reading about, please let me know in the comments!

More Costuming “Glamour”

So I was in the middle of (and making decent progress on) lots of my own projects last weekend when the phone rang. And suddenly my schedule is completely different! That’s the life of a freelancer.

I was offered a job helping the costume designer for Shakespeare Dallas’s fall show – it’s a modern dress version of “that Scottish play” (aka Macbeth for those of you unfamiliar with theatre superstition). It opens in just three weeks and between the two of us, we have to come up with around 75 costumes. Ahh, the joys of low budget theatre!

Luckily, we have some costumer friends at The Dallas Theater Center and the University of Dallas who let us pull what we could use from their costume storage places. So we have spent the week digging through piles of clothes & shoes and then lugging it all back to our space.

Shakespeare Dallas also has some stock of its own; unfortunately, it’s in an old warehouse with no electricity or water. Ahh. The joys. Of low budget… theatre…

I was rather shocked that there was so much in SD’s storage! And sadly, it’s not exactly ideal conditions for costume storage. It was a bit depressing to see so many items (including bolts of fabric!) exposed to the elements knowing that they would eventually become unusable.

(I would like to apologize for the following crummy cell phone photos – no electricity and bad lighting make cell pics look even worse than normal and I cleaned them up as much as I could.)

So we walked into SD’s storage warehouse and it was a bit of a scavenger hunt:

Shoes were in bins somewhere behind all of this.

I started pulling shoes and the designer went sifting through the racks of costumes in the far back corner:

The racks of costumes.

My biggest goal was to find matching pairs of shoes – they weren’t all attached in pairs and it was dark. I pulled a bunch of shoe bins out of the dark area and closer to the door and began pairing them.

The laces of many pairs had been knotted together on the ends – one of my biggest pet peeves! This meant that they tangle around other pairs in the same bin and are impossible to pull out without grabbing a giant clump of shoes all at once.

I retied the pairs in bows as I extracted them from the bins.

If a pair of shoes is tied in a single bow, it is easier to untie, can be picked up with one finger, and doesn’t become tangled with other pairs in a bin.

After I pulled a bunch of shoes, I joined in the search through the racks for clothing:

I have no idea what the yellow thing on the left rack is, but it reminds me of Big Bird.
Maybe it’s from a Sesame Street version of Shakespeare, hehe.

I’m glad we only spent about 2 hours in the hot warehouse before we stuffed everything into the car and took it back to the theatre space. Ahh, the joys of… yeah.

I will be making a few simple things, and fittings are coming up next week – I hope most of the costumes we pulled will fit the actors!

And to make up a little for the not so great photos, here’s one of Wensley when he went to work with my husband earlier this week:

Hey, Dad, the computer is boring – let’s play!

Apparently, this wasn’t a one-time thing and he likes to migrate from lap to desk.

Take Your D(ogg)er to Work Day

I had a job today (Nike commercial reshoots) and my husband sent me this photo from his office:

I guess Wensley just wanted to stare at him eye-to-eye while he worked, hehe.

Stars and Stripes

Happy Fourth of July!

This past Sunday my church celebrated Independence Day with an outdoor picnic after the service. We are encouraged to dress casually & patriotically for this annual event, but (call me old-fashioned) I just can’t bring myself to wear shorts & a t-shirt to worship! (Had it not been an outdoor event in the Texas heat, I probably would have worn my ’40s dress with a red headband instead of hat.)

I did, however, dress less formally than my usual church attire – I wore a casual skirt I made myself for a 4th of July party a few years ago.

My casual patriotic skirt.

I made this skirt out of scraps of denim I had left from a client’s project and a yard of patriotic stripes I bought because it wasn’t so stereotypical “stars and stripes”. I had to piece the denim before I cut the pattern out, but luckily, it is a dark enough navy that the piecing is hard to notice from the outside.

You can see some of my crazy piecing on the inside because I serged everything in ivory thread.

I used a store-bought Vogue pattern – number 8296 (it’s now out-of-print). I always liked the lines of the pattern for view A but I can’t stand raw edges on my clothes. So I did some fun point sewing, and by using two different fabrics, the style lines really stand out.

Pattern & completed skirt.
Sewing tip: when choosing a pattern, look at the style lines of the garment sketch instead of the envelope art – it will keep you from being influenced by the colors and fabric choices of the designer.

I like how the pattern’s asymmetrical seams sort of look like points on a star and how the stripes end up going in all different directions.

Side and Back view of skirt. It is nice how the slight breeze is catching the flounce so you kind of can see how the skirt moves.

I tried to make myself a patriotic outfit that wasn’t too cliché (I get bored with the garments that look like you’re wearing a flag) and I think it ended up being a fun skirt.

Wensley wanted in on the action but he wanted to get too close to the camera, so I’m having to hold him back, hehe.

I hope all of you in the U.S. have a wonderful Fourth!

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