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Saturday, 25 October 2014

10 things you may not know about me:

I believe in unicorns, but I have finally come to terms with the fact that I will probably never get to see or meet one in real life. 


I have a ridiculously broad range of music that I listen to. I enjoy banging out to stuff like Rabbit Junk and Electric Wizard, but I am just as likely to be listening to Ellie Goulding, Hilltop Hoods or 1D, depending on my mood at the time.


I am probably one of the biggest hoarders I've ever met.


I was playing D&D a little while ago when a unicorn revealed itself to my character, gave me a magical lock of its glorious mane, and then fought side by side with our group in a battle. I literally cried with joy and was fangirling so hard that I couldn't even think of anything to say or ask it before it left.



Ronald McDonald stood me up on my 4th birthday and I have hated him ever since.


The first time I met my boyfriend was at a screening of Tommy Wiseau's 'The Room'.


I like my whisky straight, no chaser.


I use to do Taekwon-Do when I was about 5 or 6. One time I really needed to pee, but I was too scared to ask the instructor where the toilets were and if I could use them because he was a big scary martial arts dude and I was a very timid little girl, so I tried really hard to hold it in until the end of class. It didn't work.



I want my hair to be amazing, like Daigoro and Tank Girl. 


When I catch a train, I always try to get a seat with a wall behind it, so I can draw and read and stuff without being paranoid about random people peeking over my shoulder. It's my secrets! You aren't allowed to see!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Tutorial: Baggy Dude Shirt Convert Time!


Hello my lovelies!

I have found that a lot of the shirts I like are only available in guy sizes.
In the past when I came across this problem, I would either decide I didn't need it or I would get the size small and probably only end up wearing it around the house because of the whole dudes not being lady shaped and me looking like a dag thing.

HOWEVER! I finally gutsed up a while ago and put the scissors to one of these shirts so I could try and make it fit me better. It turned out to be somewhat of a success and it has since become a little bit of an addiction. I have only completed 3 so far, but I plan to make many more because it is fun and I get cool clothes out of it!

In this here blog post, I am going to show you how I turn my big baggy t-shirts like this one...

Into something like this:

 Before I tell you how to do this, I want you to be aware that a lot of my process involves just winging it and the photos I will be showing you were only taken for my own future reference because I didn't know I was going to be making this tutorial. I will do my best to explain everything and hopefully these photos will be sufficient. If you have any questions or confusions about any of this, feel free to ask in the comments and I will try to help :)

  Things you will need: 
  • A shirt that you are willing to cut up (remember that accidents can happen)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Pins for holding stuff together
  • Chalk or a fabric pencil for drawing on stuff
  • A sewing machine (or needle and thread and lots of spare time...)
  • A shirt that already fits you nicely (optional)
  • And a mirror somewhere that you can see your torso in

Now, technically you should make sure your shirt has been washed before you start this so you know it isn't going to shrink or change shape or anything.
You don't have to, but I would recommend it.

Done that?
Cool.
Let's do it!

1. Put your shirt on and have a look in the mirror so you can check if there are any defects or anything that you need to take into account before you start your shirt convert. One of my shirts had a little bump on one side of the neck where it had caught a bit of extra fabric during manufacturing, which meant the print sat ever so slightly at an angle when it was on, so I had to make sure I got it straight when I was working out where to cut.
While you still have the shirt on, use your chalk to mark out how long you want it to be (front, back and sides), where you want your neckline to fall, where the arm holes/sleeves should start, and anything else you might need for your particular design.
If you want to really custom fit your shirt, you can pin where you want the seams to be now. Just make sure you don't do it too tight, you still need to be able to get it on and off. If you prefer, you can get your side lines using a shirt that already fits during the next step.

 2. Now you get to play around and work out the main part of your design :D
Lay your shirt down flat and flesh out the marks you made for the bottom, neck, and arms. If you didn't pin your sides earlier, grab a shirt that fits you nicely and lay it neatly over your baggy shirt, making sure you get the necks and bottoms parallel so you don't end up with a rhombus shaped top. Trace the shape of the sides onto your baggy shirt with your chalk. If you did pin your sides earlier, draw your lines along your pins. Don't forget to mark the back as well.

 Now sketch out anything else you might want to add. I have a bit of a thing for square necklines and butt tails, but this part is entirely up to you, so go nuts. I decided I didn't like that star on the back as soon as I finished drawing it, but I was going to have it as a cut out. I haven't played around with them yet, but when I do I will be sure to share my adventures. You could use any simple stencil design for cut outs on any part of your shirt, maybe even add a layer of nice lace fabric or something underneath it later if you are feeling fancy.

3. Once you have your design worked out, it's time to start deconstructing your t-shirt. Because we are going to have some raw looking edges from cutting, you will want to make all the rest of the edges raw too.
It looks a little bit silly when half of the edges are raw and half of them are professionally finished, so go ahead and start cutting. You will want to take off the collar, the sleeves, the hem of the sleeves, and the hem on the bottom of the shirt, as pictured below.


After you have done that, you can stretch out the raw edges to make them look a bit nicer. They will stretch with wear and washing anyway, so it is best to do it now while you are still making it. You probably don't want to cut a big deep neckline only to have it stretch and become an underbust.
If your sides aren't pinned yet, do that, and then try your shirt on again in front of the mirror because we are going to start fitting it soon and you need to make sure everything you just drew is going to be in the right place. Fix anything up if you need to.

Once you are happy with how everything looks, take it off and take a big deep breath because we are about to get to the scary part.

4. Are you ready? It's time to cut out your necklines, armholes and bottoms. You might want to do a bit at a time so you don't accidentally cut too much. I like to cut about an inch away from my lines to start with, stretch them out, and then try it on again so I can see if something is about to go terribly wrong. You might not always need to cut all the way to the line because of the stretching, but mine have all ended up pretty much bang on so how you go about this depends on how brave you are. Good luck.

Okay, you've cut your shape, got your sides pinned, tried it on again, and hopefully are on your way to a fabulous new top. If you are happy with how things are going, we shall continue. If you aren't happy with what you have just done, don't get too disappointed. You can always cut out the picture to use as a sweet patch and use the left over fabric for something else. That's why we didn't pick your favourite shirt.

5. If you've got your sides pinned so that the excess fabric is on the inside of the shirt, you are good to go. If you have the excess on the outside, you will need to turn your shirt inside out and move it around until you have a nice neat line down the side as close to the pins as you can get. Chalk this line, repeat on the other side, and then remove the pins and re-pin it while it is inside out.
Try to get your armholes and bottom cuts even where they meet up at the sides. I like to make sure my armpit is lined up nicely first because the bottom is easier to even out if I need to. Once everything is all in place, go ahead and sew those side seams. Trim off most of the excess, turn it back so the outside is on the outside again, check your fit and make sure you didn't screw up. I recommend not cutting the excess too close to the seam until you know it fits in case you need to undo it and try again.
If my instructions have been comprehensible, you will hopefully have something along the lines of this:
Except, like... your design.
If you like, you can leave it like this, but I'm going to keep going.

The next thing I do is ladder/weave. You can have a lot of fun playing around with these by using different shapes and weaves and putting them in different areas. I usually put a big one down the back, but they look good pretty much anywhere.

6. Figure out what shape you want and then draw a bunch of evenly spaced horizontal lines in that shape. I did a sort of hourglass shape for this shirt and a diamond shape for the black one. I just drew these by eye, but you might want to use a ruler or something if you aren't very good at drawing straight lines.

When you have your shape drawn up, go ahead and cut along the lines making sure you don't accidentally cut the other layer of fabric underneath. I added little vertical lines on the ends of mine so it was easier to tell where to stop cutting.

After you have cut them, stretch them out and start weaving. I'm not even going to try and explain how to do this in text, so I have added a video just below that will teach you how to do two different weave styles.



If you're not sure how to finish off the end of your weave, do this:


You should now have something that looks like this:
Yay!

I finished off my Vyrion shirt by adding some cool detailing over the side seams.


To do this, I took the excess fabric I had cut off my shirt and cut two strips of equal size, long enough to cover the whole seam. I then folded those strips in half lengthways and cut little snips the whole way down the folded side, being careful not to cut all the way through, and stretched them out so I ended up with two pieces like this:
 I pinned them over the top of the side seams and sewed down both sides of the piece so it ended up like a little tube. The sides automatically rolled themselves over to hide the stitching because of the stretching.



Want to add some sleeves?

Relocate the ones you cut off earlier and I will attempt to explain how I went about doing mine.

Now, I am sure there is a fancier way to do this, but I put my shirt on, stood in front of the mirror, and tucked my piece of sleeve fabric into the armhole, moving it around until it sat nicely. I then used the chalk to mark onto the sleeve fabric where the armhole ran across it, where I wanted the sleeve to end, and for my particular sleeve design I drew where I wanted my cut outs and slits to be. You might want to pin it while you are doing this so it doesn't slip around and mess up your marking.
Then I took the sleeve back out (leaving the rest of the shirt on) and put it on my desk so I could draw the shape up properly, making sure I left extra space for seam allowance and adjustments where the sleeve would attach to the shirt.

I cut it out, stretched all the raw edges and tucked it back into the armhole quickly to make sure it looked right before tracing the shape onto the other piece of sleeve material for the other arm.
Cut and stretch your second sleeve, pin them both into place and sew them on.
Now you have sleeves :D

If there is anything else you want to add to your shirt, now is the perfect time to go crazy on it with finishing touches.

Get any remaining chalk off by either washing it or beating the crap out of it on some carpet or something.

You might want to gently hand wash your shirt if you are worried about it getting ruined in the washing machine. I washed mine by hand the first time but then I got lazy. My cut up shirts have been through the washing machine lots of times and I haven't had any problems yet, but I like to live dangerously.

Now go and show off your new sexy awesome shirt!


Be sure to show me a photo of your finished shirt convert if you do one.
I want to see it with my eyeballs!
#shirtconvert

Peace out xx

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

A Passionate Post

I have a pretty varied sense of fashion, and while I enjoy many of the less outlandish things I have found available, I constantly find myself looking for something a little more interesting and different, something more relatable to me personally. Unfortunately, most of the time when I do find these things, they are either ridiculously expensive or unavailable, so I have taken to making my own wearable items.

I have always loved creating. Whether I am drawing silly cartoons, sculpting little figurines, editing old footage, or making up songs in the shower. There is just something about all this that grabs me by the shoulders and won't let go. Even as a very young child, I was probably more interested in drawing than making friends, which consequently made it harder to do just that when I got older.

Behold the art of my youth.

Most people thought that I was just a shy kid and would soon grow out of it, but I realised later that wasn't exactly the case.
E.g. In high school, one of the worst things for me was when a teacher would announce an oral presentation assignment. I would feel a squeezing sensation in my chest and spend the next few weeks having terrified crying sessions in my bedroom. When it came time to get up in front of the class my hands would start shaking uncontrollably, my eyes would tear up and I would feel like I couldn't breathe. I'd stand there like this, trying to make my words audible as I read them through the watery blur obscuring my sight, and then I would retreat back to my desk and ponder deeply about how stupid I must have looked getting all worked up about something so trivial. Eventually the teachers took note of my crippling anxiety and would allow me to do my speeches during lunch time while the other children weren't in the room.

I did try various things to reduce this anxiety and stress, and while I feel like it got better for a time, it was probably more a case of me getting better at disguising it than actually making any progress on the problem itself. During my last years at school and the ones following graduation, I spent most of my time alone in my bedroom. The only person I really hung out with was my brother, the few friends I had were online, and basically the only time I left the house was to go to work. Some people may find that depressing, but being the breed of introvert that I am, I didn't really have a problem with this lifestyle. Until I realised that all this time alone wasn't doing anything for my self esteem and on the rare occasions that I did go out or see people, my anxiety was worse than ever. It didn't matter who I was with, be it strangers or the family I had grown up with, I would be so awkward and self conscious the whole time that I would often just end up declining invitations or wish that I had.

 It wasn't that I didn't want to see these people or spend time with them.
I did want to, I just didn't know how to do it without feeling uncomfortable.
Somewhere around the middle of high school, I decided it would be kind of cool to dye my hair a decidedly unnatural colour. I don't know why, I just liked the idea of it. I had put colours in my hair before, but bleaching and dying the whole thing permanent turquoise was definitely a step up from my previous trials.

Initially I got a few comments from people I wouldn't normally talk to and that was kind of awkward for me, but I found myself really liking this hair colour and actually started to feel a little more confident because of it.
That's not to say that I busted out of my cocoon into a magical confident butterfly or anything. I'm still very much an awkward caterpillar, but I found that a good way to boost my self esteem was to forget about everyone else and wear things that I personally enjoyed. It seems pretty obvious now, but for some reason it took me a while to figure that out. It didn't matter if other people liked it or not, because I liked it.

My alterations had already spread from my hair and onto other things. It started with very simple little customisations like colouring in the white squares on my checkered shoes with rainbow textas and making a little Mario-esque star patch to sew over a hole in this pink beret I found at an op shop. Nothing particularly exciting, but it was fun. Then I got a little deeper into it.

 I started doing full paint jobs on old shoes I didn't wear and adding studs, cutting up baggy dude t-shirts and reconstructing them into fitted tops with pretty detailing, and making a cheap thumb ring that was too big for me finally fit by covering it in clay and turning it into a ring that I actually like and wear all the time.
The clay adventure branched off into sculpting lighter cases and other jewellery and accessories, as well as little figurines and an art doll that I am currently (very slowly) working on. I'm always experimenting with new ways to make or change things and I love every single part of the process.


My actual process for customising things that already exist:


 It's kind of crazy how empowering it feels to me. I see so many awesome product and fashion pictures on the internet and most of them I don't have the skills or resources that would have been required during their creation, but they give me ideas to experiment with in my own stuff. I usually end up with something that is completely different to what I saw, but it gives me the same amount of appreciation. For what it lacks in exceptional design and professional production, it makes up with in 'I MADE IT! IT WAS ALL ME!'.

I never use to wear these things very often, but whether it was for fear of them getting ruined, people thinking they were shitty, or something else entirely I am not sure. Probably some combination of all of those.
 Either way, I have started wearing them now and I am already addicted. It just feels so GOOD to wear something you made with your own hands and brains.
Also, it is like the most flattering thing ever when someone compliments you and asks where you got it.

I have actually started venturing out of my bedroom a lot more during this past year.
I don't want to be that super awkward chick anymore so I am putting myself outside of my comfort zone and actually spending some time around real human beings.
I am fortunate enough to have a boyfriend with very good taste in friends, so I actually look forward to going out sometimes now.
It is still easy for me to get closed in and want to hide in my room, and I am pretty sure I will always be like that, but I am slowly getting better at handling outside contact and it feels awesome.

Anyway, I am sick of going into town and seeing everyone wearing the same 3 shirts, so ignore the dicks and wear whatever makes you feel comfortable.
We are all unique and we should let it be known.
Carpe yolo.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

An Introduction to Me

Greetings, I am Jemilla.
Code name: Jim.

I spend most of my time hiding up in the mountains of Eastern Australia; drawing silly pictures, cutting up clothes and making items from all the crap that I have lying around in my room. When I am not doing those things, I can be found floating around on aerial apparatuses or visiting the city to spend time with my partner and our friends. Also movies. Lots of movies. 

I started blogging many moons ago.
And by blogging I mean forgetting that I had a blog and/or just being lazy. Either way, I'm here now and ready to rectify all that!
This blog is for weirdos and creatives who want to follow my spontaneous brain ramblings and project updates, and get an insight into how I go about making my stuff. It also serves to motivate my creational tendencies. Perhaps you may even find something to motivate or inspire your fine self while you are here.

I am currently trying to prepare for the possibility of starting my very own creative business (it's confusing and scary!) and am working on increasing my fitness and flexibility so I can do super awesome tricks and feel better about myself.
These quests are progressing pretty well so far.

This is your Captain, signing off.


Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Possibly Progress or Something of the Sort

Hello my lovely internet beings!

I appear to have spent the last couple of months hiding away from this blog, but it is time that I returned to give you some news. I brought you some cookies as well, but you mustn't eat them yet.
First I want to tell you a couple of things.

Un:
I will be the voice of Lucidia Nebulous in Klaus tehKurios' new animated film 'School of Demons.' Check out his website www.tehkurios.com and go support his Patreon campaign if you want to get in on all the glorious behind the scenes shenanigans during the films creation. It is pretty entertaining.


Deux:
I have been working on my productivity levels and I think I am finally starting to get into work mode after a few months of half arsed creation as I enjoyed my new jobless freedom. Here are two of my most recently completed illustration thingies.

 
This second one was for my friend in Sweden. He asked me to draw his tattoo idea for him and I was like 'Hell yeah I want my shit to permanently scar people!' so I agreed.


And last but not probably least...

Trois:
Are you ready for merch overload? I hope so because...

 
 BOOM!!!

Merchsplosion.

You can buy my stuff on stuff now. I got Limbs When Convenient stickers the other day and they smell delicious.
Reminds me of sniffing pool toys when I was young.
If you want some of these fabulous merch bomb debris, visit my Redbubble here or my Spreadshirt here and give me some sweet and supportive dollars.
That is all I have to say for now.
You may eat your cookies.

Enjoy x

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Becoming a Full-Time Crazy Lady

I have been an early childhood teacher for just over 3.5 years now.
I started as soon I was old enough to work in the industry, which was pretty much immediately after I finished school.

It is lovely and stressful and rewarding, but it was never something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I have always been much more interested in the idea of making a living through art and the things inside my mind, so a few days ago I handed in my resignation.

I am still living with my parents (because they are cool and I am a lazy dependent baby) and I have been saving money since I was a pretty young child, so I figure if I am going to attempt to make something of my creative endeavours, now is definitely the best time to do so.

My last day is Friday the 13th, which was completely coincidental but totally awesome.
It has been a good few years and I am really going to miss the children and most (but admittedly not all) of the staff.

 This journey will not be an easy one; I am going to have to work super hard on my self discipline and procrastination problems, but I can do it! >:c
There will be schedules and goal planning and ALL that shit.
More importantly, lots of consumption of motivational/informational/inspirational media to keep me pumped.

ONWARDS TO AWESOME!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Maverick + Shoulder Piece Update

I literally finished my costume less than 2 minutes before my boyfriend rocked up to take us to the party and I only got around to photographing the gun and armour properly the other day because I am lazy.

Take these in your eyes!


I really like how my mav looks, but the spray paint made the insides kinda tight and sticky (lol) so it is slightly crippled now.
It still works though... most of the time.

I did the roulette mod on it as well, but I only had a pair of pliers, a stanley knife, and a crappy nail file, so I couldn't get the nubs all the way down. I thought it would still be fine, but after the paint was added on top, it was mostly pointless.


The completed shoulder piece:
 
I totally dropped it on my way out to put the final clear coat on before adding the trim and buckle strap, you can see the top of the large spike chipped off.

I was planning to do more detailing on this during the sculpting and painting, but it was too much of a mission and I didn't have time. I think it turned out good anyway.


Leo and myself being party.

------------------------------------------------------------------


 KNEEL BEFORE WAR KITTY!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Injuring Myself Again...

Hello, and welcome to Jemilla's Injury Emporium!

I don't think I have mentioned it on here before, but I started taking aerial classes this year. You know, the acrobatic/dancey/circus stuff.

It is super fun and I am loving it so far, especially the difference I have seen in my strength and body definition since I started. I have, however, injured my self decently 3 times already...

Let me tell you of these events.

#1 The Nose:
During my sixth class, we were attempting our first front balance on the static trapeze.
This move
We had only done a very small amount of trapeze and lyra up until this point and when my instructor asked me to come back down and try going up again (this time without using the ropes to help bring myself over the bar) I jumped off the back like I would if I was getting down from a wall or something.

I soon discovered that this was a very bad idea.

The trapeze swung back and smacked me in the nose as I was making my speedy descent. I headed to the bathroom, bled all over it, and then sidelined the rest of the class with a bag of ice stuck to my face.

It was still bleeding very lightly for the rest of the night and a little again the next morning as I was rushing getting ready for work. The cartilage also appeared to be on quite a bit of an angle now.
 
Fortunately the bruising was not very noticeable. My nose looked a little dirty but that was about it.

However, two days later I awoke with a slight derp face. The bridge of my nose had swollen and made my eyes appear weird shaped and too far apart. I didn't notice this until my boyfriend and I were getting ready for my grandmother's big 80th b'day party and I went to get a spoon for my coffee. I saw my face in the mirror and freaked the hell out.

After much comforting and some makeup application, I felt a lot better about leaving the house.


#2 The Hamstring:
One week later...
I like to think this one was less of a stupidity thing and more just a lack of flexibility.
 This time I was doing a double footlock split on the silks.
Like this but less impressive
I don't really know what happened with this but I think I just went into them too quickly and overstretched.

There was a pretty loud pop and the feeling of a pulled muscle under my left thigh but it didn't feel really bad.
When I came down, I sat on one of the mats and tried stretching and massaging it to make it feel a little better while I watched the other doods have their turn.
I was doing okay until a little while after I got home.

I was sitting on the floor talking to my parents when I tried to get up and realised my leg was super sore. After some very ungraceful maneuvers, I was standing again and made my way to my room.

I had like zero flexibility in that leg for about a week or so before it very slowly started to make its way back. I still have a lot of trouble moving/stretching it to the side but it seems to be improving.


#3 The Little Toe:
This one wasn't even at aerials.
About a week ago I was trying to do a headstand at my house after looking at too many yoga inversion pictures on instagram.

I lost balance and came down on my foot weird. My little toe was sticking out to the side and I cried like a baby for about 5 minutes on my parents bedroom floor.

I don't know if it is broken or dislocated or what, but it was only sticking out a little bit and wasn't really painful to hold in place so I just iced the crap out of it and wrapped it in place.

My fabulously sexy buddy wrap bandage on the night of the incident.

 I almost bailed on visiting my boyfie because of this one but then I decided that was dumb and I probably wouldn't need to do much walking down there anyway.
I switched my bulky bandage out for some medical tape and managed to get some shoes on for the trip down.

Little did I know that after a few drinks, we would decide to go see a sweet sludge metal band.
I had a great night, but a not so great morning.
My foot and my head were equally painful.

Warning:
Foot below.
  
This is what it looked like when I got back home

  
I am considering skipping 2nd term of aerials while I heal all my current ails because I don't think I'll be able to do any silks on this foot for a while.

I like to think that I can just keep working out and stretching and shit at home, but I know I will probably get slack like I do with everything.

I will try my bestest to not be shit though, and when I feel my foot is strong enough, I can practise on my homesilks.

Bedtime Ahoy.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Costume Projects

My time over the last couple of weeks has been relatively filled with sewing, cutting, gluing and accidentally injuring myself.
I am enjoying it immensely despite the pain and deadline stress.

My brother and I had planned to do a Batman group with a few of our friends for a convention on the Gold Coast this weekend.
I wanted to do Poison Ivy and began creating my own semi-victorian version via corset, bloomers and bustle.

The bloomers and bustle for this costume were pretty much my first ever sewing projects (after years of telling myself I would learn to sew) and I was pretty apprehensive about how they would turn out.
I looked at various patterns and designs on the internet and then drew up my own based on those. After making a half-arsed mock up of the shorts, I mustered all my courage and cut into my nice new fabric.
They turned out to be mostly a success.
 
 




So my Poison Ivy costume had reached about 90% completion and then...

Well, my boyfriend and I both realised that neither of us were really all that interested in going to Supanova and decided to attend a post-apocalypse themed party/gig instead.

So with less than a week to work out what to do for a costume, I returned to my humble abode and began some planning and preparation.

It has been a few days since I began this little side quest.
Here is my current progress: 



I shall post some sort of quest update soon.
Probably just the shoulder armour and my nerf paint job upon their completion.

Peace out my wonderful wastelanders.