Big news! I’m the 2023 Her Universe Fashion Show Judges’ Winner! So if you’ve been wondering why I’ve been completely absent from posting recently, this is why! From when I was accepted in mid-May to the show itself on July 20, I spent nearly ...
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Pigs In Pajamas: 'I wonder what Piglet is doing,' thought Pooh. 'I wish I were there to be doing it, too.' -- A.A. Milne, Winnee the Pooh

Her Universe Fashion Show 2023 Judges’ Winner

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Big news! I’m the 2023 Her Universe Fashion Show Judges’ Winner!

So if you’ve been wondering why I’ve been completely absent from posting recently, this is why! From when I was accepted in mid-May to the show itself on July 20, I spent nearly every non-working waking moment working on this look. I threw myself into it 150%. I wasn’t allowed to share anything (other than being accepted) until the show itself. But now that the show has happened I can tell you all about my design and the experience.

Even now, almost a month later, it still feels like a dream. And it was indeed a dream that came true. Ever since I first saw the show back in 2017, I wanted to be a part of the show and the amazing community surrounding it. This was my third time applying, but my first time accepted.

All the amazing HUFS 2023 designers!

Photo by Jillian Eittreim

The show itself featured 25 amazing designers. All of the designs were incredible and thoughtfully designed to encompass their chosen theme. Seriously, these are some of the most talented and creative folks I’ve met which is part of the reason I am so honored to be one of the two winners. The other winner was Raeven K. who was the Audience Winner selected by audience vote.

This year was celebrating Disney so every design was inspired by a Disney property. Mine was obviously inspired by Minnie Mouse and more specifically the 80’s album “Totally Minnie” which I listened to as a kid. I have to give a shout out to Jillian Eittreim who I commissioned to do my design submission drawing. She took my sketches and description and captured exactly what I saw in my head for an 80’s inspired Minnie Mouse look.

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Oh, yes, it converts into a cocktail version 🙂 I’ve got tons to say about the dress, how it was made, what I learned and the amazing community of designers and I’m thrilled to be a part of. I’ll be making some reels and YouTube videos to share everything that went into this, what worked and what didn’t.

In between, I’ll also be sharing some of the other items that I’ve worked on that I didn’t have time to previously do blog posts for because, well, see above.

In the meantime, you can check out the full show on YouTube below:



Kitty Pryde Casual Cosplay (Self-Drafted) — with Lockheed the dragon backpack!

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Time for one of my throwback posts. As in, one of the ones I meant to post ages ago, but just never got around to it. 

This one is for my Kitty Pryde casual cosplay that I made for Comic Con 2019 and also ended up wearing to the intro party at Costume College that year. I self-drafted the dress myself.

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Both images above are from so you can get an idea of her main outfits.

For those not familiar with her, Kitty Pryde is most known as one of the X-Men, though she was part of many different groups. Her main super power is changing phase so she can slip through walls and other solids. She’s been a favorite of mine because she’s one of the few Jewish female superheroes AND she studied computer science! Her little purple dragon is named Lockheed. You can read more about Kitty here if you’re interested.

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Kitty’s had quite a few outfits over the years as she switched teams, but her main ones are variations of the black and yellow. I took inspiration from several different versions after scouring the internet. I liked the red belt for contrast, but I liked the nice V shape the yellow section made on many of her costumes. I chose to bring the yellow all the way down as my interpretation since I was making a skirt variation.

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And then I repeated the same motif on the back. The skirt is a full circle with a strip of yellow the same width as the bottom of the V. The black and yellow fabric is scuba from Fabric Wholesale Direct. The red is from a local store and, wow, did it bleed. I washed it at least 5 times and each time both color catchers were solid red (yes, I went through at least 10 color catchers). I knew I couldn’t very well use that fabric for anything I would wear regularly, so I used it for the muslin:

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This was one of my first self-drafted items using the moulage from my class with Kenneth King. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out for a first go! As you can see in the picture above, I didn’t properly account for the stretch so I had to pinch out a couple places here and there, mostly around the bust and back.

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The other part about this drafting that I was quite proud of was the pockets. I used invisible zippers to make near invisible pockets. The fabric has such body that I knew pockets wouldn’t poof out the sides. Since I was going to be wandering around the convention, I didn’t want to worry about things falling out of my pockets (like room keys or lipstick), so I wanted to be sure it had a zipper and the thick scuba really hides the zipper. So happy with how it turned out and you really can’t tell unless you’re looking close.

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Finally, I couldn’t do a Kitty Pryde costume without her Lockheed. In keeping with the theme of not wanting to carry extra stuff around, I made him into a backpack! I used the dragon backpack pattern from Choly Knight and then just picked the details I wanted (i.e., the back spikes, wings and horns — yes, the picture above was taken before I attached the horns, oops). I also purchased the embroidery files for the eyes because I think they really complete it. I love that my version of Lockheed is so cute! It really fit with the short dress version of Kitty. But for real, I would carry this backpack even without the rest of the costume; it’s that cute.

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For the fabric, I used some sweatshirt fleece from my stash, but I actually used the inside of the fleece for the main part of the body to give it texture. For the contrast details — horns, spikes, underwings, fingers and toes — I used the right side which gave them a “shinier” look. I put on black straps so it would blend in to my outfit as much as possible. He’s got 2 pockets. The main one accessible from his tummy and a second secret one. The pattern is fantastic. I’ve used other Choly Knight patterns since and very much recommend them.

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Finally I styled it with one of my Star of David necklaces since it’s often pointed out that she wore one. For shoes, ideally I would have had some yellow boots, but it was summer in San Diego, so, no. Instead I went with some simple, very comfortable, black Mary Jane style shoes since I was going to be on my feet all day.

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In the end, it was perfect to wear in the hot San Diego weather at Comic Con. Not sure how many people actually recognized who I was, but I was thrilled (and comfortable all day!).

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I got some extra use out of it for Costume College that year as well:

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And to be honest, I think it’s a cute dress outside of the costume purpose! I’d wear it normally. Admittedly, the seams at the waist do rub a bit, so I ended up wearing a tank top under this. If I make it again, I don’t think I’d use scuba. I’d go with something softer. But there she is!

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Cozy Classic Raglan by Jessie Maed Designs

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Look who finally finished knitting a sweater! It’s not the first I’ve started, but it is the first long sleeved (knit, rather than crochet) sweater I’ve ever finished. I love it so much!

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The pattern is the Cozy Classic Raglan by Jessie Maed Designs that I started as part of a class with Uncommon Threads. The yarn (also from Uncommon Threads) is Luma from The Fiber Co. It’s 50% merino wool, 25% organic cotton, 15% linen and 10% silk. It was really nice to knit with and I adore the color. But I’ll probably avoid wool for things next to my skin going forward. It doesn’t feel itchy when I touch it with my hands, but on my arms and stomach I get scratchy. It’s lovely yarn. It’s just me. I’m hoping it softens after a bit with washing but until then, I’ll probably be wearing it with an undershirt.

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The pattern is great. Mostly straightforward and I like the neckline which has plenty of stretch. One alteration I made (I know! Me, making knitting pattern alterations! I’ve come so far!) was to do a size medium neckline because I like wider necks and then go back to a small. Basically I just started on the small wherever I was based on how many stitches the medium neckline left me with. It worked great. I probably could even do a size extra small, but I love the slouchy nature of it. I think the pattern would work well for a cotton, too, so I might try that next as I’m definitely putting this pattern in my TNT basket.

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It probably sat on sleeve island (aka everything finished but the sleeves) and it was a tiny sleeve island at that — only about 3 inches on each sleeve except for the cuff — for about a year before I got around to doing it. But I’m so glad I did because now I can wear it! And coincidentally, it looks great with my Coastal Side Split Skirt that I just pattern tested as well.

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Pattern Emporium Coastal Side Split Skirt

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This is the newest pattern from Pattern Emporium: the Coastal Side Split Skirt. It was just released this week and I had fun testing it! It’s a pretty versatile skirt as you’ll see in my photos — you can wear it for winter with a sweater or summer with a tank top or t-shirt.

I should also note that this is a super fast sew. Maybe an hour or two once you’ve gotten the pattern taped and cut out. It’s a good one to have in the “omigosh I need something for the party tonight” pattern folder.

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It’s mostly a straight skirt, but has 2 slits up either side. I don’t find the side slits too high, but some folks did and there are instructions for lowering them. 

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It has optional pockets, and generous ones at that. They’re topstitched onto the front of the skirt rather than underneath which makes them very easy to decide on at the last minute, alter if you want smaller, or ditch all together if you realize you don’t have enough fabric (which may have happened on my first test). But they’re nice and don’t add extra bulk to your hips like in-seam pockets sometimes do.

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The waistband is elastic which keeps it super comfy. I did the 1.5” elastic but there’s a 2” elastic option as well. You can also sorta tell here that I did the low waist option. I personally find that more comfortable but you can choose to put it at your natural waist.

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One of the nicest details of the skirt is the mitered corner finish on the edges. It’s very clean and polished looking. The notches and instructions make it straightforward, but it does require sewing from the inside. So you’ll want to make sure the tension is even on your machine before embarking on this one since the bobbin side of your stitches will be visible.

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I opted for the ankle length (versus the slightly shorter midi option) which I quite like. If you check out the pattern page, you’ll see that some testers even hacked it and made it knee length. So you can manipulate the length to whatever works for you if the two provided options aren’t exactly what you want.

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The fabric is viscose crepe by Atelier Brunette which I got during the pandemic at Stonemountain & Daughter. This skirt only takes 1.5 yards for my size (10) so I still have quite a bit left. Might use the rest to make a summer dress.

My first version (which is not pictured) was made of a linen and I really didn’t love the way it looked on me whereas I quite like the crepe. So fabric choice does make a difference with this pattern. That being said, some other testers looked great in their linen versions so it’s really personal preference. And while I love the look of the viscose crepe, it was a slippery beast. I wrangled it, but it was a challenge. From other testers, I understand that rayon was much easier to work with. 

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I’ll be honest, when I first started this test, I wasn’t sure how it would go. This isn’t my usual style. However, I really am quite happy with how it turned it out. Even though I like it with the sweater, this fabric gives me beachy vibes so I’m looking forward to wearing it somewhere tropical with a tank top once the weather warms up.

(And if you’re curious about the sweater I’m wearing — I made that, too! — it will be in my next post.)


Croissants and danishes and brioche, oh my!

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I recently took a 2-day course in viennoiserie at the San Francisco Baking Institute (yes, the same place I took the pie class). I’ve also taken 2 bread courses there, but I haven’t had a chance to blog about those. This course was taught by the same woman as the pie class and it was just as good.

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My first set above was a bit wonky (albeit still delicious), but they got better as we went through the course.

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See how much better those guys look? Those are from the second day and my technique for rolling croissants significantly improved.

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The class was very hands on. A fair bit of the time was spent learning the lamination which is creating exponential layers of butter between layers of dough. We did that at least twice and it was very helpful the second day after we saw how wonky our croissants came out. We could apply the critiques that our instructor gave us.

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We also used the laminated dough to create danishes. These were sooo good and I can’t wait to make more although croissants are simpler since you don’t need to also make the fillings, so I’m focusing on those first to get the details of the dough down.

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We learned a number of different types of shapes for danishes. My favorites are probably the star (upper left) and the basic (upper right). However, I really do like the twists (lower right) for using up extra dough.

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And apparently brioche is part of viennoiserie. I didn’t realize this before signing up, but am pretty happy to have learned this.

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The brioche was absolutely delicious and I will definitely be stepping it up for the dinner rolls at Thanksgiving this year.

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Ended up with a ton of pastries that I deposited at friends’ houses, my house and brought to my pottery class. It was well received everywhere! Plus these pastries are so fun to photograph with my pottery (I made both the plate and cup below). They inspire me to create more tiny plates to eat pastries like this brioche tart on!

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And I definitely enjoyed some myself! I’ve already done one practice set and have a few details to work out. I have a tiny fridge which definitely makes things a bit more challenging when chilling the dough, but I’m working it out. It’s going to be a tough call on what I bring to my next potluck — bread, pies, croissants or macarons. I doubt I can go wrong.

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