Thursday, May 30, 2013

DIY: Flutter-Sleeve Tie Shirt

Hey everyone! Here's a new DIY for a shirt I made earlier this week. It can be worn as-is, or over a bandeau or camisole (I've worn it with a bandeau, but in these pictures I'm wearing one of those bras that's just the cup, in order to show the cut-outs better).

The shirt I'm using here is a Star Trek shirt that I bought from Target last week.

The material is a really soft jersey knit, so I didn't bother hemming anything. There are a few stitches holding the ties together, but it's all hand-stitched--so this should be easy for people to replicate!

I first started out by cutting off the shirt's crew neck. I then rounded out the front of the neck (into a pseudo-boat neck shape), leaving the back as it was. I left about three inches between the edge of the neckline and the hems for the shoulders. This may seem like it's too small, but because of the tie in the back the shoulders remain, well, on your shoulders.

I then cut horizontally across the back, about halfway down the sleeve line. The mat in the following picture shows where I cut.

I then cut straight down from the horizontal cut to the bottom hem, stopping at the waist of the shirt. This creates a flap on the back. I then pulled this flap up into a triangle shape, wrapped it around the shoulder line of the t-shirt, and sewed it together.

Here's the flap.
And here's the back after it's sewn together. 
With the back complete, I turned to the sleeves. I created flutter sleeves by cutting up from the sleeve hem to about half an inch away from the seam of the shirt and the sleeve.

I then used extra fabric--from the collar--to wrap around this cut, as shown below. I sewed the strap together, and then added a few stitches to keep in place.

Sorry for the glare. I need a better camera if I'm going to keep doing DIYs.
And that was it! It was really simple--it only took about twenty minutes to finish. Here's the back of the shirt (you can see why you may want a bandeau or something). You can also see the shoulder tie here:

And here's the front:

Here's the shirt hanging up:
And here's the back, again:

The end! I hope you guys like this cut of shirt. I have a one more shirt at home ready to be altered, and two coming in the mail! So there will be at least three more t-shirt DIYs this summer.

Here's one last shot! You can see the flutter sleeves and the ties better here (though I think this may be before I sewed it in place). 

I don't know why I'm not smiling in any of these pictures, but I hope you're all having a good day!

Follow These Links to my Other T-Shirt Alterations:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Etsy Tuesday: Bioshock

Hey everyone! I hope you're all doing well. I'm in the process of getting together a DIY, but I thought I would put an Etsy Tuesday together, as well. It's been a while since I've done this.

So many people are talking about Bioshock: Infinite (still) that it's making me ridiculously jealous. I really want to play the game but, being a graduate student, I'm too poor to buy it. (See this post for my hints for gaming on a budget). In order to quell this sadness, I decided to look at pretty Bioshock things on Etsy. I just can't actually buy any of it this time.

The best part about these Bioshock pieces is (naturally) that they are all steampunky! You know how I love steampunk, and you know how I love video games--it's perfect!

I was originally thinking that I would keep to Bioshock and Bioshock 2, but then I saw this little Songbird locket necklace. I love the minimalist Songbird portrait (I know, I know--I love minimalist anything). It's sold by Jen in the shop Captured My Soul. These lockets are currently buy three, get the fourth free.

$17.00 USD
Also really excellent are these plasmid rings. I really like the scrollwork of the rings themselves, plus I've always liked the art depicting the plasmids. These two plasmids pictured are some I relied heavily upon. They're sold at the Land of Rapture shop, by Keeley N.

$8.00 USD
Also exciting is this sheet of fifteen plasmid stickers! Yay! I would put these around my desktop monitor. They're sold at the So Sticky shop.

$5.00 USD

Speaking of minimalist things (as I was in the first entry), I love this print. It's sold in by Captain's Print Co. I love the colors, I love the simplicity, and I love the design! As usual, check out the shop for more awesome prints!

$18.00 USD
And, finally, isn't this Songbird plushie just adorable? I've seen some truly artistic versions of Songbird plushes on the internet these past few weeks, but this looks just as good AND looks a little more squishable than the others. I love his button eyes.

$75.00 USD
Whelp, that's it from me today! I'm waiting for the Vaginal Fantasy Book Club to start (you can tune in here), and then after that I am going to finish up my DIY (which I will post on Thursday). I'm also brainstorming for another blog post on video games--this time, the best video game weapons. Any suggestions? Leave them in the comments!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Live OoT: The End

Hi guys.

I'm sad to announce the demise of my Ocarina of Time cartridge. The cartridge has been flipping out since yesterday. It keeps freezing and glitching, and as of ten minutes ago, it was glitching every fourteen minutes (yup, I timed it).

I was determined to go on, though...until it glitched so hard that it somehow erased my save file.

So, with no game to play--and the obvious problems with playing in eight minute increments--I've decided I need to abandon Live OoT. It's been a lot of fun, and I'm really sad to have to stop. Here is the last three and a half minutes of the vlog.

It's been a lot of fun, guys. I hope you were entertained, too.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May LootCrate Unboxing!

Hey everyone! My LootCrate came this morning, and I pounced on that thing right away! Here's a video of my unboxing--if you're getting a LootCrate and haven't received it yet, there WILL be spoilers.

Here's the video!

If you're interested in getting your very own LootCrate (because really, who wouldn't be?), then follow this link and sign up! With shipping and handling, it comes out to just under $20 a month, and they provide discounts for multiple-month subscriptions. Yay! LootCrate!

Live OoT: End of Day Three!

Hey everyone!

Day Three was the day I was dreading the most--the Water Temple. I set aside a whole day just for this temple, anticipating that I'd rage quit a hundred thousand times. I didn't--I actually finished the temple fairly quickly. And I still have Steve, my fairy friend who has been with me since Dodongo's Cavern (I haven't died once, which is sweet. Sometimes I do that because I don't care if I die if I'll be revived in a second).

Once I finished the Water Temple, I went back and learned the Sun's Song and got the Biggorn's Sword--which is totally badass. I also hunted down some more Gold Skulltullas and Pieces of Heart. I attempted to get the Gold Scale for about 45 minutes, but didn't get a SINGLE bite. Not even a nibble. So I rage quit and went to get $1 tacos with a friend.

Here's the Live OoT Vlog for Day Three! Excuse me if I swear in here--I think I do once or twice.


Spiritual Stones: 3
Songs: 11
Medallions: 4
Gold Skulltullas: 37
Spells: 2
Upgrades: Giant's Wallet, Bomb Bag, Bullet Seed Bag
Bottles: 3
Cleared: Deku Tree, Dodongo's Cavern, Jabu-Jabu's Belly, Forest Temple, Fire Temple, Ice Cavern, Water Temple
Deadened: Queen Gohma, King Dodongo, Barinade, Phantom Ganon, Volvagia, Morpha (I feel like I'm reciting Arya Stark's prayer...Valar Morghulis).

I'll see you tomorrow, when I tackle my second least favorite place in the game--the Well. Then I'll take on the Shadow Temple and, if time permits, the Gerudo Fortress. I'm going back to work tomorrow (since my ankle has gotten mostly better), so I may not have as much time to play as I would like. Fingers crossed, though!

See you tomorrow!

Total Number of #LiveOoT Tweets: 57
Goal?: 120
You can see my #LiveOoT tweets here!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Live OoT: End of Day Two!

If you've been following my #LiveOoT hashtag on Twitter, you'll know that I reached my progress goal for today! I played through and finished Jabu-Jabu's Belly, the Forest Temple, and the Fire Temple.

Which means that tomorrow I face the bane of my gaming existence: the Water Temple.

The first time I played Ocarina of Time, I rage-quit on the Water Temple for a couple days. The third time I played through it, I rage-quit on the Water Temple for a couple of months. The fourth time went swimmingly (hurr hurr) because I was playing with friends in the room, and we commiserated as I raged. So look forward to that sort of thing tomorrow, dear internet.

As with yesterday, here are some of my thoughts while playing today! You'll have to excuse me if I swear once or twice. You'll notice a definite lack of fire temple commentary, because I got sucked up in that thing. It was more fun than I remembered :)

Some day I am not going to be so awkward on camera. I promise.


Spiritual Stones: 3
Medallions: 3
Songs: 8
Gold Skultullas: 28
Spells: 2
Upgrades: Bullet Seed Bag, Wallet
Bottles: 3
Cleared: Deku Tree, Dodongo's Cavern, Jabu-Jabu's Belly, Forest Temple, Fire Temple
Deadened: Queen Gohma, King Dodongo, Barinade, Phantom Ganon, Volvagia

Favorite Dungeon (So Far)? Fire Temple
Favorite Boss? King Dodongo

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Live OoT: End of Day One!

Hello, everyone! I just finished up Day One of my marathon play of Ocarina of Time! Here's a vlog chronicling some of my thoughts while playing. You'll have to excuse me, I think I drop a couple of swears once or twice.

If you want to make your own braided halter top, like the one featured in this video, here's the link to my DIY!

And just a reminder, for the live-tweeting: #LiveOoT from @Geekphoria1.

See you all tomorrow!


Spiritual Stones: 2
Songs: 3
Gold Skulltullas: 11
Spells: 2
Upgrades: Bullet Seed Bag, Wallet
Bottles: 3
Cleared: Deku Tree, Dodongo's Cavern

Sunday, May 19, 2013

DIY: Braided Halter Top

Since finals are finally done, I can get back to doing some of the things that I like to do in my spare time. One of these is altering t-shirts. I love geeky tees because I love to wear my geek pride everywhere. However, I have really broad shoulders, which make wearing women's shirts (or babydoll) tees uncomfortable. And then the guys' tees don't cut it when I want to look cute. Therefore, I usually turn to altering my t-shirts myself.

Today's shirt is from TeeFury. TeeFury is one of those sites that has a daily, limited edition, geeky t-shirt. You can get shirts here for $11, plus shipping and handling. It's worth checking out--I usually want a couple of shirts a week (though I don't buy them nearly that often).

So, kicking off a week of Ocarina of Time live-tweeting and blogging, here is my "My Little Epona" braided halter top!

I began by cutting and sewing the t-shirt itself. I started with the tee pictured below, and cut off the sleeves. I then cut across the top, removing the shoulders with a cut just under the collar.

Then I sewed up the gaps from the sleeves, making a long seam up each side of the t-shirt. Then I turned to another shirt I had--a plain black t-shirt. You could use any type of fabric for this, but I chose to use the t-shirt because I had it laying around.

I cut a strip from the t-shirt twice as wide as I wanted to make the band at the top of the shirt. I then cut it down the middle (width, not lengthwise) and began to pin it in place. I pinned it so that there would be a nice seam at the top of the shirt, plus a middle seam in the back.

I then sewed the band in place at the top of the t-shirt. Make sure you sew the band to the FRONT of the tee. That way, once you flip it up, the seam will be on the inside. From there, I added a length of elastic to the back of the band, in order to put some give into the shirt. I then folded over the band so that it was folded on top, and sewed the other part to the inside of the t-shirt. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step!)

I then laid down the t-shirt so I could figure out where I wanted to put the halter straps. I cut two more sets of three strips from the black tee and braided them together.

I then told the cat "No, don't lay down there!" Which he promptly ignored. You can skip this step.

Okay, seriously, now you're just rubbing it in.

I finished braiding the two straps, and then I pinned them to what looked like the right spots. I then tried on the t-shirt, just to make sure.

Because the braided straps were so thick, I sewed them to the band by hand.

Once that was done, I folded the shirt in half--down the middle and down the back--and cut a high-low bottom to the halter top. I didn't hem it--I like the way they look unhemmed.

Voila! Here it is on.

And here's a close-up of the braided halter straps, with the top hanging on my door. 

The end! I also altered another t-shirt into a tank today, but you'll have to wait until another day for that DIY :).

Since I am currently on crutches and probably not going into work tomorrow, I am expecting to start the live-tweeting/blogging of Ocarina of Time around 4pm CT. I'll be uploading some videos of me playing, as well as tweeting about the story, my victories, and my stunning failures.

See you then!

Follow These Links for More T-Shirt Alterations:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

So I finished with my final exams today at 3:30 pm. I went to work, and then saw Star Trek Into Darkness at 7.

I'm sure I enjoyed Star Trek Into Darkness. But I’m not sure I liked it.

I also thought I should let you know that Word does not like the grammar of the title. I think it might like if better if there was some punctuation.

I’m not going to give away everything that happens in the movie. But I am going to give away a few things. So if you haven’t seen it yet, for the love of God, man, stop reading.


The movie opens with Kirk channeling Indiana Jones, running from a pack of indigenous aliens on a ridiculously pre-warp civilization. The aliens are the typical native stereotype, whooping as they chase down Kirk, who has stolen something “they were worshiping.” We find out he had a noble reason to distract them—they were going to stagnate the volcano that was threatening to destroy the planet—but the approach struck me as distinctly un-Treklike (if that makes sense). Thus, my nerd-rage/nerdgasm coaster began with a height of nerd rage. Also, they parked the Enterprise underwater. That does not seem like something you should do with a spaceship.

Following this, though, were some solidly enjoyable portions of the film. I loved Benedict Cumberbatch’s ruthlessness, and I always enjoy a Kirk-is-in-trouble-oh-wait-he’s-the-only-one-who-can-save-the-day conundrum. I was thrilled to see some Klingons, and caught myself fist-pumping when one used a Bat’leth instead of a gun against Kirk.

I had pretty much recovered from the nerdrage from the opening, and was enjoying an amusing scene with Carol Marcus and Bones on a planet surface (Karl Urban is such a great Bones that sometimes I forget he’s not DeForest Kelley). And then they opened a torpedo and found a cryogenically frozen stowaway. And, being a good Trekker, I knew what this confirmed. And I was pissed. Warning: obscene language:


Of course, if you know anything about Khan, you know that he was a cryogenically frozen superhuman discovered by the Enterprise crew.

Also, if you know anything about Khan, you know that his full name is Khan Noonien Singh.

Does anything strike you about that name? Why yes, you’re correct. The character is of North Indian descent, often described as a Sikh.

In case you haven’t noticed, Benedict Cumberbatch is not.

Let me jump in here and say that I love Benedict Cumberbatch (though I can’t say I love him as much as the next girl, because he has some devoted fans). I do like pretty much everything he does, and I think he did a great job as Khan—especially once he came out as Khan and was able to act like the character. I just don’t think he should have been cast.

Or, if they really wanted Benedict Cumberbatch at the villain, why not have him be Gary Mitchelll or a similarly super-powered character with a great backstory? I know that means they couldn’t have Wrath of Khaned it up in the late quarter of the movie, but they could have done something unique with it. Of course, Khan has been frozen since the 1990s and Gary hasn’t come into his god-like powers in the timeline yet… but they could have changed that. They managed to resurrect without Project Genesis. They could have avoiding white-washing a character explicitly known to be of another race. I thought that they may be avoiding it, tweaking the character a bit so that Cumberbatch could be Khan, but they do address him by his full name. So no tweaking in that regard (though they did tweak the character by having Star Fleet wake him up “early”).

(Edit: I suppose part of why I'm so annoyed about this is that Star Trek is not supposed to be about whitewashing. They had Uhura, they had the first interrracial kiss. It should be better than this. I guess that's Hollywood.)

Sigh. While I’m being bitter and resentful, I might as well express my disdain at the fact that they had Chekhov, they had Klingons, but he never once said “Klingon wessels.”

Another thing: though Carol Marcus's scream during in the trailer kind of annoyed me--horror movie scream much?--when I saw it in the film it completely made sense. I was like "Yup. That would pretty much be my reaction in that situation." Though I might have a little more rage, but I'm just an angry person. 

I did enjoy the last portion of the movie, though. I liked how it mirrored the death scene in Wrath of Khan. I always love seeing Spock show his human side. (And I always love knowing that most bad things are fixed in the Star Trek universe).

For a minute here, before I wrap things up, I am going to diverge and overthink things a little (Gab, this is for you). What are the moral ramifications of keeping Khan frozen, knowing that his blood (and, presumably, the blood of everyone in his crew) can cure disease and bring people back from the dead? We know that the Federation doesn't use the death penalty, preferring incarceration and rehabilitation, and would probably avoid submitting Khan to it. Still, though, could they afford to lock him away with that healing power, especially since the information is bound to get out?

My biggest beef with Star Trek Into Darkness, though, is the feeling I get while watching it. I enjoy it, but it doesn't feel like Trek. It feels like someone took the Wrath of Khan and drained it of everything Star Trek related, and turned it into an action movie. It was entertaining, and Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, and Anton Yelchin are able to make it seem more Treklike, but it ultimately just seems like a generic action movie. An action movie with some of my favorite characters, but an action movie nonetheless.

I remember adoring the first Abrams Star Trek. I don’t remember it being inherently un-Treklike. Maybe it was just the first scene that put that thought into my head, leaving it unable to get out. I’ll probably have to go back and re-watch the first movie. But not tonight.

Tonight, I’m going to immerse myself in the some seriously Trek viewing.

Tonight, I’m watching The Trouble with Tribbles.

(And also The Voyage Home and The Savage Curtain).

My score? 6/10 Tribbles. Fun, entertaining, but not great and not very Trek-like. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

April LootCrate Unboxing!

Hey everyone! I just made my first video--mock as you wish. Here I am doing an unboxing of my first month of Loot Crate goodness. Enjoy my awkwardness. I know I did.

Don't know what Loot Crate is? Well, it's an awesome subscription program where you give them about $20 a month, and they send you geeky surprises in the mail. Each box comes with a theme, and is definitely worth the money. If you're interested in joining Loot Crate, follow this link and you can get 10% off by using the code TOKEN at check-out.

I can't wait until my next one comes later this month. I hope it's theme is something AWESOME.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

May the Fourth Be With You!

And also the free comic books. Those can be with you, too.

Free Comic Book Day obviously requires a Comic Book shirt. And eyeshadow
from Espionage Cosmetic's Comic Book line. :) (Not that you can tell here).
I started my day at the farmer's market and food co-op, since the comic book store didn't open until noon. I spent some time wandering around the market with a friend, and I bought some delicious apple butter and pineapple salsa. (I know it might sound weird, but pineapple salsa is probably the most delicious salsa ever conceived. It's a little tangier and slightly sweeter than the average salsa). Luckily, as soon as it started raining it was time to head to the comic book shop--G-Mart in downtown Champaign, IL.

Unfortunately, though, the line to get into the comic shop went through the building and out the door. Which meant that we were standing outside in the freezing rain for a while. I felt a little bad, since I had commandeered my friend into coming with me with promises of free pizza (which was gone by the time we got through the store). I have to admit, I wasn't expecting things to be as busy as they were--since I know the store buys a lot of comics to give out, I thought that people would be wandering in and out all day. I guess everyone was just as excited for free comic books as I was, though!

Members of the 501st Legion were in costume, and helped make the wait in line a little more fun. I felt really bad for them, though--I don't know if I'd want to be out in the rain in such amazing costumes! There were a few Tuscan Raiders outside, and the bottom of their light costumes were drenches and dirty :(

There were definitely some good feelings in line, though. Everyone was excited, friendly, and chatty--despite the rain. The best part, though, was when the comic book store got the glasses shop to pass out umbrellas to everyone in line. I had brought my own (just in case), but it definitely made the wait a little brighter.

The store was really small--just a room in a business building--so that's why the line was so long. They had emptied some racks in order to put out the free comic books, and allowed 10 free books per person. I was kind of surprised--I had never been to Free Comic Book Day before, and had expected to only get one book. I was really excited. I picked a bunch of titles/characters I knew I liked. My friend isn't really into comics, and took the free Archie title. I had to mock him a little, but he was a good sport for waiting in line with me so long.

And the line wasn't done, though it did go a little faster. I bought a few comics in the store (most things were on sale). I tried to match the number of comics I bought with the number of free comics I took, but I miscounted and bought eight while I took nine. I didn't get to look around the store as much as I would have liked (and I felt rushed by the other customers, so I sadly bought a few issues out of sequences), and I would like to go back soon. They also had this Ra's al Ghul figure I've had my eye on for a while, but I'll have to wait until I get paid to buy it.

Here are the free books I took:

The Steam Engines of Oz
Aphrodite IX
The Walking Dead
Judge Dredd
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: New Animated Adventures
DC Nation Super Sampler (With Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go!)
Marvel: Infinity
Mass Effect (though I may need to finish playing the game before I read it. It also has R.I.P.D and The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys included, which I have never heard of).
Star Wars
(They also tossed in a free Iron Man Heroclix figure. And the bag was Man of Steel themed. *drool*)

I'll let you know what I think of those once I read them (probably after finals). The same goes for the comics I bought, which were:

I'm not quite sure what's with Blogger and it's desire to rotate my pictures.
Any tips would be appreciated :)
Star Trek: Countdown to Darkness
Batgirl (volumes 8, 15, 16, 17 and 19) (I CAN'T BELIEVE I GRABBED EIGHT INSTEAD OF EIGHTEEN! Oh, well, at least 8 is Gail Simone).
Before Watchman (Dr. Manhattan #4 and Comedian #6)

And, barring some lunch, that was the end of the fun part of my day. Now that this blog entry is done, it's time to work on my final papers. Wish me luck!