Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Geek Pride Day!

Celebrating Geek Pride/Towel Day in my DIY Star Wars/Clone Wars dress!
Also, happy towel day, all you hoopy froods!
Hello, my name is Cindy, and I'm a geek. And proud of it! And what better way to show it than a return to my "roots," that is, a dress made from a geeky bed sheet. Although it's not quite as mainstream as Batman, Superman, or the original Star Wars, the Clone Wars cartoon is still sufficiently geeky and at least tried to give kids a strong heroine to relate to in Ahsoka Tano. How successful they were is not something I'm qualified to write about, not having seen much of the show, but I appreciate that they tried. If I had Katara sheets, I would've made a dress from those instead, but that's neither here nor there. Anyway, I'm in good company with this dress, as it seems that Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano, has also previously worn a dress made from these same sheets! I don't know if she made hers herself, but that is pretty awesome.

Clone Wars dress + dragon wrap ear wrap...doesn't get geekier than that.
If it looks like I'm wearing a bluetooth thingummy on my ear, it's not...
Dragon ear wrap from ThinkGeek.com
I am in love with my newest piece of jewelry, the Dragon Ear Wrap from ThinkGeek. If only I had cartilage piercings so that my Smaug could have a hoard! As it is, my husband says it looks like the dragon is eating my ear.

Geek Pride Day pin from ThinkGeek.com
The ear wrap came with this awesome pin. Can you recognize
all the fonts? I can't...I'm a bad geek.
So in case you didn't know, today, May 25, is designated as Towel Day/Geek Pride Day, and can I just say that I'm so glad that things like this are actually celebrated now? Back when I was in elementary and middle school, things were pretty miserably for me. At the school I went to,  if you weren't good at sports, you were a pariah; my inability to deal with round objects of any kind, along with my preference for reading over social interaction, ensured that I didn't really have any friends. In a school where the popular kids were the ones who could consistently make home runs in kickball games, my sole claim to fame was being Spelling Bee champion and the only girl in math club. When a couple of teachers took pity on me and let me hang out in their classrooms during lunch, I was ever so grateful. I mean, more time to read, less ridicule regarding my nonexistent catching skills? What's not to love?? Thank you, Mrs. Harris, Ms. Allen, and Ms. Lancelotti, for letting this girl intrude on your lunch hour. I tried to be as unobtrusive and helpful as possible.

Let's try jumping and throwing a towel at the same time.
So far so good...

With such a childhood, you'd think I would stay far, far, away from sports, but somehow I managed to find myself married to a sports geek; I am still amazed at how my husband manages to spout random stats associated with players a decade ago (then again, I guess I can recite lines from books I read years ago). Thankfully, he is quite patient with my lack of sports knowledge, and only makes fun of me a little bit when I can't catch anything round that gets thrown my way (I will walk over and pick up that lemon, thank you very much!). I've even managed to absorb a little bit about the mechanics of baseball and football through osmosis...although my fantasy football team two years ago was still chosen based on which players looked the most like thugs (reasoning being that the angrier they looked, the more likely they would be to tackle the crap out of the other team?). My first loves will always be dinosaurs and Star Wars Episodes IV-VI, but at least I know what "fourth down" means now. Thanks, husband, for bearing with my questions and helping me understand more mainstream topics.


Never mind. Even though towels aren't round, I still can't catch them.

insides of the Clone Wars dress
So pretty! And it's got pocketses, of course (no ring inside, though)
Anyway, I was really excited to find this Clone Wars sheet while I was thrifting with Shayna earlier this year. It remained in the un-prewashed pile for much too long (I forgot to add in my previous post that I hate prewashing fabric!), but Geek Pride Day was the perfect time to get my act together and sew it up. I used Vogue 8319 for the bodice pattern, my first experience with raglan sleeves, that is, if you can even call these sleeves. I couldn't bring myself to mix prints for last week's Sew Weekly challenge, but here's my concession: using two different fabrics. I used black fabric for the raglan part, and then appliqued the symbols for the Galactic Republic and the Rebel Alliance (cut from the sheet) on the left and right shoulders, respectively. You know, kind of like those devil and angel cartoons that help you make decisions. Is that cheesy or what? The rest of the dress was pretty straightforward; princess seams and the skirt from my TNT New Look 6723. I did go the extra mile and seam bind all of the insides, as well as facing the neck and armholes with bias tape, so this dress better last forever!

Clone Wars dress made from kids' bed sheets
It also says very courageous things like "Valor" and "Honor" and "First in, last standing."
Summary:
Fabric: 60/40 cotton-poly blend, flat twin sheet...pretty atrocious material, actually, but hey, at least it's got a lot of body?
Notions: 20" zipper, thrifted checked rayon bias tape, seam binding (both pink and blue, since I ran out halfway through)
Hours: Ergh. A lot, what with wrestling with the bias tape on the very curved armscye (don't look too closely!) and adjusting for fit since this was the first time I used the pattern. All the seam binding also took extra time. So I'm going to say...about ten.
Will you make this again? Yes. I really like the fit of this bodice, and the raglan shoulders (I'm going to stop calling them sleeves now) and princess seaming means I could try mixing up fabrics even more in the future.
Total cost: $7 ($3 for the sheet, and I still have enough for another bodice, $2.50 for the zipper, the rest for the tape and binding)
Final thoughts: Now that I look at the pictures, it seems that the bodice is a little long. I think next time I want the waist seam about a centimeter higher. But other than that, I'm very pleased with this dress. It's nice to go back to what I know suits me after some so-so experiments with chiffon (more on that later). So while yes, unfortunately, it is yet another a fitted-bodice-full-skirt dress, it makes me happy, and proclaims my geekiness for the world to see, unless they're far away, in which case it only looks like a bizarrely patterned bright blue dress combined with *gasp* a baseball (oh noes! it is round!) tee.


I only found out about the Trevor Project's It Gets Better campaign a couple years ago, but I think it's a message that needs to be heard by all teens who have ever been on the outside looking in. As a geeky kid being picked on for my glasses and poor hand-eye coordination*, I could've benefited from knowing that it gets better. Because it did get better, and I think my geekiness made me a better teacher, as well as allowing me to have all sorts of weird but awesome experiences (steampunk zombie walk! Ren Faire as Belle!). Granted, non-geeky people are probably just as enthused about say, going to a baseball game with front-row tickets (is that even a thing? does one even want to be in the front row at a baseball game? what if you get hit with a ball like in A Prayer for Owen Meany?) as I was about going to the HP7II midnight showing as Bellatrix, but hey, to each their own.

*This is not to say that my middle school experience was anywhere near as bad as causing me to consider suicide or self-harm, but I definitely had some miserable days. I don't want to make light of the seriousness of bullying (and worse) by comparing it to my own relatively mild experience; I understand that things are so much worse for LGBTQ youth, especially in certain parts of the country, and I think the It Gets Better campaign is a much-needed message for them. 

Posing with Walnut. Walnut is not about geek pride.
Just to lighten things up a bit, here's my own Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal.

I can't see you, therefore you can't see me, right?
Walnut is NOT amused to be likened to such an immensely stupid creature.

69 comments:

  1. Love the dress, I can't believe you bound every seam, you are way more dedicated than me. :-) The end result is very cute though.

    I am seriously lusting after the dragon earring--I'm going to own one of these!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Part of me (the part that was still sewing at 2 am) was wondering why I felt the need to bind everything, but now that I'm done I am glad that this dress will last a long time, while still being machine-washable!

      The dragon earring is definitely fun and different...if a little heavy at the end of the day...

      Delete
  2. Oooh - Hey! To attest to my own geekiness... Isn't the Clone Wars dress that actress is wearing the same Simplicity pattern that So 'Zo made out of gold brocade? http://sozowhatdoyouknow.blogspot.ca/2012/04/girl-with-golden-bum.html What do you think? The sleeves, the peplum... Looks pretty similar! So if the actress didn't handmake it, somebody did! :)

    Love your dress, and appreciate your thoughtful post! I really been pushing myself these last few years to be open about my own nerdery, and it's nice that it's becoming slowly more socially acceptable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am pretty sure that's the same pattern! Way to be a pattern geek and spot that! Yeah, I love that there is more of a community now for geeks; it's so fun to be able to geek out together!

      Delete
  3. wow, cindy, you sure know where your towel is! love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I definitely know where my towel's at! :)

      Delete
  4. I blame you for the fact that I am visiting every thrift store I come across, searching for geeky sheets. I NEED a Star Wars dress, and it is all your fault. My life will not be complete unless I have one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am pretty sure thrift stores across the country owe me a commission :)

      Here's to hoping you find one! I think everyone needs a thneed...errr, geeky sheet dress.

      Delete
  5. Another dress I envy...and the earring? Pure WIN.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Happy geek pride day to you too! I'm totally a geek with you and I love that you're embracing it. The dress is fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love all your geek dresses! And I love being a geek. By the time high school rolled around, some of my geekier friends would spend lunch in our physics classroom, building what they called "precarions" out of anything they could find, seeing how tall and precarious they could make them before falling apart. Ahhh, memories.
    I wish I had a really geeky dress now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that sounds like exactly the kind of thing I would love doing! We did our own fair share of hanging out in the physics classroom, only we were even dorkier and were actually helping to grade papers...thanks for sharing your geeky memories!

      Delete
  8. OMG, I'm in love with your dress! I need one just to wear to the baseball games!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Hmmm, I hadn't even thought about wearing this to a baseball game, although I guess it would make sense!

      Delete
  9. My birthday is Geek Pride Day?! So exciting! I had never heard of the It Gets Better campaign. It would have been useful for me too, but I also had it pretty easy for a geeky girl. Bullies didn't notice me enough to take out their anger on me, and I didn't come out until I'd graduated from high school, so I was never the victim of any serious prejudice or bullying either. I did know kids who were, though, and it's so good to know that there are resources and support systems out there for kids like that now.

    Awesome dress, by the way! :) And I also must have one of those earrings. It's amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy birthday! I'm glad you were able to escape the bullying, but hoping to fly under the radar is not something everyone can do...which is why I'm really glad for the IGB campaign. And yes, the earring felt amazing to wear...I was filled with all sorts of lizardly advice being whispered in my ear!

      Delete
  10. Another fabulously fun dress. And, yay for geeks! I was the geek who was good at sports, so I didn't fit in with the geeks or the jocks. Instead I floated around somewhere in between. Those school years are probably awkward for everyone. I am glad people with really awful experiences are helping spread the word to others going through similar experiences that it gets better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course, you would be good at sports, geeking, and sewing beautiful clothing ;) I'm sure high school is awkward for everyone to an extent, but it's sad that it goes beyond awkward into painful for some. Glad to know that wasn't the case for you, though!

      Delete
  11. As long as you know that the answer is "42", you will be just fine. =)

    Love your new geeky dress! You always look so cute in your dresses!

    With all the cool geeks I've come across on the interwebs, it really makes me wish we could have all been in the same class (or at least the same school)! My husband is just as big a geek as I am (we know almost nothing about sports) and it's so nice to have that in common. (I just wish we had geeky couple friends to hang out with locally.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There needs to be a geek boarding school or something somewhere! I would have loved to hang out with more geeks in high school, and even now! My husband isn't really a geek about anything "typically" geeky, so I just do steampunk or other geeky things on my own or with my old high school friends. It is nice that he's into gaming, though, so we have that. It is so hard to find people who we can game with locally, though!

      Delete
  12. Oh, awesome! I wish I had known it was Geek Pride Day, I would've shouted it all over the office (we're all pretty geeky over there). Your middle-school experience sounds a lot like mine... not the best period of my life (although everything since has been awesome by comparison.) I'd never heard of an "it gets better" campaign for geeks, just Dan Savage's one aimed at gay teens, but it sounds awesome---and it so does get better. :)

    My husband's a bit of a sports guy (although more playing them than watching them). Interestingly, my ball-related abilities have improved significantly since we started playing catch with the girls a couple of summers ago. Which is not to say that I'm anywhere near competent, but it's less embarrassing than it used to be. I still don't get football, however. Give me soccer any day. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, now you can yell it next year? Put it on your calendar so you don't forget!

      Oops, I didn't mean to make it sound like the It Gets Better campaign was aimed at geeks; it's the same one I think you're thinking of, but I just meant that I think it's a message all awkward teens need to hear.

      I'm pretty sure that all catching-related activities will be delegated to my husband, but then again, I guess I never know.

      Delete
  13. At first I read "Greek Pride Day". Huh?
    Such a fun dress! I hope you enjoy wearing it. And the Smaug earring is very cool.
    I spent 5 years in Math League and I think (the memory's fading...) in my school there were just about as many girls as boys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaa, Greek Pride! I wish there had been more girls in math club at my school, but how cool that yours was 50/50!

      Delete
  14. Who'd have thought a sheet could be so cute?! Well done!

    ReplyDelete
  15. That's a great dress, and it looks to be a perfect fit. However I can't believe my husband forgot to remind me it was towel day, that's the one thing I expect him to remember for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! So sad that you didn't get the towel day memo...well, there's always next year! It's conveniently kind of a palindrome, 5/25, so at least there's that...

      Delete
  16. This dress is awesome.

    I spent my lunch hours in high school alone in the library. You're not supposed to eat in there, but I did it anyway. (Sorry!) It's not that people were all that cruel, I mean, I went to a Quaker school, but I was different, and I loved school, and I just didn't have much to say to my classmates. But thank goodness there were people in my life who could say, you're not bizarre, you're you, and you is just fine.

    And you are more then fine, Cindy, you are awesome. Suck it up, Walnut.

    strugglesewsastraightseam.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean about just feeling like you don't have much to say to perfectly nice people...and I don't think you're bizarre at all! Or rather, bizarre is normal for me; it's normal people who make me nervous. I certainly spent my fair share of free periods in the library, so yeah. Thanks for all your kind words, and I'll tell Walnut to suck it up.

      Delete
  17. Lovely!
    -Sandra

    ReplyDelete
  18. Truly an adorable and stylish dress!

    ReplyDelete
  19. lovely dress and what a lovely conciencious message on todays post.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Love the dress, really love your dragon wrap earring!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Very happily geeky! Love the dress and the bound seems.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and the bound seams make me happy :)

      Delete
  22. Geek-a-licious! Truly an homage to nerdiness everywhere. I love it

    ReplyDelete
  23. Fellow Book Worm Former Spelling Bee Champs Unite! :) This dress is a perfect fit, and your finishing is lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Ah, I can't believe I missed towel day! I'm glad you were prepared, anyway, and wearing the most attractive geeky sheet ever! I toast you with something that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.
    Also, as a geeky teen I'm not sure I'd have believed that some day I would find many other people on the magical thing called the Internet who would also care about things like towel day... but look, teenage self, it's true!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you for making a toast with such an...excellent(?) beverage. I am so glad that the internet makes such geek outs possible!

      Delete
  25. I love this! The sheet! The shape! The beautiful guts! You could wear it inside out it looks so good inside. Geeks never looked so good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww thanks!! Beautiful guts, I love that term. I am totally using it now.

      Delete
  26. I love your dress! Your childhood/school story sounds very familiar to me, although I never was a geek, only a bookworm. It is funny that actually many of the former outsiders are really cool people today, like you and apparently many other sewing blog owners, whereas many classmates who were so popular in school now have uninteresting, booooring lifes... at least you can observe this in the area where I went to school! So I would say it definitely gets better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think being a bookworm totally qualifies! I don't know that I would go so far as to say that those popular kids are boring now (but then, I don't know them), just that I don't find their lives interesting to me at all...but sewing bloggers, that's another story!

      Delete
  27. Your towel is TOO hilarious! I have Hitch-hiker lurking in the recesses of my mind and you brought it out! And I have a similar ear-wrap sitting in my Favourites on Etsy - waiting for an excuse to bring on the plastic! Ow-wah!

    Happy Geeky Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha thanks for loving my ratty old towel! THGttG is one of those books that I forget about, but when I reread it I am charmed all over again. My excuse for getting the ear wrap was that if I ordered it before Geek Pride Day, they would send a free pin...

      Delete
  28. This is awesome!
    www.blisfulsewing.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. I think you would give a few guys heart attacks at a Star wars convention! So kitschy and cute but the fit is totally high fashion!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am totally hoping to wear this to Comic-Con this summer, but I would rather not cause any heart attacks! Thank you!

      Delete
  30. I have no words to say other than I absolutely adore you and your fantastic sense of fun, your fabulously geeky dresses, and your oh so amazing towel. Yay towel day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh that towel will be gratified to hear your compliment...it's so old it's been relegated to weird outings like this :) Thanks!

      Delete
  31. LOVE this dress! I made a Star Wars dress from a quilt cover I got on eBay for $20 :D I tweeted it to Ashley & she loved it and I got geek all over the floor :B I believe she picked the pattern and the sheets and got someone she knew to make it, but it was still pretty rad!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh how cool! If I knew how to tweet/twitter/twit I would do so too, but alas, I've yet to figure it out. I'm sure your dress was just as rad as hers!

      Delete
  32. This is awesome!you have a great idea.
    www.blissfulsewing.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. What pattern did you use? I love both this and your spiderman dress and would love to try my own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So excited that you're inspired to try making your own geek dress! As I said in the blog post, I used Vogue 8319 for the bodice part, but used New Look 6723 for the skirt portion.

      Delete
  34. Awesome! I love Star Wars, and I'm a hug nerd/geek, too!
    I would love it if you followed my blog(s) :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Not only do I love the dress. I love the witty way you write its very entertaining. :)
    (in a VERY good way)

    ReplyDelete
  36. oh boy! my Pinterest account recommended one of your blog posts to me and I've been enjoying perusing the rest of your blog! You have such helpful info on here...and the entertainment value is priceless =: ) (this is pauline btw)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to tell me your thoughts! I appreciate reading them and I try to reply to most, if not all, comments, especially when they are questions. I ask that you keep your comments polite, and if you're a spammer, don't bother because your comment will just be deleted! Also, if you're commenting on a post that's more than two weeks old, it will be moderated.