My dog and cat have been a constant source of affection and irritation (sometimes at the same time) during the pandemic. Both of them are adorable, and both have decided that our son is the real enemy that they need to ally against. So, both of them have ended up being much sweeter to my husband and me. Both Mari and Usagi bring me so much joy, and I just had to share how cute they are.

Cat laying on my hand
Usagi laying on me holding my hand with her paw
Dog peeking under a table
Mari laying on my husband and peeking under the table

Sewing Stuff

And it’s been a while again. I’ve been keeping ahead of pandemic depression (and depression about pretty much everything else going on in the world right now) by doing excessive amounts of costuming.

And you know what? I actually made a lot of progress. I am officially finished with all of Carmilla’s undergarments! I finished a cool red petticoat, which was officially the last thing before starting on patterns for the dress. The corset could probably still use some fit adjustments, which I may go back and make, but for the moment, I’m really happy with how everything turned out.

Red petticoat
Red Petticoat

It’s also been really nice bonding with Usagi while I sew. Any time I head to my basement sewing room, she tags along to keep me company. And obsessively lay down on whatever I’m currently working on. But that’s just cats though. In her mind, she’s definitely helping.

Cat laying down
“I’ll just lay here, on top of this thing you’re putting pins into. That’s totally helpful, right?”

Sewing Friend

It’s been nice to actually sew again, and one of the best parts has been spending extra time with my kitty. Usagi has been my sewing companion for the last 16 years now. She’s moved through four houses and four different sewing rooms with me, and through it all has always wanted to check in and see what I’m doing while I’m costuming. Even though she can be a thread-eating, fabric-stealing pain sometimes, I love that my little old lady still likes to come to my sewing room and hang out while I work.

Cat sitting on sewing supplies
Keeping me company and sitting on my patterns, as usual

Dogs and Cats

My pets have definitely helped keep me sane during this pandemic. Everyday they seem to do something new and ridiculous to make me smile.

Yesterday, for example, Mari, our Shiba Inu, decided she wanted to share the last sunbeam of the day with our cat, Usagi. Usagi is 16 years old, and as a senior cat, she does not like to put up with any crap from her seven year old younger dog sister. So when Mari started inching toward the sunbeam, Usagi just started glaring at her like the dog had killed her grandma. When I took the picture of them together, I thought Mari was being super cute about it and trying to share. I was wrong. After a slow, 10 minute long crawl across the floor, Mari had taken over most of the sunbeam and ran Usa out of her space. The cat glares were transferred immediately to me for letting such a hostile takeover slide.

Shiba Inu and cat sharing a sunbeam on the floor
I thought it was adorable, but Usagi knew what was up.

Today, Usagi decided that floor sunbeams were overrated, and that couch sunbeams were a much better spot. She curled up against the Marauder’s Map pillow on our couch, which I’m pretty sure is just her motto in life. Or, I guess it’s what she’s making do with, since we don’t have a pillow that says “revenge is a dish best served cold”.

Cat sleeping on a couch with a Marauder's Map pillow.
Definitely up to no good, as soon as she’s had her nap.

Costuming Days

I’ve been working on some of the undergarments for my Carmilla cosplay, mostly to keep me sane while I’m wrangling work and childcare and not being super comfortable leaving the house. I’ve made some pretty good progress on my corset. I had to do two different mockups to get the shape I wanted. As much as I want this to be a historically accurate Elizabethan outfit, since Vampire Hunter D takes place in a sort of futuristic setting, I’ve been taking some liberties with the historical aspects of the corset design. Mainly, I added cups to the corset to maintain the right shaping (Carmilla is… ahem… well endowed). The straight lines of true Elizabethan stays won’t work with the dress, so I improvised.

Corset pieces cut out
All the pieces
My cat laying on fabric
Usagi is definitely helping

I also did more than one mockup because I found some perfect fabric in my stash, but had just enough of it to get by, and definitely not enough to make any big mistakes, so I had to make sure my pattern was good from the start. The main corset is three layers. The bottom layer is duck cloth for structure, the middle is white silk dupioni, and the top layer is a gold lace. I also made my own bias binding out of pretty cotton I had leftover from another costume.

Bias bound corset tabs in progress
Putting binding on tabs in four stages
Detail of bound corset tab
Detail picture! I love how the little flowers show up on the binding.

Now, I’ve got the lining attached to the main fabric, the boning channels sewn in place, the tabs attached to the bottom, and the bottom binding in place. I’ve got some hand sewing to do to finish binding the bottom edge, then it’s time to add boning and grommets.

Corset in progress
Getting there
Interior of a corsrt
The lining with all the boning channels
Cat in front of a sewing table
Definitely still helping and not trying to eat thread


Cat hiding under a sofa trying to sleep
Usagi hiding under the couch is my spirit animal right now

I’ve been having trouble posting here recently. The point of this blog was to write more, which I haven’t really been doing. I also wanted to get back into web design again, and finally learn how to make a WordPress theme. But right now, I’m just tired. I’ve tried to cut myself some slack, given the state of the world right now, and not be too hard on myself or have too high of expectations. But I want to find time to write, even if it’s hard. I’ve been doing little stuff, like working on my Carmilla costume and posting more frequently on Instagram. I also have a couple of short stories in the works that I might be able to clean up enough to share here. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep trying the best I can, to just keep going. One day at a time. Or just start hiding under the sofa with the kitty. That may also be a valid choice.

Cat Selfies

I’ve been bored as hell the last few weeks, and burnt out from trading off work and childcare. To help cope, I’ve been trying to take cute pictures with my cat. Usagi, named after Sailor Moon, is 16 now and even more grumpy than she was when she was young, but I love her to pieces.

She loves me too, most of the time. But she had zero interest in pictures. I tried a couple times over the last week, and each attempt sucked worse than the last. At least these are funny.

A series of bad pictures with my cat.
From disinterested to wanting snuggles to “I will ruin your dumb picture” in three images.

Sweet Kitty

My cat has been especially affectionate over the last week. I’m not sure if she realizes that things are weird, thinks I must be really sick because I’ve been home so much lately, or is tuned into the fact that I’m kind of stressed. Either way, my normally mean and standoffish kitty has been laying in my lap on the couch every night for the last week. In fact, she’s laying on my lap right now as I type this.

My cat sleeping

Confusing the Pets

My cat and dog don’t really understand why I’m home. The dog doesn’t really care. She’s just spent most of the day ignoring me and sleeping, same as she usually does. The cat, on the other hand, has been extremely interested in what I’m doing in the house. She’s spent most of the day following me around, then trying to strategically lay on me when she has the opportunity. I think she’s going to be even more confused tomorrow.

Sleepy kitty
Tired from a long day of having to follow me around