OK, just a few more links from the proud Mama, and that's all you will hear from me on the topic of The Whole Enchihuahua (at least until 2014):
It's here! I've been blabbing long enough about this dog smock pattern that I'm going to be putting up on the site, but now I've finally done it. Enjoy!
This is a simple, three-piece pattern that is great for beginning and intermediate sewers. It can be either a quick and easy project or the basis of a more customized and intricate look. It’s a great basic block to work from if you want to add seams or accents and create your own custom pattern. In addition, it’s easily adjusted for size, width, or length, meaning it can be altered to fit a variety of dogs or other companion animals!
This pattern was adapted from a little coat that Pepper was wearing when I first adopted her just over a year ago. I made a few custom alterations, such as lengthening the coat for Pepper's long doxie body. Now that I've struck a balance that works, I'm happy to share the pattern with you for your own special someone!
Please read this boring but important little note: the patterns I provide on this website are all my own original designs which I am happy to share for free as part of the creative commons. Please do not abuse these free patterns by using them for profit or personal gain. You are welcome to re-post anything, just please link back to Sews Before Bros or credit me, Erika Larson. Be excellent to each other. Thanks, dudes!
Finally- if you make something for your companion using this pattern, I would love to see it! It is my hope to get a gallery going on this site featuring projects from readers and collaborators, so please don't be shy when it comes to bragging about your mad crafting skills. Check the About page for my email address.
And Now, Without Further Ado: Basic Dog Smock Pattern
I'm happy to say that Pepper and I recently partook in the apparent glut of worldwide dog costume contests at this year's The Whole Enchihuahua event in San Francisco's Mission Dolores Park. Sponsored by the SF SPCA and 7x7 Magazine, the open-air festival highlights the fantastic chihuahua, which is the most over-represented breed of dog in Bay Area animal shelters: more than half the dogs in our shelters are chihuahuas or chihuahua mixes!
Although the pint-sized pups from south of the border were the attendees of honor at The Whole Enchihuahua, enrollment in the costume contest was open to well-behaved dogs (and one dove in pants) of all breeds. And here's the exciting part: Pepper's NyanCat costume won first runner-up!
This was Pepper's Halloween costume from 2012. I was kind of amazed that even in the hipster petri dish that is Dolores Park, NyanPep only got about a 25% recognition rate. Most of the responses were along the lines of "... now, what is she, again?" or, "is that a Pop-Tart?" But even if you've never seen NyanCat, it's hard to not be endeared by a cute little dog wearing a Pop-Tart and a rainbow. Ultimately, though, I think it was the effort and attention to detail evident in Pepper's custom, home-crafted outfit that stood out in a sea of store-bought (albeit adorable) costumes. The judges awarded First Prize and Second Runner-up to pooches who also had custom-crafted ensembles. You can always pay for something ready-made, but us creative types know that quality craftsmanship wins every time.
Pepper is honored to be runner-up to Ace, a handsome long-haired chihuahua who was dressed as... wait for it... an ace! As in a playing card, with a very stylish plumed hat featuring the whole suite of aces. Sharing Ace's court with Pepper was a chihuahua "Beef Taco!" I've never had a taco that's also wearing a sombrero, but I'm also vegan, so maybe it's just something that comes standard with beef tacos? At any rate, I think all tacos, including vegan ones, should come topped with a wee taco-shell sombrero from now on. Just hold the beef and the chihuahua on mine.
In addition to the Glory of Victory, Pepper also took home three (three!) swag bags filled with goodies and prizes from generous donors. Here's the little princess enjoying her spoils! She even got a cute new shirt from City Dog Share. I belong to City Car Share here in the Bay Area, so I was a little confused- is this an organization where you just "borrow" a dog for a couple of hours like you would a car? 'Cause that sounds messed up! But thankfully it's nothing of that sort- it's a San Francisco-based website where people can trade dog-sitting hours with other dog guardians! Sounds like a fun way to save money, build community, and make some buddies for your hound.
Being fabulous. is. EXHAUSTING.
I'm not sure yet how many lucky pups (and birds!) were adopted out at this year's The Whole Enchihuahua, but there were a number of wonderful organizations with adoptable friends enjoying the festivities. Thankfully, the weather was obliging and surprised us with a gloriously warm and sunny un-San Fransiscan day. As you can see, the whole process was exhilirating and tiring for Pepper, who conked out as soon as we got home.
Enjoy some more pictures from this and previous years' Whole Enchihuahua events below. This year's photos (the crappy ones) are by me, others are as attributed.
I'm not a big fan of overrated "American classic" The Great Gatsby, and I'm not really waiting with bated breath for the new Baz Luhrmann adaptation. That said, there have been some fantastic manicures inspired by 1920s Art Deco-dance (see what I did there? Decadence?) on the interwebz lately, and that's where I started with this one. Ultimately, though, it ended up looking a bit more like a Mondrian painting, which in turn reminded me of the Dutch city of Rotterdam. Rotterdam was almost completely decimated by WWII shelling, and its rebuilding in the 50s and 60s reflected a lot of the futuristic aesthetics of those decades, including colorful Mondrian-esque blocks.
I used blue painter's tape and a few hours of patience in creating this layered look. Starting with full nail of gold, I painted an assymetrical white tip, complementing it later with a dark brown/black swipe in the opposite direction and topping it all off with a brilliant royal blue tip.
I have been slacking off in the ladynails department lately, I admit- part of the reason is that I had a couple of bad runs that didn't photograph well, didn't turn out how I wanted, or just generally looked crappy. I've also had less time to do my ladynails, and have even had the embarrassment of running around with (gasp!) naked nails in the last couple weeks! In addition to being busy getting ready for Vida Vegan Con (next week!!! So excited!!!), I have another exciting reason to be so busy- I'm having a baby!
No, just kidding. But equally exciting- I'm buying a house! Really for real! I do regret that this process has kept me from spending as much time as I would like on Sews Before Bros, but the good news is that I'm upgrading my creative space from a corner in my one-bedroom apartment to a full-on converted attic. I realized the other day that I would finally have enough room for a drafting and cutting table and it stopped me dead in my tracks with a dumb-ass smile on my face for a good minute. Thankfully, I was alone in my kitchen at the time. Ultimately I'll have even more capabilities to bring better content to Sews Before Bros, and I'm also excited that I'll be able to share my various turning-a-house-into-a-home crafts and hacks.
But enough about me and the blah-blah-blah. Check out the rest of my ladynails here.
This is Missy, and boy is she cute! Her human is Ross Fury, a tattoo artist acquaintance of mine who I first met when we were both living in Hong Kong. Ross is back in his native England now, where he and Missy recently attended the 2013 Sci-Fi London Festival. More importantly, they attended the 2013 Sci-Fi London dog costume contest. And Missy here cleaned the eff up! Girlfriend won for her adorable likeness of K-9 of Doctor Who, lovingly crafted for her by Ross. This picture is crammed full of my favorite things: cute dogs, classic sci-fi, crafty dudes smashing gender norms, dudes whose little dogs turn them into marshmallows, etc.
There are murmurs of some controversy (by the way, have you heard how the British pronounce 'controversy'? It's hilarious), as apparently some dog enthusiasts think the wrong pup was crowned winner. Drama! But as Ross himself puts it, "we took part just for fun and Missy enjoyed herself, which is the main thing." That's right, Ross and Missy! Don't let those jealous haters trip up your swagga!
Thankfully, crack dog paparazzo Ian Morrison (aka Dogstar Photography) was on the scene to capture the best entries. Although Ian's beautiful photos capture the spirit and personality of these pint-sized contestants, one of my personal favorites is the photo of Ian flattened on the ground, trying to get a good angle on a teeny-tiny Marilyn Monroe. Please visit Ian's website for more beautiful dog photos (order some prints of his sassy London dogs! They bark with accents!), or visit his London Sci Fi doggy album on Facebook.
Below are some of the other contestants, click to enlarge! Can you guess all the costumes?