Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bad Passwords Dress

When I'm not blogging about crafting, I actually run another blog for scientists on managing research data. Recently, I've written about anonymization, good null values, and backups, but it's passwords that I really want to talk about today. You see, I'm mildly obsessed with bad (read: all-to-common/easy-to-guess) passwords. It started this spring when I wrote a post on strong passwords but became a full out obsession when I saw this tweet:

The dress in question was made by security researcher and professor Lorrie Cranor. She's made both a dress and a quilt based on the most common passwords from a 2009 breach of the gaming site RockYou. More importantly, she made the fabric available via Spoonflower. You can probably guess where this is going next.

I made a bad password dress! I used the large, clean version of Lorrie's fabric and had it printed on cotton poplin. For the pattern, I went with a shift dress, Colette Laurel, to avoid breaking up the pattern with seam lines. The result is what you see here.

A couple notes on the project itself. First, I'm not too crazy about Spoonflower's cotton poplin. It will work fine for the dress but is a bit stiff overall. I doubt I'll order it again. Another note concerns Laurel. It's a great pattern from one of my favorite designers but, simply put, shift dresses aren't all that flattering on me. I still think it's the right style for this fabric, but the pattern will probably move to the "won't make again" pile. Finally, I want to state that my sewing machine's invisible zipper foot is officially awesome.

Overall, I am very happy with the dress for the sheer nerdiness of it all. It may not be the most flattering thing in my closet, but I have a feeling it's going to become a conference-wear staple.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Mending By Machine

I feel like all I've been doing on this blog since April is gushing over my new sewing machine, but seriously guys, my Janome is awesome! I played with another new-to-me feature recently - the mending stitch - and was again highly pleased with the results.

I experimented with machine mending on a dress with an L-shape rip in the button band. The mending process itself was really simple: iron a square of interfacing onto the back of the rip then run the mending stitch over the rip to stabilize the area. Honestly, the hardest part was sewing the button back on.

I'm excited to add machine mending to my make-do-and-mend repertoire - it's just another bonus of finally using 21st century sewing technology!