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New Shipping Options for Blerdy Momma Boutique!

first class shipping

Hey, fabric nerds! I’m excited to announce that I’ve finally brought First-Class shipping back to Blerdy Momma Boutique!

For a little while there I had to remove FCS as an option because it was calculating incorrectly. I’ve since fiddled with it some, and I’m satisfied now that I can start offering this cheaper shipping option again for your smaller orders. Yay!

I’ve posted it all around the site, but I just wanted to take a minute to explain when choosing First Class shipping is appropriate on this site.

First Class shipping is limited to orders weighing below 13oz total. Some examples of an order weighing 13oz or less are:

  • a single yard of CL fabric, or…
  • up to 2 adult panels, or…
  • up to 6 child panels, or…
  • 1 adult panel and up to 3 child panels, or…
  • a crazy amount of foldover elastic

You may notice that First Class shipping pops up as an option even when you have a larger order. This is a minor glitch within my website’s shipping calculator, and I’m working to fix it. Please don’t select the option unless your order actually qualifies, or I’ll have to correct it manually. If this becomes a persistent problem, I’ll have to start charging a correction fee. (Please don’t make me do it.)

In the meantime, I hope you’re looking forward to paying lower shipping costs on your orders for Round 4 and beyond. I know I’m super excited to use my fabulous purple polymailers to send out your nerdy fabrics!

Speaking of round 4, did I tell you guys the promo for the round 4: Senshi preorder yet?…

FREE CHILD PANELS!!! YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT!

During the round 4 preorder, if you buy any 2 yards of fabric, you get 1 child panel of your choice absolutely free! The panel does not need to be part of the preorder round to count for your free gift. And you can still get this deal even if you place a retail order during the time that round 4: Senshi is open. There is no coupon code or special trick to receiving this deal. Just add 2 yards of fabric to your cart and the site will ask you to choose your free panel on the cart page.

I hope I see pictures of your awesome sewing projects in the Facebook group soon! Level up, fabric nerds!

 

~Blerdy Momma

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The Fabric Shop gets a Makeover!

Hello, fabric nerds! I’ll be honest, I thought I was going to be adding to this blog regularly now that I’ve opened the fabric shop, but that has been far from the reality. But, lots of things are evolving here at Blerdy Momma Boutique, and I’ve just gotta talk about it.

If you remember back in early March, I had an issue getting Round 2: Arcade Fighters produced. I was extremely upset because it disrupted my normally fast turnaround time. So, being the very extra person that I am… I bought a fabric printer. (If you want something done right, do it yourself, right?)

Fabric printer test
Test printing on some paper… Can you tell what this design will be when I get it right?

Well, I totally understand the value of manufacturing companies after spending some time learning my way around this printer. BUT, making my fabric in-house gives me the option to further customize your shopping experience, which I intend to do over the coming months. Priority number 1 is getting Round 2 processed and shipped to all of you patiently waiting customers, then I’ll worry about changing up other things.

Round 3 has come and gone, and Round 4 pre-order will be opening soon. In the meantime, the Random Goodies section of the shop finally has some goodies in it! I’m excited to be able to offer fold over elastic (FOE) in 2 of my favorite colors, so check that out. FOE is the perfect trim for knit fabric projects of all kinds.

If you’ve really been around since day 1, you may remember some odd behavior with the shipping calculator for my website. I had to switch to flat rate shipping only for a while until it was fixed. I am now happy to say that First Class shipping is once again available! Keep in mind, First Class shipping has a weight limit, so it is only available for small orders. Anything heavier than a single yard of fabric will not qualify. I’ll be writing a separate post explaining the finer points of that a bit later. For now, just enjoy the savings on shipping. 🙂

On a more personal note, my family and I just got back from a 5-day trip to New Orleans, courtesy the Make-A-Wish Foundation. My son was granted his wish to attend Wrestlemania, so we went. It was an amazing experience and I’m intensely grateful that he was able to experience it. WWE is a family hobby, so we were all living a dream. I had no idea how far Make-a-Wish really goes to give these kids the experience of a lifetime with each wish granted. So, if you’re feeling charitable, I just want to invite you to visit the website for my local chapter (or yours) and see if you can contribute to their efforts somehow. They work so hard for kids who are fighting battles nobody should face so young.

Anyways, I’ll leave you to your sewing now. I hope to see pictures of your latest project in the Facebook group soon! Wherever you post, don’t forget to add #blerdymomma so I can see your awesome work! Stay nerdy!

~ Blerdy Momma

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Time for the Round 2 February Preview!

Round 2 preview fabric

Round 1: Console Wars is coming to a close, and thank you for giving Blerdy Momma Boutique a truly Grand Opening! It is now time for you to get a sneak peek at Round 2. I’m super excited to finally unveil this preview!

Round 2 is called *drumroll please*… Arcade Fighters. I loooooooooove fighting games. Like fighting games as a genre is number 2 on my list right behind all the Final Fantasy games collectively. So after starting off with the original argument, Console Wars, it only made sense to make my next round all about fighting games. I picked a couple classics… take a look:

Outworld
Mortal Kombat dragon fabric

World Warriors

Street Fighter fabric

So how many quarters did you lose on these growing up? Enough to buy a console? Me too, lol. Strike-offs will be in soon and Round 2 starts February 1st!

…..

Surprise!! Round 2: Arcade Fighters will also include a very special Loot Drop. To commemorate the Black Panther movie coming out later this month (Feb 16th, buy your ticket while there’s still time!), I am offering this Pantera Onca fabric. Enjoy!

Black Panther fabric*** Keep in mind, this fabric will be on pre-order status. Meaning, it will not be delivered prior to the movie premiere. I apologize for the inconvenience.***

So what are you going to make with these fabrics? Share your favorite patterns with Blerdy Momma. I’m always looking for more to add to my collection!

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Strike Off Projects are Here! 

GameStation Raglan TShirt toddler

You guyyyyyyyyyys!!! It’s time to be excited with me because I finally sewed up some of the strike offs for Round 1! (Is “strike offs” one word or two? Strikeoffs? Maybe it’s hyphenated… strike-offs? Whatever…)

As you can see, the listings are live on the website now. The pre-order is open until January 24th, so get your orders in!!

I’ve been on Pinterest hunting for simple and quick patterns to use on the strike offs. I’ve been needing a set of pattern weights, and I could also use some new covers for my decorative couch pillows. I will probably make an apron with one of the adult panels. I want to do a pair of capri leggings, but it’s winter so I won’t get much wear out of them for a few more months. Maybe I’ll do it anyway…

I will always be a busybody adding to my to-do list, but I got at least my first strike off projects done.  Check out this adorable Raglan t-shirt I made for My Mini-Me:GameStation Raglan TShirt toddlerI used a child size GameStation panel and some of the GameStation pattern fabric.

I also made a dolman-style top for myself and a basic t-shirt for Little Man. You can check those out in the gallery below. I’m still working on a raglan shirt for my husband, and then we’ll see what scraps I have left to work with. (That means there will probably be a part 2 to this post… stay tuned.)

I’m extra excited to see what you guys come up with using the round one Fabrics. Post all your fabulous creations in the Facebook group. Decisions, decisions…

~BlerdyMomma

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Shared Post: Body Types and Weight Loss

chug life water bottle weight loss

I know this is a fabric shop, but I’m human, so I have other interests… sometimes. Weight loss is one such interest, or maybe the proper term is “mission” or “goal.” That’s because I’m a mother of 2 who did not bounce back from pregnancy all that well. If I’m being honest, I was already 30 pounds overweight when I got pregnant the first time.

I now have 50 pounds to lose. I have struggled for several years now to lose weight, but I have a hard time being consistent with any strategy I choose. If I workout, I don’t eat properly. If I eat right, I only do so for a few days at a time.

I have found that taking baby steps helps me. I stopped making kool-aid and sweet tea, and now I drink water 90% of the day. I have also found that tuning in to my inner blerd is crucial to my success. If I want to be healthy, I have to be nerdy.

This article wraps up fitness in a fabulous gamer package. I need that. I need that, and I need a hot soundtrack.

Shared Post: The Beginner’s Guide to Body Types: Ectomorph, Mesomorph, and Endomorph

As a bonus, enjoy this jam. It’s one of my absolute favorites:

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Blerdy Momma Boutique is Almost Ready!

Launch Coming Soon

I am so excited, you guys! Blerdy Momma Boutique is almost ready to launch! I’m in the last stages of setting up the business through all the legal requirements for Maryland, and then we can get on to the fun! I can’t wait to publish the sneak preview of Round 1 fabrics. I may just have to do a celebratory giveaway.

I am proud to share that I was able to find a supplier within the US to make my designs a reality to share with you all. This means paying a little bit more, but for me, it’s worth it. I really wanted to be able to offer you an American-made product. (Bonus: This also means I should be able to offer pretty quick turn-around times.)

Blerdy Momma Boutique is going to start out offering a great quality 12oz cotton spandex knit fabric base for all designs. If I see people are interested in other fabric options, I will start to offer those as well, so don’t be afraid to tell me what you want!

BMB will also be offering panels in adult and child sizes along with my patterns. I can’t wait to see what projects you all come up with for them. Don”t forget to join the Facebook group and post your pictures.

Ok, ok. I promise I’m done with all the shameless plugs. At this point, I’m really just trying to get in the habit of posting regularly.  You can expect progress pics for my ongoing projects, exciting recaps of my convention adventures, and the occasional tutorial. I cannot promise that I won’t sometimes veer wildly off-topic. I get easily distracted by shiny things…

Anyways, everybody cross your fingers that my business license application gets approved quickly. The faster I get that, the faster I can launch. In the meantime, I need to figure out my resolutions for the new year. It looks like 2018 could be the start of a whole new adventure!

blerdy momma boutique fabrics coming soon

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Big Changes ahead at BlerdyMomma.com!!

blerdy momma boutique fabrics coming soon

Hey guys! I know it’s been a while. I picked up some new clients with my VA business and they definitely keep me busy, but I haven’t stopped being Blerdy Momma. Never gonna happen!

Soooo…. maybe you’ve noticed some changes happening around the website. Like a lot of changes. Surprise!! I’m turning Blerdy Momma into a custom fabric shop. Isn’t that cool?

I love sewing. I wish I had more time for it because I just love putting together a new cosplay or piece of clothing and being able to see progress as it happens. Sewing is one skill I can say I learned entirely on my own, just me and the manual for my first sewing machine.

It is now several years later and I’ve been introduced to the world of custom digital print fabrics. YOU GUYS!!!!!! This is what I’ve been looking for every time I walk into a big chain fabric store and don’t see options for my favorite fandoms. I’m so glad a friend put me on to these awesome sites.

But you know what? Something was still missing. There are a million options if you want fabric inspired by some of the more “mainstream” fandoms. You can find Harry Potter, Dr. Who, or Game of Thrones fabric anywhere. Outside of Mario, I really didn’t see much video game-themed fabric.

So here I am. Because I want Mortal Kombat and Final Fantasy inspired fabric just that bad haha. My goal here is to offer high-quality fabric with unique designs. I want those of us with less popular fandoms to have some options too. If you’re into that, bookmark the site and join my Facebook group.

What’s your favorite fandom? I’m keeping a list of games and shows to inspire my future fanart designs. Come back soon to see what’s available in Round 1!

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Make Your Own Leg Dress Form Tutorial

Leg dress form DIY

If you cosplay frequently, you’ve probably made a million pairs of boot covers to go with every outfit. It’s no surprise that our favorite fantasy characters tend to wear shoes you simply won’t find at the local shoe store. But this leaves you sitting at the sewing machine barefoot, repeatedly trying your boot cover on with your shoe to see if it fits, if you can get it on and off easily, and if all the seams lay just right. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a dress form for your feet? Well, I’ve got good news. You can make your own CUSTOM dress form of your leg and it’s dirt cheap to do! If you’ve got a friend to help, you can get it done in less than an hour. Check it out.

You will need:

Saran WrapLeg Dress form DIY supplies
Packing Tape
Plastic grocery bags

You will use:

Scissors
Masking tape
Permanent Marker

Making the Leg Dress Form

  1. Wrap your bare foot in 2 layers of saran wrap. Wrap all the way up to at least your knee. If you regularly make higher boot covers, feel free to keep your leg straight and wrap higher. (I highly recommend enlisting a friend’s help for that unless you’re a total yoga master.)Dress form saran wrap
  2. Go over the saran wrap with the packing tape. Wrap it snug, but not so tight that you’re cutting off circulation. (If you wrap it too tight, step 4 WILL become dangerous.) Make sure you don’t miss any spots. Lay the tape in different directions for full coverage.Dress form packing tape
  3. Take a permanent marker and draw a straight line down the center back of your leg wrap. Add a few hash marks across this seam. They will be useful later. Draw another straight line around the top edge of the wrap.dress form permanent marker back seam    dress form hash marks
  4. CAREFULLY<<!!! Cut along that center back line you drew. It is probably safer to let someone else do this. And definitely use a pair of scissors and NOT any sort of single blade tool. If you have a pair with a rounded, blunt tip, that’s your best bet. SAFETY FIRST!!leg dress form scissors
  5. At this point, you should be able to slide the wrap off of your foot while maintaining its shape.
  6. It’s time to start stuffing! Ball up your plastic grocery bags as tight as you can and stuff them into the toe of your taped leg form.
  7. Once you have filled the foot area, line up your lowest hashmark and tape the seam back together using a piece of masking tape. Take time now to stuff the ankle of your leg form. It’s important to make sure the foot area is stuffed firmly but not so tight that you distort the shape.
  8. Line up the rest of your hashmarks and tape across them with the masking tape.dress form stuffed
  9. grocery bags recycle
    (Sidenote: This is my favorite way to get rid of my unnecessary stockpile of empty grocery bags.)

    Now you can finish stuffing your leg form. It should be firm enough to hold up to light pressure without collapsing.

  10. Go over the back seam with packing tape to make sure it’s secure. I usually do several strips going across and one or two going up the full length of the leg form. Tape across the top as well.
  11. Your DIY Leg Form is now Complete!leg form finished complete

You should be able to fit this leg form into whatever shoe you plan to wear under your boot covers and then use it to rough draft a pattern, design a mock-up, or test the fit of your boot covers repeatedly. This is also a great tool when you need to paint a unique design on leggings or tights for a cosplay.

Bonus Tips:

  • Wear shorts so that you capture your true leg shape and don’t have any obstructions.
  • For some fun, go pick out a roll of duct tape with a fun pattern on it and cover your finished leg form with it. I made one covered in s’mores print once!
  • You may want to make two leg forms: one for a flat shoe and one for wearing heels. When making the form for heels, point your toe while wrapping your leg.

decorated leg dress form with duct tape

I’m happy to answer any questions you have in the comments below, or you can share pictures of your DIY leg dress form with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

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Meet my Kids: National Sickle Cell Awareness Month

National Sickle Cell Awareness Month

Ya know, I named this blog BlerdyMomma because I am a nerdy, black mom and those are 3 characteristics about me that will never change. But I don’t actually talk about my children all that often. That’s mainly because I don’t think my children should have a huge web presence before they can even read. And how do I know some weirdo won’t take their pictures off of here and turn them into some ridiculous meme?

I guess I don’t. But leaving my kids off the blog means that a huge chunk of my daily life goes unmentioned. How can I really share our blerd family lifestyle if I’m not talking about half of the family? I can’t.

So meet my kids: Little Man and Baby Hulk…

National Sickle Cell Awareness Month Kids

They come with us to conventions. They love to watch WWE every week. And they both have Sickle Cell Anemia.

Sickle Cell is a genetic blood disorder affecting millions of people worldwide. Just in America, 1,000 babies are born with it every year. But most people know nothing about it. That’s probably because it disproportionately affects minority groups here.

Little Man has Sickle Cell
Little Man has Sickle Cell.

Sickled blood cells cannot work as hard or live as long as healthy red blood cells. Because of this, they lead to all sorts of health problems over time. My children are at high risk for things like stroke and pneumonia, and they suffer from episodes called “pain crises”. A pain crisis happens when their sickle – shaped blood cells traffic jam in their arteries, blocking blood flow and causing very painful swelling at the site of the blockage.

Parents like me have the challenging job of advocating for children with what is essentially an “invisible illness” 80% of the time. Little Man is just now getting to a point where he can describe his symptoms and learn about what is happening in his body. And next year he’s going to start school where the staff probably won’t know, understand, and in some cases, believe him.

I am talking about this because sickle cell disease is twice as common as cystic fibrosis, and yet I rarely meet people  (doctors included) who have a working knowledge of the disease. I just want to share a few tidbits that will let you know how to support someone with sickle cell.

Sickle Cell Health Tips:

  1. Stay hydrated – Dehydration will almost invariably lead to a pain crisis in someone with SCD.
  2. Avoid extreme weather – You know how your hands go numb when it’s too cold outside? That can become a pain crisis too.
  3. NEVER ignore a fever – Fevers can be a sign of blood infection. A fever is always grounds for a visit to the doctor.
  4. Avoid sick people – The common cold is not bad by itself. But having SCD means that the blood cannot work as hard to heal my kids. Fighting off that cold could cause their blood cells to break down faster than they can replace them. When that happens, they need a blood transfusion.

Resources about Sickle Cell:

Baby Hulk has Sickle Cell, too.
Baby Hulk has Sickle Cell, too.

Sickle Cell 101 – The SCDAA website is full of great, easy-to-understand information about SCD. They also offer networking opportunities and local support groups for patients and their families.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – The CDC is constantly researching and publish new information about SCD, its treatments, and tips for healthy living.

The Invisible Pain People With Sickle Cell Anemia Go Through Every Day – This article by Jim Olaghere is a snapshot of what it’s like living with SCD.

As my children and I grow, I am learning more about Sickle Cell every day. I often forget how unique my children are, because this is a genetic disorder diagnosed at birth, and we simply don’t know what it is to be normal. They were born this way, and symptoms started showing before they were each a year old. I love my boys and I wouldn’t change them for the world, so I guess I better change the world for my boys.

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2017 Convention Schedule (A New Home)

blerdy momma selfie.jpgI. am. SO. EXCITED!!!!! Y’all, we got orders. We got orders on pretty short notice and we PCS’d to the East coast. That means a whole new crop of conventions to attend!! I loved San Antonio, and already miss it terribly, but I cannot overstate my excitement at being a blerd family living right in the DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia, fyi). This is going to be so great!!!

(Sidenote: I cannot neglect to mention my absolute heartbreak at learning that the 2017 Royal Rumble would be in San Antonio a month after we were leaving. Undertaker was there… I’m still not over it, but I’m trying not to dwell…)

So beyond doing all the responsible adult parent research (schools, neighborhoods, etc.), I immediately started researching our options for keeping up this blerd family lifestyle. Are there any local conventions? Where are the comic book/ nerd shops? How often does WWE come to town? #Priorities, people. Check out my dreamsheet for the year below!

  1. MAGfest- Jan 5-8; We missed out on this festival for 2 reasons: 1. We were hip deep in boxes and paperwork. 2. By the time we found out about it, badges were insanely expensive! It would’ve been nearly $250 for our family just to get in the door, and it just didn’t make since financially at that moment. Day passes were no longer available, so we’ll just have to shoot for early pre-reg next year.
  2. Animore- Jan 13-15; Unfortunately, we missed this convention this time around. We simply were too busy settling into our new house and unpacking. But I don’t want to forget about it. It looks good for next year.
  3. Katsucon- Feb 17-19; This has been like a mythical event I only ever heard about in POC nerd groups on Facebook. I am too hyped to be attending myself this year! I already love that there’s an entire section of kid-friendly panels listed on the website.
  4. Anime Fan Fest Baltimore- Jun 3-4; Apparently this will be the first year of AFF Baltimore, and June means I have plenty of time to get cosplays ready for my whole family on my new sewing machine!
  5. BlerDCon- Jun 30- Jul 2; I am thoroughly excited to go to a con that expressly caters to nerd of color. This will be the inaugural year, so I have high hopes that the first impression is a great one!
  6. Otakon- Aug 11-13; This is another convention that seems popular in POC nerd groups, but I’ve never been to it in person. The website says they’re expanding for 2017, and registration isn’t even open yet, so I know I can get some great cosplays ready!
  7. Baltimore Comic-Con- Sept 22-24; I love any event where my kids get in for free!
  8. Congress of Gamers, Fall Session- Oct 7-8; The gimmick of this is just adorable. The whole website is written in the style of our founding documents. That dedication was enough for my to check out the Fall session. If I enjoy myself, I may check out the Winter and Summer sessions as well.
  9. Southern Maryland Comic-Con- This con did their 2016 event in November and hasn’t posted a 2017 date yet. Right now it’s on my radar, but it’s only a one day event, so I’m not yet sure the drive will be worth it. For now, it’s worth keeping my eye on.

Ugh… this list looks expensive… I better kick my virtual assistant hustle into overdrive! What conventions are you going to this year? Will we be at the same ones? You better say hi if you see me at a convention!!

Update: Umm… why did nobody tell me about Awesome Con (Jun 16-18)?? It’s right in Washington D.C and it’s only the weekend directly before my birthday! I must be in the building! I guess that rounds things out for 10 conventions for the year IF I can make it to them all…