My LED bulbs came and saved the day. When I took the incandescent bulb out again to make the switch I finally spotted the loose filament. It had a curly end so it would catch and appear unbroken sometimes like it did the first time I took it out. The intermittent contact it was making with the rest of the filament as the machine vibrated is what was causing the flickering. I always love when sewing machine troubles have simple fixes. Now let’s talk about that LED bulb. Holy crap, that thing is bright. I’m talkin’ the reflection from the slide plate is painful. However, I can clearly see what I’m working on…as soon as the spots fade from my eyes.

I worked on cleaning my glove up today and I’m pretty pleased with the results. As you can see below they were mostly covered in a silver film with occasional solid splotches. The handle of Quistis’ chain whip is silver and I found that when I put a clear coat over the metallic spray paint it lost its metallicyness and just looked grey. So what do I do? Leave it unsealed, of course. Well, with many metallic spray paints they have a film almost like dust that covers the surface. Anything that touches that surface comes away with silver “dust” on it. That was also an issue with the gunblade I made for Squall so these gloves got a double dose of fairy dust. I hung onto them and now their day of salvation is finally at hand. As always, I did my research first and found different suggestions for removing dried paint from leather. I started out with the most innocuous substance, olive oil. Supposedly it loosens the paint with enough rubbing. It didn’t work. Maybe if it were a different type of paint or if the paint hadn’t been on there for years it may have worked ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Next I tried rubbing alcohol (also did nothing), acetone-free nail polish remover (sorta removed some of it plus some dye) and I experimented with mink oil a bit (didn’t work). I finally decided to bust out the good ol’ Winsor and Newton Brush Cleaner & Restorer. I’ve had this stuff for years from my BJD customizing and it’s the bee’s knees for paint removal. I’ve never used it on leather before but nothing else was working so I gave it a shot. It removed the paint almost immediately. Some of the blotches were stubborn but they came off in the end. If it weren’t for the crease marks where the fingers bend they’d almost look new. [Quick pause for a word of caution- it did take some dye off with it so if you try this, test it in an inconspicuous area first.] I still had some olive oil left so I rubbed it down with that after I got all the paint off. I may go back and wipe it down with a damp cloth to try to remove any residue from all the junk I put on it. Then maybe some black shoe polish or mink oil followed by a nice buff with a shoe brush. It took about an hour to get it looking good again but that’s including all the experimentation. The second one should take about half that time whenever I get around to it so I guess the glove situation is handled. I can do this all day, I have no shame.

I finally finished putting the zipper in the pants. I had it up to the point where I was ready to do the topstitching and decided to pull it all out to move the zipper closer to CF. I didn’t do it right in the center seam like ready-to-wear the way I originally planned. I decided I’d rather have it offset a little so I don’t have to worry about the silver zipper teeth peeking out on my all-black costume. I did add a zipper shield though- so fancy! Once that was done I went ahead and sewed the side seams and basted the inseam so I could test the fit before I apply the trim. I don’t really understand pants fitting all that well but I know a diaper butt when I see one. I’m not sure how I’ll go about fixing it. After I got them on I had to see what they looked like with the boots and belt then I decided to bust out the lightsaber. Yeah, I pranced around for a bit. It keeps up morale on tedious projects. So I have to fix the fit issues, draft and attach a waistband, and hem the cuffs and attach stirrups. Then I get to start on the shirt. 19 days left, I can do this.

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