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1  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Any ideas on how to re-align a sewing machine needle? on: August 27, 2009 07:01:06 PM
I have recently noticed that my sewing machine needles seemed to be going dull very quickly.  Then they started breaking.  I thought this was because they were cheap needles.  But upon closer inspection, I realized that the needle is just a hair off its alignment.  Instead off passing through the opening in the plate, it is striking the very edge of the opening.  So when sewing slowly, it tends to hit the edge then slip to the side and complete the stitch.  If I am sewing more quickly, it seems to hit the edge and snap the needle.

I selected a different stitch [which is also straight like the default stitch, but is centered (the default is set to the left)].  This stitch avoids those problems, but I can still see that the needle is a hair off of where it should be (it doesn't align with the markings on the presser foot as it should).

So the needle (and that whole mechanism) is just a hair farther left than it should be.  Any ideas on how to fix it?  I'm not afraid to open the machine up.

Machine type: Brother 6000csi

Thanks for any suggestions!

2  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / I tried KitschyCoo's knit kimono (aka I picked the wrong day to stop drinking.) on: March 15, 2009 08:28:40 AM
So I got brave last night and drafted  a pattern using KitschyCoo's lovely tute (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=264793.0).

After a few minutes I began wishing that there were a knit whisperer (the heck with dogs and horses... this is more important!).  Because I apparently lack basic reading skills, I had to go back and tweak my pattern.  The tutorial was perfectly clear... It has become clear that since I started dieting, late night crafting doesn't work as well (I knew all that sugar was good for something other than junk in the trunk!).

My fabric was a remnant of organic bamboo knit.  It is unbelievably soft and was only big enough to make something for the little one.

I also thought it was a good idea to diverge from the instructions a bit... The results were mixed.  Instead of making long sleeves, I made mine more like half or 3/4 sleeves.  This I like.  Instead of using a knit trim as per the instructions, I used fold over elastic.  As much as I would like to say I did this for artistic reasons, I actually did it because it was late and I wasn't sure how to cut up my remnant to make the trim (I'm a total knit novice.  I know, shocker.).  This wasn't terrible, but was a little challenging where the fabric overlaps in front.  I do like the sheen of the FOE and the contrast.

When I finished all that, I opted to add buttons.  The crossover part wasn't laying right on the floor, so I hoped the buttons would detract from that.  But then I decided that I really like them.

Suddenly I was gripped with fear... What if her big ol' head wouldn't fit through the neck hole?  I had to wait until morning to find out.


It fit!  And looked so much better than I expected...


And she loved it!  Sister Goldenhair is on a major dress kick lately (and will have to wear them to preschool).  She's also ready for her closeup...


This front shot is a bit blurry, but you can see the front better...


The moral of this little tale?  Don't diet and try to sew knits late at night.  Also, if you start with a good tutorial (thanks KitschyCoo!), you can't mess it up too badly.  It actually looks pretty good on her.  I think it would make a great nightgown too.

Helpful hints for working with knits are especially welcome! Smiley
3  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / How a Goodwill sheet led to the happiest day of the summer (and 2 cute dresses) on: September 25, 2008 11:41:24 AM
So I have taken to skulking about my local Goodwill shops in search of potential recons.  One day some nice little old lady must have been cleaning house, because I scored several vintage twin flat sheets.

(You can read about the saga of one of them here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=252638.msg2812660#msg2812660

One of the sheets was well worn and the colors a bit faded, but it was perfect for what I had in mind.  Every summer I challenge myself to make a couple of matching outfits for my girls (I make loads of matching stuff for them, but these outfits are special).  When I take my vacation at the end of the summer, my girls and I go down and spend a few days with my in-laws.  One day is picture day.  My mother-in-law scouts locations and we go out and take loads of pictures.

I knew this Goodwill sheet was destined for picture clothes and finally found the perfect pattern: Simplicity 5226*. 

The first picture was taken at a chapel in a historic cemetery.  My oldest (Miss B) was trying to teach my little one (Sister Goldenhair) how to curtsy...




Then we went to a part of the river/gorge that had a waterfall.  The girls loved this, even though I told them to stay dry.  Here's Sister Goldenhair doing her best...



Next we went to a rose garden and park.  This is where the day went magical for the girls (and for me).  I took some photos and we ate lunch, but then I said the magic words: "Why don't you girls go put your feet in the fountain?"

I knew what would happen, but they felt like they were getting away with something.  First they dangled their feet in the water.  Then they walked around, getting the hems of their dresses wet.  Then Sister Goldenhair "accidentally" sat down.  I snapped all the while, catching pure joy.





They thought this was the best day of the summer...  I think they might be right.






(*http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=270032.0 This thread has another take on this easy, lovely pattern)
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / What the heck would you make with this fabric? (no really, I need suggestions!) on: June 19, 2008 09:33:20 PM
I like to prowl my local Goodwill stores for goodies to craft.  I love getting old sheets and tablecloths with interesting patterns.  I may have ventured to far this time.

I have a twin-sized sheet with a large, groovy pattern and no idea what to make it into. 


**NOTE** The large couple near the center (the back view of a boy and girl) is 10" tall.


Usually I am envisioning kids clothes when I get these things, but I'm afraid this pattern is too large and too garish for kids clothes.  The colors are interesting (the picture came out pretty true to life).

I am conflicted about this fabric.  One day I think it's kitschy and cool, the next I think it's ugly as sin.  But I think, made into the right thing, it would be really fun.

Any thoughts?
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Be kind to your behind (when crafting that is...) on: June 19, 2008 09:02:55 PM
This is the story of a sad little chair, an ugly old chair, and how I got the prettiest crafting chair in town (and softest too!).

Once upon a time, I had a sad little chair at my craft desk.  It was barely padded, had a back support that my girls loved to flip backwards (resulting in many spinal bruisings), and bore a striking resemblance to E.T.


So I had great aspirations to join the "hot seat" challenge.  Unfortunately, time was not on my side.  I decided I needed to find a "new" chair to revamp.  Sad little chair (SLC) was short on potential and had served my crafting posterior for nearly ten years (and was my hubby's computer chair before that).  SLC deserved to retire.  So off to Goodwill, where I discovered ugly old chair (UOC).



UOC was covered in hideous gray vinyl (complete with rips and sticky residue of mysterious origins).  The padding was old and the faux tack strip was awful.  UOC also needed some legwork done.  I happily applied my new sander and a metric ton of padding and batting.  I was originally going to use some fabric I already had in my stash and add some stenciling, but then one of my very favorite types of fabric went on sale for 50% off.  I was powerless to resist its lure.

The result is the prettiest crafting chair in town (PCCIT).  I stained the wood a darker color and added some black braided trim.  I love this chair so much I would marry it if I could (and I totally mean that in a way that should not make my husband feel bad).




The seat is 3" foam, so the gap between the top of the seat and the bottom of the back support is virtually non-existent.  So it looks very different from the chair I began with (thank goodness!).  PCCIT is elegant, supportive, and comforting; much like a best friend for my crafting booty.
6  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / A Gryffindor hoodie from Harry Potter - my best work yet! on: March 10, 2008 12:58:11 PM
I have made a handful of stencils before this project, but I am in love with this hoodie.  I made it as a swap angel, and I've never read or seen any of the Harry Potter books/movies; but I love it.  I think I really did some good work on this.

I crafted a freezer paper stencil based on the British version of the Gryffindor crest.  This was a lot of work, especially since I had to keep all the cut out pieces to cover over painted areas when I applied another color.  I spent hours cutting and a couple hours painting (and drying), but I was very pleased with the detail.  I did hand paint a few bits, but most was stenciled.



My husband has admired some of the things I've made before and asked me to "make one" for someone in his family.  But this was the first time he said (in a pouty voice), "When are you gonna make something like that for me?"  That was the cherry on top of it all.

My recipient has received but hasn't posted, so I don't have any action shots.  But this is a large stencil on the center back of a charcoal hoodie.

What do you think?
7  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / Angel ettiquette on: March 10, 2008 11:52:17 AM
Okay, so I need advice.

I recently angeled for a swap.  The recipient sent me a short pm telling me (and the organizer) that she received, loved it, and would post pics ASAP.

It's only been a week, but still no posting of pictures.  Now I know that she has a life, but I am really excited about this particular project and would like to post about it on another part fo the board.  Is this okay to do, or should I keep waiting?

The organizer already gave me credit for angelling, so that's no problem.  It's just that I really killed myself trying to make this project in a hurry and I love how it turned out.  It's not that I need someone to gush about how great it is to own it (not that I would turn that down either Cheesy), but I'm proud of it (and I often share my projects with far flung friends and family via craftster).

So post or wait?
8  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Women's skirt to twirly dress -- easiest recon ever! (image heavy) on: March 10, 2008 11:29:06 AM
So I saw this skirt at Goodwill and thought my eldest would love the pattern and the smattering of sequins.  I thought to cut it up at first.



But then I thought it could make a cute dress.  So I added elastic to the waistband and a wide ribbon to tie at the neck.  It's a very full, flowy sort of dress... great for summer.




And here you can kinda see the buttons I added for decoration (I've been holding on to them forever.  I love them and want to put them on everything, but then again I don't want to not have them to use anymore.  It's a sickness really). Pay no attention to the evil eye necklace and powdered sugar donut mouth crud.  Smiley


This picture is just to show the fullness of the skirt:


And of course the twirly action shot:



Thanks for looking!
9  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Flannel pants with unicorns on: March 09, 2008 09:09:10 PM
This is not a great picture for you to see the overall structure, but it is just your run of the mill jammy pants.



Obviously, they are pretty comfortable.  Grin

I whipped these up cause my oldest was sick this weekend (and I was toddler-free). 

I'm glad she's still at an age where she feels special when Mom makes her something.  And she wants to join mini 4-H so she can sew like Mom does.  I'm a lucky woman!
10  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Snowy, toddler-free weekend = summer dress on: March 09, 2008 09:02:38 PM
This is meant to be a dress for this summer and perhaps next year, so it is a bit big yet.  But it actually only comes to her mid-calf (not floor length like my wonderful picture seems to suggest).



She didn't want to take it off, so I only have an action shot.  The pattern is  McCalls 4814, with a little lace added to the top.

You can't see from the pictures but my girl has big blue eyes, so she totally rocks this color.

Thanks for looking!
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