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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Backstage blacks to bowling blouse! on: June 21, 2009 11:42:47 AM
I'm working as a stitcher at a summerstock theatre for the first time this summer, and the group I'm working with is a lot of fun.  One of the ways we decided to blow off some steam after all our hard work was to put together a bowling tournament for all of the tech staff, with costumes and electrics on one team and the set/props/paint crews on another.  Since we're costumers, of course we had to make our own team uniforms!  Most people just bought craft shirts from Walmart and went to town, but I, being too broke to afford a new $5 shirt, decided to completely reconstruct a huge men's black button-down shirt that I usually use when I need to wear blacks backstage during performances.  Here is the finished product:

The requisite full-length mirror shot.

I pretty much ripped out every single seam while re-working this thing!  I cut off most of the original long sleeves to turn them into cap sleeves, put in darts at the armscye, side front, and side back, took the sides seams in by about 9", brought up the armscye so it was more on top of the shoulder, took up a few inches at the shoulder seam, shortened and curved the hem, moved the patch pocket on the chest from one side to another, and added lots of embellishment.  I think it looks pretty good though, compared to what it was before, which was this:            

A close-up of my team member name, "Screamer", with appliques of fruit and a bee (it's an inside joke).  

 A close-up of the team patch and safety pin detailing.  Team Static Cling (fabric + electricity) lost, but we had a lot of fun anyway!        

EDIT:  Sorry guys, I don't know why the pictures are all wonky!
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Warring Dorm Room Aesthetics...How to Choose?! on: June 12, 2008 09:21:25 PM
Indecision strikes again!  I'm going to college next August, and of course I'm trying to plan my dorm room two months in advance.  I really want to have a put-together aesthetic for my room at college so it feels more like home and less like a box, but I can't decide if I want an Oriental, Ikea-like, or quirky hipster bohemian look.  Here are some of my thoughts on each (and let's just pretend like I have an awesome roommate who agrees with all of my decorating ideas) ...

Oriental - I have a red kimono and some trinkets from Singapore and Japan that I could use for decoration.  There is also a cherry blossom curtain and bedspread set from Urban Outfitters that I really like.  But is it too tacky or matchy-matchy for such a tiny space?

Ikea/Target-like - Standard college dorm stuff.  I would probably put a big rasterbated mural up and have lots of black, white, silver, and blue around.  I have floor pillows which I would re-cover with some cool fabric, but I also want my room to stand out, which could be difficult with stuff all bought at Target.

Quirky Bohemian - Handmade stuff with lots of color and prints.  A colorful tapestry on the bed, embroidered cushions on the floor, some ATCs from my friend displayed on the wall.  I'm just worried it would look a little crazy and be difficult (and expensive) to match.

Ok, I've been rambling on way too long!  Tell me what you think!
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / So I had this really great idea involving beads and high temperatures... on: December 14, 2007 04:53:02 PM
I am a rep for my senior prom committee and am chairing a sub-committee for a silent auction senior fundraiser planned for the first weekend in February.  I'm looking for a really cool crafty idea or two to create an item to put up for auction.  Normally I would have tons of things planned, like record bowls, decoupaged furniture, and polymer clay candle holders, but we are limited to 12 items and are looking to raise $2000 (part of the conditions set by the PTO, who are sponsoring the larger auction and are letting us just have a section to ourselves).  This means that most items will have to be part of a bigger basket or be able to raise a lot of money on their own.  I had a really cool idea of using the melted beads in an oven technique to create an entire set of table settings, including napkin holders, plates, serving bowls and platters, and possibly cups - at least until I heard that although the toxic fumes dissipate after the plastic beads have cooled, using the settings with warmer food can release toxins (including cyanide!!!) back into the food.  So that was out the window.  Any suggestions for sturdy, safe, marketable, handcrafted housewares that would be fairly easy to make between now and February?  I can do things like mod-podge, melt stuff in the oven, sew, glue, etc., but I don't have any power tools or supplies to make complicated things such as upholstered furniture. 
4  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / Craftster Craft Challenge Theme Ideas, Etc. / Re-inventing the schoolgirl outfit on: December 12, 2007 03:29:10 PM
This was inspired by my sisters' experiences with going to a middle school that just implemented uniforms instead of the dress code they've had for years.  As of this year they're only allowed to wear khaki bottoms with red, white, or black crew neck or polo tees.  All of the uniformity (pun not intended) was of course shocking to my liberated, ID-tagged sewing self, but both of them turned down my offer to make them some smashing skirts that wouldn't get them suspended.  It all got me thinking about ways to personalize school uniforms.

Anyway, the challenge would be to take a school uniform, not necessarily one used by a real school, but there would be rules about it having to be a certain color or style of skirt/top/pant - and personalize it while not straying outside the "rules".  So in the case of my sister's school, skirts have to be khaki-colored, "conventional", can't hinder movement, and can't be shorter than 2 inches above the knees.  In that case I would make a pencil skirt of khaki twill and add surface or construction details like khaki piping, buttons, topstitching, or godets. 
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Freaking fairy wings... on: July 22, 2007 04:59:36 PM
*sigh* Once again, I come to you lovely people for help on another one of my ridiculous crafting adventures....

I'm making some tiny wings for the Renaissance Festival using 5 sheets of crinkled cellophane bonded together using an iron.  It's really pretty and I'm almost done, and the only wrinkle is that when I actually put the wings on, they droop down instead of being all perky and fairy-like.  It looks like the center, where I ducttaped the wire frames together, is too round or something.  I taped a square piece of cardboard around it to try and give the base a little more surface area, but it hasn't really helped.  Any ideas? Thanks!
6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Reclaiming a Girl Scout Bag... on: July 12, 2007 08:02:57 PM
In the far, distant past, I was once a Girl Scout.  I got all the way up to Juniors before I had enough of making lanyards and beading flag pins, and the only thing I have kept out of all these stupid projects was a tote.  We each got one of those huge canvas bags that you can find at Hobby Lobby or Joann's and were supposed to stencil random stuff on it.  I did a rabbit, moon, and other things that nine year olds like on mine.  Now that I'm older, I actually need mine more, so I can tote all my junk around.  However, it's hard to look professional and serious when I have stencilled animals all over one side of my purse. 

Any ideas of how to recover this wonderfully useful bag from the depths of Girl Scout hell?  I thought that appliqueing felt over the offending places would work but since they're pretty evenly scattered, I think the effect would be the same.  Help!
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / So what would you make to match THESE socks? on: February 04, 2007 03:27:16 PM
I bought an awesome pair of knee socks at CVS today for $4 dollars.  They're striped black, yellow, green, red, and purple, and all of the colors are really, really bright (like, Crayola crayons bright).  But I don't have anything to wear with them!  Most of my clothes are pants, but I've made a recent decision to start wearing skirts and dresses more often (hence the buying of warm leg coverings, i.e. socks and tights).  What colors, prints, styles, etc., do you think would look good with stripey socks that make me look like an extra from "Seussical"?
8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Valentine's Day / Eek! What to get/make for an intellectual boyfriend? on: January 19, 2007 08:24:40 PM
I know Valentine's Day is almost a month away, but I'm already trying to find ideas for my boyfriend's present.  He likes music, other cultures, being funny, and he LOVES studying languages and philosophy (this is the kind of boyfriend you get when you go to a geek school  Smiley). 

I'm totally stumped!  I want to make him something, but I don't know what he would like.  I don't knit or crochet, and I'm swamped with sewing projects for the school play (why I decided to make 18th cent. corsets for all six characters, I don't know).  I've also done the "_____ in a box" idea for Christmas.  We're not really serious, so I don't want to make him stencilled boxers or anything too personal.  He's really tall and shirts are always too short on him, so I was thinking about altering a big t-shirt for him and stencilling it or something.  I'm going to Joann's tomorrow and want to have some idea of what I'll be doing (but shh! it has to be covert. I don't want him guessing what's going on).  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Fabric Care For Corduroy? on: October 13, 2006 05:29:48 PM
Hi, everybody.  I was wondering if any of you knew how to wash corduroy?  I just got back from Joann's where I got some gorgeous red corduroy to make a knockoff Anthropologie dress (the Braeburn dress), but being kind of scatterbrained, I didn't look at the care label on the bolt before I left the store.  Can anyone tell me how to wash it?  I would imagine it should be handwashed so that the nap didn't get messed up, but I'm not sure.  Does anyone know?
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Question about Duro dress pattern (Mccall's 5137) on: September 11, 2006 04:22:38 PM
Has anyone ever tried the short-sleeved version of Mccall's 5137 (the Duro dress)?  I bought the pattern and fabric but am hesitant about cutting it because I'm not sure which view would be best to do.  I'm not so enthusiastic about the long-sleeved version because I'm short and would probably just drown in all that fabric.  However, the short-sleeved one looks like it would expose a lot of my side if I lifted my arm (something that happens a lot at school, what with getting books and binders in and out of lockers between classes.)

Can anyone with prior experience with this dress help?  Also, I'm planning to make the dress two sizes smaller than usual because I don't want 12 inches of ease.

Help!  The tie-dye eyelet is crying out to me to be turned into a dress before the Duro goes completely out of style!
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