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1  Re: White silk wedding dress in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by manycrafter on: January 07, 2010 09:05:41 AM
Queenorivers,

Funny enough, I have pictures of the steps of making the braid because I was in the background while other Christmas pics were being taken, so I put cut out the sections and put the steps here. Simple enough:

1a. Cut a strip of fabric about two inches wide. Cut three such strips and be generous with the length, you will need more than you think as the braiding will shorten them.

1b. Fold in half long-wise and sew a seam at 5/8" along the strip. It's important to sew exactly 5/8 from the folded edge for it to turn out correctly! You could, of course, use any width you prefer.

2. Attach a safety pin to the end and thread it through, then pull it all the way through to turn the tube you've sewn inside out. The extra fabric remaining in the seam will give some body to the braid; alternately, you could cut the excess off (and zigzag the edge so it won't ravel) to make the braid flatter, or pull some thick yarn through to make it fatter or to keep it "fluffy" for a garment that will be worn a lot.

3. Braid them, turning them so that you keep the seam at the back of the braid. I used the safety pin and wedged it into the sewing machine plate to hold the braid as I worked, moving the pin as needed so that I could keep good tension on the braid and make the braid links all even.

4. Hand sew it on the garment, so that the stitches don't show. I used the machine to zig-zag the end together first, then folded that under and hand sewed it, starting at the zipper edge on the back.

As I was designing, I took a section and ironed it flat to see if I liked it and decided I didn't like it as much as the not-flat version.

I had enough braid left over to make a nice hair piece or something for the flower bouquet, but knowing my daughter and her desire to keep everything very simple, didn't even suggest it;-)

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2  White silk wedding dress in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by manycrafter on: January 01, 2010 06:13:27 PM
I finished it just in time for my daughter's wedding celebration on Sunday! She emailed me some photos of dresses she liked and I made it without a pattern. To be sure that I could fit her, she had an idea from something she had read: put on an old t-shirt and wrap her body with duct tape and then cut that off. She mailed it to me and I stuffed it with with newspaper and put it on a hanger so I had a dressmaker dummy to work with:


To make sure I had what she wanted I got some inexpensive fabric of the same weight as the white silk of the dress and made a quick version of the dress a little big and mailed it to her. I had her pin it so it would be the right fit and then mail it back. Then I cut the silk sewed the dress.


She didn't want any fancy work--I really wanted to do some bead work and hand crochet on it, but the only "fancy" work she approved was the silk braid I made around the bodice. So it is really quite a simple design, but she is so beautiful (IMHO) that I could have sewed a burlap sack for her and she would have looked elegant! It has a built in bra and is backless. I put in a long zipper in the back.

It was fun making this. I've been making clothing for her since she was a baby (wow, that was 32 years ago!) I was so honored and pleased that she asked me to make her wedding dress. Of course, it got completed the night before the big day (honest, it would have been done way before, but you know how busy a craftsperson gets!) Anyway, I wanted to have her close by to do the final fitting and get the hem length right and she lives clear across the country on the opposite coast, so it makes sense to wait til the last minute, right?
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3  Ugly foam cooler and box to cool chameleon wall hanging w/secret compartment! in CHALLENGE 45 ENTRIES by manycrafter on: December 02, 2009 06:58:45 AM
OK, I wanted to do something different, and I really LIKED the idea of turning a couch into a desk, but I couldn't fit one in my car! So, I went to the thrift store and looked and looked and looked, and came up with...turning these junky coolers and little wooden trinket box into a cool wall hanging with a secret compartment for my nephew! And, the price was right--coolers were $0.69 each and the box was also $0.69 so my total investment was $2.07.
After: and Before: .

It has a secret compartment, hidden in it, which is of course something designed for a boy to love:


How I made it:


1. Planning was easy. He likes lizards, so I went onto the Internet, downloaded and printed pictures of Chameleons, and then sketched on the coolers with water color pens.


2. Next I cut each part out using my hot knife (www.hotwirefoamfactory.com)--this is the tool I used the most on the project.


3. Now I started gluing. I got the glue from the same website, you need to make sure you use glue with foam that doesn't eat through the foam, and white glue never dries.  Sad You can use hot glue guns, though.


4. I let the glue dry overnight and then started carving--this is the fun part! I remove all the stuff I don't want. I use the freehand router because it lets me shape the blade and make cuts any way I want, so I can carve out the ribs and round out the edges. I love it because there is no mess.



5. Now I did the coating. I used Foam Coat, which is a hard cement coating. You just mix it up and paint it on. I wanted something really, really tough since it is going into a boy's room, and boys are hard on things. I needed it to be able to withstand being hit by a football or being knocked off the wall onto the floor!


6. I let the foam coat dry overnight. Final step was painting it. I just used acrylic paints. I just did it (the paint isn't really dry, but I took the pictures anyway to put this up!)


I spent about 5 hours total on this project--about 30 minutes at the thrift store, 30 minutes on the Internet, 2 hours cutting and gluing, 1 hour carving and shaping, 10 minutes coating and 50 minutes painting. (Well, I guess 6 hours because it took me an hour to write this and upload my pictures!) It cost me $2 at the thrift store, and maybe $1 worth of Foam Coat, and maybe $1 worth of paint, and my Hot Wire tools (but those were paid for a LONG time ago, I use them ALL the time!) so I would say the project cost about $4 total.
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4  Re: Mural art--paint questions in More Art, Less Craft: Discussion and Questions by manycrafter on: February 21, 2008 05:57:47 AM
Good questions!

It is outdoors and will be in the sun, so light exposure is an issue. I'm creating the base from polystyrene foam with a coating of a hardened substance--a combination of a plastic "glue" and cement--that is used for architectural elements on buildings, so that has been well tested for durability. The color will be applied on top of this, then the whole thing coated with clear coating, once I figure out the paints.

The mural is high on a wall and cannot be touched. It will be about 32 feet wide and 8 feet high. Here's my design:


I know it is hard to see what it is in a small graphic like this. The key figures are whales, dolphins and seals. On  the right is the sea bed with octopus, star fish, sea urchin. Above is a pelican. Various portions will physically protrude from the painting to give it depth. If it was "touchable" I would have to rethink those elements because some might be too breakable.
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5  Styrofoam village in What the heck can I do with THIS? by manycrafter on: February 16, 2008 09:09:08 AM
Ever wonder what you could make with styrofoam from packaging? I hate to throw it away.

My husband has a small business making craft tools for carving styrofoam into anything you want to make. It is a great way to use recycled packing foam from stuff you buy, and if you go to places like Sears with large items shipped you can often get big chunks of foam. The tools from his company (Hot Wire Foam Factory, at http://www.hwff.com) can be used to easily make displays for Department 56 village houses, like these:





Using a hot wire to craft foam is really not at all messy, unlike any other method of cutting foam. He's got a really big gallery of projects people have done and sent in pictures from, and descriptions of how they made stuff if you are interested:
http://hotwirefoamfactory.com/customer/gallery/1_gallery.htm
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