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1  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Little pink triceratops on: November 02, 2012 07:34:00 AM
I was pretty sure my niece was getting an over-the-top fancy rainbow princess dress this year because that's what she'd been wanting for months. Then she saw this dinosaur costume pattern I bought and that went right out the window. So here she is as a pink/aqua triceratops.

I included this picture so you could see the bag clearly.

Bonus action shot + Mommy's matching dino hoodie.

I used Simplicity 1765 with no real modifications. The fabric is a cuddle fabric of some sort, a bit stretchy, brushed on one side and sort of like a micro terry on the other. It shed *EVERYWHERE*. At some point I almost started wearing a dust mask while sewing because I was tired of accidentally inhaling fuzzy bits. The aqua and darker pink parts are felt as is the entire trick or treat bag (which I designed and sewed in about two hours). I used fabric glue for the first time (and hated it) for all the spots and front stripes. The hat was pretty annoying to sew together because all that stuff is hand sewn on. I was extremely lucky to find a glass mannequin head in the closet and the hat fit on it so I was able to stitch it on right. Otherwise I have no idea what I would have done.

Anyway, it was challenging in a few parts, but mostly pretty straight forward. I'm so glad she finally wanted to be something other than the usual fairy/mermaid/princess stereotype and I hope this trend continues. But probably no tails next year. As cute as it was to watch her swing it when she walked, she needs to be able to sit down sometimes.

Hope you guys like it!
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Unicorn Mini Messenger Bag on: October 05, 2012 08:04:33 PM
So I joined the Unicorn Swap and got partnered with dreadlady who loves rainbows and unicorns as much as I do so I wanted to make her something special. It's my second bag and while it didn't come out as well as the first one I made, I still really love it. The front panel is patchworked together and then the unicorn is appliqued on and has an embroidered face. I normally can't find lining fabric that works well with whatever outside fabric I chose so I usually go with solids, but when I was meandering past the remnants bin I found this rainbow striped fabric that was exactly the colors I had already chosen so I had to get it.

I couldn't find any 1.5" webbing locally so I had to sew my own strap which I think I like better anyway. I originally wanted to do contrast stitching on it in rainbow colors, but just couldn't get the lines perfectly straight and it looked crappy so I ripped it all out and just did black. I did modify the pattern by interfacing all the gusset pieces (I meant to do the front and back panels too but forgot) for more structure and I changed the flap closure to velcro. It was really difficult to line that up with no markings on the pattern...

Anyway, it has a front pocket under the flap, another velcro pocket on the back, two elastic topped pockets on the sides, and inside it has pockets for like pens and a notepad or whatever. So lots of pockets! Made out of quilting cotton and black denim. Unicorn design was based on some Valentines from Target that I found on GIS but can't find again. The pattern is from Michelle Patterns (formerly KeykaLou?) Okay I'll stop talking now.

3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Lumpy Space Princess Messenger Bag on: September 17, 2012 04:04:38 PM
I made this bag for the Adventure Time swap because my partner, theboywonder, wanted a bag for his daughter to take to school. I've never made a bag before so I was really excited with how it came out. The front is all hand-cut applique (had to break out the Xacto knife) and it took forever, but I think it was worth it. The body of the bag is stretch denim, which I forgot, so I accidentally melted the fabric some when I was ironing on the appliques and I had to remake the flap. I also ironed my hand. The interior has one big pocket on one side (which you can see me holding up in the picture) and the other side has smaller pockets including a place for some pens/pencils and a credit card or maybe even a cell phone if it's small like mine. I just wanted to make sure it was really sturdy which I think it is. Anyway, I used Simplicity 1823 with a couple of tiny tweaks (like making the top handle shorter 'cause it looked silly before, and also making the strap completely removable instead of attached on one end).

I had so much fun making it that I'm already planning to make a smaller one for my mom for Christmas (obviously not Adventure Time themed) and probably one for myself when I get some free time.
4  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Help me better understand intarsia knitting? on: July 05, 2012 08:09:24 PM
I'm a pretty new knitter and already I want to try more exciting techniques like colorwork. So I'm knitting this baby sweater and I'm nearly done with the back side which means front side is next. I want to incorporate this chart and I'm told that I should be using intarsia. Cool, I have a basic understanding of how it works. The problem for me is that I don't know how to determine how many separate bobbins I will need for this because it's a more complex shape than any of the tutorials use. Most of the tutorials don't even address how many separate areas of color there are and the ones that do, at least that I've found so far, don't explain *why* so it's difficult to apply that knowledge to this chart.

So can someone break it down for me? How many sections am I looking at for this thing? I don't want to have to go ask at my LYS because I don't know them yet and asking strangers face to face for help scares the pants off of me. Please help?
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Hearthstone Throw Pillow on: December 26, 2011 01:11:24 PM

I was inspired by lilninjabear's post when trying to come up with a gift for a nice couple that my husband and I are friends with. They're really into World of Warcraft, so I figured this would be perfect. I made the pattern myself (I know, big deal, they're pretty simple) and sewed them out of satin and this really great suede I found that looks a lot like stone. I used a reverse applique technique to try to make it look more like it's carved into the pillow, but I'll let you decide how successful it was. They were really hard to get right, too, because the back of the suede and the front of the satin were really slippery and kept shifting and puckering when I tried to sew it. I finally gave up on pinning and just glued the fabrics together before sewing and it worked really well. With all said and done, they came out around 17" long.

Either way, I'm pretty pleased with the results, even if the stuffing was a nightmare and wound up sort of lumpy. I don't think the recipients minded. Oh, and I actually made two but didn't have time to get any good pictures, so just imagine that it has a partner.
6  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Shiny, Iridescent Mermaid on: October 31, 2011 10:01:13 PM

So my 4 year old niece wanted to be a mermaid this year and, being the good Auntie Lisa that I am, I made it happen. I used Simplicity 2384 for the top, but ended up having to change the fit, shape, and construction method because I added the ruffles and lined everything. The skirt was totally from scratch because I couldn't find a pattern that matched my vision. The bag is Simplicity 4043, no modifications.

It's made from satin, some stretchy metallic costume stuff, and lots of sheer iridescent something or other. Also tons of sequin trim, all hand stitched on. These pictures really don't do it justice, but they were the best I could do in the time I had. I'll see if my sister can return the costume to me for some detail shots in a day or two. I'm really more pleased with myself than I probably have any right to be, but it's only my second garment and I had almost no experience drafting patterns before starting this. It was worth it, though, to see her so happy on her first time trick-or-treating door to door. Anyway, I hope you like it!
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Need help sewing top - where does the hole to turn it go? on: September 29, 2011 04:33:21 PM
The fact that I have to ask this question probably means I have no business attempting what I am at this point, but it's too late to turn back now. I'm making a satin top that is lined with cotton. No sleeves, but there are straps. There is also a ruffle coming out of the bottom. I am attaching a sketch to hopefully explain better.

Okay, now my problem is that I have no background in sewing garments and for some reason just can't wrap my head around this. I don't know where to leave a gap in the seams to turn it right side out. I've tried it 3 different places and keep ending up with bizarre tubes that aren't even close to right. The closest idea I've come up with so far is to sew the satin and cotton into their respective tubes, then sew the tubes together at the bottom to sandwich the ruffle and then I'd have to leave the entire top open and...uh, I guess hand stitch it after that? Is that right?
8  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Purple Rainbow Unicorn on: April 11, 2011 08:01:51 PM
I finished the companion to the polka dot unicorn for my niece. It's a rainbow unicorn for her best friend's birthday. I wish I had any decent purple fabric, but I've had a little trouble finding prints that I liked that were also reasonable in price. I think this works, though. It's actually my favorite of all my fabrics and I need to go buy more.

Anyway, I used a pattern again - Simplicity 2921, but I think I want to modify it some, maybe make the head a little different. I don't know. It's made from flannel (my favorite stuffed animal fabric) and stuffed with polyfil and some poly pellets in the legs. The hair has shiny strands in it that I find particularly enchanting. Oh, and sorry for the photo quality. It was an overcast day and I haven't made a light box yet.

9  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Making stretchy fabric not stretchy? on: April 08, 2011 04:21:42 PM
Let me start off by saying that I'm really pretty new to sewing so I'm not entirely sure what I need to be asking. Searching didn't help so here I am.

My problem is that I need some flannel in neon colors for some stuffed animals I want to make. Having failed at finding any, I thought that something shiny like vinyl might be cool and I've found some costume weight stuff in the right colors, but it's 2 way stretch. Is there any way to make it not stretch? I thought maybe ironing on some interfacing or something might work, but knowing almost nothing about it, figured there was more to it than I think.

Failing that, I could maybe use fleece, but again, I don't want it to stretch and I don't think I'd like the look of regular quilting cotton or whatever when paired with the flannel. Also, assuming the vinyl idea is plausible, any tips for working with that stuff? I sort of foresee problems with puckering seams and what not since it will be sewn into small curved pieces. Maybe I should just try it with the stretch and see if it works...

Any help is totally appreciated. Thanks!
10  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Polka Dot Unicorn on: April 01, 2011 06:03:51 PM
I made this unicorn for my 4 year old niece's birthday. It's not the first unicorn I've made, but it's the first one that I wasn't too embarrassed to post here. I used a pattern - Simplicity 2921, but I'm slowly working on drafting my own patterns. It's made from flannel (my favorite stuffed animal fabric) and stuffed with polyfil and some poly pellets in the legs. I hope you like it!

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