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1  Re: Brother 1034D Serger/Overlock in Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions by La Maestra on: December 29, 2009 10:59:48 AM
I got one of these for Christmas!  Within the first 10 minutes, I had to rethread with different colors, so I tied my knots, and one of them broke on the way through.  I was, like - OMG!  Sergers are hard to thread!  I'm a goner!  But no!  It took a few minutes and a walk through the DVD tutorial and I was up and running!  Here's my first joined seam - woohoo!



Now to learn to flatlock so I can use it as a shortcut on hemming. 

Not sure if the machine is junk, but it gets great reviews, and I sure like it so far.  My other machines two old Singers (a 66 and a 91) and a Pfaff.  So far my only problem with Serging is that darn knife action.  I keep wanting to disengage it and not use it (but then, whats the point?)

Have fun with yours!

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2  Drow elf from the Underdark - and princess Leia? What the...??? Lots 'o pics in Costumes: Completed Projects by La Maestra on: October 25, 2009 08:42:12 PM
So, I was wondering if I should wear this costume for Halloween - I worked so hard on it, and am proud of how it turned out, but the make-up is time consuming to put on (and to remove even longer) - and I'm thinking that not so many people are going to recognize the character - who really knows what a drow elf is anyway, except SciFi/Fantasy readers?

Leia and the drow elf strike a pose


The gauntlets of death


Leia trying to subdue the evil elf using the force


The hooded drow (why is it when somebody is taking your picture they don't tell you your hood is all askew?)



I don't know who this guy is, but he's a demon, so I had to kill him.  With a smile.



The green leather was so very much on sale at Tandy - gee, I wonder why?  But it's perfect for a dark elf.  I'm planning on adding a tooth necklace, maybe (a whole row of these greyish, long tooth-looking beads I found, like from the creature I took the hide from) - or would that be too much?  I am going to add more dreads and braids to the wig, when I get time to make them, and maybe some spider beads - too much?.

The first time I wore this was a couple of weeks ago, and I used makeup that was soap based face paint (came highly recommended by the costume shop - Graftobian, with a fixative) - it was awful and wore off all over the place.  This time I used black eyeshadow - takes a long time to get on, but took almost 6 hours before it showed signs of wear and sweat smearing (the picture with the demon is the last one before heading to the room - very sweaty and shiny at that point, and a little patchy, but not noticeable at a distance).

So - should I wear it?  Or just save it for the SciFi/Fantasy conventions?  Any tips?  Comments/ Suggestions?
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3  Easy wonderwoman (girl) cuffs - non-functional ;) With easy instructions! in Costumes: Completed Projects by La Maestra on: July 27, 2009 07:55:05 PM
Wondergirl is working for truth and justice - and recycling!  I didn't make the wings, Granny bought those - but I did make the cuffs (drat that granny buying things before I can make them!).




Easy silver cuffs:  (or any color, I guess)
Cut vertically down the side of two plastic yogurt containers - (remove a 1/4 inch strip), then cut the bottom off.  

Lay the resulting plastic cuff on top of some silver lam fabric, and trace around it, about 1/2 inch from the edge of the container.  While you're at it,  trace around some heavy grey posterboard, too, but a little under the size of the cuff.

Cut the lam out.  Spray spray adhesive on the fabric and the yogurt container, and lay it on as flat as possible, folding that extra 1/2 inch to the inside (spray to stick to inside, too, as needed) - no need to be tidy on the inside. Let it set/dry.

Glue the poster board to the inside - it should be just shy of the edge.  I used craft glue. Let it set/dry.

Cut out some hook and loop fastener - I glued the rough side to the outside, and the soft side to to the inside.  I used gemtack, and held it on with "bulldog" clips until dry.  (Let it soak through the fabric to the plastic so that the fabric doesn't pull when unfastening.)

Disclaimer - these will only stop invisible pretend bullets! But they do stop landfill buildup!  These were just a fun 15 minute (not counting glue drying time) experiment that I thought I'd share - they turned out much better than I thought they would, and are very very durable!  Maybe I'll try these for coffee cuffs, next...

C and Q always welcome!

edit - closeup of cuff closure






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4  Ill-fitting Battlestar pants? Recon those fatigues! Or any high pant - picsorama in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by La Maestra on: March 26, 2009 06:00:01 PM
So you see the stars wearing their hot army fatigues on Battlestar Galactica


But you put those puppies on, and they sag in the butt, blouse out at the hips, and come up to your chest.  (Sorry, no before pic, but if you've ever gotten those BDU's and put them on, you know how unflattering they are on the female form)

You can change all that - and end up with this...much better than the original baggy high pants!  (Don't mind the model, she is not a movie star...)


First, you've followed the tutorial on SciFiHero.net by Lostncybr (Green BSG BDU Colonial Fleet Utility Uniform), and modified the belt loops on a regular pair of army BDU fatigues.  Then, you fold the waistband over until the bottom of the belt loop touches the top of the back pockets - the same all the way around.




You'll need some hidden pleats or it will be blousy:
Next to the back pockets


Side seam


Sew all the way around, staying on the original seam for the bottom of the belt loops and top of back pockets - there will be a fold of fabric going up on the inside - just tack it in place so it stays up (or cut it off - I liked how it stiffened the waist band up, though, so I left it)


Final butt shot - the pleats don't show, and not baggy!


Final waist - I used too dark of a thread, and you can see where I tacked the folded fabric up, but the belt will cover it.


Now.. you are not ready for the frumpy ol' military, but you are ready for a Battlestar!  Well, almost - I just finished the shirt
- almost done with the rest.

I think this could work with some of my other pants that are too big on me, or too high waisted - just thought I'd share in case it could be helpful!
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5  Bevy of Bobbins- corral your unruly bobbin thread! Pics, too! in Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions by La Maestra on: November 18, 2008 08:46:30 PM
If this goes elsewhere - please let me know!

I saw this in the latest Threads Mag (Jan 2009) and just had to see if it worked.  It's awesome!

Presenting... Plastic spiral binders to the rescue for your bobbin collection...



Before...


And a bobbin chorus line




I think you can get these at office supply stores.  They trim to any length.  I just vultured these from some old books I'd made for some students.

Hope this is as helpful to you as it is to me!

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6  Mere water cannot stop the TWIRLY DRESS! in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by La Maestra on: July 21, 2008 02:16:54 PM
Okay - This Sewbaby pattern for The Twirly Dress (F869) is about the easiest ever - you sew a slightly modified T-shirt to a paneled skirt bottom.  The T-shirt just needs some shortening and the tie attached.

Anyhoo - The bug loves this dress - I've made a few more, but this is her fave.  And it even looks good soaking wet!

Getting wet


Dripping dry


On to more adventures!


Thanks for looking!  Comments and questions always welcome!
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7  Re: Crooked stitches! Help on sewing straight in Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions by La Maestra on: July 12, 2008 07:24:04 PM
Sewing straight can be tricksy at times, and when I have a situation where it's hard to watch the guides (it's true, you don't watch the needle)  I use a guide bar do-hickie (called an "edge guide") - the thing you see sticking out from the back of the foot (this picture was "posed", so it's not actually lined up as it was for sewing):



It can be made as narrow or wide as the bar goes. You can use it on regular stitching, also, if you're like me and sometimes lose track of the guide lines (where'd I put those glasses...?).



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8  Super soft nap mat! - with tweeks and problems (Pictures abundantly posted) in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by La Maestra on: July 08, 2008 07:14:17 PM
I saw LoopedyLoop's nap mat at http://jennycrafts.vox.com/library/post/my-nap-mat-tutorial.html, and then Batgirl's spacey nap mat, and I had to make one for my banana!  Thanks for the inspiration!  She starts full-day daycare this fall, and this will be her napping place.  It took about an afternoon once I got the cutting done the night before (figuring out the velcro - or should I say, figuring out the velcro wrong Undecided) slowed me down a bit.


There's two pieces of that 1" bumpy memory foam for the top of a mattress in there (her daycare has hardwood floors)!  Squishes right inside.

I made the mat 5" wider (she likes to stretch all out and akimbo), but not the blanket - at first I thought it was a problem, but turns out it's the perfect size, with less floor drag dust bunny collection.  It did make attaching the strap tricky - I didn't make the strap longer to match the new width (kept sproinging the sides in Roll Eyes), but once the pad was in, it was okay.

I put velcro on the pillow edge, so I can make a removable pillow to slide in there.


I made the mistake of attaching the velcro on with the overlap going up, not down

So I have to close it very well.  I was being practical and using the less stretchy material for the flap, and not thinking about direction of the fold and scratchiness.  The stitches actually are straight, but the velcro is wavy.  Once I shifted the mat over a little, inside, it moved the velcro lower to the floor, and it flattened out nicely.

Ready to go!
  Because I used such thick matting, I put stiff interfacing behind the buttons to avoid stretching and ripping when the buttons strain to keep it from bursting open.

Anyone with a napper really should make one of these!  We are testing it out at Granny's house in a couple of weeks (or tomorrow in her bedroom  Grin).
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9  Leather Ren faire pouch the cheap, fast and easy way (Pics and more pics) in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by La Maestra on: July 02, 2008 01:13:13 PM
'twas the eve before a trip to the Rennaisance Festival, and my friend, in a tunic, draw string pants, and leather boots had the gumption to put her hands firmly on her hips and suggest that we make a leather pouch for her to carry Ye Old stuff in - because I didn't make pants with pockets. 

All we needed was a bit of scrap leather, my sewing machine (with leather needle), some glue, a sharp blade, and an old button.  The D rings and leather string were stolen from a belt in my closet (I buy lots of my findings as parts of thrift store belts  Wink).  So here is what we threw together during nap time...  I think we did pretty good job!

Action shot - (these pants are not the offending pocketless ones mentioned earlier)




Back


Any comments or questions welcome!
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10  Re: Side seam moccasins in Shoes: Completed Projects by La Maestra on: June 23, 2008 12:41:49 PM
Roxy1976, I second your sewing machine comment.  I sewed these seams on a regular, low-end Pfaff, with a sharp leather needle.  I did stick the needle into a block of wax, first, but the leather was dry enough that I don't think it was necessary.  On the suede itself, it's garment weight, and I used a jeans needle and just sewed.



And then sewed the leather onto a suede coat.  Again, sharp leather needle, and had to play around with the tension on a test piece, first.


The leather cuff in the pictures is about the thickness of a moccasin slipper, maybe even a little thicker. My machine wouldn't work on the sole of a "boot" moccasin, though - the thick, hard leather for the sole of an "outdoor" shoe needs to be hand sewn or professional machine stitched.  I have an awl and stitching pony that I have yet to use - but now I'm motivated!
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