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11  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / why didn't someone warn me invisible thread was evil? on: August 31, 2009 05:34:49 AM
So I finally collected enough ties to try rickrackruby's tie bag and decided I'd use invisible thread for the top stitch.

The stuff is evil. *Evil*, I say. Angry It wouldn't stay on the spool (and my spool socks are meant for serger cones) and kept wrapping around the spool pin. If I looked at it funny it jumped out of the tension discs and then wrapped around the tension knob. Or around the bobbin/bobbin pin when the needle went through the fabric. And then, of course, it broke; that's how I knew it had wrapped itself around something, yet again. I briefly considered trying to use it as the bobbin thread, but given the fits it was giving me, I talked myself out of it fairly quickly.

A spool sock might help keep it on the spool, but I dunno about the rest of it. At this point, frankly, I'm so irritated with the whole thing that if the answer to working with it is 'patience', I'm done! I spent so much time fiddling with the stupid stuff, trying to devise ways to keep it on the spool and unwinding it from whatever when I couldn't, that I blew an entire afternoon and still only got about 8" sewn.

Is there a trick to working with this stuff that I'm missing?
12  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / help! wax on aida cloth on: August 31, 2009 05:11:48 AM
I have an embroidered altar cloth with melted candle drip on it. I've bent the fabric and broken the thick spots off, but how do I get the rest off safely? It's *not* on the embroidery (thank heavens!), but the aida cloth is black, so I'm hesitant to do anything drastic (like pour hot water through from the back) because I don't know how stable the color is. What's the best way to get the wax off/out?
13  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / vintage shirtwaist pattern? on: August 23, 2009 07:04:39 AM
Hey, all. I'm looking for a modern (and therefore plus-sized) vintage shirtwaist pattern. A skirt-and-blouse combo with the same look would be ok, too.

This is the basic shape I'm going for: (View 1)  http://www.dressaday.com/2008/03/yas-yet-another-shirtdress.html
Or this, only with a fuller skirt: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33835704@N00/1381683794
Like this: http://prettymodest.blogspot.com/2007/11/polka-dot-vintage.html

I assume the skirt is a basic gathered skirt with a petticoat under it, but I'm having a hard time finding a simple tailored blouse to go with it, let alone an actual dress pattern. Any ideas or recs?
14  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / my fusible interface won't fuse on: August 10, 2009 05:34:08 AM
I was making a bag yesterday and wanted to use some of the fusible fleece I have. I followed the directions and...nothing. It didn't fuse. I read the directions again (set iron to 'wool', use steam), double-checked that I was doing what it was telling me to do and it still wouldn't fuse. It got hot-even the underside where the glue (or whatever it is) was hot, but it wouldn't stick.

How do I figure out of it's me or the fleece that has the problem, and if it's the fleece, then what? I have several yards of it and am hoping the whole thing isn't defective. Can I use spray adhesive as a work-around? I have no idea whether it's washable or not.
15  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / What kind of embroidery is this? on: June 30, 2009 12:54:59 PM
I found this (I think it's a dresser scarf) at a thrift shop, for 25. I thought the embroidery was cool-I've never seen anything like it. It's almost like drawn work, or at least, that's the closest thing I can come up with to compare it to, even though I know that's not what it is. It's not on aida cloth, but whatever it is does have an even, slightly raised weave. There's *nothing* on the back of the fabric, not even knots.  Shocked

This design is on one end. It looks like the gray is variegated; it fades in and out over the length of the work. This is most of the center piece (the whole thing didn't fit in my scanner).



This is a close-up; I tried to pick a dark spot so you can see the thread go under the weave.



So...what is it? Huh If I knew what to call it, I could maybe find some basics about it. I'd love to give it a try!
16  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / tatting bag (pic heavy) on: June 28, 2009 10:37:40 AM
For me, part of the fun of learning something new is collecting all the 'stuff' that goes with it. Then, of course, I have to find something to do with it/somewhere to keep it, which is fun too.

I'm learning to tat, and I'm collecting the stuff that goes along with it. Apparently my yard sale mojo has been set on 'high'; just after I started learning, I went to a yard sale that was more of an estate sale. Great Aunt Whoever was a crafty woman, and I could have bought them out wholesale (she really had some cool stuff!) but I only had $10 in my pocket, so I settled for the baggie of tatting stuff.

Zip-top baggies are handy, but not very cool. Clearly, I needed a tatting bag! Grin My first thought was to make a large version of the round jewelry pouch thing with all the pockets in it, but the more I played with the idea and the stuff and a paper mock-up, the bigger it got, until I ended up with this. The outside is the bottom of my bedroom curtains (kind of a fuzzy twill-almost corduroy-ish), and the inside is a from a fat quarter from my stash. I didn't interface it at all, and had to go back in and put a bottom in, with some help from the fine folks on the discussion board. (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=309558.0;all) I made the lining longer than the outside so that it would lap over and show, and folded the handle sideways to itself so that it was striped.




The pockets go all the way around the inside. The two closest to the side seams are very narrow-big enough for a pencil, or a crochet hook. The others are more or less the same size.


I even made a little needle book to go with it, with a tatted button loop! Er, keep in mind I'm a beginning tatter, please.


And action! Or, what it looked like before I dumped everything out to take pictures...




There are a couple of things I'd do differently. Put a hard(ish) bottom in right from the start, for openers, but also, I'd make the lining/overlap *much* bigger, put a casing around the top and make it a drawstring close. I had a piece of elastic in this and didn't like it-it was too closed. Several of the pockets--like for my glasses--need to be taller so things will stop falling out. Right now I'm thinking of adding ribbon loops above the pockets, see if that helps. I would probably interface the lining, too; one of these days I'm going to learn to just go ahead and interface everything instead of wish I had later. Undecided

All in all though, I'm very pleased! I think it turned out great, and pretty much exactly like what I was picturing in my head.
17  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / busy as a bee! (ironing board cover w/caddy, pincushion) on: June 20, 2009 07:09:13 AM
Once I got back into sewing, I realized that my ironing board was in desperate need of a makeover. The top was grubby and ragged, and I could feel the 'bones' of the board through what little padding remained.

I used an old wool army blanket for the new padding. I just turned the board upside down on the blanket, traced around it with tailor's chalk, and cut out two pieces, the second a couple inches bigger, to cover the sides of the board. (I may add a third layer, now that I know how much it's compacting with use.) I basted them together in a couple of long lines, but didn't attach it to the new cover so it can be washed separately, if needed. Then I used the old cover as a pattern for the new one, only I cut it several inches too small, so I could add a drawstring casing. After that, I used the left over scraps to make a caddy for all the things that usually live on top of the board and get in my way. They're still handy, but now they're out of the way. I put actual buttonholes in the caddy, so it can come off it needs to. The buttons aren't interfaced, but have scraps of blanket behind them for some support. All in all I'm very pleased with it. Now I just need a new iron! Cheesy





I still had some fabric left over, so I made myself a new pincushion/caddy. I got the pattern from Sew Mama Sew, here: http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/?p=765 Honestly, I like the idea, but not the execution. The pincushion itself is too big, and so is the scrap bucket. Plus, the pattern kicked my @ss-I dunno if it was just me having A Day or what, but I took the pincushion apart about four times and finally had to pin it all together like it was finished to be able to visualize it in my head. Gah. The needle strip in the middle is a scrap of Army blanket.

If I had to do it again (and I might-I really do like the idea) I would make both the bucket and the pincushion about half the size it is now, and anchor the caddy at the front of it, not in the middle-it sits too close to the edge for my peace of mind. Anyway, here it is.





The one thing I did that I really like is I used sand from the incense pot on our altar instead of rice, so it smells wonderful!
18  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / adding hard bottom after the fact? on: June 17, 2009 05:29:12 AM
So I made myself a cute little round, flat-bottomed bucket bag. Because the exterior was home dec fabric it was pretty stiff, so I didn't bother to interface it. Which worked out fine...until I started putting stuff in it. The bottom needs to be stiffer that it is.

My current fix was to very carefully split the seam in the lining (where I sewed it after I turned it) and slide a piece of poster board in there. I have two problems with that; 1. it still needs to be stiffer, and 2. the poster board slides around, despite being cut to size.

Sort of taking the whole thing apart, can anyone make any suggestions for what to use as a bottom to stiffen it up a bit, and how to keep that bottom from sliding around between the layers? (Would the fusible stuff you use for appliques work here?) If it comes down to a choice, I'd rather keep it from sliding than insist it be thicker/sturdier.
19  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / How often do you change the needle? on: June 11, 2009 12:10:28 PM
I was sewing along, trying to figure out what that weird noise was when it dawned on me-that was the sound of the needle popping through the fabric. I changed needles at the end of the seam and ta da! That solved it.

But it made me wonder. Clearly I went too long this time, so how often should I change the needle? Every project? Every two small/one large project? Depends on the fabric? (And I don't mean switching to a ball point for knits for example, but if it's a small project, but say, vinyl, or heavy home dec.)

What's a good rule of thumb, and how often do you change your needle?
20  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects / I can see myself making about zillion more of these... on: June 10, 2009 03:41:37 PM
So I made myself another of Rae's ruffle tops out of a thrift shop sheet. I <3 using thrift shop sheets for fabric! Other than the pleats (which took as much time as everything else altogether, apparently because I are dumb about pleats Undecided) this went together fast and easy. It helped that I didn't hem anything-the bottom hem is the long side of the sheet (a selvage edge) and the sleeves were cut from the other long side of the sheet, which was hemmed. I wanted to put a narrow strip of trim around the bottom but didn't have enough left-it had been a pair of pants. I still might do pockets though-I haven't decided.

It still needs washed-you can see the fabric marker dots/chalk stripes everywhere, and the multiple pleat attempts. But I was so pleased with it I wanted to get a pic while the light was still decent. I can see myself making a bunch more of these-I have a whole stack of thrift shop sheets in my stash just waiting, and these are comfortable and breezy. Today it was 91 and muggy-comfortable and breezy matters! Cheesy

Here's the shirt. (Why do you--well, me--never notice things like the tucked in sleeve ruffle until *after* I've taken the picture? Huh)


And a closeup of the fabric, which was a pretty brownish grey-definitely prettier than that sounds! It was a pain to try and match though.

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