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21  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / adult swing top pattern? on: June 09, 2009 03:12:44 PM
I'm looking for a pattern for me, like this:

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=300887.msg3434605#msg3434605
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=295661.msg3364948#msg3364948

I have this apron pattern: http://www.2manysewingpatterns.com/i/Aprons/Simplicity_5201_Front.JPG but it's *really* low under the arms. Would it work, with some tweaking, or is there a top pattern out there that I'm just not finding?
22  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects / my weekend in tops on: June 07, 2009 03:56:38 PM
I had a productive weekend! I got three summer tops done and a fourth cut and ready to sew.

First up, Rae's spring ruffle top.I found this tutorial on Sew Mama Sew, here: http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/?p=791 It turned out really cute, and is one is probably my favorite. It's almost *too* cute though, bordering on cutesy-it makes me want to put my hair up in braided pigtails, like I did when I was six. Grin I think it's the eyelet that does that, but regardless, I love it! I have a grey flowered sheet lined up to be the next version of this, and I'm thinking of making it a summer nightgown since the sheet is so big.



These next two are both Simplicity 2898, View B. (http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/patterns/sewingpatterns.pl?patternid=19000) The fabric was formerly a thrift store jersey sheet. It went together really easily, but I'm not happy with either one. I started off with what, by the numbers, should be my size, and it's too big. It's wide across the shoulders, and the loop on the bodice gave me a lot more cleavage than I was happy with. A LOT a lot. I fiddled and got two different results. The first one, I un-gathered it to a decent level, the just sewed the top of the loop to the back side of the neckline. Which solved the cleavage problem, but it was still falling off my shoulders. So I unpicked the loop, and now there's a huge dart behind the loop that I haven't trimmed yet-I'm thinking about unpicking it and pleating it like I did the second one instead. It cinched the top up into a nice V though.

Oh-and the gathers are weirdly poofy, and hang off the loop.



The second one is a combo of thrift store remnants that look like they were meant to go together-the back and sleeves are contrasting. With this one I didn't dart it, just pleated it a bit at the neckline, and didn't gather it at all-the purple 'loop' is there for decoration, not function. It's still borderline too wide across the shoulders though.





I like them both well enough, I just think they could stand some improvement. If I can find shirring elastic and a decent tutorial, I'm considering running a line of shirring along the bodice line and see if that helps. I've also considered taking it in an inch or so through the bust line. Anybody got any other suggestions?

If I can get the kinks worked out in this pattern, I'll definitely make more-I like it it, and one of the options is long sleeves. But I do need to get the bust sorted out first.
23  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / jersey/tshirt knit question on: June 03, 2009 02:42:12 PM
I picked up a full-size jersey sheet with a really cool flower pattern in a thrift shop today, and plan to make a shirt out of it. While laying it out though, I noticed that it's crooked-when I fold it, it doesn't fold evenly. Before I wrangle somebody into helping me, *can* I stretch it back into square, like new fabric? Or will it go back into it's current crookedness as soon as I get the shirt put together?
24  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects / not-so-mini me (meet Chicky, my new, customized dress form!) on: May 30, 2009 03:14:15 PM
(I didn't quite know where to put this, but here seems appropriate, even if it isn't exactly clothes. It's curvaceous, and it's *for* clothes-does that count?)

I've been trying to make a paper tape dress form for months now, and between not having a partner in crime, and not finding paper tape anywhere in a 50-mile radius, I'd pretty much given up. Then I saw this tutorial: http://sewing.patternreview.com/cgi-bin/review/readreview.pl?ID=1013&readreview=1. I found a dress form on craigslist that was plus sized, just not quite plus sized enough, and bought a bag of quilt batting (twin size, I think), a long lycra/cotton camisole, and a half slip.

I wish I'd thought to take pictures of the process, but here's what I did. I set the neck and upper bust measurement to mine. I set the rest of the dials to within a couple of inches of my measurements, but no matter what I did, the waist wasn't anywhere close. I sacrificed my favorite bra (ratty, but comfy!) and stuffed the cups with polyfill until I got to my measurement. Then I cut strips in several widths from the roll of batting and, starting at the waist, started wrapping them around the form and building up layers of pudge. The first couple layers of batting stuck to each other, but after that they're pinned in place. I built and measured, built and measured, until I got to within and inch of my measurements, at which point I put I put one last really wide layer (from under the bra to the bottom of the form) all the way around. Then I put the camisole and slip on.

Oops. I did mention the camisole was lycra, yes? There was a fair amount (5+" in some places) of compression, which meant I had to stuff the bustline again, and rewrap the waist, belly and butt. Thus began a long, frustrating morning of wrapping and measuring. I finally decided it was easier to put Chicky on the bed, leave the camisole on (instead of take it off, wrap, put it back on; repeat) and stuff up under it. There's also a layer between the camisole and the slip, but the slip waist is in the correct place. (Now that I know how it goes together, I'm really tempted to take it apart and do it like the first try-all the building-up pieces under one smooth layer.)

Chicky's measurements match mine, although she's not quite the same shape, especially around the belly/hips, although it's close. I may address that if I ever rewrap it all. After I got it done and back on the stand (I just tucked the slip back up into the form and taped it to the inside), I riffled my closet for things to try on, and everything I tried fits like it's supposed to. I'm especially pleased with the upper half, and I suspect any unhappiness with the bottom half more accurately reflects on my own fanny rather than Chicky's.

In any case, here she is:


Funny moment of the day: ThingTwo (16) came to see what I was doing and caught me groping Chicky's bustline (to make sure there weren't thin spots in the padding) and the expression on his face as he tried to decide whether or not to ask what the heck I was doing was hysterical. He finally did ask, and then was fascinated by the process and stuck around to help.
25  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / old book case -> new book case (lots-o-pics) on: May 30, 2009 02:15:45 PM
I bought this bookshelf when I was 14 or so, at the local Salvation Army. It was my very first furniture recon , and eventually housed my Ziggy collection. Since then it's been in the spare room, Dad's garage, Mom's attic and our storage-I always intended to do something with it, someday.  The color is called Sand Mist Beige, and was my mom's default neutral. Thirtymumble years ago it really was beige too, and not so pink. 


I started off with a good scrubbing and sanding, then painted the whole thing in the same high-gloss white I used on the table. When I did my table (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=306011.0), several people suggested that I mod podge pattern pieces to it. I thought that was a cool idea (although I haven't done it yet) so that's what I did to the shelves.

Lay out the pieces and fit-test:


A closer look. The shelves alternate between lots of small pieces and one big piece.


All stuck down. (And wow, working with white Mod Podge on a white shelf was a PITA!)


Trimmed up and ready for a second coat of Mod Podge.


And action!


Boxes of feet and some buttons on the top shelf, serger cones and bobbins next shelf down, books and patterns. This isn't everything; there are a ton more buttons somewhere, and more patterns, and books. I'm slowly trying to bring order to the chaos, and as I do, I'm sure the shelves will fill up fast.

It's nice to see my sewing room come together! Cheesy
26  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / someone else's UFO = my new cutting table (pic heavy) on: May 22, 2009 11:35:12 AM
I was out yard saling awhile ago and got lost. I found a little burg I'd never heard of before, and a yard sale that was just about done. The lady told me to shop fast-the Goodwill truck was on the way. Everything there was either fifty cents or five bucks. She didn't have a lot I was interested in until I saw the table. Apparently it was her husband's UFO-it was all sanded and ready to go...three moves ago, to hear her tell it. Cheesy So I bought it.




I brought it home, scrubbed it good, painted in high gloss white (left over kitchen/bath trim). And there it sat. I was stuck. It was better, but boring. And then, in a thrift shop, I had an idea, and bought every old, beat up pattern I could lay hands on. I dug in the shed and found left over living room paint in pattern brown and painted the top, then I cut the front off the envelopes, and trimmed them with scrapbook scissors (to look like fancy stitches). Then I shuffled, shuffled, and shuffled some more, then mod podged the whole thing down.




And here it is in its new corner.




The patterns were all 70's/80's ish, although there were a few from both earlier and later. A few kids, but mostly adults. The white stripe across the front will be a 36" ruler just as soon as I locate my black paint marker.

Aaand...I'm not sure I like it. Good concept, bad execution? Just doesn't match the picture in my head? I dunno, something. It just needs something, I think, I just don't know what. I'm going to let it sit, see if it grows on me. Probably add another couple layers of mod podge-there are still some rough edges and slightly bubbled spots. It the meantime, my cutting mat covers most of it, so I don't have to worry about it snagging fabric, or fabric snagging it.

27  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / someone please explain pattern sizing to me-I'm confused! on: May 16, 2009 02:22:03 PM
I bought a lot of old patterns for an unrelated project recently, and decided to keep a few out I liked. Then I got to reading the sizes. Let's use the dress I liked for an example. It was a size 18 (which I am, and therefore should fit me) but by the numbers (bust/waist/hips) I'd have to be half the size I am to get into it. Out of curiosity, I pulled the pattern pieces out and and taped them together, made a paper 'dress' and it was too big! And by a lot, too.

What gives? Huh Is it me? I feel like this should make more sense than it does, and so I must be missing something since it doesn't. How do I know if a pattern is going to fit when the size and the measurements don't match up? Can someone point me in the direction of a good, basic pattern drafting (or redrafting) site, or book? I'd love to make clothes if I knew I was going to get something wearable out of it!
28  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / dull, boring thrift table into snazzy serger table! on: May 03, 2009 04:18:44 PM
This was my weekend project. I picked this table up at a thrift shop a couple weeks ago, for $20. It was in good condition, and solid wood, but the finish was beat, and the color was faded. I sanded the heck out of it, then stained it with high-gloss Bombay Mahogany. (The last picture is truest to the actual color.) It still isn't the color I wanted; I wanted a really dark *red* antique cherry, but apparently the only way to get that is to let a lighter cherry stain oxidize. It definitely doesn't come in a can!  Whatever-I like it, and I think it turned out nice. I ModPodged a piece of scrapbook paper to the bottom of the drawer, and still have to put felt on the bottoms of the legs.

Before:




After:




The split on the top on the right side is where the two pieces that make up the top have separated.  It's really smooth, and will mostly be under the serger, so I didn't try to patch it, I just filled it up with polystain.
29  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Refurbed sewing machine table? I need some inspiration! on: May 03, 2009 07:23:36 AM
I got a cool old sewing machine, but it came in a grotty, beat-up table.

You can kind of see what I mean:


It's much worse on the hinged end of the table, and worse yet when it's folded up-it was used as a side table, from what I understand, and there are water rings and huge scratches on the top. I had thought about stripping it and trying to refinish it, but I got to looking, and I don't think it's good wood, so I'm not convinced I'd get good results with stain. I don't have any objection to painting it, but what color? Brown, like it is now? Darker green, to go with the machine?  Something else?

It's in the crafty corner of the everything room, so it doesn't have to match or coordinate with any particular decorating theme. I'm open to suggestions-heck, at this point, I'm begging for them! The table needs some love, but I'm suffering from a lack of inspiration. I'd love to see some pics of refurbished tables!
30  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / paper tape for a dress form on: April 22, 2009 04:36:40 PM
I was hoping to make a paper tape dress form this weekend, only I'm having the devil's own time finding paper kraft tape. Where the heck do you get it? I've tried Walmart, Lowe's, Michael's, Office Max and Office Depot, plus every little packing/shipping store I know about in the surrounding 30 miles or so, and nobody has it.

I'll use duct tape if I have to, but I've seen in several places where the paper tape works better. Is that true? Will I get decent results with duct tape, if that's all I can find?
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