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11  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / ballet fairy wings on: May 21, 2010 09:02:12 PM
In exchange for a discount on ballet lessons, I used my fledgling skills to help make costumes.  I've been wanting to make wings, so when the instructor told me they needed fairy costumes I was so excited.  I didn't even have to buy the supplies!



The two biggest mistakes I learned from:  1. Make sure you don't buy the knee-highs with reinforced toes!  They didn't show up much from the stage, but they would've been much better without.  ***2. Don't make each wing separately!***  When you assemble them they will swivel individually and just not work.  I ended up taking them apart and twisting the wires together, which wasted hours.  Instead, just do the wire for all four wings in the set in one long, zig-zag piece.  It'll spring apart and drive you crazy until you get the hose over it and all wrapped together, but it's much better that way.

I got to make eight sets and they're each a little different.  To color them, first I drew lines/swirls/veins on them with Sharpie permanent markers, then sprayed the lines with rubbing alcohol.  The alcohol grabs the color and spreads it.  Once that was dry, I sprayed them with egg dye that I bought on clearance after Easter.  I couldn't resist hanging them out on the clothesline to dry!



Then I fancied them up with glitter and gems.  Around the bar in the middle of the wings is a tab of grosgrain ribbon.  That gets pinned to the dancer's leotard, with a big flower to hide it.  It worked out pretty well.



Here's my favorite pair.



12  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Easter dress (just a couple more) on: April 09, 2010 09:42:36 AM


I love both these fabrics.  I modified a pattern I inherited from my Grandma (Simplicity 8544).  This actually only vaguely resembles what I had originally pictured in my head.  They are a little big, but hopefully that means the girls can wear them longer. 



I love my ruffler-foot.  Wouldn't have even attempted this without it.  My ruffler-foot didn't like being fed taffeta.  But I made it stay at the machine until it finished everything on its plate! 



Normally I don't condone looking up  skirts.



13  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / can I just put a new top over old? on: November 07, 2009 10:45:21 AM
So about 14 years ago, my Mom gave us a store-bought quilt for our wedding.  It wasn't anything special, and it wasn't the highest quality.  But it's been useful over the years.  Now it's ripping along many of the seams and quilting lines.  Is it reasonable to just make a new top and sew it right over the old quilt?  I'd probably have to put a new back on it while I'm at it.  The edge is scalloped (double wedding ring), so I guess I might just cut it off straight.  Does all this sound okay?  Will I run into problems later and regret it?  I hate to just throw it away, and can't afford to buy a new batt anyway. 
14  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / icosahedron dice bag on: September 22, 2009 07:09:04 PM
So I saw the tutorial for a 20-sided dice bag over on evilmadscientist.  I knew I had to make it for my honey.  He's been gaming for a couple decades.  It was only about a week late for his birthday.  



It took quite a few hours.  Think about it--20 pieces for the outside, 20 for the lining, 20 of interfacing.  Then I decided to put it an invisible zipper that was too long.  I don't know if it was because it wasn't a regular zip, or because of the angles it has to go around, but it's tricky to open.  I still think it looks better.  The lining was also a real bear to deal with.  I think it actually ended up bigger than the outside when I first sewed it up.  I redid it and managed to get it to sit inside reasonably well.  And I really wish I had found stiffer interfacing.  But we uses whats we gots.



I used my husband's 20-sided die to make sure I got the numbers on the corresponding faces.  I even made them face the same directions as on the die.  Yes, I am made of awesome.  It was all worth it, because he loved it.  When I gave it to him, he popped all his dice in it right away, and took it to gaming that night.


15  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 40 ENTRIES / knit together as one on: July 03, 2009 10:25:42 AM
A while ago I saw the knit paintings of goshdarnknit (Rania Hassan) on Poppytalk Handmade (now she's on Etsy).
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=22616007
Wow!  But I thought they would look even better if they were more 3-D and mixed media.



Aren't tripods and timers great?  I never would've gotten a picture of myself knitting otherwise.  (That's #10 crochet thread on #1 needles.)



This represents my husband and me.  I love the intertwined cables.  (The inscription that you can barely read says "...knit together as one...Judges 20:11.")



I cut around my hands in the photo and stuck them to the knitting.  The "needles" are bamboo skewers with beads on the ends.





Then I made/gathered little trinkets to attach to the knitting.  I included things that we both like (sushi), individual hobbies (swimming), and some sentimental momentos (a tag from a rosebush he bought me).  Most of them are attached with jump rings.



I wish that I'd had the endurance to knit a longer piece--I had more things I wanted to hang on there.  But those little needles were a strain on my hands after a while.


16  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / camo dress on: June 23, 2009 07:23:44 PM
I've had this dress in my head for a while.  It's a variation on my 1966 McCall's 8269 that I've used twice before.  And I adore this fabric.





I separated the yoke from the sleeves, and made the sleeves one piece with a little bit of gather and a cuff at the bottom.  (The sleeves didn't turn out as puffy as I'd wanted, but I'm fine with that.)  I was going to split the yoke in front, but the fabric didn't have enough body to make it look good.  So I had to sew it closed, which resulted in that smidgen of a V-neck.  The back is the same as the front, except for the center seam.



I added a fitted, A-line skirt from just under the bust.  I like it.


17  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / covering a dressform (with clarification) on: June 16, 2009 10:50:55 AM
So I told my husband that I'd like help making a duct tape dressform.  He looked at some of the info I had bookmarked and said sure.  But he had a better idea of how to do it.  We went through the standard procedure, but with a garbage sack under the tape.



So after he cut off the duct tape form and slathered the inside with vaseline, he used it as a mold to contain expanding-foam insulation.  He even put a T frame of pvc pipe in it so it could be put on a stand.



Making a dressform of yourself is certainly one way of discovering your body flaws.  Yes, appearently on of my shoulders is higher than the other.  In fact, most of me seems to be off-kilter.

A few months later, after my son complained about "that thing standing around naked," I got around to covering it.  I used a couple of old undershirts for the fabric because they were thin, stretchy, and available.



Most of the cover was shaped by pinning while on the form, then basting, trying back on for fit, then serging.





To fit the bust, I cut the cover off a couple of inches underneath it.  Then I split up the center.  I made horizontal darts, then closed the split, and added darts vertically up from the bottom edge.



It was at this point that I realized that fitting it inside-out wasn't good.  Because when I turn it right-side-out the shoulder fitted to the right side would be on the left shoulder, and on down the line.  But I decided to press on and trust to the virtues of stretchy knits.  (That'll probably come back and bite me in the butt later--which is probably also lop-sided.)

I added a dart up the back.  Finally I added the middrift section, which I also shaped to fit the hips.  I'm going to run a cord through the hem at the bottom, so I can cinch it in tight.
It's not pretty, or level/plumb/straight.  But it's just the form and cover, not a dress.



EDIT:  I've added clarification of how my husband used the expanding foam and the duct tape "mold."  It's at the bottom of page 2.  (I was so proud of how I figured out how to cover the dressform, but more people are interested in how he made it.  I'm cool with that.)

18  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / ruffle skirts on: May 29, 2009 07:30:30 AM
When I saw diminishedsheep's "wood day" outfit a while back http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=303653.0, I really liked the way the ruffle swept across the skirt.  I decided to make my own version.  And what better reason to figure out the ruffler foot attachment that my honey found at a yard sale a few years back.  It worked great!



I wanted to add a third row of ruffle curving down the front, but ran out of the strip that I had already pressed and hemmed.  There's a full lining, with ruffle.  The bow fabric was from my Grandma, and the ruffle fabric was from my husband's Grandma.



It's not full enough for really good twirling.



But in an effort to be "fair," I needed to make one for my other daughter.  (At least that's the excuse I give so I can do more sewing!)  This time I used lace and gathered it down the middle--no hemming involved.  Unfortunately, it turned out too small for her.  That's what I get for winging it while she's at school.



I really like the way it looks, but can't think of what to do with it.  The length makes it less usable for a smaller girl, so I can't really give it to some one.  Maybe I can turn it into a doll dress.



So I got to make a third version.  This was barely A-line, but it fits.



At least I thought to make this one into a skort.


19  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / new suits for summer on: May 29, 2009 07:07:10 AM
The girls needed new swimsuits again this year.  I adapted the top from Simplicity 7619--I added a midrif to make it a tank.  And the bottoms are adapted from the leggings in Butterick 6297--I made them smaller and shorty-short.  I already had the fabrics, and just had to buy swimsuit lining and elastic.  They both complained about the gathering at the front of the bust, but I think they look really cute.  The first trial at the pool last night went well.



This is the second year I've made their suits.  Last year I tried to use their old suits for a pattern.  They were usable, but not as good as I'd hoped.  These were the smallest size included in the patterns, so I can use them for several more years.  After a few times making their suits, I'll be confident enough to attempt one for me.  (I'm not as rough on mine, so the one I have is still good, anyway.)  The only problem is that I only sew swimsuits once a year, so it's almost like learning all over again each time.
20  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / wristwarmers for Grandma on: May 28, 2009 06:37:45 PM
My husband's Grandmother had some surgery on her hand/wrist.  We visited her, and on her hand she was wearing what looked like an old sock with the toe and heel cut out.  So for Christmas I knit a pair of wristwarmers for her.  I guess I chose pink because my own Grandma loved pink.         



They are adapted from a pattern on DIY network.  I knit them flat because I don't even have dpn's yet.  I put a horseshoe cable down the backs. 
Then Grandma left these in her DIL car right before DIL left for an out-of-state trip, and she was going to have another operation.  She asked for a second pair of wristwarmers.  I guess she really liked them.  These are just 2x2 ribbing, in Lion wool ease.

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