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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / occupational adjustments and beading with nerve-damaged hands on: September 04, 2009 08:31:51 PM
I used to make all kinds of necklaces with seed beads when I was in my teens, over ten years ago.  I tried it again for the first time tonight, largely to make necklaces to sell at my merch table when my punk band plays shows.  I had all the supplies sitting around and I figured why not use them?  MY MY, how my hands are screwed up now!  I had a terrible neuropathy attack, which made my whole body weak and tired.  I'm only typing this now after lots of massage and heat and tiger balm and advils.  Definitely calling the doc on Monday.

You see, I have a number of nerve problems in my arms thanks to 16 years of knitting (had to give that up 4 years ago, sob sob), computering, and carrying heavy bookbags.  I guess all that beading didn't help.  It's thoracic outlet syndrome, ulnar and radial neuropathy, and cubital tunnel syndrome. Basically everything but carpal tunnel.  I'm 27 now, and I see a chiropractor and lots of doctors to keep the nerve issue under control.  I can only just manage to play the bass in my band.  Tonight the beadwork made my hands sooooo unhappy.  I lost feeling after one necklace, and my hands shook so.  It was never like this before!  I'm so sad, because beading is fun!  All these ideas popped up and I can't do anything about them!

I began to think about adaptations.  I have a huge issue with pinching motions, moves that bring the index finger and thumb together.  I already tried sticking the eye end of the beading needle into a pin cushion and adding beads to the exposed end.  That did work because it gave my left hand something much easier to grasp lightly.  That still leaves the problem of the bead-gathering hand.

I thought about those automatic beader dishes, the ones that twirl.  I could have one for each color, and I figure it's easier to knock off extras than try to put beads on the needle tip.  Has anyone tried making their own automatic beaders?  They seem a little spendy, and I seem to recall instructions in an ancient issue of Highlights for Children for making one with a short tin or a cup and some sort of twirly apparatus.

I also thought of using painter's tape.  Like I'd secure a piece sticky side up on my work tray, scatter some beads on it, and guide the needle through the beads.

I think I might also want to get a set of reverse tweezers, the kind you squeeze to open.

Of course, I will probably need to stop using seed beads, and switch to larger beads, but I have so many seeds left!

Ladies and gents, if you have any other ideas, I would be beyond thrilled to hear them!  I want to make all my ideas real and raise some much-needed money!  I don't want to lose another craft!   Cry
2  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / GOOD quality black cotton knit-where?? on: February 10, 2007 10:03:17 PM
I don't know if I'm insane or what, but I have the damnedest time trying to find good quality black cotton knit fabric.  I have gone to my two local JoAnn's stores and found almost nothing.  I have gone to the local non-Joann stores in Boston and found almost nothing again.  I bought a ton of black cotton knit off ebay, and while it's okay, I was disappointed by the thinness and the somewhat roughness.

I am considering trying to buy some from fashionfabricsclub.com. But I was wondering if anyone had personal experience buying cotton knit online somewhere, and the fabric was:
-soft
-medium weight
-100% cotton (though mixes have their uses)
-preferably NOT in a long tube
-a good shade of black 

It's because I sew clothes from knits a lot, and black is such a versatile color to have (for me, anyway, since I like the color too).  I have all these projects mentally piling up, and I am tired of searching on and off for literally years for a steady supply.

Has anyone else noticed the dearth of black knit at JoAnn, or am I cursed?  Wouldn't you know it, they have the black rib knit for cuffs, but not the plain knit!

Thanks! Sorry that was wicked long...
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / need advice on enlarging a stuffed animal pattern on: December 05, 2006 11:11:48 AM
I'm making a bunny wabbit for a friend's son for Christmas.  The pattern makes a 16" bunny, but I need him to be at least 20", probably more like 24".  My plan is to make the head in scrap fabric to get an idea of what the pattern intends.  Then I was going to just trace the pattern pieces onto wax paper and fiddle with the sizing.  It's Simplicity 8599, probably from the 1980s, and a darling bunny with little clothes.  I'm supposed to make him look like the Goodnight Moon bunny, with the blue pyjamas.

I've sewn for a long time, and I should be able to figure it out.  But if someone has a better idea or method than fudging it, I would be very grateful if you could share.  I'm not too good at math and I'm afraid the end bunny will be all weird and disproportioned.  It's for pay, so I want it to be good!

THANKS!
4  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Discussion and Questions / Patterns for Babies - sizes run too big? on: October 11, 2006 09:51:54 AM
My sister-in-law had a baby boy, and I've been sewing for him, but even the Newborn sizes are absurdly large for him.  Has anyone else noticed this?  I've been using Butterick, Simplicity, and I think McCall's.  Are there any pattern companies whose baby clothes do not run so huge?  Has anyone tried KwikSew?
5  CLOTHING / Sewing Pattern Reviews / Anyone have a good pattern for men's shorts?? on: July 22, 2006 09:20:04 AM
Ugh, men's pattern selection is so disappointing!  My boyfriend needs shorts and he HATES to shop (surprise, surprise).  Sometimes I thrift things for him, but even those pickings are slim.  A year ago, I tried a Vogue because I hear good things about them and it was a NIGHTMARE!  I measured and cut very carefully, but they were drastically too small for him!  All that hard work for nothing!  I did finish them, after throwing them angrily in the corner for a while.  They're going to his cousin, who is nine and growing fast.

If I must, I will buy the above-mentioned pattern in a bigger size and try again, because they were otherwise very nice.  But I'd like to avoid that, so if anyone has a pattern that they return to again and again, let me know.  I continue to check eBay for an old pattern that might work.  FYI, my boy is very tall and thin.  He has a 29" waist, but he can go up to a 32" waist because he likes that loose fit.  I don't want drawstring pants or pyjamas.  Nor do I want dress pants to be made into shorts.  Just ordinary jeans-like shorts.  Cargo pockets are a bonus, but I can add them myself if needed.

But yeah, it's nuts!  I've googled "men's shorts pants sewing pattern", but I didn't see as much as I'd hoped.  In fact, I always find an overwhelming number of men's shirt patterns, but no pants.  I thought the whole deal with men is that they almost always wear PANTS.  Kwik Sew and Green Pepper are still possibilities, but I'd like to some actual reviews before I get burned again.  I also have an Australian Bush Outfit pattern from Folkwear that my grammy gave to me.  I think I may try those, but they're not totally his style without a lot of fixing.

Thanks everyone!
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