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91  Bird wants to sit on pins and needles in Completed Projects by Calabaza on: September 29, 2013 10:13:34 AM
This little birdie flew off to my partner in the latest pincushion swap:

I don't have a lot of experience with stuffed things with shape- like a bird -but my partner was happy so phew!



Birdie herself is made out of some almost bottom-weight teal/turquoise fabric and osnaburg AKA poor man's linen. The latter probably wasn't the best choice with its looser weave, but since the bird is a little tied down to her nest and won't be handled much directly, I think it should hold up.



The nest started as a squat cylinder of felt. While stretching it into a more nest-y shape, with a yarn needle I sewed around and around it with twine then wove in more twine between the stitches to cover the felt except for a circle at the top. I stuffed it, sewed the opening closed, then went over it with more twine to hide the seam.



The bottom was ropy-poly after that so I added a button on the bottom and tied it to the top to shape it. Birdie is sewn on over the top of that. The whole thing is around 4" wide.

I was so happy to find the flower pins too! I thought they brightened Birdie's home nicely. I was very pleased (and relieved!) that they easily slid into place through the twine. Kinda the point of a pincushion, right?
Ooo, point! Get it? Haha!  Cheesy Okay, I am way too easily amused.  Smiley
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92  Re: Fall Nerd Battles --Sept. 3, 2013 thru November 30, 2013-- Join Anytime! in Craftalongs by Calabaza on: September 18, 2013 08:11:04 PM
Battle/Challenge: September Conventions
Team: debate, debate, debate...Randomizer
Bonus Points: 0
Project Name: Into the Woods Lucinda Costume
Project Page Link (if available): n/a
Brief Description: Project Picture:Costumes- elaborate, WAY-wow-er-than-this costumes -can be found at conventions, right?
I'm a volunteer seamstress for a local theater. Their next production is Into the Woods and I got to make a dress for Lucinda (one of Cinderella's stepsisters.) It's yet to be cut to the right length Smiley



The pattern is McCall's M5647. The only major alteration I had to do was make it a zippered back (lapped zipper- one of my faves) instead of lace-up. It's made out of brocade (bodice), crushed panne (skirt), chiffon (sleeves) and plain, old cotton (bodice lining.)


BadWolf314, I love the stamped penny bracelet!
SenatorOrgana, that ATC is so clever!
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93  Re: One Great! Pincushion Swap/// GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by Calabaza on: September 14, 2013 05:56:32 PM
Oh, I do love pincushion books! Nice one, Ludi!

When I got home from work yesterday this was waiting for me:


Isn't it cute?! Its maker, Ninaprettyballerina, said she calls it Dressing Alice 101! I love all the details Nina put into this: the embroidered pinafore, the beaded hem and base accent (I am a sucker for beading) and the buttons. The pinafore even ties in the back!
I started using it right away by sticking pins in the soft bit above the dress. So nice to have pins up and out of stepping-range! But then Nina let me know a whole other world hidden in my new toy:


Okay, so it would be more impressive if the photo was clearer, but the base is magnetic! Yep, all I gotta do is drop pins toward the goal and they stick right there out of the unscheduled blood draw hazard zone! Another wonderful- not to mention incredibly useful -detail! Yay!

Thanks so much, Ninaprettyballerina! I hope you like yours even half as much I do mine!
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94  Re: Summer Nerd Games --May15, 2013-September 2, 2013-- JOIN ANY TIME! in Craftalongs by Calabaza on: August 29, 2013 07:15:47 PM
Challenge/Battle/Alert: May Wordy
Team/Ninja: Fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any):fantasy (Halloween!)
Bonus Points: super nerdy, discovery
Project Name: Watchful Huck Embroidered Towel
Project Page Link (if available): -
Brief Description: Project Picture:
You are being watched
So wash for 20 seconds,
rinse, then towel dry




I followed a pattern (my first time doing so for huck embroidery/weaving!) for the outer rounded squares. The original pattern had a flowery vine in the middle but they said "eyeballs" more than "dainty" to me so I replaced the flora with pupils!



Challenge/Battle/Alert: June Wordy- a favorite childhood book (A Halloween Happening)
Team/Ninja: fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): fantasy
Bonus Points: super nerdy, discovery
Project Name: Fall Trees Huck Embroidered Towel
Project Page Link (if available): -
Brief Description: I LOVED the picture book A Halloween Happening as a kid. Actually I still do. It gets set out prominently every October. In it a tree becomes the BEST Halloween attraction ever. In honor of that tree I wove these guys with variegated cotton embroidery thread on huck cloth to make a towel (my 1st time using variegated thread for anything)
Project Picture:





Challenge/Battle/Alert: July Wordy- proverbs (Home is where the heart is and any variation thereof Smiley )
Team/Ninja: fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): none
Bonus Points: zip
Project Name: Christmas trees huck embroidered towel
Project Page Link (if available): -
Brief Description: A towel can be used in the home! This one is decorated with (make your guesses) huck embroidery! (Were you right? Wink )
Project Picture:




Challenge/Battle/Alert: August Fandom
Team/Ninja: Fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): sci-fi
Bonus Points: nerdy
Project Name: 4th doctor convertible fingerless mitts/mittens
Project Page Link (if available): -
Brief Description: What was I doing while decorating all those towels? Watching Doctor Who! Daleks scared the heck out of me as a kid (yeah, have no idea why now) but one of my pals talked me into trying it out again and I was hooked. Watching all the new ones became my summer project (still have a few to go...) I supplemented with the old school ones and Sarah Jane Adventures. Fun! But it's nearing the end of August now, so to commemorate my summer vacation I grabbed some t-shirts from the thrift store and made this pair of loosely 4th doctor-inspired accessories. Yep, I didn't have to covet them long Smiley
Project Picture:




Challenge/Battle/Alert: August Multimedia
Team/Ninja: Fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): -
Bonus Points: discovery
Project Name: glue resist dyed scarf
Project Page Link (if available): -
Brief Description: I've loved muppets since Sesame Street and Muppet Babies. In  the latter the simplest things became so much more with a little imagination (a potted plant = jungle, couch = pirate ship). In this project washable school glue became a dye resist! I doodled little lines and shapes zentangle-style, let dry, dyed, then washed. I read in several places that only the gel type would work but I couldn't find any and a handful of sites I found said the regular school glue worked for them. It worked for me too!
Project Picture:
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95  Re: Summer Nerd Games --May15, 2013-September 2, 2013-- JOIN ANY TIME! in Craftalongs by Calabaza on: August 18, 2013 11:01:00 AM
Challenge/Battle/Alert: August Textbook
Team/Ninja: Fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): none
Bonus Points: discovery
Project Name: huck weaving
Project Page Link (if available): http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=426736
Brief Description: I finally tried huck weaving! It's been on my list for a while.
Huck toweling is woven so the warp and weft threads stand away from each other in a pattern. You use a needle (a wedge, right?) to slide the thread through the gaps to create a design that doesn't show through to the other side.
Project Picture:


Challenge/Battle/Alert: June textbook
Team/Ninja: Fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): fantasy
Bonus Points: discovery, super nerdy
Project Name: Alice mug rug
Project Page Link (if available): -
Brief Description: I did my first fussy cutting (alas, pretty much a disaster) and quilted it with a wavy pattern. I learned a lot of things to never, ever do again but the end result is still useable and I've decided to find the flaws charming  Smiley
Project Picture:




Challenge/Battle/Alert: May Fandom
Team/Ninja: Fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): none
Bonus Points: none, I think
Project Name: scrappy stitched pillow
Project Page Link (if available): -
Brief Description: My elderly sewing machine is on hospice right now until I get the guts and the dough to take her into the shop. That meant this project got put on hold because me and my new machine kept fighting. After a while, though, I came to trust and appreciate newbie a lot more and started this back up. Newbie and I had a great bonding experience sewing testing out decorative stitches to sew the seam allowances down. We're pals now!
Project Picture:



This one's my favorite pretty stitch.



There have been so many, many great projects posted here! I kinda got overwhelmed by the amazingness and reverted to lurking mode. Just to comment on the last few- CUTE headband! Great napkins. I could totally see those at the burrow! Wow on the indigo dying!
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96  Huck weaving in Needlework: Completed Projects by Calabaza on: August 18, 2013 10:35:26 AM



Needlework is not really my forte, but I wanted to give huck weaving a go so I finally did for this towel.



This tutorial got me interested and this was very helpful too. I just winged the pattern.



The sides of the towel are the selvedges of the fabric. I hemmed the top and frayed the bottom. There're rows of machine stitching between the fraying and design so it won't come undone.


I really like how the pattern doesn't go through to the other side and there are no knots to contend with! Yay! Mistakes are easy to undo too. That made me happy  Smiley  It took  f o r e v e r, but I had a new series to watch so it was cool. Overall it was a pretty fun project. This type of needlework I may come back to willingly!




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97  English Muffins in Recipes and Cooking Tips by Calabaza on: August 07, 2013 09:13:14 AM

One thing Craftster means to me is going going for it. A while ago I saw this recipe for English muffins posted from King Arthur Flour. The directions were for use with a bread machine which I don't have. Instead of moaning about not having that piece of equipment- okay, after moaning - I went for it. With a few tweaks it worked!


Mmmmmm!

Just mix all the ingredients together (oh, I didn't use bread flour either) and let rise until about doubled. Proceed as directed!


You can also make a Sherlock-themed tea box to go with your muffins. Smiley


Cherrio!
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98  Re: Summer Nerd Games --May15, 2013-September 2, 2013-- JOIN ANY TIME! in Craftalongs by Calabaza on: August 07, 2013 08:46:04 AM
Challenge/Battle/Alert: Craftster Anniversary
Team/Ninja: Fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): Fantasy (Halloween!)
Bonus Points: Super nerdy, engineering
Project Name: Reverse applique pillow cover with tutorial for blind-hemmed lapped zipper
Project Page Link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=426362.0
Brief Description: I've been wanting to make a Halloween pillow cover or twenty and have now begun! I did up a tutorial for the closure in the back too. Actually not so much "too" as it's pretty much the whole post.  Smiley
Project Picture:


ETA: Another project. Oops!

Challenge/Battle/Alert: July Multimedia
Team/Ninja: Fantasy
Project Geekdom (if any): English, Sherlock
Bonus Points: nerdy
Project Name: English muffins and tea box
Project Page Link: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=426364.0
Brief Description, Project Picture: A friend of mine had me and some others over for tea so I made these to take along.




English muffins and tea just go together!

I covered a tea box and drew the logo inspired by a design I saw on pinterest. I'm not sure where it came from originally.
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99  Happy Halloween! Reverse appliqué pillow + blind-hemmed lapped zipper tutorial in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by Calabaza on: August 07, 2013 08:28:09 AM
What's something Craftster means to me? Going for it! I can freeze up with fear of failure but this site has really helped me be okay (or more okay) with making mistakes and "never speak of this again" projects. I always learn something at least! Learning is awesome!

To represent this, I sewed up this pillow and put in a zipper.

I LOVE pillows (former swap partners, you know that Smiley ) and I LOVE Halloween (ditto last comment) and I LOVE zippers! Several pillow covers ago I went looking for tutorials on making deep laps (the fold of fabric hiding the zipper.) I found a mention of using a blind hem to do so. That sounded cool! There were no pics or directions or anything but I liked the idea and went for it! It's become 2nd only to invisible zippers for me!

Since this post is more about the pillow and how it's closed, not the Halloween theme, I thought it fit best here with home decor.

The front is done with reverse appliqué (here's a great tutorial on it.) I did the lettering and drew the pumpkin shape (eventually- so not an artist) on paper then traced it onto the press and seal. The brown fabric is on the bottom, orange in the middle and black on top. The colors are off in the pictures. I'm still working on photography.




I know some people fear zippers so I made up this little tutorial as well. Don't fear the zipper!



So...
Decide what size pillow you want. Generally your pillow cover should end up the same size to 1" smaller than your pillow form. This helps the stuffing fill the corners and such better making for a nice, plump pillow with minimal limp "wings" at the corners.
Plan for a 1/2" seam allowance. If you do reverse appliqué or piecing or something else fiddly, leave lots of extra material for squaring later.

Get a zipper at least a couple inches longer than what your pillow will end up being. It makes life so much easier.

Make your front. Have fun!


Now cut 2 pieces of fabric for the back leaving extra for squaring, positioning and cutting if using a serger to finish.

I have them marked with blue-headed pins so I can tell the right side from the wrong (blue=b=back. Yeah, even plain fabric can have a right and wrong side.)
They should be the same width (or height, depending on if you want the zipper running from top to bottom or side to side) of your pillow front. On this 16" pillow planned to finish at 15" the lapped side ended up using about 10 and 3/4" and the other about 11 and 1/2" not including the bit shaved off by the serger knife in the next step. Having the lap fall before the middle of the pillow helps avoid gaping.



Edge finish sides where the zipper will be attached. That's 1 side finish per back piece. There are tons of options for finishes out there. I'm fortunate to have a serger so I used it.


Okay, now pin the zipper to one of the back pieces (top or bottom, doesn't matter unless you absolutely want the zipper pull to end up on a certain side and are using 1-way fabric.)

Right sides together, remember. And line up the long edge of the zipper with the finished edge of the fabric.

Slap a zipper foot on your sewing machine and stitch away.

Don't have a zipper foot? You can still do this method of insertion. See next steps.


As you can kind of see (the little arrow is helping to point it out) there is a space between the stitching and the zipper teeth. The fabric can pull away and reveal that zipper tape! Noooo! This will probably be an even bigger gap if you didn't use a zipper foot! Double nooooo!

But no worries.


Roll the fabric up to close the gap.


Sew! If you don't have a zipper foot, you might want to do this step by hand using some sort of unnoticeable-from-the-outside stitch.


Yay!!!! All closed up!

Now repeat for side #2.


Remember to close the gap as well.

Onto the blind hemming bit.


Fold down your side to be lapped so the fold is even with your edge finish. Press. (you've been pressing all this time, right?)


Then fold the fabric back up about 2 and 1/4" below the last fold. This is the lap part of the lapped zipper!


Roll back to give yourself room to sew beside this roll. Don't press! Really!

Go over to your machine and change your presser foot to a regular one. Flip the stitch type to blind hem.

It looks like "C". The straight stitches will go along on the fabric beside the roll while the zig-zags will get the roll. You'll want to test this out on some scraps first to get the hang of it and/or to make sure your fabric will unroll (see below.) If you look up blind hem, it's the same thing. The only difference here is the zipper.

Blind hem away!


When you get all done, roll out the rolled part so it lays flat.

Cool, huh? I LOVE this stitch. Works great for curvy hems and all sorts of other stuff too.

Remember to iron. Smiley

Now you've got your zipper inserted! Your back pieces have joined as one. Pin it to your pillow's front (right sides together) and square up!



You'll need to unzip your zipper a few inches to turn your pillow right side out. To keep the unzipped part close together for sewing (and future zipping) I pin the sides down then sneak my hand inside the front and back and unzip. Don't cut the zipper even with the rest yet to avoid any possible headaches.

Now sew around the whole thing. Twice if you weren't paying quite enough attention  Tongue Backstitch over the zipper to really secure it. Stitch and backstitch zipper again 1/8" away (on seam allowance) to really, really secure it.


Reduce stitch length as you come to the corners. This gives it extra strength. If I was never going to see the inside of this again (like for a lined bag) I would trim the corners differently, but since I'm not going to be closing this pillow forever (that's why I'm putting in a zipper!) and will be serging to finish, I just cut off a triangle.

Trim the zipper to right next to the on-the-seam-allowance stitching so you keep both lines. You don't want that zipper coming loose but you also don't want the bulk and, if you're serging, you don't want to go serging over those teeth (creates lumps and your knife will be disgruntled.)

Finish the edges. Serge/zig-zag/whatever down each side.


See how the serger caught the zipper end but the knife didn't have to cut it? You can't? Well, trust me, that's what happened. The lighting in my crafting area is not the best as you picked up in the other in progress pics.


If serging, I like to leave nice, long tails of serge then tie them so the corners come together all nice and pointy.

Go ahead and turn it right side out, slip in a pillow form...

...zip it up...


...And there's your lovely, neat and tidy back!



Happy, happy!
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100  Re: One Item Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Calabaza on: August 03, 2013 03:14:45 PM
Ooooh - can you post a pic of the button detail side?  That looks cool!
Sure thing!

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