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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Hold Fast Gloves on: July 20, 2010 01:25:03 PM
I used to not like fingerless gloves, but since I started living in a poorly insulated apartment, I've realized that there's no other way to type during the winter. So I finally knitted myself a pair:

"Hold Fast" is a traditional sailor knuckle tattoo, a sort of charm against falling from the rigging or letting go of a line. I've always liked the motto; sort of a metaphor for remembering to keep a tight grip on things.
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Unseasonably Warm Sexy Sweater Dress of Love on: July 14, 2010 09:19:55 PM
After seeing this post (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=218058.0), I really desperately wanted a sweater dress. But none of the extra-super-large sweaters at the Salvation Army looked long enough. So I bought two, a blue and a green, and cut off the bottom and the sleeves of the blue to add length.

This dress makes me super-happy and also makes me wish it were fall. It was also really easy to make. The only problem is that I have most of the blue sweater left behind, but no ribbing to finish it off nicely...
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / RRR Challenge #1: Sundress from men's button-down on: July 12, 2010 08:28:22 PM
I know that everyone and their little sister/cousin/dog has done one of these dresses, but I can't get over how cute they are, so I had to make my own. I've tried a couple of times to make a satisfactory dress out of a button-down, but this is the first time I've been really happy with the results.

I used a sort of fan-technique to make the seams at the front. The button-down part isn't gone, but lives on in the back of the dress:

I'm...not as happy with the back. Suggestions for how to make it a little less lumpy? Comments and crit definitely welcome; I've only gotten hardcore about sewing recently, but I'm trying to get good enough to do artistic, designer-y things with fabric and that only comes with practice and advice.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Nautical Tank Top from Baggy Shirts--Tutorial on: July 03, 2010 09:53:06 AM
I've been thinking a lot about ways of upcycling my giant t-shirt collection. I've donated a lot of it to charity, but every now and then a few shirts that I swore I gave away will fall out of my closet, reminding me that somewhere in a pocket dimension, my collection is still huge. So I decided to take two of those shirts and make them into something actually attractive. here's the final:

EDIT: Just realized that linking to my blog falls into the "shameless self-promotion" category. Here's a copied/pasted tutorial:


    * One white, baggy t-shirt. It can have writing on it, as long as theres about 11″ that doesnt have anything printed on it at the bottom, and maybe a little extra at the sides or top for straps.
    * One blue t-shirt. This one doesnt have to be baggy. It can also have writing on it.
    * Two buttons in either white or blue
    * Scissors
    * Glue
    * Sewing Machine (or needle and thread, yadda yadda)


   1. Cut off the bottom of the blue shirt, as close to the bottom of any lettering as possible. In fact, leave just the bottom edge of the lettering; you can hide it in the seams. If you have a smallish blue shirt, as I did, youll want as much material as possible on the bottom. When paired with the white shirt, it should look likeabsolutely nothing. See photo:
   2. Turn the piece of the blue shirt inside out and put it over your head. Using the Pinch-and-Pin Method, which is exactly what it sounds like, follow the contours of your body. Dont poke yourself with a pin a million times like I did. Pull this new tube off over your head, reposition any pins that dont form a smooth line, and sew along the line of pins. Remember to take out the pins as you go; if you sew over a pin it will FLY OFF AND HIT YOU IN THE EYE AAAAAAGH* Your new tube should look something like this:
   3. Take out that white baggy t-shirt, and cut off the top, leaving no writing. Take this second tube and lay it out next to your contoured tube. Now heres where things get tricky. If the white shirt is way bigger than the blue shirt, slim it down by making a line of pins on either side so that the shirt is only about an inch wider on either side of the blue shirt. Sew along these lines.
   4. Turn both shirts inside out. Pin the side seams together so that that ugly edge sticks out, towards you. Now you have to account for that extra fabric on the top tube. Make pleats (fold the fabric over itself) twice on the left side, and twice on the right, as symmetrically as you can. Pin all the way around the shirt, doing the back in the same fashion. Sew up this seam.
   5. Fold the raw edge at the top of the white shirt, and then fold it over again, and pin in place. Sew this edge down so that no raw edge is visible.
   6. Make two straps. This is so easy. You take two pieces of fabric of a little more than twice the width you want, fold them over, sew, and then turn them inside out. Have a friend pin them into place on your shirt so that they cover your bra straps. Sew in place, and then sew a button over the join between shirt and strap in the front on either side.
   7. Now draw an anchor. Or print one off the Internet. I wont judge.
   8. Cut out your anchor and use it as a template to cut out an anchor made of fabric from the sleeve of your white t-shirt. I decided that I wanted my anchor to be chubbier than the one I drew, so I would have room to sew it on.
   9. Now, pin your cloth anchor to your shirt where you want it. Sewing its gonna be hard, and I made the mistake of assuming itd be easier with a piece of anchor-shaped paper over the anchor. If youre going to do that, dont do what I did: for the love of Pete, dont glue it on. It will not come off and youll have to pick at it for about half an hour and hope that the little fragments come out in the wash.

Sew on your anchor, SLOWLY. You might want to do this by hand. Doing it by machine was kind of haphazard and dangerous because the machine always did one more stitch after I told it to stop.

Et voila! You are done!

The technique you just used, I am told, is called applique. You could probably look it up and use it to customize this shirt; it would probably look equally stunning as an aeronautical shirt with a zeppelin on it. Or you could make it in a different set of two colors and add a color-appropriate applique design of your own. Actually, come to think of it, why didnt I make one with a zeppelin on it?

*Im not sure if this is true. It might be an urban legend. Take no chances.
5  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 52 ENTRIES / The Little Black Bedsheet--er, dress on: July 01, 2010 02:18:36 PM
This dress was created specifically for this contest. I found out about it and immediately remembered that I had a black twin size flat sheet under my bed, left over from my gothy-teenage days. I only ever used the fitted sheet, so the flat was in good condition, aside from being really wrinkly. 24 hours, a zipper from a friend's stash, and about a million try-ons later, I present my dress.

This dress was inspired by Dior's New Look, and so of course I had to take a shot that showed off the full skirt to its, um, fullest. This is the dress with a tutu-esque skirt underneath it for added volume.

Thanks for looking!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Tutu! on: June 30, 2010 03:24:48 PM
So after years of longing, I finally made a tutu. It's pretty charming, I think.

I wasn't aware that the tulle would be quite so...orange...when put all together. Live and learn, I suppose.
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