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11  One day, one bedsheet, one dress... in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by charlieandwillow on: July 29, 2012 01:30:14 PM
Ok, before you start with the "but it's a bedsheet so it should be on the reconstructed board", it may be made from a sheet, but it was a brand new flat sheet purchased because that's the cheapest way to buy cotton fabric in pretty colours.  Tongue
I've been making a bunch of dresses using the bodice from Elainemay's Coffee Date Dress on Burda as a foundation. I've frankensteined on different skirt patterns, drafted my own skirts, and changed the neckline around in various combinations. I'm still not 100% happy with the fit but I'm learning more about alterations with each incarnation.
For the latest renaissance of the pattern, I knew I wanted a fun, sweetheart neckline and a big full skirt. The striped fabric is just so lighthearted I wanted a really easy-breezy dress. I opted for a full square skirt just because I've never used that before, and I felt it added a bit more personality (also, so much easier to hem than a circle skirt!). I also made the back a little lower than the pattern in it's original form, and the bodice is self-lined rather than just faced because the fabric was a little sheer (and this way the darts are hidden so I don't have to worry about finishing them more neatly!).

Comments and criticisms as always gratefully received.
Thanks for looking x
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12  Braided Strap Jersey Maxi (and a plea for help) in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by charlieandwillow on: July 29, 2012 01:11:41 PM
So I have a bit of a thing for jersey maxi dresses. They're super cute, you can make them as girly and adorable or bad-ass as you like with a few accessory changes, and they show off my arms while covering my legs. Hooray! However, I'm 5'10'' so most store-bought dresses are that horribly awkward just-above-the-ankles length, so I like to make my own. My most recent creation is this...

However, In order to make the skirt fit the fabric I ended up cutting it against the grain. I hadn't anticipated how weird this would make the stretch. That much fabric is heavy, so it ended up being about 6 inches too long. Also, it's incredibly clingy, and shows off all the wrong curves on my tummy. I think I want to add ruching/gathers/some detail to the waist to camouflage my wobbly bits, but I don't know how to go about it. I absolutely do not want to unpick and reconstruct, so I was wondering how feasible it would be to gather the excess length upwards at the waist, secure the gathered/ruched area and then run a couple of lines of (maybe decorative) top stitching up the sides of the dress to hold everything together. Any ideas? Huh
Comments & criticisms please.
Thank you creative folks!
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13  Harry Potter wands in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by charlieandwillow on: July 25, 2012 01:23:48 PM
Pinterest came up trumps again when I was looking for creative things to do with Bear. This time Majann's amazing wand tutorial on Deviant Art.
I wielded the glue gun, but Bear did everything else to his himself. It was definitely an exercise in patience as he had to wait until each process had dried completely before he could add the next layer.

Bear's wand (the white one) is 9 inches, hot glue, chopstick core, surprisingly swishy.
Mine is 9 1/4 inches, hot glue, chopstick core, reasonably pliant.

Bear's has a layer of acrylic gesso over the glue, then tempera paint to add some colour.
Mine started with the same gesso and tempera processes, but I couldn't get the saturated colour I wanted so I raided the spray paints in the basement and layered black, red, metallic copper to create some interesting texture and patina, followed by a couple of layers of clear lacquer.

Mine has a large bead salvaged from a broken necklace at the end, and Bear's has a couple of pearls from a broken string embedded in the glue.

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14  Herb Markers in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by charlieandwillow on: July 25, 2012 12:02:56 PM
So, Sharpie pens are currently my absolute favourite thing to draw or write with, so when I wanted some plant labels (because I can never remember what I planted where, even in the confines of a small planter) they were an obvious choice. Super simple project - just write on craft sticks with the Sharpie pens and then I sprayed both sides with a couple of layers of lacquer to make them more durable, and I didn't want to be brushing anything like mod podge or white glue over the writing in case it smeared.
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15  First ever hoop. First ever embroidery actually... in Needlework: Completed Projects by charlieandwillow on: July 25, 2012 11:43:15 AM
So I've had this idea floating around in my head for a while now, but today I finally got around to making it a reality. It's an ongoing joke in the house that I only ever add poison to the food when my brother in law is home from college as I really wouldn't want to waste it (he is convinced I can't cook because I don't cook how mommy does it... *eye roll*). So this is going to hang in the kitchen...

This is my first ever attempt at embroidery/needlework of any kind and I'm utterly stoked at how it turned out. I used a cheap poly-cotton remnant which was bought for another project but never used, and friendship bracelet thread as its about a million dollars cheaper than buying floss. It's in a 7" hoop.

I completely winged it. I had a really clear picture in my head of how I wanted it to turn out and for probably the first time ever I think I surpassed my expectations.
HOWEVER, I do need some advice. Right now, it still looks like this...

And the back looks like this...

How on Earth do I finish it so I can hang it on the wall? I want to keep it as a hoop, but I don't know how to go about tidying it up and finishing it.

Comments, critiques and advice incredibly gratefully received!
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16  Make me a superhero! (pic obese) in Costumes: Completed Projects by charlieandwillow on: July 13, 2012 07:06:02 PM
Bear has a birthday party to go to tomorrow, and I had neglected the whole gift-giving part of birthdays until this morning. I can't afford to be hitting toys r us or target for something plastic with flashy lights, so I asked Bear if he thought she'd like a super hero kit. The kidlings are often running around outside together being super heroes of various kinds, so it was a no-brainer. From the conception to creation it took about $10, 6 hours and one broken sewing machine needle to create A reversible cape, wrist guards and eye mask for the birthday girl, and wrist guards for Bear (I'm pretty sure he's gone to bed wearing them).
Here come the pictures...

I'm not quite sure what kind of face Bear was pulling in this picture, and looking at it I realise the mask is not going to fit the intended recipient as it's too wide across the bridge of the nose for Bear, and he's considerably chunkier than this little lady.

Weird little boy... You do get a good view of his wrist guards in this pic though.

I now have to make Bear a new cape because he wants a plain one for the days when he doesn't want his Superman print cape....
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17  Zebra burn-out jersey maxi dress. in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by charlieandwillow on: June 28, 2012 08:53:25 AM
I made this last year, but for whatever reason didn't bother to take photos until today. I don't remember how or why, but I discovered the free patterns on Burda, including this fantastic dress by Dixie DIY via her blog and decided that of course an asymmetric jersey maxi dress would be a perfect first dressmaking project. I found this amazing purple burn-out zebra jersey in the clearance section at Jo-Ann's and HAD to buy it. All of it. I think it was about 4 yards, but honestly I don't remember now. As the fabric was sheer in places, it's lined to the knee, and because the fabric was so flimsy, and being 18 feet tall a floor length maxi uses up a lot of fabric, I added a layer of an old t shirt between the inner and outer layers of the bodice to give it a little more substance. I love this dress. Because front and back are identical, it can be worn on either shoulder too. I need to find more opportunities to wear it because it's super fun.

C&C gratefully received.
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18  Re: 4x6 Art Swap Round 3 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by charlieandwillow on: June 20, 2012 10:00:41 AM
This arrived in the mail today
I think I may have scared the mail man as I swooped in to see what goodies he was delivering...
I love it, the vibrant colours are soooo me, and I often need to be reminded that without the lows in life we don't get to experience the highs either. It's taking pride of place on my dresser so I see it each morning before I face the day. Thank you mystery swapper!
Also, I checked my DC#, and it's marked as being out for delivery.
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19  A sleeping bag for my spiffy new netbook. (A tad on the photo-chunky side...) in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by charlieandwillow on: June 08, 2012 11:39:13 AM
My laptop was increasingly poorly, finally submitting to the effects of the pint of cider I spilled over it [4 years ago] having owned it for only a month. After being given a nice chunk of change for my birthday, I took the opportunity to retire my laptop and purchase a spiffy new netbook, so I can take teh interwebs with me when we go travelling around the country. However, it didn't have a case or sleeve, so instead of paying more money than I wanted to part with for something boring and mundane, I made myself one that reflected 'me' a little bit more.
Batting from my stash and two fat quarters from Walmart at the extortionate cost of 99cents each resulted in this...

I inadvertently made it a bit too big; it turns out that I'm a lot neater than I realised and I didn't need nearly as much seam allowance as I'd given myself. Never mind eh, better than making it too small...

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20  Sharpies. Alcohol. T shirt. ;D in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by charlieandwillow on: May 13, 2012 06:40:23 PM
 Grin This was such a fun recon.

started out life as this..

Using this tutorial as inspiration, I set to work attacking my rather boring plain white T with a multitude of coloured sharpies and rubbing alcohol. It's a wicked easy technique, so much so that my not-quite 5 year old Bear was working on his own shirt at the same time. Stretch the clean T shirt over the top of a plastic cup, holding it in place with an elastic band. Draw on your design with sharpies. Then drop rubbing alcohol (or vodka, whatever floats your boat..) on to the ink and watch your wonderfully psychedelic pattern emerge. Once it's dry, chuck it in the dryer to heat set the colours.. et voila, one fabulously coloured shirt created by your own fair hand.
I live in tank tops in the summer, so of course the shirt had to give it's life (and sleeves) to my tank top collection. I took in the sides, then cut the neckline into a tank (yay rotary cutter!). I finished the raw edges of the neck and arm holes with binding made from the scraps. It's not bias binding because I couldn't cut enough from the remnants on the bias. Cut into strips 1.5" wide, as long as the scraps would allow, and then folded around the raw edges, and top stitched with a zig-zag to allow enough stretch to be comfy and wearable, the binding itself is left with raw edges to it will roll and fray with wear.

I'm super happy with how it turned out, I'm going to get a ton of wear from this now the warm weather has finally come to MA. And I have a couple more plain white Ts in my closet that might have to give their lives to my new addiction...
Comments and critiques gratefully received as always. xx
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