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21  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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22  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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23  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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24  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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25  Infinity scarf from ugly pants. in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by charlieandwillow on: May 03, 2012 10:35:26 AM
My mum sent me a package for my birthday, including a couple of items of clothing. Neither worked on my figure, but I kind of love the prints of both. One, a too-short maxi dress in an African-inspired print will become a maxi skirt when I have time, and a zipper... The other was a really easy conversion to create this...

It started out life a pants of a dubious style

They would have been super cute if I was a 5'4'' size 6. But I'm not, I'm 5'10'' so everything is too short, and I'm a pear-shaped size 8-10 so adding bulk to my hips makes me look like a clown.
Typically I started doing things the hard way without really thinking it through, ripping the seams, and when I realised that was a waste of energy I cut along the seams with my trusty rotary cutter. It was only when I came to pinning that I realised that too was silly, and actually I should have just cut straight across the leg at crotch-level to create two simple tubes. With one tube inside the other right sides together, pin and stitch all the way around one end, and most of the way around the other leaving a gap large enough to turn right-side out. Once it's turned out, carefully stitch the hole closed, probably not using contrasting bright green thread on black and gold fabric like I did... Oops. However, despite my silliness, I have a cute lightweight infinity scarf made by my own fair hands, and I can see myself getting loads of wear from it as I'll still be wearing scarves in 90 degree weather should summer ever show up...
This is it full length.

C&C as always gratefully received. Also, I apologise, my photography stinks today. It's raining, I'll blame that...
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26  Monster Cake in Dessert by charlieandwillow on: May 03, 2012 09:55:07 AM
The daughter of a good friend of mine had the Most Amazing Cake Ever for her birthday in March, and never one to turn down a good idea to steal, I blatantly ripped off the idea for my own birthday cake.
I named him Cyril. Cyril is delicious. Grin

His hair is buttery cream cheese frosting, the eyeballs are marshmallows with chocolate chips, and the mouth is more chocolate chips. The frosting was meant to be yellow and orange marbled, but I don't own a piping bag so use ziploc baggies with the corner cut off, and the first one exploded so the marble effect was lost while loading the frosting into a new bag. His innards are three layers of sponge, two layers of chocolate and one of vanilla, sandwiched together with more frosting.
I apologise for the mess in the pic, Cyril ate the cleaner *cough* Roll Eyes
C&C welcome as always.
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27  Re: Polka Dots. So many polka dots... in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by charlieandwillow on: April 18, 2012 06:34:48 PM
Did the bust darts do that weird pointy nipple thing?
Grin Teehee, yes they did when I followed the pattern piece exactly. I ended up with something that looked a little like this...

The red line was the first line of stitching following the pattern, then I added the green and then the blue to round out the dart to make the bust more boob-shaped and less Madonna-in-that-Jean-Paul-Gaultier-bra-shaped.
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28  Polka Dots. So many polka dots... in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by charlieandwillow on: April 18, 2012 04:34:45 PM
So as I may have mentioned in other posts, I scored about 25 yards of various flannel prints in Jo-Ann's Black Friday sale at $1.49 per yard AND a 25% off everything coupon. Totally bargainous. I've been waiting until my sewing skills improved before playing with it. I knew I want to make clothing with the cute prints but I'm not good (read: horrendous) at following patterns, and the last time I fitted a zipper it was a horror show. I finally felt like I was capable of actually making and fitting clothing. Hooray! I frankensteined this skirt and the bodice of this dress to create a basic pencil dress. I have to wear black and white for work so I'm always looking for cute, unique clothes in a rather boring palette, so I love my polka dots. I am so happy with the fit, though the finish isn't quite where I'd like it to be, but it was my first time making a garment with facing pieces. I need to finish the seams inside, and add a hook and eye to the top of the zipper, but I am super happy with it overall. It's also super comfy as I'm pretty sure the flannel is woven from fairy baby farts... So soft.

I am dead chuffed with how the zipper came out.  Grin

Next time I make this dress I will lower the neckline as I think it's a little clunky looking right now, and I may make the skirt just a little longer. Also, if anyone has any tips on how to put the bodice together with the facing I'd be mighty grateful. I'm not sure whether it was my computer, those patterns, or Burda as a whole, but for some reason I couldn't get the instructions so I did make it up as I went along somewhat, and I know the I didn't do the facing 'right'. Comments and critiques would be awesome!
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29  T-shirt Blanket for Bear. in Quilting: Completed Projects by charlieandwillow on: April 04, 2012 06:48:38 PM
I made this...

from this...

I'm rather proud of myself, having never made a quilt before. This morning, I had a suitcase filled with Bear's outgrown clothing that I just couldn't bring myself to part with. Now, there are no shirts left because they're all in the blanket.
He was FURIOUS with me for "ruining Elmo's shirt" (his stuffed Elmo had been wearing the "Don't mess with me, you won't win" shirt) until he saw the blanket laid out on my bed like this

when I was measuring it against the fleece I backed it with, and then he decided that he did want the blanky after all. I didn't use any batting, just backed it with heavy fleece. He's the toastiest child in the world and usually rejects all his blankets while he's sleeping because he gets too warm.
From T-shirts to blanket (on the sleeping child) took about 7 hours, which is probably the biggest time investment I've made for any of my projects, but hopefully this is something he will have for years.
I still need to figure out a good use for all this though...
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30  Lions and tigers and ZEBRAS oh my! in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by charlieandwillow on: April 03, 2012 12:55:02 PM
Ok, so maybe I lied about two of those, but I live in Massachusetts so seeing any of them is pretty unusual, you have to admit...
Inspired by this http://wendigratz.blogspot.com/2011/04/mini-tote-free-sewing-pattern-pdf.html , I made myself a quilted book tote. Or possibly wine...
I scaled things up a little; the original tote is made from 9"*9" squares with 12" long handles, mine 17"*12" panels with 24" long handles. Basically, as big as my fabric allowed...
I regularly walk to the library with Bear so wanted something rugged enough to cope with the heavy histories I'm obsessed with reading, as well as a water bottle and snack. Or possibly for toting two bottles of wine back from the liquor store which is also conveniently within walking distance...
I'd never quilted anything before, and since I'm not the best at straight lines I opted for a bit of free-form quilting. I think it goes with the print pretty well.

C&C gratefully received as always...
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