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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Patternless sewing - share your tips! on: January 20, 2011 07:29:27 AM
There may have already been a post about this, but I couldn't find one...so...

I absolutely hate using a pattern when I am sewing.  I hate cutting out all of the little pieces of paper and pinning them down, and I hate trying to decipher the usually cryptic instructions, on top of which that I almost never find a pattern that I actually like.  Of course, sewing without a pattern does lead to quite a lot of mishaps and some wasted fabric, but I figure that this is probably the sacrifice I have to pay for my own impatience.

I thought it might be useful to start a topic for like-minded people to swap ideas and tips on the best way to sew without using a patten.

I'll kick off the ball with my own strategy:
  • I normally start out by drawing a sketch of my idea, with lots of detail drawings and arrows for what I want (e.g. "pockets here", "lots o' pleats").
  • I then draw a diagram showing all the flat shapes of what I think the pieces for the garment will look like.  I use my body and existing clothing to fill in the key measurements.
  • Next comes a rummage in the fabric stash, after which I pull out whatever I think will produce all of the pieces I need.
  • Moment of truth: I cut out and sew together the pieces for the main body, using very little shaping.  I usually mark the measurements with pins or lay an existing garment down for reference, then freehand around it.  If I'm making a lining I cut this out and sew it at the same time.
  • I then try on what I have so far and then make shaping adjustments (taking fabric off the seams, adding darts)
  • I just keep going like this until I have a finished garment!
I suppose this is roughly the idea behind draping, although I'm entirely self-taught and have never done any proper draping (when I moved to a different country, my dressform got left behind).

I found some no-pattern links which seemed kind of useful:
http://soozs.blogspot.com/2009/10/sewing-without-patterns.html
http://wkdesigner.wordpress.com/
http://caitlinsclothing.com/costuming2.html

So...any other pattern haters out there?  Share your thoughts here!
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Wee elf cap on: March 01, 2010 03:33:13 AM
I'm not really sure what section this should go under, but this seems like the closest I can get to anything appropriate!

My girlfriend lost her favourite hat, so I said that I would make her a new one.  A couple weeks later, she felted a sweater she loved in the wash, and I remarked on how that would be perfect for a new hat.  A couple of weeks after that, I have finally got around to making it!

Since she bikes a lot, I wanted something which would be warm and close-fitting to her head.  I came up with this little elf cap:



The outside is part of an old dress that I had saved for the fabric, and the interior is lined with her sweater.  I made all the decorations (tie cords, leaf appliques, and tassel) myself!  This back shot shows the colour better and also gives a good view of the little gathers at the back of the neck.  The whole thing is fitted perfectly to her head, and with two layers of fabric it is super warm!

Sleepy girlfriend wants to go to bed, but I have forced her to stay up wearing a funny hat:



A not-very-good shot which shows the interior:

3  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / Feather stencil on: March 01, 2010 03:22:20 AM
A simple stencil I did of a feather.  I drew the design myself, then sponged it on with fabric paint.

4  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Buncha old projects: owls, bunnies, berries on: March 01, 2010 03:17:08 AM
Just a few old mini-projects, x-posted from Ravelry.  First is an owl hat I made for my friend Sean, made from Rowan Scottish Tweed.  You can't see the owls too well in this picture, but they're there!



Next is a trinity stitch hat I made for another friend.  I love the colour with this stitch pattern...it reminds me of little raspberries!



And last but not least, some bunny armwarmers made for yet another friend.  I found the bunny buttons (she loves rabbits), so I whipped these up for her birthday.  They are my own design, I wanted something simple but a little girly:

5  CITY GUIDES FOR CRAFTSTERS / EUROPE / UK or EU-based online crafty/indie/vintage shops? on: January 01, 2010 08:44:35 AM
[x-posted to the UK board]

Hey all!

I live in Scotland and am looking for good online shops.  I'd gotten so spoiled living in the US with websites like the Modish shop and Cut+Paste, and now I can't seem to find anything other than Etsy or Ebay!  I'm looking for stores that sell independent designers or vintage stuff, or craft supplies like vintage fabric and notions.  Can anyone give me some good recommendations?  I've gotten some things shipped from the US but the customs charges are killing me!
6  CITY GUIDES FOR CRAFTSTERS / U.K. AND IRELAND / UK or EU-based online crafty/indie/vintage shops? on: January 01, 2010 08:43:45 AM
[x-posted to the EU board]

Hey all!

I live in Scotland and am looking for good online shops.  I'd gotten so spoiled living in the US with websites like the Modish shop and Cut+Paste, and now I can't seem to find anything other than Etsy or Ebay!  I'm looking for stores that sell independent designers or vintage stuff, or craft supplies like vintage fabric and notions.  Can anyone give me some good recommendations?  I've gotten some things shipped from the US but the customs charges are killing me!
7  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / How to keep my cheesecake from sticking to the tin? on: November 25, 2009 03:14:01 AM
Hello citizens of Craftsterland!

Today I turn to you for advice on how to keep my cheesecake from solidifying itself to the tin.  I've made baked cheesecakes a few times now and every time the crust refuses to come out of the tin.  I use a round springform pan and usually butter the bottom before I start.  The base has a slightly puckered texture which I think is supposed to help keep it nonstick, although it obviously isn't working in this case.  (Not sure if that should make any difference...but I just thought I'd mention it!)

Any words of wisdom?
8  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Knitter trying out crochet, newbie questions! on: March 20, 2009 04:45:01 AM
(I tried searching for the answers before posting and couldn't find anything really useful...if somebody has already posted this then I apologize!)

Hello!  I am just starting to learn how to crochet, but I'm an experienced knitter.  When switching over, I have found some things kind of puzzling, so of course I thought of all you craftsters to help me out.  I've been working on the Headphone Whale by Roman Sock (http://littlegreen.typepad.com/romansock/).  I don't seem to have any problems so far, but I've been having a hell of a time keeping track of where I am in the pattern.  Usually if I was knitting in the round, I'd use a stitch marker to keep track of where I was.  But in crochet, there's no needle, so nothing to put the marker on.  I've just been counting my stitches as I go, but surely there is an easier way to do this?

Also, I was wondering if anyone could recommend some resources specifically aimed at knitters-learning-to-crochet?  I've been a bit frustrated because I'm used to doing quite complicated projects and so many of the beginning crochet projects seem a bit lame.  I have enough scarves already!

I'm also used to nice online mags and helpful sites like Knitty or KnittingHelp.com.  Are there crochet equivalents to these things?  Where do all the cool crochet kids hang out?  Enquiring minds want to know!
9  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Anyone need (unpaid) help with website design/maintenance? on: October 06, 2008 07:13:34 AM
Hey all!  I'm trying to learn more about website design and get some experience working on a website.  I have experience with HTML and Javascript and am trying to learn more about using that and CSS.  What better way to do that and express my love of crafts everywhere, than to work on a craft website?  Obviously, I would be doing it for free, so it's no loss to you even if I suck!  If anyone's interested please respond to this thread or send me a PM.
10  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Bluebell the Elle-ephant (Image Heavy!) on: April 13, 2008 03:03:17 PM
[X-posted to Ravelry]

I knit my flatmate Elle a stuffed elephant for her birthday, and then constructed a fabulous elephant wardrobe for her!  I've recently really gotten into knitting toys, so this was a lot of fun.  I used the Elefante pattern, which can be found here: http://susanbanderson.blogspot.com/2007/04/page-18-elefante.html.  The yarn is just some recycled stuff I got from a charity shop.  Unfortunately I took all the photos in a fit of enthusiasm at about 3 in the morning, so they aren't as good as they could be.


Tons of beautiful outfits.  Note that the boxes are labeled "clothes" and "hats"!


Fez with matching blanket


Sassy feathered hat and ruffled cape


Jackie O pillbox hat and a scarf which buttons on the side


I love the fez.  I love it.

My friend's mom loved the present so much when she saw it that she knitted a tiny lace shawl for the elephant as well!  So cute!
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