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21  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Pull-Tab Crochet anyone? on: June 04, 2007 09:34:38 PM
I've seen a few pull-tab projects here, but I have yet to find a tutorial for the pull-tab crochet like the classic Escama bags. CRAFT magazine in issue one said that Escama had a how-to on the site. They don't. Then CRAFT said they were going to have an article about it, and in issue three they had this completely different granny-square kinda thing which was not at all what I wanted.

I have searched the intarwebs and I still can't find a tutorial on this!! It's nutty! The closest I've gotten is an e-book for $11, which... sorry, not sight-unseen am I giving them $11. $5 MAYBE.

Has anyone done this yet? Or knows a site? Not the regular weave-through dealie, but a more solid crochet like at Escama. Anyone? Someone?
22  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / 1 part sewing geek + 1 part computer nerd = organization to rock the shop on: June 04, 2007 12:52:12 PM
I made this database a little while ago, but last night as I was modifying it for some additional information, it dawned on me that the only people who would probably find this project as amusing as I do myself reside here.

And so, my sewing patterns dbase, as running on my iBook:

It's from scratch in Filemaker Pro, which is a pretty friendly program. The dbase tells me I own 140 patterns, of which I have sewn 26, and there are an additional 119 patterns on my wish list. I made space for 4 pictures -- this particular record shows two from the maker plus my own pic of the green skirt I made in the #3 picture spot. Clicking on any of the images swaps it into the main picture view. Everything is searchable and sortable, and the notes area scrolls forever and ever.

It's MUCH better than the three-ring binder I was keeping printouts in before.
23  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Crab Fight!! on: May 31, 2007 09:16:43 AM
Easy cuff and one of my favorites. I'm wearing a red and black striped shirt today, so it's a perfect match.

Closer up:

And flat, so you can see the snaps:

The dollar store has these tubes of animals, usually in themes -- snakes, bugs, sea creatures. They're really wonderful and detailed and fun. When I pulled out these crabs, I could immediately see them sparring with each other. The base is a piece of regular 1.5" webbing with a woven red stripe (I think I pulled it off some sacrificed messenger bag) and it closes with two black snaps. The crabs themselves are stitched in place with monofilament (fishing line). The big claws are free to fight it out!
24  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / Help me choose a dress pattern for tattoo/horror expos! on: May 17, 2007 11:19:39 AM
Hello my crafty friends!

For once, I'm thinking far enough ahead to plan out a great project for a couple events I have coming up. In June, there's a big tattoo expo and in August there's a horror festival, both in Toronto (I live in Detroit -- it's about a 4 hour drive). I've attended both of these events in the past, and have even made things especially for them (like my Zipperhead bag).

I'm thinking about making a dress out of a super-cool (probably some A Henry) fabric. Something either with monsters or tattoo pinups on it, you know the sort of thing.

What I'm looking for is a good recommendation for my body type. I don't wear dresses much because I always feel like they make me look funny, but I have a feeling that's in my head. There's probably someone already here who has similar measurements: I am about a size 16/18 dress, 44DD x 38 x 42, 5'5". I am a little short in the torso, big in the chest, and broad-shouldered. I generally don't show a LOT of skin, but I am trying to expand my stylistic options, so I am going to say that I don't have many limitations, other than hoping to find something FLATTERING. (Plus I'm single, so sexy is always a good idea.)

Both of these events are in the summer, indoors and out, including evening events, with walking and sitting. Obviously tattoo and horror expos are going to allow for a lot of creativity, and I'm a nutso nonconformist anyway, but given I'm going to be using some bright/unusual/loud/busy fabrics, I may be able to get away with a more "traditional" dress style.

I CAN probably sew just about anything from the regular pattern houses, and I have bunches of them already (damn you Joann and your 99 pattern sales!!).

I'd LOVE some input from people who have sort of been where I am and have some recommendations for me to look at, pattern- or technique-wise, or even undergarment-wise!

And I promise pictures/reviews/whatever is appropriate when I decide what I'm going to make/wear.

Thanks A TON to anyone who read all the way through!

Edited to add: This is the sort of fabric I'm talking about:

Or something similar. More than likely a printed 100% cotton.

25  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Jeep and Camo Circle Skirt on: May 15, 2007 10:17:16 AM
Using this tutorial to get me started, I made myself a 6-gore circle skirt (sans pockets). Three parts Jeep fabric, three parts embroidered camo. I had to punt a little with the waistband (zip and button in rear), but it WORKED, which is always a thrill. It's just above-knee and fits me better than it does Heddy Headless, my dressmaker's dummy, which is why the waistband looks a little gappy.


I like bias tape as a finish because it's a lot easier than hemming a circle and also unifies the various panels.

Here's a detail of the fabrics, because they are so cool (both purchased at Joann on the cheap):

Pictures taken after the skirt had been worn on a night out, so it's a little wrinkledy. Stood up well, though, which is frankly always something I'm a leetle worried about when I wear my own clothing out.
26  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Looking for d-rings with attaching tabs. on: April 30, 2007 09:25:33 PM
I've looked and looooked... can anyone point me to a source for these d-ring attachments with the rivet tabs? Like so:

27  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Help me make this mask/hood/thing! on: April 24, 2007 07:05:49 PM
I'm planning on trying to make a hood like this one in Aeon Flux. Now, BEFORE I go all crazy making a pattern myself, maybe someone out here has done something similar to it already and they can help me out! Yes? No?

I admit to having not actually seen the movie; I got this from the trailer. I'm assuming it's a stretch mesh, and in the costume it probably goes all the way into a shirt or something. I'm just thinking hood, with enough of a cowl to tuck under a shirt or something.

I've never made anything quite that three-dimensional, so any tips would be welcomed!


28  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Screen Printing: Discussion and Questions / Burn Riso thermal screen with laminator? on: February 01, 2007 01:54:40 PM
I did a search and didn't find anything, so before I go down a major research hole, let me ask you fine folk if any of you already know this.

Dick Blick art supplies carries Riso thermal screen sheets. Blick's website claims right on the sales page: "If you have a thermal copier, you can make photo-stencils for screen printing in just seconds!" If I recall, Riso's website said thermal copiers won't work.

The dedicated machine Riso makes reminded me of the giant laminator we have here at my office, so it made me wonder. Has anyone ever tried to burn a Riso/Gocco thermal screen using a laminating machine, particularly of the big semi-industrial (think print shop) type? If I look around enough, I might be able to find some temperatures, but I seriously just spent two days researching the origins of a leather jacket and I'm a little burned out.

So anyone done this? Or have specific notions/information about the temps required to burn a Riso screen?

Thanks as always,
29  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects / As threatened: Faux leather/vinyl kimono. on: January 05, 2007 06:45:40 PM
In kitschykraftkitten's post here http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=119224.0 (sorry, don't know how to embed that in the text in this forum), I mentioned wanting to try to make that same dress out of a home deco fabric, one of those faux vinyls. Well, before attempting that design, I decided to try a simpler, semi-test garment. And here it is!

I wanted something simple which would show off the texture without details that would create too many layers of the thick fabric. I chose a kimono, as this crappy picture with a random scarf at the waist shows.

I already had the sewing pattern (Simplicity 5839) which I made in XL, omitting the lining. Because a lot of pattern-makers seem to have trouble proportioning larger-sized patterns, I was initially a little concerned about the sleeve openings... but then I realized that they are not supposed to go all the way up the arms like a traditional blouse, but are instead further down the arms. (I have problems regularly with RTW garments being too small in the upper arms.) The outer corners of the sleeves really are radiused as they should be... Just doesn't show in the crappy picture. Did I mention the picture is crappy? I did? Carrying on then.

I chose a black/brown printed faux leather lightweight upholstery fabric from the clearance table (ultimately <$3/yd), with a fairly dense, plain knit backing. After folding it and flipping it around a little at the store, I decided it would be sufficiently floppy to make a garment, light enough to actually wear, while stiff and glossy enough to at least look like it was trying to be leather.

Cutting was easy and no-ravel, and the stitching went well with longer stitch-lengths and a Teflon foot where needed.

I intend to wear it with either a large mesh/elastic waist cincher or a corset (to be named later), and I do believe it will be wearable, at least for a couple of hours (but this is as yet untested). I was considering making some belting out of regular webbing covered in the same faux leather, terminating in some big silver buckles, and attaching 2 or 3 of those to the kimono, but I'm reconsidering putting anything permanent on it. I think I'd like to be able to wear different obi-substitutes as the mood strikes me. (As if I'm going to be wearing this thing every weekend. In this weather?!)

Suggestions on ways to finish the garment are certainly welcome, as are questions if I skipped over some aspect of the fabric you're curious about.

Long-windedly as always,
30  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / What to wear to Monkey Day at the gallery. on: November 09, 2006 02:16:50 PM
I have an idear or two, but I always like input from people who live OUTside of my brain.

In mid-December, a local (Detroit) gallery is having a Monkey Day art opening ("Free banana with every purchase!"), and I would like to stitch something together to wear that is unmistakably for the occasion. One of the artists showing will be displaying a knitting-machine-made sock monkey prom gown, which -- as a guest and not an artist -- I am going to try to stay well away from, stylistically. But otherwise, something fun and unique and even a little stupid... Something involving cannibalized monkey beanies or faux fur or tails or... You tell me. Anything irresistible pop into your head?

I'll post pictures of anything I make, naturally.

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