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31  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,
-Dorion
32  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.

Thanks!
-Dorion
33  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / ISO Stretch Faux Fur on: July 21, 2006 08:47:38 AM
I wonder if people don't read this board or if it's just that everything I'm looking for is impossible to find. I haven't gotten an answer to one of these questions yet.

I am going to attempt to make an animal costume, but I want it to be pretty close-fitting, so a somewhat stretchy faux fur would probably work best. I am trying to look into the minky fabrics, but I don't know yet whether there's any give there or not (and they are a tad expensive). Is anyone aware of a shortish-pile, slightly stretchy (doesn't have to be Spandex-level) faux fur I can get somewhere?

Thanks,
-Dorion
34  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / SEEKING Plastic Earring Findings on: July 17, 2006 01:36:07 PM
After years of trying different types of metals to find something my ears might not react so strongly to (I USED to be able to wear base metal earrings!) I seem to have found that PLASTIC, of all things, works fine for me. Now the challenge is finding plastic earring "wires." I have plastic studs (with the little base for affixing things to), but I'd like to find the hook-type for dangles. I would swear I've seen them before, but I can't find 'em now. Anyone know?

-Dorion
35  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Looking for bias tape supply (that's not Wright's). on: July 05, 2006 01:49:21 PM
My local sewing stores (Joann) only carry Wright's bias tape in all of their, what, 4 colors? I don't want to make my own bias tape because it's really not that important and I just use it for quickie edges. So does anyone have any good online resources, particularly for smaller double-fold bias tape in many colors?

-Dorion
36  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Feminizing men's shirts...? on: June 06, 2006 12:24:03 PM
I have a great love of camp shirts, particularly the floppy rayon short-sleeves I find at the local resale. I usually wind up wearing them open over a tank or t-shirt, but I'd like to figure out some ways to wear them as actual SHIRTS without looking like I'm wearing a giant rectangle. I have about a 44" bust and 36" waist and am 5'5", so I have to get men's L/XL and they tend to hang STRAIGHT DOWN from my chest, and then sometimes halfway down my thighs. Great comfort, not so great flattery.

Okay, so, let's brainstorm how you take a men's button-down shirt and make it more flattering for a woman, without necessarily making it TIGHT. My first thought is to shorten the (already short) sleeves to something more cap-like -- angled and re-hemmed. Also probably shorten the overall length of the shirt, possibly curving the bottom hem? There are bust-dart possibilities, but that gets a little complicated and may destroy the fabulously bizarre patterns I often find.

OR maybe I could start retrofitting them to something else entirely, like skirts??

More suggestions please!!

Thanks!
-Dorion
37  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Discussion and Questions / Printing on fabric using fusible stabilizer. on: August 22, 2005 10:17:21 AM
I've successfully printed fabric with my Epson CX4600. I used the freezer-paper method, but it just now occurred to me that it might be do-able with fabric that has had stabilizer fused to it -- especially since I put stabilizer on the back of that piece of fabric anyway (after printing) to use it for the bag I was making. And there would be less danger of it peeling away from the paper (which it really wanted to do with the freezer paper -- plus it was trying really hard to curl).

I'll try it next time and post the results. Anyone done this yet?

-Dorion
38  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Discussion and Questions / Epson DuraBrite Ink = Water Resistant on: August 21, 2005 08:34:49 AM
Last week I bought an Epson Stylus CX4600, which uses (and comes with) 4-color DuraBrite ink. It's advertised as water- and UV face-resistant, so it seemed natural to try it out on fabric.

I took a scrap of a lightweight cotton/poly muslin and ironed it to a piece of freezer paper. After one misfire, it fed through fine. I left the print to set overnight, and the next day I ran the top half under a running faucet. The ink didn't budge. I rubbed it a little with my fingers and it still did not smear or run. This is on UNTREATED muslin.

Yesterday I took a piece of heavier-weight plain white fabric (some scrap I had -- no idea of the fiber content) and printed a favorite picture of mine. After ironing some fusible interfacing to it, I used the zippered pouch tutorial from elsewhere on this site to make a very excellent pouch (with shoulder strap) exactly big enough to hold my phone and my wallet. Carried it to my friend's birthday outing; people were in disbelief when I told them I made it. (I'll probably post pictures of it on the zippered pouch thread, since that's the tutorial I used.)

Mostly just wanted to let you all know that DuraBrite inks do seem to be water-resistant. I haven't run the thing through a wash cycle or anything, but for light usage items, it seems like something that will work quite well.

-Dorion
39  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Looking for digital watch blanks. on: August 15, 2005 12:37:18 PM
Hi. Does anyone know where I can get digital watches (or, actually, analog would be fine) that can be customized with a picture on the face? I've seen people do it, but I've never managed to find an actual source for the watches themselves.

Thanks!
-Dorion
40  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / ISO site to upload photo for PDF posters... on: August 09, 2005 01:35:27 PM
I know I saw the URL here originally, but it was more than a year ago, and I can't for the life of me remember what it was or where to find it. You all know what I'm talking about though, right? Is it still up? The PDF outputs were really cool kind of pop/op-artifications of your photos, with as many panels as you wanted...

Help? Please?

-Dorion
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