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1  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / My first Steampunk frock! on: November 03, 2012 06:51:43 AM
Here's my Halloween costume, which I started sewing on October 1st, 2012!  Smiley  I used Simplicity 2172, and ended up with this an estimated 24-30 hours later:



I used a poly taffeta for the main fabric, cotton broadcloth to line the jacket, a twill for the bustier, and organza for the neckline and cuffs.  It was kind of an epic journey to complete, all smashed into one month, but I'm happy with how it turned out!





And some close ups:

Bustier


Skirt


Jacket


Additional photos and info on my blog. (see signature)

Thanks very much for taking a peek!  Smiley
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Dresses galore! on: August 01, 2012 12:25:21 PM
Hey y'all!  It's been a while since I've posted here, so I thought...why not?  Here are a few of the pretties I've made over the past year:

October 2011

Colette's Parfait in Alexander Henry's Shibuki Dragon quilting cotton. (same fabric as the famed Dragon Dress:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=252249.0/)



Totally should have made a 1/2 circle skirt instead of the 6-gore skirt the pattern calls for - the seams totally destroy the integrity of the large border print!

April 2012

A self drafted (poly ITY?) jersey dress loosely based on Butterick 5383 (I did use the sleeve pattern outright from the pattern, though)



It's so comfy!  And very boobilicious with a push up bra.  Wink  Made it for my one year dating anniversary with my honey!

July 2012

Butterick 5778 in a rayon blend one way stretch jersey.




Would've fit a bit better in a two way stretch jersey, but I'm still happy.

And my latest creation, McCall's 6350 in a cotton border print.  This thing was a bear to fit (FIVE muslins!), but I think it turned out pretty well:





There are more details on the last two dresses in my blog (see signature).  Thanks for looking!

3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Sexify my frock! on: March 29, 2012 08:17:24 AM
So, I decided to sew a dress to go to dinner in for my 1 year anniversary (April Fool's Day!) with my DB, but I didn't get going soon enough at it to be able to make a woven dress (aka make a muslin and then make a dress), so I decided to work with a knit so I knew it would fit.  I also decided that it was time to become less afraid of prints (I have so many solids in my stash) and to finally use this black/gray/cream fabric that I have been saving for a while.

I started off thinking I would use this pattern:  http://sewing.patternreview.com/Patterns/33678

But you know how the Big 4 are when it comes to patterns that use knit fabric - they still add in ease (Why? WHY?!) when there should be 0 or many times negative ease for many knit designs to fit the body properly.  And...I had bought this pattern my "woven" (14-16) size (I usually make an 8 to 10 in knits), so even the smallest size looked like a sack.

So, I ended up with this, which is supposed to be in the spirit of Butterick 5383, but is based off of a self drafted knit pattern for another dress.  Though, I actually did end up using the sleeve from the pattern:


I am pleased with it as a dress in general, but it is just not sexy like I was hoping for.  (I'm also not sure about the print in this silhouette, but that's a different story)  I've determined that I pretty much need to widen (slightly) and deepen the V neck and that should help, and maybe a smaller band at the neckline would make it less casual looking, but I wanted to see if any of you had any good ideas for me!

I have to get the dress finished tonight, so I would appreciate hearing anything you can muster!
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Sewing machine/serger table recommedations? on: January 04, 2011 12:25:14 PM
Hey guys!

I just bought my first house in November and am excited to furnish and decorate my sewing room.  I know I will be getting a white Ikea Expedit 5x5 cube bookcase for all of my fabric, but am unsure of what to use for my sewing machine/serger table.

My original plan was to purchase desk parts at Ikea and make my own L shaped serger/sewing machine center in the corner of my room, but now I am wondering if those tabletops and legs will be able to withstand the vibration of the machines. 

I am particularly looked at using just the standard leg for the table ends that will be in the corners:  http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50105293 and these for the outer edges:  http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10192824 (I am just doing 2 abutting rectangles - one longer than the other.  They do sell a corner unit at Ikea but it just seems like a lot of unusable space and would make the desk more expensive overall.

Have you used Ikea desk components for sewing tables, and have you been happy?  Otherwise, what would you recommend that would work for what I'm looking for (L shaped, white) that's around or under $300?
5  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Lemon Verbena soap from a plant? on: October 21, 2010 02:26:15 PM
Hey guys!

I've been CP soaping a while, usually using FOs but have used a few EOs here and there, and was just wondering if it's possible to make lemon verbena soap from the plant?  My boss has a big lemon verbena plant that she's looking to pass along and it would be great if I could somehow use it to make some awesome naturally scented soaps.

So, overall the question is either - will the scent be strong enough from just the plant (or will the lye mess it up?) or is there a way to make an EO at home?

Thanks!
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Camera suggestion? on: March 17, 2010 11:39:22 AM
Hey all!

We all know that a good picture can make or break an item in your Etsy shop.  I know I have been wooed to purchase by beautiful staging and photography.

I don't identify as a photographer, but I like to take snapshots now and then (and, of course, take pictures for my Etsy store, when I have it stocked...), and don't feel like my current camera is really cutting it.  It's a 4 MP Minolta Dimage that I bought in 2004 (and it wasn't a cutting edge model back then, either...so it's a bit behind technology-wise.  Though, I wouldn't mind it being 4 MP if I was happy with the photo quality).

Along these lines, I was wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a point and shoot camera under $300 that has good picture quality and good close-up shot capabilities?  Also, please note that I don't think investing in an SLR would really be worth it for me for the amount of photography I do.
7  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Intarsia Assistance on: March 16, 2010 09:23:21 AM
Hey guys!

So, here's the skinny:  I've done some fair isle before, but never any intarsia.  I decided that I want to knit a tiny (we're talking 4.5 inches across, 3.5 inches long) sweater for the office mascot, Chuckie the bear, with the company's logo knitted into it. 

I came up with this basic chart, using a knitting graph paper program, but am having trouble making the intarsia look good, between the joins (have been twisiting the yarns together), the places where the new color starts significantly far away from where it was in the last row, and the places with big gaps between color in each row. 

Original chart:



Adjusted chart (too many stitches on original for the small size of the sweater.  Bold lines indicate each stitch):



Also, the logo is looking pretty squat and not round like it should when knit...I thought knitting graph paper made it so it would have the correct shape of the stitches, and make things come out correctly?

Any tips you guys can give me would be great!
8  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Knitted jumper time! on: February 19, 2010 11:30:39 AM
I originally found this Garnstudio pattern on Ravelry, and decided "why not?"

I've knitted lace dresses before, and comparatively, this little jumper seemed like a quick and easy knit.  I used a hank and a half Cacasde Eco Wool (fabulous yardage on this stuff!), which is a bit chunkier than the Drops yarn that the pattern called for (which was maybe not a great way to go - we all know how chunky yarns definitely do NOT slim anyone).  So, decreased the number of stitches in the dress and straps to accommodate.

Because of the different gauge, I started this puppy over twice (aka 3 starts in total).  I kept thinking I had made it big enough, according to my gauge, and then realizing it wasn't.  I just didn't want to make it any bigger than I needed to, since the pattern is not exactly all that body flattering to begin with.  I also decided originally to increase for my bust, and that just turned into a boob-ful nightmare.  I went back and did the standard ribbing that the pattern called for.

Besides the tried and failed bodice mod, I did not modify this pattern, but if I had to do it over again I would add one more repeat of the cable to get it just a wee bit longer.  It's still long enough to be decent, but sitting down might be interesting!  Also, I would sew the fronts of the straps down lower so the buttons actually looked like they were holding up the straps.  (the pattern calls for buttons with buttonholes, but I just sewing through all of the layers instead)





9  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Another Weighted Companion Cube on: February 18, 2010 07:59:16 PM
There are already a few version of the companion cube out there on craftster, but I wanted to share my own interpretation with you!

So, I started hanging out with my current boyfriend in June of 2009, and one of the first times we hung out after deciding to start dating, he showed me the game Portal, which has a "weighted companion cube" as the main tool.

Shortly after, he told me how (I believe) the makers of the game had made a real life version of the cube, but it was no longer available.  That was when I decided I was going to make it, but I knew it had to be for a special occasion (as you can see, it's enough work to qualify for that a requirement!). 

I drew up a plan for the cube, and put it in my pocket.  I forgot it was there, and he happened to find it and said "what's this?" but I yanked it away and hid it before he could get a good look.

I decided I was going to make the cube for his birthday (and decided this about a week before it...his birthday is October 13th), and like most projects, I didn't make the cut.  I bought a toaster for him instead, and decided the cube would be good for Christmas.

Between his birthday and Christmas he let me know that he had seen what was on the afore mentioned sheet of paper.  I wanted it to be a surprise, so I put off completing the cube so he would either forget about it, or think I had decided not to make it.

Fast forward to February...I decided to finally finish the cube for Valentine's Day.  As usual, I procrastinated and it got to be the week before VDay.  Luckily, (but not for him) my boyfriend came down with a cold and had to stay home for the Tuesday and Wednesday before VDay (days we'd most likely have spent together otherwise).  In that time, I finished the cube and a bit of lingerie... Wink
(http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=338697.0)

Needless to say, my boyfriend was SO excited when he saw it.  I brought it out in one of those bags you'd put a kid's bike or some other large toy in and he had NO IDEA what it was until he opened it.  He looked just like a kid on Christmas morning and before 5 minutes had passed, he had taken a picture of it on his phone and posted the picture on Facebook.  Yay for gift success!

I made the cube with felt (not wool felt, just manmade yardage from JoAnn) and decided it wouldn't withstand being stuffed very easily, so I sewed duck cloth to the back of each piece.  I then stuffed it with 3 bags of fiberfill (and it could use more!) and handsewed the last edge shut.  It's very generously sized - 18" cubed!

Thar she be:





10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Silk and Lace Babydoll and thong - aka Happy Valentine's Day, Baby! on: February 18, 2010 07:49:11 PM
Alright, so this wasn't posted in time for Valentine's Day, but it was finished and ready in time for it!  I may have actually I finished sewing the thong while the boyfriend slept on VDay morning, but it was done in time for wearin'. Wink

This is my first attempt at lingerie, and I think I gave it a pretty good shot!  I got this fabric either at Vogue Fabrics in Evanston, IL, or at one of the fabric sales my clothing design club had in college (meaning, I've had this fabric sitting around for at least 6 years, unsure of what to do with it).  It was labeled as silk, so I'm just going to assume it is, though I'm not sure, and I'm too lazy to do a burn test.  I used about 1 1/2 to 2 yards for the whole outfit. 

The lace I bought on clearance at JoAnn for either 25 or 50 cents a yard.  Yay clearance!  The ribbon for the neck tie I got in a grab bag of ribbon at Hancock Fabrics.

The cups of the babydoll are self lined, there's elastic in the back to allow for a little bit of leeway (aka weight gain or loss) and it ties in front for a peek-a-boo effect.  I went a little lazy and used the roll hem on my serger for the hem of the skirt, but since it's overlaid with lace, it doesn't really matter.

For the thong I basically just made a triangle a bit bigger than a thong I already owned (since this is woven fabric and the thong was knit), sewed bias strips onto the edges, inserted elastic into them, and tried them on as I went.  If I had it to do over again, I may have folded the lace around the edges of the thong or encased them in the bias strips.

Without further adieu, here it is!  The pictures without flash are closest to the actual color of the garments:

Babydoll













Thong





Thanks for lookin'!
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