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1  Re: How to make the fold-in hem of a coat flat? in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by smartygirl on: January 12, 2007 11:22:42 AM
did you fold the fabric twice (so as not to leave a raw edge on the inside)? if you have a triple-thickness of thick fabric, it will show. for thicker fabrics, it's a good idea to use binding - basically a strip of fabric (looks like ribbon or lace) that you machine-stitch to the raw edge of the coat fabric, and then you turn it up once and sew through the binding rather than the heavy fabric.

here's a crappy diagram of what i mean:

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2  Re: Decorate my house room by room craft-a-long in Craftalongs by smartygirl on: January 08, 2007 08:05:55 AM
can i join in? i just started a year of mat leave, and i'm hoping to use the time at home to get to all of the projects that i thought of when we moved into our house just over a year ago. project number one is the baby's room, since the baby is due, um, wednesday. yikes! for the past year, it's been my sewing room (hence covered in bits of thread and yarn and everything else) and the room where we put stuff when we're cleaning up in a hurry because people are coming over. i.e., a huge freaking mess.

okay, deep breaths, i'm going to post the before picture:



i have been working on it! it's not that bad now! i swear...

here's hoping i get it sorted by the time baby is here, or at least by the end of january for the thread deadline for room #1...

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3  Re: slipper craftalong in Craftalongs by smartygirl on: January 08, 2007 07:08:50 AM
well, i may have been to late to be officially part of this craftalong, but seeing all your slippers got me going! so i went back to my one half-finished slipper and finished it & the other one yesterday! here they are:





i sewed suede slipper soles on the bottom that i got from knitpicks - don't want to actually slip!



thanks all for the inspiration to finally get something done!
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4  Re: Miyazaki Gallery in The Swap Gallery by smartygirl on: December 17, 2006 07:22:29 AM
here are a few pics of some of the stuff i sent to loudxmouse (she hasn't had a chance to take photos yet - hopefully when she does, they will be not blurry like mine!

also, i forgot to take a picture of the earrings... whoops!!

anyway, she said she life kodama and wearables, so i decided to recreate this:



as a handbag! sorry the pictures aren't very good - there are a couple of leafy-edged pockets on the front for the kodama to live in:



here's a pic of my favourite of the little guys:



i put up a pattern for the felted kodama on my blog if anyone is interested - they knit up super fast!!  http://smartygirl-gets-crafty.blog.ca/2006/12/01/kodama~1388204
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5  Re: sexpot 40's housewife with a dash of twiggy ideas needed! in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by smartygirl on: December 10, 2006 05:31:31 AM
pleats are easy to add to a pattern, if you already have a dress pattern that you want to work with.

just take your starting pattern and draw a couple of *straight* lines where you want the pleats to be (the lines need to be straight and follow the grain of the fabric, or the pleats won't hang properly):



cut your pattern along these lines, and spread the pieces out so the pattern piece is almost three times as wide as it was to start with (no wider than that, or the pleats will overlap each other and get all bunched up):



the blue dotted lines are where you will fold the fabric in the next step.

cut out your fabric, and pin it right sides together along the red dotted lines. loosely baste the fabric along the red dotted lines, all the way from the top to the bottom, then stitch with your machine along the red dotted lines, starting from the top, going down only about 3/4" (or longer if you prefer).



press the pleats flat, stay stitch across the top through all layers of material (this will make it much easier to sew on to the other pattern pieces). when you're done, remove the basting thread (the red dotted line) and voila! pleats!

one tip: pleats look best in a fabric that will hold a crease well, like wool.
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6  Re: Miyazaki Gallery in The Swap Gallery by smartygirl on: November 29, 2006 05:01:52 PM
whee! just got the awesomest package from loudxmouse!! i have a baby on the way, so she made the most adorable totoro baby hat & soot-sprite bootees!



since i don't have an actual baby yet (not till mid-january!) i had to get my old teddy bear to model them (they fit surprisingly well!):



here's a close-up shot of the hat so you can see the awesome expression on totoro's face:



yay! and thank you thank you! my husband thinks they're the best too - i believe his words were "f***ing awesome! now that's what i'm talking about!" (he's an even bigger totoro fan than i am)

thanks again loudxmouse, and i will be sure to post more pics in january when the wee one gets here!
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7  Re: totoro toy in Knitalongs by smartygirl on: September 22, 2006 06:10:39 PM
finally! i have pics of the finished creature!





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8  Re: knitting machine? in Knitting: Discussion and Questions by smartygirl on: September 11, 2006 06:24:04 AM
i took a couple of pictures last night of the back of the wee nightie/dress/whatever it is... it desperately needs blocking, so right now it's just pinned to the carpet:



here's a detail shot of the "ruffle" - no way could i ever knit this neatly and at this fine a gauge without losing my mind:

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9  Re: totoro toy in Knitalongs by smartygirl on: September 11, 2006 06:21:14 AM
i'm almost done!

i felted my totoro yesterday, and he's just drying out now. i've made the whiskers, just have to attach them, embroider his eyes and nose, and tack his ears into place! and stuff him properly, once he's dry. right now he's just full of plastic bags. i'll post the pattern on my blog later tonight or tomorrow...

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10  Re: *~*~*~Master Maternity Thread~*~*~* in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by smartygirl on: September 03, 2006 09:34:56 AM
okay, here goes my first tutorial... the preggo skirt. this is actually borrowed from the drop-waisted tank dress pattern i made earlier this summer. i'll write a tutorial for that eventually.

these instructions are probably more detailed than anybody needs, but i tried to write them with a beginner in mind...

step one is to measure yourself since. make a note of what you measure in the front and in the back - i wore a tank top and measured side seam to side seam of that. i've drawn a little diagram to hopefully make this clearer:



the diagram shows all the measurements i took to make the dress fit. if you're just making a skirt, all you need is:

* high-hip (4" below waist) - front (E) and back (F)
* below-the-bulge (8" below waist) - front (G) and back (H)
* and skirt length (wherever you want it) from below-the-bulge (N)

i was stunned to realize how much more fabric i would need compared to usual...

the front waistband was super easy for me, as measurement E and measurement G were exactly the same - 18". so, a rectangle 4" wide x 18" long. before cutting it out, add 5/8" seam allowance on all sides - so the final measurement for me was 5 1/4" x 19 1/4".

i'm quite hippy (i used to have a small waist before i got knocked up!), with junk in the trunk, so the back waistband is really curved to make up the difference between my measurement F (18") and measurement H (22"). it is 4" wide, just like the front waistband. since it should be symmetrical, start with a piece of paper folded in half. draw a line 1/2 the length of F, starting from the fold and curving upwards. mark down from that line 4" along the fold, and then draw another similar line, 1/2 the length of H. the two lines should be 4" apart both along the fold and at the ends of the lines. remember to add 5/8" seam allowance on all sides (except the folded edge). when you cut the pattern piece out, unfold it, and voila! perfect symmetry.

next the skirt front: fold a large piece of paper in half. the top of the skirt front should match the bottom of the front waistband, so use measurement G. divide measurement G in half and draw a line that long away from the fold. give the line a slight curve, since the skirt should be a couple of inches wider at the bottom than at the top. use your skirt-length measurement N +2" (for the hem) to determine the length of the pattern piece. make sure it measures the same length at the centre and at the sides. add 5/8" seam allowance to the other 2 sides, cut out, and unfold your finished pattern piece.



i made the back skirt basically the same way, but in two identical pieces, since i'm, uh, bigger back there. the top edge of the two pieces together adds up to the bottom edge of the back waistband (measurement H). again, add 2" to the length for hemming, and 5/8" seam allowance to the other sides (i keep harping on about the seam allowance because i've been known to forget it!)

so now you have four pattern pieces. if you're making it out of stretchy material, cut them all out of the same fabric; if you want to use non-stretchy fabric, cut all the pieces out of that except the front waistband, which will need to be stretchy.

cut two each of the front waistband, back waistband, and back skirt. cut only one of the front skirt.

sewing it up is easy!

join the two skirt backs (right sides together) along one side. join this piece to the skirt front along two sides to make a tube.

join one front waistband and one back waistband (right sides together) along the sides to make a big tube. do the same with the remaining front and back waistband. this will be the waistband lining.

take the two waistbands and join them (right sides together) along the top edge. turn right side out.

join the waistband along the bottom edges to the skirt along the top edge (right sides together), sewing through all three layers of fabric.

turn right side out and hem. that's it!

i have made two of these so far - one a grey mohair-blend knit (i lined the waistband with coton jersey so it wouldn't be too bulky) and one in black cotton twill, which i finished with a pocket, belt loops, and topstitching. right now, it is also decorated with cat hair...

i am so happy to finally have something to wear again! i will try to get my husband to take a picture later... i tried to take a picture last night in the mirror, but it was so dark you couldn't see anything...
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