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21  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: wrap shirts.. where have they gone, and where can i find a pattern for them on: January 07, 2010 08:46:47 PM
There are lots of varieties of wrap shirts out there - is this something like what you were thinking of:
Simplicity 4076 - the blue version on the model, upper right
Butterick 5101 - this one is a true wrap that ties

Those are for knit fabrics, but there are lots for wovens too.
22  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Fusible interfacing and seersucker? on: January 06, 2010 08:27:09 PM
If it's just a facing, it could work.  The problem is that once you fuse the seersucker, it won't have that seersucker texture anymore - it'll just be flat.  For a facing that might not matter, though.  If you decide to use a fusible, be sure to fuse it before you cut, though, since fusing the seersucker will probably change the dimensions of the piece. 

Ironing in general will flatten the fabric, so give it some thought before you press anything.
23  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: What do you think of my design idea? on: December 28, 2009 07:58:04 AM
How do you plan to construct the butterflies?  I have seen them made with wire and a stretchy mesh, but I'm not sure if that will be delicate enough for this application. 

One suggestion is to figure out a way to make them removable - perhaps some cleverly positioned small white sew-on snaps?  That way you can wash the dress without worrying about the butterflies.
24  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Replicating this anthropologie top: pleating question & seam question on: December 10, 2009 07:54:37 AM
I think there is actually a difference.  If you took a basic tank pattern, cut through it vertically, and spread it, you would get a pleat.  If you wanted to retain width at the neckline, you would have to fold that pleat and sew it down.  However, you can make pleats that "stop" near the neckline by again cutting the pattern, but this time keeping the upper edge of the neckline together, while spreading the lower part.  This will come out looking similar to a dart, but instead of sewing the dart, you fold the pleat.  Does that make sense?  The bottom pleats will not be "dart-like" but will remain open as they go down, so you get some extra width at the hem.  Later, I can try to find a diagram or draw one quickly if it's not clear.
25  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: I have a new serger, what should I make?! on: December 04, 2009 05:34:54 PM
Congrats on the serger!  I bet you are going to love it.  My first couple of projects were knit skirts and knit tops.  Sergers can be used on lots of fabrics, but they really shine when you use knits because they build nice stretch and strength into the seams.  Pick a fabric that isn't too slippery for your first project - rayon/poly/lycra doubleknit is a great choice for skirts, and cotton/lycra jersey is nice for tops.  Here are a couple pattern ideas, if you like using patterns (otherwise, it's pretty simple to make a skirt based on your measurements, or copy one you already own):

New Look 6735
New Look 6875
Kwik Sew 3740
Kwik Sew 3513

Be sure to test your serger on a scrap of fabric you'll be using so you can get the tension and differential feed settings right.

As far as those serger tails, if you're going to hem your piece, you can just clip those tails close to the edge either before or after sewing the hem.  Otherwise, I use a tapestry needle to thread the end back into the loops of the serged seam.  You can also put some Fray Check or Fray Block over the last few stitches and then cut off the end after that has dried, but that method always makes me a little nervous for some reason.

Anyway, have fun with your new serger, and I look forward to hearing what you end up making!
26  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Re: Vegetarian 101? on: December 02, 2009 12:19:42 PM
Oh yes - beans and lentils are fantastic sources of protein!  If you also include grains in your diet, the grains and beans combined will give you a "complete" source of protein (all the essential amino acids).  Soy is a complete protein in itself - so soymilk and tofu are good options.  The silken type of tofu works well in smoothies.  If you do continue to eat dairy and eggs, those are also sources of protein (yes, even milk has lots of protein).

Luckily, you don't need to eat faux meats to be a vegetarian.  But, since you love to cook, you might be interested in making your own seitan ("meat" made from wheat gluten) and learning some fun ways to cook tofu.  There are lots of vegetarian and vegan cookbooks that don't rely on fake meat products.  One cookbook I just bought is Veganomicon - I think just about everything is in there!  It is huge and has a great variety of recipes - some are more exotic that might really utilize your culinary skills, but there is a lot of good everyday "quick and easy" stuff in there as well.

If you want a little security for your vitamin intake at first, you can look for a vegetarian or vegan multivitamin.  Nutritional yeast is also a good source of b-vitamins, but you have to make sure to get the right kind - I think it is called Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula.  You can mix in it sauces and it pretty much disappears, or sprinkle it on popcorn if you like the flavor (it is a little bit "cheesy" and some people even use it to make a fake cheese dip).

I don't have a ton of time right now and hope to come back with some more specific suggestions, but I just wanted to say you are on the right track and welcome you to the world of vegetarianism. Smiley
27  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: How hard would it be to recreate this dress? on: November 14, 2009 01:04:12 PM
I think perhaps the most challenging part of this dress will be getting the fit just right.  A big part of the look is that it fits her like a glove.  Before you try to get the woven/ruched pieces down, you'll need to make sure you have a perfectly fitting underdress.
28  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Hot Pattern? on: November 11, 2009 07:24:37 PM
I'm not sure if you've frequented pattern review before, but if not, it's definitely worth signing up (it's free) - here is a review for that pattern: Hotpatterns cardigan - not a rave review, but it's possible they have fixed the errors in the pattern by now.

I've only made 1 hotpatterns pattern so far - the 3 graces knit top.  I'm not sure if it's always true, but that pattern used 3/8" seam allowances (double check before you sew - for sure!).  The instructions are quite sparse from my experience and what I've heard from others, so be prepared to consult reference material if you aren't used to sewing with knits.  With the raglan sleeves, it should be relatively easy to put together.  I like the style - what type of fabric will you be using?  I hope you'll post your results when you're done! Cheesy
29  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Does anyone wear Pantyhose anymore? Or is this trend gone? on: November 03, 2009 06:43:29 PM
It seems to me that most of the people saying "no hose" are from warmer climates where hose might be an uncomfortable extra layer, and those who say hose are ok are in cooler climates where an extra layer might be wanted.  Any objections to that generalization?   Wink
30  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: question about linen skirt with gathered waist on: November 01, 2009 09:08:31 AM
Linen comes in all different weights, so it depends entirely on your fabric.  If your fabric is heavier, you will get a lot of poof, which may or may not be what you want.  For a lighter weight linen (slightly sheer, could be called "handkerchief" weight), there will be less bulk, although it will still poof since linen does tend to be more stiff than drapy. 

A half-circle or A-line type skirt, perhaps like this: Anthropologie cotton twill skirt that is only gathered slightly will be less bulky where it meets the waistband than a straight piece with the same hem circumference.

If you haven't already, you can pre-wash and tumble dry your linen about 3 times.  That will soften up the fabric a bit and also pre-shrink it so there won't be any surprises.  Linen can produce a lot of lint, so be sure to check your lint trap!
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