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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies / Blanket w/ straps that goes up over infant carseat? on: August 04, 2008 11:45:09 AM
I'm wanting to make a flannel blanket that goes over the top of an infant carseat. (I saw somebody with one of these and tried to figure out how it was made/how much fabric to use and just can't remember as many specifics as I would like!). It was two-sided flannel, a little larger than a regular receiving blanket, and it had two loops/straps with velcro that attached to the top of the handle. It was kind of like a little tent that stayed up over the whole carseat (while baby is sleeping, or in the sun, etc), instead of being directly on the baby like a regular blanket. I've tried to find something similar on the internet and on here, but maybe I'm having a hard time because I don't know what to call it - when I type in "carseat cover" or something like that, I come up with all sorts of different things - but not what I want!

Anyone seen something like this on here and/or know what this kind of blanket might be called or where I can find a tutorial/pattern?

Thanks!
2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / is "hot for teacher" shirt in poor taste? on: April 13, 2008 04:48:59 PM
My sister-in-law is a teacher (she's in her 1st year of official teaching right now). I thought it would be funny to make my brother a shirt (for a gift) that says "Hot for teacher", like the Van Halen song, you know? My husband thinks it would be tacky, because the video for the song had strippers, etc. They are pretty conservative, and I don't want to make them feel uncomfortable, I just thought it was/is funny. I mean, its not like he would have to wear it to the faculty Christmas party or anything (although I think that would be hilarious). What do you think?

Thanks for your input in advance.
3  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / skirt recon - tween size skirt from adult size skirt on: March 18, 2008 08:16:52 PM
Barely counts as a recon because its so simple, but I have turned several plus-sized women's skirts into cute skirts for my tween daughter. Explaination, then recon details follow....

Our family has a knee-length-or-lower-policy on shorts, skirts, & dresses. Some of you may be able to relate to the shopping-related problems that this can cause, if you also have similar clothing guidelines because of culture or religion. My child is 8 years old, and I when I shop for her I always see a lot of short-shorts, mini-skirts, etc., but luckily longer shorts are also popular right now, and I can easily make any jeans/pants into shorts or capri pants, so finding shorts isn't too bad...

Its more difficult to find longer skirts and dresses. Usually I buy these one or two sizes larger so that the length is good, and alter them a little bit if needed so that they fit better. I shop thrift stores a lot, so I don't mind the trouble of having to do some alterations so much, because I've saved money overall.

I recently saw some really cute skirts in the women's section of a thrift store and because I'm kind of short and stocky I don't really look good in knee-length skirts, so I was thinking to myself that it was too bad that they weren't my daughter's size because the prints were really cute. Then it occurred to me that I could probably alter even plus-size women's skirts to fit a young girl - and the price was right...$3 or $4 each!

Basically, I had her put the skirts on and marked how far in I'd have to make the new "waist". Each of these skirts had a side-zipper, so I kept that side of the skirt intact, and only "took in" the other side. I turned the skirts inside out (see 2nd photo), pinned up the sides, and marked where I would sew a straight line from top to bottom (or vice versa), making sure that the angle matched the other side (a-line or straight, or whatever). In the second photo, the right side of the photo is the side that I re-sewed, then cut off the excess fabric. I don't have a serger, so I just did a double-line of stitching. It was super-easy and now she's got 3 new skirts! 

You could do this with any size skirt that is too big in the waist (doesn't have to be plus-size) as long as it is the length you want (you could always hem the length if it is too long).

First two photos show my latest creation, so you can sort of see how I did-it. That extra piece of fabric in the first photo is the part I cut off. 3rd photo is an action-shot with one of the other skirts- she doesn't have a big tummy, she just thinks its cool to stand slouchy for some reason!!!


4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / 2 combs = lightsaber for My Little Pony? on: December 13, 2007 07:30:55 PM
My sister-in-law is really into Star Wars and action figures, so when I saw the Darth Maul custom My Little (Sith) Pony, I really wanted to make something similar for her. Mine isn't exactly the same as the ones on craftster - like, mine has hair (black), but I think she will like it. Its taken a lot of trial and error (trying to use materials I have instead of buying things) but it is almost done - I've even customized the box (its still pink and cutesy, but I changed the words on the package). It seems to be missing something, though, and today I figured out what it is. Accessory!

I originally thought about making a double-bladed lightsaber, but I couldn't work out how to make it, and the idea never seemed "ironic" enough. Now I'm thinking about making a double-sided comb. The pony I bought came with a little pink comb and my daughter also has some other similar doll combs that I can use, so I am thinking about attaching two of the combs together (with sculpy?) and painting them (black & red, similar to Darth Maul's lightsaber). Does that sound lame? Will it look stupid if the two combs I use are slightly different size? (I don't think that any we have are exactly the same). I'm going to try to find some matching doll combs in a set at the dollar store...

Any ideas?

Thanks,
preg_replace('/(.{19})/', '$1 ', 'spapeggyandmeatballs')
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / painting a dining room table & chairs on: November 30, 2007 10:53:51 AM
We have a not-so-good-looking dining table and chairs that were given to us.

THE STORY (just fyi): We're trying to do an (extremely) low-cost makeover on our current  hand-me-down/dumpster-dive decor (our apartment has the dining room & living room together, so it would look better if they were coordinated). So far I've re-painted  picture frames, removed non-compliant knick-knacks, moved uncooperative furniture to other rooms, and painted a plain wood endtable (very dark brown/black).

<P>THE TABLE/CHAIRS: We want to paint the table & chairs, like I did to the endtable. The chairs are all covered in various colored paint drops (from small to large) thanks to my parents not covering them up during several dining room painting projects. There are just too many to try to scrape them all off, and they are pretty much impossible to get off anyhow now after 15 years or more! The table is okay, condition-wise, but the color is not going to work anymore. We want a very dark brown (almost black). I'm trying to figure out the best way to go about it. The table top seems like it might be like a particle board, I'm not sure. The chairs are actually wood. Anyhow all the chairs and the table are slick, so I'd have to sand it, right? Then a primer? Then what?

 I painted over the endtable with a coat of acyrlic matte  clear-coat paint so the paint wouldn't chip later. From the other furniture-painting posts I've read, people have used a glossy paint and it didn't sound like they used any kind of sealer or anything afterward. Is that not necessary with certain kinds of paint? I mean, I don't need a super-shiny table or anything, I'm just worried about durability. Also, any idea of how much paint I will need for a project like this? Or what type? It seems weird to use house paint. I used acrylic craft paint for the endtable, but that was a lot smaller. The guy in the paint dept pointed me towards small cans of specialty paint with pictures of furniture on them, but they were expensive and the cans were small. I wasn't sure, so I didn't buy anything.

Ok, thanks for putting up with the rambling, thanks in advance for any help.

-spapeggyandmeatballs
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / DIY tailoring mens dress shirt - need TUTORIAL! on: November 19, 2007 01:33:33 PM
My husband lost a lot of weight after recently buying some new dress shirts (for work, church, etc). In the interest of saving money and not having to find new shirts that he's happy with, I want to tailor the shirts myself. Most of the shirts are white or another solid color. One has a small checkered pattern. They fit fine (sleeve length, neck, etc) except for the stomach area looks like a tent. I'm envisioning  that if I undo the side seams, pin them, and re-sew them it will look good as new! But before I start cutting, I thought I should get a 2nd opinion!

I couldn't find a tutorial, but if there is one, please let me know.
I don't want to ruin the shirts, but I am pretty handy at DIY clothing repair and hand-sewing - I do all our tailoring, hemming pants, making costumes, etc. (last night I hand-sewed a rip in his sweatpants and you can't even see it now. I was so thrilled! I love saving money!), so I feel fairly confident about my sewing ability in general, just not sure if my plan will turn out like I imagine. Is what I described sounding like how people usually tailor this kind of shirt? (see below)

PS- My dad had a dress shirt "tailored" at his dry cleaners last summer and it came back looking like a woman's shirt - fitted with DARTS and seams up the fronts in 4 places. It looked like a woman's button-up shirt. So bad! He can't wear the shirt without a jacket now because it is AWFUL! I kept thinking, "You PAID for this???!?!?!"

Thanks in advance for any help.
7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Gift-giving paranoia panic & weight-watchers question on: October 29, 2007 10:28:37 PM
I'm involved in the volunteer leadership for our church's childrens organization and work with 3 other women who I see in meetings and/or work on projects with about once a week on average. Since Christmas is coming up, I'm trying to think of how to approach giving them each a small gift.

My worst holiday fear is that I will give someone a gift and that they will feel like they have to give me something at the last minute even though they don't want to and/or didn't plan to. (I have had this happen, I've been on both sides of this)

That said, I would like to give small gifts to these ladies. Nothing major because I don't want them to feel obligated to give me something in return. My usual fall-back is food gifts (fudge, cookies, gifts-in-a-jar, etc) because I feel like those can be given casually without a "required" reciprocation (I mean if I gave them something expensive or fancy they might feel obligated and I don't want that). HOWEVER, the problem is that I just found out that one of these ladies is on Weight Watchers and I don't know much about the program, but I think that it involves counting calories/points....tell me if I'm wrong. Are sweets totally out of the question? I would hate to give her something she can't have.

My other thought would be a simple ornament, maybe something children's themed and/or homemade. We are all at different life stages (one is 60 with married kids, one is 50 with children my age, and the other is mid-20's & newly married with no children...I'm early 30's) and I've only been involved for about 6 months so while I see them frequently it is always at a church building and we are always busy, so I don't really know a lot of personal information about them (likes, dislikes, etc).

I know I'm probably over-thinking this, but I don't want to make a faux-pas.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks!
preg_replace('/(.{19})/', '$1 ', 'spapeggyandmeatballs')
8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / FABULOUS rhinestone sticker - What gift can I make with this? on: October 22, 2007 05:04:20 PM
OK - I have this "Me and My Big Ideas" sticker that spells "Fabulous" in rhinestones. I bought this sticker because I knew my 8 year old daughter would love it (especially in reference to the song "Fabulous" in the movie High School musical 2), but I'm trying to figure out what to do with it. I want to make this into a gift, but the only thing I can think of is to make an altered wooden cigar-box-type purse and put the sticker on it-- I made one of those for her last year, so want to do something different. I'm drawing a blank.

The letters are about an inch tall and the word is about 4 1/2 inches wide.

I am very good at painting, decoupage, and any paper craft, so anything like that would be easy for me to do. Also, I'm pretty sure that this isn't washable because its a sticker, so accessorizing clothes, etc is out.


Thanks in advance for any ideas!!
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / my little pony STILL not dry x1 month on: October 11, 2007 11:13:24 AM
I'm trying to do a my little pony makeover for a gift. I am trying to do the body black, so I dyed it and then (when it was totally dry, of course) I sprayed it with some clear matte acrylic spray stuff that I bought. I  waited and waited for it to dry, but it never did. I followed the directions, I promise. This stuff is supposed to be dry after a few minutes and totally "set" or whatever after 24 hours. It is still kind of tacky - like leaves a fingerprint if I touch it. I waited several days (just to make sure), but after like a week it still wasn't "dry". I put it on a shelf and figured I'd wait it out. I am not sure what to do now - and its still sticky! Its been like a month! I'm guessing that spraying another layer on is out of the question (just kidding!). Did I spray it on too thick or something? Should I try to take it off somehow? HELP!
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Making duvet cover from jersey knit - Bad idea???? on: October 11, 2007 09:10:54 AM
I'm trying to make my daughter a duvet cover for her bed (i've made them before from printed cotton fabric, but this time I'm trying to go cheaper/easier by making it from 2 sheets instead of buying yardage. I've got a regular plain purple cotton flat sheet for the bottom, but I've been trying to find a relatively inexpensive Hawaiian-print sheet for the top. I found one that is pink & purple that would be perfect, but it is jersey knit (which I think is like t-shirt material). Thats okay for my purposes, but I'm concerned that #1- it will be hard to sew jersey knit and #2- that even if it isn't hard to sew jersey knit in general, it may be difficult to sew the jersey knit sheet to the regular cotton sheet (like, will the knit one stretch more and make it difficult?).

 Let me know what you think before I make a tragic purchase!!!!
Thanks!
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