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1  Re: McCall's 4826 in Clothing Sewalongs by moefen on: July 16, 2006 01:14:58 AM
Just finished my version of this dress, and never even knew there was a sew along!

Here's my version, which I made out of some Ikea fabric I bought years ago... I also just posted about it here http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=107684.0



Here the fabulous fabric:


My thoughts on the pattern:  its not very well designed...  I hated the way they put the zipper in last.  I think that makes the dress look very homemade.  If you are already lining the bodice, why not just make a skirt lining, attach to the bottom of the bodice lining, insert the zipper, and fold the edges of the lining to the inside, and slipstich along the zipper?  That would finish it really nicely...  But, i didn't really read all the instructions before I began...

I had to do quite a lot of alterations for this (and I just wanted to make a quick summer dress...)  I am extremely short waisted (2 " less than the 16" long for my size) and small boobed (34A).  So i decided to make size 10, even though it recommends it for a bust of 32.5, because it has 3" of ease.  That is about 1-2" larger than I am, and I decided that I would like a halter dress to fit fairly snug.  I folded out about an inch of length through the bust as I am only an A cup (patterns are drafted for a B cup), then I cleaned up the side seams, and altered the waist piece to increase from a 25" waist up to fit my 28" waist (actually only added 1" as the pattern had 2" of waist ease).  I made a quick mock up of the bodice pieces from the lining cause I knew the back would have been mucked about because of the shortening.  It fit well but I decided to improve the visuals by raising the back by 1", and also to make the armhole smaller

I also left the neck strap as long as possible, and didn't alter length until the whole thing was finished.

I made it up, and as I was gathering the skirt, was thinking that this was too much fabric and that I hate gathered skirts.  The fabric is stiff, so I stuck out quite unattractively... I should have listened to my gut which said circle skirt.

So I cut a circle skirt. And hemmed the damn thing by hand.
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2  Ikea Babyhead print summer halter dress! IMG Top-Heavy!! in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by moefen on: July 16, 2006 12:59:13 AM
Around 8 years ago, I saw this fabric in Ikea, and became OBSESSED with it.



I bought 2.5 metres of it, and swiftly made a little wrap apron style wrap dress that I had designed in my brain, pencilled out, and then found a Vogue Anna Sui pattern that looked almost exactly like what I drew, so I bought that, and stitched it up.  I called it the Babyhead dress, for reasons I can't remember why, even though there is only one baby in the print.

I was so obsessed with this fabric that the next week I ran back to Ikea and bought 5 more metres of the stuff.  And folded it nicely, and put it in a trunk.  Where it stayed for the next 8 years.

Fast forward to 2006, and I feel like sewing, and I want a 1950s style summer halter dress with a circle skirt.  Suddenly think of the babyhead print.







I used McCalls 4826 pattern (there is a large discussion about this pattern here) http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=35832.0

I had to do quite a lot of pattern adjusting as I am extremely short waisted (about 2" shorter in nape to waist length than the pattern) and also of very little boobage.  I also cut a circle skirt instead of using the gathered skirt as I find they are way more flattering.

Incidently, here is the apron dress from 8 years ago.... i was a little sluttier....




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3  Re: pattern for this FABULOUS shirt?? in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by moefen on: January 18, 2006 11:02:16 PM
Ok, here is a quick picture I drew up.  HOpe it gives you the basic idea.  You need lots of length to get the neckline to fall really low, but you don't want tons of fabric at the sides. 

This gives you the length and drape, but still keeps the sides and the hem close fitting.  Both of these tops look like they were probably made from stretch fabrics so they can hug closer at the sides and tummy.

Cut the back the same as a normal tank top.
On second thought the white one looks like a halter top, but just use the same idea, and taper the armhole to much closer to the neck.





Ask away, if you have more questions
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4  Ski-D Racks in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by moefen on: January 11, 2006 02:01:44 AM


I made these at some point last year before we moved.  Until then, all my CDs had been living in piles on the floor or snuggling up with my books.  In my constant need to cram things into smaller spaces, these racks have unfortunately been a failure.  I now need at least another pair and a half of skis to take all my CDs, and with all my husbands paintings there is no wall space to hang them.....  But they look cool.



The old water skis were found in an empty lot behind a Value Village.  A friend of mine picked them up and brought then to our house during a  party.  Later, he tried to snowboard down the front stairs of the house on them.  One of them cracked in half and he nearly killed himself.


I thought they looked cool - see the fab "Ski King" logo, and had been mulling the idea of using one of my old snowboards as a CD rack.  The snowboard is too fat, but these guys are the perfect size! 

I got very similar toned wood CD racks from Ikea, about $3 each and screwed them onto the front.  Filed the edges a little to trim up.  And fixed the broken ski with some drilled steel strapping screwed across the break.
 



The Ikea racks, cheap as they are, fit CDS incredibly poorly!  I spent a lot of time sanding out the slots because they were too tight for the CD cases.


They are a little delicate - old waterskies are basically styrofoam with thin wood veneer.  I never got around to making anything to hang them with, cause I've never had any wall space to hang them.  I also thought of perhaps making a floor block that they could slot into.  Who knows!  Maybe i will find some more....

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5  Re: Crocheted seed bead bracelets NOW with Low-Tech TUTORIAL in Beads: Completed Projects by moefen on: April 24, 2005 03:53:52 PM
Thanks for the nice comments, yeah, i also love the matte seed bead mixes.  They make me think of beach glass.

I gotta say, it was pretty easy, once you get it.  Just whips along mindlessly.  But the first couple of rows are more difficult, and the first piece I made (about 3 inches long) took me nearly 4 hours - probably cause I had never crocheted anything and didn't know how to hold the yarn.

Based on an article from Bead and Button Aug 2003 (the author was making a necklace crocheted around a wire core to hold its shape)

I used size 6 seed beads (a helpful hint for the first attempt is to use two colours and alternate them, it makes stripes and much easier to see where you  are going)

Thread or yarn small enough to fit beads, but not let them slide a lot. Also reasonably strong.   If it is tight to pull two strands of the yarn through the bead, then thats a good match.  I used black crochet cotton in some unknown size.

Also unknown size of crochet hook.  Its small and shiny steel.  Says "3" but that could be an English or American number.  Gauge really doesn't matter here, cause the beads force the gauge anyway.

Basic idea: the crochet stitches are on the inside of the tube, the beads sit outside of the stitches.  Crochet needle goes from inside to out.  Every bead needs to be locked down, so thread must pass over the lower row to hold them in place.  Thread is pulled through loops, but beads stay on outside.
Beads lying sideways are the ONLY ones to be worked.  Beads sitting vertically are finished.

String lots of beads onto the thread.  Don't cut it off the ball.  Alternate two colours of beads in stringing one of each to make life easier learning.

Crochet 6 stitches, join end with slip stitch.

First row:  Put hook under two loops of first stitch, from inside circle to out.  Push bead down thread to hook, catch thread with hook ABOVE bead, pull thread through stitch, then through slip stich on needle.  Will now have one loop on needle. 6 beads on circle, all lying sideway.

Next row (and ever after) : Hook under first bead lying sideways, push bead over the right side of hook, lift thread over bead now sitting to the right of the hook (this is what locks the bead down), slide a new bead down thread, hook thread above new bead, pull through stitch, then pull through slip stitch.  Repeat forever.

Using alternating colours will mean that the new bead you work will be the same colour as the one to hook into.  Here's a pic of the learner piece, the stripes look quite cute:



The only things to remember are thread over old bead, and hook above new bead!

To finish, crochet one round with no beads.  Trim ends.  Use buttonhole thread to weave two ends together.

Next ones I make, I would like to throw in random, jagged chips for more texture.
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6  Crocheted seed bead bracelets NOW with Low-Tech Tutorial in Beads: Completed Projects by moefen on: April 23, 2005 10:02:46 PM
Just finished these two today:







Apologies for the crappy photos, there isn't enough light in our apartment, and with the flash is WAY TOO BRIGHT.

Pretty simple, and mindless once you get going.  Incidently, its also my first crochet project ever.

The beads are a matte Dark green mix (but it has lots of olive and purple in it as well), size 6.  I think each one used about 30 g of beads.

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7  New spice, umm rack, err holders, um spice container solution??? in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by moefen on: November 27, 2004 07:21:48 PM
We have LOTS of spices.  We cook with LOTS of spices.  Our new apartment has a very little kitchen with very little cupboard storage.  So I came up with a different solution to the spice world....  stick 'em on the fridge.



The containers are aluminum watch part tins available in sets of 12 from Lee Valley.  I picked the biggest size (70 mm), and then stuck magnets (cut from a sheet) onto the back.  I would really like to find some stronger magnet and perhaps cement it on, as they do tend to fall off if someone brushes against them.



We wrote the names on the back with marker cause I can't tell what each are just visually...  But I love the way they look on the fridge. Everyone comments on them.
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8  Re: Fringe-y Lacy Beaded Choker NOW WITH TUTORIAL in Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General by moefen on: June 17, 2004 01:28:12 PM
Fringe-y Lacy Beaded Choker Tutorial

Supplies:
Bugle beads (I used Black Iris, size 3, LOTS), Seed Beads (Black hexagonal cut, size 10), Faceted Round Beads(plastic 6mm)  and Teardrops (Black plastic, 6mm)
Buttonhole thread
Needles (Beading needles are very useful for the fringe)
Scissors
Krazy Glue
Length of satin ribbon to match or contrast



General steps:

Make a chain of beads to the length that you want finished choker to be.

Make diamond lace.

Add Fringe.

Add ribbon.

Warnings!

I made a mistake and should have made the choker either 11 or 13 repeats long, instead of 12, because I had to fudge the end edge.  I didn't plan my pattern out the whole way so the back ends up uneven.

Bugle beads on a hank will save you TONS of time.

I don't recommend mixing plastic and glass beads cause they wear unevenly, but I wasn't wanting to shell out any money on this, so I just used what I had.


To Begin

Thread needle with a long, long strand of buttonhole thread. Use it singly, not doubled.  You need strong thread that is fine enough to go through the seed beads a couple of times, but won't break easily.  Dental floss works, fishing line doesn't as you can't tie knots that stay well.



The seed bead at the end is a Turning bead, you will use these at the bottom of the diamonds and on the fringes too.





In this stage you can adjust the size and shape of your diamonds.  I chose them to be about 10 small beads square, with the bottom edge hanging a little lower, using 15 beads.  Going back up with the 14 bead length, makes a nice straight back edge that you can stich the loop onto.



For a larger, more clear version of this, see http://img78.photobucket.com/albums/v295/moefen/Craftster%20Projects/chokerinstr5.jpg

Sorry this isn't that clear, but you probably can easily figure it out once you get going.  You keep snaking in and out of the faceted beads.  Continue to the end, then finish off with a straight edge up to top corner faceted bead.

If you need to start new thread (you will), stitch up through a faceted bead and tie thread around the thread already going through it.  Make a double knot.  Leave a long tail, you will put a drop of glue on the knots then cut them off.


Fringe

This was pretty random, I decided to concentrate it in the middle 4 sections and for it to be really thick, like the way that a hank of beads looks when you hang it over your hand.  I wanted it to look liquid.   So I went overboard.

Pin your diamond choker to a pillow or something to hold it stretched out.  Pin the ends (safety pins), pin at the centre point, and a couple more in between along the top edge.  This is will stabilize everything and make it WAY easier.

The fringe is made continuously, by snaking through the seed beads in the grid, popping out, threading fringe bugle beads, turning at the bottom, and threading back through the fringe beads, then taking the thread back into the sead bead grid.  Pop out whereever you want, and make the fringe however thick or thin you want. For mine with the really thick fringe I ended up stringing a fringe just about every two seed beads.

Pick a point to begin, tie your thread into the diamond grid leaving a long tail, right before a big faceted bead.  Then take thread thru faceted bead and into the seed beads.  I use the faceted bead to anchor the knots. Run thread through (example) 4 seed beads to approximately the middle of the diamond, bring thread out between two seed beads, string on desired length of fringe bugle beads.

Using beads on a hank: Don't untie the knot that holds them all together!  Find both ends of one loop of beads, and gently pull, one end is tied tightly, the other will come loose.  Use your beading needle to push through the beads while they are still on the string, then pull them off the string straight onto your thread.  Saves lots of time.

Thread desired length (you can count or make it random).  At the bottom I turned through either a teardrop faceted bead, or a seed bead.  Hold fringe taut and run needle and thread back through the fringe, take it back into the seed bead grid at the top and pop out somewhere else. 

Finish by putting a drop of superglue on the knots and trimming them off.
Thread a pretty satin ribbon through the two top diamonds on either end and tie choker in the back.

Apologies for my lack of skills in the art department and the resizing department.  No doubt, this is all as clear as mud!

M
 
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