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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Adventures in sewing - 25 yd skirt (loads of photos and a story) on: March 02, 2012 02:23:59 PM
The skirt:

IMG_7959 by parallaxreality, on Flickr

I started belly dancing over a decade ago from VHS tapes of Nina and Vina, the belly dance twins. Over the years, I've dropped in on workshops and short-term classes but primarily worked from videos. I finally had the time and ability to take formal classes and found a tribal style teacher about 45 minutes from my place.
I'm going to be performing with that troupe for Club Belly Dance  (http://www.bellydancesuperstars.com/club/) when it hits my city in a couple weeks and I needed a costume.
The teacher requested that we wear double-sided 25-yard skirts - black on the outside and any bright color we want on the underside - with a black bra decorated with silver accents. I am super under-employed right now and the thought of spending $120+ on a reversible skirt (or even more on two skirts) made me cringe.
After finding out that "tissue" weight cotton and even gauze is unavailable locally and ridiculously expensive, I hopped over to Joann's and bought a bolt of 36" bleached muslin with a coupon. Came to about $22, woohoo! Less than a dollar a yard. I cut the bolt in two 12.5 yard pieces and washed the fabric multiple times to get it as soft as possible and then went to town.


IMG_7949 by parallaxreality, on Flickr

Turns out iron 12.5 yards of fabric takes me about 2 hours. That sucked.

Then I spent too much time scribbling rectangles on scrap paper and doing math trying to figure out optimal yardage for my strips. I'm short, I wanted a 36" finished length. I did 5 tiers. I'm also lazy and didn't want to hem 25 yards so I ended up wasting a little fabric and cutting 4.5" wide strips the length of each selvedge edge for my bottom tier. The next two tiers were about 8" wide and each half as long as the tier before. The fourth tier was 9" wide and the fifth tier was something like 12" to make up for the turned-over waistband. The length, in inches, for each tier turned out to be:
1 - 900"
2 - 450"
3 - 225"
4 - 110"
5 - 54"
 
Then the ruffling. I decided to ruffle in straight lines and then sew up the back seam afterwards rather than try to fit it in loops - that is my best piece of advice, working on a trapezoid rather than a series of circles is far easier.
I would say thank god for ruffler foots but mine didn't quite work properly. I have a $20 universal foot from Amazon, rather than the $80 one that Viking sells for their machines. I've made less voluminous tiered skirts with it before without issue but this was way more ruffling than I've ever done. I calculated my ruffling factor using this tutorial: http://www.youcanmakethis.com/products/free/free-the-ruffler-unruffled.htm but I don't know if 12" vs. 900" was just too much to get an accurate count but I was way off every time. Thankfully, the ruffle was a little too long rather than too short so I ended up hand pinning each tier after ruffling it. The first two tiers were torturous due to the incredible length. I hated it. The vibrations from my machine and foot were also pulling my sewing machine around in weird ways. In fact, there is now a permanent groove in the part of my machine where the "C" arm of the foot hooks! I had a few temper tantrums during this process, took apart the needle shaft and bent some metal pieces back into place, and ended up wrapping electric tape around the part of the shaft that the arm hooks on to protect it. This was also torturous and hellish - for a while I thought I broke my machine.
I also went online to purchase dye from Dharma Trading and found out it would cost me over $30 to achieve a true black on this amount of fabric!! Forget that. Between the dying costs and the frustrations ruffling, I ended up buying a black skirt from Tribe Nawaar. It's totally gorgeous and I love it. Also gave me something to practice in for a week while I was still working on my initial skirt.
Once the Tribe Nawaar skirt came in, I quickly realized that 1.5 yards for the yoke was not enough fabric and that my upper thighs were actually going to be a bit restricted in movement. I fussed around with measurements and re-did my yoke tier with 3 pieces that ended up 80" at the bottom and 50" at the top. Enough for fullness without having it all end up gathered at my waist.
Using this tutorial: http://mac-aroni-n-cheese.blogspot.com/2009/12/tutorial-drawcord-elastic.html I attempted a drawcord elastic waistband for the first time. It turned out lumpy and messy. Thankfully, no one will ever see the waistband. EVER.
I dumped the skirt into my washer full of hot water and a bottle of liquid RIT dye in "wine" and let it do its thing. After going to check on it, I spent an hour unclogging the sink that my washer empties into and freaking out that purple dye water was going to flood the basement, I had a fully sewn, dyed 25 yd. skirt.


IMG_7958 by parallaxreality, on Flickr


IMG_7957 by parallaxreality, on Flickr

Swirly! Swooshy!

IMG_7956 by parallaxreality, on Flickr

Layered with the black skirt, tucked at hips:

IMG_7951 by parallaxreality, on Flickr


IMG_7950 by parallaxreality, on Flickr

My favorite tuck style - a bustle tuck! I will totally use this for steampunk goodness:

IMG_7952 by parallaxreality, on Flickr


IMG_7954 by parallaxreality, on Flickr

All in all..it was an adventure. I don't intend to do this again, although I'm not sure what I'll do with the other 12.5 yards. Maybe some pantaloons.
I'm still working on the bra and belt, and will probably make a turkish vest to go along. So expect more pictures in a few weeks!
2  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Zombie Rollergirl on: November 04, 2010 12:20:01 AM
So believe it or not, I've never dressed up as a zombie before and I got the chance to do it, on skates!

My roller derby team is heavily involved with our local "Zombiefeast" film festival and zombie-filled weekend so I figured it was time to jump head first into undead territory. I bought a family pack Halloween makeup kit and a whole lot of blood and, with suggestions from some of my team-mates, used the liquid latex it came with and some toilet paper to get the peeling skin texture and bloody wounds. I tore up a cheap t-shirt and wore basically what I wear to practice in and had my husband whip handfuls of fake blood at me. It was tons of fun.

I shambled up about a half-mile or so and even participated in the Thriller dance-off on my skates. Now I just want to wear them everywhere I go!





3  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / Simplicity 2338 and also hot pants on: September 21, 2010 11:46:12 PM
Has anyone sewn up Simplicity 2338? My cousin's wedding is in a couple weeks and I thought it would make a really lovely dress but I'm curious as to anyone else's experience with said pattern. I go to grad school full time and work part time so my sewing time is limited. I'm a fairly advanced sewist but I don't want to deal with a particularly fiddly pattern requiring loads of alterations.

Also, hot pants.
I'm on a roller derby team and I am so annoyed with finding hot pants to wear over tights and under skirts. I have a big belly and so many hot pants and boy shorts are low-rise and hip hugging. What that means with a bigger belly is that the waist is rarely high enough and ends up rolling under and my belly flops out. Not cool. I want to make myself a few pairs of hot pants that are higher waisted but I don't really have a pattern. Lycra is not the cheapest and I don't want to just cut into fabric and experiment with no plan in mind. Thoughts?
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Threads for a faerie on: April 13, 2010 08:58:19 AM
I participated in the For the Love of Faeries swap (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=337308.0) and made this for my partner, woodland_faerie.
I tried to make her an entire outfit and all she needs is a shirt to go under the corset Smiley











It was all a lot of fun to make and very inspiring! It was also hard to part with everything.  You can also see the amazing package I received from her: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=344239.0
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Source for mint tins for pocket shrines on: April 11, 2010 06:36:51 PM
I am curious as to where people acquire the small tins they use to make pocket shrines. I don't really eat mints and I don't want to buy a product just to use the packaging, you know? I am interested in making a bunch of them very soon, perhaps as a group activity project for some spiritual buddies and I'm just wondering if anyone has found a way of gathering a few at a time..?

Edit: I also wanted to add that I have found places to buy brand new blank tins but I would like to re-use something already made. I'm hoping to get suggestions for collecting used tins.
6  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / The Mad Milliner on: March 17, 2010 10:21:12 AM
I suppose this painting came about for a few reasons.
1. I was obviously inspired by the new Alice movie
2. I got a chance to play with Painter 11, which I overall prefer to Photoshop for this sort of thing.
3. I have to read 25ish books for one of my classes but I can listen to them on CD if I want. Gives me the chance to do homework AND do something else at the same time. I choose painting. BTW, I was listening to The Book Thief by Markus Zusak while painting this, I don't think it influenced it much though.

Anyway, here she is:


The Mad Milliner by ~trip-tych on deviantART
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Super ruffly skirt and lovely winter wrap on: February 27, 2010 07:08:34 AM
I was supposed to be in NYC this weekend to attend the Tim Burton Ball and see Abney Park perform. However, winter decided to appear in upstate NY this week and rain on my parade. Literally. Rain. Snow. Ice. Everything in between. I had to resign myself to staying at home and watching movies instead. I'm still really sad about it.
However, I made a few nice pieces to wear to the ball that I want to share anyway.

First is this awesome skirt. Inspired by various skirts of seen around, I assembled this wonder from cheap quilter's cotton on sale at Joann's:



It's three six-panel skirts with fat ruffles on the bottom. For the top two layers, I sewed down the seam edge and threaded ribbon through it so they can be scrunched. After doing all those ruffles by hand, I am now saving up for a ruffler foot. I never want to have to do that again!

Then, I figured I would need some sort of glamorous outerwear so as not to freeze! I was inspired by this project: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=332604.0 and a blanket on sale for $9.99. I backed it with some crepe backed satin that used to be a curtain at an old apartment.





The plan was to also wear it with a corset and blouse that I made this past summer, the awesome striped tights, a pair of button-look books, my cameo necklace and brooch, and curls pinned about my head. I'm sure I'll have a chance to wear it all together sometime in the future.
However, the skirt is so much fun that I'm intending on wearing it at all possible occasions. And the wrap! Is like snuggly, warm, happy heaven and I've been wearing it instead of cranking up the thermostat. I recommend one for every chilly home!

8  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions / Vanilla extract for body oils? Also, makko-based incense? on: February 19, 2010 11:47:41 AM
So I'm new to making bath and body products and I'm only going to be making stuff for myself and my husband.
I'm about to place an order with Mountain Rose Herbs for coconut oil, epsom salts, and makko (for incense).
I've always gotten my EOs from Hill Woman Productions because she's usually at fairs and festivals local to me and is happy to explain all aspects of her products. I've got a lovely French lavender EO and a jasmine absolute, from her that I might us and also rose oil from a Bulgarian roommate in college that I've been saving for something special (that stuff is so expensive!!)
But what I really want is vanilla.
I love warm and spicy scents and in my mind, vanilla, cinnamon, clove and frankincense would make the best combination in the world. I've made powdered incense without the vanilla before and it's really lovely. Of course, I'm concerned about whether or not I'll be able to add enough cinnamon and clove to the carrier oil to get the scent before it becomes too strong and burns my skin - so any advice here would be helpful too.
I have pure vanilla extract for cooking and I wonder if it will blend with the coconut oil or EOs or if the alcohol content will force it to separate.
I'm going to be using the coconut oil just as a moisturizer (I far prefer it to actual lotion), nothing special.

Also, has anyone used makko, laha or dar for making incense before? I'm looking to create a relatively clean burning incense and trying to avoid any charcoal or saltpeter so this seems to be that best way to achieve that. I think that I should be able to add a little of the vanilla extract to the powders when I'm making cones but I don't think it would work well if I wanted to do dry trails.
9  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Frejya painting on: February 10, 2010 09:45:22 PM
I started this about a year ago. She started as a drawing, then I ended up inking it and scanning it into the computer. I had very, very limited experience with Photoshop for painting purposes and so I got a few tips from a guy I worked with and started laying color into it. I can't even tell you how many hours went into it - I would get it to a place I was somewhat happy with and then decided to push it further. At one point, I decided to do away with the lineart and that's when I feel like she really started coming together. I had to find a few tutorials on painting skin and hair.
She still needs a background, floating around in space is not quite right Tongue
But anyway, considering how little I knew about painting a year ago and where she is now, well I'm pretty proud of it.

I hope this works, it's linked to my dA account:


Freyja
by ~trip-tych on deviantART
10  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / Merchandise bags for big items on: November 27, 2009 04:45:11 PM
I'm going to be selling at my first craft fair in a few weeks and I need a little help with bags!

I make wings and some of them are pretty big - maybe a 3 or 4 ft. wing span with a 2-3 ft. height. I've looked online for those thin paper merchandise bags but none are big enough. I hate to sell something without being able to package it but I really don't know what to do.

Any advice?
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