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21  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / drastic resizing=my new favourite dress! on: May 05, 2007 08:49:38 AM
I bought a lovely Japanese pattern book called 'Simple chic, but all the patterns only go up to a Japanese 11 (I'm a 13 bottom and 17 top)
I was dying to have a go at this dress:

but I'd never resized a pattern before. Luckily someone posted a link to a simple 'slash and spread' how to, and today I finished this

I'm so pleased it fits! Though if I use the pattern again I'm going to try redoing the bodice front as a full-bust adjustment instead of a straight slash-and-spred as the neck and shoulders are a little odd-fitting. But I'm really chuffed with how the waistline turned out as I don't usually wear dresses with a waistband (it sort of cuts my figure in half and makes me look even dumpier) but this is really flattering.
22  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: shiny dirt balls? on: May 05, 2007 08:37:55 AM
I make these all the time at work! I work at a Japanese kindergarten with a dirt/sand playground and the kids love making them (and getting me to make big ones), I've seen some kids spend ages getting them really smooth though I've never seen them that shiny - are those ones varnished or something?

Start with some damp sand, maybe with a bit of mud mixed in. The sand should be a bit wetter than you would use to build a sandcastle. Mould and squeeze into a ball shape, then the tricky bit starts. Sprinkle with dry sand over and over while gently turning the ball from hand to hand. keep switching to finer and finer particles - some of the kids spend a long time carefully scraping up 'fua-fua' fine dirt/dust to get their dango really smooth.
23  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: Crafty Penpals! on: May 03, 2007 06:55:26 AM
Well, why not - it would be nice to get mail other than the electricity bill!

I'll be 31 in a fortnight, Yorkshire born and bred but settled in Japan. I teach English as a foreign language at a temple kindergarten. I spend my wages on yarn and fabric!
Non-crafty hobbies include reading (anything from Austen to Pratchett. I adore Victorian sensation novels and am also currently on an Ian Rankin jag), singing (used to sing in an indie rock band, am an intermittent member of Gifu acapella circle, and am always up for karaoke!), and collecting hello kitty tat. I'm seriously considering doing NaNoWriMo this year!

I'm an agnostic and a recent convert to Shin Buddhism, but I don't really talk about it (in fact i haven't told anyone in offline life!)

24  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: You know you're a craftster when... (part TWO!) on: April 29, 2007 07:30:50 PM
YKYACW you are dead tired
but while cross stitching you plan for one more row before bed...
and it turns into many more...
keeping you up way past your expiration date for the night Tongue

 Grin See my sig line.
25  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: Usernames: Talk about Crafty! on: April 29, 2007 07:28:04 PM
I like knitting with cheap-and-cheerful yarn from the 100-yen (hyaku-en) shop Smiley
26  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Ongoing Wish Swap Round 21 on: April 25, 2007 02:43:53 AM
I claim PurpleOne for Japanese origami paper! This is my second claim this round, none sent, non recieved.

I am 30 and live in Japan (but from the UK). I like pretty much anything cute (miffy, hello kitty, doraemon...) or stylish (40s, 50s retro prints, 'ladylike chic') and have no allergies.

My wishlist:

It's a long shot but... foot pedal for a Toyota RA series sewing machine. You know, just in case someone has one lying around Wink

A book on pattern drafting and/or resizing - I have some gorgeous Japanese pattern books but they all need some drastic sizing up!

A wide-brimmed cotton sunhat in a funky fabric

a belt - i lost a little weight and all my trousers are falling down! Sewn, knitted, whatever... go mad Smiley

US or UK knitting needle gauge - I can never work out what Japanese sizes to use for patterns from sites like knitty! Thanks ZaftigMomma!

A set of 'vehicles' flashcards for my kindergarten ESL students - probably 6 different ones, just the graphics is fine - I can back and laminate them at work.

One (or a set if you're feeling generous) really nice drawing pen, black with a medium-fine point. I draw a lot of flashcards and worksheets but the pens I have are awful - come out thick when I want a thin line and vice-versa, drag the paper if I go over more than once, etc. I'd love a nice professional quality pen!

Any knitting parapernalia Smiley Yarn, accessories and doo-dads Wink Thanks Zaftigmomma! I can always stash, erm I mean use, more yarn!

Children's books (second-hand is fine) that are light to post (as I live overseas to most of you) and are good for reading aloud to children who don't know much English (repetitive structures, silly sound effects...).

Something inspired by the musicals 'Silk Stockings', 'Easter Parade' or 'High Society'

DIY kit for any craft except knitting

Knee socks - spring is coming and it's time to break out the skirts Smiley Warning - I have pretty chunky calves. Anything in an interesting pattern or colour is good.
27  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Ongoing Wish Swap Round 21 on: April 21, 2007 06:55:26 PM
I clain gavagai for Japanese patterns for cute stuff. This is my first claim this round.

I am 30 and live in Japan (but from the UK). I like pretty much anything cute (miffy, hello kitty, doraemon...) or stylish (40s, 50s retro prints, 'ladylike chic') and have no allergies.

My wishlist:

It's a long shot but... foot pedal for a toyota RA series sewing machine. You know, just in case someone has one lying around Wink

A wide-brimmed cotton sunhat in a funky fabric

a belt - i lost a little weight and all my trousers are falling down!

US or UK knitting needle gauge - I can never work out what Japanese sizes to use for patterns from sites like knitty!


A set of 'vehicles' flashcards for my kindergarten ESL students - probably 6 different ones, just the graphics is fine - I can back and laminate them at work.

One (or a set if you're feeling generous) really nice drawing pen, black with a medium-fine point. I draw a lot of flashcards and worksheets but the pens I have are awful - come out thick when I want a thin line and vice-versa, drag the paper if I go over more than once, etc. I'd love a nice professional quality pen!

Any knitting parapernalia Smiley Yarn, accessories and doo-dads Wink

Children's books (second-hand is fine) that are light to post (as I live overseas to most of you) and are good for reading aloud to children who don't know much English (repetitive structures, silly sound effects...).

Something inspired by the musicals 'Silk Stockings', 'Easter Parade' or 'High Society'

DIY kit for any craft except knitting

Knee socks - spring is coming and it's time to break out the skirts Smiley Warning - I have pretty chunky calves. Anything in an interesting pattern or colour is good.
28  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: Craft Blogging on: April 21, 2007 02:23:23 AM
I have a (new) hello kitty craft blog at www.sanriotown.com Smiley
I have had an account there for ages (because I wanted a hello kitty email address *lol*) but they only recently revamped the site and added (Wordpress) blogging. I also use www.bloguru.com for my personal blog.
29  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Any different kind of heel? on: April 21, 2007 02:03:48 AM
Yep, mine do that too. My solution at the moment is to pick up the stitches and knit them one at a time, twisting each stitch round as I go. That way if there's a gap (and there usually is), it has a sort of cute criss-cross pattern in it. So I didn't fix the problem but at least the problem looks nicer *lol*
30  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Re: Let's see your sewing machine!! on: April 20, 2007 07:14:01 AM
No pics, but I have a Toyota RA-2000 that I got for my 21st birthday (ulp, almost 10 years ago!) which unfortunately I have lost the foot pedal to and am having trouble replacing - despite living in the same prefecture as the manufacturer! So yesterday I splurged (only slightly, it's a very budget machine!) on another Toyota, the QB-300. Boxy little thing that's button operated instead of having a pedal, and has a very nifty auto needle threader!

I did have a near-mint 1932 Singer, which was nice as I learned on a hand-cranked vintage Singer (lol, I got in so much trouble in textiles at school for sewing one-handed!), and it only cost me 25 quid from Oxfam! Unfortunately my idiot ex-stepdad managed to 'lose' it. That makes me sad Sad It was really lovely, ran like a dream, had obviously been taken very good care of for 80 years... and it's gone *sobs*
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