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1  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Vault Dwellers (from the game Fallout 3) on: November 02, 2009 03:45:58 PM
I used mechanics coveralls to make costumes for my boyfriend, roommate and myself this year.  It's less "handmade" than I usually go for, but since I was also worrying about midterms at the same time that just wasn't in the cards. 
I suppose these could be from any fallout game, but we went with 101 from Fallout 3 since we figured it would be the most well known, and went with the style closer to the third game as well, with the baggy lighter colored suits, instead of the fitted darker blue from Fallout 1 and 2.

the whole group... the guys were easy.  Just added the yellow trim and 101 on the backs.  For the numbers I ironed the yellow fabric (heavy bottomweight cotton) to heat-n-bond, and then cut them out.  Ironed the numbers to the suits and zig zaged around them.  Hopefully the heat-n-bond will minimize fraying so we can reuse these again if we ever go to a con or whatever.





mine... not so simple.  I wanted a skirt, not pants, since I'm a skirt girl if I'm anything.  And I wanted something semi-inspired by the "pre-war" fifties look clothes in the game.  But, I couldn't get fabric to add to match the coveralls, so I had to work with what was there. 
I cut the suit in half at the waist, removed the waistband and a couple inches (since I'm short), ripped all the seams out of the pants portion, and cut them in half lengthwise.  For the top I removed and reset the arms to make the shoulders narrower, and added front and back darts. 

I then made a eight gored skirt from the resulting fabric, managing to mantain the original pockets and front snaps.  It's maybe a half-circle skirt or thereabouts.

I made the cincher at the last second since I don't really own many belts, and needed something to cover the waist of the dress (since most of the fabric there was once the pants cuffs and not in the best shape- the coveralls were second hand).  It's just a basic closed-front cincher with 10 flat and 14 spiral steels, back open only laced through sz0 antique brass grommets. Fortunately I had the brown fake-leather PVC onhand. 


The pip boys were made of paper mache.  I molded our arms with tape for the cuff, and the face was done over cardboard.  Spray painted black, and accented with various chunks of old technology I ripped apart.  (an old mouse, video card, car stereo faceplate, and cd player for one).  I added a "property of vault-tec" label to the back to hide the seam on them.  Originally I wanted to do the screen on a transparency with green glow-sticks behind it, but that didn't pan out since no one had any in stock!  So they're just laminated paper.  I went with a map shot, and changed "The Capital Wasteland" to "The Buffalo Wasteland" and relabeled a few landmarks with local names.

Bonus shot of me playing Fallout 3 as I wait on hold for the cab company before we go out...


Another of me showing the game itself... which is the only one any of us thought to get of the backs.


2  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / ironing waterproof nylon on: June 28, 2009 11:45:53 PM
I'm about to start on a project that involves waterproof nylon.  It's heavy nylon, the kind that looks like a synthetic twill with an obvious weave, not the thin windbreaker stuff, with a rubberized backing.  I've never worked with it before and since I got it online I don't have care instructions from the bolt end (or even the mfg) to check.  Has anyone else sewn with it?  My main concern is ironing.  I'm worried the heat will (bad) damage the backing, even if I don't iron on the back, or (worse) somehow transfer the rubbery backing to my ironing board or brand new iron.

Should I be using a press cloth?  I'm concerned mostly about when I press open the seams, as I will really have no way to avoid touching some of the backing with the iron.  Will just sticking to the ultra-low synthetic setting be OK?

I've already had one "mishap" with this iron (interfacing placed the wrong way makes bad things happen) and I'd rather not spend another two hours cleaning it if that can be avoided. Wink
3  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / is listing ready to wear a bad move for someone who focuses entirely on custom? on: June 09, 2009 09:22:47 AM
I've been making and selling corsets for years, but mostly only in my area among people I know or word of mouth.  I set up an etsy not long ago, but my feedback is low which I think hurts my chances at sales.

I'm thinking I may list some low-cost premade cinchers and underbust corsets since they might sell easier than the higher cost custom stuff and boost my feedback/draw some business in.  Someone might not want to take a chance on a new shop for $200+, but they may for under $100. 

But, I'm not sure if that would be a good idea. 

See, the whole "business philosophy" behind my shop is that I make 100% custom corsets.  I generally require more than a dozen measurements, and go into detail in my  shop announcement about why that is important and why you shouldn't just buy something sized by your waist or bra size.  So I know selling anything premade would be contrary to that, and I wonder if doing so would hurt my "brand," if that makes any sense.

If I did this I would go into pretty hard detail about the garment measurements for what I list, but I'm still concerned.

Any thoughts or advice?
4  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Suggest New Boards and New Features / [ACCEPTED] Craftster mobile, iPhone, iPad, etc. app? on: June 03, 2009 07:47:53 AM
Any chance we can get a mobile compatible version of craftster?

If craftster runs off the phpBB engine, there are quite a few mobile skins and add-ons out there already, most just utilizing a new stylesheet that would only be activated if a mobile browser is detected.

As it is now, browsing on a smartphone or the like is next to impossible.  Drop down menus often don't work on the smaller screens since you can't see the whole list at once, and trying to scroll will either close the menu or select something else.  Also, the larger ads have a tendency to fill the screen, and if you try to scroll them away you activate them.

Even just an detect of a mobile browser sending you to a heavily pared down site using menu trees instead of dropdowns would make browsing on a mobile device a lot easier.

I figure I can't be the only one who loves to read craftster when they're out and about, and since I'm starting school in the fall I know I'll have a lot of on-campus down time spent browsing the web on my iphone between classes.
5  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / frustrations with Model Mayhem on: May 15, 2009 01:39:29 PM
Not sure if anyone else has a page there, but I'm about ready to delete mine from sheer annoyance.  I sell corsets and have a page with a few pics, links to my etsy, etc, as well as a note that I don't loan corsets to photographers or models and that I don't give them away for free.  (I felt rude adding it so blatantly but I was getting asked at least once a week or more.)

However, I'd say 9 out of 10 people who contact me on there are people who only want to see what they can get out of me.  Either trying to get me to custom make stuff for a photoshoot, for free, because they'll give me "good publicity," or asking me to travel somewhere out of my way to work with them (again, for free).

I have gotten some emails with real questions, which I answer and direct to my shop.  But the ratio of people who want something for nothing is way higher, and most have a very "I'm a star, you should be dying to give me stuff!" attitude which is, um, off putting to say the least.  If it was Dita or somebody, yeah, I would be dying to give her a free corset.  But sheesh...

I really don't know what to do at this point.  Do designers actually get business off the site, or is it all people who want free clothes from them?  Or is it me- do people who make designer profiles on there really just give stuff away left and right? 
6  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Postcard/ business card deal on: April 10, 2009 11:01:07 AM
I just ordered 250 postcards to advertise my corsetry business, and figured I'd pass this great deal along.  If you use the code "freeship" on overnightprints.com you can pick ANY shipping method.  I was going to shell out extra for expedited since there's a gaming con in my area next weekend and I figured it would be a good place to toss some down (larpers love corsets!), but it let me use the code and next day air.  I ordered them Wednesday evening and they arrived this morning.  Just in time to stuff a dozen in my purse for my trip to the goth club tonight!

Paid a bit over $20 for the double sided postcards... and saved $46 on the shipping!

Their stuff is nice, too.  Cheaper than most of the other online print shops, and I've had no complaints.  They did my business cards as well, and that was because another small businessperson I know recommended them to me.

I know a lot of people prefer to DIY... but I'm a sewer, not a graphic designer, and I figure I can't be the only one. (and running off this many of anything would be the death of my eight year old inkjet)
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Underbust corset for my best friend (with updated pics) on: April 10, 2009 07:55:45 AM
I replied to add some photos of the happy owner taking her corset out for a test run, scroll down. Smiley

My best friend has a thyroid condition, so over the last few years her weight has been VERY up and down.  Like 0 to 18 to 6.  She would sit with me when I was sewing and say how much she wanted to order a corset from me, but couldn't dare since the odds were her size would change again between when I got her measurements and when it was done.

Well, she's finally stabilized (woo!) and I got to make her first corset!

Pardon the not-faboo iphone pics and the travesty that is my library/dining/sewing room in the background.  She tried it on last night and I forgot to get pics, but I will have better ones tonight when it gets a chance to go out on the town. Smiley  I was just excited to have this done and wanted to share right away!

Unfortunately my dress form apparently dates to a time before humans had hips, so it doesn't sit quite right. But, you get the general idea.

This is triple layer, with the brocade outside, coutil inside, and a twill lining.  Bones between the coutil in twill using the "sandwich" method.  Spiral steels throughout, with flats at either side of the busk and grommets.







My tags!!  I JUST got these from another etsy seller- JennifersJewels.  I'm very happy with them.  They're printed, not woven, but seem very durable, quite soft, and are extremely clear.  Plus, she does small runs so I was able to order just 30 instead of the hundreds most places require.
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / PVC will be the death of me (and a new corset) on: August 07, 2008 08:35:11 PM
You may never hear another goth say this... but I HATE PVC.  With a passion.  I mean, I wear it on occasion, but I think I'd rather sew through my own hand (again) than sew more PVC.
Or so I say at the end of every project.

Get a teflon foot, they say.  Yeah, that's money I'll never have back.  And every time I used it I thought "wow, I should have spent the cash on the booze this is driving me to."  Baby powder, they say.  Fine and good, until it gets EVERYWHERE.  You know what happens when a cat gets into baby powder?  Ever seen frothy cat puke? Oh, not fun.  Less so for the cat, I'd imagine.  Drop the feed dogs!  Well, shoot, at least I found out the lever to raise them back up was broken... better to know, I guess...  $80 in repairs I could have gone decades without later.

So, the system I've found that "works" (as in, doesn't produce a stream of profanities that makes dockworkers blush), is thus:
1. use whatever foot you damn well please.  Which is good, as I don't even think teflon zipper feet exist.  Put tape on the bottom.  The matte-surface scotch tape kind.  Smoother than my stupid waste of cash teflon foot.
2. Tiny tiny amounts of baby powder.  I keep that shit under lock and key now, I don't need more cat puke in my life.  I usually dip one finger in it, and just rub along the line where I'll be stitching.
3. gigundo stitch lengths, as big as you can get away with.
4. Go slow! so slow! Everyone makes mistakes, and with pvc there's no going back.  Misplaced seam?  time to cut a new part since those holes are forever! 
Oh, and I don't pin.  I hope and pray.  Since pin holes?  Those are forever, too.  Sometimes I'll tape but that's often the cause of more issues than it solves.

And, in this case... I used premade bone casings (from corsetrmaking.com), and actually glued the pvc to them with a fabric glue stick so there was no additional frustration of stretchy fabric to contend with on top of the other PVC nightmares.


But, at least the owner was happy with the end result.  As per usual, my decent photos are done by the awesome Luke Copping.  I'm not thrilled with one fabric wrinkle I can see, but for some reason it doesn't show up in person... I saw her wearing it a few times since.  I'm wondering if it's something under the corset, or the way she's standing.  I hope so, at least.

Oh, and an aesthetic opinion poll... I find myself getting more requests for these corsets with contrast channels than anything else.  I'm always torn about the busk.  Should I do the contrast on it, so there's a stripe down the center, or no?  I've been doing no contrast in the center for slimmer girls, and with contrast for bigger ones (like me) since you have more fabric real estate between the center and the next seam when it's a 33" instead of a 19" waist.  Opinions, though?  Does it look bare without it?  Would it be overkill with it?

9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / my latest corset on: July 31, 2008 06:17:18 AM
I'm in the midst of working on a big steampunk project for a professional photo shoot, so I haven't had time to do much for me as of late.  But, I overpurchased on some of the fabric I needed, had a party to go to with nothing special to wear, and decided to whip this out.
Unfortunately I didn't get any static shots before wearing it, so there's only action shots.  In a basement.  (my ex boyfriend's basement, no less!)



damn I'm classy


the beer got me!


not a great pic, but the bone channel detail shows up decently here


I love the look of flat-front corsets, but damned if they're not a nightmare to get in and out of!  I almost broke my arm... and was using two sets of laces!  I may add front grommets before wearing again.

Construction notes!
Self-drafted based on American 1890s designs.
fashion layer is upholstery-grade taffeta
lining is black domestic coutil
each seam is double boned.  On the side I pressed the allowance to I made casings from that.  On the opposite side I have invisible channels, sewn just to the lining.  I used premade channels for those.
sixteen pieces 1/4" spirals, eight 1/2" flats (the spirals on the seams, the flats at center front and on either side of the grommets).
the grommets, which you cannot see, are size 0 antique brass.  laced with double sided black satin in 3/5"

This was my first attempt at cutting my own flats, which I don't think will be repeated until I get some 1/2" bone caps.  I don't have the arm strength to sand them properly.  I love cutting my own spirals, though.  It takes about five seconds since I got a homepro press with the bone cap attachment and brought my bone costs per corset down to somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.
10  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / My feed dogs are jammed!! (plus general Singer service question) on: April 20, 2008 02:27:44 PM
So I have a Singer 7470 and the feed dogs have somehow ended up stuck in the down position.  I'm thinking something either broke or went out of place as they're moving fine, as though they were in the up position, but they are just barely cresting above the plate.

Anyone else have this issue before?  (and how much did it cost you to fix it?)

And, another general Singer question... this is a newish machine, it is still under warranty, but the only warranty center in all of NY is four hours from me.  This thing is HEAVY, so I'd really rather not drop $60 fedexing a 40 pound machine halfway across the state, and then wait god knows how long for it to be returned when I have a bunch of projects lined up.
Anyone know if it would void my warranty if I just paid someone local to me to fix it, instead of sending it to the warranty center?  (I'd take it to a Singer authorized repair shop).
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