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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Butterfly Cross-Stitch Necklace on: August 17, 2014 02:44:29 AM

While I was on holiday, I picked up the August issue of CrossStitcher magazine.
The free gift was this sweet Butterfly Necklace kit.


It didn't take too long to complete, although I made a few small colour changes in the purple shades.

Purple's my favourite colour to wear and I love butterflies so much Smiley
2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Knitted Dinosaur Toy on: July 17, 2014 12:30:41 AM
I got a copy of Let's Get Crafting Knitting & Crochet #62 the other week and my guy requested I make the dinosaur toy pattern.  It was quite fun to knit, even though it took me a long time Smiley

I made a few alterations to the pattern, some intentional (like not using all the spikes) and some not-so-intentional (like ending with a blue nose instead of a white one).
I'm still quite pleased with how the little guy turned out.

That cute little face, with its button eyes Smiley
3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Pair of Wee Scotty Dogs on: July 12, 2014 11:02:52 AM

I made these two adorable mini stuffed Scottie Dogs as thank-you gifts

They're a scaled down version of a Scottie Dog pillow from Sew Magazine (issue 55) : www.sewmag.co.uk

The fabric is a soft black woollen knit I found in my stash.  The collars are ribbon that I used a decorative stitch to embellish Smiley
I'll be attaching them to keychains before we send them, so they can have a function, too.
4  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 100 ENTRIES / 100 plastic bags bathroom mat on: July 03, 2014 09:57:46 AM

I've had a vast collection of supermarket plastic bags for a while.  They sit there in my kitchen, in a large bag.
The shame is, I always plan to use them again for grocery shopping, but never seem to have any on me when I'm at the store.  Every now and then I find some use for a few, mostly project organising or carrying something I don't want to get wet or leak, but never in any great quantity.

So I started searching online, because I thought that there must be something I can craft with them.  I found some great tutorials, from fusing them into fabric or beads, to weaving them into baskets and bags.

I decided to take 100 of my bags and weave them into a mat for the bathroom, and here's the result:

It's hard to tell how big or small it is from the photo, but I estimate it being 75cm/30inch diameter.

Hopefully, I shall never again look despairingly over at the bag of plastic bags and wonder when I am going to manage to reuse them at the store. 
I can't wait to try fusing them into fabric to sew with Smiley
Maybe I should make a strong, carry-everywhere bag for my groceries to keep in my handbag.
5  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / My First Scarf on: June 03, 2014 01:32:46 PM

Wanted to share my first scarf!

I'm confident at the knit-front-back stitch, and the knit-two-together stitch, so I was wondering to myself if I could make a chevron scarf by effectively moving one stitch over with every row.
I'm quite pleased with the result:

None of the images show that there's sparkly threads to the black wool as well; I saw these yarns in a thrift store and I'm quite drawn to unusual yarns.  So I chose the purple and the black varieties to match the jacket I'm wearing in the photo.

But I really like the way that when it gets wrapped around my neck it's all points sticking out at jaunty angles
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Summer Ball Dress on: May 30, 2014 12:11:20 AM
Last night I completed my dress for tonight's Summer Ball.

The pattern is Simplicity Project Runway 2444 Smiley
I love this pattern, partly because it's such an elegant dress, but mostly because the pattern also contains a croquis-kit, where you trace the woman's figure then trace the dress elements you choose onto the figure.  How cool is that?  Cheesy
Here's my initial design:

It wasn't an easy sew, despite being the second time I've made the pattern, I was having a few sewing machine issues : blowing its bulb (can't get a spare until the weekend), top and bottom tension issues and blunting two needles (hit a pin, oops, my bad)

Anyway, my favourite element of this pattern is this cape collar:

I used tiny pleats instead of a gathering stitch because of tension issues; I like the effect in the taffeta, since the fabric is so crisp.

Here's a close-up photo of the bow in the front of the dress.  The pattern gives it two long tie-ends and leaves you to tie the bow yourself.  I'm not sure how good I am at that, to be honest, despite the fact that I adore bows.  I usually construct bows with seperate loops of fabric so that I get that kind of cartoon-bow effect.

I'm looking forward to wearing it tonight and showing it to my friends before they all go home for the summer
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Summer Ball Waistcoat on: May 28, 2014 10:57:01 PM
Completed a lovely tailored waistcoat last night, designed for my guy for the summer ball tomorrow.
He's not actually going because he's away, but I wanted to make it for him anyway.  This is the first thing I've made for him, so I hope he likes it.  He's seen it in its early stages of construction, but won't see the completed thing until tonight.

The base pattern is version 'A' of Kwik Sew K3662, chosen by him.
I then designed the fabric, colour, contrast etc.  It's peacock blue and scarlet taffeta, and will match (ish) my dress when I complete it.

Here's the finished garment front:

The welts there have no pocket behind them, but have a little tiny space which could be used for a handkerchief or keys or something. I've fitted the fronts to him while the outer and lining were still separate.

The garment back shows where I forgot to get a buckle for it:

8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Coin purse and card wallet on: May 11, 2014 11:27:56 PM
I've been needing a new coin purse for a while now.  My old one was getting too worn and was only made as a temporary measure anyway.

So I started looking for inspirations and found this via Pinterest :
I just used the pictures to work out the steps involved.

And here's the result (I'll explain why there's two):

The small one I made first, as close as I could to the instructions, although I guessed that seam allowance wasn't included in the pattern.  I found it very fiddly to make, trying to bend the thing to get it under the machine, it wasn't even large enough to fit around the arm of the machine whilst the full table was off.
I used that for a week, and quickly realised that it was too fiddly to use - I could just about get my fingers down to the bottom, but not enough to feel which coins were in there, or see to get the right one out.  Plus there was no way of having notes in there, except by folding into eighths and blocking getting the coins out.  Once I'd made the second though, I realised it was a very good card wallet.

So I made the second one, cutting out the pieces as if there was seam allowance included (to get the shorter height), but doubling every width to get a better length.
I decided somewhere along the way that I'd add the zip to keep my coins in the purse, and sewed the flap, zip and lining in separately to get them neat enough.
I have to say that it looks like it could well make a good pencil-case.

Here's a shot of the two with their lining in show - that's just poly habotai.  I keep a stock of it in pink because I make so much pink stuff.

And here you can see the detail of the embellishment.  I sew these myself with very thin ribbon.
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Knitted Dress guidance requested on: May 05, 2014 05:17:12 AM

Hello everyone,

I've challenged myself to knit myself a dress this year Smiley When I'm in clothes stores in winter, I always love the knitted dresses (although I understand they're knitted by machine, right?), so I thought it'd be a nice project to keep me busy and consolidate my knitting skills.
I'm a little daunted at the prospect but hoping someone could give me some advice for it, please?

As far as my knitting goes, I learnt to knit this January, and I know that makes a dress a huge undertaking. 
I'm confident with the basics, plus a few techniques to add and remove stitches from rows and different coloured designs, although the latter might be best avoided to speed up the project.
So, with that in mind, I'll be looking for a pattern that isn't too complex, just a lot of patience required.  Which is fine, because I'd probably be happier with a plainer and more versatile garment anyway.

I suppose the most pressing thing to ask is how long might it take?
Once I know that, I'll plan when I'm going to start.  If I don't manage to finish it by the end of the year, I'll keep at it anyway and just finish it as soon as possible.

Also, what kind of needles are going to get the best result I can achieve?

Will I need any other equipment?  I already have a row counter, which I find quite helpful.

What kind of wools have been used for dresses and other garments before?  Are the 'fancy' wools with glitter or colour patterns or different textures good for this project, or should I avoid them?

If you've knitted a dress before, what tips and techniques are helpful?  What is good to keep in mind from the start of the project?  What things did you learn and/or will I learn from trying to knit a dress?

And last but probably the most important, what haven't I asked about but should really know?

10  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Introduce Yourself / Hello Crafting World! on: May 03, 2014 03:12:24 PM
Good evening, all  Smiley

I'm a 27-year-old crafter from England.  I love to sew, both by machine and by hand, and spend most of my free time either stitching or planning what I'm going to stitch next.

My favourite things to craft are geeky things, fantasy costumes, soft furnishings and accessories.

Craftster looks like a great place to share what things I'm making, see some great projects from other people and be challenged and inspired to create great things Smiley  I'm looking to make some talented and creative friends here.
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