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21  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Embossing powder tinting my paper? on: January 12, 2008 11:36:15 AM
I am making about 40 invitations for a baby shower and had planned to emboss the "You're Invited" stamp on the front.  I have embossed before, on my save the dates and on my bridal shower thank you's, and have never had this problem.  I am using STAMPENDOUS! PEARLustre Embossing Powder in Sapphire Opaque and it is tinting the entire front of the white invitation blue, where ever the powder touches the paper.  It won't rub off with a paper towel, but I can erase it with just a regular pencil eraser.  However, it's a pain in the butt to erase in between the all the letters on all 40 invitations and even still, it doesn't look 100%. 

Does anyone have any idea as to why this is happening and how I can prevent it?  Thanks!
22  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Finishing a Zipper Seam? on: December 16, 2007 06:43:46 PM
I am a purely self-taught sewstress, so once again I am defaulting to craftster to hopefully help me through yet another quandary.  Having picked up sewing once again these past 6-8 months or so, I have made quite a few wearable pieces of clothing.  I have been using a French seam on the pants, skirt, and tops that I have made to increase their durability, since I do not have a serger. 

However, I recently made two skirts with side zippers, and could not use a French seam (or at least I did not know how).  I remedied this by sewing a lining (they needed one anyway) and encasing the bottom with a wide border, so there are no raw edges exposed anyway, but in the future, if I am making cotton skirts, where I do not want to make a lining, how do I finish a zipper seam?
23  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Will this work with East Meets West from Sew What! on: December 11, 2007 04:23:49 PM
So, I wasn't planning on making a Christmas outfit.  We all know how that goes...  I went to Joann's with a friend and was parusing the Burda pattern catalog when I found this:

I had some wool-ish suiting that would work nicely, so I picked up some lining and crepe-backed satin for the bottom border.  However, they were out of the pattern, but it's pretty much a simple A-line with the border and waistband, so I figured that it wouldn't be too hard.

I made the East Meets West skirt from Sew What! skirts for a friend over the summer.  I don't have a picture, but here's a link to someone who posted it over on Flickr:


It seems like it is basically the same skirt.  However, instead of a waistband and facing, Sew What! uses double fold bias tape.  Would regular purchased bias tape look okay?  If so, should I use quilt binding so it's wider?  If not, how wide do you think I should make the waistband with the satin?
24  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Will Stretch Twill work with this pattern? Simplicity 3566 on: December 04, 2007 11:38:48 AM
Hello, hello.  I am sick and tired of trying on suit after suit and not finding anything I like or that fits me correctly.  Either the jacket looks great, but not the bottom, or visa versa.  I have decided I would try my hand at making one, but I would like to make it out of a stretch twill (I teach, and it is by far, the most comfortable fabric to be running around a classroom in).  I like this pattern: http://www.simplicity.com/dv1_v4.cfm?design=3566

However, twill is not listed as one of the recommended fabrics.  The fabrics listed are Lightweight Wool and Wool Blends, Silks and Silk Types, Crepe Back Satin, Sueded Silks/Rayons, Double Georgette, Linen and Linen Blends.  I am looking specifically at the jacket and pants, not the dress or the skirt, so would using a stretch twill (97% Cotton, 3% Lycra) work?
25  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / First and second FOs! on: November 28, 2007 08:20:08 PM
About a month and a half ago, I taught myself to knit.  I originally intended to knit 3 long ribbed scarves and braid them together.  I got bored with that very quickly. Cheesy

I ended up leaving that on the needles and moved on to this.  I wanted to make it in red and black for the school colors where I teach.  I used a silk/merino blend, making it super soft and silky for around my neck.  Instead of casting on 6 stitches, I did 10 so the i-cord was a little more substantial and knit for about 60 inches.  In the end, I used more black yarn for the pompoms than the red in the scarf and pompoms combined.

Full Scarf:

Close up of stitches (shows true colors):

I finished it in time for the last football game of the season!

This second project I just finished up for a swap.  I was actually pretty proud of it, even though it's quite elementary.  I had to figure out how to do decreases, but I figured I would just deal with that when I got to the flap.  Luckily, I didn't find it difficult at all!  I seamed the sides on my sewing machine (I know this isn't the correct way, but it was easy), and had to weave in the end with a paper clip! Cheesy  I don't have a needle or crochet hook, so I just unbent all but the last part of the clip, tied on the yarn and made sure it went cleanly through the stitch.  Hey, it worked!  Then I hand sewed the lining, snaps, and button:

Close up of button (shows true colors):


Comments and criticism welcome!
26  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / BBY/ Built by Wendy - Simplicity #3850 Pants - HELP! on: November 14, 2007 04:14:48 AM
Well I'm making these pants:


I've put together most of my muslin (I was nervous to go right to the good fabric, and it turns out it was justifiable), and I need to make some changes, but I'm not sure how to go about it.

#1 - I haven't put in the waistband yet (it was getting late), but for the good pair I'd like them to come up a little higher.  Do I just add some height to the top of the pattern for all the pieces that attach to the waistband?

#2 - I think I need to add some width to the upper thigh area.  Can I add it just at either the side seam or the inseam, or should I split the difference and add it to both?

#3 - Also, I didn't put the zipper in the muslin because I made it just for fit, but the directions weren't totally clear to me.  Has anyone made this pair of pants (or shorts or capris)?  Any tips on putting in the zipper?
27  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Changing colors for a striped scarf? on: October 28, 2007 10:54:33 AM
I've been knitting for a little less than a month, and I'm really liking it.  I taught myself with online tutorials, and things seems to be going very well.  I would like to make a skinny scarf in our school colors to give to a co-worker and fellow teacher.  However, I can't seem to find any beginner directions online, so I can learn how to change colors.  Can someone point me in the right direction?  Thanks!
28  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / What am I doing wrong? Pics included... on: October 11, 2007 05:26:10 PM
Okay, so I taught myself to knit on Saturday.  I can cast on, knit, purl, and bind off fine.  I decided for my first project, I would attempt this scarf:

(click image for link)

Not too difficult.  Just a simple ribbed pattern; k1 p1, and slip the first stitch knitwise from row 2 on.  Fine.  No problem.

However, my edges are totally loose and loopy.  My actual ribbed part looks fine and I'm quite happy with it considering I've been doing this less than a week (although tips and pointers are more than welcomed).  At first I thought I wasn't getting the first and last stitch of the row tight enough.  So I started over, making sure I was pulling the first and last stitches tight.  It didn't make a difference. At. All.  Pictured below is my 3rd and latest attempt:

Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong?  I'm trying to get those first and last stitches as tight as I can, so I am at a loss.  TIA!
29  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / 3 Simple Skirts on: September 02, 2007 08:19:05 AM
Instead of back-to-school shopping this year (I'm a teacher), I decided I would spend some of that money on fabric and attempt to make some clothing. To preserve my sanity, I decided to stick with skirts, since they are incredibly easy. 

This first one I made a while ago.  It has a dark grey, stretch twill waistband, and the skirt itself is a light grey pointelle jersey.  The hemline isn't really as funky as it looks.  I didn't finish the hem, so it hasn't rolled the same all the way around.  No biggie, as it's not a very dressy skirt.  I probably won't wear this to teach, but I did wear it for one of our in-service days.

This one I wore the first day I had my students.  It's an A-line wrap, and it overlaps in back and ties in front.

And this is my "School Spirit" skirt, as our colors are red and black.  It's an A-line with a drawstring waistband and a black circle pocket.  Both the pocket and the hemline are lined with black ric-rac.

The grey jersey skirt was kind of my own design.  The other two were made using Sew What!  All comments welcome! 
30  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / My solder isn't melting! Do I need a higher watt iron? on: August 16, 2007 11:10:40 AM
Hi all.  I'm trying my hand at soldered microscope glass pendants.  I finally found all of my materials, and did a test run yesterday.  I have lead-free solder and I had a very difficult time melting it.  I picked up a Craftsman 5-in-1 tool that's 30w and gets up to 1050o, that was almost impossible to get my solder to melt.  I fought with one side of one edge, and then it did not want to melt at all anymore.  I tried my husband's portable butane soldering iron, and that worked a little better, but it took a good 20 seconds to start melting, which made it almost impossible to get smooth.  What do you think? Should I look for a higher watt iron?  Will something higher get hotter than the butane one?
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