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1  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Zigzag Book Hardback Bound Edition of Six 'Bubbles' Theme IMG HEAVY! on: October 19, 2009 04:48:11 AM
Hello! Thanks for looking at my book. It's a looong story though, if you're bored easily or not interested in bookbinding, just scroll down to the pictures!!

A friend of my Mother's recently finished her MA, and to celebrate she wrote a little story about her experience. She asked a girl she knows to illustrate it and then she decided she wanted to give the book as gifts to a few student friends, her lecturer and her Mother (naturally!). She has a long memory and remembered that I'd done a bit of bookbinding in the past, so, cut a long story short, I made the books for her. Actually that is the whole story!
I'm not really an illustrator (in fact I fall into the 'scared of drawing' category) So I had to find a way of doing the cover without drawing. The book is called 'The Bubbles of Happiness' - because at the end of the MA (and the book) they all go and buy expensive champagne and get merry!
I spent about a solid week of time, 8am til 12pm on this, probably, including shopping for materials and printing - although it spread over about three weeks and lots of later nights in all. I hadn't realised that six books takes almost six times as long as one book, not having made more than one or two at a time before!
The cover is supposed to be champagne themed. So the front is a yellowy cream and the recessed bubbles a whiter colour. I used Japanese paper with tiny bits of metal filament in it to give a slightly liquidy, sparkly shine. I cut holes in the front board and covered it with paper, and then stuck a second covered board behind it to give it the recessed look. This meant I was able to sandwich the ribbons between the boards for neatness. I cut grooves the depth of the ribbon into them first so there wouldn't be any swelling where the ribbon is.
The highlights are gold coloured metal leaf. I painted on size, waited for it to get tacky and then burnished on the gold. It was a bit fiddly and the size I bought was the too thick one, but I'm pleased with the results for a first time.
The printing of the story was a NIGHTMARE. I guess I'm not that used to Publisher, but it seems Publisher isn't familiar with the concept of a zigzag book, or of printing on paper larger than A4. Lots of stress, hassle, stress, guillotines and stupid printers later I printed on A4 and stuck it together. To get the grain running from top to bottom I had to buy A3 paper and cut it in half (hence the wanting to print on A3 before) and then sticking it together took a long time, but it gives it a handmade look and the paper is really nice quality, 160gsm art paper, better than the usual printing fare.
I'm glad I chose purple for the inside paper - I did this because I was worried the colours were a bit insipid and it might look like a wedding programme or something. I think the ribbon and the purple paper just saves it from that, but next time I'd do something to make the cover a bit more colourful. My Dad said I should colour in the balloons. They're BUBBLES!
I pressed all the books over several nights under the Encyclopedia of Garden Plants and other tomes. It's not quite the same as a book press, but needs must.

The pile:

The pile from the Front:

The Open Book:

Zig Zag View:

The Cover:

Bottom View (they weren't quite dry so the covers were pulling in a bit, but they will be flat later):

Thanks for looking and have a nice day!
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / McCalls M5578 Dress - Blue and White Stripey. on: August 15, 2009 10:16:58 AM
This is the first dress I have ever sewn and finished from a pattern. I used cheapo fabric so it didn't matter if I made a mistake and learned a LOT! First lesson - don't go to heavy with the interfacing. I'm very much an 'over-egg the pudding' type, so I got excessive on the interfacing and had to start the whole top again when it came out as stiff as a board! Second: choose a dress you would actually buy if you saw it in a shop. This dress is frrumpy in the extreme! Third: Don't use denim weight fabric on a light summer dress, and try not to mix fabric weights. The white trim is heavier than the rest of it and so hangs a little odd. Fourth: Don't alter the pattern because 'I know best'. I lengthened the bodice and the cute baby doll type design is now a sort of frumpy, waistless 80s summer dress.
Aanyway! I did it and it's over and the next one will be super! Wink
Thanks for looking! I love comments Smiley

And finally! Can you just see the anchor buttons? My favourite bit of the dress!

3  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Cushion / Pillow of Vintage Fabric with Frill - ish and Zipper! on: August 15, 2009 09:58:53 AM
I found some funky fabric in a charity shop and made it into a cushion! It's my first zip insertion in a few years and I'm rather pleased with it Smiley
I used every scrap of the fabric because I wanted a large cushion - this lead to me putting the zip in the middle of the back instead of the edge, but I think it's OK.
The frill is flat - not sure what that's supposed to be called, but I think it makes it look finished.
I love comments! Thanks for looking! Smiley

And the zipper:

4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Purple and Red Heart Shaped Pasties / Nipple Tassels. on: April 15, 2009 02:56:16 PM

I made these as a surprise for my new boyfriend for Valentines day. His look of shock and the guffaw that followed is something I won't soon forget!  Shocked Heheh!
I made them with bits of card, fabric from my stash and some tassels that I bought on ebay. It's all glued together in a shamefully slapdash manner, but to be honest it's all about the first impression, I doubt they'll be undergoing the rigours of daily use!
There's a really good tutorial on how to make them here, I didn't bother with the grommets, though, and they swing fine *edit* the tassels, that is! *shudder* I'm sorry - just showed my best friend this and she suffered from an information overload!
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Cath Kidston Bird and Flower Oilcloth Ipod Case! Now with PATTERN/TUTE!! on: November 22, 2008 08:51:35 AM
My sister inherited an Ipod from her boyfriend when he upgraded his. As it happens her birthday was approaching so I decided to make her an Ipod cover. She loves Cath Kidston fabric so that was the obvious choice and I decided on oilcloth because it'll stand up to the rigours of banging around in the bottom of her bag better than normal cotton.
This little project took me HOURS! And hours of sewing in an odd position can do funny things to a girl. After one such marathon stint I found myself at work unable to breathe properly because the muscles in the front of my neck had seized up so much it felt like knives were stabbing me when I tried to breathe in! I was faint and couldn't feel my hands so my friend Randolph whisked me off to A&E. Actually we walked there, and on reflection if you can walk three miles to hospital you probably don't need to be there. Heigh ho! It's just an illustration of how much of a mission this project was!
Anyway, she likes it, even though it was late!
I lined it with purple gingham for a bit of zing and there's some padding between the layers for shape and to cushion the Ipod.
Back (Note mother of pearl effect popper!):




Comments and criticism appreciated!!  Grin

Here is the pattern as requested. I will try my best to describe how I made the ipod cover below Smiley

I used three fabrics:
1. An oilcloth for the outer. You could use any sturdy fabric, not necessarily oilcloth the only thing I would say about oilcloth is that its mean to sew, but its been in my sisters bag for over a year and it still looks pretty much how it did in the photos above.
2. A padding for the middle. To give some protection from knocks and make it look neater. I trimmed it right down in the seam allowance so it wouldnt be too bulky. Also I didnt have it in the part over the screen/ front area of the Ipod because that was already covered with the outer flap.
3. A lining. I used gingham for a colour contrast. This fabric needs to be thinner than the outer and soft so it doesnt rub the Ipod.
I used Nylon thread for the sewing for strength.

I didnt do any inside out sewing as you would for a garment and lining. This is because the edges wouldnt have been sharp enough and it was too fiddly a shape for sewing and folding inside out. I basically folded over the edge of the oilcloth and the lining and sewed them along right next to the edge by machine.

I started from the side with the screen and touchpad openings. In the pattern I have left a three centimetre seam allowance at the opposite end to this. This is because with the differences in fabric thickness its hard to be precise about how much fabric youll need. So its best to start at the complicated end and measure measure measure as you go so that the holder fits your Ipod. If you need extra fabric at the other end, its there.

I fitted the case on the Ipod after every bit of sewing I did. This is the only way youll get it to fit, especially round the screen, as thats a bit fiddly. It has a tendency to stretch at the opening where the screen is. Its not too bad on mine, but if thatll bother you, you might like to sew a bit of clear acetate or something in that opening. Just check you can see the screen through it before you do. The circle touchpad opening doesnt have a problem with stretching.

Remember to sew in the bottom and top joining pieces in the front as you go. You can see from the photos where they are supposed to be. I left a gap in the seam at the back, did all the finishing and added the popper, and the last thing I did was attached the top and bottom pieces to the back (in between the outer and lining) which made the holder 3D instead of flat.

I used blanket stitch around the screen and around the circular opening. With Nylon thread. I like the effect it gives, but it could be sewn any way you like. Blanket stitch instructions - http://primrosedesign.blogspot.com/2006/11/stitch-school-blanket-stitch.html Youll probably need to clip the circular opening more than is shown on the pattern to get a smooth circle.

Ive drawn the pattern as a mirror image of the cover I made (thats pretty much me all over) so if you want it opening from the right then cut it how it appears in the pattern, if you want it opening from the left (as in a Western book and my Ipod case, and most peoples instinctive opening style) then either reverse in printing or cut the fabric pattern side down. Sorry!

Thats pretty much it. Its a really fiddly job, but it makes a fantastic Christmas present for a special person.

This is the first tutorial/pattern that Ive made. Ive tried to make it as good as I can, and I hope there arent any problems with it, but if there are I would appreciate feedback so I can alter it. Oh, and I'd love to see the results if anyone makes it!

PS. When you download the pattern to print it from Craftster it becomes a little fuzzy if you want a better quality copy just ask and I can email you one.

Thanks for reading and good luck!
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Strawberry Patterned Roman Blind / Shade. on: October 22, 2008 03:36:43 PM
I made a roman blind!
I collected the materials and had them kicking around for a few weeks before I summoned up the courage to start. But when I did it only took me two evenings! This is the first sewing project I've ever finished apart from a hat which isn't quite such an operation. Anyway, I'm pretty pleased with it. I call it my Strawberry Tetris blind. The fabric was curtains from a charity shop which I cut up - I think it's '80s.
The tutorial I used is here: http://www.alternative-windows.com/roman-blind.htm
I mis-measured the top due to confusion with the written instructions so the top pleat is shorter than the rest, a little annoying but I'm used to it now!

Front View:


I live on a boat, hence odd window shape.
Comments and criticism appreciated  Grin
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Pink and Green Mini Pill Box Hat / Fascinator. on: October 05, 2008 05:43:34 AM
I'm the kind of person who needs a serious deadline to finish absolutely anything - hence being on here for a year and never posting. So my friend decides to get married: perfect (cos it's all about me, you know Wink )!
I bought an old dress from the '60s at a jumble sale that I loved the pattern of and tore it apart at the seams. I'm going to make a dress with the main part of it but for now the collar is the perfect size for a little pill box hat. I had an old flower hair band lying around and various bits of rusty wire, some sacking, kapok, thread and a curved needle later (it has to be curved); Ta daa!

And underneath, it has a proper comb and everything, though I didn't have time to line it.

Action shot:

The merry widow veiling was hard to get hold of cos most shops only have black or white. I got this online. Would've liked a darker pink, but next time!
Oh, and the wedding was beautiful Grin
Thanks for looking - comments or criticism appreciated!
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