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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Backstage blacks to bowling blouse! on: June 21, 2009 11:42:47 AM
I'm working as a stitcher at a summerstock theatre for the first time this summer, and the group I'm working with is a lot of fun.  One of the ways we decided to blow off some steam after all our hard work was to put together a bowling tournament for all of the tech staff, with costumes and electrics on one team and the set/props/paint crews on another.  Since we're costumers, of course we had to make our own team uniforms!  Most people just bought craft shirts from Walmart and went to town, but I, being too broke to afford a new $5 shirt, decided to completely reconstruct a huge men's black button-down shirt that I usually use when I need to wear blacks backstage during performances.  Here is the finished product:

The requisite full-length mirror shot.

I pretty much ripped out every single seam while re-working this thing!  I cut off most of the original long sleeves to turn them into cap sleeves, put in darts at the armscye, side front, and side back, took the sides seams in by about 9", brought up the armscye so it was more on top of the shoulder, took up a few inches at the shoulder seam, shortened and curved the hem, moved the patch pocket on the chest from one side to another, and added lots of embellishment.  I think it looks pretty good though, compared to what it was before, which was this:            

A close-up of my team member name, "Screamer", with appliques of fruit and a bee (it's an inside joke).  

 A close-up of the team patch and safety pin detailing.  Team Static Cling (fabric + electricity) lost, but we had a lot of fun anyway!        

EDIT:  Sorry guys, I don't know why the pictures are all wonky!
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Re: Warring Dorm Room Aesthetics...How to Choose?! on: July 26, 2008 03:10:08 PM
A decision has been reached!  Roommates have been persuaded and items have been bought, so now there is no turning back!  I decided to go with the modern Asian theme, with a few modifications.  Since I won't be bringing a dress dummy the kimono will stay at home, and I won't have as many silvery items, since I don't need to bring an extra bookshelf or anything.  Also, the floor pillows will be made in a white-on-black tree patterned fabric from Ikea instead of expensive Chinese brocade.  I'm also going to put some weird artwork on the walls around my bed.  This is the collage of stuff I used for inspiration - the picture of a geisha with a red parasol is the source for my color scheme.

By the way, does anybody know how to hang a paper lantern without using screw-in hooks?  I want to hang one above my bed near some mirrors and create a cool disco ball effect, but I'm not allowed to make holes in the ceiling or wall.  I'll try and post pictures once I get everything set up.  I leave in only two weeks and am very nervous! 
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Re: Warring Dorm Room Aesthetics...How to Choose?! on: June 14, 2008 07:51:47 PM
Ooh, good point with bringing valuables to decorate in my room, prettypistol.  I think I might bring a lockbox with me and just take everything out once I'm sure my roommate doesn't like coming in drunk in the midddle of the night and throwing up on my maiko doll from Kyoto. 

I do really like the idea of meshing together Ikea and Japan stuff to create a kind of mishmash "modern Asian" theme.  So, crisp, clean lines, but with lots of light and natural motifs (cherry blossoms, poppies, trees, birds).  Any ideas for wall decoration? 

redvsblue, I also really like that bedspread and was actually thinking about getting it for my bed...until my sister mentioned that she thought it looked like blood from a murder scene.  Then I kind of felt uncomfortable about sleeping on it every night  Roll Eyes

Thanks for all of the help!  I think I'm going to watch a few episodes of Firefly for some more ideas.
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Re: We bought grandma's old house.. Need some advice/ideas!! on: June 12, 2008 09:40:36 PM
My sister has been watching a ton of house-remodeling shows on HGTV lately, so I'm filled with inspiration for your house.

For the built-in shelf, I would keep it open and then paint just the recessed shelving (and the border around it) the chocolate brown or other accent color (for some reason I keep wanting to say plum, but that's not exactly a neutral).  That way you can still use it for storage but it looks a little more nifty.   How about the brick red for the living room?  It will make the room more cosy, will look really cool when people walk in the front door, and will provide some variety with the brown sofa and coffee/endtables.

For organization, check out Ikea's website or go to their store if you have one in the area.  They have a bunch of really ingenious storage solutions, like an ottoman with a pop-off top for storage space (great for putting away extra DVD) or a computer hutch that doubles as a bookshelf.  Just think vertical when planning your storage.

For the kitchen, the brown or beige would probably be best when painting unless you're planning on redoing the countertops.  You can also buy snap-together laminate flooring which imitates hardwood really well at Ikea.  Those bright red ones would look weird with the brick red you have.  Beige for the dining room, probably.

And finally, for your sister's room - how about some curtains across the opening of that alcove to create a little private sleeping or reading space?  Or put some artwork around the room? 
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Re: What's best to use for decoupage? Paper or fabric? on: June 12, 2008 09:25:24 PM
My sister (who does a TON of decoupage) and I both prefer to use paper.  It just seems to soak up the water better, which helps it stay onto the surface of whatever you're working on.  There's also a lot more variety with paper, since you can cut up everything from magazine pictures to scrapbooking pages to wrapping paper, and it's cheaper.
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Warring Dorm Room Aesthetics...How to Choose?! on: June 12, 2008 09:21:25 PM
Indecision strikes again!  I'm going to college next August, and of course I'm trying to plan my dorm room two months in advance.  I really want to have a put-together aesthetic for my room at college so it feels more like home and less like a box, but I can't decide if I want an Oriental, Ikea-like, or quirky hipster bohemian look.  Here are some of my thoughts on each (and let's just pretend like I have an awesome roommate who agrees with all of my decorating ideas) ...

Oriental - I have a red kimono and some trinkets from Singapore and Japan that I could use for decoration.  There is also a cherry blossom curtain and bedspread set from Urban Outfitters that I really like.  But is it too tacky or matchy-matchy for such a tiny space?

Ikea/Target-like - Standard college dorm stuff.  I would probably put a big rasterbated mural up and have lots of black, white, silver, and blue around.  I have floor pillows which I would re-cover with some cool fabric, but I also want my room to stand out, which could be difficult with stuff all bought at Target.

Quirky Bohemian - Handmade stuff with lots of color and prints.  A colorful tapestry on the bed, embroidered cushions on the floor, some ATCs from my friend displayed on the wall.  I'm just worried it would look a little crazy and be difficult (and expensive) to match.

Ok, I've been rambling on way too long!  Tell me what you think!
7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Re: THE GENERIC BOYFRIEND GIFT THREAD: A How-To! on: January 27, 2008 10:41:23 PM
Sadly, because I have (as usual) overcommitted myself with non-crafting-related projects, I will not be hand-making a big gift to my boyfriend this year.  I am disappointed for a couple reasons, including the fact that 1) I will not be able to spend a lot of time with him on Valentine's Day or the weekends before or after it and 2) It is our last V-Day together, since we have mutually agreed not to keep trying to date long-distance after going off to college, but I decided that the circumstances would still allow for gift exchanging. 

While he is not the computer and video games type, he does love foreign languages and cultures a lot and is not too mushy AT ALL.  He's also always bugging me to try sushi, even though I am a picky eater and cannot stand any type of Asian food.  SO, I decided that I would get him a "meal" of sushi made out of felted wool, so that he would get his favorite food and I wouldn't have to deal with nasty raw fish.  As for the crafty part, I made him a very simple and Zen card with Chinese characters on it that I hope he will like very much. 

Does anyone have any suggestions for a best-friend Valentine's gift?  I am making her a card, but I would like to give her a little something as well.  She is very healthy (granola and wheatgrass abound), is environmentally conscious, and loves stuff like incense, Tibetan prayer flags, and offbeat art by people like Gustav Klimt.
8  CLOTHING / Clothing Sewalongs / Re: Promalong - Making your own Prom dress? Join the club! on: January 13, 2008 08:29:35 AM
Ooh, pretty dress!  50's style needs to comes back...anyway, since you are making a dress that will have lots of gathers and pleats, you'll want something that is fairly light but will hold its shape.  You might want to try de-lustered bridal satin, which is smooth like satin but isn't as retina-blinding shiny.  Taffeta would also work, although you would need to line to help it keep its shape and to keep it from clinging.  A delicate lace or embroidered chiffon over a base taffeta or satin-like fabric would be really pretty, but you'd have to be careful about matching up the edges and making sure it doesn't pucker.  You don't have to use tulle for trim - actually, most prom dresses (that I've seen) only use tulle underneath to help poof out the skirt, with beading and sequins or construction details for trim.  For all of these fabrics you'll need nice, new, sharp needles to sew with so they don't snag the fabric, as well as sharp scissors and good pins. 

Finally, you should really try to get to a fabric store to buy your fabric.  It's the best way to find out how the fabric drapes, how see-through it is, and how it will look with other colors.  You don't want to buy $60 of fabric online and then find out that it's the wrong weight or color or width.  Unless you find a really great deal online, wheedle your dad into taking you! 
9  CLOTHING / Clothing Sewalongs / Re: Promalong - Making your own Prom dress? Join the club! on: January 12, 2008 09:15:04 AM
Awesome!  I love it when guys wear kilts...it just seems more gender-equal, in my opinion.  As it is, I'm going to have a battle just getting my boyfriend to wear a suit, much less a formal tux.

I found some sites with dresses or pictures of costumes that might inspire you:

www.fairygothmother.com Well-made corsets, ballgowns, and other items that are very expensive but very pretty.

www.costumersguide.com Pictures from almost every big costume film imaginable - also great if you're re-creating a specific costume.

10  CLOTHING / Clothing Sewalongs / Re: Promalong - Making your own Prom dress? Join the club! on: January 11, 2008 09:02:51 PM
Hmm....with the kind of gothic/corset-like details, how about a deep red or emerald green?  That would be as dramatic as purple, but your date may like those colors more.  You might want to look at some costumes from Victorian era movies, like Moulin Rouge and Dracula (the Winona Ryder version), and get inspiration for the colors there.  Several of the costumes in these films are glamorized version of Victorian wear, and are very striking.
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