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11  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / Pillowcase style for the larger lady? on: July 20, 2013 01:13:32 PM
I love the necklines of pillowcase tops, but hate how they balloon out and make me look like I am wearing a moomoo.
Is there much that I can simply do to a pillowcase top to make it less.. moomooish?

I don't fancy elastic at my waist btw. it's a hangup of mine.

12  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Pattern tracing? on: July 11, 2013 02:03:07 PM
What paper should I use to trace a pattern?
!t's a mainland European one (yes, there is a difference, British patterns come with seam  allowance, mainland ones do not) so I know I need to add a seam allowance.
It's a gorgeous pattern, but very daunting as the patterns are all layered in different colours on the one page.

I have a tracing wheel, but what paper? I don't really want to have to pay for pattern paper, but will if I have to.

However, I have an abundance of wall lining paper so... would that work?!


oh, incidentally... this is my plan Cheesy

13  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Tudor clothing- rather picture obese; more added from the event :D on: July 01, 2013 03:42:41 AM
My child is home educated. On wednesday this week we shall be swanning off to Kentwell Hall in Suffolk to enjoy a Home Educator's Tudor Day for which we need to be dressed in Tudor garb... otherwise the time machine won't work.

These costumes have taken me over a month to source and make everything needed. They're verging on historically accurate, had I not used a sewing machine, polyester thread, lycra socks and polycotton for my daughter's underdress and bonnet. I'm all in linen. We should have woolen dresses, as during most of Queen Elizabeth I's reign, Englad suffered almost a mini ice age with summer temperatures never getting over about 10 degrees C. So they needed their layers, their woolen broadcloth, their heavy linen.... We're in summer 2013 and the temperature on wednesday is going to be about 24 dec C. uuuurgh.

anyway, I'm in brown, she's in orange. YES they would have had orange clothing; this is basically the shade you get from freshly pulled onion skins.

so, we have our underdresses, our skirts and bodices, our aprons and our belts.

This has been a nightmare project due to my sewing machine breaking AGAIN, being fixed AGAIN, TWICE and then ending up catastrophically destroying itself on literally the last inch of the hem of my apron. thankfully, this was the last item of clothing for the trip too Cheesy And new machine is on its way. I'd been saving for one anyway.

I wanted more pictures of us in our clothing, close ups etc but the child's mood this morning didn't hold with those kind of shenanigans.

ok so that's me, child and elephant. on my belt is a cup on a leather thong, a "pocket" (circle of leather, drawn up and draw-strung for holding money) and a long, thin pocket to hold Ye Olde EpiPen. yeah...that one's a bit of a stretch, but I can't be without it so it had to be incorporated.

Child's belt has a cup and a pocket. her cup had no handle so I've actually made a wrap for it from leather. The leather for all of these things, again, came from the jumble. I got a long, patchwork leather skirt in a UK Ladies' size 14 (too small for me) for 1 and spent an afternoon unpicking it. I then sold someoffcuts of leather on ebay for 2.99, so made a profit.

My shoes are fabulous, really hideous. they're brown leather, and look so like a pair of tudor man's shoes that I was very happy indeed. A woman of my status (working class) would probably not have had her own shoes unless she was farming, she would have borrowed those of her husband and just had leather footwraps like my viking shoes that are somewhere in the depths of craftster. So, yeah. men's shoes. well, boy's. I have teensy feet. I found those shoes in a charity shop for 2.99.

My over dress is made from linen, it's the only bit of actual, new, off the bolt fabric that I bought. 3m of the stuff. thankfully I'm short so was able to make the skirt shorter than a normal person's. I used the selvedge as a hem, because I hate hemming.

My under dress is linen. I got a linen bed sheet and a pillow case from a local jumble (rummage) sale. 50p for the two Cheesy

The cuffs of my under dress are the only bit of decoration I have. they're ruffled and have a string closure. and a loose thread. apologies for that.

My bodice started life as a simple, laced waistcoat shape. but I put it on and it was so hideous, and so wrong that I took it off, put it on inside out, pinned, basted, sewed and cut to reshape it.

(here's the lining)

I used a very stiff interfacing for the busk; the place where the laces go. I didn't want the unfortunate bunching or puckering of the fabric one sees on un-stiffened bodices. I have not boned it, not am I wearing a corset. that's one step too far for me. I have to travel an hour and a half to get to the place, wearing a corset for that time? nope.

The child even has tudor shoes.

yeah, ok so my leatherwork's a bit pants, but there you go. oh, and the only leather I had that was stiff enough for the soles of her shoes is red. so she has a pair of "Ye Boutins".

Child's dress is orange cotton, no, not linen unfortunately and yes, they would have had that exact shade. It started life as a duvet cover. again, rummage sale find, again wonderfully cheap.

Her underdress is polycotton and has simple draw cuffs, none of this ruffling stuff. her bonnet is straight edged as befits a girl of the time. she does not need to hide her hair either, only married ladies needed to do that.

Child's bonnet, winged the pattern but referred to historical documents for reference.

My bonnet and wrap, complete with Ye Olde Duckface. Ths is actually a made up pattern, I based it on that worn by historian Ruth Goodman in Tales From The Green Valley. That's set just one king later, so the fashions would have been similar if not the same. It's shaped to denote that I am married.

and finally, the child has a toy elephant which goes absolutely everywhere with her. Ergo, this elephant needs to be dressed right.

Arrietty is sporting a polycotton under dress, woolen over dress with satin stitched hems, a Tudor Blackwork embroidered apron and even she has a cup on her belt (thankyou ebay!) yes, she's higher status than us hence why she gets embroidery. the Sumptuary Laws of the time were quite specific. Her bonnet is also polycotton.

so... can I cook, or can I cook?! lol!!

ADDITION: I ended adding a bit more fabric to the bottom of my bodice because it wasn't sitting right, and it was much better.

At the event, I actually got asked for directions by another visitor, so I must have looked good lol. I had many compliments on my outfit, as did the daughter and the elephant.

The child, in the stocks, showing off her "YeBoutins"

and finally, this is my kid. looking all tudorish, chatting to chickens.

14  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Does anyone have a Necchi? on: June 26, 2013 01:24:31 PM
Sadly my Super Galaxie has finally decided to go to the sewing machine shop in the sky and therefore, I am in the market for a new sewing machine. I just want a sewing machine. the Super Galaxie was sewing and embroidery etc, it was a jack of all trades but a master of none unfortunately.

Anyway, I've found one I like the look of on amazon; basically I like it for its ability to cope with heavy duty work. HOWEVER, would like to know if it's possible to shirr with it, or what people think of it that have used one and sadly there's no reviews.

has anyone got a Necchi machine? especially a 559? what do you think of it?!

15  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Rejiggled summer dress on: June 19, 2013 03:57:36 PM
I bought a white summer dress about 4 years ago. it was second hand when I bought it, had a shirred waist, was white and utterly beautiful. I (unfortunately) can't find any pics of it before as I wasn't too keen on having photos taken. I'm sooo totes over that lol.

it was white, had a gypsy style skirt, two rows of lace... stunning. But, after being worn most of each summer for the last 4 years it was looking really ratty. the lace was a bit torn and thready, it had sun lotion stains across the top, and finally I dropped a sauce that was very heavy on the tumeric down it a couple of weeks ago so, it gave me a kick.

First, I dyed it orange. one box of machine dye did my dress and one of my daughter's too. that done, I was planning to just dip dye the bottom of it a terracotta colour in a sort of ombre fashion, but the dye didn't take on the stitching and the colours looked so funky (white and orange) so, I kept it like that. meaning I have a sachet of hand dye to play with later lol. Also, the lace was REALLY tatty when I looked at it properly.

it took 6m of lace, and a couple of pieces of cotton muslin stuff as inserts to make it gorgeous again.

the shirring took some fixing too, at some point I will need to unpick and reshirr it, but I own a Brother sewing machine so that's not gonna happen any time soon lol.

I am utterly in love, and very happy lol.

16  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / help! gauge issue! on: May 04, 2013 04:41:00 AM
I have a pattern. it calls for aran yarn that knits to 18st/20 r: 4". I have chunky which knits to 14st/19r : 4".

what do I do? smaller needles? knit a smaller size? argh! I'm knitting for a chunky 1 year old, so was going to do the 18-24mths size of a pattern. The thing is, it has a cabled yoke so I can't go changing the cast on stitches willynilly either Sad

thanks for any help.
17  COOKING / Dessert / Fondant Fancies on: April 07, 2013 11:54:36 AM
Being lactose intolerant is a complete butthole. Especially as yummy, shop bought cakes are generally packed full of lactosey things like butter, milk and whey powder. So the family and I were missing Mr Kipling's French Fancies, beautiful little pillows of sponge topped with some unidentifiable "creme" (think the filling from twinkies and you'll be pretty close) and covered with fondant icing.

I gave in. I attempted making them. I may never attempt this again!!!!

I used Mary Berry's recipe, but with tweaks. 1. I used lactose free substitutes. 2. I didn't use marzipan. 3. I used powdered fondant icing rather than the block kind she recommends, 4. instead of butter cream for the yummy blob, I made a Marguerite Patten mock cream an 5, when making the icing I used lemon juice and a little teensy bit of lemon oil plus a dash of tumeric for colour instead of using water.

they were horrific to try and ice, they look hideous, but my goody goodness they're tasty! about twice the size of the packet variety too!!!!!
18  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Dream Catcher: now with tute!! on: March 25, 2013 08:24:53 AM
I saw a doily dream catcher on pinterest and kinda thought, heck, I could do that!. I have a broken embroidery hoop and plenty of lovely to work with, pure cotton DK string......

So I set about it. I gathered together a 1960s craft book with some crochet motifs in it, made one then just kept adding layers to it until it fitted (more or less) in the hoop. the crochet only took me a couple of hours, but the binding of the hoop and finishing took me about the same again.

so here it is. my crochet dream catcher. it's in my living room right now, I am considering relocating it to the bedroom... but then nobody would see it..... oh the dilemma!!!

tutorial, it's REALLY INSANELY simple.

you'll need a small embroidery ring (you only need the middle part), some string (DK works best, use whatever you have) a string needle and a 4mm crochet hook.

find a doily pattern you like, or a motif you can build on. You can also use a ready made doily... I used a motif from a 1960s craft book and added a few rows on to it. just keep adding rows until it fits the hoop, this is why I've said use a small hoop. I made the mistake of using a 10" hoop for my first attempt!!

ok, do your doily is done. work out your centre point and 4 places at equal spacing on the edges of it. use 6 if it's easier. put some scraps of string through these points and tie it on to the hoop loosely. so it loosely so you can adjust it. some of mine are a little uneven, I was getting tired.

once you're happy with the placement, use the tapestry needle and some more string to tie the doily on properly; start with your first stabilising loops, then add more at equal spaces. remember your symmetry. don't worry it it looks scrappy, you're going to wrap the edge afterwards.

take more string, wrap the string around the hoop. i can't really explain how I did it without knots because I'm not honestly sure, but experiment and find your own way. I can also recommend card maker's sticky dots for holding your knots in place too, they're acid free and wont ruin your work.

you can either use a sort of blanket stitch, the kind used for wrapping hoops in jewellry etc, or just do what i did and just wrap around and around. make sure it's even.

once it's wrapped, its time for your tassels. for the plain ones I just used lengths of string, fold in the centre to make a loop, place your hoop on top, pull through the centre loop on the doily side of the hoop, and then pull the flappy bits up the outside and then through your centre loop.

the central dangly thing i made is just a chain which i threaded through the hoop, then completed an sc line (US crochet; in the uk this is a DC line) down it, knotting off at the end. the tassel was made using a tassel tutorial found on google.

I hope this helps, i didn't want to do a full pictoral tutorial because i believe they should be a very personal thing Cheesy
19  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Newbie to felting... on: March 08, 2013 02:31:21 PM
Can I felt a knitted object that's 30% wool and 70% acrylic or would that just not work? I'm only looking for a light felting effect, and have this gorgeous yarn that would look even more amazing slightly felted......

20  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / no tie apron on: March 02, 2013 02:31:55 AM
my 7 year old is home educated. we do a lot of craft, home science, cooking and gardening and generally really messy stuff.
She's been getting sick of having to ask me to tie aprons, or me having to find safety pins to make my adult aprons fir her. her dad doesn't wear shirts for work either so we'd no chance of an old one.


^^ teaser photo Wink that's a felt flower, sewn over the pocket. it was an afterthought and sewing the felt onto the ticking while keeping my hand in the pocket to make sure it didn't go through both layers was nightmarish.

I was given two massive trashbags of fabric a couple of weeks ago, and in one of them was a huuuuuug quantity of heavy cotton ticking. on pinterest I found a tutorial for making a pinnafore/jumper with a crossover back and figured with a little modification, I could make one for Squiglet.

so I did. it took a couple of goes with newspaper, greaseproof baking paper and a permenant marker to get the dimentions right, but here it is.

pre flower, you can see how impressed she was. grrr.

I am thinking of undoing one shoulder and making it fasted with a button though as she's finding it hard to get it on and off which is a bit of a bottomburp.

oh, here's the blog link. I completely ignored everything apart from her picture of the pieces laid out flat. from that, using Child as a template, I was able to work out how to make the apron. oh, and rolled hems Yo *winky face*

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