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1  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 52 ENTRIES / Sunset coloured covertible skirt/dress (img heavy) on: July 02, 2010 05:42:13 AM

This skirt was made from a king single flat sheet. It had every reason to go wrong, but somehow ended up right.

I wanted to make a Kariza style double layered skirt. I looked online and found that these type of skirts are 1/2 to 3/4 circle skirts attached to a long waistband with one or more buttonholes to pass the straps through.

The first issue was the sheet itself. It was about $10, and a dingy lemon colour.

I immediately decided to dye it, and picked up some iDye from a local craft store for about $10.
When I got home, I took a closer look at the sheet I had bought.

I had stupidly overlooked the fact the sheet I bought was poly cotton, not pure cotton. The dye I bought was suited to natural fibres. I returned to the craft store, only to find that they didn't have any of the iDye Poly.

The second problem came after I had resigned my self to dye it with the dye I had. I had already decided I wanted a gradient effect for the top panel, but I couldn't decide what I wanted for the bottom.
The original idea was to try a wheat paste resist technique, as seen here: http://eyesaflame.blogspot.com/2008/06/demo-flour-paste-batik.html. My version didn't work as well as the one shown there, so  washed all the wheat paste off before I even tried to dye it.

I then discovered shibori, a traditional Japanese technique. Shibori comes in many different forms, the one I chose is known as Mokume. There's more information on the technique found here: http://entwinements.com/blog-mt3/2007/04/mokume.html. The stitching went okay, but using long threads caused knotting, tangling and frustration.

When I finished all the stitching, I retrieved the other half of the skirt from my craft room. I had put the scraps in one area, planning to use them as interlining for a few small projects and the skirt in the other, to prevent me confusing the two. You can probably guess which one I cut up. Which brings us to problem number three:

Can you see the weird, chunky piece that's missing? The skirt has been folded in half to get across just how much is missing. Luckily, since I hadn't cut up any of the scraps, I managed to find one large enough to cover most of the gap.

The fourth (and final) problem was encountered during the dyeing process. I dyed the fabric on the stove top so I could and have more control and achieve the gradient effect. While working with the shibori piece, I followed the instructions to agitate the fabric in the pot for 30 minutes. During this time, a few of the threads broke. After 20 minutes of stirring, I realised that constant agitation was probably not the best method for this kind of resist technique, so the effect on the final product it much more subtle than originally intended.

This is a close up of the shibori.

Weirdly enough, the gradient effect worked just as I had intended.

This was my first attempt at both of these techniques.
Finally, when it was all put together, it actually worked. I was pleasantly surprised.
The skirt is meant to be able to be tied over 100 ways. These are some of my favourites:

The addition of a belt helped things to look a bit less tent-like

(this one is my favourite)

Please ignore any mess in the background or goofy faces.

So, why did I decide to a light, convertible, summery skirt/dress/thing? If you haven't picked up from the spelling, I'm from Australia. Right now it's winter, and most nights the temperature drops below -6 degrees Celsius (about 21 degrees Fahrenheit). I needed something light, bright and summery to cheer me up during the bleak, dreary winter days. Now I just have to figure out what to wear it with. Any suggestions are welcome.

Thank you for reading my giant entry!  Cheesy

2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Sparrow and Anchor on: November 18, 2009 01:52:17 PM
I stitched this sparrow and anchor design on a pair of board shorts I reconstructed for a little extra detail. The board shorts themselves can be found at https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=328418.0.

The image was found online, but I can't seem to find it again.
Holbien/double running stitch with just an assortment of normal sewing thread.

The S is my enitial, the smudgy area around it was from where I redrew the S with chalk over and overy trying to make it look fancy, then finally deciding to go with my own handwriting.
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Sparrow board shorts on: November 18, 2009 02:42:09 AM
Much to my utter dismay, I could not find a pair of board shorts that fit in any shop. All the ones I tried fit in the waist, fit at the thigh but just did not fit my hips. Do they not make shorts for girls with hips? So, finally in desparation I bought a pair of 2XL men's board shorts in a plain pattern for $18. Score!

Unfortunately, I didn't get before and after pictures.

Overall, I completely reworked the crotch, added a zipper and drawstring to replace the horrible, huge elastic waistband, let down the legs and added a little ruffle to make them a bit more girly and topstitched in white to tie in the zipper more. For a bit of extra detail I stitched the sparrow and anchor that was based on a picture I found online and of course cannot find again.

A detailed view of the embroidery can bee seen here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=328485.0

Now, pictures!



Front again

and Back again

:EDIT: After looking at the pictures I've decided they sit too low, so I'm going to redo the waistband. Will replace photos once I'm done.
4  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / The Red Queen on: October 31, 2009 07:17:50 AM
My costume for Halloween was based on the new Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland's red Queen.
The dress has been posted before here https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=307742.msg3526069#msg3526069

The forepart is new, but of course the photos don't show the elaborate beading at the bottom. I also made a new set of sleeves and a partlet, bu it was too hot to wear them. Also, the hair was two shoulder length wigs wornd together and styled into the insane poofy updo. They are more of a cherry red in real life.

Posed against a friend's greenscreen with the intent to put cool backgrounds in. Too bad the lights were off and it cast some shadows.
5  CLOTHING / Costumes: Discussion and Questions / Elizabethan forepart help! on: July 09, 2009 10:30:55 PM
Ok, so a while ago I posted my red court gown https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=307742.0 and now I have FINALLY gotten around to making the forepart and sleeves.

This is the fabric

And this is how it looks with the dress. I originally bought this plain fabric because I thought the any patterned fabric would look too busy when worn with the overgown. Sort of a pattern overload thing.

My problem is, looking at it together now the forepart looks, well, boring. Any suggestions on how to spice it up? Throw a mass of pearls at it? Embroidery? Couching?
6  COOKING / Dessert / Not a lie on: June 24, 2009 03:39:23 AM
Triple layer chocolate cake with coconut frosting topped with shaved chocolate, whipped cream and glace cherries.

Excuse the blurriness of the second shot.

Also, how do people normally get stuff to stick to the sides of cakes? My way for squishing shaved chocolate into wet icing seemed very ineffective.

7  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Candy pink linen on: June 18, 2009 09:00:49 PM
I managed to get some candy pink linen/cotton blend (which is an incredible feat where I live, usually I can only get cotton), however given I want to use it for pre 17th century recreation, the colour isn't appropriate.

Right now I'm considering either stripping and redyeing, or just over dyeing. I'm worried stripping might damage the fabric, but overdying might not produce the right effect. I'm thinking of aiming for a brown/rust type colour.
Also, what dye would be best for linen/cotton?

If anyone could give me some advice, it would be much appreciated.
8  COOKING / Dessert / Apple Blueberry Pie - With instructions! on: June 15, 2009 05:12:55 AM
I've been in a pie mood lately. It's winter here down under and the temperature didn't get above 4oC on Friday. So I made a mass of pastry and froze it (which I really recommend, it's nice to be able to just prepare a filling, roll out nice chilled pastry and have a pie ready in probably less than an hour.)

So I made this apple and blueberry pie.

Ignore the slightly scorched edges that you would probably not have really paid much attention to if I hadn't pointed them out.
And now for the instructions. I can't actually give you a recipe, since i didn't follow one and kind of made it up as I went along. They're not ever really instructions. Guidelines, if you like.

First, gather your ingredients.

Apples (I used 6) 1 425g(15oz) tin of blueberries and the pastry you prepared and froze earlier. I like the recipe "http://www.abc.net.au/tasmania/stories/s1364167.htm I made a double batch and got 2 double crust pies and one custard tart. you might make more, or less. Depends on your tin, the thickness of your pastry, whatever.
Also imagine some sugar, cinnamon and cornflour pictured.

Preheat your oven to 180oC (Or 356 degrees Fahrenheit. Feel free to round that off)

Peel, core and cut your apples. Feel free to chop, dice, slice, whatever you feel works for you.

I like mine kinda chunky, so I did this.

Add your blueberries and a bit of water. Also sugar and cinnamon to taste. Mix it around a bit and you might get something like this

Let it cook for a bit while your apples soften and everything releases it's lovely juices. Then add some cornflour (or equivalent thickening agent)

Set the filling aside to cool. Roll out your pastry, which should be cool but not frozen by now.

Lovely, no?

Now put your cooled filling in the tin. It doesn't have to be cold, lukewarm will do. But if it's too hot your crust will go soggy.

Roll out more pastry for the lid. If you're like me, you roll it out perfectly, wrap it around the rolling pin and as you're rolling it out it will break right down the middle. (mine had gotten a bit too warm. If I had put it back in the fridge for 15 minutes, I probably would have been okay.)

Then I got two fluted biscuit cutters (small and large) and cut circles of pastry and laid them over the filling, working in a circle from the outside in, small around the edges, large in the centre. The hearts were made out of left over pastry.

This is uncooked

And 25 - 30 minutes later i took it out of the oven and it looked like this:

Thanks for looking!
9  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / 1570s Red Court Gown - Image Heavy **UPDATED WITH NEW PHOTOS** on: June 03, 2009 03:26:17 AM
My red court gown for SCA. Circa 1570s Elizabethan. Main portrait inspirations are: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/42/Elizabeth1.jpg The Pelican Portrait and Allegorical Portrait of "Death and the Lady" which I can't seem to get the picture anymore.

New photos added with me wearing it (with farthingale and in Elizabethan makeup, but of course i forgot the brooch and pearls. You can see them on the older photos) The colour is much more accurate on the photos where I'm wearing the gown.


Materials used:
Red lattice brocade of indeterminable fabric content (pretty sure it's not natural, but pretty.)
Deep red microsuede
Gold twisted cord
Cream synthetic lining
Calico interlining
Cable ties for boning
Hook and eye closure
Pre-strung pearls
2.75m of trim (small spool)
3 and 6mm round white glass pearls added to trim

Project was started on the 21st of April 2009.

Self drafted pattern. About 80% hand sewn. There's about 6m of fabric in the skirt. I will probably add more strung pearls around the bottom guard at a later date.
Displayed with standing ruff, string of pearls and gold brooch.

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