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1  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Super easy hometown map- tutorial on: March 19, 2013 05:44:04 PM
Is 'done entirely on the computer' still considered craft?  I hope so!  You can make something like this with paper and glue, too, which would probably be prettier and more homemade.  But this takes very little time and can be easily replicated, so I thought I'd share anyway!

These are the maps with hearts you see all the time on etsy and pinterest.  Filled with an actual map, or a pattern, and some people have three for their wedding anniversary, the place they met their SO, their honeymoon location.  I say choose whatever town is special to you, but you do you.  Here's mine:

Here's how to make your own hometown map:

1. Get your background image- chevron, a vintage map scan, a photo of your town, etc.  Google image search for large images only. 

2. Get your map blank at docstoc.com, or again google image search 'X map Blank' on large. 
Save and open it on photoshop.  Copy the background to remove the lock and keep it from being a smart object.  Using your Magic Wand, select only the outline and copy.

3. Arrange your workspace like this: Make a new file to a normal paper size, or whatever size you want.  Put your pattern on one layer.  Paste your outline in the second layer.  Go to the left side layers menu and select 'create clipping mask.' 

4. Create a new layer.  Select the eye on your new filled map to make it dissapear.  Select new layer and fill with a color.  Drag this layer under the first, and click the eye to make your map come back.  Move around the map to where you want it.  Control-" (Command-" on Macs) to show your guidelines, same command to make them go away.

5. Use the type tool, write your town name and state.  To find good fonts, go to dafonts.com.  The one I used is 'Tightrope.'

6. Create heart in Custom Shape tool, or find another blank if you like.  Fill it up.  Put it in your hometown location.

7. Flatten image, save as PDF or JPG.  Print it out.  You're done!

For this one, I used a texture overlay.  To do this, pick out a digital texture- an old paper scan, fabric, cardboard, etc.  These are the textures I use the most.  Texture helps your image look less vector-y and more like it has been made by hand.  Avoid anything too photographic or abstract- the best kind just make your image look more interesting without being obvious.  For my texture, I used an old piece of paper with a burnt edge.

After you've finished your image, create a layer on top of the flattened image, and size it to fit over your image.  On the layers panel, go to the drop down menu and select 'Overlay.'  You can also choose 'Soft Light' but it will significantly lighten your image.  Then adjust to opacity to whatever looks nice- mine is about 45% or so.   Flatten again and save.  You can also move this layer to just over your background layer, or map layer, if you don't want your colors to change too much.

That's it!  Easy peasy!
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Hand sewing, beading, and embroidered dresses (lots of photos!) on: March 16, 2013 03:34:27 PM
Here's a few dresses I made for school projects.  Apparently I just love to work with hand sewing (?) because all of them involve handwork!

The theme was Primitivism.  I wanted it to look like a warrior woman's dress, with a tie soaked in blood...but pretty, if that makes sense. Grin

It's a boiled wool skirt + belt with a windowpane wool sleeveless top.  There are small squares of the same wool hand appliqud on top.  The skirt is stitched together with blanket stitch and a tan jute cord.

The belt is dipped in red rit dye and beaded with various red beads.  

Next is a simple bias cut silk charmeuse gown, with hand tucked 'trees' on the sides.  It's got a hi-lo hem and skinny tucked straps.  I made the tucks with silk thread and just pinching and tucking as I go.

Here's one of my finals.  Also known as, an exercise in insanity. I draped a simple ballgown, then cut out the shapes by drawing on the muslin, added seam allowances, then sewed all the shapes together with lining & fusible.  

Then....I joined every piece together by hand, with embroidery floss, making floats and french knots.  

It's made of silk taffeta, lined in two different kinds of poly taffeta, and fused, so it basically stands on its own.  The fluffy one next to it I also made, but cannot seem to photograph well.  

Yikes!  Time to make some fun, simple clothes!
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Genie bra/ Comfort Flex Bra on: March 12, 2013 07:37:01 PM
I like wearing simple bralettes or the Genie bra most days, however, I prefer my boobs be hugged by this guy:


It's just stretchy cups (not molded) in sizes small, medium, large, etc.  It makes your boobs look awesome, is supportive and so comfy.  

However, as you can see, it's not the cutest, and makes me feel a bit like I'm wearing a training bra, as I've only found it in stores in white and tan.  I want to make a similar bra in all sorts of colors and patterns.  Can anyone point out a tutorial or materials on how to make them?  I am thinking of buying another and cutting it up, but I have no idea what it's made of.  The outside looks like cotton jersey, it's finished with FOE, but the cups are the part I am most befuddled with. Most bra instructions I read are for a full cup boned bra or bralettes, and most want you to go out and buy cups, but I've never seen cups like this.

And, if anyone knows what the genie bra is made of/how to make a similar one, let me know!  I don't know if a home sewer can replicate the seamless center ruching but I am game to try!
4  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Discussion and Questions / Sewing pattern for baby sweater on: October 28, 2012 01:33:56 PM
Hi guys!  Long time no post!

I work for a sweater company, and have tons of old sweaters (acrylic mostly) that I want to make into baby sweaters for my 2 year old nephew.  I can't find anything online though!  The best I could find was 'take a baby sweater and use as a pattern' but I don't have one!  Does anyone know of a good tutorial or pattern online for a baby/toddler jacket or sweater?

I would go out and buy something but I'm cheap and can't leave my apartment on the train (thanks, Sandy! Angry )
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / My Fall/Winter Clothing collection on: November 01, 2009 09:12:34 AM
I tried to make sure there was a nice mix of formal and everyday, new and old, futuristic and old fashioned.  Let me know what you think.

Blue silk 'peacock' dress.  The dress is blue silk satin, the brocade is a peacock feather print bought at a shop in Chinatown.  I use it again in a teal top as well.

Teal silk blouse with peakcock brocade trim.

Silk twill gray skirt.

Worn with modified tees.  I dyed this one blue (it was pink) and added a freezer paper stencil.  Then, I painted some more with freezer paper backing.  The rest were done the same way.

I added a circular flower to it, later:

Owl top, with circular knit skirt made of medium grey cotton jersey:

Black brocade with a self fabric belt from a 1950's pattern.  Wore this to the theater with a purple scarf I dyed.

Purply pink formal, cut down from a larger, longer dress.

Green Oriental print top, worn with silk twill skirt.

Teal and forest green wool knit top ('Bad Penny' on Knitty, modified) with lace pattern at the end.  The skirt is a forest green wool with dark purple lining.

Another 'Bad Penny' made of dark grey cotton, worn with silk purple print skirt with ruffle.  The flower pin is made of the print plus the lining.

That 'Raised Floor' ad is the bane of my existence.  It has interrupted me 6 times while writing this.   No, 7!

Anyway- Please let me know what you think!  
6  Halloween / Halloween Decor and Parties / Halloween Homecoming Award Ribbons/Mums (with tute!) on: October 25, 2009 09:40:18 AM
For you non-Texans, a homecoming mum is a huge award ribbbon type thing that high school kids wear to the homecoming dances and games.  They are in school colors with small plastic bits representing their graduating year, sports they do, etc on the strings.  Back in the day you used a real mum, now you use craft store kinds.

I held a Halloween party yesterday, and as prizes for best costumes and pumpkin, made the kids some Halloween award ribbons/mums.  They went over HUGE for something so simple and cheap, so I had to share it here.  Some wore them to the Homecoming dance that was later in the evening.   Cheesy

To make, you'll need a packet of three mum circles (about 4 inches) with a hole in the middle- any cardboard with a hole in the center will do if you can't find them.  You'll need several spools of ribbon, fake mums/flowers (I also used a sunflower) and plastic things (I used spiders and plastic fall leaves)

Take 4 or 5 inches of ribbon and do this.  To make a layered ribbon, put them together and do this (put the ends together). Staple to the first cardboard circle like so, until the whole circle is filled.  

Depending on how you want the petals to look, either add the mum to the flip side or the ribbon-filled side, both make a nice flower.  Hot glue it down.  I had to spraypaint some yellow mums to make black.

Take a separate circle and staple down the trailing ribbon ends, at various lengths.  Use lots of ribbon and all different sizes, etc.  

Remember, plastic flotsam is an integral part to a homecoming mum.  Add plastic spiders, army men, tiny babies, googly eyes- your choice.  

Take a large safety pin and hot glue to the back of a third cardboard circle.  Add a bit of ribbon over the edge so it can move around without breaking off.  

Glue all three circles together like this- first the flower, then the dangling ribbons, then the back with the pin  You're done!

To make this ribbon, simple take a very wide ribbon and gather one end, glue down around the edge of a circle, and add your flower and tendrils as with the other mums.  

For this one on the end, add some fake fall leaves around the center hole, and glue mum over top.  

To layer mum colors, pull the mum apart and stack another color inside, then add the original color on top.  Hot glue at each step of the way so all layers will stay.

Cheap & fun!
7  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Ach! My new dirndl, and a question! on: September 12, 2009 04:19:22 PM
I wanted to make a dirndl for various events coming up, and after a bit of research made one from a Folkwear pattern using black, red & white.  It looks like that is something used in the Black Forest region (could be mistaken.)  Anyway, I think it looks cute and want to make another. 

 I ran out of trim and need to add more, and might take up the apron a bit with some pintucks- do you think that would look better?

See the missing trim?

Yes, the top button is not perfectly centered.  May or may not fix that.  Also, imagine the bows are tied neatly here.  Otherwise, I'm pretty happy with it! 

Some questions..

Have you ever made a dirndl or a costume representative of your heritage?  and
I am thinking of making a modified, modernish version to wear for everyday- would that be crazy?  I have seen similar drindl-style dresses in the window of Betsey Johnson.  How would I do that, and what colors, styles, etc would you use?  Smiley

So, dirndl for everyday- too crazy?  Or cute?
8  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / The United States of the dress on: August 22, 2009 09:07:05 PM
My new goal is to actually use all the adorable print fabrics I have, instead of waiting for the 'perfect' project to use them. I found the US fabric at Hobby Lobby, and used a pattern from the 50's, with a longer skirt and lowered neckline.

Poor Ohio!  They also put the Liberty Bell in Pittsburgh.  Still, this dress would be handy if the little girl had a test on state capitols!  

After I lined the bodice and added the ball trim, and decided it needed a little something more.  Hence, the red bias tape trim!  As an afterthought, I decided to first wash the bias trim and soak it in vinegar water.  Lucky I did:

Yikes!  So glad that didn't bleed on to my dress!

Now I just have to find someone who can use it now.  Or maybe it's one for the hope chest.  You know a dress covered in states with red ball trim never goes out of fashion.  Wink

9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / 1940's yellow bathrobe and matching pjs on: August 17, 2009 06:45:32 AM

I bought this knit terrycloth for ridiculously cheap at the PA fabric outlet in South Street Philadelphia.  I wanted a cozy winter bathrobe that was similar to the ones they have at the Hotel Hershey, yellow and floor lenght.  I used a tissue weight yellow knit along with the terry, and a 1940's repro pattern.  
The lining

The pattern on the yoke is just some insertion lace sewn in a diamond pattern.  

I made the bathrobe a wrap style.

The crazy gathered sleeves are my favorite part.  

For the pj pants I held the yellow knit together with a thicker white knit, so they would be warmed (and not see through).  I used a trick I learned on an episode of Martha Pullen, and used a thin line of fusible stabilizer before hemming everything, which kept it from bunching up.

I didn't think that a bathrobe pattern would take longer than most dresses I make.  But, I think the end result was worth it!!
10  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Christening Gown on: July 16, 2009 06:54:41 PM
I stayed home from work with a fever and a snotty nose (nothing I'm sure, but everyone is swine-flu paranoid) and made this baptismal gown:

I made it for fun, I don't know any babies being Christened/Baptized anytime soon.  I might donate it to the church.  I got the fabric on Fabric Row in Philladelphia, off South.  It was so pretty, even though I had no need for it, I bought it.  My fabric stash is full of such fabrics, but I actually worked this one up right away.


The fabric was so heavy and pretty, and I like the cross embroideries so well I left it fairly plain. The collar is basted on, barely, that's why it's crooked in these photos.  Some churches use their own so I wanted it to be removable.  I used an invisible zipper, which isn't traditional I know, but I am lazy and hate making buttonholes.  I still need ribbon for the cap.  

It's also massive.  Pattern size was for a 6 month old- it could fit a 18 month old baby.  Oh well, better to take it in with later on as well.  I left the waist free of anything so it can be fitted with a ribbon sash if need be.
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