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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Where can I get a guage checker? on: May 03, 2008 09:15:18 AM
I read someone on this board mentioned that they had a needle guage checker, and that was how she knew the coat hangers were a size 1....Where do I get suck a thing?
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / My new Laptop/ Messenger Bag on: April 18, 2008 04:40:35 PM
So....I finally finished something I've been wanting to do for a long time...I made myself a new laptop bag that is more suited to my style.  I used the tute for the messenger bag with zippered divider, put batting in the layers on it to cushion my laptop, and then used white muslin to line the inside of that pocket, as seen here:

It has 2 other sections on either side of the zipper compartment, and an elastized side pocket for the power adaptor, you can sort of see it on the side in this picture, but the front is the zippered pocket under the flap (I think I'm gonna use it for my dice)

And the obligatory action shot:

I even made a shoulder pad that goes onto the strap....

3  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Is there any interest in a Poi swap? on: April 07, 2008 10:42:44 AM
What is Poi?
Poi is a form of juggling, or object manipulation with balls on ropes, held in the hands and swung in various circular patterns, comparable to club-twirling. It originated with the Māori people of New Zealand (the word poi means "ball" in Māori). Women and men used it to increase flexibility, strength, and coordination. It developed into a traditional performance art practiced mostly by women. This art, in conjunction with others including waiata a ringa, haka and titi torea, make up the performance of kapa haka (Māori culture groups).

In Maori culture, the discipline of Poi developed into a traditional performance art practiced mostly by women. This art includes story-telling and singing, choreographed to poi routines. Therefore, Poi developed in conjunction with others disciplines including waiata a ringa, haka and titi torea, make up the performance of kapa haka (Māori culture groups).  Contemporary poi has built upon the Māori discipline and is now more a combination of spinning arts from around the world.

What do Poi look like?

Essentially poi look like a ball with a string or chain attached to one end and a handle opposite the ball and are usually used in a pair.

I like to make my own poi.  I thought there were a few people on here who may also be interested in making their own poi.  So I am trying to guage interest and see if we have enough people to do a swap, send a type of poi that you make to someone else, you know?

Also, I don't think I would be able to host it, as I have not completed any swaps yet....
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Homemade Flag Poi on: March 31, 2008 03:24:34 PM
Last summer I discovered a performance art called Poi, which is from the maori people of New Zealand.   The very day I learned how to do some of the more basic moves, I discovered a pair of flag poi that one of the other performers had made.  These actually helped me to learn, because they forced me to slow down and really take my moves apart.  So, after I was asked in PM for a tute to make them, I figured I would post said tute, and maybe someone else was wanting to know but didn't want to ask

Each of the straight sides is about 16 inches long, and the other end is rounded, so it looks like a rounded bottom triangle.  I bought the biggest ball chain they had at ace hardware, I *think* it is 5/8 inch balls.  Hem the other two sides and then you're going to make a very narrow casing along the other straight side and thread 17" of the chain through it.  Take a needle and thread and sew over the chain at the bottom and top very tightly to keep it from moving around in the casing (if you want, you can sew between every link the entire length up, but you really should only need the first inch on each end secured like that)

At the top, you may want to get quicklink connectors from http://www.flammaaeterna.com/p-900-ball-chain-connectors.aspx
and you slip the end ball into the connector and pinch it shot.  The hole is for a split ring and to make the handle I took an 8 inch piece of 1 inch wide grosgrain ribbon and folded it in half to crease it, then unfolded it and folded each end into the middle and holding the ends, put it through the split ring and fold the ribbon in half around it so you have double loop handles (for practice poi I LOVE double loops.  For fire, I prefer singles because I cat's paw them) and sew as close to the ring as you can and still catch the ends of the ribbon without breaking your needle.  Sew over this a couple times to make sure it won't come apart.

Repeat 1 more time to make the mate.
Mine are made out of satin material, and it frays like crazy, anything lightweight will work.  The pair that inspired me were made from one of those short wrap around swim suit cover ups that were cut in half.

Let me know if any of this is unclear or you have any questions
5  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / What should I put on my programs? on: March 21, 2008 09:08:03 PM
We are having a smallish ceremony (handfasting, actually) at the ren faire I worked at for 3 years...And I am having a hard time thinking of what I want to put on my program...
6  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Anyone have a tute for floral headdresses? on: March 19, 2008 07:57:58 PM
So, I am getting married the end of April in a fae ceremony (inspired, of all things, by the Black Sabbath song, Faeries Wear Boots) and I am making purple floral headdresses/ wreaths for all of the bridal party (that's 2 flower girls, 2 bridesmaids, a maid of honor, and me, the bride) the problem is, I can't figure out much beyond cut the flowers off their stems (I'm using silk flowers) and leave enough of a stem to attach them to the wire....but how do I attach them to the wire?

HELP! I think I'm going to turn into Bridezilla soon, and I don't want to go crazy...This is supposed to be a HAPPY day
7  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / [Tutorial] How I make my pads on: March 04, 2008 03:19:47 PM
I was home sick from work recovering from having my wisdom teeth extracted and didn't feel like sewing anything new or innovative, so I figured I would type up my tutorial for how I make cloth pads.

I got the pattern from http://www.manymoonsalternatives.com/make_your_own_pads.php, with the sole exception of the soaker piece, which I came up with on my own.  The fabrics I used were thus:

yard of PUL, which can be found at http://www.verybaby.com/ccp0-catshow/pul.html

yard of hemp jersey, although any cotton fabric will work.  I just LOVE hemp jersey because it is comfy and only gets more so the more you wash it.  Just make sure you prewash it before cutting it out, something I did not do, because hemp jersey (or any hemp really) will shrink something fierce in the wash.  http://www.verybaby.com/ccp0-catshow/hemp.html

1) Cut out your pieces.  You will see here that I have stacks of each piece cut out.  I am sending these to http://www.goods4girls.org hence why I have so many cut out.

Fold the soaker piece in half lengthwise and center it on the backside of the top pieces.  Sew around the edges.

Fold the straight edge of each PUL layer (you should have one narrow one and one wide one) sew down as a hem.

Pin the pocket pieces to the soaker and top pieces, with the laminate facing up and the "clean" side (the side the has the stitching but not the soaker sewn to it) facing the knit, non laminate side of the PUL.  Note that the pocket pieces will overlap in the center.

Sew around the edge, being careful not to run over your pins.  I know it is time-consuming, but it takes less time to stop and remove your pins then it does to replace your needle because you broke it.  Yes, I pinned on PUL.  Note that I pinned the seam allowance, and for this pattern the little tiny holes caused by the pins are not going to make a difference.  Besides, once you throw them in the hot dryer, the dryer will melt the holes closed again.  Also, since the laminate side is sticky and has a tendency to stick to the bottom of your presser foot, I dab some oil on my finger and rub it on the bottom of my presser foot.  This helps the fabric glide underneath.

Turn right side out and top-stitch very close to the edge, all the way around.  This gives it a professional, clean looking edge.

I also top-stitch straight down, where the wings would fold in, to give kind of a guideline for the wings to fold on. 

Add a snap to each wing and you are done.  I don't like to use velcro, because it tends to chafe the inside of my thighs and doesn't hold well.  You can get cards of sew-on snaps at JoAnn's, Wal-Mart, and even some grocery stores in their sewing section. 

9) The reason I use snaps is that it allows you to fold the pad in thirds, hemp side in, and snap the wings around it, as shown.

10) This style allows you to have a normal sized pad for normal flow days, but also gives you a pocket to add more absorbency for heavier days.  To make the insert, cut 2(or more) layers 8 x 5 inches of hemp jersey.  Fold in half and stitch, the same as you did for the piece you sewed to the top layer, except you are going to straight stitch around the entire piece, and then zig-zag very close to the edge (half on and half off) to make a faux serged edge.  This gives you a 4-layer insert.  Cutting 3 pieces would give you a 6-layer insert, and 4 would give your 8-layers.  I wouldn't go heavier then 8-layers (4 pieces) as it may take too long to dry and there may be questions about it getting completely clean.
8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Bags I've made on: March 02, 2008 05:20:21 PM
The first is a backpack I made for my daughter for her first day of kindergarten.  It is made from a recycled pair of jeans, with a simple muslin lining.  There is a flap on the front, and under that, the backpack closes with a single snap.  On the front, just under the flap is a smaller pocket which is made from denim and lined with the scrap of fabric leftover after making her a pair of shorts.  On the side it has a clear vinyl "star pocket" just like Dora's mochila (backpack).  This was intended to be a cell phone pocket, but I discovered that at her school they are not even allowed to have phones on the premises *sigh*.  The bag was intended to be a hybrid messenger bag (I am STILL in love with messenger bags) but with backpack straps, wider than the standard so that I wouldn't need to mess with padding but they would still be comfortable.  The bottom part of the straps are 2 white plastic rings and a strip of muslin that gets threaded through and is held tight with tension.

The next item is a bag I made to carry all my practice poi around in, so that I could have them available but out of the way.  This was made by recycling a pair of BDU pants that no longer fit and making them into a messenger bag with carrying strap also from the same pants.

The next item was born because my husband is a gamer and had killed the backpack he was always using to bring his gaming notes, and other assorted items to work with him to do in his downtime (we work in a call center).  Well, he had mentioned wanting a bag that was bigger with more pockets and wider, longer straps.  We got home and I immediately set to work drafting a pattern for this bag, by measuring his old one and increasing it exponentially.  The outside of this bag came from a pair of fatass jeans a friend of ours outgrew, and the lining was
leftover from making myself a set of flag poi.  I made the straps wider, and instead of using those plastic slider adjuster things, I just made the straps as long as he wanted and sewed them together.

The final bag is a purse/messenger bag I made for myself.  I needed a bag with plenty of pockets, but also one that would carry my gaming notes (I am a gamer myself), my dice, my keys, and whatever little bits I need to carry for my almost 6 year old daughter.  Again, the outer is denim (I JUST LOVE recycled denim.
It is so sturdy and comfy) and the inner was this fabric that I bought a yard of and never used because I loved the print and couldn't figure out anything to do with it so I could see the print.  On the inside, 2 of the pockets are actually the back pocket and the fabric behind the back pocket of a pair of jeans of my daughters that she outgrew.

Does anyone know where I would post mei tais?  As in the asian style baby carriers? I make those too...also from denim outers....Yes...I'm a bag-whore.  I will openly admit it.
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