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11  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Re: Red and White Dance Uniform *Tut* Included* on: February 05, 2011 07:58:13 AM
Oooooooooooh, super clever.  Definitely going to remember that.
12  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Re: Texas Ren Fest 2010 on: February 05, 2011 07:56:17 AM
Nice.  I like them both, but I like yours better.  Smiley  I do, however, like your friend's rock on picture.  Very Middle Ages.

I'm wondering if the wrinkling come from the bodice being longer than your torso.  If it was, it'd naturally want to scrunch up throughout the day.  Not that you'd want to pull apart what you've already made, but it'd probably be worth looking into on the next thing you do.
13  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Re: Arabian Nights Bolero (with link to pattern) on: February 01, 2011 03:28:06 PM
That's a pretty cool sleeve detail.  I'm going to have to bookmark it.

So.... don't pick up the actual 1001 Arabian Nights if your memories are warm and sunny and from a children's book.  The actual stories are pretty amazingly disturbing.  The racism will make your hair stand on end, it's pretty NC-17 when it comes to the ladies, and there's probably enough blood to fill a sea.  The idea that someone made it into a children's book is crazy.  The must have somehow cherry picked a few stories and then whitewashed them.
14  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Why do I keep buying chiffon and organza? - a rant on: January 27, 2011 05:53:37 PM
Sometimes I think a part of my brain wants me to quit sewing and it makes me impulsively buy sheer, slippery fabrics.  "It'll be beautiful looking in that pattern you saw", it says.  "It'll look so professional.  Yes, yes, buy it."

Problem is that fabric does not want to be made into clothes.  It's near impossible to lay it out flat and straight to cut.  It runs away from the scissors.  It slips away from the needle.  It frays.  It makes me mutter obscenities while attempting french seams.  It drives me to drink which leads to more fabric slipping.  I finish it out of spite against the fabric and don't sew for a few weeks. 

Then I make some things out of cotton and wool.  I feel good about my machine and skills again.  I go to the fabric store to pick up some snaps and there, on sale, is some beautiful silk organza calling out to me.  The cycle continues. 

I'm going upstairs for a beer.
15  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: What should I do with black velvet? on: January 20, 2011 06:36:58 PM
My initial thought would be a skirt, but if you don't wear them much, maybe a jacket like TheManicCrafter suggested.  A velvet riding jacket is a particularly old-school style.  Some nice princess seams and you're in business.

OR, you could try to wear skirts and dresses more.  Smiley  I've been making myself wear a dress or skirt to work at least twice a week.  I have all these great skirts, I need to wear them.  I was a bit self conscious about it at first, but it's always better to be overdressed than underdressed.  And, you know, someone should set a stylish example.  Wink 
16  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Patternless sewing - share your tips! on: January 20, 2011 06:29:21 PM
I don't pin down tissue paper patterns anymore.  I have a bunch of smooth river rocks I use to weight down the paper onto the fabric.  Nothing puckers or rips and it's much better for silky fabrics.

You should try to make yourself a sloper.  I took a class to make one and got a lot of fitting and tinkering help from the instructor.  Otherwise, there are a good number of tutorials and such out there for it.  From my class I got a book called Patternmaking Made Easy by Connie Amaden-Crawford.  It's stupid expensive ($80-$90) but once I figured out how to use it it's been fantastic.  She steps through making a sloper off your measurements, how to fit it, and then getting the final sloper.  The rest of the book is how to take the sloper and alter it for most types of seaming and designs you can think of.  Oh, and you have to get past the awesome eighties styling and designs - the basics are all in there.

I have to date made top, two skirts, and a pair of pants from my own patterns.  Of course, I took the class recently and haven't posted any of this stuff up yet.  I swear it's nice.  Smiley  I'm getting to it.
17  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Fitting muslin: Built by Wendy shift dress on: January 20, 2011 06:21:15 PM
I'm with baileemartini, it's hard to picture.

I know I need a dart that goes from the shoulder line down to the apex of my shoulder blade (I'm a bit rounded back there apparently, but I swear I don't have a hump!).  Shapes the back quite nicely.
18  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: how can i braid a t-shirt like the picture I posted? on: January 20, 2011 06:17:14 PM
That shirt isn't altered; it was made like that.  Do alter a shirt to do that you'd have to take out the neckband, undo the shirt at the shoulders, cut two long slits into the back and "braid" by flipping the ends through the holes (I saw a tutorial for braiding leather cuffs like that somewhere, but I can't remember where)(ah, Google and ye shall find: http://www.ohboydenterprises.com/InstructionsTrickBraidLeatherBracelets.html).  Then you'd sew the shoulders back together and put the neckband back on.

Otherwise, go to the bookstore or library and find a Generation T book.  Those books have lots of good ideas that are low sew.
19  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Zipper fly tutorial on: January 19, 2011 07:53:15 PM
I was terribly afraid of doing a zipper fly when I made my first pair of pants.  And my second pair too.  But when I made my THIRD pair I actually took the time to figure out why I was doing things and it started to make more sense (mainly because I drafted my own pattern and I had to)(and I royally messed up the first time and had to rip the whole thing out).  So I thought Id share my line of reasoning behind zipper flies.

First of all, unzip your jeans and take a look at how that works.  If you find youre wearing sweatpants, watch this video: http://current.com/shows/infomania/90012248_sarah-haskins-in-target-women-medicine.htm  If youre at work reading this, dont unzip your pants. 

Alright, back to your jeans.  The left side (your left since youre wearing them; Im always going to refer to left and right sides of the pants as if you were wearing them) overlaps the right (I just checked my husbands pants and it seems the same for men and women).  The left side of the zipper is sewn into a piece of fabric that sits BEHIND the outside left side of the pants.  That backing piece of fabric is then stitched to the outside of the pants in a nice j-shaped seam that is visible for all to see (Ill have more pictures later, right now youre looking down your pants).  The RIGHT side has a flap that is sewn in behind the zipper.  This flap protects your delicates from the angry teeth of the zipper when you zip up.  Got it?  I will now refer to these pieces as THE FRONT and THE BACK.

So, right then, putting in your own zipper.  Youve already sewn the rest of the pants and the front seam is sewn together up to where the zipper goes in.  Generally pattern instructions seem to start with the right side which is THE BACK piece.  On this side you sew the right outside of your pants, the zipper, and THE BACK piece all together.  THE BACK piece as you can see from the picture above is cut out on the fold, folded over, and pressed.  It is all assembled as shown (EXPLODED VIEW! WOO!  The blue line is actually a single line of sewing.):

So the trick here is to make that blue line of stitching as close to the edge of the outside of the pants as you can manage.  That way, when the left side overlaps the right it will completely cover the zipper and this seam.  This is easiest with a zipper foot which allows you to sew close to the zipper.  A zipper foot is basically half a foot.  You can clip it on either the right or left side depending on what you need.  Your sewing machine probably came with it.  It is NOT the invisible zipper foot (which is awesome, and nicely explained here: http://grosgrainfabulous.blogspot.com/2010/07/techique-tuesday-invisible-zipper.html). 

It is sewn together like so:

I basted (sew with the longest stitch on your machine, just to hold it together first) the three layers (outside, zipper, THE BACK) together first just to hold everything together and be easier to sew that real seam line in really close to the zipper.  You rip out the basting stitch later.  I highly recommend you baste in a dramatically different color (unlike me) so its easier to pull out.  I start the stitch with the zipper totally open and sew down til Im nearly at the toggle.  Then I back stitch.

I pull the fabric out of the machine and close the zipper.  I line my foot back up with where I stopped off stitching and start again going to the bottom.  This way the whole line can be very close to the zipper teeth.  In the end you get a nice seam very close to the zipper.  Right side done.

Now, the left side.  Interface the indicated side of THE FRONT.  Sew the long straight side of THE FRONT to the right (correct) side of the outside left.  Turn THE FRONT around to the inside of the pants and steam it to get the shape right.  If you were wearing the pants, you dont want to see THE FRONT piece, so make sure it sits nicely behind the outside of the pants.

You need to sew the left side of the zipper to THE FRONT piece and NOT to the outside of the pants.  However, you need to know where to sew the zipper to THE FRONT piece.  Smooth out your pants and arrange them like youd like them to close.  The key here is to bring the seamed edge of the left side to overlap and cover the line of stitching on the right side of the pants.  So, when you arrange it the way you want, hand stitch the left side to the right side.  Use a nice big stitch and a contrasting thread.

Alright, this positions your zipper over THE FRONT piece so you can see where you want to sew it together.  Now fold back the outside left so only THE FRONT piece and your zipper would be under your sewing foot. 

Sew those suckers together.  Its not as important here to be super close to the zipper.  If you sew back a bit you dont have to do that trick opening and closing the zipper. 

Alright, you can rip out that hand sewing if you like. 

And this is what you get:

Nearly done!  Now you just make that decorative J-shaped stitch.  The vertical part of the J holds THE FRONT to the outside left of the pants.  The horizontal short arm of the J sews the outside left to the bottom of THE FRONT and the bottom of THE BACK.  This keeps THE BACK in place so it protects and doesnt flip out of position.   You can either sew all three layers together at once or first sew THE FRONT to the outside left and get the curve you want, then sew the edge of THE FRONT to the back to keep it in place, which is what I do.  This stitch will also anchor the bottom of your zipper, so make sure you catch it in the stitching too. 

Thats it.  The fly is in.  You still have to do the waistband, but thats another discussion for another time.  I also didnt talk about sizing your zipper, but that should be on the zipper package. 

Take a look at some of your pants now.  Everyone does flies a little differently - jeans actually tend to have more overlap of the left side, but this is the basic idea.  Hope this helps.  Pants arent hard, theyre just intimidating.  And try not to curse your seam ripper too much.  Good old trusty ripper-outer, how I hate having to use you.  Practice makes perfect though, right?  Ask if something doesn't make sense and I'll try to clarify it or fix any errors I have.  I'm a bit whipped now, tutorials are harder than I thought.  Smiley  I probably should have had a picture of the finished deal.  Eh, look at your jeans again.  It'll look just like that. 

The pink pants Im putting the fly in here are NEARLY done, I just need some buttons for the back faux-pockets and slides for the waistband closure.  Theyll get posted later.
20  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Embroidery Hoopla R3 - OTT Edition Gallery on: January 18, 2011 06:02:26 PM
My hoop from Pugwash arrived today.  I checked online before trekking out to the mailbox in the glaze ice.  Regular mail wouldn't have been worth it.  This however:

My first reaction was to snort.  Domo-kun!  (Sometimes, the kitten has to die)  Then I looked a little closer.  He's all French knots.  Dude.  There is some time in this Domo. 

I now have a plan for a wall in the craft room.  It's going to be all embroidery.  So far we have one thing I did and these two hoops.  Gotta start somewhere, right?

Schnerby, that postcard is of the Gates of Paradise - Ghilberti's bronze reliefs on the doors of the baptistery in Florence.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battistero_di_San_Giovanni_(Florence)  They were a pretty big deal to Michaelangelo.
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