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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / How is this bracelet made? Is there such a thing as double-drilled beads? on: August 03, 2012 07:31:37 PM
OK, I am madly in love with these bracelets, but I can't figure out how they're made. I know they're elastic, and I've got many different types of pearls and seed beads, but unless the pearls are double-drilled, I'm not sure how to recreate this, or even what to Google for. Any help?

2  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / "Aged" Fabric (for copycat Anthropologie skirt) on: March 29, 2011 09:52:02 AM
Browsing the Anthropologie site the other day, I found this skirt, that I fell in love with:

Love, love, love, love, LOVE. Might be the only thing from Anthro that I've ever truly wanted.

Here's a better image of the fabric.

Well, instead of spending $200 on a skirt, I figured I could make one myself. I found similar fabric and a pattern that I think I can modify.

65% Cotton, 35% Polyester. It's not perfect, but it's pretty good as-is, and it was $1.98/yard.

I'd love to get it closer to the Anthro version, but can't figure out the best way to get that color. Do I want to overdye with tan? Dye with coffee or tea? Something else I haven't thought of? I looked through the boards and tutorials and couldn't find an answer.

I have 4 yards, and I plan on taking a small piece and sample-dyeing before doing all 4 yards. (It may have been cheap, but that's no reason to take unnecessary risks.) I'm open to trying whatever method might get me the results I want.
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Three Very Different Windows in Master Bedroom on: September 04, 2009 11:40:58 AM
We bought our first house this spring (yay!) and are still in love with it four months later. That's good, right? (It's not so much our first house as our only house - we'd like to live here for the next 50 years, give or take.)

It's a 1954 rambler, and so most of the walls are plaster & lathe, so we've been slow to decorate. The master bedroom, however, is in a newer part of the house. Consequently, it has one wall that is drywall, and three that are paneling over brick. But I digress....

At any rate, I'm at the point where I can no longer tolerate the window treatments that were left here by the previous owner. But, as you can see in the pictures below, all three windows are very different.

North half of the room:

South half of the room:

(Excuse the mess - these pictures were taken the first week we lived there. I promise we're more unpacked now.)

As you can see in the first picture, we have one normal window, currently covered with a cream Roman blind. The second photo shows the very large sliding glass door (much, much larger than standard - we can't even find replacement screen material!), and at the very left edge, the third window, which is the most problematic (and I don't have any other pictures of it). My mom has been calling it a garage window, so maybe that's what it is. It's long and narrow, and actually two horizontal rectangles side by side, if that makes sense.

I'm having a really hard time coming up with window treatments that work for each window and yet are somehow all tied together cohesively. There are a lot of ideas that I'm toying with, but rather than bias your minds, I'll let you start with a (mostly) blank slate.

About a month ago, I did purchase some fabric for the normal window. I had decided I wanted to do another Roman blind, but with chocolate dupioni silk. Imagine my joy when I found a piece on the remnant table at Hancock Fabrics for $3/yard! I have about 3 yards of it. (There was much rejoicing and celebrating with DQ that night.)

Here are my preferences for window treatments:
  • No print fabrics
  • Not traditional or formal in the styling
  • Also not country in styling
  • I'm leaning towards using chocolate brown and cream in some combination for the window treatments, mostly because we haven't picked out a color scheme for the room yet, but those would be the neutrals we would go with regardless of other colors (no, the walls aren't staying burgundy)

I'll try to get a picture of that third problematic window and add it in here over the weekend. Like I said, I have tons of ideas and pictures of what I'd like to do, or at least parts of ideas, but wanted to leave the canvas as blank as possible. I'd be happy to throw them out there for critique if y'all would find that more helpful.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Advice on using Stretch Jersey? on: September 01, 2009 07:49:23 AM
I have a lot of stretch jersey (95% Polyester/5% Lycra, 50% stretch across the grain) from Fabric.com (http://www.fabric.com/CategoryDetail.aspx?CategoryID=8bc6d67c-14e1-47f7-9549-388e2f76383f).

I picked out several patterns I already owned that had jersey or knits in the "suggested fabrics" instructions. I started out with Vogue 8371 (http://www.voguepatterns.com/item/V8371.htm?search=8371&page=1).

I am using a ball point needle, thread appropriate for the project, and the stretch stitch on my machine. Everything is going great, especially for my first time sewing with knits.

However, when I got to the neckline, it is supposed to be finished with bias binding. I painstakingly sewed on the bias binding, only to discover when I finished that the binding is heavier than the fabric, which causes it to fall forward in the front, exposing the inside of the shirt (about 1/4-1/2" at center front). This is actually the third time I've sewn the neckline. The first time I tried the bias binding and it looked horrible, so I took it out. Then I tried using my twin needle, which looked OK, but not excellent. Then I figured out what I'd done wrong with the bias binding and tried a third time.

Obviously, I am annoyed, but more importantly, want to find a solution, especially since I have several other clothing items picked out for similar fabric (mostly dresses, which, of course, have necklines). They are all dressy items, and I'd prefer it if my clothes didn't look homemade (unique, yes; stylish, yes; professional, yes; sloppy, no).

Does anyone have any advice for sewing with stretch jersey, especially for finishing visible seams like necklines? I'm not so worried about hemlines, since I could do the twin needle and it would look good. But the neckline is giving me problems.

(Additionally, I'm thinking about possibly re-designing the neckline, since I'm going to have to cut off the bias binding anyways. Thoughts on that? I was thinking v-neck, to play off the hemline. Regardless, I'd still have to have a finishing option for the neckline.)
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / More Muslin Questions on: July 21, 2009 01:39:27 PM
I've been searching through the archives for information on making a muslin mock-up of a pattern, and have found a ton of useful information. Here's the question I haven't had answered: how exactly do you go about making a muslin / mock-up if you think that the pattern might be too small for you?

I have a couple of patterns where I either bought the wrong size (was on the border between two ranges and got the wrong one) or they are vintage patterns that came in only one size (which is close, but not exactly right). The last couple of things I've made have fit perfectly in the bust and then been ridiculously small in the hips (which comes from having a very small chest but "quality" hips).

Should I just cut out all of the patterns with a large seam allowance (for instance, 2 inches, which would give me plenty of play)? Should I cut out as-is and then somehow figure out where I need to add in extra?

I've got a dress I'd like to make out of some fairly expensive fabric, so before cutting into my precious supply, I'd like to know that what I'm going to make will fit, unlike the last dress which was a disaster.
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Let's Be Real on: April 02, 2009 06:26:03 AM
Here's my entry for the One Pattern, Many Stitches Challenge.

When we got married in 2007, we had a really hard time picking out dinnerware. We'd both lived on our own for a while, and had strong opinions. He had these horrendous black matte dishes (that scratched like a chalkboard!), and I had some terribly ugly (but beautiful to me) retro oatmeal and brown floral print plates from the 70s. We finally found something we could agree on at Pottery Barn (though we're not really PB people), and ended up with a set of green and white dishes.

We did not register for China. Can't even imagine how that might have gone. Plus, my mom owns two sets of China, which my sister and I will get at some point, decades from now. We're just not China people.

So, I decided that the wording needed to reflect that, and hence, the China-Free Home. It was a little difficult for me to find the right color combination to accurately represent my hair color (which is red and curly), but I'm pretty satisfied with what I ended up with. I also love her hot pants and high heels (though, had I thought hard about it beforehand, she'd be wearing jeans and Birkenstock sandals).

Unfortunately, the only chance I had to take a picture of the completed object was at about 10 pm last night, so the photo quality is not that great.

This is stitched onto a lovely organic cotton towel I bought at Target (which has a lovely small weave and is delightfully huge, though they were on clearance last I saw and may no longer be available). I'm thinking about adding some fabric backing to cover up the stitches (which are messier than I wish), and a border, but that'll have to wait until after we move.

Here's my work-in-progress shot:

I had a lot of fun with this (and am so glad for the deadline extension)!
7  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Basic Black & White Quilt for a Twin Bed on: March 17, 2009 01:36:01 PM
Well, last week was Spring Break, so I finally finished a project I started last May when I first got my sewing machine. Yay!

I needed something that would look decent on the twin bed in our spare bedroom, as our house is on the market. It didn't need to be functional, since we don't really have overnight guests, just look... homey. So, I took 15 fat quarters and sewed them together, very basically, until I had this:

I backed it with a vintage black and white print I got for free, sandwiching some very cheap poly batting (I have since learned better), and then I hand-tied it (I wasn't sure how to quilt the sandwich yet on my machine, and didn't have a walking foot).

And that's how it sat, in our guest bedroom, for 10 months, until last week, when I finally got up the energy to finish it. Mind you, I had the binding all cut and ironed and rolled up into a cute little pancake, but somehow, I never got around to sewing it on. Well, that was too bad, since in 10 months, the exposed edge of the binding faded to the point where I had to toss it and start over again.

I wasn't really a fan of how the quilt turned out, after finishing some other quilting projects - I thought it looked... juvenile and simplistic. So, I made some more bias strips and applied them as decoration, which definitely improved the look.

Then I sewed on the binding, and.. voila! (You can also see that we got new carpeting between the first picture and this one.)

And, here's a closeup of the binding / bias strips / backing:

All in all, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. The bonus is that now that it's finished, I can wash it, which is good because it's covered with 10 months of cat hair.
8  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Discussion and Questions / Intro to Cloth Diapers (Request for info) on: February 23, 2009 12:36:24 PM
I want to volunteer with a local organization that provides cloth diapers to those who can't afford them. I've been sent information on patterns and what their needs are (small covers, and anything at all in a large size; just a couple of fitteds in an XL size).

I've gotten confused at the patterns part (they linked to half a dozen or so different sites with free or for-purchase diaper-related patterns). Everyone seems to use different terminology and assume that I know what they're talking about. And I don't. I don't have kids, and everyone I know who has babies uses disposables.

So, I'm looking for some basic information on cloth diapering - terminology, what pieces do what, what's supposed to be waterproof (use PUL), etc. I know there are lots of people here on Craftster who have made diapers for their little ones, and I'm hoping that someone can just clue me in so that I can donate to a good cause.

9  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / How to hang a wall hanging? on: December 15, 2008 08:43:05 AM
I just received a beautiful doll quilt in a swap, and I'd love to hang it up, but it doesn't have a pocket on the back to put a rod through. I'd actually really like to hang it on the door of my new cabinet, and I was thinking about those 3M Command Adhesive strips. Has anyone used these on fabric before? I don't want to ruin any part of the doll quilt, even if it is two tiny spots on the back. My husband suggested using that blue tacky stuff, but I know that would stain and leave a mark. Any other thoughts?
10  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Binding Problem on: December 11, 2008 09:52:56 AM
I just finished making this quilt for my nephew, who turns two on Friday:

These pictures were taken before washing, which I did last night. I'm really proud of this quilt, as it's the first large one I've actually finished (one doll quilt finished before that, one wall hanging not yet bound, one twin sized not bound), and it turned out really nice, even if I did break lots of rules in its making (since I started putting it together before taking a quilting class and without really knowing what I was doing).

My pieced binding turned out absolutely perfect, including the corners, which I finally mastered. I was so pleased, and it didn't take nearly as long as I feared it would.

Then, I threw it in the wash, primarily because we have cats and my sister is allergic, and I didn't really want her to get all sneezy just tucking her child into bed. In general, it pulled through fine, which is good, because I'm assuming its going to get washed a lot.


In some places, the binding is pulling away from the quilt on the side where I sewed it on by hand. I've never seen this happen, and I'm not sure why it did, since I made sure to keep things tight. Has anyone ever had this happen to them? I plan on reinforcing it in the places where it's coming apart, since it's unacceptable to give the gift this way (the white thread I used is totally visible only where the this is happening) and because I feel like it's not sturdy now (and it's really necessary for a 2-year-old's quilt to be able to stand the test of time and what he might do to it - he's a very active little boy).

Any ideas on what I did wrong and how I can fix it? I blind stitched the binding onto the back like the woman who taught my quilting class showed me how to do. I'd show a picture, but I didn't take one and I'm here at work, pondering the problem....

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