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1  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Redecorating an aggressively black treadmill? on: May 01, 2011 02:41:59 AM
So I'm lucky enough to own a very decent quality treadmill which is wonderful but has passed through several hands before it came to me. Visually it looks fine, if you go for that big black hi-tech masculine machine look, which looks beyond weird in my very feminine bedroom...

I use it daily for but am beginning to really hate how it looks. So I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how to make it less... ugly? I can't cover it or surround it with a screen as my rooms only 6 foot wide and the treadmill is 4 foot wide. I'd end up creating a tunnel/crowded atmosphere which is also not what I'm after.

The only idea I have so far is to wrap most of the struts in ribbon, except for the joints so we can pull it down/put it together without removing the decor. Maybe some hand dyed tassels on the handles as well....

This is the treadmill I have
(I just picked a random page that had a pic)

I've been searching and googling but it seems no one decorates there workout equipment, which is quite boring. All my other exercise equipment is pink, makes it much more fun to use pretty things as you exercise...
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Sometimes you can be too dedicated to a project.. on: February 28, 2011 11:53:15 PM
Back Story - So very recently my grandmother moved to a nursing home leading to the very large family divvying up everything she left behind. I emerged from the battle unscathed with a prize I'd been eyeing for years, her forty year old dressing table. I was told countless times it was just made of chipboard and wasn't worth resuscitating as it was so chipped..

I've been ever so slowly repairing it and it's been sitting on the back verandah where normally it would be totally protected. Until the storm of a lifetime hit. Everything that was outside and wasn't bolted down was flying and I really needed to make sure doors were locked and our car did have it's parking brake on, and what I was doing? trying desperately to protect my 'chipboard' dressing table. Well until it took flight anyway....

...and landed unscathed thirty metres away, with only the tiniest missing chip of veneer that I'd only reattached an hour or so ago....

I'm still in awe that it survived and also the fact that there's only a single piece of chipboard in it, either that or it's made of a miraculous type of chipboard that doesn't get water damage.... Though I'm still shaking my head that at the time all I could think of was to protect my new project, a free dressing table is worth more than a car apparently LOL. We did get through unscathed and were able to find everything in neighbours paddocks, one car is pretty dented on the roof, but it was only mum's quick reflexes that stopped her and the car being completely crushed by a tree.

Anyway that was kind of a rambly post but oh well....
3  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Twenty year old stored serger, advice on rescuing it? on: November 22, 2010 12:09:43 AM
So I'm a sewer, my Mum's a textile artsist so I quite literally knew my way around a sewing machine before I could walk. I got my first machine when I was eight, an old Bernina 1011 which even now I adore even though it is truly getting on in the years now. When I was 12 (and actually trusted) I got a Bernina 153 QE which is fantastic as well. However since my parents separation we've been working on clearing the house out, and one discovery I made (and am hoping is still there) is a 20 year old Bernette serger (I believe a 4 or 5 cone model), now my mother never has had all that much patience with dressmaking so I can totally understand why it's been stored for the past fifteen years but assuming I can find it again I'd love to start cleaning it up and getting it running again.

So I've only used a serger once in textiles class years ago to make a pair of pants, but I'd love to use one for the stretchy materials etc as when they are up and running properly I know they work like a charm. But the problem is getting it up and running.

So some questions

At the moment I'm skint and my 1011 takes priority so I won't be able to get this serger serviced for quite a while so I'm hoping I'll be able to fix this myself, so what are the first things I need to check on this machine?

I know sergers take a different thread to regular sewing machines, does this have a particular name or is it just thread cones for sergers?

Do you need to replace needles on sergers like sewing machines? what type is needed?

What about the um cutting thingmajig? that trims the fabric as you feed it through? does that need be oiled/sharpened/replaced?

Any other advice is greatly appreciated! I haven't seen this in a few years so I may not be able to locate it again but I doubt it's been thrown out/given away. Though I don't quite know what I'm thinking, I just have one small room at my parents house and that already has two sewing machines in it and I want to add a serger? I'm nuts LOL.

Thanks for any and all help!!!
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Victorian Corset on: February 04, 2010 01:04:26 AM
Just thought I'd share, I made this for another forum member- AmysSculpturalBeading using the TV110 pattern. It's 100% cotton with a mid-weight black broadcloth as the outer layer and lining, with heavy weight cotton canvas as a strengthening inner layer. The boning is made from cable ties, as we weren't going for a huge waist reduction. Wide Satin ribbon for the lacing and some wide black lace for a bit of pretty. It's meant to be more functional undergarment wear as opposed to a decorative fashion corset.

Anyway just thought I'd share


5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Having fun with Ball Gown plans, advice/comments please! on: October 29, 2009 02:04:18 AM
So starting next friday I have three months of holidays. It's actually going to be a first for me, I've finished high school and won't find out until late January if I got into university, so no homework, no assignments etc. I'm going to be bored rigid. So I've begun gathering projects, most are simple things that have been waiting till I had spare time, and I'm making two nice shirts for my mother. Although she's an expert sewer she's afraid to make clothes, so these are kind of a thankyou gift, she was the one who taught me to sew. However thats just two weeks filled up, so to fill the rest of the space I decided I wanted to make a really nice gown with a foofy skirt. I'd been playing around with the idea of making a historical pattern. Then in the end settled on a two part ball gown with a corset top and an over the top skirt. Just to make it more over the top, the entire thing is going to be made of black velvet. I've always wanted a corset made out of a really nice quality velvet. Then Mum mentioned she had a roll of black velvet she couldn't use, as she'd bought it to discharge, but turns out it was 100% polyester. The fabrics not a high enough quality for a corset but it would do a skirt just fine. It's also 8.4 m long but only 90 cm wide. So I'm going to cut it into panels and sew it back together joining the selvedges to create a 6.3m length 110 cm wide to make the skirt.

As to the skirt I've been looking at ideas and I'm going to go with cartridge pleating (also known as gauging) to create the skirt. I'm going to use black broadcloth strengthened with an inner layer of canvas as the waistband. I'll probably make it 4" wide with lots of buttons for the closure. At the closure I'll also leave a split in the velvet to make it easy to get on and off.

As for the corset I'll be using TV110 but adding a sweetheart neckline to make it very modest.

This is the final design I ended up with

Not the best sketch I've ever done but you get the idea. The corset will also be embroidered with a vine and flower design on either side of the busk and flossing over the bones. This will all be done in black with black beads. I'll use a quality black velvet as the fahsion fabric, then probably cotton twill as the lining unless I can find herringbone and maybe canvas as centre strength, it'll depend on the fabrics I get.

I think I'll also probably make an underskirt out of tulle (lots of it) to give the velvet a bit more oomph. As well as a second petticoat to keep the tulle/velvet off my legs. I'm not sure if the weight of the velvet is just going to pull it straight down, or if the stiffness will make it stand out. Either way it's gonna be one mega skirt.

Inspiration came mainly from thse two sites.

I've been drooling over this corset on etsy for such a long time, I love it so much

And near the bottom of this page is cartridge pleated black velvet, it's so pretty

So if anyone has any advice on how to do this, opinions on the design, opinions on TV110 I'd love to hear them!

6  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / Simplicity 2881... on: October 23, 2009 02:21:09 AM
So in two weeks time my final exams will finally be finished and I can spend some time at my machine, after I finish the current projects waiting to be finished (A circle skirt, an eight gore skirt for me, two blouses for my Mum and some work on my old school blouses with the help of strong dye) I can finally start on the project I have been dreaming about for a rather long time now. Basically it boils down to one thing I really want a dress with a huge foofy skirt. I'm the sort of gal who really should skit to smooth fitted lines, but seriously I'm nearly eighteen and I've yet to wear a foofy ball gown, so I'm going to make one. Cos hey then I can claim I only made it because of how educational it would be and how the challenge is good for me, cough, cough. So I've done alot of reading and I've decided on Simplicity 2881 as it has the whole historical era feel, comes in my size and looks like it would be fun to make. I'm plus size and according to simplicity's measuremnets chart am a 24, but when I make things from simiplicity it ends uop being more like 22, I also will need to modify this, as even though I'm plus size I've gone tiny boobs which always throws patterns out of whack. It also uses steel boning and has a variety of pleats in it, which should all be a fun challenge (okay so I'm a little strange). I'll also need to make a mannequin for this which should be interesting. Okay so I'll admit the idea of four months with nothing (just finished high school, will be spending the holidays waiting for university acceptances) to do scares me, so I thought I'd find a nice fun project that is very labour intensive LOL. However I do have questions

First has anyone ever made this pattern? across the net I've found all of two reviews and it is frustrating me.

Second the pattern only reccomends the matching civil war undergarments which are drawers, a corset and a chemise, no underskirt/petticoat. I don't get how it's going to stand out without a million layers of tulle or a hoop skirt. If this is the case which would be better to use? and if a hoop skirts preferable what's the best pattern?

And the pattern calls for steel boning in the bodice, would this mean that this dress would be worn without a corset? or should it still have a corset underneath?

Oh and I'm planning to make this out of a red jacqard with black patterning and black lace.
7  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / Resizing a Pattern? on: September 16, 2009 02:01:49 AM
So to put it simply, I'm bored and looking for new challenges. After a lot of begging, Mum's agreed to let me make a period dress once I complete my HSC (the final exams of the final year of high school). So I've been looking at patterns, my lovely mother also vetoed the concept of a dress that uses more then 10m of fabric Roll Eyes I knew I shouldn't have spent so much time doing teddy bears and corsets... She's too used to be using minuscule amounts of fabric. However while sorting out my craft area I came across a pattern I'd totally forgotten about. It's a discontinued butterick pattern 6195-
(not my picture)

I bought it because it was only $2. This uses less then 10m of fabric which is perfect, however the pattern I bought is sizes 12-14-16. According to Buttericks size chart I'm a size 22/24. I've resized patterns by one or two sizes, but never up four sizes.  To resize I've always just traced the pattern onto interfacing, extending the areas that are multi sized, by the same amount between each sizes, if that makes sense. So if the pattern pieces have a 5mm variation between each size on the pattern piece, I'll follow the same lines taking 5-10mm out further, then while I was sewing it i just tried the pieces on many times, bringing in seams etc to make it fit correctly. Can I do the same thing with this? The skirt will be fine as it seems to be just a basic gather or maybe cartridge pleats I can't tell, the bodice is where the difficult would be. I'd also put a corset under which should bring me down a size...

So, too difficult? what should I keep in mind for this?

8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Backpack with Laptop Compartment + Detailed Tutorial on: September 05, 2009 10:28:38 PM
So I made this bag from scratch, making the pattern myself as it was just impossible to find a suitable one on the net or in the stores. I'm happy for people to make these for personal use but please do not sell them or retail the bag or the pattern in anyway. The tutorial might be a little too detailed but anyway.

So I made the bag to match my personality so it's a little random but I love it



Inside, three pockets

Peakaboo Laptop in a faux fur lined compartment

And behind the laptop is a flat area for documents/magazines

9  CITY GUIDES FOR CRAFTSTERS / AUSTRALIA / Anyone From Armidale? on: August 18, 2009 11:00:30 PM
In six months time I'll be going to UNE and will have to leave my sewing machine behind, since there's no way I could have it in the tiny on campus rooms. But is there any form of crafting/sewing group up there apart from the spinners and weavers?
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Decoupage fridge? on: August 18, 2009 08:07:22 PM
So when ever I'm stressed the crafty mood hits, at the moment I'm in the middle of my second to last exam period at school, then I have another exam period and then I'm free! For three months until I go to university anyway. Since I'll be living on campus I've been looking around for various crafty ideas etc to personalise a room.

Then I stumbled across the idea of decoupaging a fridge... I found these threads on it

Now it just so happens I have a little white bar fridge that will be going with me to uni. I salvaged it when we moved my Gran to a dementia ward. It was incredibly gross, with a lot of rotten banana welded to it (don't ask) I spent three days cleaning it up to the point it was fit for use and it runs fine etc. However it has marks/stains on the outside I'd love to cover up and the idea of decoupaging it is perfect. However it's also not something I've ever done before. I'd like to cover it in a kind of random mix of newspaper articles. Going through the bits and pieces I've stock piled over the years I have a glaze paste for decoupage and water based polyurethane varnish would that be all I needed? Just stick the newspaper on with the paste then add multiple coats of varnish over the top?

Any suggestions/comments?

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