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1  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Space Themed Toddler Quilt on: January 25, 2014 02:43:07 PM
  This was originally going to be a baby quilt, but even after the rest of the nursery was finished--curtain, crib skirt, boppy pillow cover--the fabric for the quilt sat in a pile for two years. Now, eight weeks from delivering baby #2, I had overwhelming urge to finally finish this quilt! It took a week of naptimes and evenings, but I got it done.So now it's a toddler quilt, finished just in time for Jack's 2nd birthday.

I used my walking foot on my machine for the actual quilting, which I call "wonky stars." I wasn't worried about perfection since I'm not a very experienced quilter and the walking foot is finicky. And actually I think that the wonkiness turned out charming looking rather than dumb. I used a variegated light/dark blue thread for the quilting which looks really cool up close.

It's hard to see in the pics, but the fabric is dark blue "galaxy" fabric, light blue with white stars, and the back is black minky. I used satin blanket binding for the edge. The pattern was free from the quilts for kids site--extremely easy to follow directions with the amounts of each fabric needed included in the directions--vital for a newbie quilter like me!

I definitely do NOT love quilting compared to my other hobbies, but I do really like quilts so I will probably make more once I forget how annoying making them is!

2  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Gandalf and Bilbo on: November 03, 2013 08:55:37 AM
Despite a rough week, I managed to make Gandalf and Bilbo costumes for my husband and our son! My husband is a huge LOTR fan and is currently reading through all of the histories, so when I offered to make him a Gandalf costume, he was ecstatic! My little guy is only 1 and not old enough to have an opinion about his clothes yet, so I take full advantage and dress him up however I please!

For Bilbo, since the outfit was so small, I used scraps from previous renfair and larp costumes to make an undershirt, vest, and cape. I drafted my own patterns based on some of Jack's T2 sized church clothes. It was surprisingly quick! I'd never really made kid clothes before, but working on a smaller scale really is faster!
The ears are earmuff-style stuffed ears made from felt and attached to a headband and the feet are costume hair just stuck onto Jack's feet with spirit gum. (He thought that they were bugs at first and was wigged out, but we managed to convince him that they were "like fuzzy socks.")

For Gandalf I dyed my stash of estate-sale $1 sheets gray and then threw together a robe (gathered at the front and back for volume) and mantle, then used the scraps to cover a cheapo black witch hat in a patchworky style. A costume beard, age make-up, and some gray hair-dye completed the look! My only regret is not making it longer. I failed to account for belting it and lost several inches in length. I won't make that mistake again!

For pictures we went to a nearby park to get that shire/forest look, and to find a "wizard staff" among the broken branches. Overall I'm really happy with how it came out! If I weren't pregnant I probably would have tried to make an Arwen or Eowyn costume for myself too!

3  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Maternity Renfair Fairy costume on: January 09, 2012 01:31:30 PM
Just realized I still hadn't posted this...lol. My family and friends went to the renfair Halloween weekend. I have a huge assortment of renfair gear that I've made for myself and my friends, but THIS year I was seven months pregnant when we went and so of course none of it fit me. Luckily my wonderful husband spoiled me and let me go crazy during the Halloween fabric sale at Joann's and I got stuff to make an entirely new pregnancy-friendly outfit!

I decided to be a fairy because it seemed like the least restrictive/easy to grow with look, and I picked red because I look great in red! Plus I already had the crown and wanted it to have an outfit that matched the crown.

Me and my husband

Close up

Me and my brother...and an owl!

The white under dress has long sleeves and I sewed channels up the top so I could adjust for the unpredictable Texas weather. In these pics they are "up." The neck also has a channel so I can gather it and wear it low on my shoulders for a wench look if I want. I wanted this to be a very versatile white ren-fair under dress, not just for maternity! I had a small problem that I did beautiful french seams throughout and then realized I needed underarm gussets...gah! But I worked it out.

The bodice thing was made using an old bodice I had as a pattern--just a bigger size to accommodate my new motherly bosom. I'm not totally happy with how it came out, but I am proud that it is completely lined, and neatly!

The skirt is a bunch of organza petals sewn into a waistband that ties in a bow in the back (to accommodate changing belly size) and probably my favorite part of the outfit! I love the way they swoosh and move when I walk or spin.

The wings I made using Aislynn's (craftster member) tutorial at her website: http://www.freewebs.com/faeriemuse/ It was easy and they turned out so pretty!

Anyway, my baby is due in ten days and I have lots of baby stuff still to sew, of course! Thanks for looking!
4  CLOTHING / Costumes: Discussion and Questions / Inserting Gussets into a completed Chemise on: October 20, 2011 12:02:51 AM
I made a plain white cotton twill undershirt/chemise for my fairy costume for renfair, but the underarms are too tight. It's my own fault for using a mock up that I made years ago as the pattern instead of fitting a new one for my now 6-month-pregnant self.  Who knew that two cup sizes could make such a difference? I COULD wear it off-the-shoulder and that helps a little, but I really don't want to.  I want to make it fit!

The original shirt is from http://www.simplicity.com/p-2231-costumes.aspx pattern

I've done gussets before using http://www.renaissancetailor.com/demos_goresgussets.htm tutorial, but I've never added them after the fact to a completed garment. Do I just cut out some bias squares and insert them into armpit? Should I deconstruct that entire seam and redo the underarms all together? (I stupidly did beautiful french seams on the entire thing, of course).

I also want it to be MORE gathered along the neckline than it is right now. I'm thinking of cutting a line down the center back and adding another twenty inches or so of fabric. Would that look stupid, or will people probably not even notice since A. I'm wearing something over it and B. it's gathered and C. it's in the back. Huh

5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Pink Pokemon Messenger Bag on: October 13, 2010 12:39:09 PM
I made this awesome gold totally functional messenger bag for my pokemon trainer costume in June for AKON Dallas--inside zippered pocket, cell phone pouch, pen and pencil pouch, etc. I loved it so much that after the con, I used it all summer as a regular purse! I even took it with me to my nannying job.

Of course, the little 10 year old girl I was nannying LOVED it (and pokemon) and asked if I could make her one, but in pink. So one week I brought my sewing machine to her house and for an hour a day during "arts and crafts" time, we worked on making her a bag like mine. And here it is!

The pink pokemon bag! It's made from sturdy cotton twill, the white part is really soft flannel.

outside/inside pockets are the perfect size for my cell phone. Pencil holders are under the front flap. There's no closure, just the flap

Me and the original gold bag (with pokeball pins and pokedex pinned to strap)

6  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Vera Bradley Style Bag on: October 13, 2010 12:10:00 PM
My mom asked me to make her a Vera Bradley style quilted tote, so of course I had to oblige! She picked out some pretty pre-quilted fabric and I just went to town based on the pics on the vb website.

It was pretty easy and probably only took two hours start to finish. And I gave it to her today and she loved it. <3 the outside pocket between the straps closes with a little square of velcro, that button is purely decorative. The top closes with an elastic loop over another of the red buttons. (She didn't want a zipper)

Two pockets inside, one outside:

Close up of fabric and button:

With a cat to show size:

7  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Red and Purple quilt for my mom on: January 09, 2010 07:57:26 PM

My first *real* quilt! I actually bought the fabric two years ago for the front and just intended to sew some squares onto some purple fleece, but never had the time cause I was still in college. Well, since then I've gotten some mad sewing skillz and loads of extra time (thanks, crappy economy!!) and a little luck, so I put it together and this is what I made!

Like I said, the front was pieced from quilter's cotton and some old purple curtains (the curtains make up the back too). I don't know how to do a binding, so I just did the birthing method and quilted it with my machine in diamonds going opposite ways from the squares, and accented the solid purple squares with brown ribbon bows. My only hiccup was a week-before-Christmas "oh god I forgot that purple and red aren't supposed to go together!" moment, but I think I managed to make the colors work anyway!

I also embroidered the date and a little message on the bottom corner:

8  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Renfair Prince! on: December 06, 2009 11:56:59 AM
A few years ago I was in a costume-making class at my university, and I drafted a pattern for a doublet, but because we had so much to cover in the class and I was a busy student, I didn't get to actually make the doublet that year! Over the past few years I finally had enough time to get this whole costume together, and my husband finally got to wear it to renfair this year!

Doublet: Drafted the pattern and put it together. It's made from remnant upholstery fabric with green and gold velvet trim and lion-face gold-colored buttons.
Undershirt: I made it from leftover material from a table cloth, the pattern is based on the Butterick 5008.
Hat: I made it from green velveteen, based on directions from the rennaisance tailor: http://www.renaissancetailor.com/ The feather is from Hobby Lobby and I just sewed it onto the trim.
Belt and Pouch: Were hand-tooled and dyed by my brother John. (More of his work in this thread: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=314280.0)

The pants were just regular dockers and the boots were costume-store boots from his Han Solo costume a few years back.

Gunnar with his brother Erik( as a pirate):

Gunnar with a cool wolf guy and my brother John:

(John's costume is home-made too!)

9  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Jane Austen Dress on: November 07, 2009 12:24:24 PM

Since my primary Halloween event this year was the National Novel Writing Month Kickoff Party at the local comic book shop Dragon's Lair, and included a costume contest, I figured what better costume than one of the greatest writers of all time? Bonus points because I've always wanted to make a historically accurate-ish Regency costume!

Double bonus points for me because this entire costume was made from scraps, mostly left overs from when I fixed up my wedding dress.

I made chemise long ago during an ice storm where I was locked in my dorm for a few days with nothing else do to...

The corset is a short one, using leftover white twill from my husband's ren fair shirt and some pink bedsheet for the inside lining. I bound it with pink bias tape.

For the dress, I hand-dyed the nasty bright white faux-satin into something pretty, a nice lavender color. Which was more than I was expecting, since the crappy faux-satin is more plastic than fiber. But I was glad to have some use for it, since it was originally the entire underskirt for my wedding dress, hence the replacing of it with real satin for the wedding.

I used Simplicity 4055 as a pattern, but changed it up to suit my liking. The split skirt was totally an accident, because I started to cut the back placket in the wrong side. I almost flipped out before I realized I could still salvage it as a split skirt, and rounded up some leftover beautiful real white satin for the underskirt. I played around with piping for the first time ever and loved it. If I had more time I would have probably piped every seam in the whole dress, lol! I also added a string of beading under the bust. The only thing on the dress I'm unhappy with accuracy wise is the elastic on arm holes. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I guess) I've been working out a crapload and the arm pieces I cut out and sewed for the mock up no longer fit me by my final fitting. Alas, I said, it was only Halloween!

I topped it off with a regency-accurate hairstyle and bonnet for when I went outside.

10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Floor-length skirt into a skirt and a cat bed! on: September 22, 2009 08:52:22 PM
So my mom gave me a floor length drawstring skirt with an adorable pattern about a year ago and I never ever wore it because a) it was too small for my big booty and b) I am so short that floor-length dresses just look silly on me.

I decided to use the had the bottom half of the skirt for clothing, which was still too small to go around my butt but so adorable. I chopped the skirt in half so that it would be knee length. There were slits in the sides (from when it was the bottom of the skirt) that made it fit comfortably but totally immodestly. When I was digging through my stash I had a flash of inspiration--a superhuge t-shirt that was the same color as the dots in the flowers could be an adorable underskirt!

The t-shirt and bottom half of skirt:

The finished skirt!

I wore it to work today and because the underskirt is jersey it was totally warm, modest, and comfy! My husband said it looked dumb with the white shirt, but I think that the white makes an otherwise bohemianish look and makes it crisp and professional. (I wore my brown mary-jane sketchers with it.)


With the top half of the skirt, I made a pillow-bed-thing for my cat, who because of her arthritis, decided it was better to sleep on and get hair all over my piles of fabric instead of her usual barstool chair. I inserted three layers of padding made from a ragged and stained towel inside the top half of the skirt. After breaking two needles trying to quilt it, I finally gave up and did it by hand. It says "Ember" in cursive quilting, but it's hard to see in the pics. She loves it and it's washable!

The layers:

I plan to edge it with some nice gray velvet...when I have money to buy anything besides gas and groceries!
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