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271  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 2 ENTRIES / Wool skirt and sweaters and crepe-y ballet skirt co-existing in harmony! on: June 28, 2005 02:38:43 AM
So I started off with this sweater idea, of making a sweater with a really offset scoop neck. I had this burgundy sweater that I picked up a month ago for $2.

It's size 3x - quite a bit too big for me, so I had to totally resize it before playing around with the neck.  Six seemed to be the magic number for this sweater -- I cut six inches off the bottom of the sleeves to make it 3/4 length, I cut six inches off the bottom so it wasn't a dress, and six inches or so off each side to make it a lot tighter. The little pleating is lingerie elastic, which matches the bottom pleats so well:) It's not as side-scoop as I originally envisioned, but I still love it!

I wanted a skirt to go with it, because skirts kick butt (as well as accentuating the butt:)). So off to the thrift store! I almost bypassed the smaller sizes, but this one caught my eye -- a vintagey brown suiting wool pleated skirt, with two tiny pleats facing two tiny pleats, and then a big gap between them.

I absolutely adore vintagey skirts like this, and was determined to figure out a way to incorporate it, reguardless of the size!! The skirt started out with a 27'' waist; the pins in the photo mark where I cut it off. (Having to pin every pleat so the it wouldn't slip when I went at it with the rotary cutter) The old zipper was completely cut out, and I replaced it with an invisible one. So a $4.50 skirt, at half price, was $2.25, plus a new zipper for $2.40:).

I really like how underlays look when they peek out from underneath a skirt, so I pulled out what my mum thought was an apron when she bought it for about $3 at a thrift store.  On closer examination, it turned out to be a child's ballet skirt, which explains why it didn't fit around my waist....

So simply cutting a slit for the ballet skirt to show through wouldn't really match the style of the wool skirt, so I decided to divide the ballet skirt up up and insert it into the inside pleats of the skirt. Easier said than done! This skirt took me waaaay longer than I anticipated -- it was one of those projects that sounded really cool in my head, and I dove right into it before actually thinking it through.... Every new step lit off a light bulb of "woops, I didn't think of that.... Doh!" First, the ballet skirt was almost a perfect circle -- has anyone tried to divide a circle into 14 peices? So hard! The next problem was that I wanted the skirt to cover my butt cheeks -- but the little ballet skirt wasn't very long! So I settled for having shorted panels of that, since it would add to the "insert" type of look, and I still feel covered.. Then because the pieces weren't all the same length, I had to hem each peice of the suiting material. Since there were 14 sets of pleating, that meant 28 seams joining the suiting to the ballet skirt material, and then 28 serged seams so the pink didn't fray away to nothing. Then 28 2-3 inch side hems. Then, after trying the skirt on, I decided to sew down the pleats for 6 inches form the waist band, so that the skirt would look more flattering, and the pleats would look crisper, instead of stretching out at the curves. 56 6 inch lines of stiching later, and the skirt looked way cuter.  Finally, the waistband! Obviously, the original tiny waistband wouldn't fit me, so I cut off some of the top part, ironed out the pleats, and made a new waistband. Et fini!


But then I had a bunch of pleated-y fabric left over, still attached to the waistband. Clutch time! I took the tiny, tiny amount of scraps from the ballet skirt (some were only an inch wide:)), serged them together for lining, and then sewed up one side and the bottom of some of the brown fabric. I don't know how to change the serger thread -- who can spot where I coloured the white thread with a brown sharpie to get it to blend in with the wool, lol! I stitched the lining in by hand so I wouldn't wreack the lines stitching on the waistband, added a few tiny snaps inside it for closure, and then the final touch -- gorgeous huge red button!


I'll see how much I actually wear this outfit, but I love how it all looks together, and how the little bag - which took a fraction of the time compared to the other two peices, less than an hour -- ties it all together. I may use the purse just by itself.

So grand total from the thrift store:
Sweater - $2
Ballet Skirt - $3
Wool Skirt - $2.25
Total -- 7.25 CAD
272  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 2 ENTRIES / Frumpy 70's granny to va-va-voom on: June 28, 2005 01:38:16 AM
Okay, so I was at the thrift store, looking at the racks and racks of clothing of so many different textures and cuts, and despite it's frumpy shell, this dress called out to me. a sack of a tank top, a misfitting vest covering it, attached to a gathered skirt that added pounds.

Ikes! This dress needed serious help!

So out comes the handy dandy seam ripper. I took the skirt off of the top peices, and ripped out one side seam. I sewed up the back (it buttoned up for some reason), brought the sleeves in a lot (about 6 inches from the edge of the sleeves, and darting in an inch up to the armpit). I ditched the tank top, and pulled the sides of the vest far in the opposite direction -- creating a cute bra-like structure. The dress came with a belt, but that wasn't long enough to make it a wrap dress, so I cut up the tank top to get a few extra feet of wrapping belt. Allowing about a foot for tying, I sewed the belt onto the bra parts, which goes through the seam on one side. The length of the skirt matched the length of the two bust parts and the back perfectly, so it ties in a cute little knot below one bosom! Here it is, finished!

The skirt flows so much nicely when I walk, it's the perfect length for my legs, and it accentuates my best two assets and makes me feel like way more than the $5 I spent on it:)

But of course that's not it! I also found this lovely sweater at the thrift store on the $1 rack, and I'm a sucker for cute sweaters. This fit me on the chest, but was super short, but I fell in love with the pattern and had to have it. So I cut about 6 inches off the bottom and molded around the front, and shaped it into a shrug that ties with matching velvet ribbon (not from the thrift store, alas, but at 10c a yard, it might as well have been). Here's the dress with the shrug on top (I shaped it to match the lines of the dress, as I anticipate wearing them together), and a detail of the design on the shrug:

I hope y'all like it! This challenge was great; I have two grocery bags full of "I could do this with this!!" items that I picked up at the same time, so I'm set for crafting for the next few weeks!
273  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Saloon Girl/Can Can dancer Marionette! on: June 27, 2005 02:55:56 PM
Hey everyone! This is my first post of a project, so I hope that this works out okay. This seemed like the best area to post this, althought it wasn't actually made to be a toy...

This is a marionette that I made when my theatre tech class was studying puppetry - the assignment was to make a puppet, of whatever sort we wanted. Not content to glue some felt to paper plates and call it a children's shadow puppet, like some of my classmates, I decided to make a can can dancer marionette.

Here she is handing from the strings, with no manipulation:

And here she is, dancing up a storm! The ruffles took me forever to do -- it's basically gathered lace sewn around the underskirt.

I put two grommets through the skirt layers, which don't even show when she's just hanging, and then strings that are attached to her knees go through those holes and when I pull either of those strings, her leg kicks up.That same string also goes through a hole in her hand, so that it looks kinda like she's holding the skirts up as she kicks.
The body and everything is made out of polymer clay, tied together with fishing line. I wish I had taken a photo of her hair -- I flattened tiny trips of fimo and wrapped them around toothpicks to make ringlets, but they almost all broke off when I brought her home.

Anyhoo, I hope that y'all like it!
274  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 2 ENTRIES / Re: Ode to Burning Man Picture heavy! on: June 27, 2005 02:35:06 AM
That outfit is totally neat. I especially love the vertical line in the shirt -- it's like an arrows to the tattoos, it's great!
275  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 2 ENTRIES / Re: falling leaves halter on: June 27, 2005 02:30:27 AM
That is so neat. I love how unique the idea is! The outfit looks totally cute on you.
276  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 2 ENTRIES / Re: Flower Garden (Pic heavy) on: June 25, 2005 10:18:57 AM
That's super cute! The fabric is really neat and looks much better as a skirt! It looks cute with the white peice on the skirt, too; it looks the white on top and the white on bottom are part of one long undershirt, and that elongated style seems to be really in this year. Great work!
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