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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Underwired bra on: August 14, 2010 03:51:49 AM

I made a bra! I live in Japan and can't get my size here - imported bras start at about $70 and more, so my friend suggested I try making my own.

I had some trouble trying the 'tape and drape' technique for the pattern, so I ended up drafting a block from measurements. It's a three-piece cup, made by sewing together two rounded-off triangles, and then a band at the top using the bottom triangles, inverted, as a guide. Most of the hardware (wires, straps, hooks, and some of the fabric) was salvaged from an old bra, and I had the fabric in stash, so the whole thing just cost me $2 for elastic and ruffle ribbon Cheesy

The band was drafted in one piece and is basically a rectangle, with a curve of about 35 degrees added in so it hugs the ribcage. The front piece is the same non-stretch fabric as the cups, the back is stretch-fabric-and-elastic. The fabric is doubled for the bottom of the cups and the front of the band for extra support. Cups are sewed first, then stitched into the band, then underwire channelling added, and elastic, and finally the straps, hooks, and finishing touches.

You can find my pattern method and exactly how I sewed it together on my blog - http://abigailscraftshowto.com/2010/08/how-to-make-a-bra-part-3-sewing-your-bra/

It seems pretty comfy so far, though I've not tried teaching a class in it yet *lol*
2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / felt Ironside Dalek stuffie on: August 06, 2010 02:39:17 AM

Im now on my fourth or fifth marathon re-watch of the last season of Doctor Who, and today I decided Id pay tribute to one of my favourite scenes with this little felt Ironside Dalek, politely offering you a cup of tea Cheesy

The pattern, and process pics, can be found here: How to sew a felt Dalek stuffie

To make your own Dalek, youll need:

    * Felt your preferred colours plus black, grey, blue and white
    * Thread to match felt
    * needle, scissors
    * polyfil or other stuffing material

Cut out the pieces, plus small circles for the hemispheres (the classic Dalek has 50 you may want to use fewer!) and any other details you want to include in my case, a thin strip for a neck strap, two long rectangles to fold into packs/pouches, two large dark brown circles for the tray, and two white and a light brown circle to make the cup and saucer.

Begin with the small details. To make the eyestalk, roll a small rectangle of felt as tightly as possible and whipstitch the edge. wrap the eye discs round the middle of the eyestalk and stitch into place. Ive only used two discs, though Daleks usually have five or nine. To make the eye, make a running stitch round the edge of a small blue circle, and pull the thread tight. Now make a similar running stitch round a slightly larger black circle, place the blue felt in the middle, and draw the thead tight so that the blue just peeps out. Sew the finished eye to the end of the eyestalk.

The head piece has a flattened edge on one side fold this flat area around the eyestalk and sew into place. The rest of the head is made by making a running stitch round the edge of the head circle, and drawing it partially closed so it can be stitched to the neck.

To make the neck, use an appropriate colour of thread, doubled, to embroider the neck uprights in backstitch or stemstitch. Whipstitch the top edges of the neck rings into place, horizontally across the neck.

The plunger arm is made in a similar way to the eyestalk, by rolling a rectangle of grey felt tightly and whipstitching the edge. The plunger is then sewed to one end.

The gun is made by stacking the three gun arm pieces, and then sewing tightly with a backstitch down the centre line. If you want your Dalek to be closer to the original, use four pieces, but this was too bulky for my small scale toy. Fan out the edges.

The hemispheres are simply small circles of felt whipstitched onto the skirt. You could also use beads or studs.

Whipstitch the neck into a tube, and then whipstitch the head and the skirt to it. Stuff well with polyfil or similar, especially the head, before whipstitching the base into place.

Sew the arms into position you can cover the joins with larger squares of appropriately-coloured felt if you wish, to emulate the boxes most daleks have their arms mounted on. Sew on shoulder slats if you are adding them, and a strip of felt around the bottom edge. Roll two small rectangles of felt tightly, as for the eyestalk and the plunger arm, to make the domelights.

Finish off by adding any other details you want, and youre done.

Care for some tea?
3  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Jute summer handbag on: July 09, 2010 02:06:50 AM

This bag is crocheted from jute twine good old hairy garden string! Unlike most crochet bags, this one doesnt need a lining as the fabric is firm and less likely to stretch out of shape. As you can see, by using different brands of string you can even get colour variations! I found one dark-coloured string at the 100Y store and a lighter brown at the convenience store.

Jute twine can be crocheted just like any other yarn, though there are one or two extra considerations. Jute can be pretty hard on the hands, so you need to take regular breaks to stretch your wrists and fingers. You also have to crochet fairly loosely if you crochet tight, it will be much harder to work.

The pattern is here, and took about 150m of string, plus a metre of ribbon. The base is a flat-sidaed oval, then worked straight up the sides, with a row of double crochet to make eyelets for the ribbon, and a picot edging.
4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Terrarium necklace - real plants you can wear on: July 07, 2010 02:28:00 PM

The other day I came across a feature on a jewellery maker who makes miniature models of terrariums as jewellery, which got me thinking, wouldnt it be cool to make some real terrarium jewellery?

I have whole lot of plastic test tubes which the 100-yen shop sells glass beads in, and lots and lots of kiwi-fruit seedlings after sowing the seeds from a supermarket fruit, so I decided to combine the two. Now Im on the look out for some pretty little perfume bottles, which I think would give the plant a little more space and look really nice.

I got the plant into the tube by carefully rolling the seedling and compost in paper, sliding the paper into the tube, and then turning it upright and pulling the paper out.

There are more pics and a full tutorial on my blog Smiley

Hopefully I can update soon with some growth!
5  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Little needle-felted matryoshka on: June 23, 2010 04:11:33 AM

Her shawl could do with going over a bit more!

I made her from a base of an egg shape, flattened at the bottom so it would stand up, for the body and a ball for the head, joined together. I then covered the body with green fibre, felted in facial features, and lightly felted on a twist of greyish fibre for her hair. Lastly I loosely felted a flat triangle for her shawl, and then felted it on, starting at her hairline.

There's more step-by-step pictures on my blog - http://abigailscraftshowto.com/2010/06/how-to-needle-felt-3d-shapes-together-little-matryoshka-doll/
6  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Coiled snake amigurumi on: June 23, 2010 04:04:50 AM

I've been experimenting with adding shaping to my amigurumi using tall rows - obviously double crochet is out as it's far too hole-y for amigurumi, but half-double crochet seems to work well for adding curves as it is almost as firm as single crochet.

Anyway, I came up with this little guy - his head is just an egg shape, going into a tube for the body. One side of the tube is worked in single crochet, the other side in hdc, which adds a curve.

Here's the full pattern and a brief tutorial on adding shaping to your amigurumi designs.
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Dollar-store tee to Anthropologie-inspired tank on: June 09, 2010 01:47:57 AM

I made this anthropologie-inspired tank top from a 100-yen-shop large man's t-shirt and a muslin scarf, also from Daiso. The bits of ribbon I had on hand so the total cost of the project was less than $2. You can find step-by-step pics and a detailed tutorial on my blog.

I cut off the sleeves, and cut a square neckline, and I left all the edges raw. I smocked the base of the neckline in outline stitch and trellis stitch, then added a strip cut from the muslin scarf behind.
The rest of the scarf and the sleeves were made into fabric flowers - round-petaled kanzashi, stacked circles, and large floppy 'roses' made by folding circles of fabric into 6 segments. I also made some short pleated ruffles from scraps of ribbon. Finally I sewed the whole lot round the neckline.

The smocking is rather wobbly but I'm pleased with how it turned out!
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Shetland Summer capelet on: June 07, 2010 03:30:30 AM

I made this as a french seaming tutorial - full step-y-step instructions details and more pics at that link too.

I really love shawls but it's getting too hot to wear handknit ones, so I sewed this light cover-up instead. I used a Shetland shawl construction, with shaped shoulders. Shetland shawls are great for staying put!

I cut two right-angled triangles and cut wedges out of the top of the right-angles and seamed them to shape the shoulders. I then sewed one triangle to each side of a strip the width of the base of my neck, which runs down the centre of the back. This makes a shaped elongated triangle which doesn't keep slipping off.

As I just used one layer of fabric for coolness, all the seams are French seamed so it doesn't matter if they show when the shawl is worn unpinned. I finished the edges by rolling and whipstitching, though I did contemplate a lace trim instead.
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Caffeine and capsaicin molecules (with tute) on: June 04, 2010 03:48:17 AM

You can find the patterns and step-by-step pictures on my blog.

Youll need:

    * Coloured beads for the atoms I chose green for carbon, orange for nitrogen, blue for oxygen and red for hydrogen. choose beads with holes large enough for the wire to pass through 4-5 times.
    * Cylinder beads for the bonds. Its up to you how many beads you choose to use for each bond. I used two, but it you want to make a more open molecule you could use more, or if you have longish cylinder beads then just one bead per bond may work fine.
    * Fine beading wire or nylon filament.
    * Wire cutters

Lets start with caffeine.

Begin by making a foundation chain, stringing your cylinder beads between each of the beads, in this order: C, N, C, N, C, N, C, N, C.

Thread two more cylinder beads, and thread the wire through the first bead once more to make a ring. Double the wire back through the last two cylinder beads and the last C bead.

String cylinder beads, an oxygen bead, and two more cylinder beads, then pass the wire through the carbon bead a second time, forming a loop. Thread the wire through the next two cylinder beads and the next N bead.

Now for our first methyl group: string 2 cylinder beads, a C, two more cylinder beads and an H. Double the wire back through the last two cylinder beads and the C. String two more cylinder beads and an H, double back through the bond and the carbon atom. Add another hydrogen in the same way, and thread the wire right through the last bond, the C bead, the next bond, the N bead, the next bond and the next C in the ring. You can see the wire goes up through the C bead for the first H, down to make the second, up again for the third, and down again to finish the group.

Make another double-bonded oxygen and another methyl group by repeating the last two steps.

You should now have passed through the fifth bead in the ring, a C bead. Thread two cylinder beads, pass the wire through the first bead in the ring, thread two more cylinder beads, and pass the wire through the fifth bead once more, and then the next bond and the next N bead.

String two more cylinder beads and thread the wire through the next C bead forming a double bond. Thread two cylinder beads and an H, double back through the ond, and pass the wire through the C bead once more, then through the next bond and next N bead.

Add a methyl group to this N bead in the same way as before.

Finish by passing the wire through the last bond in the ring, twist the ends of the wires together, and hide the loose ends by threading them into the neighbouring beads before trimming off.

And there you go, a caffeine molecule!

Capsaicin is a little more complicated, but uses the same techniques.

pattern for beaded capsacin molecule

This time, your foundation start with two cylinder beads and then as follows: 7xC, N, 9xC, H.

Double back through the last bond and the last C, and add two H beads by doubling back and forth as we did to make methyl groups.

Add a methyl group to the next C atom, as we did for caffeine.

At the next C, string 2 cylinder beads and an H, double back through the bond and pass the wire through the C atom in the same direction as we are working. Thread 2 cylinder beads and pass through the next C to form a double bond, and add another H in the same way as for the last bead.

Add 2 H beads to each of the next four C beads by doubling back and forth as before (I apologise for the mistake in the pattern which shows one bead with just 1 H).

Add a double bonded oxygen as we did for the caffeine molecules.

Add one H to the next N bead by stringing two cylinder beads and an H bead, doubling back through the bond and passing the wire through the N in the same direction as we are working.

Add two H beads to the next C. Pass straight through the next C and then make a double bond by threading two cylinder beads and threading through the next C in the chain. Add a single H to the same bead.

Pass through the next C and string two cylinder beads, an oxygen bead, 2 more cylinders and an H. Double all the way back through the whole side chain and pass the wire through the C in the direction were working.

Repeat the previous step on the next bead.

beaded capsaicin modelFor the last two beads, add a single H to each and a double bond between them by repeating the fourth step. Finish by passing the wire through the last bond and through the 6th-from-last C (the one with no hydrogens or side chains attached) before fastening off the ends and weaving them into the surrounding beads.
10  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Microbes coin purse on: May 28, 2010 11:26:02 AM

I'm really hoping the frame stays on this - I never realised how fiddly they could be to put on!

Made from felt, with a reverse applique of some little blobby microbes (I've yet to decide what species they are!). The cilia are little lines of backstitch, and the nuclei satin-stitched on. It took me about an hour and a half to sew together - and then another hour to put the dratted frame on! *lol*

There's a full tutorial on my blog, if you haven't done reverse applique before.
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