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1  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Wrap Strap Babywearing Bag (with Pattern and Tutorial) on: July 29, 2012 08:21:30 AM

I made this bag:

It's a little bit special because it has tie handles... which makes it easier to get on and off when you're carrying a baby in a sling!

and you can thread the straps through the loops and tie at the bottom to make it into a backpack!

Pattern includes zip top and 2 internal pockets.

It's roomy enough to hold all this stuff (and more!):

Hope you enjoy making it!
(higher quality tutorial available on the blog, had to compress it to bits to get it to upload here)

xx GS
2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / XKCD "grownups" Embroidery on: March 08, 2012 11:44:16 AM

Who doesn't love XKCD, it's totally the king of geeky webcomics....  anyhow, I absolutely love this one and since it was my cousin's wedding I thought it'd be a totally apt gift :-) and the great thing about XKCD is that it's already an embroidery pattern heheh
the whole thing is worked in 2 stands of embroidery floss and backstitch, apart form the frames of the cartoon which were worked in 1 strand.

x G
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Tutorial: vest into nighttime nursing top on: September 10, 2011 01:53:55 PM
WARNING: frank discussion of breastfeeding and lady-booby-bits... it doesn't bother me so I don't know why it should bother you but, meh, the internet *shrug*

ok, so I spent pretty much... err... yup half my life being generally disappointed with my boobs... well... I've now found my boobs' secret talent. Apparently they're hella good at feeding babies (well... my baby... haven't tried them on other people's babies yet, although I am feeling I may have had quite a profitable career as a wetnurse if such careers still existed...)

I could wear a bra to bed and pad it with breast pads but I'm not sure that would solve the problem, plus I only have 2 nursing bras and I'm already having trouble washing them quickly enough, also, I like to be comfortable to sleep. You can of course *buy* nursing nightgowns but *pfft* that would involve MONEY...

So I took one of my vest tops and made this:

It literally took me 40 mins MAXIMUM and is completely going to solve my nighttime feeding/sleeping/not drowning problem :-) what you've got here is a stretchy cropped vest top, with an internal pocket (which I will be padding with cut-up old towels) and velcro fastening at the straps to enable night-time bleary eyed feeding.

want it? make it! I've written down the super easy instructions here.

x GS
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Maternity (or not) Empire Line Dress - Mens Shirt Upcycle -TUTORIAL lots of pics on: July 17, 2011 11:57:25 AM
Ok kitties!

so a little while ago I posted my Maternity (or not!) 'Pirate Top' Mens Shirt Upcycle and Tutorial and thankyou SO much for all the love you've given me there, you guys are so lovely I have no words.

Anyhow I wanted to make myself a dress version because I could see how easy it would be, and ... well... dresses are easy to wear, right?

so I did... and here it is! with a lovely new tutorial!! ...
(note I keep all my pictures on picasa... I'm not sure wether it's done something to degrade the images which hold the step-by-step tutorial - so I've converted them to PDF which I'll get the mods to attach to this post with their brand new attachment magic!) I have attached now that I'm a magical 'tutorial contributor' (whoop whoop!)

anyhow I'll start with the finished project images and then move on to the tutorial/WIP pics!! <3

so I've got mixed feelings on the dress.. I think I went overboard on the 'flounce' and I feel a little ridiculous wearing it to be honest... but it's comfy and even if the 6 year old next door asked me if it was my pyjamas, my mother says she thinks it's lovely so there hahah!! I will still make another one for after the baby though because it will make a great nursing dress in the summer... I'll get rid of the silly ruffly neckline thing and go easy on the patterns for the next one I think...

ok the tutorial!

illustrated, step-by-step tutorial sheets

UPDATE: the instruction sheets can be downloaded by rightclicking and saving the images below OR scroll down to the bottom of the post to download the PDF attachment.

the instruction sheets don't include the silly ruffly neckline, if you're interested in that you can check out how I did it in my pirate top

You will need:
BIG men's shirt (bigger the better)
fabric for the skirt (I don't know exact yardage but I'd make sure you've got 2m just in case... depends how long you want your skirt)
general sewing supplies (iron, pins... etc.)

here's my WIP 'highlights'
Here's the shirt I started with

I hacked it into this shape

turned, pressed, topstitched and then added another line of stitching just below that to act as a channel for the elastic. you need to create a channel for the sleeve elastic too...

for the skirt (Maternity dress) I took pictures of my front and back skirt so you can see the difference - remember that these are pictures of the fabric folded in half. because the elastic is going to pull it in under your bust you don't have to worry too much about flaring your skirt out, and because the top is a straight line the bottom hem isn't going to be a very extreme curve
(left, back skirt piece. right, front skirt piece)

so then you just have to sew the 2 skirt pieces together at the side seams, match up the skirt side seams with the shirt side seams and sew together.

add another channel for elastic at the empire line (under bust) and insert your elastic! (I actually left inserting elastic into all channels til the end...)

OOH also! I finished the hem with bias tape... I tend to do that on skirts because I find it easier.

err... cool.... any questions let me know! happy to help!!

x GS

5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / "Sarcastic Jack" Stargate Baby Vest on: July 12, 2011 12:48:32 PM

Yep, this is what happens when geek's are on maternity leave. those of you who are familiar with stargate SG1 will (hopefully) recognise Jack O'Niell... whose of you who aren't should still be able to appreciate the sentiment I think :-)

and on the hoop:

I tried to use my intuition/gut feeling about how to compose the image, starting with the larger shaded areas, filling them in with satin stitch, and then outlining that, and doing the finer lines with backstitch. The text is done in a mixture of chain stitch and backstitch to make some words seem more bold than others.

hope it tickles you :-)
1 1/2 weeks to go...

The blog post is here.

x GS
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Unicorn Embroidery Cushion Cover on: July 06, 2011 02:44:57 PM
... and now it's a frilly cushion cover :-)

Original post:
you gets your redwork, you gets your blackwork, I'm callin' this... rainbow work!


WIP pics ond other delights on the blog

but here's the needlework details:

Everything was worked in 2 strands of embroidery floss

Red: DMC 999, Orange: mystery non-brand, Yellow: Anchor 297, Green: mystery non-brand, Blue: Anchor 143, Purple: DMC 718

The unicorn hair is small, tight, chain stitch worked in rows, the outline is backstitch, and the heart applique is outlined in blanket stitch.

The border is worked with loose chain stitch (red and green) lazy daisy stitch (orange and inner red) oversize lazy daisy stitch - with couching to hold the loops in place (blue and red corner pieces)

Credit goes to Minathia and SanDorfALot for the concept/inspiration with their cross stitch pieces, My Girl Thursday for the pattern and pinterest for helping me join up the creative dots  Grin Grin

I'm not lying, I'll be dissapointed if this doesn't get a good response... It took 3 weeks it's probably the biggest thing I've ever embroidered... I love it :-)

I'm going to make it into a cusion for my baby's room (2 weeks and 2 days til due date people!! wow!!)
(interesting fact, I dont know the gender of the bubah... but I thought the pink and the rainbows was offset somewhat by the sarcasm... I like it anyhow... )

 Grin Grin

x GS
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Maternity (or not!) 'Pirate Top' Mens Shirt Upcycle - TUTORIAL! (lots of pics!!) on: June 11, 2011 02:16:05 PM
This is a top I made myself out of a mens shirt. It was intended to just give me something to wear to a pirate theme party I went to last weekend, but its turned out to be the most comfortable top EVER.

Im on maternity leave from work now and Id been squeezing myself into an array of maternity and non-maternity wear since I was determined not to buy anything new for the last couple of weeks. Being able to dress casually full time now (and even just in my PJs if I like) is SUCH a relief!

Anyhow I took lots of pictures, so here's a tutorial. It took no time at all!! and Ive even gone out and bought a couple more shirts (from charity shops of course!) so I can make some more and perhaps make a dress modification (did I mention its the most comfortable thing ever?)

OK start with a men's shirt - the bigger the better:

Unpick the pocket (or any other embellishments thereon) and decide roughly on the shape you're going for... as I said this was made for a pirate costume and I'm going through a 'hotter than hell' phase... so I chose an off the shoulder/peasant style neckline...

you need to add a GENEROUS hem allowance all round ... especially if you're adding a trim:

I made my own ruffle the hard way, shredded some fabric, sewed it together in lengths, loose stitch tension, long stitch length, straight stitch... and GOOOOO...

You can of course buy ruffled lace... I suggest you do that... I didn't.
I don't really think you should do what I did, but I wanted a 'rough' edge as I did make this as a pirate costume...

sew it along the edge of your hems (right side facing) using about 1/2 of your seam allowance...:

You end up with something looks like this....:

Now you need to turn the edges to your actual seam allowance, press and topstitch

So you've got this big ole hem allowance, you need to make a elastic casing out of it. For the sleeves you're going to have to make a cut up to your topsitiching, like this (I did it in the armpit). :

Now across all edges you're going to make another line of stitching. big enough to accommodate your elastic, the stitching needs to sew your seam allowance to your garment. from the outside it should look like this:

You need to thread your elastic though the casing you've made sew or tie the ends of your elastic together at the sleeves, and sew your elastic in place to secure it along your collar and you're done!:

And there you go!

I'm happy to answer questions  Cheesy I love this top <3

x GS

8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Black on black (on black times infinity) (NSFW) on: June 05, 2011 12:41:22 PM
So... I've been organising the Metal Swap which has been a LOT of fun, people making lovely ROCKING things over there  Grin Grin

2 of the things I made for my partner included embroidery, the second is NSFW  Wink

Here's the first, an embroidered pvc/faux leather patch inspired by a line from the cult metal cartoon Metalocalypse:

and the second was a make up bag made from an altered version of the "Straight Sided Triangular Cosmetic Bag" ... what I've started to do is make this bag and enclose a nice encouraging positive message in the lining fabric to encourage the user to have a postive outlook on their day ahead:
to change your image viewing settings please click here
to change your image viewing settings please click here
(that, my friends, is a Children of Bodom lyric... and it's begging to be embroidered onto a bib or baby-shirt  Grin )

<3 GS
9  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Wrist Cuff Purse (with Tutorial/Pattern - Pics pics and more pics!) on: June 04, 2011 04:50:01 AM
One for the festival goers!

(image credit Azura

I made this for the Metal Swap I  organised recently. It's a a fashion accessory with a secret! A cuff with a secret zip compartment for for keeping your money (for MONEY people!) safe when you're out moshing :-)

Cuff Purse  Tutorial!!  
This pattern was drafted on my own wrist, which is 6 in circumference.
Pattern Pieces:
I haven't figured out the whole PDF thing yet, so I've included a tape measure on each one so you can be sure you've got the sizes right for printing.

Constructing the Cuff I'm using faux leather, don't let PVC put you off... it's not terribly difficult to work with and I'm just using a regular sewing needle.

So first baste together where your zip is going to be placed, you're going to unpick these stitches later so keep your machine on a long stitch length and a looseish tension. (you shouldn't use pins with PVC because it's possible the holes will stay visible, it's not a problem for me here because the surface of the PVC I'm using is textured)

You need to press the seam open on the underside. If you are using PVC you need to keep your iron on a low heat and use a teatowel or pressing cloth between your iron and your work or you will melt that sucker to your iron... bad times...

This is what your zipper foot looks like, use it...

place your zip on the inside of your work like this and stitch it in place.

so it looks like this on the right side.

this is where you need to unpick your stitches, Then you want to unzip your zip (very important!)

ok this is a nice wide piece of elastic, it's going to be the fastening. Since I made this for a swap, I wanted to make it a little adjustable so I put several button holes on this piece of elastic, I marked it out,  

Button holes are nice and simple on my machine, these red stitches are my button hole stitches (read your instruction book for your particular machine)

Sew on some buttons

Then you need to layer everything up for the final  stitches... remember your ZIP should be UNDONE and both sides should have RIGHT SIDES FACING... then go ahead and sew all the pieces together around the outside...

Then trim all the seam allowances away and turn it right side out (through your open zip!).
et voila!

yea, so... You're free to use this pattern/tutorial for non-commercial purposes, just don't sell it or claim it as your own work... kthanx  Smiley
and PLEASE please PLEEEEAASSSEEE let me know if you make one for yourself  Smiley I'd love to see what you did  Cheesy

x GS
10  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Teddy Bear Labcoat (With Tutorial/pattern - ERGO LOTS of PICS!) on: June 02, 2011 12:57:33 PM
Check out this cutey pie!

A few months ago a good friend of mine dropped me a facebook message asking if I'd be able to make a labcoat for his girlfriend's teddy bear as a birthday present. . . I thought, "yea, why not! there must be loads of tutorials on the Internet for stuff like that..." ... well guess what... there isn't  Angry ...

Well there is now!!  Cheesy

Teddy Bear Labcoat Tutorial!!   

This pattern should fit teddys of these proportions.
Some modification might me needed for smaller/larger teddies!
arm circumference 12 cm
neck 26 cm
under arm circumference 28 cm
waist 34 cm
neck to foot 22 cm
neck to top of leg 14 cm
arm length 12.5 cm

Pattern Pieces:

I haven't figured out the whole PDF thing yet, so I've included a tape measure on each one so you can be sure you've got the sizes right for printing.

I forgot to do a pattern piece for the pocket  Sad sorry... you can figure it out! I have faith in you.  Grin

Cut out your pattern pieces, I was throwing caution to the wind and using pink ballpoint pen (I know - risky strategy) but you need something prescise to transfer the markings. I suggest Aqua Trickmarker, I love it, the only reason I'm not using it in this tutorial is because mine ran out :-(

Construct your collar, sew the front collar piece to the back collar piece and press your seams apart. Repeat until you've got all 4 front collar pieces attached to the 2 back collar pieces.

When you've got the collar constructed, you need to put the 2 together, sew the edges right sides facing (I handstitched, but if you feel confident enough to machine stitch that would be better.)

Then turn right side out and press to create your collar.

This picture shows how the body pieces go together, but don't forget to sew your darts first!

You then want to sew your sleeves to the armholes (remember, right sides facing). The 'correct' garment construction is open to debate here, but what I always do is sew the curved part of the sleeve to the armhole first, then sew right from the cuff, past the armpit, town to the bottom hem. You should have no problem doing this with a machine (I did it with a short zigzag stitch to catch any fraying edges.)

hm.. for some reason I stopped taking pictures here (that must mean I was getting really excited!)

Sew the collar to the neckline, I decided to have the seam inside the garment since this is a tricky one (really too small to attach the collar 'properly' but if you want to have a go be my guest. so I had the Right side of the garment facing the underside of the collar.... hope that makes sense.

Finish Cuffs/Hems and fastenings. Probably best if you try your labcoat on your teddy to check. I used little plastic press studs which I handsewed on after I'd hemmed the front of the coat.

Make your Patch Pocket - yeyy photos... I clearly knew this would be really hard to explain.. ok so draw your pocket shape BIGGER than you want your pocket to be on a piece of cardboard.

Look at the image below, the cardboard shape is what I used for my pattern, but the marking in pencil is how big my pocket is going to be.
 (I used the selvedge/edge of the fabric so I didn't have to hem it... depending on what you're using you might have to have a hem allowance... and you know... hem the top)

Ok so then trim the card down to the pencil lines and use it as a guide to press the edges of your pocket inwards... like this...

 Careful though! it's easy to burn your fingers doing this!... but yes... press it and then remove the cardboard... and press it some more...

See? a pocket! .... pin it where you want it and stitch it in place.. again I handstitched...

Then I get a little carried away and drew some markings onto a scrap piece of cardboard to make a ruler...


I use iron on inkjet transfer paper to label things that I've made  Grin

yea, so... You're free to use this pattern/tutorial for non-commercial purposes, just don't sell it or claim it as your own work... kthanx  Smiley

and PLEASE please PLEEEEAASSSEEE let me know if you make one for yourself  Smiley I'd love to see what you did  Cheesy

x GS
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