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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / DIY Dormroom Ideas on: June 04, 2012 09:18:39 AM
So my sweet little niece who will always be 10 in my mind has just graduated high school and I'm trying to come up with some gift ideas to help her kit out her dorm room. Since it was 10 years ago, my brain is struggling to try to remember what was useful back when I was that age! The only thing I've come up with is a fabric basket for miscellaneous purposes. Can anyone help me out with some fun but small ideas? (Small, as in anything fairly light-weight. I live in England but need to post it to the US so nothing like a milk crate desk, etc  Wink )
2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies / Gingham Crib Tidy on: March 18, 2012 06:57:02 AM
I have a pregnant friend who is due in about one month. A few weeks ago she asked me if I thought I could make a "crib tidy". I had never heard of them before so did some Googling and found that they're basically just pockets you can attach to the crib to keep diapers, wipes, etc. She said she really wanted one in order to make it easier to find diapers in the middle of the night but all the ones she found at stores were majorly expensive. So, I agreed to give it a try and I just finished it this afternoon.

(the straps look stretched because I've tested it out on a bunk bed but it should fit nicely on the crib)

I'm pretty happy with out it came out. I used a tan coloured gingham because she wanted simple browns/whites as the ultrasounds haven't been clear and they're not exactly sure what the sex is going to be so the nursery is going to be neutral. It was all pretty straight forward but I've posted a tute on my blog in case anyone wants to the details.

The idea seems so useful and practical that I think I'll be making a lot more of these as shower gifts in the future!  Smiley
3  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Chunky Cable Cowl (w/Pattern) on: February 24, 2012 01:39:20 PM
For the Simple/Easy Crafts Swap I found a super cute cabled, button up cowl on my partner's wist. I had a look around Ravelry and couldn't find anything that was quite right so I had a go at making it up myself. Since my partner has received I thought I'd go ahead and post the pattern up here in case anyone was interested Smiley It is the first time I've ever written a pattern so if anyone has any suggestions on how to improve it please do say!

What you need:
60m or 100g of a soft Super Chunky wool/yarn. I used Rico Design Fashion Tweed.
Size 9mm needles (13 US)
Large cable needle
3 buttons

Cast on 16 stitches using the cable cast on method.
Row 1: K1, P1, K1, P1, K8, K1, P1, K1, P1
Row 2: P1, K1, P1, K1, P8, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 3: K1, P1, K1, P1, K8, K1, P1, K1, P1
Row 4: P1, K1, P1, K1, P8, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 5: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1, put next 3 stitches on cable needle and hold to the back, K3 stitches, place stitches on the cable needle back on the live needle and K these 3, K1, K1, P1, K1, P1
Row 6: P1, K1, P1, K1, P8, P1, K1, P1, K1

Repeat the set of rows 1-6 for 11 more times. For final set:
Row 1: K1, P1, K1, P1, K8, K1, P1, K1, P1
Row 2: P1, K1, P1, K1, P8, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 3: K1, P1, K1, P1, K8, K1, P1, K1, P1
Row 4: P1, K1, P1, K1, P8, P1, K1, P1, K1
Row 5: K1, P1, YO, K1, P1, K4, YO, K4, K1, P1, YO, K1, P1 (Button Hole Row)
Row 6: P1, K1, P1, K1, P8, P1, K1, P1, K1

4  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / Nikola Tesla Tshirt on: February 11, 2012 02:51:09 PM
I'm currently participating in the simple/easy craft swap and my partner wanted a stencilled tshirt, however I had never done it before so wasn't really sure where to start. Thanks to the awesome tutorials all over this board I managed to cobble something together for my partner and ended up getting totally addicted in the process!

This is my second stencil project - a tshirt for myself! I generally never craft for myself so it is a nice little treat  Cheesy I've got 100 stencil ideas running around in my head but to start I decided to go ahead with Nikola Tesla, the famous scientist/inventor. I don't have a printer so I had to sketch this by hand (whilst looking at my photoshop image) so it isn't perfect but I'm so happy with it!

I bought a very small pot of fabric paint thinking I was only going to use it for my swap and unfortunately it ran out while doing this shirt so I'm going to have to buy vast quantities now to satisfy this new addiction  Grin
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Shower Curtain to Rainproof Tote w/Instructions (lots of pics) on: October 14, 2011 12:14:41 PM
Hello everyone!

I don't think this idea is anything particularly groundbreaking but I thought I'd share it just in case anyone found it useful!  Smiley

It has been raining a lot this week and I was having a conversation with a colleague about how she loves using tote bags but all her stuff ends up soaking wet when it rains. So today I went to Poundland on my lunch hour (it's the British version of the Dollar store) and I was looking for some stuff to make some baby goodies, but instead I came across this really cute vinyl shower curtain!

I decided it would make a super cute, and most importantly rainproof, tote bag so I came home after work and got to work!

First I cut two pieces of the curtain - Mine were approximately 12 x 14 inches (I just eyeballed it) but any reasonable size should do.

Then I cut matching pieces from some cheap scrap fabric I had laying around; However, I cut this so that the length was about 4 inches longer than the vinyl (so 12 x 18 inches). I also made two straps using cut outs measuring 16 x 3 inches. I folded them in half and ironed, then opened the fold back up and folded each side in so the edges touched the middle, ironed again, then folded in half (on itself) and ironed again. Then sewed up the open edge to finish.

Now, you can probably skip this bit, but because I got a super cheap shower curtain from the pound store, it was very thin and seemed to stretch a lot and I was concerned that this would cause it to rip so I McGyvered it with some packing tape to reinforce it. When it was completely covered I just trimmed the excess. Do this to the wrong side of both pieces of vinyl.

Then place the two pieces of vinyl right sides together and sew around the sides and bottom, leaving the top open. Then turn inside out (so that the right side is now out).

Sew your lining fabric up in the same way. Now fold the top of your lining down approximately two inches and top stitch around the bottom of the fold.

Stick the lining inside of the vinyl bag and it should look like this

Fold the top of the lining down one more time, approximately another two inches, over the top of the vinyl bag.

Then place your handles where you want them to go and pin in place.

Take the lining out again and secure the handles in place.

Place the lining back in the bag. Adjust it to fit properly and smooth out the vinyl as much as you can. Pin the lining in place.

Top stitch around the top and the bottom of the lining roll to secure.

And voila... a super cute and rainproof tote bag Cheesy

6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Thundercats Underpants on: October 02, 2011 05:48:41 AM
I recently made my husband go through all his clothes that were overflowing out of our dressers and sort them into things he actually wears and things he doesn't. In the discard pile were a ton of cool tshirts so I decided to steal them for crafty things.

Today I turned his old thundercats tshirt (which he got for xmas and never wore) into an awesome pair of underwear.

There are a ton more I want to do, including an awesome Sid Vicious one, however, I ran out of elastic so hopefully I'll get to it next weekend  Smiley

Oh and I used this tute as a guide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T5iIcc-gZ4
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Great British Apron on: September 24, 2011 12:23:49 PM
My mother-in-law's birthday is next week and she loves to bake so we bought her a lovely hardcover baking book called "British Baking". So, we took that as a theme and also got her some baking tins and some union jack cupcake cases and union jack edible sugar decorations. We couldn't find anything else along this theme but didn't think what we had was quite enough. My husband is a typical male and waited until today to get the gifts, despite the fact that we're giving them to her tomorrow so we came home from the shops and I hurried and whipped up an apron along the theme.

8  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Boardwalk Empire swap? on: September 18, 2011 02:14:07 PM
The new season of Boardwalk Empire starts in just under a week.  (Yay!) When it first aired last year I was totally coveteing the cloche hats, flapper clothes and art deco style. I've had a search of the forums and it doesn't appear there has been a Boardwalk Empire swap previously (unless I just totally suck at using the search function). Would anyone want to take part in a Boardwalk Empire themed swap? I think I'm too much of a noob to be an organiser but I would help out as much as possible if there was any interest !  Smiley

9  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects / First ever garment - skull dress on: July 30, 2011 02:28:23 PM
I just bought my first sewing machine yesterday and I've been sewing non-stop ever since.

I've taken a sewing class recently so I kind of know the basics (i.e. I can make a mean tote bag) but clothing is a whole new ball game for me. I suppose the most advisable thing to do would be to read lots of tutorials and watch lots of videos but I'm impatient and I learn by doing so I thought I'd just give something a go (plus I absolutely cannot understand patterns).

I started out by trying to make something similar to this halter dress tute: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=102879.0

I have a very long torso so I disregarded the call for a 4-5 inch midsection and decided to cut it 10 inches. Shockingly ( Roll Eyes) it was way too long and when I attached it to the skirt it, the top didn't sit nicely under my bust, but instead covered it. So I figured I'd just call it good and attach a halter strap.

Since it was all a bit of a mistake, I didn't get to put any darts below the bust to cinch it in all so if I ever get brave enough to wear it in public, the belt is a necessity.

Overall though, I'm happy with my first, rushed, hodge podge of a garment. I learned a lot from this and hopefully the next one will be even better Cheesy

10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Travel Accessories on: June 11, 2011 06:22:32 AM
I travel a lot. I'm American but live in England so I'm always crossing the Atlantic. I'm also currently trying to learn to sew and I was amazed by this Travel Wallet by heartofmary. I always lose my boarding passes and have to dump out my bag in a mad rush before boarding so I really wanted one.

I'm going to the US in 3 weeks so I thought I'd make up a travel document wallet and a sleeping mask for the journey. I don't own a sewing machine. My only time to sew is during my 2.5 hour sewing class every Thursday so these were rushed and not as neat as I would have liked but since they're just for me and not a gift or anything, I'm happy enough with them. I didn't have any patterns, just sketched out what I wanted them to look like and then trial and error with fabric cutting!  Cheesy

Because I was in a rush, I forgot to attach my closure strap with velcro for the wallet ( Roll Eyes) so I'm going to just try to hot glue it on when I get a chance.

Also, can anyone explain to a newbie how to get bias tape around corners? Everything I tried looked horrible so in the end I gave up and just cut it in pieces to sew on the individual sides.

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