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31  Polka Dots. So many polka dots... in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by charlieandwillow on: April 18, 2012 04:34:45 PM
So as I may have mentioned in other posts, I scored about 25 yards of various flannel prints in Jo-Ann's Black Friday sale at $1.49 per yard AND a 25% off everything coupon. Totally bargainous. I've been waiting until my sewing skills improved before playing with it. I knew I want to make clothing with the cute prints but I'm not good (read: horrendous) at following patterns, and the last time I fitted a zipper it was a horror show. I finally felt like I was capable of actually making and fitting clothing. Hooray! I frankensteined this skirt and the bodice of this dress to create a basic pencil dress. I have to wear black and white for work so I'm always looking for cute, unique clothes in a rather boring palette, so I love my polka dots. I am so happy with the fit, though the finish isn't quite where I'd like it to be, but it was my first time making a garment with facing pieces. I need to finish the seams inside, and add a hook and eye to the top of the zipper, but I am super happy with it overall. It's also super comfy as I'm pretty sure the flannel is woven from fairy baby farts... So soft.

I am dead chuffed with how the zipper came out.  Grin

Next time I make this dress I will lower the neckline as I think it's a little clunky looking right now, and I may make the skirt just a little longer. Also, if anyone has any tips on how to put the bodice together with the facing I'd be mighty grateful. I'm not sure whether it was my computer, those patterns, or Burda as a whole, but for some reason I couldn't get the instructions so I did make it up as I went along somewhat, and I know the I didn't do the facing 'right'. Comments and critiques would be awesome!
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32  T-shirt Blanket for Bear. in Quilting: Completed Projects by charlieandwillow on: April 04, 2012 06:48:38 PM
I made this...

from this...

I'm rather proud of myself, having never made a quilt before. This morning, I had a suitcase filled with Bear's outgrown clothing that I just couldn't bring myself to part with. Now, there are no shirts left because they're all in the blanket.
He was FURIOUS with me for "ruining Elmo's shirt" (his stuffed Elmo had been wearing the "Don't mess with me, you won't win" shirt) until he saw the blanket laid out on my bed like this

when I was measuring it against the fleece I backed it with, and then he decided that he did want the blanky after all. I didn't use any batting, just backed it with heavy fleece. He's the toastiest child in the world and usually rejects all his blankets while he's sleeping because he gets too warm.
From T-shirts to blanket (on the sleeping child) took about 7 hours, which is probably the biggest time investment I've made for any of my projects, but hopefully this is something he will have for years.
I still need to figure out a good use for all this though...
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33  Lions and tigers and ZEBRAS oh my! in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by charlieandwillow on: April 03, 2012 12:55:02 PM
Ok, so maybe I lied about two of those, but I live in Massachusetts so seeing any of them is pretty unusual, you have to admit...
Inspired by this http://wendigratz.blogspot.com/2011/04/mini-tote-free-sewing-pattern-pdf.html , I made myself a quilted book tote. Or possibly wine...
I scaled things up a little; the original tote is made from 9"*9" squares with 12" long handles, mine 17"*12" panels with 24" long handles. Basically, as big as my fabric allowed...
I regularly walk to the library with Bear so wanted something rugged enough to cope with the heavy histories I'm obsessed with reading, as well as a water bottle and snack. Or possibly for toting two bottles of wine back from the liquor store which is also conveniently within walking distance...
I'd never quilted anything before, and since I'm not the best at straight lines I opted for a bit of free-form quilting. I think it goes with the print pretty well.

C&C gratefully received as always...
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34  My first journal. in Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General by charlieandwillow on: April 03, 2012 12:03:52 PM
I'm not sure where's best to post this, as while it's a journal and essentially papercrafting, it is primarily machine sewn and has a fabric cover... Ho hum, here it goes...
I made this a while ago, but I'm still working on filling it full of quotes and whimsies on post-its...
It has 10 signatures of plain printer paper with covers of fun paper I found in MiL's journal making stash along with the book board inside the covers. The fabric I had left over from Bear's apron making project. Each signature is machine stitched together, and then hand stitched into the journal. It's not properly bound by any means, but I am very proud of it because it turned out exactly how I wanted and I love the haphazard, primitiveness of it.

Hand sewing those signatures in did make me cry a little, I was pushing a regular sewing needle through the fabric cover and 8 sheets of paper... I may have drawn blood once or twice...
C&C gratefully received as always.
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35  FACT: Small boys attract dirt. (Pic obese & Mini tute included) in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by charlieandwillow on: April 03, 2012 11:36:40 AM
...particularly this one.

Here is my Bear seen in it's natural state; making ferocious faces and covered in stuff. In this instance, flour because he'd been helping the Viking to make pizza crusts. Sadly, Vikings don't do aprons so a sticky child ensued...
In a bid to prevent crusty flour paste t shirts, I made him an apron for when he helps me baking. It was definitely a collaborative effort; he chose the fabrics, I did the grunt work. We made it a while ago with plenty of growing room.

Super-duper strong tapes for the straps, to restrain his cookie-dough filled tummy whilst baking...

Oh yeh, it's reversible. Check out my dinos!

It's well-loved, as the flour and paint stains can attest.
Now, be nice to me, this is my first attempt at a tutorial, but here goes...

I hope that's easy enough to follow.
Any comments, criticisms or suggestions gratefully received.
Now, time for a brownie... I think I earned it.
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36  Re: Monster Pouch Swap GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by charlieandwillow on: March 24, 2012 08:05:26 PM
And now for the AH-MAY-ZING package of awesomeness I received in the mail today from my wonderful swap partner, burstofpanties.
What could this be...


It has stars inside it's belleh!

He's full of goodies. Check out mah swag Cheesy

I'm such a happy panda right now. I was a little nervous about this whole swapping malarky, this being my first swap. But this was AWESOME! AND I have a fan-flippin'-tastic monster so feed treats to.
*skips away*
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37  Re: Monster Pouch Swap GALLERY! in The Swap Gallery by charlieandwillow on: March 24, 2012 07:55:56 PM
The fabulous burstofpanties' camera is feeling less than fantastic, and has given up the ghost. Hence, I posting pics of Terrence. Terrence is a tea monster. He likes to hug teabags inside his belly. Rumour has it he once disguised himself as a pineapple...

Terrence is very proud of his mohawk. He styles it every morning with pomade. He's a Dapper Dan man...

He's partial to a spot of Earl Grey in the afternoons, but he is prepared for every tea-ventuality .

All wrapped up in a cosy blanket ready to go on an adventure...
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38  I made a meerkat! UPDATED! Now with pics of the rare 6'5'' meerkat-of-the-shire in Costumes: Completed Projects by charlieandwillow on: March 15, 2012 06:18:08 PM
So sometime last year, probably around Halloween because that's most likely when I was talking about costume making, my little brother told me he wanted a meerkat costume. This is the time at which I point out my little brother, is 21 years old, in his third year of university, and a 6'5'' 210lb rugby player. He's also a little odd.
It took me a little while to figure out exactly how to create this monster. Originally I figured I would combine tutorials for hoodies and harem pants, and tack on a tail somehow. Then I remembered that stashed in my closet I had some footsie pyjamas. Using them very loosely as a template, only making them considerably wider and dropping the crotch to somewhere knee-level, I set to work on 5 yards of tie-dye khaki fleece with my rotary cutter (I have a new toy...). I basically took the dive-in-headlong approach, and figured out how to make it as I went. I free-handed the hood, sleeves and tail, using a hoodie of my own for reference just to get some idea of what shapes I needed things to be. This is the first time I'd set in sleeves since my final piece doing my textiles technology GCSE when I was 16. And that went...poorly. I'm super proud of myself as both sleeves are pretty much identical, and I didnt have to unpick a single stitch. The tail is set in like a sleeve too. And yes, the sleeves are orangutan long, mostly because my brother is definitely part-ape, but also because this way they cover your conspicuously-human hands.

Weirdly, I feel like the ears are my favourite part as they stand out from the hood by themselves, just the properties of the fleece mean theyre both light and strong enough to hold themselves up. It's got a single strip of velcro all the way down the front, and a hook and eye at the top just to add a bit of strength to the fastening.
The coolest part... To achieve life-like meerkat colouring, I spray painted the back and the tail. And myself, oops. I tried to mix a suitably dark brown from my fabric paints, but the colours I had were a little too... girly. In the end I raided the stash in the basement and grabbed superduper industrial spraypaint DH uses to paint model rockets.

Sadly my pictures are kind of sucky, and I had already mailed it to my bro back in the UK before realising thing. I did DEMAND he send action shots when he gets it though. I'll update this if he ever produces the goods.
It was surprisingly easy to put together once I'd had a couple of epiphanies as to how to engineer it. It's also wicked fun to run around in. I am absolutely making myself a dinosaur costume in this way. And one for my partner in crime, my 4 year old son... Then we can terrorise the library together and snack on books...
Action Shots!
I think he think's he's camouflaged by the tree...
The stripey socks definitely add something to the ensemble...
My brother is a giant goofball...
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39  Dinosaur of Love. in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by charlieandwillow on: February 18, 2012 10:31:42 AM
My other half is my rawr. He may be my Viking, but we have entire conversations in Dinosaur. Given my recent obsession with making plushies, I clearly had to make a Rawrosaurus for Valentine's Day. The stamp was made for me by my Viking when we were working at camp. No reason other than because he could, which is quite frankly the best reason for receiving gifts. Everything came from my stash which is awesome, as it left more in the budget for delicious foods for filling my tummy. Om noms...

I'm really happy with how he turned out, even if his spine spikey plate things didn't work out entirely perfectly. He's now living on the bookshelf next to our new bed, foraging among the pages of swedish fairytales and random histories...
As always, c+c gratefully received.
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40  Wicked cute infant hat version 1.0 in Knitting: Completed Projects by charlieandwillow on: February 01, 2012 06:52:54 PM
Everyone needs a collection of ridiculous hats. It's just a fact.
I've just rediscovered knitting, and found a fantastically soft, textured yarn in the box of weird and unloved yarns in the basement.
One of my best friends from high school is expecting her first baby any day now (in fact I think she reached term today).
Obviously, these three facts led me to knit a hat for Peanut when he or she arrives. I'm rather proud of how it turned out. I didn't use a pattern, I just had one of those eureka moments and knew how I could make it.
Sorry for the shoddy picture quality, I can't actually find my camera right now, I'll try and put better pics up tomorrow, but here we go...

I might pick up some more yarn and make a hat like this for myself. Who doesn't love them some tassels, I ask you?
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