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1  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Toddler's Texas Longhorns asymmetrical-arm-stripe jacket from McCall's 4220 on: January 11, 2013 01:47:46 PM
This pattern, McCall's 4220, has been in my stash for a while. I finally made a version for a friend's daughter, who joins us when we watch Texas Longhorns games.

The pattern is out of print, apparently. So much for this being a useful review/demo of current offerings, heh. Anyway, if you stumble upon it, I recommend the following modifications:

  • Overall, pattern was designed for polar fleece, so it leaves many edges raw (unhemmed). I hate that look, so I added hems wherever they were lacking.
  • Add a placket to avoid having raw edges where the buttons close. To do this, extend the "center" line on the pattern front piece by 5/8" (seam allowance). Then cut out a rectangle of broadcloth as long as the jacket front, and about 3" wide. Add lightweight fusible interfacing. Serge one edge, and sew the other edge along the jacket center front, wrong sides together. Fold over, topstitch the placket to the jacket front (wrong sides together). TL;DR - make a placket.
  • The hood calls for the "wrong side" of the fabric to be folded over and visible on the "right side." I think this is because they assume you're using a faux shearling type fabric, where the fuzzy side is the "wrong side" so it's ornamental when folded over to the "right side" of the hood. Since I wasn't using shearling, I just folded the edge of the hood to the "wrong side" (opposite of the directions - beware this step!)
  • Folded both pieces of seam allowance to one side, and topstitched at every step. Just a fun detail that makes it look more "athletic"/"professional."

Other modifications (just for completeness, not necessarily recommended)
  • White bias tape line details on sleeves. Made 'em asymmetrical because you can get away with more "fun" in kidswear.
  • White fleece Longhorn applique on back. Left the raw edges exposed - hey, it's fleece.


If I had it to do over, my advice for future makers of this pattern:

  • Polar fleece is terribly thick to be making pockets out of. And you can't really iron precise folds, so the bottom curves turned out kind of clunky. Consider keeping the pocket concept (because, kids!) but make them a different kind. Maybe an interior pocket - jetted, bound, single-welt, etc.
  • Make the arm stripes MORE asymmetrical, or just make them symmetrical. The asymmetry is not obvious, and to me it looks like it could be a mistake.
2  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Local History Sleuth Swap? on: February 24, 2006 10:38:38 AM
This one might need a little research, but, hey, we all have internet access: learn a bit about the history of your area (city, county, neighborhood, etc.) and create "tourist souvenirs" based on your discoveries. The more obscure, the better, particularly for suburban places where streets are named after people who may still have family living there, and which may not be as exciting as big cities but as you learn more about the history of the place, you get excited about where you live. The swap package would have the crafts and maybe a little background write-up of the historic people/events you're depicting in the "souvenirs."

For example, I know someone who lives in San Lorenzo, CA. It's near Oakland. Right now, it's a bunch of tract houses and strip malls, and initially not very exciting. But when you dig a little, you learn that the tiny town used to be citrus groves and farmland. People would take weekend vacations from San Francisco and Oakland to attend fairs and relax amongst the orchards. http://www.sanlorenzoexpress.com//history.htm

"Souvenir" ideas from this voyage into history would include, maybe, a crocheted set of fruit (symbolizing the former farmland), a T-shirt advertising an imaginary concert at the now-defunct "San Lorenzo Grove," postcards of the Roberts Estate, McConaghy Estate, Meek Estate and Heidi Farmhouse, a bath towel supposedly stolen from the "Willows Hotel,"  perhaps throw in a bit of recent history, like an embroidered tote bag with a picture of the crazy guy everybody knows who lives down the road and throws beer cans at the meter reader.


3  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Project Linus "Make A Blanket Day" Feb. 18 on: February 07, 2006 10:41:33 AM
Hi. Got scraps? Stash need pruning? I found a cool opportunity to make use of extra fabric and get a quilt done in a day ... on Make A Blanket Day ...

Heard of Project Linus? Then you probably know what this is all about.

I've never worked with Project Linus, so I'm speaking theoretically rather than from experience, but they seem like a good group. I found 'em on the web. They gather new handmade quilts, afghans and fleece blankets and distribute them to children and teens in need - hospitals, shelters and the like.

Feb. 18 is the sixth annual "Make A Blanket Day." Here. Read. http://www.projectlinus.org/mabd.shtml If someone here is affiliated with Linus, they may have more to say. But the deal appears to be this: you make a new blanket, find your local Project Linus chapter, bring them your blanket, and they take care of the distribution and logistics.

My goal is to teach some friends how to quilt on Feb. 18, using the snuggle up pattern as a guide, and bring a few blankets to the local chapter.

So, there you have it. Of course you can make a charity blanket/quilt any time of the year. But just thought I'd point out Feb. 18 as a special day.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Flaming green fur baby jacket on: September 28, 2005 05:59:06 PM
Whenever I go to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, I get really crafty and inspired. One of my favorite pieces in the Japanese section is a very tall wooden seated figure, with giant wooden flames behind him. So placid, yet so fiery. That's what gave me the idea for this jacket.

I pimptasticified a regular baby pattern by making it with green fur and adding orange polar fleece applique around all edges. Freehanded the flames: cut them out first, pinned them to the already-cut-out green fur, and sewed them with zigzag stiches using invisible thread. Because the fur+plus+fleece combo was extremely thick, I actually cut away the green fur under the orange flames after doing the applique, before proceeding to add the lining of yellow broadcloth.

I didn't do a tutorial or anything -- just followed the pattern and embellished a bit. I've made other jackets from Butterick 6782, too. It's a good pattern, if you have lots of breeder friends.

5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / You WILL get down on your knees and crawl to the filthy altar of THE BOOGNISH! on: September 28, 2005 05:41:45 PM
I made this Boognish throw blanket for a friend. It is brown knit "velvet" on one side, with the Boognish applique in yellow polar fleece. The other side is plain yellow broadcloth. It has 1/4-inch batting in-between. The fringe is also the yellow polar fleece.

For the applique, I taped together some paper grocery bags and freehanded the pattern from a Boognish pic on a Ween T-shirt, then cut it out of the yellow fleece, then sewed it to the brown "velvet" with zigzag stiches.

It's not the most precise project you've ever seen, and it wouldn't win any awards at a 4-H fair ... but I have a feeling THE BOOGNISH prefers it sloppy ...

Stare into the Lion's Eye, and if you taste the candy ...

Come on, it's a beautiful night for a walk on the beach, wouldn't you say? Yes, I would say that, I would say that.

6  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Breadmaking classes for domestic violence shelters on: June 20, 2005 03:37:00 PM
Hi all. I recently read "Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book." It contains fabulous, comprehensive information about whole grain baking and sustainable living that has been an inspiration to me. If you haven't read it (and you may not have -- it's kind of obscure and from the early 1980s), the authors talk a lot about breadmaking and other home cooking as not only a means to a meal, but a philosophy of creating your own food out of local, simple ingredients that anyone in the world could use (linked to world hunger issues, sustainability, vegetarianism, etc.). She goes on a lot about kneading bread as a form of therapeutic quiet-time that also lets you chat with friends and family while getting something done, watching it grow.

Anyway, I was thinking about such things, and came up with this possibly hair-brained idea of teaching simple breadmaking classes at domestic violence shelters. I've worked with DV tangentially (mostly grunt-work, nothing with the clients themselves), and I know they keep the clients pretty busy while they're at the shelters, what with the classes and group therapy and having a job and getting to the job without a car and taking care of the kids, etc. etc. They hardly have time to fit breadmaking into the schedule. On the other hand, it might be fun, like a craft, or a good-smelling diversion you can eat, that is quite cheap and something kids can learn as well. A confidence builder -- it's hard to mess up bread if you do it right, and it's so freakin' tasty fresh out of the oven. Surprise! You're a bread baker.

So, two questions:

a) Have you heard of this being done before? If you have, let me know. Precedent = good.

b) Does it sound like a project that's worth the time and effort to get it off the ground? Of course I would say yes because bread is my current obsession, but I would like your honest opinions. If you were at a shelter, would you want to spend an evening to learn how to make bread from scratch, or would you think it was a waste of time? Be brutally candid -- I can take it.

Of course, take into account that I'd prod a friend into volunteering to babysit while the moms are learning. Free childcare, always an incentive.  Wink Also, I was thinking they could walk away with a loaf of bread and a jar of baker's yeast I order in large quantities -- it's so expensive in the individual packets, but ridiculously cheap in bulk.
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