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1  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / shirring with elastic thread - how to avoid tension problems? on: May 10, 2006 09:03:33 PM

In this post it says that using the elastic thread in your bobbin will screw up the tension, but my machine only does a straight stitch, so the only way I can do elastic smocking is with the thread in the bobbin.  So is there any way that I can fix my tension when I'm done?  I don't want to screw up my machine.  Or maybe is there some way to do it by hand (and still have it be stretchy)?

2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / how do i fix a puckered zipper on store bought clothing? on: March 08, 2006 12:00:34 PM
I just bought a nice little lined linen dress at the thrift store.  One problem - the zipper puckers and sticks out and causes the dress to hang funny on my back.  I'm trying to figure out what caused this - is it because the linen shrank?  Or because the zipper was not installed properly?  (I was looking at the stitching and this seems to be the most likely cause.)  Or could it be because the dress is sized for a petite, and while I am slender, I have a much longer torso and the zipper is falling at the small of my back instead of over my hips?  Other than this, the dress does fit me, and is in fact a little loose around my back where the zipper puckers out.

I am wondering what the best way to fix this is.  I've pretty much resigned myself to taking the zipper out and re-installing it (oh terror!) but I'm also wondering if I should shorten the zipper while I'm at it; or if I could shorten the zipper without taking it out completely, since the main problem is really in that lower section.

3  New York / New York: West / rochester salvage lumber? on: June 09, 2005 10:33:17 PM
anyone know a good place around here to go for cheap salvage lumber?  i want to make a room divider for our apartment, and while I could pick up some two by fours at the hardware store, i'd like to recycle.  plus its more interesting.  Smiley
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / penis couture on: June 06, 2005 01:35:57 AM
ETA: I hope this doesn't offend anyone and I'll take it down if it does.

My husband and I were joking around one day about how I should make little tee shirts for penises.  Well, I was bored tonight, so I made one and I stenciled a "woodpecker" on it.  For obvious reasons, I can't post an action shot, so my acrylic paint bottle is modeling it.

5  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / my 1st altered book art journal "i think its gonna be one of those years" on: June 05, 2005 08:38:55 PM
Today I had the urge to make a mess.  So I went and found a book I'd seen someone throwing away, and I fixed that sucker up.  The first couple pages are a sort of weird album with some pictures of my family and some things I wanted to write about them, and then I think I'm just going to use the rest of the pages for an art journal.

6  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / easy recycled, quilted wool and cotton pads - tutorial (different method) on: June 03, 2005 08:55:15 PM
I made this in a new thread because I think it's a different enough technique for making menstrual pads than what was posted in the other two threads.  They don't have wings, but you'd be suprised at how well they stay put, because of the fabric backing.  The quilting makes them not bulky at all and also keeps the material from shifting around inside, especially when you wash it.  The wool makes them so much more absorbent than regular cotton (reading about how wool absorbency and a bum sweater is what inspired me to make these) that they stay comfortable for much longer and - most importantly - they don't leak like the disposible pads do, down the wings and all, yuck.  I have a pretty heavy flow, and I've rarely had these leak on me.  They are all-natural fibers, no synthetics.  If I could find recycled organic fibers I'd love to make them out of those, but as it is, I'm happy just recycling old clothes.

For the wool, I used one of my brother's old wool sweaters that had felted (accidentally) in the wash, and nobody wanted to wear it.  Basically, I cut a bunch of pad shaped pieces out of the sweater, then a bunch more pieces (which were slightly bigger) out of a tee shirt and some black flannel.  I like the dark colors because they don't look as messy.

Here they are, with the wool piece, the tee shirt piece and the flannel piece in a pile.  You can't see the flannel because it is the same size as the tee shirt piece. 

So then with 'right' sides together of the flannel and jersey, I sewed a pocket shaped piece that has an opening at one end.

I trimmed close to the seam (well not in this picture...) then I laid the wool piece on top and pulled the whole thing inside out

so that the wool was in between - smooth it out a little with my fingers, then fold the open ends in, sew it shut and "quilt" over it with the machine.

Ta da!  Here is the top:

And the bottom:

Or the bottom and the top, it just depends which fabric you prefer close to your delicate bits.  Anyhow, these are really easy to care for, throw them in a bucket of water, then machine wash (so I would be sure to preshrink everything...).  I carry a little ziploc baggie with me to have something to put them in when I am out and about.
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / haphazard green outfit on: June 03, 2005 12:27:57 PM
I made this outfit out of a teeshirt I rescued from behind salvo and a sheet.  And also some brown fabric that I was making into a skirt but the skirt looked crappy, so I used the brown for an underskirt.

I saw a jersey skirt with a big stencil on it that said love, and then some birds.  Well, I made a love stencil, and I'm trying my hand at a really intricate scroll work type beaver stencil because my husband though that would be funny.  But I haven't finished it yet, so it may never be.

I pinned some felt flowers to the shirt.  And you can see my safety pin fastening.  I was planning on putting in buttons or a zipper, but then I decided I actually liked the safety pins because the outfit is all pastel and the safety pins keep it from being to precious.  I think..

One more picture:

The only problem I have overall is that if I bend over, one of my boobs falls out.  So I'm not liking that, and I haven't figured out how to fix it since somehow I made my shirt too big and too small at the same time.  I may scrap it.  But I've also tried tying a little scrap of yellow jersey around my chest, sort of like a bandeau bra when I wear it and that seems to work a little.
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / star mobile thingy on: May 22, 2005 12:29:50 AM
My husband's birthday is tomorrow, and I got him presents but I was so excited to give them to him that he opened them last week.  Luckily he slept all day today so I could hang these stars up in the living room.  There are 25 of them (only 15 hanging in the picture - I'm taking a break) and there is a little piece of paper over the light switch that says "grateful for every year of your life."  Because he's going to be 25.

9  COOKING / Dessert / flourless chocolate cakey goodness for the people, now with photos on: May 17, 2005 03:03:07 PM
So, I decided to bake a flourless chocolate cake, only I didn't have all these things the recipes called for, so I deviated in the following manner:

I carefully melted 18oz (by wt) of semisweet chocolate chips with one cup of salted butter in a pan.  I added about one or two tablespoons of unsweetened baking cocoa powder because the semisweet chips are too sweet for my liking.  I also added a teaspoon each of cinnamon and cardamom.  Then I poured the melted chocolate/spice mixture into a bowl and beat in six eggs, one at a time.  I used a fork for this because I do not have a whisk or electric mixer.

Then I poured the batter into a pan which had been greased with butter and sprinkled with cocoa powder.  I put the pan into a boiling water bath and set the whole thing in the oven which had been preheated to 300F.  Then I let it bake for forty minutes.  It got quite jiggly when I touched it.  Jiggle jiggle.

Right now it is sitting on my counter cooling, but I sort of wobbled off a piece of the edge and it's quite tasty!  I think I am going to chill it and serve it with a nice raspberry jam sauce.

You can't really tell but it isn't jiggly at all anymore, and I never would have guess it was made without flour.  Anyhow, I spread raspberry jam over the top of the cake, then coated it in ganache.  Ganache was made from the remaining cup of chips and some heavy cream.  (Total chocolate tally, two 12 oz bags - $5.00.)  I have no idea how ryan and I will be able to eat all this chocolate.  I guess we will have to give some away to the neighbors.

Other things: I used toll house chocolate chips which isn't the best chocolate in the world (imo - too harsh), so I think I would like to make this out of a really nice chocolate next time, especially the ganache, since ninety percent of the ingredients were chocolate.  At least in the cake, the eggs and butter take the edge off, but with the ganache it's just, whoa, chocolate chips.  Also I would like to be able to garnish it with fresh raspberries and leaves, I think that would be pretty.

10  COOKING / Dessert / please help me figure out what kind of chocolate cake/dessert this is? on: May 17, 2005 11:26:32 AM
A little while ago, I ate this really yummy dessert - it looked like it had been mad in a round cake pan, only it didn't have a crumb.  There was no crust - there may or may not have been flour, I don't know.  But it had a nice firm texture, and it melted in my mouth sort of like a dense chocolatey butter - it was served chilled.  It was not greasy.  I know it wasn't a cheesecake because it didn't have that flavor, and it was much to firm.  Does anyone know what this is called or how I can make it?
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