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1  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Re: Reinforcing tops of handmade bags on: May 26, 2004 07:58:45 AM
Some people have been using that plastic cross stitch canvasy stuff to reinforce the bottoms of their bags, I bet you could sew a strip of it into the top edges, too.  That would probably work really well (and the bag could still be thrown in the wash).  You'd have to do the top stitching along the top edge to keep it in place.

Oooh!  That's a really good idea!  I'm gonna hafta go get me some of that!
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Re: zipper pocket on: May 25, 2004 11:45:26 AM
OMG, it's so easy... but I can't post pictures right now, so i'm going to do my best to explain using words only.  Here goes:

- Take a square of fabric... Leave a 1/2" or so around the edges for seam allowance. 

- cut a strip off the top of the square, around 1.5-2".  Call this piece A.

- fold over a half inch of the strip, length wise, and press. (this makes it easier for sewing the zipper in). 

- do the same with the bigger piece of fabric.  Call this piece B

- Now for yer zipper. It has to be at least as long as the pocket is wide, seam allowance included.  If it's too long, you can just cut it down before you sew it in. 

- Sew piece A to the zipper, making sure the zipper tongue (or whatever it's called) sits about a half inch in from the side edge when it's zipped up.

- sew piece B to the zipper.

- You should now have a slightly shorter square with a zipper running 1-1.5" from the top.

- Trim the zipper down to the width of the square. 

- fold over a half inch of fabric all around the edges and press

- now sew yer pocket to the lining (preferably before you sew the lining together) and Voila!  You have a zipper pocket.

You can do this with any size or shape pocket.  Just remember to add seam allowances for the edges as well as extra on the height to allow for the zipper sewing.

I'll post a tutorial with a pictures later.

Good Luck!
3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Re: Reinforcing tops of handmade bags on: May 25, 2004 11:18:53 AM
I just ran into this problem myself.  I don't know if you'll find this very reassuring, but it really comes down to what materials you use.  I made my bag out of wide wale corduroy and reinforced it with non-woven fusible interfacing, which is pretty sturdy.  And on top of that, the top has a zipper and there is piping all around the edges.   So you'd think it would be be able to withstand the shoulder strap pressures, right?  Wrong.  My solution was to use double handles that attach to the sides, totebag style, but that won't really help you out.

Basically, most bags with shoulder straps are made or lined with canvas or vinyl or thick denim, materials that do not bend very easily.  They are much stiffer than materials like wide wale corduroy, etc.  You might want to experiment with the width of the bag/length of the strap and whatnot.  This might have an effect on the bend factor.  You could also experiment with velcro closures.  If you have a strip of velcro going across the top to close the bag, it might prevent it from bowing in, as well.  So that's my two cents. 

As far as reinforcing the top... I would have said fusible interfacing, but that didn't work for me.  I'd be curious to see what everyone else has to say....
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Re: Room Dividers on: May 25, 2004 11:00:43 AM
It shouldn't be too hard to make one of those chinese folding screens.  It's basically a series of frames hinged together so they all fold.  Each frame would be like a sandwich, with two wood frames as the bread and a piece of cool fabric in the middle.  You could probably put the whole thing together (depending on the size) for around 20-40 bucks.  The wood would have to be pretty lightweight, and if you get it all at Home Depot, you can even cut it down to size right there.  I've never done this, but I could put together a hypothetical tutorial if you like.  Grin
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / Re: cigar box ideas- help! on: May 25, 2004 10:40:54 AM
You could make cool little memory boxes.  Depending on how many boxes you have or how many years you've been together, you could even do one for each year.  Like having a little story in each box based on something that happened  each year you've been together.  You could use photographs, mementos you've saved, even receipts or grocery lists (i guess it depends on how much stuff you save Wink ). 

or here's a kind of silly, but maybe funny/cute idea... You could make little characters out of cigars and have a cigar scenes in each box.  I guess that one depends on your husband's sense of humor. Grin
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: Why are sewing patterns so lame? on: May 25, 2004 09:56:47 AM
I never use patterns because they are SO lame.  I just work from clothing I already have.  There's a thread discussing how to do that.


If I happen to find some cool patterns, they are usually too expensive, but here's a link to some, anyway:


If you are really attached to working from a store bought pattern, yer best bet probably is the trift store patterns.  Half the time, they don't even know what they have, so it's all cheap!

I hope that helps  Wink
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: 50s dress on: May 25, 2004 09:47:32 AM
This site has some fifties style patterns that might give you some ideas.  The patterns are kinda expensive for me, but the pictures are cool.

8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Re: giving it ago - portrait embroidery on: May 25, 2004 09:32:51 AM
I know what you mean!  I was totally inspired by Jenny Hart to do a portrait of Prince. 

As for the face issues... I would make a pattern on paper and then transfer it.  That way you can make all your mistakes on that, instead of on the shirt.  Maybe you could xerox a picture of his face and trace it with a transfer pencil or transfer marker?  Or if you're handy with Illustrator, you could make a pattern that way.  That's what I did for the Prince portrait. 

If you're worried about the actual embroidery turning out chunky...Judging by Jenny's work, just use finer stitching for the face details, instead of split stitch or chain stitch.  I haven't finished mine yet, so I don't know if the face is going to be convincing or not.  The thing is, for a first embroidery portrait, it's a big accomplishment just to finish the thing, right?
9  UNITED STATES / Massachusetts / Sewing machine doctor in Boston? on: May 25, 2004 07:01:10 AM
I have a singer sewing maching and it's not feeling so good.  I'm thinking it's time to bring it in for a check up.  Anyone know of a good sewing machine doctor in the Boston area?  Preferably on public transportation, but not necessarily.  Thanks!
10  KNITTING / Projects from the Stitch 'N B**ch Books by Debbie Stoller / Re: Zeeby's Bag Help! on: May 24, 2004 03:36:42 PM
Can you post a picture?  It's pretty hard to diagnose knitting problems from words only  Smiley
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