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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Perfect gift for the bride & groom to be on: January 27, 2007 12:19:04 PM
I was a lucky girl and got a new embroidery machine for my birthday last November.  I was excited to play with my new toy and with Christmas just around the corner I had a ton of ideas for gifts.  

My sister got engaged just recently so i sought out to think of the perfect bride & groom gift for the happy couple.  This is what I came up with...

Coordinating Bride & Groom bathrobes and matching handtowels.  Who doesn't love a comfy bathrobe in these cold winter months?!  

I didn't have enough time to make the robes from scratch so I purchased plain brown & beige robes from my local supermarket (i know... grocery stores carry everything now!) and embroiderred the words across the back.  For a little more personal touch I added their wedding date on the front pocket.  

What a success!  My sister shed a few happy tears when they opened their gifts and later told me it was the most thoughtful present she has ever received.  

Here's the happy couple showing off their robes.

And a close up of the pocket.

Now I've put my self in quite a pickle... how am I going to top this for their wedding gift!   Wink
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / TUTORIAL - PSP game case on: January 14, 2007 05:49:26 PM
My boyfriend recently got a PSP for all those long drives on the weekends.  I thought it was pretty cool until i figured out that he wanted ME to drive while HE played with it!  It's alright though... he switches with me once in a while.

For Christmas I wanted to get him a case for all the games he was collecting but they only cases i could find only held 4 or 6 games and were really expensive for what they were.  I couldn't find anything I liked but I knew one thing... his current method of storage, though it had a high capacity, was definitely lacking in the functional 'protective' nature that cases are meant to provide.

The old PSP game case:

I set out to sew a game case that he would be proud to store his games in.  I used a sturdy brushed denim fabric for the case, some old upholstery fabric for the stabilizer and a zipper.  It holds 12 games and has lots of personal touches like a game logo on the zipper tab and characters from Loco Roco (the first game he bought) on the cover.  That was the best part of the project - I got to use my new embroidery machine to embellish the cover.

Enough said.  Hope he likes it.

The new PSP game case:

Here's what I did...


- all measurements include 3/8" seam allowance
- press & pin everything!
- all dimensions are in width by height


First step... make a 12 little pockets the exact same size.  Measure one of the games you're making the case for.  You'll want the finished pocket 1/4" wider and 1/2" shorter than your game for a snug fit.  For PSP games I started with 3-3/4"x3".  Fold top down 3/8" and stitch to finish top of the pocket.  Clip bottom corners of pocket on a diagonal, fold 3/8" under on sides & bottom.  Your pocket should be 2-7/8"x2-1/8".  Voila!  12 little pockets ready to attach.  As you can see, I've used a decorative stitch to give the pocket a finished look.


Cut 2 rectangles 9"x7-1/2" from good fabric and 1 from your stabilizer for the inner page.  I used scrap upholstery fabric as my stabilizer rather than something more costly.  Pin pockets as shown in the diagram on both rectangles.  You'll want to be precise in measuring so that the pockets look even.

Stitch sides and bottom of each pocket very close to the edges.  It's a good idea to test the fit of the game at this point.  If they are too loose or too tight you can fix them now rather than waiting and having to undo a lot of your work.  

Once all 8 pockets are attached to both good rectangles, layer as shown (good face up, good face down, stabilizer).  Be sure to orient the pages so all the pockets are facing up!

Stitch around edges leaving 3" open to turn out.  Clip corners on a diagonal, turn inside out, press edges and sew opening.  You have finished your inner page.


Cut 2 good and 1 stabilizer rectangles 9-1/4"x7-3/4".  Prepare the inside cover in the same fashion as the inner page following the diagram below.  Layer stabilizer & cover (face up) and baste around edges.


Position page on cover and stitch down the centre to attach.  Be sure to orient the page so all the pockets are face up.  I drew a chalk line to make sure I stitched straight down the centre and also used the same decorative stitch to attach the page as I've used on the pockets.


Test your game case to see how wide your zipper needs to be to accommodate a case full of games.  Mine had to be 1-1/2" wide.  If you can purchase a zipper wide enough you can skip this step.  If not, and you're using a dress zipper you had lying around like I did, cut strips of fabric and sew to each side of zipper to achieve the desired width as in diagram below.  Remember to include your seam allowance.  I have only a 1/4" seam allowance on my zipper as you can see... oops!


Pin and sew zipper to right side of case as shown (facing up!).  Leave 1" in the centre or spine of the book not attached.  

Be sure to ease the corners so that your zipper forms a 90 degree angle.  This is important so that you'll be able to close the zipper around the inner pages.

Mark the other edge of the zipper across from the exact corner so you can line it up with the corners on the left side of the book.  This will ensure you end up with a square book.  Pin zipper to the left side of the inner cover as shown lining up the corners with your marks.  Sew zipper to left side of book.  Remember not to attach the centre 1".

Once your zipper is attached you can fold the end of the zipper behind the spine and hand tack the 1" gap along your basting line.  This  will be hidden by the cover.

Make a tab to finish the start of your zipper and attach.


Cut a rectangle 11"x9-1/4 for the cover.  If you wish you can embroider or silkscreen something on it or you could just leave it blank.  It's up to you.  Here's mine.

Open the zipper all the way so book lies flat, centre and pin book to cover (be sure it's right side up if you've put something on the cover).  Roll edges to cover your basting stitch and stitch around outside to attach cover.  


That's it.  You're done!  

I hope this was helpful.  I'll be around if you have any questions.  Good luck and I'd love to see your case when it's done.


3  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Dog Sweater Pattern : Spoilt Rotten! on: December 03, 2006 01:25:51 PM
I've had Benjamin for just three years and can you believe it, he's got a bigger wardrobe than I do!  I guess that's what you get with four knitters in the family.  He's got something to wear for every occasion.

Here he is modelling his favourite sweater.  I've knitted a little something extra into the body.   Tongue

The sweater pattern is only in 'Benjamin' size but you could adjust it to fit your own furry little friend.  There is a harness hole in the back so you can attach your leash directly and a wide neck for comfort and ease of dressing.  I started the design centered and four rows after the leash hole.  If you're knot a fan of fair isle knitting, you can always embroider the design into the finished sweater.

And the pattern...

Benjamins Favourite Sweater           Design by Lisa Mortimer

SIZE:  S  Fits dogs weighing 7-16 lbs
GUAGE:  10 sts/16 rows = 2 in SS
Sport or worsted weight yarn
5mm needles (or size to obtain gauge)
4mm circular or dp needles for ribbing


CO 60 sts with CC (with 5mm for loose ribbing or 4mm for tighter ribbing)
Work K1 P1 ribbing for 2 ending with WS

Break CC
Row 1   With MC, K1 M1, K to last 2 sts, M1 K1
Row 2   Purl

Repeat these two rows 9 times (80 sts)
Next row   Knit
Next row    Purl

Row 1   K8, place 8 sts on holder, attach new yarn and K23, BO2 (for leash hole), K23, place 8 sts on holder, attach new yarn K8
Row 2     Purl three sections separately, CO2 sts at leash hole in middle section (8-48-8 sts)
Row 3-12 Continue in SS in each section separately for 10 rows ending with WS.  
Row 13   Using same yarn to rejoin three sections, K8, CO8, K48, CO8, K8
Row 14-18 Cont in SS (5 rows) (80 sts)

Row 19   K8, sl1 K1 psso, K4, K2tog, K48, sl1 K1 psso, K4, K2tog, K8 (76sts)
Row 20    (and all even rows)  purl
Row 21   K8, sl1 K1 psso, K2, K2tog, K48, sl1 K1 psso, K2, K2tog, K8
Row 23   K8, sl1 K1 psso, K2tog, K48, sl1 K1 psso, K2tog, K8
Row 25   K8, K2tog, K48, K2tog, K8 (66sts)
Row 27   K1, sl1 K1 psso, knit to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1
Row 29   BO 8 sts K to end
Row 30   BO 8 sts purlwise, P to end (48 sts)

Row 1   K1, sl1 K1 psso K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1
Row 2   purl
Repeat these two rows until 38 sts remain

Continue even in SS for 10 rows (or to desired length), ending with a WS

With CC, pick up & knit 23, 38 & 23 sts along belly edges & back of sweater
Continue in K1 P1 ribbing for three rows, ending with a WS
BO loosely

With dp needles and CC, pick up and knit 26 sts around each leg opening
Continue in K1 P1 ribbing until leg is desired length.  BO loosely

Sew chest seam, reversing seam for collar if desired.

4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Faux leather wrap bracelet on: December 02, 2006 10:08:01 PM
I saw a simple wrap bracelet today with a price tag of $55!  I loved the look but wasn't prepared to pay that much for it.  Like my fellow craftsters I said to myself, "I can make that!"... and I did.  It took me about 15 minutes to put it all together and I was able to scrounge all the materials from my stash.  Total cost of the bracelet... $0!

What do you think?

Sizing tip: The wrap should be twice the size of your wrist for a proper fit.

Thanks for letting me share!

5  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 7 ENTRIES / My patchwork jean shoulderbag.. err I mean handbag... no it's a shoulderbag... on: November 09, 2005 11:13:14 AM
I used an old pair of jeans & a pair of overalls to make my bag.

After sketching my design & tearing the clothes apart, I cut out blocks of jean, inverting the fabric for some pieces to double my colour choices for the patchwork look.


The front of the bag is designed to imitate the front pockets on a pair of jeans.  There is a functional 'change' pocket and a 'front flap' pocket for essentials like lip balm and keys.  The flap is held to the bag with a button and attached to the back panel of the bag along the top.  It isn't necessary to unbutton the flap to access the main compartment unless you were putting a larger item in the bag like a book.  The logo & Flatline is my label that I use on all the clothing I make.

I cut out a back pocket, stitched my logo across it and sewing it to the back panel of the bag.
Once I constructed the bag, I pressed it to age the seams.

Salvaging the two alligator clips from the overalls, I sewed them both into the shoulder strap so that the shoulder strap could quickly be transformed into a hand strap and then back again.  Not only is the bag versatile in matching with the colours in your wardrobe (jean goes with anything, right?) but the style of the bag can change too!


Although I forgot to take a picture of the inside before I gave it to my sister... It is fully lined including a zipper pocket for those 'unmentionables'.  I sewed a heavy plasticized card into the bottom to help the bag keep its shape.  The finished bag measures about 12" wide by 8" high with a base 3" deep.  The strap is convertible from to 25" to 40"
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