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11  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: BRAINSTORM! Making suction cups in fabric tentacles. on: October 11, 2014 02:12:25 PM
Thanks for the input everyone. Here's what I decided to do.

First, I tried taping a thumbtack to my sewing machine deck and doing a circular satin stitch. The problem is, this doesn't work very well for small circles, plus craft felt tends to be a little loose, so structured stitches just ate it up. So that didn't work. Watching how the felt reacted, though, gave me more hope for another technique.

Using my open-toe embroidery/mending foot (if you want to know more about that, ask—it's awesome), I "sketched" out circles staggered down the length of the precut tentacle, using a matching thread. Because of the tensions, what happened is the inner part of the circle bubbled out a little—perfect!

Because these are tentacles and not quilting or apparel, nothing needed to be exact. I just wanted a suggestion of texture/shapes rather than something very overt, so this method worked great. Here are some photos:

This is a close up of the circles with a little bit of stuffing, after being attached to the "upper" part of the tentacle, which is marine vinyl.

This is a finished tentacle, with wire running through it for articulation—part of it anyway; they are about 3 feet long each.

Thanks again for your suggestions! When the whole thing is finished, I'll post it in the appropriate location.

12  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / BRAINSTORM! Making suction cups in fabric tentacles. on: October 07, 2014 07:53:56 PM
Greetings from the briny deep!

I'm making a Halloween costume that involves tentacles. (The less said the better... This post will be updated with finished project.)

The tentacles themselves are going to be shiny costume vinyl for 2/3 of the circumference and something else for contrast for the other 1/3 — possibly felt, but that's an open item. Each of the 8 tentacles is going to be about 36" long and around 7" at the widest circumference. That means the "under" side will be between 3" and 1.5" wide.

I'd like to add detail for suction cups, but don't want to just, say, cut circles out and sew/glue them on. I want something a little slicker, something almost embossed. Thoughts I've had include freehand scribble-sewing circles onto the fabric (which would create interest but not much dimension), reverse appliqué (which would add texture, but there are going to be a lot of them), or maybe even needle-felting rings. Needle-felting would give a nice raised effect and seems time- and cost-efficient, but I've never needle-felted anything ever, so it may be that I'm under-estimating the difficulty involved. I do have an embroidery machine, which could do cool tone-on-tone satin-stitched rings, but it's a 4" hoop and doing that many rings would involve a lot of hooping and rehooping, not to mention a lot of stabilizer.

I have NO sewing friends to hash this out with (everybody: "awwwww!"), except of course the friendly Craftster community!

Any ideas? Let's talk about it!

13  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: Looking for kilt-sewing class somewhere near Detroit... on: April 02, 2014 08:33:34 AM
Steiconi, what you're talking about is sometimes referred to as a "great kilt," that's where he basically rolls himself up in a big length of cloth. I'm talking about a sewn and tailored pleated kilt.

The making of the beast doesn't look like it would be all that difficult -- the complications are introduced according to what tartan you use! And I have a lot of questions, like what are the various reasons for pleating to certain parts of the plaid etc that I think would be better served by an in-person class. Not having much luck there. I do own the Simplicity 5029 "costume" kilt which can get me to where I want to go, but it doesn't address my cultural questions.

Barbara Tewksbury's "The Art of Kilt Making" seems to be the reference of choice for non-pros. For some totally bizarre reason, amazon.com has it listed for $100+ when you can still get it from the publisher for $35:

I may get the book, but I STILL would prefer to actually spend time with an experienced seamstress. Smiley
14  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Looking for kilt-sewing class somewhere near Detroit... on: March 28, 2014 05:02:54 PM
I've found books and video tutorials and all the usual resources, but what I'd really like is to find an honest-to-goodness, hands-on, professionally-led, real-deal kilt-making class somewhere within an hour of the Detroit area.

15  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Re: How do I sew this circle in this hole? on: March 28, 2014 05:00:20 PM
It sounds possible that you don't have the hole yet, is that right? Like, you aren't repairing a hole that already exists, but rather doing something purely as a design element?

In which case, place the contrast behind your top fabric, mark and sew the circle, then cut out the hole.

If that's not what you're doing, and you already have the circle-shaped hole, just ignore me and read the other responses before mine. Smiley
16  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Discussion and Questions / Re: First Quarter 2014 Featured Machine Embroidery Projects on: March 26, 2014 10:23:44 AM
Cool!  Smiley Smiley Smiley
17  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Re: Advice wanted: Mounting skull to glass, semi-permanently. on: March 26, 2014 10:21:25 AM
The more I think about it, the more I can imagine hot glue peeling/breaking off the glass when it's time. I think I may try that. I know that anything I use is more than likely going to be the end of the bones, especially since they'll be small.

When I get something put together, I'll update this post to let y'all know/see what I went with. Smiley
18  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Re: Advice wanted: Mounting skull to glass, semi-permanently. on: March 15, 2014 12:19:48 PM
Will it? As a crafter I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I don't use hot glue very often. I find it messy and I'm clumsy with it. But it'll cleanly come off glass with heat? I can manage that. Smiley
19  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Re: Advice wanted: Mounting skull to glass, semi-permanently. on: March 05, 2014 10:24:19 PM
That's a good idea... and it would come off the glass pretty well, after razoring. Thanks!
20  SEWING IN GENERAL / Machine Embroidery: Completed Projects / Re: The Anatomy of an (Embroidered) Electric Eel on: March 05, 2014 02:44:23 PM
Aaaah! That's so awesome! I've been so busy looking at everyone else's fantastic work, I haven't peeped in to see replies to my post. I'm so thrilled for my new badge!!
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