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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Re: Crockpot Recipes and Tips on: January 18, 2014 02:21:41 AM
The Australian summer is the three months of the year I wouldn't dream of using the crock pot... except that I did our steamed Christmas pudding in it and it was sensational! I'm convinced it is a less steamy, hot and bothersome way to do it than the conventional stove-top boiling.
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: Blouse number 2 on: May 25, 2013 05:30:01 AM
That looks like faultless construction. I like the rich brown. Nice work!
3  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Re: Vintage Sheet Quilt (pic heavy) on: October 26, 2012 07:41:33 PM
When my youngest was born I purchased some prettily patterned polar fleece to make something (I forget what) for her, but she found the polar fleece in the shopping bag, snaffled it, and toddled around holding onto it, refusing to let go. I made the best of things by saying "Mummy made you a blanket" (heh heh). All the appreciation for doing nothing... but your genuinely-full-of-effort piece will be much more highly valued as your daughter grows up. It looks wonderful and long after Dora has been discarded as too babyish this will be treasured.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Re: Mens Hypnotoad tshirt recon and bonus girls dress to skirt on: October 19, 2012 09:49:24 PM
I have always loved asymmetrical designs and I like the final effect of having the hypnotoad off-centre. I bet he was happy to get that shirt back into the frequent-wear side of his wardrobe!
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Smallish man's button-down to upsized blouse on: October 15, 2012 03:51:16 PM
I haven't sewn for myself for a long time - I got pretty down about my weight gain and felt like it (I) wasn't worth the effort... but this challenge got me thinking and I even decided it would be nice to have something 'new'. I don't take a very good photo, but here's the finished product. Hopefully my description of the process will be useful.

I made this with the impending Australian Summer in mind, and also since gaining weight I prefer looser clothing.
I started with a shirt from the thrift shop that cost $4.00.

 I could do up the button under the bust but tummy and hip areas were not accommodated.
I decided to set my own parameters for the challenge - I wanted to do it all with the one shirt, no extra fabric. This is because all the beautiful projects featuring men's button-down shirts usually begin with shirts that are big and the project is all about shrinking it down, and while I do love those, I wanted to try something that would be helpful to those of us who hardly ever find shirts in attractive fabrics that are so much bigger than we are to start with.
By the way, here's my attractive fabric:

 (100% cotton, so ironing would have been good, but I only realized this challenge was on yesterday so I've been rushed).
First step: Admire the shirt you are starting with, knowing that you will make it into something you can wear:

2nd step: Chop, chop sideseams and sleeves:
3rd step: I took the cuffs off the sleeves:

4th step: Try on your chopped shirt to get an idea of what you will need to insert/modify:
  (sorry for hopeless self-photography)
5th step: These are my two sleeves. I have chopped them to make two parts - the top part will go back onto the blouse as the final-product-sleeves, the bottom part will be modified and inserted in the side to increase the girth of the blouse:
6th step: I got those bottom sleeve pieces and halved them downways, then put the two pieces together to make the strip to insert in the side of my blouse.

7th step: I hemmed the ends while I was at it. These hemmed ends will become part of the existing hem on the blouse. Notice the plackets from the cuffs... these make a cute hem-edge detail on the finished blouse.

8th step: I trimmed those strips I made so that they'll insert nicely into the side-seams of the blouse.

9th step: Pin strips in and try it on. The dangly bit will get cut off and used in the sleeve.

10th step: Testing out the sleeve - this would fit but I'm making mine a little looser with the dangly bit I mentioned before.
11th step: Here's the bit that previously dangled being inserted into the sleeve.
12th step: With more time I'd do something fancier with the sleeves - cap sleeves or puff sleeves - but ever-mindful of how little time I have handy I am just doing boring sleeves. For all practical purposes you could stick the sleeves in and just stop here... but I am going to alter the neckline to make it look less masculine.
So that was 12 steps to something wearable - and it didn't need any extra fabric!
 But then I went and cut the collar out.
13th step:
14th step: So here I am, unironed and trying to photograph myself - but you'll see the neckline has changed. I can now leave the shirt buttoned up as the neckline fits over my head. I might even stitch the front down so that the buttonholes won't get spoiled in the wash.

Collar detail: The collar is made from the original collar plus the two cuffs. I just let them overlap and I'm really pleased with the final effect.

I had been feeling down and had not sewn myself anything for so long and this challenge really cheered me. I'm thinking of looking in the thrift store for another shirt and I won't be sad about all the shirts being too small for me - I'll find the one made of the nicest fabric and bring it home and make it fit!

I also thought of trying a version using a Winter shirt that would turn into something like a short-sleeved jumper to wear over a long-sleeved skivvy... but that will be a project for the Australian Winter - right now I'm thinking of the sleeve and collar variations I might deploy on another Summer version.

6  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / Re: how to alter t shirts to make arm hole smaller? on: October 08, 2012 08:06:45 PM
I was looking for something else entirely and came across Craftsters listing of resizing tutorials at https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=413821.0  This would have to help!
7  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / Re: how to alter t shirts to make arm hole smaller? on: September 26, 2012 01:51:35 AM
I haven't ever tried what you want to do, but if I was going to try then I'd follow the basic instructions for resizing (down) a t-shirt, but without removing much at all from the sides. Start with your t-shirt inside out and laid out flat. I think if you cut the sleeve off at the armhole seam, then cut the sleeve open on its seam you can restitch the sleeve back into a tube the size you require to stop the gaping. Then measure that newly sized sleeve up against the spot you cut it off from and reshape your armhole (at which point you will have to cut open at least part of the side seam, which you will resew with the newly shaped armhole). There wouldn't be any neat way to do this without losing a little of the width of the t-shirt's bust. I remember seeing a video on ThreadBanger but I can't find it now... however this one has a useful visual anyway: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPS1v-COaBE&feature=plcp
Hopefully this suggestion is enough to get you started. If you have a few t-shirts I'd say pick your least favorite one and make that the test project!
Good luck.
8  CLOTHING / Sewing Pattern Reviews / Re: Simplicity 2054: A half review on: September 24, 2012 10:48:26 PM
That fabric is so pretty! I love the top.
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Re: finally tried an infinity dress :) on: August 27, 2012 07:43:40 PM
!! Of course you found something completely new to do with infinity dress! Talk about breathing new life into an old favorite. The first look is my favorite - the illusion of cap sleeves and collar really suits the plaid skirt. I think you've mastered the art of infinity... you've even got a hairstyle that looks great two different ways.
10  Category Challenges / Clothing: Challenge Entries / Re: Clothing Challenge Ideas!! on: August 22, 2012 05:29:21 PM
Gender Bending: reconstruct men's clothing for women or, more challenging maybe, reconstruct women's clothing for men.
Wardrobe Building: make something that complements clothes you already have and allows you to wear them in new combinations.
Guilt Reduction: get out that old, unused pattern that you bought but never used and either make it or redesign it for your current taste/needs and then make it. (Surely I'm not the only guilty one...)
New Technique: challenge yourself to make something that uses a technique you haven't tried before (shirring? Hong Kong seaming? boning?)

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