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11  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / How do you sew a beaded applique? on: February 09, 2009 09:11:26 PM
I'm making some beaded & sequined appliques.  The fabric will not show.  I know I want to back them with felt and/or fabric stiffener to give them some body, but do I add the felt to the fabric before or after beading?  What fabric do you recommend I use?  Something stiff that will stand up to the beads, or something drapy that will not show wrinkles when I sew it onto the backing?  Or should I just bead directly onto felt so I don't need to worry about hems? 

What would you do? 
12  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / skirt/dress with mid-thigh circumference smaller than hip circumference? on: December 23, 2008 10:22:40 PM
I'm making a very fitted dress (10 vertical panels!) that I want to have the look of pin-up wiggle dresses.  All of the modern wiggle dresses I've seen are made of stretch fabric.

I want that slight cup-the-butt look, but without stretch fabric.  If I have a slit or kick pleat, is it possible to walk (let alone stride) in a dress where the mid-thigh circumference is actually SMALLER than the hip circumference? 

Or should I just make a straight pencil skirt and do a lot of striding to show off my butt?
13  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / suggestion for a DENSE (?) mousse on: March 14, 2008 12:59:05 PM
My most favorite dessert in the world is the chocolate explosion cake at Katz's Deli and Bar in Houston.  It's a little far from home, so I want to make it at home, but can't for the life of me figure out how it's made. 

It consists of a dense mousse studded with turtle cheesecake in a chocolate crumb crust (drool). The sticking part is the mousse.  The mouse has the heft and thickness/viscosity of cheesecake (it's a 6" tall piece of cake, and there's no slouching or slumping), but is completely smooth and melt-in-your-mouth like a mousse.  It's served cool but not frozen. 

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make a super thick mousse?
14  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 24 ENTRIES / Sweat, baby, sweat! on: February 05, 2008 07:14:03 PM
My New Years resolution is to attain a BMI of 21.8 in time for my friend's June 28 wedding, and to maintain in the 21.5-22.1 range for at least 4 years (I want to be making long-term changes, not just stepping on a yo-yo roller coaster).  I've already lost 10 lb. and I have ~20 more to go.  Yay! 

I'm losing weight and gaining muscle by counting calories and by replacing evening noshing with belly dancing!  So, I made myself a belly dance costume that makes me want to twirl and shimmy...and that also reminds me of how much I like the changes to my tummy. 

Ta daa!

Spinning: it's not just for politicians any more.


Sparkle, sparkle!

Whoo!  That was a lot of work!  I think I'll be putting it away for a few weeks, and then road testing, tweaking, and adding more beads.  A girl can never have too many beads.

I have a lot of inspirations for this outfit, but I didn't really use anyone's patterns...or, when I did, I messed with it and re-drew it and mocked it up and re-drew it until it was basically unrecognizable. 

For instance, the vest actually started as an Elizabethan corset pattern based on the drafting instructions here:
15  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / heavy wire for wreath form? on: January 14, 2008 10:35:02 AM
I want to make a giant (36-40" diameter) wreath out of twigs to hang over my bed.  I'd like to buy or make a wreath form to wire the twigs to. 

I went to Home Depot, but all they have is wire rope, which is flexible.

I went to Hobby Lobby.  They have wreath forms, but they're only about 20" diameter. 

I guess that if I really can't find anything else, I could make it out of wire hangers, but it's such a pain getting all the kinks out. 

Where can I get heavy, sturdy wire? 
16  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / online wool sources in North America? on: August 01, 2006 02:08:45 PM
I always here people saying they made things out of second hand blankets, end-of-winter-sale wool, etc.  We don't really have winter here, though, so wool cloth is almost never sold in stores.  However, I love wool!

Does anyone have a favorite reliable online source of great wool deals?
17  COOKING / Dessert / Microwave Fudge--Unbelievably Easy! on: December 15, 2005 10:23:22 PM
Part of me doesn't want to give away my evil secret but...I'm going to stuff that part back in the basement where she belongs.  If you want to make fudge, you can mess around with double boilers and candy thermometers...or you can cheat and no one will know!  

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 pound (3 cups) chocolate chips
   You can use semi-sweet, milk chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter, etc.
   I usually use half milk chocolate & half semi-sweet.
   Dont use all semi-sweet unless you know that the person is a dark chocolate fan.

Microwave-safe bowl
Something with vertical sides for cooling the fudge (I use a 9x9 casserole dish)


1. Place milk & chips in bowl.

2. Microwave on high at for 1 minute, then 30 second intervals until chocolate looks melty.  Stir.  If its still not completely melted, then 30 more seconds (etc.)

3. Line whatever youre cooling the fudge in with foil.  

4. Pour, chill completely, then cut into pieces.

Put it in holday goody packs, bring it to parties.  People think that this is really fancy and its unbelievably simple.  

You can do a lot of different things with this, if you want, like adding a cup of nuts, or a few drops of peppermint or orange extract.

If you want to get really fancy, divide the sweetened condensed milk.  To 2/3 of the milk, add 2 cups semi-sweet chips.  To 1/3 of the milk, add 1 cup white chocolate chips.  Pour the dark chocolate mixture into your cooling pan first.  Then pour the white chocolate mixture in lines up and down the pan.  Now use a knife or toothpick for marbling (be careful not to marble to much or youll just end up blending the two).  For mint marbling, you could add mint and green food coloring to the white chocolate mixture.  

Happy Holidays!

18  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 8 ENTRIES / Retro Sunday Trucker Hats on: December 09, 2005 09:38:20 PM
I wandered onto craftster last Thursday and was so excited by this challenge that I just had to join so I could participate.  A trip through the hardware store with a spiral notebook revealed that $10 does not go very far, but I found window screening for $5.  With just that, black thread, and a little help from http://vintagesewing.info/1920s/28-mhd/mhd-toc-long.html I weirded out my family for most of this week making retro sunday trucker hats!

Here's the process.  In the upper right are my materials.  In the upper left are my patterns (I drafted them from a variety of fruit bowls, dinner plates, soup bowls and cups).  I sewed the darts in the crowns and the slashes in the hats (lower left), and pinned the brims and crowns together (center), and then sewed the brims and crowns (lower right).  

Originally, I envisioned this hat as a 1940s style cartwheel/platter hat (the kind with very low crowns and wide, flat, stiff  brims).

My first brim turned out more pointy than I had planned, but that was OK.  I turned it into a "conehead" hat (I think the original term for this shape of hat is coolie hat, but I don't know what coolie means or if it's a...culturally sensitive kind of word...can anyone elighten me?).  I think it's a cute, jaunty little hat.

The picture at the middle of the bottom was intended, after a lot of smiling at the camera, to be a "neutral" face.  What I wound up with is more Absinthe Drinker.  All I need to complete the picture is a cigarette and some slow, sad jazz.  

Also, please forgive the paneling.  That's not my parent's house; it's the "college house" (just me and 4 members of my immediate and extended family...woohoo!).  Someday I'm going to paint it white to make it look less tacky.  

My dad had offered to teach me how to braise coathangers together for a frame to wire my cartwheel hat (isn't he sweet?!).   But when I put the un-wired hat on, it had kind of a floppy, 1950s sunhat vibe, and I liked that, so I left it.  My Dad offered , "Hey that's cute...from 10 feet away.  From close up, you look like a screen door."  I was thinking trucker hat, but I like the contrast between form and materials.  I had fun with that hat and couldn't resist playing dressup a little.

Well that's it.  I hope you like my retro Sunday trucker hats!

Thanks to my mom and sister for taking the pictures!

Juniper Ann

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