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31  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Keeping gauge even? blocking? on: July 29, 2006 06:53:53 AM
I attempted to make this tablecloth. Each motif makes up quite easily, but my problem is even though I'm using the same thread weight and the same hook, each motif seems to be a different size than the one before. They're getting smaller, which means I'm getting tighter -- more comfortable with the pattern, I suppose? Which means perhaps I should make several motifs as samplers and start again?

Also, the edges of the motifs curl up rather easily. Since this is becoming a tablecloth, I want to block it so it lays nicely. I have no blocking experience -- I could use the sampler motifs for practice, I suppose. But how does one block something so large? The way this tablecloth is constructed, each motif is attached to the previous one along the edges as the motif is made. Should I make a section of the tablecloth, block it, then continue, or wait until it is complete before I block it?

I know this is a time-and-talent intensive project, and considering I've never blocked before, you can imagine how much of a novice I am, but honestly, that's my nature -- to get in deep over my head!

32  CLOTHING / Sewing Pattern Reviews / Vintage Vogue 2401 on: July 29, 2006 06:26:39 AM


It looks beautiful on the pattern cover, but the rest of it is rediculous. It is sewn closed in front with open side seams on the lower torso and the skirt! It is supposed to be an overlapping design, which is clever in its own right, but there is no security that you're not going to reveal your every figural secret to the world. In order to keep this dress appropriate for public wear you must have a matching underskirt to wear over your petticoat. The front of the dress is attached to grosgrain and hooks behind your back with a hook and eye - if you're not a contortionist, you need help getting this dress on. Unless you know how to tailor garments, this is not for you. I had to position the shoulder pads very forward on my shoulders to keep the front of the dress looking as smooth as I could. Attaching the ties was very difficult and never did look very clean no matter how carefully I set it.

If there is a five star scale-rating, this pattern would have a negative!

33  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / First Project - Serafina's Shawl on: April 07, 2006 11:31:24 PM
I started this in January, and I think I finished it sometime in February.  I'm already learning how to tat now, so starting another project is low on the totem pole Roll Eyes However...

The Pattern
Serafina's Shawl This pattern worked up beautifully, and the simple repetition made it easy for me to take to class to work on it, without having to reference the pattern constantly.  Grin My english teacher was thrilled  Wink

The Shape

It doesn't lay out flat, but ripples a little bit. I think this might be due to my changing tension. I know I loosened and tightened my stitches here and there, and kept making a conscious effort to correct myself.

The Color

Please ignore my missing head. I didn't like that picture so much. (psst -- see the drawing in the upper left hand corner? I did that too. *brag*)

The Yarn
Red Heart Super Saver, 1 skien (7oz) Frosty Green, 2 skiens (5 oz ea.) Painted Desert. This is not the softest yarn in the world, but it was affordable for my first large project. It unravels easily, and had a large section of unspun yarn tucked somewhere around the middle of the larger skien. I'm not using this yarn again. It keeps me warm though!
34  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Attaching crochet to fabric? on: January 09, 2006 09:46:28 PM
How do you attach crochet to fabric, for instance, like a trim. Or, these sleeves?

I really want to learn how to do this -- not only for neat modern clothing, but for my civil war garments as well!
35  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Hand Cramping! on: December 28, 2005 02:50:58 AM
Okay. The way I hold things (pencils, utensils, crochet hook etc) is always different than other people. I also find that my hands get cramped a lot faster than other people.  How do you hold the hook? If anyone is bored enough to take pictures, that would be nice!

(it would also help if I didn't crochet for such long periods of time, lol, but all the same)
36  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Beginning Crochet for Christmas! on: December 26, 2005 11:14:00 AM
I've tried my hand at knitting,and I never did very well with it. I just got a beginner's crochet kit for christmas, and I love it. I made a drawstring for my hoop skirt out of chain stitches (hehe, I'm not about to count stitches for that one...it wraps around me twice though), and I've taught myself the slip stitch, single and half-double crochet stitches as well. I can't wait to learn the rest of them. I already love crocheting.

I just want to know what you would suggest making for my first (or second) project. Something relatively easy  (though I don't mind a challenge), but something practical, too!

Thanks a lot!
37  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Civil War Evening Gown and Cape ** BALL PICS ** on: December 15, 2005 04:10:54 PM
Hello! I am a Civil War reenactor, and I sew all my own costumes. This is my latest project for the Ball this weekend.

The gown is a simple powderblue cotton. The bodice is lined with white cotton and has some boning in it, with a lace trim around the neckline. The sleeves start off the shoulder and have two puffs. Please forgive the hanger I attached to the dress form -- the sleeves would have drooped otherwise.


This is the true color of the gown. My camera is not very good and the settings never combine crisp pictures with true color.

The skirt is not lined, and has no trim. The second tier is 2 inches in front (covered by the bodice point) and 20-some odd inches in the back. Please ignore the crease near the bottom. I took out a hem that was too deep. The waistband on both tiers is pleated.


The cloak is a burguny coating wool, lined with black cotton and trimmed with white rabbit fur (yes, real. My apologies to any animal rights activists out there.)


Better idea of the color:

A close-up of the clasp.

And the matching white rabbit fur mitts:

A little history: While the cape is brand new, the dress is not, other than the 2nd tier on the skirt. The skirt was stained by the hanger and I had to cover it in some way. Hence, the tier!

Pattern information:
The bodice is a pattern from
James Country Mercantile (Click on the door, then Patterns in the link list, Homespun, then Homespun Ladies and scroll down).
* I did not use a pattern for the skirt or cape.
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