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1  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Discussion and Questions / Making a Weighted Jacket For an Autistic Child on: March 05, 2007 12:08:26 PM
A friend of mine recently came to me looking for help.  Her younger brother is autistic, and her family is looking for someone to make a weighted jacket to help his sensory integration issues.  I've done some looking around, but all I really know is that the weights should be on the shoulders and upper back, almost giving a hugging sensation. 

Ideally, I want it to look basically like the rest of his clothing.  I'm not sure how functional he is, but he's going to come into contact with other people, and presumably other kids, and it doesn't make his life easier if he looks like a freak.  I'm tempted to add a bit of quilt batting to even out the bulk and make sure he's not being poked by any weights, but I don't want it to be too heavy or warm. 

What else should I know?  Has anyone got any experience seeing these in use?  One vest I saw had riveted "fidget-proof" buttons; should I be looking for something like that?
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Tramp Stamps, Bela Lugosi, and the Shirt of Too Much-ness (pic obese) on: October 29, 2006 08:03:05 AM
While procrastinating on my Project Runway Challenge garments, I've done a lot of reconstructions.  And I thought I would share with the rest of the class. 

First, the Tramp Stamp shirt:

Looks relatively classy, but then...

The classic butterfly on lower back (fake) tattoo!  I love it.  I don't know why.

The lace came from this project:

which was a maxidress I turned into a minidress.  I still have a crapload of lace leftover.

Oh, oh, and then there's this one:

because I have a fetish for spraying my bela lugosi stencil on to ribbed material, just as I did with this one:

which, if it had a middle name (to paraphrase Michael Kors), it would be "too much".  Graffiti and stencils and black roses and irregular stitching, oh my!

I think that's most of the new ones that I've made.  As I said, I've been doing a LOT of procrastinating.  A lot.  And with NaNoWriMo coming up around the corner, there's only more procrastinating to do...
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Two New Frocks on: October 11, 2006 03:03:00 PM
They're both fairly simple, nice stretchy fabric that can be pulled on without zipping.  And they'd also both look better on someone with some more boobage than I have, but that's not too hard to find.  Anyway, here's the stripey one:

(bad picture)

(I have no idea why I'm doing the robot)

And this is the ribbon one:

(front - check out the SOCKS!)

(yay!  It's the back!)

(teddy bear dissed my moms here, so I had to teach him what was what)

The belt and halter for the ribbon one were pretty easy - I just grabbed a few different shades, tied them together, and fiddled around trying to braid them until I managed to make it work.  These were also my first two attempts at blindstitching hems, and I think they came out all right.  Whatcha think?

4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Project Runway Craftalong? on: September 23, 2006 10:20:36 AM
I didn't see this in the forum, and I think this is the most appropriate forum for this idea, so:

After a period of flatness and depression, I was trying to figure a way out of my rut.  One night, half-asleep, it dawned on me - why not do my own versions of this season's Project Runway Challenges?  Of course, being flat broke, I would have to use materials I've already got lying around, or things that I could pick up at thrift stores for very cheap, but that's half the fun, really.  And since I don't have two days straight for nothing but sewing, it'd have to be done in bits and pieces over the course of a week or so.  Then I realized that it would be even more fun if other people were doing it too.  And where do people love Project Runway, crafting, and challenges?  Why, on Craftster, of course!

So, would anyone else like to join the Project Runway craftalong?  I figure that we do one challenge a week until the very end - not sure what to do about the whole "collection" yet.  No one gets kicked off Fashion Island, and there are no judges - it's just to see how creative we can be.  Time and financial limits are imposed by the fact that few of us are rich and most of us have lives.  Adherence to the rules is done purely on the honor system. 

Anyone want to play along?
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Looking for Quotes from Crafters and Cookers on: August 14, 2006 09:13:49 AM
So I've decided that our local alternative rag needs an article on doing it your-goddamn-self, particularly when it comes to such essentials as food and clothing.  It's easiest to control what goes into your food when you're the one cooking, you know your clothing isn't made in a sweatshop if you make it at home, it's a lot easier to stick it to The Man when you're not buying everything he sells you...  etcetera etcetera.  However, right now I'm pretty much speaking from my own experience, and that may not be incredibly universal.  So I'd like some feedback (and possible quotes for the article) from other Craftsters, because I know you know what you're talking about.

These are the questions that I'd specifically like to address:

Do you feel that making your own food/clothing/gifts/artwork has affected what you purchase, how much you purchase, and how much thought you put into purchases?

Do you feel that you're able to eat healthier if/when you make your own food?

Do you feel like crafting takes up a larger amount of your time, perhaps more than it should?

Do you feel as though you could be doing better things with your time than crafting?

Do you feel like crafting helps you make a meaningful contribution to society?

Do you feel like crafting helps you express your individuality?

How does crafting fit into gender roles for you? (i.e. - are you a woman who wonders if you're falling into a stereotypical version of femininity / sees nothing wrong with her crafting, thank you very much, or a man who  realizes that crafts are girly / doesn't care if they're girly / actually enjoys subverting gender roles, so there!)

Do you think it's practical to make things for yourself, or is the convenience of purchasing ready-made goods worth the attendant risks?

You can answer as many questions as you like, or all, or none, or make up your own, or go off on tangents.  Also, even though I know this is Craftster and I'm kind of preaching to the choir, you can disagree with my whole premise and tell me how much I'm oversimplifying things.  I'm interested in honest opinions so I can make my article as accurate as possible.  So go to town.  Feel free to elaborate as much as you like (long answers are better for short ones), let me know how to quote you if you want to be quoted, all that good stuff.

Oh, and thank you!
6  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 13 ENTRIES / Sock and Roll All Night, Monkey Every Day! on: July 05, 2006 04:09:23 PM
I was starting to think I wouldn't get finished in time, but I finally managed it.  There are a few more details I'd like to add, but I think he looks pretty good for old socks.

Without further ado, may I present to you...


...  In sock monkey form, of course.

Gene without his axe:

Closeup of that...  interesting...  face:

His wings and one tiny boot:

The outfit comes off.  The makeup, however, does not.  Because as we all learned in the eighties, it just isn't KISS without the makeup.
7  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / My New Favorite Dress (plus a dangerously sexy skirt) on: June 17, 2006 03:20:33 PM
Today was lovely and sunny and hot, and I had to go to work anyway.  So I was cranky.  To cheer myself up, I decided to make a nice summery dress, since the boss lets me sew when it's dead, and today was deader than dead.  This is the dress:

(no pictures of the back, as it's pretty much the same as the front)

I was feeling so good that when I did leave work, I decided to go wander around the galleries and things and amuse myself by being more stylish than people who have more money than I do.  Apparently, one of the galleries that I went into sells "wearable art" (aka pretty clothes).  Apparently, the owner loved my dress.  Apparently, she wants me to make some things to bring into her gallery.  Somehow, I managed to politely accept the offer without doing a dance of joy.  That waited until I was back in my car.

Seriously, kids, the store where I work is going out of business in less than a month now, and I have no new prospects.  I needed this.  And I got it.  And I am happeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!

Let's just hope we sell something now.

I also made a faux wrap skirt out of the pink stripy material:

(yes, I need a thong)

(obligatory "I am a sexy model" shot)

I may never be daring enough to wear this skirt in public.  But after today, who knows?

I'll wear the dress over and over and over again, though.  This is my new goodluck charm.
8  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 12 ENTRIES / SHOW YER BONES! (or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the doll heads) on: June 01, 2006 03:45:18 PM
Sorry.  I'm very excited about this one.  I had an idea pretty much as soon as I read the words "doll head" in the original thread, and after some thought and a trip out for supplies, I started work on this:

It's got pom poms, it's got macaroni, it's got pipe cleaners, it's got popsicle sticks...  and, of course, a big ol' doll head. 

Detail shots:

You can't see it too well in the picture, but I did everything I could to make my doll's skeleton reasonably correct.  I'm shy a few ribs, and my radius and ulna wouldn't stay apart the way I wanted them to, but I'm still quite proud.

Already lost a bit of macaroni...  next time, I'll use much more hardcore glue to hold it in place.

No, it's not a Santa hat - it's a chandelier!  Kind of.  Perhaps I shouldn't have used the red pipe cleaner for that...

I'm honestly quite proud of this.  It was a fair bit of work, but it came out much cooler than I expected, and I now have a whole host of doll-related projects waiting in the wings. 
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Too Many T-Shirts! (bloated with pictures) on: May 20, 2006 06:04:45 PM
I started reconstructing things about a year ago.  I started taking pictures of my reconstructions...  um...  not very long ago.  Because I am a slacker.  Anyway, here are a few of my favorite things


and halters...

and spongebob...

and ribbon!

I have yet to do anything with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but when I do, you'll probably be the first to know.
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Three Easy Pieces on: May 20, 2006 05:50:20 PM
I recently picked up a great vintage sweaterdress - I love the length, I love the shape, and I love the style.  The only problem is that it's about as stiff as a board, and no amount of fabric softener seems to change that.  So I bought some brown fabric, traced the dress shape onto it, and wound up with this:

However, I grossly overestimated the amount of fabric I needed for my tunic.  So I made a shirt and skirt out of the same fabric and ribbon.  Hedwig is modelling them, as they look much better on her than they do on me.

The brilliant thing is that they really were incredibly easy.  The skirt and ruched top took about half an hour apiece, and the dress/tunic only took about an hour.  Not bad, considering I hadn't learned to use my sewing machine then, so I did them all by hand!
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