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1  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Bookbinding supplies online... on: December 06, 2009 04:05:14 PM
I hope it's okay to ask this, but I'm wondering if anybody has any suggestions for to find cheap bookbinding supplies online?  I recently made an album-bind enclosure for a portfolio, and I would like to make more.  Unfortunately, the nice linen bookbinding cloth I used was $12/yd.  I've done some googling, but as I'm new to bookbinding I thought I'd ask here for recommendations!
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Warm winter pea coat WITHOUT wool! Fabric suggestions? on: September 26, 2009 06:40:28 PM
Hello everyone.  I'm a vegan, and as such I don't eat, buy or wear anything with any animal products.  This includes leather, silk and wool.  I really like well-structured, tailored winter coats like pea coats.  I am a wimp in the cold, so I want something really warm and insulating.  Wool and animal fibers are best since they are made for keeping a body warm, but I'm hoping I can find an alternative.  I am more than willing to sew my own coat (but will also buy if you know of anything!)  I'd like to avoid polyester and polar fleece in favor of natural fibers, but not sure if that's possible.

I was also thinking I could make it in cotton (maybe a twill) or hemp and lining it, but I'm not sure how to line it for warmth, either.

ANY tips are greatly appreciated!  I've never sewn for warmth before.
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Reclaimed outfit -- Coat, dress & cardigan! on: October 16, 2007 04:32:33 PM
I'm an interior architecture student, and our studio project this term is to design a retail space that sells only products made from "reclaimed" or recycled materials, so one of our early assignments was to make something that could potentially be sold in our "store".

The dress bodice was made from a vintage wool cardigan that I accidentally sent through the wash some time ago.  About a year ago I salvaged the sleeves to make socks (so soft & warm, I definitely recommend doing this if you have old wool sweaters!), and kept the resulting vest in case I could find a use for it.  What luck that I came across it as I tried to think of the laziest way possible to make a bodice for this dress!  I sewed up the front seam (so it wouldn't pull-- it had shrunk quite a lot!) and redid the sleeves & collar, then attached it to a basic circle skirt cut out of vintage polyester fabric (trimmed in remnants from the coat described below).  Oh, and the fabric give enough that there is no need for closure, you can just pull it over your head!  It's very comfy.

The cardigan was made from vintage stretch knit fabrics, with an old shoe string and button for closure.  (You can't actually see that-- the model is wearing a belt over it that can be worn with the dress, the cardigan, or both, and is also made from leftover coat fabric.)

The coat was actually reconstructed-- it was a floor-length big ugly German coat that I had been meaning to fix up because it was such soft fabric (herringbone corduroy) and had nice pleating & princess seams.  I just brought it in, redid the sleeves, trimmed the bottom to a fun new shape, added vintage buttons & moved the closure over to make it asymmetrical (a little modern touch, I suppose).  And voila!

This was the board I presented.

And yes, I thought to put this in the reconstructed category, but most of it is just made from recycled fabric, so I figured this would do.

PS - A shout-out to anyone who recognizes this project!  It was presented in a mini-gallery walk at my school.  Also a shout-out to my roommate, who graciously acted as awkward model.
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Architecture students = also crafty? on: June 22, 2007 09:19:27 AM
I find that architecture students can be some of the cleverest when it comes to crafty solutions.

Are there any architecture students on the boards?  I realize if there are, they are probably thinking "who has time to craft with studio"?  This is a main concern of mine, and then the terms I don't have studio, I am too burnt out to want to spend hours and hours on a project.  I'm looking for tips, and maybe help, from any fellow architecture students.
5  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Fancy messenger bag on: February 04, 2007 04:17:49 PM

Sorry I got distracted when I initially posted this.  Umm... I made it!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Junior mint cropped knit top! on: January 02, 2007 01:33:10 AM

This is my fourth experiment with knit tops.  It's a cropped knit top with constrasting trim and slight puffy sleeves (hard to see in the pic; they're more noticable in real life).  I think it looks cute over a looser, longer tank top, but I'd also like to try it over something with a collar.  It reminds me of a junior mint because of the chocolate brown and light color for some reason.  I don't know, I had to name it something...

I'll try to take better pictures as it's difficult to take them with me as the model and photographer.
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Stitch And BOTCH / Just a few stitches left at 1am on my new shirt and... on: December 30, 2006 01:27:20 AM
... and my BRAND NEW MACHINE decides to stop working.  No idea what's wrong with it.  I'd spent weeks trying to find the right machine, and ended up spending $200 more than I had to just to make sure I'd get the one I really wanted (after returning another one - the whole story is here), and I finally had it and I'd finally figured out all the problems in my new top and done seam-ripping and resewn and gotten everything perfect, with just one seam left to go, and I run out of bobbin thread.  Well, no biggie, even though it's a completely inopportune moment (it's 1am and I have to wake up early tomorrow and I'm SO CLOSE).  So I wind some thread on my bobbin, get that all set to go, rethread and it WON'T SEW.  It just jams.  Every time the needle goes up something weird happens with the upper threading like it's stuck.  I rethreaded it countless times, changed the needle, reread the manual, tried to look inside, blah blah blah and to no avail.  I've no idea what to do.  It simply won't sew.  I'll take it in, but AFTER ALL THIS.  And I was making the top especially for tomorrow to go look at apartments (it's very nice but still casual; I wanted something in between a t-shirt and a blouse).  I'll just hand sew the seam and get it over with; it'll be a temporary fix so I can at least wear it, but UGH!!!!!!!  I am so frustrated!!!!!!
8  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / My adventures in buying a new sewing machine: more work than buying a car! on: December 29, 2006 08:05:50 PM
Alright so I am the kind of person who needs to look everywhere before buying something and find all the information I can before I buy.  I looked on Craftster and did find some useful stuff, but I would have liked more, and so I'm posting this is share what I found out and what I discovered in the process of buying a new sewing machine.

I decided since I was moving away to college I would need a new machine (couldn't use my mom's anymore).  I asked for a serger and a cheap vintage machine from Goodwill for Christmas.  I wanted something that ran well and that would last forever.  So I looked at a few places, was impressed by the Pfaffs, but overall didn't like the plastic, cheap-looking machines.  I got a pretty seafoam $20 Singer from Goodwill that just did basic straight, zig-zag and reverse.  I soon realized that it wasn't going to work; it ate up my knits and sheers and couldn't handle many layers of fabric.  It worked beautifully on basic fabrics, but it just wasn't enough.  My mom's Kenmore could do overlock and other nice things, but the oscillating bobbin and older technology still didn't allow for beautiful stitches on sheer, stretch or thick fabrics.

So I decided to look some more, and decided that I probably wanted to go with a higher end, nice machine that would last me before purchasing a serger.  We looked everywhere.  I saw a $600 Brother that sewed a million stitches and embroidered, but it was so big and bubbly and plastic, and it didn't sew so nicely.  I tried a $1000 Bernina that didn't do nearly as much, but that sewed extremely well over a multitude of fabrics.  I tried many others, but those were the ones most considered.  And then there was the Pfaff 2046, and for only $800!  Beautiful machine with so many stitches and it sewed like a dream.  It could handle so much more than the vintage machines, and it had so much more to offer.  But at that time I hadn't seen all the other machines, and didn't know how great a deal it was.

I looked around some more and came back to buy it, as it was just perfect and worth the splurge, but it was gone.  The Pfaff 2029 for $700 was gone, and another (perhaps 2036?  I can't remember, I was too entranced by the 2046) was also gone.  I was devastated, but they did have a Babylock Ellure ESL that had many stitches, didn't look all huge and plastic, and it could embroider-- and only $670!  After all my looking, I decided it was the best one.  I bought it.

That night, I couldn't sleep.  I was tormented with the thought that I didn't get a good deal, and that I didn't get a Pfaff.  And I had paid $670 and still didn't have a serger!  Ooh times were tough.

The next day I sewed a t-shirt and it handled the kntis wonderfully.  I had a nice overlock stitch that was even and beautiful; it looked nearly serged!  Very professional.  But it still wasn't as smooth as the Pfaff, and I didn't even want the embroidery.  If only I'd gotten the 2046!

When I came for lessons on my new machine, I snuck glances at the used table to see if they had a Pfaff-- any Pfaff-- and I never had much luck.  Nothing.  But I was determined to get one.  We (my mom and I, let's not forget her immense dedication to my plight!) called around and found that one store had a Pfaff 7570.  Oh the things it could do, and only $699!  It could do 500 stitches and embroider, and it was a Pfaff, and I could exchange for it!  But it wouldn't be ready until tomorrow.  We went to another store (same chain) and looked at another used Pfaff - the 2022 (LifeStyle).  It's the older model of the new Classic Style 2023, 2029 and a few others-- the very first machines I'd looked at.  It was $600, though, and it did so much less than the 7570 for only $100 more!  They had a 7550 in, though, which was basically the same, and we were advised not to buy it since apparently it was made before Pfaff was bought out by Viking (I think?) and none of the parts are available anymore.  Plus, it didn't run beautifully like the mid-range newer Pfaffs.  It was quite beat-up with an array of impressive stitches, but did I really need all that?

And then somthing caught my eye.  A Pfaff 2036!  It just had slightly less to offer than the Quilt Expression 2046, and it looked so pristine and beautiful, and it was used, so I should get it pretty cheap!  Unfortunately it was $1099.  Ugh!  It was lowered to $999, but he said he really couldn't go lower.  We tried walking out, and never got a better offer.  $200 less than the 2046 we missed, and it did less!  Oh the agony... but it was the machine I wanted.  I'd tried dozens and dozens and it was The One.  We mulled it over for about an hour, weighing the pros and cons, and eventually bought it to end the agony of the search.  Perhaps the cheaper store WOULD get a nice used Pfaff that would offer similar power (better than the 2022 and consequent ClassicStyle line, which are still fabulous machines), but I didn't want to pass up on The One again, and I would soon run out of time to exchange my Ellure for full price.

So we bought it.  I just got it home.  I haven't played with it yet, but I'm eager to start.  It took long enough to get me to this point, but I've learned a lot and I know so much more about the various brands and machines.


- It's better to get a good machine that can do all you want than to splurge on a serger and be unhappy with your main machine.  A good machine will be able to do a lot on its own, and if you're just making things for yourself, and stretch overlock stitch with a triple-stretch stitch on top will be much the same and require less thread (not 4 whole spools of the same color just to make it match), just more time and it won't be quite as nice or easy.
- Don't buy the first thing you see, but be weary that the perfect machine could pass you up quickly!
- The vintage machines are nice and certainly much cheaper and more attractive (with a lot more charm), but the new technology on almost any of the new ones makes them superior in a lot of ways, depending on what you want to do.
- DON'T BE FOOLED BY ALL THE BELLS & WHISTLES!  Ask yourself 'do I really need all this?'  I didn't need embroidery, it just seemed like such a nice bonus.  I don't need a bunch of decorative stitches; I just want something good quality that will last.
- Used machines are much better deals.
- Pfaff and Bernina are really the way to go!  Janome is a great cheaper alternative, as well.
- Buying a sewing machine is a long and arduous process, but worth it in the end!

Whew!  Such a long post!  But hopefully some just starting out the buying process will find this helpful Smiley
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Super comfy tea party dress! on: August 13, 2006 04:59:38 PM

(New pic added because I realized I didn't have one that really properly showed off the dress, what with all my posing.  The expression?  Yeah, I don't know either.)

I'm pretty sure I sew dresses solely for the purpose of getting to pose for pictures of them.  This was made after succeeding with this dress.  Again, no pattern was used, made it up as I went along, blah blah.  Lots better attention to detail on this one, but I ended up liking the bodice a little lower and less fitted because the fabric's so soft and it makes it very comfortable!  Got the fabric for $5 at Goodwill!  I love it, I wish I could find fabric this flexible and soft (yet the perfect weight for a dress) at Jo-Ann's.  It was really a great find.  Oh, and this zips on the side instead of in the back because I had seams on the sides.  I don't know which I prefer for practicality.  Also the pleats are sewed down close to the fold about 2" on this one, so it keeps its shape a lot better than the first one.

I tire myself out.

It actually falls perfectly when I'm standing still, but there are some awkward pooches and such in the photos because I'm moving around.  It allows for a lot of mobility; had to make use of that!

PS - Don't even try to deny the awesomeness of my moccasins.
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / From sheet to fabulous 50s halter dress! on: August 03, 2006 04:35:59 PM

This is my first dress.  After watching too much Project Runway, I slipped into my sewing room and started ripping apart an old sheet I'd got at Goodwill because I liked the fabric.  Nevermind that I'd never sewn a garment before, didn't have a pattern, and had absolutely no clue where to begin.  I just started sewing and eventually ended up with this.

Back & Side

The dress is one piece that zips (actually 5 pieces in its construction), and then I made a little sash to tie around the waist because it looks nicer that way.  I fudged up a few areas, but overall it works nicely!  I just made it up as I go, because I am decidedly too stupid and lazy for patterns.  Who needs them?!  Not me, when I can make a fabulous, original dress without!  Well, the fabulous part may not be entirely true, though I quite like it Smiley Oh and I'm wearing it with a sort of pseudo-petticoat that I cut out of an old Halloween costume.

Here it is without the sash.  Very handy for impromptu helicopter impressions!  (Note:  It's not a real helicopter impression unless you scream while you do it.)

Oh and don't worry.  It doesn't stop me from kicking ass pretty much all the time.

Please let me know what you think Smiley
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