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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Steampunk Vest-Jacket! *Picture Heavy* on: July 03, 2008 10:25:27 AM
So a couple weeks ago there was a Steampunk meet-up in my area and I was dying to go, but didn't really have anything distinctively Steampunk-y to wear. I had my skirt and shirt and necklace all picked out, but the vest I was going to wear over it clashed too much because it was black and also a bit too short on me. So, I decided to cut it and use the pieces as a pattern to make a far superior one! Below is the complete step-by-step of my process. Enjoy!

Here is the original vest! It's very soft velvet-like material. I've had the vest for a few years after picking it up at Rave, but it's gotten a bit too short on me and I hardly wore it anymore. I'll be keeping the buttons to use on the new vest!

Back of the vest.

Yay pieces! I was glad to see that the bust darts were also the seams. I hate bust darts. :/

Back still looks pretty much the same, but new I've also undone the back darts. These don't look too complicated....

First run of the mock-up. I just laid each piece on the muslin and cut around it, but also left all of the additional space from each rectangle hanging down and to the sides where the bottom corners of each piece ended. I had no idea how much swish I wanted or if I'd even be able to get any out of it, so I left waaay more room than necessary so I could go bit by bit.

Back of the first run. It looked so messy without the darts.

Pinned the original back on so I could mark where I'd need to put the darts. I will definitely have to use this method again, it saved me a lot of guesswork since I already knew the darts on the original vest fit perfectly.

The pins are gone and all of the vest pieces have been sewn together, though I've left the skirt part open for now. So far everything fits!

This is after I've sewn down the skirt panels just as they are. They fold over quite a bit due to the extra material, so lots of cutting ahead.

The extra skirt fabric makes the back look a bit wonky, but nothing a bit of ironing won't take care of in the end.

Ta da! This is how it looks so far on the outfit. The jacket will end up being brown and about knee-length, I just haven't cut it shorter yet. I'll definitely need to remember to cut extra fabric on the front edges so I don't have to pull to get the jacket to close.

My fabrics! Sort've a camel-colored canvas and a burgundy rayon for lining. I didn't end up doing the lining since I just wanted to be done and get to wear it, but now that there's no rush I'll fiddle with it and make it look pretty. Seeing as I was on a Steampunk mission, there was really no way I could get out of there without buying a few yards of the key fabric. ~_~ I had also planned on making a bag out of the leftover canvas (and boy is there leftovers) and then lining it in the keys, but ran out of time.

The muslin pieces all lines up and pretty on the canvas.

Everything pinned together. I made the two front pieces extra wide so that I could make sure there was enough overlap for the buttons and still be comfy.

Back before the darts were put in. At this point, opting to go with the suggestion to keep the jacket long.

Sewing all the pieces together! Getting closer!

A shot of the hemmed armholes. I managed to keep everything really nice and neat as close to the edge as I could. The thread was also a really nice match so you can hardly see it. I didn't bother to finish the edges since canvas holds up pretty well and I planned on lining it anyway.

Neckline also hemmed. By this point I'm doing little jigs every time I finish something. All that's left by now are the buttons and the hem.

My machine makes buttonholes! That was surprisingly easy.... Yea, they aren't even, but it's okay.

The buttons stolen from the original vest. Also fairly snazzy looking!

Here it is! It's kind of hard to see since I forgot to move my stupid arm out of the way. This is the very end of the Steampunk meet-up and we were the last ones to leave (even though it ended at 8, you can see it's almost 9:30).

Hop you all enjoyed it! Smiley
2  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / New Yarn ~ Muddy Spring on: March 03, 2008 04:45:40 PM
So, I posted last Fiber Friday about my first forays into spinning. I had one thing of chocolate brown baby alpaca roving and one regular alpaca in green/pink. My singles were pretty chunky since I was still getting used to the drafting process in general and the rovings were both very different. So, I just finished plying them both together! There really isn't a lot of it, so I'm not sure what to use it for, though....

Here are the before and after shots:

3  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Wrist Pains on: March 03, 2008 09:24:21 AM
Hi guys! So, I've been spinning non-stop since I got my roving a couple weeks ago and I've started getting some minor wrist pains. The worst of it was last Saturday when my entire left hand (starting at the fingers and working its way back) went all tingly and numb. I'm thinking it might be that I'm just holding the roving too tightly, but I really don't feel like I am.

Could it possibly be just from holding everything high up? I tend to do my spinning sitting down since I have yet to get into the swing of standing and trusting that the spindle is going to spin on its own for a bit before I need to give it another twist. If this is the case I guess it's just one more excuse to invest in a spinning wheel. Tongue

Does anyone else have this problem? Any recommendations for taking care of it? Cutting back on spinning would probably be a good starter (I can't imagine that 4+ hrs every day is a good thing...), but I don't want it to happen every time I start up.
4  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Combining Plys and Spinning a Spindle on: February 27, 2008 05:42:54 PM
So, I bought myself a handy dandy top whorl drop spindle and after working with it a couple times, I've got some questions!

I'm pretty much using the inchworm method of twist the spindle, hold the spindle between my knees, draft some fibers, rinse wash repeat. This is all well and good while I get used to drafting and whatnot, but I'd like to be able to spin the spindle and then just let it hang and spin on its own (and only have to turn it to give it a bit more oomph when needed). Currently when I try that, it makes maybe one and a half rotations before it spins the other way. Is this because it's a top whorl or because I'm keeping my ply rather thick (it's probably worsted weight before setting the twist)?

Also, the spindle has a rather small whorl on it, so I can't fit too much on it at the current weight I'm spinning. I'm about to tackle plying two completely different colored plys together, so I'm worried that one spindle-full will be considerably longer than the other. Is there a way to join, say, two separate spindles of the same materials (or different for that matter), together?

Sorry if I'm butchering the terminology. Tongue
5  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / Bead Loom Noob Help on: December 30, 2007 06:33:56 PM
Hey guys! So, my g-ma got me a bead loom for Christmas, which I'm totally jazzed about. The only thing is, the instructions are really really unhelpful as to how to string the damn thing. I don't have a book on it, and I'd rather not have to buy a book just to figure out how to string it, especially since I want to use it tonight! The instructions often say to refer to the image on the box, but it never came in a box (all the wooden pieces came only in the Amazon box wrapped up in plastic).

The trouble I seem to be having is figuring out which way I should wind the thread on the cloth beam/warp beam. It seems no matter which way I wind the thread, as soon as I start twisting the warp beam to slide it into the slots in the beams that hold the guiding boards upright, half of the strings go slack and the other hald remain taut. If anyone knows of a webpage with very basic step-by-step instructions (preferably with pics) I'd love you forever. Cheesy

If it helps, it's the "Bead Smith" by Helby Import Co, but even their website is very unhelpful. Right now I'm trying to load the pdf from beadandbutton.com, but it's 1024 kb and is taking FOREVER. :S Any help is greatly appreciated!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Help Converting a Pattern on: September 25, 2007 09:43:46 AM
Okay, so I bought Simplicity's 4270 1930s dress in order to make the pink one (on the right) for a friend's birthday party. However, I'm starting to have second thoughts about it since there will be a lot of dancing such as waltzes, etc that will require me to move my legs around more than this dress will allow. I already have my fabric, but that's not really an issue.

What I'd like to do is first off shorten the skirt to about knee length or less (that part's easy), but I'd also like to make a fuller skirt and I'm not sure what it is I'd need to do at the waistline to achieve this. I'd like to skirt to look more like the one on Vogue V2903. The extra fabric in between the slashes is simple to do, I'm just not sure about what to do for the basic skirt shape.

For the top, I will probably try an off the shoulder fold down collar. I have a smaller bust so I think that will work okay. If I just make the dress as if it is sleeveless and strapless and then cut a wide circle of fabric, attach it to the top of the dress, and then fold it down, it should work out, right? Only thing I'm not sure of is how to make the armholes, if they are part of the dress of part of the collar, or both.

I know it seems like the easiest thing to do would just be to buy the vogue pattern and work from there, but I don't have enough time to go back to the store to nab it.

Any advice would be much loved!! ~_~;
7  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / 2 socks in 1, from 1 ball of yarn on: September 15, 2007 12:26:07 PM
So, I decided to try knitting a pair of socks using the "2-in1" method from Knitty. The instructions say that you should have two balls of yarn, one for each sock, but I don't like having to carry around more yarn than I need to. Also, I wind my balls in the center-pull method.

So, would there really be a problem with using just the one ball of yarn and taking one strand from the center and the other strand from the outside?
8  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Callling All College Knitters! on: June 11, 2007 12:25:16 PM
Hey guys! So, I'm writing an article on the joys and woes of being a knitter in college. I mean, yes, you could theoretically knit your days away as you did during the summer, but it's a helluva lot tougher now that classes and clubs and who knows what else have come creeping up on you! So I want to hear peoples' thoughts and stories about how they manage to incorporate knitting into their everyday college lives.

What changes have you had to make now that you (or some of you, anyway) are basically supporting yourselves? Does that mean less yarn or less food? (I know I've gone a couple of weeks living off of peanut butter because of some yarn I just couldn't resist) When do you find time to knit between all the things you have to do? And even if your stash is only a meager one, where the heck do you keep it all? (I've had to go to Target and buy two of those plastic 3-drawer bins and it's STILL not enough!)

And then there's finding the knitting community at all on campus. Some of us are lucky to have dragged our friends into the knitting frenzy, but what happens outside of that? If you saw someone knitting on a bench, would you go up to them?

I wanna hear it all! Tell me everything! Cheesy
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Art School Portfolio on: March 10, 2007 01:07:06 PM
Hey all! So, I've decided to try and take my knitting skills and break out of my must-knit-from-a-pattern mold and really just go crazy. What better way than to go to grad school for art? Granted, I'm also going in hopes of picking up new techniques and ideas and I'd also like to go into teaching art.

I plan on applying to the Fine Arts department for textiles (knitting) and was wondering if anyone else had done the same. The portfolio requires 15 pieces and must be a "comprehensive body of work." Now, I duno about anyone else, but my earlier pieces are not exactly art-school worthy, so I'm going to be starting fresh and making all of the pieces the year before I send in my applications. Do you think they frown on that?

Also, for presentation, each piece will be displayed in a scene depicting the process of going from sheep to knitted object. While I'm pretty sure I can find a farm relatively near that will allow me to take pictures of the sheep, I'll also need a photo of the shearing process. Does anyone know what time of the year that takes place?

I'll be posting my pieces as I make them and I'd love whatever feedback you guys could give! Wish me luck! >.<
10  KNITTING / Projects from the Stitch 'N B**ch Books by Debbie Stoller / SnB Roll-Your-Own Needle Case, vegetable themed! on: February 11, 2007 03:35:43 AM
My version of the Roll-Your-Own Needle Case! I bought a pack of five squares of cloth from Joanne Fabrics and fell in LOVE with the vegetable theme, mostly because it goes so well with the pea pod dress I'm working on. I didn't fold every piece of fabric in half, nor did I do the border sewing on everything. I kinda just winged it as I went along, usin just the basic shape the pattern gave me as my refernce.

I love it!! ^.^

Ok, so since the pictures aren't workin for me, here's the link to where they are in my blog! Cheesy

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