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1  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / The Waitress Dress! on: July 26, 2006 04:29:06 AM
I just finished this last night:

From Simplicity 4171 - the only changes I made were to eliminate the piping, and to do solid flaps on the pockets with contrasting stitching, instead of pieced pockets.  (These decisions were equal parts design choice and laziness.)  Oh, and I only had the buttons go halfway down, then sewed the skirt of the dress shut in front - this was a "I don't enjoy accidentally flashing strangers" choice!

This pattern was great - very easy to use, with good instructions.  The complicated bits, like the pieced collar and pleated, gathered sleeves, came together nicely.  I'm definitely using this pattern again - seems like it could be very versatile, with the different collar and sleeve options.  I am loving shirtdresses in general right now, so I might try the long-sleeved, plain collar version for the fall.
2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / New Curtains! on: May 03, 2006 09:06:53 AM
I moved into a new place last September, and needed new curtains for our HUGE new living room windows.  All I had on hand was this purple chintz, so that's what went up...it was okay, but a little blah (our couch is purple too) and a lot dark.  So now...

Replace old and purple on the right with new and orange on the left!

All done except for the hemming (which was finished on Monday):

I'm madly in love with this fabric - we have so much crap in our living room, encompassing every color of the rainbow, that I always shied away from prints because I figured they would add to the chaos.  But they're so much brighter and lighter and more fun than the old curtains!  And they (sort of) go with our eclectic, vintage/retro/morbid/the odd plastic toy style, so I think it all works.
3  UNITED STATES / Utah / Thriftin' in South Utah! on: March 30, 2006 09:51:52 AM
I'm going to be attending a family reunion in the Zion National Park area in June...since I'm not much of a hiker, I thought I might hijack one of the rental cars and do some thrift hunting on at least one day!  Does anyone know of good thrift stores or other crafty places of note in Southern Utah?  It looks like the nearest largeish town is St. George, for reference.  Thanks for your help!
4  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / Tiki Party with photos on: March 03, 2006 06:03:03 AM
I thought I'd post pics from a Tiki party I had back in '03...this one took a lot of work! I tried to keep things specific to the Tiki craze of the late 40s/early 50's - very kitschy, bright colors, etc. - although I succumbed to temptation and bought a few non-period things from Oriental Trading Co.  I bought lights, garlands, a Tiki god, and some candles and fish decorations, but made most of the paper decorations by hand, including the hundreds of flowers that make up the door curtain (ow! my hand!).  I found Hula girls on the internet, printed them out, and surrounded them with paper "leaf" frames.  We also made all the food...grilled veggies and seitan, two cakes, cocktail weiners with sweet-and-sour sauce, rice crackers from the Asian market with dip.  We served Mai Tais, mixed on request so that non-drinkers could enjoy the fruit punch.  We also loaded up a bunch of exotica on the CD player: Yma Sumac, Les Baxter, etc. to set the mood.

Because we were in a small apartment at the time, we had to lure people into the bedroom so there'd be space for everyone.  So we turned the bedroom into a lounge with dim lighting, patio chairs, and a fan, and covered the bed with a pink silk coverlet (actually just raw fabric safety-pinned together) so that it would be really appealing.  Some of our guests drank too many Mai Tais and fell asleep in there!

Here's the photo album.
5  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / Craftster Craft Challenge Theme Ideas, Etc. / Grab Bag Challenge? on: February 24, 2006 06:51:02 AM
Hi folks!   I was at my great local thrift store the other day and I had an inspiration...what about a "what can you make from a grab bag at the thrift store" challenge?  Stores usually offer mixed lots of craft supplies, or toys, or kitchen gear for a few bucks, and half the time you can't even figure out what all is in there until you get it home.  What an adventure to commit to making a project just using a grab bag!

So, anyway.  I don't know if that's too similar to other thrifty challenges, but I thought I'd throw it out there.
6  UNITED STATES / Massachusetts / Boston: Finding yard sales on: May 24, 2004 04:41:08 AM
So, everyone, I need to do some serious yard-saling this summer.  I was wondering if there's a good place that you all look for sale listings in the Boston area, whether it's one of the many small weeklies, a city paper, or an online source. 

I'm in Brookline and without a car, so cruising around looking for signs is a slow and tiring process.  I tried Craigslist, but people don't really advertise ahead of time on there - "garage sale" usually means "come by my house after work on a Thursday!" whereas my ideal is to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning hitting the pavement with a list and a map.  Any ideas would be appreciated.  Thanks for your help!
7  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Source for faux fur trim? on: April 26, 2004 06:42:50 PM
Okay, I'm 50 pages deep in Google and still haven't found what I'm looking for, which is faux fur trim by the yard. The problem is that I need something wider than what I've found. Everything seems to max out at 2.25", and I need something more like 4-5" wide.

Of course, as always, cheap or wholesale would be great, but I'm desperate here, so any leads are appreciated. Thanks for your help!
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Tie flowers (pictures + tutorial!) on: April 19, 2004 11:25:54 PM

I decided that thrift store ties would make great flower pins.  Here's how I made them:

-Needle & thread
-Tacky glue
-1" bar pin
-Big bead (or button or whatever you like!)

1) Wash, line dry and iron the ties if you want to get rid of that thrift store funk.  I used woolite and cold water and my ties came out fine.

2) Cut 8 to 10" off the wide end of the tie, then fold back the end of the longer segment and trim about 3/4" from the interfacing at an angle:

3) Fold the cut end of the tie down inside itself, and handstitch closed.

4) Starting about 2" from the narrow end of the tie, make a running stitch along one edge:  
When you get to the other end, keep going along the cut and sewn edge.  You should end up at the longer end of the angled cut you made (at the top in the picture in Step 2).

5) Gather as you go; the tie should curl up nicely:

6) When you're done, pull the gathers very tight.  Arrange the spirals that the tie makes so that they form three tiers of "petals."  Pull the 2" tail you left in Step 4 down through the center.  Fluff and arrange the gathers to your liking.

7) Flip the flower over and stitch the end of the tie to the little tail you pulled through to secure it.  
Then stitch or glue the tail down to the underside of the flower.

8. Glue or sew your bead to the center top of the flower.

9) Cut a square from the leftover tie fabric, and a circle about 1.5" across from cardboard.

10) Glue the cardboard circle into the center of the fabric square, and then fold the extra fabric over the edges of the circle and glue that down too.

11) Grab yourself still more glue and coat the underside of the fabric/cardboard circle.

12) Press the circle against the underside of your flower.  Then glue your pin to the circle.

And here's the results:



9  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Knitting bag on: March 25, 2004 07:39:38 PM
I made this bag for a friend of mine who knits and has a cat that likes to "help" with her yarn...  

She likes messenger bags, so I made it in that style.

I added a zipper top so Miss Kitty can't get at the yarn.

There are pockets on both sides.  One side is divided into compartments for needles; the other is single for holding patterns, etc.

It's made from an upholstery remnant and lined with cotton.  I used Pelon craft bond for the strap and plastic canvas to keep the bottom stiff, but the fabric was sturdy enough that the bag didn't need any other reinforcement.  I made up the pattern, with separate pieces for the bottom and sides.  It's hard to see from the pictures, but the narrow sides of the bag widen towards the bottom to make lots of room for balls of yarn.  

Next time I'll definitely use the square-bottom bag tutorial!  It's not easy to get those corners to line up properly when you're joining three pieces!
10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Help with finishings and findings on: March 22, 2004 07:21:17 PM
Okay, so I had (what I thought was) a great, easy idea to use all the pretty trims and alluring ribbons that always tempt me at the fabric store...trim bracelets.  What I'm doing is sewing two types of trim together, one on top of the other, and I was planning to fasten the bracelets with a simple loop-and-ball closure.  I'm really pleased with how they look when assembled...however, I'm having trouble finishing off the ends of the trims, which are incredibly fray-prone.  The bracelets are about 5/8" wide.  So far I've tried the following:

-Glue, both Tacky glue and silicone sealer (looks like crap and/or scratches your wrist)
-Finishing the raw edges with a tight zigzag stitch (the machine just eats the end of the bracelet and makes a mess)
-Folding the raw ends toward the inside and sewing them together (bulky and maddening to maneuver, by machine or by hand)
-Binding the ends with folded ribbon (see "maddening" above and "crappy-looking" above that)

So I'm looking for any advice on an easy, but elegant, finishing method.  I haven't made a lot of jewelry, so I don't know if there are findings out there that might help me - like a fastener that I might crimp around the raw edges? but I'm also happy to consider any sewing or adhesive solutions.  Thanks!

(Edited to add that I'm planning to sell these bracelets.  I understand if you don't want to reveal your secrets for my profit!)
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