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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies / Blanket w/ straps that goes up over infant carseat? on: August 04, 2008 11:45:09 AM
I'm wanting to make a flannel blanket that goes over the top of an infant carseat. (I saw somebody with one of these and tried to figure out how it was made/how much fabric to use and just can't remember as many specifics as I would like!). It was two-sided flannel, a little larger than a regular receiving blanket, and it had two loops/straps with velcro that attached to the top of the handle. It was kind of like a little tent that stayed up over the whole carseat (while baby is sleeping, or in the sun, etc), instead of being directly on the baby like a regular blanket. I've tried to find something similar on the internet and on here, but maybe I'm having a hard time because I don't know what to call it - when I type in "carseat cover" or something like that, I come up with all sorts of different things - but not what I want!

Anyone seen something like this on here and/or know what this kind of blanket might be called or where I can find a tutorial/pattern?

2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / Re: My friends last Musical in High School on: April 23, 2008 10:39:56 AM
First off, I think the charm bracelet idea was awesome, even if you don't think it would work for this  particular gift-ee. I was all about theatre in high school (I was thespian president!) and now I am in my extremely late 20's (okay, early 30's), and I have to really think about it to even remember all of the plays that I was in (cry), just because it was so long ago. You think you will remember everything when you are in high school, but its not true! I wish I had an awesome charm bracelet with charms representing each play I was in! So I think something along those same lines would be perfect. Maybe you could find something else to make with that same theme. Here are some things that I would have liked to have as a present:

1. a picture frame or collage with items representing each play (like a boat for Anything Goes, ruby slippers for Wizard of Oz, etc)

2. a pre-decorated scrapbook (one or two pages for each play - he probably has cast photos, tickets, and/or programs that he can put in there to keep them nice forever. Mine are in an old box somewhere!)

If you want to use tickets from the play but you don't have access to them or don't want to use the originals, there are websites where you can print fake tickets that say whatever you want, so you would just enter the name of the play, dates, etc. You could even add something like "starring (your friend's name) as....(whatever role he had)". That would be awesome! I don't remember what website I used when I did this, but if you type in "make your own printable tickets" or something like that on the internet, you could probably find several sites that let you do this for free and you just print it out on cardstock type paper. (I think its usually a program that they want you to buy, but will let you try free). I used one of these sites to print fake "dancing with the stars" tickets as a joke for my dad (not a fan) that we gave to him before we gave him his real tickets to some other show. It was hilarious.

3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / is "hot for teacher" shirt in poor taste? on: April 13, 2008 04:48:59 PM
My sister-in-law is a teacher (she's in her 1st year of official teaching right now). I thought it would be funny to make my brother a shirt (for a gift) that says "Hot for teacher", like the Van Halen song, you know? My husband thinks it would be tacky, because the video for the song had strippers, etc. They are pretty conservative, and I don't want to make them feel uncomfortable, I just thought it was/is funny. I mean, its not like he would have to wear it to the faculty Christmas party or anything (although I think that would be hilarious). What do you think?

Thanks for your input in advance.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Re: skirt recon - tween size skirt from adult size skirt on: March 21, 2008 12:09:38 PM
Thanks everyone for your nice comments!
5  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / skirt recon - tween size skirt from adult size skirt on: March 18, 2008 08:16:52 PM
Barely counts as a recon because its so simple, but I have turned several plus-sized women's skirts into cute skirts for my tween daughter. Explaination, then recon details follow....

Our family has a knee-length-or-lower-policy on shorts, skirts, & dresses. Some of you may be able to relate to the shopping-related problems that this can cause, if you also have similar clothing guidelines because of culture or religion. My child is 8 years old, and I when I shop for her I always see a lot of short-shorts, mini-skirts, etc., but luckily longer shorts are also popular right now, and I can easily make any jeans/pants into shorts or capri pants, so finding shorts isn't too bad...

Its more difficult to find longer skirts and dresses. Usually I buy these one or two sizes larger so that the length is good, and alter them a little bit if needed so that they fit better. I shop thrift stores a lot, so I don't mind the trouble of having to do some alterations so much, because I've saved money overall.

I recently saw some really cute skirts in the women's section of a thrift store and because I'm kind of short and stocky I don't really look good in knee-length skirts, so I was thinking to myself that it was too bad that they weren't my daughter's size because the prints were really cute. Then it occurred to me that I could probably alter even plus-size women's skirts to fit a young girl - and the price was right...$3 or $4 each!

Basically, I had her put the skirts on and marked how far in I'd have to make the new "waist". Each of these skirts had a side-zipper, so I kept that side of the skirt intact, and only "took in" the other side. I turned the skirts inside out (see 2nd photo), pinned up the sides, and marked where I would sew a straight line from top to bottom (or vice versa), making sure that the angle matched the other side (a-line or straight, or whatever). In the second photo, the right side of the photo is the side that I re-sewed, then cut off the excess fabric. I don't have a serger, so I just did a double-line of stitching. It was super-easy and now she's got 3 new skirts! 

You could do this with any size skirt that is too big in the waist (doesn't have to be plus-size) as long as it is the length you want (you could always hem the length if it is too long).

First two photos show my latest creation, so you can sort of see how I did-it. That extra piece of fabric in the first photo is the part I cut off. 3rd photo is an action-shot with one of the other skirts- she doesn't have a big tummy, she just thinks its cool to stand slouchy for some reason!!!

6  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / 2 combs = lightsaber for My Little Pony? on: December 13, 2007 07:30:55 PM
My sister-in-law is really into Star Wars and action figures, so when I saw the Darth Maul custom My Little (Sith) Pony, I really wanted to make something similar for her. Mine isn't exactly the same as the ones on craftster - like, mine has hair (black), but I think she will like it. Its taken a lot of trial and error (trying to use materials I have instead of buying things) but it is almost done - I've even customized the box (its still pink and cutesy, but I changed the words on the package). It seems to be missing something, though, and today I figured out what it is. Accessory!

I originally thought about making a double-bladed lightsaber, but I couldn't work out how to make it, and the idea never seemed "ironic" enough. Now I'm thinking about making a double-sided comb. The pony I bought came with a little pink comb and my daughter also has some other similar doll combs that I can use, so I am thinking about attaching two of the combs together (with sculpy?) and painting them (black & red, similar to Darth Maul's lightsaber). Does that sound lame? Will it look stupid if the two combs I use are slightly different size? (I don't think that any we have are exactly the same). I'm going to try to find some matching doll combs in a set at the dollar store...

Any ideas?

7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Discussion and Questions / painting a dining room table & chairs on: November 30, 2007 10:53:51 AM
We have a not-so-good-looking dining table and chairs that were given to us.

THE STORY (just fyi): We're trying to do an (extremely) low-cost makeover on our current  hand-me-down/dumpster-dive decor (our apartment has the dining room & living room together, so it would look better if they were coordinated). So far I've re-painted  picture frames, removed non-compliant knick-knacks, moved uncooperative furniture to other rooms, and painted a plain wood endtable (very dark brown/black).

<P>THE TABLE/CHAIRS: We want to paint the table & chairs, like I did to the endtable. The chairs are all covered in various colored paint drops (from small to large) thanks to my parents not covering them up during several dining room painting projects. There are just too many to try to scrape them all off, and they are pretty much impossible to get off anyhow now after 15 years or more! The table is okay, condition-wise, but the color is not going to work anymore. We want a very dark brown (almost black). I'm trying to figure out the best way to go about it. The table top seems like it might be like a particle board, I'm not sure. The chairs are actually wood. Anyhow all the chairs and the table are slick, so I'd have to sand it, right? Then a primer? Then what?

 I painted over the endtable with a coat of acyrlic matte  clear-coat paint so the paint wouldn't chip later. From the other furniture-painting posts I've read, people have used a glossy paint and it didn't sound like they used any kind of sealer or anything afterward. Is that not necessary with certain kinds of paint? I mean, I don't need a super-shiny table or anything, I'm just worried about durability. Also, any idea of how much paint I will need for a project like this? Or what type? It seems weird to use house paint. I used acrylic craft paint for the endtable, but that was a lot smaller. The guy in the paint dept pointed me towards small cans of specialty paint with pictures of furniture on them, but they were expensive and the cans were small. I wasn't sure, so I didn't buy anything.

Ok, thanks for putting up with the rambling, thanks in advance for any help.

8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Re: DIY tailoring mens dress shirt - need TUTORIAL! on: November 20, 2007 05:25:34 PM
Thanks for all the great responses! Like the last poster said, all of the excess fabric seems to be in the stomach (kind of like a maternity shirt), so I think I'm going to give it a shot and try to take in the sides as several of you have described. I can try it on one of the shirts and see how it goes.

Thanks again!
9  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / DIY tailoring mens dress shirt - need TUTORIAL! on: November 19, 2007 01:33:33 PM
My husband lost a lot of weight after recently buying some new dress shirts (for work, church, etc). In the interest of saving money and not having to find new shirts that he's happy with, I want to tailor the shirts myself. Most of the shirts are white or another solid color. One has a small checkered pattern. They fit fine (sleeve length, neck, etc) except for the stomach area looks like a tent. I'm envisioning  that if I undo the side seams, pin them, and re-sew them it will look good as new! But before I start cutting, I thought I should get a 2nd opinion!

I couldn't find a tutorial, but if there is one, please let me know.
I don't want to ruin the shirts, but I am pretty handy at DIY clothing repair and hand-sewing - I do all our tailoring, hemming pants, making costumes, etc. (last night I hand-sewed a rip in his sweatpants and you can't even see it now. I was so thrilled! I love saving money!), so I feel fairly confident about my sewing ability in general, just not sure if my plan will turn out like I imagine. Is what I described sounding like how people usually tailor this kind of shirt? (see below)

PS- My dad had a dress shirt "tailored" at his dry cleaners last summer and it came back looking like a woman's shirt - fitted with DARTS and seams up the fronts in 4 places. It looked like a woman's button-up shirt. So bad! He can't wear the shirt without a jacket now because it is AWFUL! I kept thinking, "You PAID for this???!?!?!"

Thanks in advance for any help.
10  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: flax seed slippers? on: November 16, 2007 09:34:21 AM
I know this was posted years ago, but I thought I would add my comments to help anyone who is looking to make something like this for this year. I saw something like this for sale on a website: http://www.isabellasherbalpacs.com/catalog.htm and I was thinking it would be perfect for my mom who always has sore feet, so I decided to make my own version (we are exchanging homemade gifts). I had a simple (bootie type) slipper pattern already (probably can get these at any fabric store) and some fabric laying around, so I bought some flax seed and starting improvising!

I'm still working on them (my machine is broken, so I'm hand-stitching everything!), so I will post photos when I'm done. Basically I'm making the slippers from the pattern, but I'm adding an additional panel to the soles, like a pocket where you can insert a heated (removable) rectangle of fabric with flax inside. They will be mostly for watching tv/going to sleep - not really for walking around in.


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