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1  Franken-dress, or, Mix-N-Match Patterns! Bonus: DH's Costume (pic heavy) in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by acajjou on: November 07, 2010 05:14:53 PM

(Image put on top to prevent awkward "belly shot" preview icon!)

Whilst perusing a certain vintage clothing website, I found a dress I fell in love with.  However, I've got some funky sizing issues and the comments on the dress all mentioned flimsy fabric.  I decided to make my own, and go as a "vintage dame" for Halloween!

I used the top from this pattern:
and the skirt from this one:

The original dress:

I also put my hair up in curlers for the old-school look:

the back (bobby pins unfortunately quite visible):

I followed a tutorial on YouTube from LisaFreemontStreet, who has wonderful vintage hair tutes.  Here's a link to the video I used: http://www.youtube.com/user/LisaFreemontStreet#p/c/055F488FBAA68C38/2/bLes03ICsSA

If I had to do it all over again, I would have made the skirt more simply - maybe just a half-circle instead of all of those godets!  But I do love the dress and how it turned out.  I even cut out a little tulle petticoat from another dress to make it flare a bit.  It was very fun to go out in!


DH has been playing a lot of Plants vs. Zombies lately, and he decided to go as Crazy Dave this year.  He made all of his costume components, but no one at the party knew the character... Sad  I thought it was very well-executed!

He made a sunflower with a sun ready to be harvested, as well as filling about 80 little envelopes with candy and putting the seed labels on them.

He's Craaaazy!

And a reference shot of Crazy Dave in case you're not familiar with the game:

Thanks for looking!  C&C always welcome!
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2  Possible pattern for Hepcat dress? in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by acajjou on: September 29, 2010 05:44:33 AM
See here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=364220.0


I think my two simplicity patterns work well for this dress (see reply below) but now I can't find fabric!!!  I didn't think it would be so difficult to find a black polka dot.  There's a 100% polyester at Joann's but the dots are too big and 100% polyester sounds just yucky.  The only other option I can find is 100% cotton in the quilting fabrics and that's gonna be a pain to iron.  I looked online and I couldn't find any other fabric content in this print except 100% silk at $36/yard - way out of my price range!  Where do you find fabric?  What content would you think to use for this dress?

Thanks for your help!!

I saw this awesome dress on Modcloth and I would like to try to recreate it.  I'd like to lengthen the skirt a bit and construct it from higher quality material - the comments consistently say that the cloth is really lightweight and flimsy.  Anyway, here's a photo of the original dress.  What patterns are out there that might be modified to make it?
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3  Re: Valentine Slouch Hat *Pattern Included* in Crochet: Completed Projects by acajjou on: November 25, 2009 06:08:50 PM
Here is my hat:

I really love how the ch1 spaces make a spiral. 

I had to add three increase rows before working even in order for it to be the right size, but I love how it turned out.

Thanks, April!
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4  Picture Book Gifts in Needlework: Completed Projects by acajjou on: January 22, 2009 07:14:26 PM
I've been waiting so long to post this!  Someone lost the camera cord at work, and I'd taken all of my pictures with that camera!

This Christmas, I wanted to do something special for my coworkers.  I am the teen librarian at my library, but my desk is in the children's department office.  I artfully tricked my coworkers into telling me their favorite picture book characters (I said I was going to put up a display... works every time!)

One colleague said she liked Olivia from Ian Falconer's books and the Toot and Puddle series by Hollie Hobbie.  These are some of my favorites, too, so it was a pleasure to "research" this ornament:


Olivia, based on these books: http://tinyurl.com/apmyzc


Puddle, who likes to stay home.  Toot likes to travel and go on adventures.  From this series:  http://tinyurl.com/bhn52u

I was lucky and found pictures of the characters with books!  A librarian's dream come true.

Next was a colleague who loves coffee.  I made her a reversible sleeve.  Her favorite character is Curious George, from Margaret and H.A. Rey's classic series:

See the books at http://tinyurl.com/d34yzh

Her daughter's favorite character is Flora the elephant, from the Babar series by Jean de Brunhoff (see: http://tinyurl.com/bfnyzk):

She said that her daughter (who's 3) stole the sleeve and uses it on her sippy cups!

Next is from a book called Bossy Bear by David Horvath.  I loved this book, and was so glad she recommended it!  http://tinyurl.com/c4pbv5

The reverse shows the end of the book (spoiler alert!) - Bossy Bear learns to share and makes a friend:

Another colleague enjoys the Jesse Bear books.  This came from "Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?" by Nancy White Carlstrom: http://tinyurl.com/bj4q9j

The reverse (I was a little less creative and a little more time crunched by this one):

L wanted something she said was "a little obscure."  She loved the Alistair books by Marilyn Sadler.  I found one in our library and remembered it from my Reading Rainbow days!  AND Alistair was taking books back to the library!  http://tinyurl.com/cdqhc8

Another unimaginative back:

Unfortunately, I had forgotten to take photos before giving these away, and had to ask them to bring 'em in to work again or take pictures to give me (Alistair's was L's picture).  One of my coworkers actually packed up all of her Christmas ornaments before I asked!  So I don't have a picture of my last one.  It was of Brother and Sister Bear from the Berenstain Bears.  I totally went through 6-7 books before I found this one: http://tinyurl.com/cctteo wherein the Bear family goes to the library and then spends the evening reading.  It was a pretty much perfect tableau...  Smiley

Well, I hope you enjoyed these!  I sure loved reading old favorites and finding some new ones.
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5  Re: Patchwork I-Spy bags! (lotsa pics) in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by acajjou on: January 09, 2009 10:08:00 AM
Hi, Geri!  Thanks for the complement!

Yes, the bags seemed to be well recevied - the family on that side goes a little "gift crazy" - not something I like, but it's just the way they are.  They're not my kids, so not much I can do about it.  My handmade gifts often get a "thank you" and then on to the next gift.  I can tell better whether they liked them by reports afterward, and one of the moms said they play with theirs a lot.  So that makes me feel good!

I started collecting stuff without a lot of regard to what it is - I work in a library, so there were often "odd bits" left in drawers and stuff.  Then I looked for "sets" of things that could go in each bag: washers, nuts, bread tabs, lego pieces, buttons and beads from my stash.  Toward the end, I bought a few things - sets of novelty buttons, some dollhouse birds, clearance charms for $.30 each (!), even a set of the tiny Christmas ornaments that go on the miniature trees.  Lastly, I made the letters of their names using shrinky dinks, laid out everything I had, and sorted them into the piles based on what I thought each kid would like best.

Here's an example of my closeup pictures for one:

I added "boxes" later to divide them into groups of 4-6 things each.  The collecting little stuff was one of the more fun but challenging parts of the project.

Thanks for your interest!
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6  Patchwork I-Spy bags! (lotsa pics) in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by acajjou on: January 09, 2009 07:53:20 AM
I loved lil_abi's I-Spy bag idea, so I made some for neices and nephew this Christmas.  Find her post here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=261769.0.

I used two different fabrics on each, and decided to do a four square for the back instead of a single panel.  I used quilting cotton, and it looked like the origianl was made from something heavier - canvas or pinwale corduroy - so I used a lightweight fusible interfacing on all of my pieces.

I had 50 items in each - 200 little items to collect!  That was the most difficult part!

For Grace:

For Lindsey:

For Luke:

For Sophaia:

I really enjoyed collecting the items and making these.  Thanks, lil_abi!
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7  Recumbent Rider Stencil from Hell in Stenciling: Completed Projects by acajjou on: November 11, 2008 06:37:22 AM
My dad has always been a cycling buff, and in the last couple of years he's really gotten into recumbent bikes.  These are the weird looking ones where the rider is reclining.  Some have the pedals above the front wheel, some have handlebars underneath the seat - there are a lot of variations.  Here's info on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recumbent_bicycle.

Anyway, I decided to make him a shirt for his birthday.  I found a picture of a rider on a bike like my dad's, added a pirate flag and caption in Photoshop, and came up with this:

I was so pleased with how it came out, it was worth the crazy fiddly stencil!

Some of the fallout:

Look at all of those bridges!

And once more, with my reference picture:

Thanks for looking!
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8  Bird Lovers - help with identification! in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions by acajjou on: November 07, 2008 12:26:01 PM
Hi, All!

I just bought these miniature birds from Hobby Lobby for $2.  They're the Mayberry Street Miniatures Brand and I will be using them in ISPY bags like lil_abi's for christmas.

I'd love to be able to list exactly what each bird is, but I'm not sure for a majority of them!  Can you help?

Row 1:

Possibly the european robin, cardinal, and bluebird.  These are the three I'm most sure about.
Row 2:

Yeah, these are more difficult.  Maybe a goldfinch for the one with white stripes?
Row 3:

These were in a different position.  They look more like parrots (green) and a hawk (brown).  Not sure though.
Row 4:

First one is definitely a blue jay, but I'm not sure about the other two.  The brown one on the far right has speckles on its belly and on its back.

I realize that these cheap "made in china" birds probably aren't completely accurate, but if you know what they could be, I'd be ever so appreciative!

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9  Pac-Pumpkins! in Halloween Decor and Parties by acajjou on: October 14, 2008 07:15:50 PM
I can't take any credit for this one.  DH had the whole idea, gutted and carved them, and came up with the eye idea.  I picked out the pumpkins, made dinner while he was carving, and toasted seeds.

Behold, pac-man and ghosties!

Pretty basic, especially considering some of the advanced carving I've seen here, but I thought it was a neat idea!  He used pieces of wire clothes hangers to hang the eyes on the ghosts.  It looks even cooler in the dark:

I complained that Pac-man was in the wrong position - he should be chased by the ghosts, I think.  To which DH replied, "Not with a power pill!"

Unfortunately, it's been really warm here - in the 80s during the day - and after two days outside the pumpkins looked rather forlorn.  Mold, fruit flies, squishiness.  Ugh.  We tried spraying with a bleach/water solution, but it was too late.  They went to the dumpster with a satisfying splatty sound.  At least we got some pictures...

We'd love to hear comments and tips on keeping your pumpkins fresh!
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10  Asian Parasols Sewing Machine Cover in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by acajjou on: July 14, 2008 07:15:42 AM
I live in a small apartment with my husband.  He's a total neat freak and I am a little more tolerant of clutter - though I wouldn't say I'm a slob! (He might...)

Anyway, I've been doing more sewing lately, and I have to drag an insanely heavy 1960s all metal (lead?) Dressmaker sewing machine in and out of my closet whenever I want to work on things.  DH will start grumping if stuff is out and messy for more than 2-3 days.  However, he said he would be okay with my leaving the machine out on the vanity in our bedroom (where I usually work) if it had a cover.  Damn, I need no more motivation than that!

I did most of this last night, and finished up the hem this morning.

It's reversible.  I started out with this tute: http://diynamite.wordpress.com/2007/01/07/reversible-sewing-machine-cover/ but I ended up only using the dimensions and pattern pieces she describes.  I didn't like the bias tape or the curved corners, so I left the ends squared and assembled it more like a bag, with a lining and outside joined with a hem.  I cut the outside short and folded the lining fabric around to make a contrasting hem. 

The lining:

It's a little plain.  If I decide to reverse it for any amount of time, I might do an applique or something to jazz it up.

Here it is in place.  It looks so "neat!"

One more picture of the machine snug in its home!  I think it shows the color more truly.

I did use batting, and I am wondering if I should try to quilt it?  I'm not sure how.  I also might use some scraps to make a pocket for shears and accessories.  What do you think - especially about the quilting?

Thanks for looking!
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