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1  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Candyman from Lethal League on: November 09, 2015 03:49:55 PM
My 12 year old is fairly quiet, and doesn't like to draw attention to himself. When he asked if he could go as a character with a giant head, I was surprised. A week or two later, his costume was finished (a whole two days before Halloween, which is unusual for us. Usually, I'm still doing final details the morning it's supposed to be worn).
Here he is with the Blue Link that was my other son (sword and shield purchased, hat tunic, belt and boots made):

It's supposed to look like this:

We bought a 15" balloon and blew it up as big as we dared, then covered it in paper mach. Six layers later, we covered it in black duct tape. We used a hole saw bit to drill out holes for his eyes, and covered them with black chiffon, so he didn't run into anyone.

He already had the pants and a hat, so we made a jacket from Simplicity 1328. Unfortunately, Simplicity 1328 goes from a boy's size 8 to a men's size small. I used black twill, and lined it in white flannel, with white flannel trim. My son made a bow tie from a piece of white felt. He took a plastic candy cane, and covered it in black duct tape to make the cane. Unfortunately, my action shots are on my daughter's camera. If I can separate her from her computer for a few minutes, I'll update the picture with one of him wearing the costume.
2  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Butterfly Purse on: August 09, 2013 07:37:34 AM
I  thought I'd posted pictures of this already, but apparently I forgot.  I found this great fabric at the local quilt store (timeless treasures butterfly search found the fabric when I looked for it, if anyone's interested), and my purse was getting kind of shabby. Here's the result:

 I bought a pattern from Studio Kat Designs (the Baggalista), and way more fabric than I needed, plus lining fabric, soft and stable, a whole bunch of zippers and got to work. I pieced together two panels of butterflies for the front (the fabric is stripes of butterflies and flowers alternating). It would have been really nice to have fabric cutting layouts in the pattern because I had to lay all the pieces out on the floor to figure out how to do what I wanted to do (because making your own purse means you want things in a particular way, not necessarily the way the pattern designer envisioned).

With a little help from my dog. Smiley

I've loved the way bargello quilts look, but I'm really not a quilter. So I decided to make a small panel of bargello for the back of the purse:

It's wonky, and I should have varied the strip widths, but it wasn't too bad for a first try.

Here's the cell phone pocket on the side:

It's bright blue on the inside, with the two small pockets that were supposed to be in there, and a divider that was supposed to be under the flap that I didn't like on the front.  I love the fact that if I drop my purse, it doesn't dump all over the floor, and I really like the fabric (the soft and stable stuff is really nice. It gives the bag shape so it doesn't flop when you put it down).

 I really disliked working with the pattern. I didn't realize until I used it that when I change a pattern, I usually work off of the fabric layout to figure out what changes I need to make. When all you have is a list of what to cut, with ambiguous names like "flap", it's a lot harder to alter the pattern without laying it all out to see which pieces are which. I can't remember off the top of my head if the pieces were numbered in the diagrams or the list (they are lettered in the sidekick pattern that I also have, but haven't used), but I remember having trouble matching the pattern pieces to the diagram so I knew which pieces to change. You also have to really read the directions. It's several pages, and if you're leaving off entire parts of the pattern (which I was), you can occasionally miss useful pieces of information hiding in with the stuff you're skipping. I doubled back and read things several times. I suppose it would have been easier if I'd wanted to make it exactly like the pattern. I probably still would have missed the fabric layouts, though.  Smiley

Thanks for looking!
3  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Crepe Paper Flowers on: August 28, 2010 10:48:28 AM
My son graduated in June, so we had an open house. As part of the decorating plans, I made a bunch of crepe paper flowers. His school colors are blue and gold (because everyone in this area mimics the University of Michigan), but his college's colors are blue and white. Since we're not yellow fans in this house, I bought blue and white crepe paper, and got busy:

I got the instructions from Martha Stewart's website (I'm ashamed to admit it, but I have to give the woman credit: she knows how to make paper flowers).  I believe the ones I made are half the size of the pattern on her website, but since I made these in May, I honestly can't remember how much I reduced them. The big one in the front is the size of Martha's pattern.

And  a Magnolia (pattern also from Martha's website):

The center of the flower is a pompom.

I did a better job at shaping the petals than the pictures show, as I made them about 3 months before I managed to get pictures.  Oh, and in the hassle of the day of the open house, I forgot about them completely, so they didn't even get used for their intended purpose. If anyone actually wants the links for the patterns, I can go looking for them.

Comments appreciated!
4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Butterfly earrings and bracelet on: August 28, 2010 10:39:33 AM
I made these for the butterfly swap:

I used a modified square stitch, and made the pattern myself from a butterfly book I checked out of the library. The earrings are red admiral butterflies, and there's a red admiral butterfly in the bracelet as well.

I hope it holds up. The last bracelet I made with nymo thread broke (different style bracelet), so I used two layers of nymo, and this stitch has at least two passes through all the stitches, so I'm hoping for better results than last time.

I realize now that I should have made the bracelet with white instead of black nymo, but I was originally going to make it with a dark green background, and the butterflies didn't  stand out at all, so I just kept using the same color nymo without even thinking about it when I changed the background color.  Sad

Comments welcome!
5  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Death's Head Hawkmoth shirt on: August 28, 2010 10:26:10 AM
I'm not entirely sure this goes here, but I'm putting it here anyway, temporarily.

I was in a butterfly swap last month, and made this death's head hawkmoth t-shirt for my partner:

(The circle above its head is from my camera, not part of the design. I had a hard time getting good pictures. In fact, my caterpillar picture is so messed up, I'm borrowing the picture my partner posted in the gallery).
And on the front of the shirt, I painted its caterpillar:

I basically took an image of a death's head hawkmoth off the internet, printed it out, and drew a grid on it. Then I drew a (larger) grid on the t-shirt in either light colored pencil, and transferred the basic outline, then painted it in as best I could.  I'm really proud of how it turned out, as it's the first time I've used the grid method and come up with something that looks decent.

Comments welcome!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects / Pansy dress on: August 28, 2010 10:14:38 AM
A long, long time ago, I bookmarked the dragon dress tutorial ( this one ). I finally got around to drafting it, but I could not get the front bodice to turn out right. Part of the problem is that I wanted to be able to wear the dress to church, and our church is pretty conservative. So I redesigned the top piece and after a trial in fabric, I came up with this:

The altered pattern piece looks like this (the top one is the original drafted piece, complete with altered drafting lines from messing it up a few times, and the bottom one is the actual shape of that I used):

It's probably the strangest pattern piece I've seen, but it fits pretty well. The folded parts are folded up because it turned out to be a better shape, by the way.

And here's the trial I made up first. I originally bought this to cut out the cats and make a blanket for my daughter's bed, but as time went on, and I didn't get it done, her tastes changed, and the fabric became an addition to the regular stash. I've actually worn this dress when I'm working with kids. It won't be a daily dress, but it fits better than some of my other dresses:

7  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Stash hot pads for college on: August 28, 2010 09:59:56 AM
My son and I went shopping for college, and his dorm room actually has a kitchen (not a big kitchen, but a stove, refrigerator, sink and cupboards is a kitchen).  We went looking at various things for his kitchen, and hot pads are expensive ($3 for a  6" square of fabric is expensive). When we went to the dollar store, they had 1 hot pad. It was ugly, and had purple fabric.  I told my son, "I will make you some hot pads."

I have insul-brite in my stash, and some warm and natural batting, so I told him to pick out some fabric from my stash for the outside, and I got to work. They don't have the binding that the store-bought ones have, but I think they turned out pretty well:

(The one on the right was later  quilted, too. I discovered that hot pads are quilted for gripping ability as well as the usual reasons for quilting things).
And here's a shot of the back. Believe it or not, the thread that looks dark in this picture is the same thread that looks too light on the other side):

I really liked this fabric when I bought it to make butterfly potholders for a personal swap (I guess it's just destined for potholders when I use it), but I like it even better when it's quilted along the pattern lines.  The back, by the way, is cotton twill. So it's got a layer of twill, a layer of warm and natural batting, and a layer of insul-brite under the quilting cotton  layer to help keep my son's fingers safe.  I'm hoping he actually gets around to using them while he's there.
8  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Butterfly insulated bag on: August 28, 2010 09:46:32 AM

   I was in the butterfly swap recently, and had some butterfly fabric that I thought my partner would like, but I was having a hard time figuring out what to make with it. At one point, I'd decided to send it as an extra, but then I received, and felt that my package didn't measure up to what I'd received. After much thought, I decided to make her an insulated bag.  I bought insul-brite a few years ago to make window treatments, but complications arose (mostly, my daughter's window was big, and I didn't have enough to even do two windows, so I had leftovers sitting in the basement. Any my daughter claims it didn't really help). So I kept it until later, when I made placemats, and put the insul-brite in them to protect the table from hot plates.  Then I found out that with two small children, placemats are just going to get incredibly dirty at every meal, so they ended up being put away.

So, I decided to pull out the insulated lining from my placemats (fortunately, I'd been lazy and didn't sew the insulation to the outside fabric, so technically, the placemats are still mostly intact), and make a bag out of it:

The green fabric is from my stash (green is her favorite color), as is the handle. The inside fabric is the butterfly fabric (I'm fairly sure I made a pocket for the inside, but I have no idea if I kept it or sewed it shut at the end), and it velcros shut.  Originally, it was going to be green on the outside with embroidery, and butterfly fabric on the inside, but when I put the top flap together, I put the insulation the wrong way (sewing it to the fabric this time, naturally), so in order to have all the insulation reflecting the same way (to keep heat/cold in), I either could re-sew the flap, or put the butterfly fabric on the outside. I think I like it better this way (especially since the embroidery wasn't working out either, so it would have been plain green on the outside if I hadn't flipped the top flap).  By the way, it's slightly larger than an average brown paper lunch bag, maybe a little bigger than the average fabric lunch boxes that stores sell.

So, for a project with various issues made fairly late in the swap process, I think it turned out pretty well.  Smiley 
9  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Will freezer paper work with printed paper? on: May 13, 2010 05:26:59 AM
I'm making graduation announcements, and the thickness of the card stock is making the printer leave marks on the paper.  Is there a chance I could print one side, iron freezer paper onto it, and then print the other side?  Would removing the freezer paper smudge the first side? Now that I've printed about four times on the same piece of paper, I can't remember if the smudges are on the printed side, or the back side (which is what I'm hoping the freezer paper will solve, if it's this option).

Any ideas?  My next best idea is to print out the announcement on freezer paper, and do a regular image transfer, but that's going to take a LOT of cutting. 
10  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 50 ENTRIES / Craftster logo screen for printing on: May 05, 2010 10:22:27 AM
Putting the screen at the top so it shows up as the thumbnail for the post: 

I decided to make a craftster shirt. Not just ANY craftster shirt, but one with a pink skull and scissors!!  Inspiration hit me at the craft store, where I ran across the Jones Tones foil  (this stuff: http://www.jonestones.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=2&zenid=49ad75df00fa600b870aef821bd6d36b ). Sparkly! The projects look amazing! Quick and Easy it says!  Just put the glue on the back of the foil, plop it on your project, apply pressure for an hour, peel off the foil and voila! Instant craftster art!

Or not.

Hmmm.... apparently, I used too much glue (because it never said "thin layer" anywhere on the package or the website), which got all over the place, and didn't dry in an hour.  *sigh*  So I decided to buy some fabric paint to fix it. The best match (oddly enough, very few fabric paints come in sparkly pink. Go figure!) was a color called Cosmopolitan by Plaid. Hurray!  http://www.plaidonline.com/apSimplyScreen.asp
Of course, when I got it home, I read the "screen printing" part.  So I decided to make one.  They weren't going to have a cool craftster screen premade anyway.  And BethieB pointed me to a tutorial for making a screen for printing that ACTUALLY USED THINGS I ALREADY HAD!!!  *ahem*  Here's the tutorial:  http://modpodgerocks.blogspot.com/2009/11/i-finally-screen-printed-with-mod-podge.html

And finally, here's my screen: 

I admit, my first screen print didn't come out as well, but fortunately, this time I tried it out on scrap fabric (instead of the final shirt), and I think it will work on the next few. Here's a shot of the trial: 

And the original shirt?  I actually couldn't use the screen with it because it was so messed up (and I'd put the skull and scissors further apart), so I went back and used the dry method of Jones Tones foiling instead of the wet glue method, and it's no longer as bad, though the scissors still aren't optimal.

I also covered the pink part with glow-in-the-dark paint. I'm hoping it will seal the foil layer, and the only thing cooler than a sparkly craftster logo is a sparkly, glow-in-the-dark craftster logo!  I ended up using Tulip Soft matte black paint in the box around the skull to hide the Jones Tones glue that "dries clear" (the matte paint picked up more of the camera light than it does without a flash on it). 

Lessons learned: If they don't tell you how much glue, start small. If worse comes down to worse (and it could), you can always add more.

If you're screen printing, try to keep the screen as taut and close to the fabric you're printing as possible, otherwise, you may just smear your scissors!  Smiley  Oh, and don't believe the Plaid people about not needing something underneath it when you print. It bled through, but fortunately, I had a paper bag behind it (because I've done fabric paint before, and it really sucks if it bleeds through. Though not as much as it does if it bleeds through and sticks the front of your garment to the back...).

I'll see if I can get another screen done before the end of the challenge, so I have a good shot of the result.  I don't expect to win, but it was still a fun challenge.  Smiley
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