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1  Adventures in sewing - 25 yd skirt (loads of photos and a story) in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by parallax on: March 02, 2012 02:23:59 PM
The skirt:

IMG_7959 by parallaxreality, on Flickr

I started belly dancing over a decade ago from VHS tapes of Nina and Vina, the belly dance twins. Over the years, I've dropped in on workshops and short-term classes but primarily worked from videos. I finally had the time and ability to take formal classes and found a tribal style teacher about 45 minutes from my place.
I'm going to be performing with that troupe for Club Belly Dance  (http://www.bellydancesuperstars.com/club/) when it hits my city in a couple weeks and I needed a costume.
The teacher requested that we wear double-sided 25-yard skirts - black on the outside and any bright color we want on the underside - with a black bra decorated with silver accents. I am super under-employed right now and the thought of spending $120+ on a reversible skirt (or even more on two skirts) made me cringe.
After finding out that "tissue" weight cotton and even gauze is unavailable locally and ridiculously expensive, I hopped over to Joann's and bought a bolt of 36" bleached muslin with a coupon. Came to about $22, woohoo! Less than a dollar a yard. I cut the bolt in two 12.5 yard pieces and washed the fabric multiple times to get it as soft as possible and then went to town.

IMG_7949 by parallaxreality, on Flickr

Turns out iron 12.5 yards of fabric takes me about 2 hours. That sucked.

Then I spent too much time scribbling rectangles on scrap paper and doing math trying to figure out optimal yardage for my strips. I'm short, I wanted a 36" finished length. I did 5 tiers. I'm also lazy and didn't want to hem 25 yards so I ended up wasting a little fabric and cutting 4.5" wide strips the length of each selvedge edge for my bottom tier. The next two tiers were about 8" wide and each half as long as the tier before. The fourth tier was 9" wide and the fifth tier was something like 12" to make up for the turned-over waistband. The length, in inches, for each tier turned out to be:
1 - 900"
2 - 450"
3 - 225"
4 - 110"
5 - 54"
Then the ruffling. I decided to ruffle in straight lines and then sew up the back seam afterwards rather than try to fit it in loops - that is my best piece of advice, working on a trapezoid rather than a series of circles is far easier.
I would say thank god for ruffler foots but mine didn't quite work properly. I have a $20 universal foot from Amazon, rather than the $80 one that Viking sells for their machines. I've made less voluminous tiered skirts with it before without issue but this was way more ruffling than I've ever done. I calculated my ruffling factor using this tutorial: http://www.youcanmakethis.com/products/free/free-the-ruffler-unruffled.htm but I don't know if 12" vs. 900" was just too much to get an accurate count but I was way off every time. Thankfully, the ruffle was a little too long rather than too short so I ended up hand pinning each tier after ruffling it. The first two tiers were torturous due to the incredible length. I hated it. The vibrations from my machine and foot were also pulling my sewing machine around in weird ways. In fact, there is now a permanent groove in the part of my machine where the "C" arm of the foot hooks! I had a few temper tantrums during this process, took apart the needle shaft and bent some metal pieces back into place, and ended up wrapping electric tape around the part of the shaft that the arm hooks on to protect it. This was also torturous and hellish - for a while I thought I broke my machine.
I also went online to purchase dye from Dharma Trading and found out it would cost me over $30 to achieve a true black on this amount of fabric!! Forget that. Between the dying costs and the frustrations ruffling, I ended up buying a black skirt from Tribe Nawaar. It's totally gorgeous and I love it. Also gave me something to practice in for a week while I was still working on my initial skirt.
Once the Tribe Nawaar skirt came in, I quickly realized that 1.5 yards for the yoke was not enough fabric and that my upper thighs were actually going to be a bit restricted in movement. I fussed around with measurements and re-did my yoke tier with 3 pieces that ended up 80" at the bottom and 50" at the top. Enough for fullness without having it all end up gathered at my waist.
Using this tutorial: http://mac-aroni-n-cheese.blogspot.com/2009/12/tutorial-drawcord-elastic.html I attempted a drawcord elastic waistband for the first time. It turned out lumpy and messy. Thankfully, no one will ever see the waistband. EVER.
I dumped the skirt into my washer full of hot water and a bottle of liquid RIT dye in "wine" and let it do its thing. After going to check on it, I spent an hour unclogging the sink that my washer empties into and freaking out that purple dye water was going to flood the basement, I had a fully sewn, dyed 25 yd. skirt.

IMG_7958 by parallaxreality, on Flickr

IMG_7957 by parallaxreality, on Flickr

Swirly! Swooshy!

IMG_7956 by parallaxreality, on Flickr

Layered with the black skirt, tucked at hips:

IMG_7951 by parallaxreality, on Flickr

IMG_7950 by parallaxreality, on Flickr

My favorite tuck style - a bustle tuck! I will totally use this for steampunk goodness:

IMG_7952 by parallaxreality, on Flickr

IMG_7954 by parallaxreality, on Flickr

All in all..it was an adventure. I don't intend to do this again, although I'm not sure what I'll do with the other 12.5 yards. Maybe some pantaloons.
I'm still working on the bra and belt, and will probably make a turkish vest to go along. So expect more pictures in a few weeks!
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2  Zombie Rollergirl in Halloween Costumes by parallax on: November 04, 2010 12:20:01 AM
So believe it or not, I've never dressed up as a zombie before and I got the chance to do it, on skates!

My roller derby team is heavily involved with our local "Zombiefeast" film festival and zombie-filled weekend so I figured it was time to jump head first into undead territory. I bought a family pack Halloween makeup kit and a whole lot of blood and, with suggestions from some of my team-mates, used the liquid latex it came with and some toilet paper to get the peeling skin texture and bloody wounds. I tore up a cheap t-shirt and wore basically what I wear to practice in and had my husband whip handfuls of fake blood at me. It was tons of fun.

I shambled up about a half-mile or so and even participated in the Thriller dance-off on my skates. Now I just want to wear them everywhere I go!

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3  Threads for a faerie in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by parallax on: April 13, 2010 08:58:19 AM
I participated in the For the Love of Faeries swap (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=337308.0) and made this for my partner, woodland_faerie.
I tried to make her an entire outfit and all she needs is a shirt to go under the corset Smiley

It was all a lot of fun to make and very inspiring! It was also hard to part with everything.  You can also see the amazing package I received from her: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=344239.0
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4  Re: For the love of Faeries swap Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by parallax on: April 12, 2010 02:31:53 PM
I received from woodland_faerie today and she just went so far above and beyond for this swap; my jaw dropped when I opened the box.

She sent me a gorgeous faerie illustration, complete with customized frame; a butterfly in resin; an absinthe spoon with a holed rock - two great ways to see faeries Wink and an incredibly impressive art doll. She also sent a fabric patch with a satyr illustration that my DH spirited off before I could photograph it.
So pictures:

The details on the dryad really take my breath away. She has not yet told me her name but you can click through the pictures to my Flickr gallery to see that she was a very good model. She definitely knows what makes her look good and was not shy in telling me what to do!

Thank you, thank you woodland_faerie! I'm completely bowled over by the awesomeness of your work!
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5  The Mad Milliner in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by parallax on: March 17, 2010 10:21:12 AM
I suppose this painting came about for a few reasons.
1. I was obviously inspired by the new Alice movie
2. I got a chance to play with Painter 11, which I overall prefer to Photoshop for this sort of thing.
3. I have to read 25ish books for one of my classes but I can listen to them on CD if I want. Gives me the chance to do homework AND do something else at the same time. I choose painting. BTW, I was listening to The Book Thief by Markus Zusak while painting this, I don't think it influenced it much though.

Anyway, here she is:

The Mad Milliner by ~trip-tych on deviantART
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6  Super ruffly skirt and lovely winter wrap in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by parallax on: February 27, 2010 07:08:34 AM
I was supposed to be in NYC this weekend to attend the Tim Burton Ball and see Abney Park perform. However, winter decided to appear in upstate NY this week and rain on my parade. Literally. Rain. Snow. Ice. Everything in between. I had to resign myself to staying at home and watching movies instead. I'm still really sad about it.
However, I made a few nice pieces to wear to the ball that I want to share anyway.

First is this awesome skirt. Inspired by various skirts of seen around, I assembled this wonder from cheap quilter's cotton on sale at Joann's:

It's three six-panel skirts with fat ruffles on the bottom. For the top two layers, I sewed down the seam edge and threaded ribbon through it so they can be scrunched. After doing all those ruffles by hand, I am now saving up for a ruffler foot. I never want to have to do that again!

Then, I figured I would need some sort of glamorous outerwear so as not to freeze! I was inspired by this project: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=332604.0 and a blanket on sale for $9.99. I backed it with some crepe backed satin that used to be a curtain at an old apartment.

The plan was to also wear it with a corset and blouse that I made this past summer, the awesome striped tights, a pair of button-look books, my cameo necklace and brooch, and curls pinned about my head. I'm sure I'll have a chance to wear it all together sometime in the future.
However, the skirt is so much fun that I'm intending on wearing it at all possible occasions. And the wrap! Is like snuggly, warm, happy heaven and I've been wearing it instead of cranking up the thermostat. I recommend one for every chilly home!

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7  Frejya painting in More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works by parallax on: February 10, 2010 09:45:22 PM
I started this about a year ago. She started as a drawing, then I ended up inking it and scanning it into the computer. I had very, very limited experience with Photoshop for painting purposes and so I got a few tips from a guy I worked with and started laying color into it. I can't even tell you how many hours went into it - I would get it to a place I was somewhat happy with and then decided to push it further. At one point, I decided to do away with the lineart and that's when I feel like she really started coming together. I had to find a few tutorials on painting skin and hair.
She still needs a background, floating around in space is not quite right Tongue
But anyway, considering how little I knew about painting a year ago and where she is now, well I'm pretty proud of it.

I hope this works, it's linked to my dA account:

by ~trip-tych on deviantART
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8  Re: Samhain/Halloween WWP Round 15 Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by parallax on: November 19, 2009 08:02:54 AM
So Jenna_Gayle sent me a really wonderful box of stuff. And she totally sent out on time, too! However, the mail carrier for my route is new and there were some mishaps and misunderstandings with the address and he delivered it to my neighbors who refused it (even though he marked the DC # received) and he sent it back to her. It took a bit to get to the bottom of it - no one at any of the many postal offices in my city wanted to deal with it. Finally, I got ahold of the carrier and he told me what happened. And then Jenna got it back and sent it back up to me, and it arrived quickly and safely this time!
Oh Post Office, how I depend on you....

Without further adieu, here are some pictures!:

This is the whole kit and kaboodle. A really pretty altar cloth, a stained wooden box full of hand-burned runes and little bags to hold them in, a leaf-shaped offering bowl, two candles with leaf candle holders, adorable pot holders, a kitty that poos jellybeans (yeah that got opened even before I took the photo...), two necklaces, a cute Halloween pen and a sheet of stickers. She also printed out a little book on how to use the runes, which I promptly folded up and put in my purse and took to work with me to read on lunch break. Thus it is in my desk at work Smiley

A close up of the runes, box, and bags. Look, they are shaped like little leaves!! I am amazed by Jenna's woodburning skillz - the lines are really perfect. Uniform and straight and everything. I tried woodburning a couple times and it was always a wobbly yucky mess. Awesome work!!

The lovely necklaces. One contains Samhain incense and a spell! The leaves on the other are meant to represent me, my husband and our love together. Isn't that adorable! I love it, and I love the colors!

And a close-up of the altar cloth material. It's shimmery and I do love me some shimmer (and glitter and shiny and...heee) It's so great!

I would've taken a photo of it all set up on my altar but...my altar is also in my craft room and we are in the process of packing so I can hardly even get to it right now...I will be so happy to get it all together once we are moved into our new place. Yay!
Thanks again Jenna, you did a really wonderful job!!
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9  Re: Samhain/Halloween WWP Round 15 Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by parallax on: November 18, 2009 10:21:09 AM
I'm really excited to have received my package from Jenna_Gayle (no thanks to the local postal service and not-so-good neighbors).
I got it this morning but did not have time to take photos before work. I will when I get home tonight though! She really spoiled me, amazing stuff!

Ronda asked that I post the stuff I made for Jenna, unfortunately, I am a bad crafter and rarely remember to take pictures of things.
I did make her a scrying mirror + an explanation of how to use it, a fall wreath made of dried apples, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves, and bought her a garland to decorate her altaras well as candy (of course!).
For my large, I made a graphic and had it printed as a poster (and shipped directly to her) so I have the graphic and can post that!

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10  Fun fairy wings! in Costumes: Completed Projects by parallax on: October 11, 2009 10:12:39 PM
So I had a ton of fun making and wearing the fairy wings I wore to the Renaissance Faire this year (you can see those here:https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=314086.msg3613787#msg3613787)

So I made a pair for my cousin's daughter's 6th birthday. Naturally, I didn't remember to take any pictures! They said they'd send me an action shot but I'm still waiting on it :/

However! Everyone in my family was really impressed with them and encouraged me to make a few more to try and sell. There's an upcoming craft show that I'm trying to get into so I made these two as samples:

Pretty green ones:

And lovely pink ones:

I've also made an array of horns that still need to be strung:

What do you think?
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