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1  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Key swap on: April 06, 2019 08:34:19 AM
A long time ago, I was part of a key themed swap. Steampunk and fairy doors, skeleton keys and industrial, everything was a possibility. I'd love to have another round, and I'm happy to organise. Would anyone want to join?
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Story Scarves on: February 14, 2019 09:50:48 AM
So I originally cut these out in August, when my daycare was having a flowers theme, but didn't get around sewing them until recently. What were intended to be dancing scarves are now obsolete, as 11 of the 16 kids graduated to kindergarten, and the new batch couldn't care less about music and dancing.

That said, they love storytelling. Not just books, but any sort of story. Improvised stories save my life during group transitions, seriously. So these scarves are now story scarves. They live in the block area, and they're meant to mix with people toys, to be backgrounds for playing out a story a teacher improvises.

The blues are good for snow, the orange is almost always lava.

The brown tends to be quicksand/normal sand.

The left rainbow flowers are the jungle, brown is chocolate or mud.

The stripes ladders, the squares are buildings, especially jail.

The scarves are all cotton, about 18x18 inches, and double hemmed so that no raw edges are showing. They've gotten some pretty good use. At some point I'll probably make some that DON'T have flowers, but I also don't want to be too literal. Imagination is the point of these, after all.
3  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / A Christmas Duvet Cover on: December 18, 2018 06:42:22 PM
So for the last fifteen years I've had the same Christmas duvet cover, one lovingly made by my mom for me before she lost her vision and couldn't sew. A few years ago I got a new duvet, and it's wider and longer. Nice, except for how it makes the Christmas duvet bunch and not cover my whole body. I dealt with it for a few years, but I got impatient this year, and made a new one.

I love scrappy look stuff, but straight lines are pretty much my kryptonite. The more lines, the worse I'm likely to screw it up. But  not only do I love patchwork, I've also inherited a million miles of fabric. So I tried to keep it super basic: just ten stripes. All of the fabric was too narrow, so I did french seams that I varied the placement of, so there wouldn't be a big stripe down the middle.

The whole bed:

Close up of the first 4:

The middle 3:

The bottom 3:

Twenty plus seams and only one screw up... one of the directional fabrics is upside down on one half of the stripe. For me, that's pretty good odds!
4  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / One Tiny Zombie Thing on: September 22, 2018 09:02:00 AM
With Halloween looming, would anyone like to do a small zombie swap? Not necessarily tiny in dimension, but just a 1 point swap, something small that could be knocked out in a weekend?
Ideas could be an ATC set, a carved stamp, a notecard set, a knitted zombie ooze choker...

If we had a quick turn around, we could probably get our items before Halloween. And if not, is there ever really a bad time for a zombie?
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Upsizing recon tutorial on: August 18, 2018 08:24:41 PM
A few of you were interesting in getting a tute, so I made one!

Things you'll need to get this done:

-all the standard sewing stuff (pins, measuring tape, etc)
-too small shirt
-a pattern you already know fits you
-if said pattern has a 'front' piece that is 'place on fold', a copy of it that you've put on spare pattern paper that's a full front (mine is on cotton because i use it all the time)
-two co-ordinating/purposefully contrasting pieces of knit fabric (i've found it very difficult to actually match plain knit to the standard gildan/other shirt manufacturing company colours. it sounds silly, but seriously, matching blacks is nearly impossible)

So this time around, my prompt was finding out the daycare I started at a few months ago was having a memorial day for a staff member who'd died last year, specifically an orange themed day because it was her favourite colour. I didn't have any orange short sleeved shirts, and it's been much too hot to wear something long sleeved. One trip to Value Village later...

So I do almost all fabric prep sitting on the floor, it's where I have the most room. Whatever your style is, first shake out the shirt so that it's flat, and put it collar towards you. Lay down your full front pattern, careful to keep the exact centre down the centre of the shirt. My pattern piece has a permanent crease in the centre, maybe mark yours with a marker? Get your pattern neck as close to the crew neck collar WITHOUT including any of the crew neck, or if you have to, just the tiniest bit, less than your 5/8th seam will be.

Once that's pinned, fold in the side of your pattern so that it stops BEFORE the seam attaching the sleeve to the shirt. You'll be able to feel where that is without lifting up your pattern. If it's a shirt brand that has side seams, also make sure it's folded before that seam. It's okay if it's diagonal. The larger a body you have, the more a flat diagonal line is straight on a 3d body.

Once you do one side, measure and do the exact same to the other side. I generally measure at the point of the hem, and the point of the arm/side seam. This is when you find out if you've centred your pattern properly, because the other side should also not be touching seams. If you haven't, unpin and try again. It's annoying, but worth the effort to be symmetrical.

Cut it out! You'll have pinned through both layers of the shirt, everything gets skewed if you try to lift things to only pin through one layer. However, it's super important you only cut through the top layer. I suggest tiny cuts and checking every few inches.  Wink

Following the seam carefully, cut off the sleeves. It's better to do this now than before you cut out the front, you maximize the room your pattern has when you cut that first. But now you want things flat, so cut the sleeves off. You can toss them, they're useless. You'll be left with this:

Eyeballing it, cut up the centre. Without measuring anything, sew each half to the front, making sure of course to have good sides together. Once it's sewn together, press the seams open.

Fold your shirt in half again, matching the points of the top of the collar and the wing seams. Lay down your 'place on fold' original pattern piece and cut it out.

Now that you have a completed front piece of your shirt, sew the rest of it as normal. Try it on, and compliment yourself!

Note: this way only works when you're only upsizing a few sizes. My original shirt was a 1xl, and I'm about a 3/4xl. If you're trying to go further, like my Fringe Festival shirt from my previous post, there won't be enough fabric in the back to get the wings done. In that case, sew multiple stripes of fabric for the wings.

I hope this is all clear enough. Feel totally free to ask if you have any more questions!
6  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Upsizing Recons on: July 12, 2018 04:54:52 PM
I have a lot of shirts that don't quite fit, that were bought for souveniers, or given to me as presents. They mean too much to donate, but I can't actually wear them. So I decided to figure out how to make my perfectly drafted raglan shirt pattern work with them.

Attempt One: I decided to go easy on myself for my first try. I used an old shirt of my mom's, something I'd be happy to wear if it worked, but not upset if I wrecked it. I had a hell of a time folding the shirt exactly in half to fit the pattern.

You can't really see it in the pic, but I used red fabric for the back.

Attempt Two: I love Clockwork Orange, I have a large collection of artwork of it. When I was in London a few years ago, first at a convention and then with a close fandom friend's house, we wound up at Camden Market, and I saw a CO shirt. I had to get it, even though it was only a 1xl.

For this one, to make life easier I made pattern pieces that were full sized instead of 'place on fold'. I used the back of the shirt to add stripes to the front, for width. The seams aren't very noticeable.

Attempt Three: The Fringe Festival is the most important event of my year. Well, that and Christmas. Every year they make a new shirt based on the year's advertising theme, but I've never bought one before, figuring that if I buy one, I'll want to buy one every year, and that's not feasible. But in 2017 they were selling all previous years left over stock for 5 bucks, and they happened to have one of my favourite campaign, the "we like to watch" campaign. I figure it's applicable to any year I attend from now til the day I die.  Grin

Thing is, the only size they had left was small. Not only was it MUCH too small widthwise, it was also too short for my pattern. So for this one I made many patchwork pieces.

I'm definitely going to keep on reconning, I have at least five or six more shirts that are too small.
7  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Bean Bags on: June 30, 2018 08:30:42 AM
I started working at a new daycare about a month ago, and I noticed they didn't have a lot of throwing equipment. So I made some bean bags. I made a cotton square, filled it with corn kernels, then made a canvas square to jam the cotton square into. I'm hoping that with the double layers, they'll last a little longer.

I've made seven, and I've already used them a few times. It's gone pretty well  Smiley
8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / 4 Swap Hoops (and a bonus) on: May 20, 2018 10:15:13 PM
I've semi-recently started getting into making embroidery hoops for swaps. Nothing too complicated yet, I pretty much only know one stitch, but I like how things have turned out so far.

Stranger Things hoop:

Feminism & Diversity hoop:

Woodland hoop:

Box of Colour hoop:

and finally, a hoop I made for Thimbles71 because I love swapping with her, and am excited she's healthy again:
9  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / LGBT+ swap on: May 20, 2018 10:16:12 AM
late with communication

gala_apples - PhoenixWolf
cmarion3 - fatewineroses
LadybugsAndBumblebees - craftylittlemonkey
10  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / Sagittarius shirt on: May 11, 2018 09:04:53 PM
In the recent Astrology swap, I made my partner a Sagittarius shirt. I printed off the design, then cut it into recycled plastic, and then stencilled it a dozen times. I think it came out quite nice.

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