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1  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Letting Nature tell the time on: October 08, 2010 08:52:01 AM
Though this is a clock, that is rather incidental to this bit of pyrography that is the first large non book thing that I've decorated.

All free hand burned on but with a fallen leaf and a photo nearby for reference.

Close up of the Squirrel

It's been a while since I made it so the wood is yellowing and the burn is a little pale so might have to redo some of it but am proud of my time piece.
2  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Completed Projects / Making the most out of my Tailored Shirt on: October 06, 2010 09:02:08 AM
A couple years ago I went to a wedding and decided I'd had enough of showing my belly button to people when wearing my shirts. The issues you get with a chest that requires a uk 12-14 shirt but hips that need you to have bought a UK 18-20... Anyway I went to a tailor and got a fitted shirt that was lovely. However two years on and it has been to two weddings and has holes in the sleeves so I decided to use my crafty initiative to make some more.

I took the shirt apart, which had me wibbling a bit due to how much I had paid for it to start with, but hey what use is a shirt you can't wear with the sleeves unrolled? Using it as a pattern I managed to make some new shirts.

The first is a silvery shimmery material with burgundy stitching.

Close up of stitching

The second is possibly my most favourite shirt ever and is covered in words. Words like Cheerful, Trustworthy, Kind, Loyal etc...  You'll have to excuse the dark colour of the picture and the mess that is behind me, it really is hard to take a picture of yourself. Not the most flattering really.

Cuff detail and the ability to read some of the words.

3  CLOTHING / Shoes: Completed Projects / Golden Wedding Shoes on: October 04, 2010 06:00:40 AM
These shoes were made to go with this dress https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=361188.0

So last minute, and I mean about two weeks before the wedding, two of the three female bridesmaids (the two male ones were all fully kitted by then) went shoe shopping. Seems gold is not in season at all. No matter where they went nothing. In fact it was a week later that they finally managed to find even a passable shoe. I was told the commentary went something like 'But that will clash horribly!' -'I don't care I'm not going through another shop.'

The shoes were thrust with hopeful glances towards myself and my co-sewer with the idea that we might be able to do something to make the silvery cream shoes match. I took all the shoes as with two dresses and only a week my co-sewer was a bit stressed (she took the dresses apart once and only didn't again due to time constraints).

First thing I did was remove the diamonte clip thing at the front as everyone was in agreement that that had to go. A bit of inspiration later and I was testing pebeo setacolor shimmer gold on a scrap of the dress fabric to see how close a match it was.

I painted the shoes and then used a halogen heater to try to fix the fabric paint as I couldn't iron them. I added a small bit of ribbon (well made from dress fabric) around the front (which without my knowing it made it match the red bride's shoes).

Side by Side with the original after painting


This photo was unfortunately taken after the wedding so you can see the nice toe marks that occured due to the bridesmaid in question deciding that doing the ceilidh was easier without the heels. This being the first time she had ever worn any. Also I have to say that the other bridesmaid was brave as she picked these shoes and had to walk down the aisle with a broken toe...

4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Golden Bridesmaid Dress on: October 04, 2010 05:46:47 AM
When yet another of my friends announced that they were getting married the response they got from me was 'Yeah, a wedding I will not be sewing something for'. I really should have just not said anything. Two months before the wedding and apparently every shop in town scoffs at the idea that you can waltz into a shop and hire a dress for your bridesmaids. So the bride decides to go buy a simple pattern and fabric. Due to the geographical location of the bridesmaids we had two people sewing. My co-sewer and I spent most of that time competing with each other as to how crazy the pattern was driving us and how on earth would be make them look good in time.

The pattern we started with was Butterick 5322 and we went with the A style bodice. We dispensed with the seam down the middle of the front skirt. I've no idea why it's there, the fall of the dress is much better without it.
Also to avoid pale skin issues (one of the bridesmaids was a redhead) we also added a hint of red to the dress. The ribbon matched the bride's dress.
My bridesmaid decided she was refusing to wear the dress without straps. The pattern clearly claims to work without them but I agreed to add them.

Without much further ado here is the dress -


From the way the bodice looks you wouldn't know this is for a UK size 12...Also I measured her and cut out the size smaller than she needed and still had to take in loads to make it fit. Trust me on this, making a mock up before hand is not a waste of time. The bodice is both interfaced and has boning. I swear the bodice fit the bridesmaid before I put the boning in but had to take even more in around the waist afterwards.

Back of Dress

The pattern does not suggest an invisible zip - something we considered a bit of an oversight so I tried my best to make up for it. I also hemmed it in a hurry when the bridesmaid decided 'that was it she did not have time for me to unpick it she wanted to head to the bride's house ready for hair and makeup the next day now!'

I think it went rather well. She looked pretty with the wrap (this was added when we pointed out the wedding was in a very cold town hall in October...).

However you know those straps that weren't needed? Well without them the dress sat about two inches too low on her body making the whole thing very very odd and exposing her bra at the back. Suffice to say a bit of strap shortening with hand sewing  and a safety pin (to keep strap and bra strap in same place) later the wedding went off without a hitch. My co-sewer and I were mentioned in the speech and we still competed as to who had made the bigger mess of the pattern. Suffice to say, neither of us will be using it again. I maintain that I win as she hand stitched the hem and ribbon on whilst I machine sewed the hem and wunda-webbed the ribbon after accidentally sewed the dress to my trousers.
5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Left Handed Holster on: December 23, 2007 07:45:17 AM
My SO and I were off to a survival horror larp and were stocking up on kit when it was mentioned that you couldn't buy left handed leg holsters for handguns anywhere. Which was a bit of a pain as that was part of the planned outfit.

So to make the SO happy I took to the sewing machine and butchered a few things for parts to make the below. The gun has an ammo sticker on and it's all rather muddy as a lot of diving for cover occured but it held up nicely.

A right handed official one to compare with. It had more extras attached.

Detail of the popper I nicked from a bag as I did not have the time to buy one

And an in action shot of the holster in residence.
6  COOKING / Dessert / Death By Chocolate Pirates on: December 22, 2007 11:55:41 PM
I have my moments occasionally when my friends will suggest something insane to do and I go "of course" and proceed to do it.

A while back they challenged me to make a completely edible pirate ship, sails, mast and all. It's an interesting time walking through the chocolate aisle and going, rigging, decking, oooh pirates  Wink

I started with a base of Sticky Swedish Chocolate cake. I won't present it here as it was insane chocolate overload so instead I will present Sockerkaka as a suitable alternative, this is less likely to make you vow off chocolate for a few weeks. As long as the cake is compact it will keep its shape.

3 eggs
3 dl sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
75 g margarine or butter
1 dl water
3 dl flour
2 tsp baking powder

Whisk together the sugar and eggs. Add the flour, vanilla sugar and baking powder. Melt the margarine and add the water to it. Mix it all up.

175C for 45 mins in the oven...

Then comes the fun bit. I shaped it with an upper deck and a prow then added decking of chocolate buscuit fingers. The entire thing was then covered in melted dark chocolate. Yep every bit. It was the glue that held the thing together and made sure that it all looked like it was made out of the same wood...so to speak.

Part way through I decided that it would have storm damage and proceeded to add a broken mast and missing railings and rigging to connect everything.

The crew were jelly babies and I even made sure to have a pegleg pete.

The full pirate gallery is available here http://www.flickr.com/photos/shazrasha/sets/72157594481205824/
7  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Soft Red Leather Journal with Pyrographied Front on: December 22, 2007 11:22:51 PM
I have more books in my house than I know what to do with (all bought) but occasionally I get the urge to craft something new and as I had half a cow lying around from other crafting projects I decided to give bookmaking a go.

I used a few things that probably aren't the norm for bookmaking. A hand powered drill for example.  I was having a hard time punching holes in the right places. Roll Eyes

Artistic shot of the book

Four sections of parchment pages tied into the leather with black lacing (as the red lacing I tried to make wasn't strong enough, or long enough.)

As a final touch I took my pyrography pen and burned an image into the front from a larp game I go to called Artificer (http://www.lalenth.com).

Clearer picture here http://www.flickr.com/photos/shazrasha/1789169165/
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Parti Coloured Cotehardie and Liripipe Hood on: October 18, 2007 07:57:32 AM
I attend liveroleplaying events on a regular basis and had promised to be at a new one set in 12-16 century styles...

After much discussion, mostly caused by my blank refusal to wear a dress  Roll Eyes, we finally decided I was making a man's 14th century style buttoned cotehardie.
My sister and I found a pattern made a scrap version of the body section stuck it on me and then took it in until it fit.

And that is how the costume stayed until 4 days before the event when I finally (after a complete mental breakdown of self confidence) started to make it.

I was going to make it all out of a lovely dark blue Curtain sample I picked up but there wasn't enough. Not if I wanted sleeves as well. That's when it was decided that Parti-Coloured was the way forward. I unfortunately did not get in progress pics but here is the final version

There are a total of 29 Button holes on the Cotehardie. 27 down the front and one each on the open sleeves so that they can be partially closed should I get a little chilly. The main body has two layers of lining so was very snug.  Smiley

The Open sleeves were contrast lined to make it more obvious they were open.

With this I took an unlined liripipe hood that my sister gave my years ago

And lined it with the light blue of the cotehardie and added button fastening to match as well.

It looks a little shapeless hanging on a hanger now but once on it's very fitted. Fortunately for me one of the organisers saw fit to take my photo http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/1518023484/in/set-72157602318699856/

It has a few faults (27 button holes only 25 buttons) but I think it turned out well and was worth the mauling of my fingers that occured when I cut the button holes.
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Stitch And BOTCH / Fake faded paper gone wrong. on: February 27, 2007 02:07:59 AM
I was teaing some paper in order to give it that old look and feel. It's a fairly simple process:
Take some left over black tea, soak the paper in it and leave to dry.
Voila, lovely old looking pages.

I then put the page into a sealed plastic folder to keep it away from any ink...

I looked at the page three days later and realised my mistake very quickly. Not only did the page look darker it was full of mould spots! Shocked

It mustn't have been completely dry when I put it in. Touch dry but not dry through... Undecided

So I'm teaing some more paper and leaving it on/or near the radiator for at least 24 hours just to be on the safe side...
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Polar Fleece Flat Caps - Now with Tutorial (Three Images) on: January 14, 2007 07:32:55 AM
I made these a while ago when I used to wear hats on a regular basis. I had a similar hat in black that was a little small for me and made a pattern for a new one for me after studying it one day.

It's a little hard to tell on the picture but the fleece has polar bears on it. The smaller of the two hats is being sported by my bear Tay so you can tell what it looks like on.

Tutorial - Parts needed (Note I don't use measurements at all for this pattern)

Each piece A is one eighth of a circle. The larger you make the circle the ploofier the hat.
Piece B is made of card (or anything else you want to use as stiffening for the peak.) and part D should be large enough to cover piece B after it is folded once.
Piece C should be as long as the width of your head. The width depends on how much of a lip you want to give the hat.

Step 1: Make sure to cut piece C so that it stretches along the length. That way you can make it a little smaller than head width and the stretch will ensure the hat does not fall off. Sew the short end together.

Step 2: Sew each of the eight piece A sections together to make a circle. It's turn into a sort of bowl once put together completely.

Step 3: Sew piece C to the small opening that occurs of the circle. Make sure the join from step 1 aligns to one of the joins on the circle.

Step 4: This is the trickiest part of my pattern.

Fold piece D and tuck piece B into it as shown by the image on the left. Pull the material so that is is fluch against the peak like the image on the right. Sew along the bottom edge and cut off the excess just enough that you have  enough to allow you to attach it to the rim of the hat opposite the join made by piece C (It isn't the prettiest of attachments but you can't see it when you wear the hat so it's all good Wink )

Step 5: Cover a rounded button with a bit of scrap fleece and attach to top of hat.

And done. If you skip step 4 entirely you end up with a beret. Good luck
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