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21  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Reconned Lady's Large to Little Girl's wool coat (4 pics) on: February 04, 2008 11:07:33 PM
I wish I had taken before pics of this coat before I began, but it was a spur of the moment kind of recon.  You know, inspiration hits and you get too anxious to start... Anyway, picture a bunch of rectangles sewn together to make a very sack-like, lady's size large wool coat.  I took the whole thing apart, took in the side seams and added darts across the front  back.  I reshaped the neckline and resized the top of the coat.  I also had to reposition all the buttons on the front.  After making the sleeve holes smaller I gathered the tops of the sleeves and reattached them as these cute puff sleeves. I added the furry sleeves, green cord, felt leaves, and pink flowers all over to make it even more special.

/\ She's wearing a matching hoodscarf I made with some more of the green fake fur/\

\/ The lining is a cute vintage floral print\/

\/ Closeup of sleeves and leaves \/

\/ The vine goes all the way across the back, too. \/

She really liked it!
Thanks for looking.
22  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Olive Green Winter Coat with big collar and pleats (Now with some how-to info!) on: February 04, 2008 08:11:40 PM
I sewed myself a coat for winter!  It's a nice warm wool blend that I got on the cheap and some cool old silver buttons I've been hoarding forever.  I didn't use any real pattern for it, I just drafted up a basic bodice and sleeves for the top part and a big "skirt" part with flare in the front and lotsa pleats in the back. The back is just a little bit longer than the front.

 I am really proud of the pleats, they're really deep (there are 4" of pleat for each 1" you can see on the outside!) and they taper from shorter on the sides to longer in the center.

   I added some great big cuffs, an oversized rounded collar and  some ties on the sides that attach through some giant grommets.  I was thinking of adding some embroidery or other decoration to it, but I'm happy with it as is for now.

Here's the front \/

And here's the back \/

And here's the back with the ties tied in the front to show the tapered, pleated goodness \/

I love how the back flows when I walk.  It's also good for twirling Wink
Just wanted to share,

EDIT:  There's no big secret to this coat, so here's a little info on how I did it:

If you want to make your own, it's pretty easy.  If you can work from a pattern, I found a really close match to my coat on Butterick's website: http://www.butterick.com/item/B4665.htm?tab=coats_jackets_vests&page=3
It even has a large collar option, but the waist on this one is pretty straight.  I think mine tapered in a lot more, but I've got crazy wide hips and ribs compared to my waist.  
the basic bodice shape is like this:
(I think it's called princess seams?)
If you're like me and patterns are nothing but a tissue paper mystery, you can just look at a lot of coats and see how they're put together.  You want to cut the bodice pieces just down to your waistline and make a top piece, then attach the skirt to it.

The skirt is basically a couple of trapezoids in the front:
/\(oooh, fancy image, huh?)
 I used two trapezoids for each side of the front.  The width of the top of the trapezoids should match the width of the bottom of the bodice pieces (does that make sense?) and they should be as long as you want the skirt to be plus your hem of course.

\/  And a bunch of pleats in the back. It's just a really long rectangle. Use as much fabric as you can for the pleats, and make them as deep as you can.  
/\(I spent way too much time drawing this diagram  Cheesy )

The cuffs are just a couple of trapezoids, too.  I'd be happy to share more info if anyone has any more questions.

Making a coat isn't really that hard and I had a lot of fun making mine especially since I couldn't find anything like what I wanted in the stores!
23  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 23 ENTRIES / Sad Suit to Ruffle-y cute on: December 05, 2007 09:57:46 PM
I actually started this project this week without knowing about the challenge, but I think it fits the theme pretty well.  I decided that I wanted a cute suit-type outfit to wear, so I biked out to my nearest thrift store to find a suit to reconstruct.  I found this one, originally $12.00, but it was half off, so only $6, whoo!  It was just was I was looking for; pinstripe, pretty big, and included a skirt and pants (for extra fabric to use for the ruffles.)

/\ (can you tell I'm totally freaked out about being in front of the camera instead of behind it?)

Mmmmmm, Frump-alicious
It was actually a size 16, and obviously meant for a taller gal than myself (those pant do indeed come up to my bust).  The inspiration for this outfit came from a similar skirt I saw in an online store a while ago (sorry, I don't have the link anymore).  I took in every seam on the jacket to fit, with a little pleat at the bottom of each seam.  The pants got sliced up into strips that became ruffles.  The skirt got taken in,  shortened by about 6 inches, and big box pleats were added on the front at each hip for extra flare.  Then I added the rows of ruffles to the back of the skirt.  I also added detail to the collar by couching some black trim all around and I made a removable ruffle to go under the collar (it is attached with snaps).  The waistband from the super-big pants got some ruffles in the back (one layer of tiny ruffles and two big ruffles), a few rows of the black trim, and became a belt.

/\ Here is the suit from the front, without the belt, but with the ruffles on the collar.

/\ Here is the suit from the back, with the belt and the collar ruffles.  The back of the collar ruffle is doubled from shoulder to shoulder and the extra ruffle also has a line of the couched trim along it.

/\ eep, a peek of leg on this one (sorry  Wink ), but this one shows the ruffles on the skirt and the pleats across the back of the jacket pretty well, I think.  This one is without the belt or the collar ruffle.  And, as a bonus, the lacy petticoat is made from vintage lace I got last Tuesday from the Knittin Kitten ( http://www.knittnkitten.com/) which is an awesome thrift store full of craft supplies and vintage linens.  It only cost me $3 for a ton of it. I HEART that place.

I'm really happy with how the suit came out, and contest or no, I know I'll be wearing this one plenty!
24  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Screen Printing: Completed Projects / Early adventures in Budget screen Printing (lotsa pics) on: September 26, 2007 01:14:27 PM
I decided suddenly and unexpectedly that I wanted to learn screen printing (seriously I don't know where my urges come from, all I know is that I have to do these things).  Since it was my birthday I used that as an excuse to acquire my photo sensitive chemicals and budget screen supplies earlier this month. I have done a few screens now, made a few mistakes and a few successes, so I thought I would share a few pictures, yay!

My first big project after a few smaller screens is a fun Pratchett themed t-shirt I made for my husband while he was out of town for work.  To welcome him home I had a shirt for him and a copy of the new book in the discworld series, Making Money.

That's me modeling it, he's out of town with work again.  He loved the surprise, though.  He actually did a little happy dance!  The text says,
"What is there in this world that makes living worthwhile?"
Death thought about it.
"CATS", he said eventually, "CATS ARE NICE"

It's a quote from Sourcery that I thought was particularly funny.  (If you haven't read any pratchett yet, go get some now!)  The image is from one I found online but had to completely redraw so that it would work for screenprinting.  Here is what my drawing looked like on the computer:

A few people may think he's just an odd fan of kittens....

It was so much fun, now everyone wants to get in on the action!  Here's me and DD.  She chose a couple of fans off of a practice screen my brother made to ink onto a pair of her panties Smiley

You can see my fancy screens in this one.  They're made of thrift store curtains hot glued to old picture frames.  I did say this was Budget screen printing!!

Then a friend came over with his denim jacket and we spent the evening making a screen of Spike from Cowboy Bebop.

Action shot for scale:

our original image:

25  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Punk Piggy Now with Pattern on page two on: September 18, 2007 10:48:26 PM
I don't know why, but I just can't seem to make a decent stuffed animal.  They all seem to come out pretty wonky (and I always feel sorry for the poor little guys that come out bad).  I've seen so many really cute ones, though, that I can't help but want to make them myself.

This little piggie is the first stuffed animal I have ever really been proud of.  It was a birthday present for a friend, and she really seemed to like it.

Punk piggie has a remove-able bow and shiny black eyes with silver rims:

Punk Piggie stands up and has a reverse applique heart of skull fabric:


Punk Piggie has button joints, so he can sit down or be posed into other adorable positions:

I think he was about 6 inches long, maybe a little bigger.  I think I might just keep trying...
Thanks for looking!
26  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Easy Removable Shelf Curtains on: August 31, 2007 03:58:58 PM
I just thought I would share my little epiphany I had the other day.  We've got this rolling computer station type thing that holds an ugly old computer monitor.  The bottom half of the station holds our Library books waiting to be read or waiting to go back.

I decided I wanted to cover the front of the cabinet to hide the mess but I didn't want to just pull out the staple gun and mess it up or have to live with my choice forever. 

My thought?  Buttons!  I used small finishing nails and put one through each hole in the buttons, spacing them out.  I measured it out and put buttonholes along the top of the fabric. Now I have nice little curtains that I can replace whenever my mood strikes!

Just wanted to share....

27  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Sashiko quilt on: August 31, 2007 12:16:40 PM
I borrowed a book from the library ages ago about sashiko quilting and there was this great quilt in there made of different patterened squares.  I liked it so much that I had to try and make one for myself, even though I'm not much of a quilter.

I cut out the rectangles of blue and then used one of those white pencils for marking on fabric and a ruler to mark out a grid on each one.  I tried to make a different pattern for each rectangle, just making it up as I went along.  I had looked at a bunch of sashiko designs, but I'm not very good at following directions so they're not exact.  I think I like them, though.

(the other side)

I used my sewing machine for the stitching, doubling up on thread and guiding it along my marks very slowly and carefully.  I also used the machine to piece it together and quilt it "in the ditch" around the rectangles.  I used a medium loft batting.

(A little closer)

(kinda shows the back)

I'm working on some matching pillow shams to go with it, too.
I'm really happy with how it came out and it's just perfect for snuggling with!
28  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / 4 step, EASY zippered pocket tutorial on: July 31, 2007 09:05:27 PM
Zippered pockets inside of a purse are a wonderful thing, but if you're anything like me you probably dread that step in the bag creation process.  Zippers can be difficult pains in the teeth, and to be honest I try and avoid them as much as I can.  I've got good news, though!  After hours and hours of sewing bags, I recently came up with a really simple technique to make two interior pockets that sit side by side; one zippered and one open topped.  I love all the great information to be found here, so I thought I would see if anyone would find it useful.  I really think this is a technique that anyone can do!

The finished result looks something like this:

Okay, kiddies, gather your supplies.  You'll need:
-Fabric for the lining of your bag
   >size will vary for your particular bag

-Fabric for your pockets
      >One rectangle of fabric as wide as your lining and twice as tall as  
         the pocket you want to make (plus a little for seam allowance)
       > Two rectangles of fabric as wide as your lining and each
            as tall as the final pocket height
                (Plus a little for seam allowance)  
         Sew these on the width side to make one piece.  
         This way you can have a different fabric inside and out.

-Two strips of fabric, bias tape, or ribbon
      > the first one should be as long as the lining is wide, and the
               second should be a couple of inches longer than the
               pocket will be tall.
         (I usually make my own "bias tape" for this from the fabrics
            I'm using, although I don't actually cut them on the bias.
        Just cut a strip of fabric and iron the rough edges to the back)

-A zipper

Now let's put it together!
Step one: Attach zipper to pocket piece


Fold and press the raw edges of the pocket fabric in toward each other and sandwich one side of the zipper tape between them.


Stitch through your sandwich and all the way across the pocket.
You may want to pin the zipper into place.  You can see in the photo above that I'm not using a zipper foot for this.  I use the side of the regular foot to keep a space between the fabric and the zipper teeth.  

Remember which side you started stitching on.  It's a good idea whenever you are sewing zippers to sew both sides of the zipper in the same direction.  This will help your zipper to lay flat.

Set the pocket piece into place on the lining fabric.  Assuming it is the same width as the lining, just match up the raw edges and secure it with a few pins.

Step 2: Sew down first strip

Take your shorter bias strip and fold under one end.  Line the folded end up with the bottom of the pocket and let the other end extend up to the top of the zipper. It should cover the end of the zipper tape.   (It's ok if it goes over the top, you can clip it down to the right size when it's sewn down.)

Sew from the bottom of the strip up to the top on each side, stopping just at the top of the zipper.

Step 3:  Attach the second strip


Lay the longer strip across the top of the zipper and all the way across the lining.  Stitch this into place on the top and bottom, going in the same direction as you sewed the zipper into the pocket sandwich.

Step four: Sew bottom of pocket

Sew a line across the bottom of the pocket.  make it as straight and as close to the edge as you can.  You may wish to sew two lines across the bottom for extra strength.  Again, sew in the same direction as the zipper and top strip of fabric for best results.

Your pockets are complete.  Finish sewing the rest of the bag making sure that your raw edges on the sides get sewn in with the lining fabric.

A few extra notes:

> If you want a smaller pocket, card slots, or decorative items on the front of the pocket, add them before you begin step one.

>Different effects can be made by choosing the material for the pockets and strips.
By using the lining fabric for both strips, the pockets stand out on their own.

For this bag I attached the pockets on the front of a messenger bag.  I used two different fabrics so that the inside of the pocket would match the main lining of the bag.  I used some pretty vintage ribbon for both the strips.

I left out the open top pocket on this one and centered the pocket in the bag.  I stitched down the sides and across the bottom to hold it in place.

I used the same zipper sandwich technique to make this pocket for the front of this clutch, but left out the top strip.  I sewed the zipper in place with two rows of stitching instead.

Thanks for taking a look at this tutorial.  I hope that someone out there will be able to use this technique themselves.  Feel free to contact me if anything is unclear or if you have any questions.

29  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / IMG Heavy-- Bag-a-day update! on: July 29, 2007 09:12:08 AM
Just a quick post before I head off to the craft fair, here are my bags for this last week!

Green bag with butterfly applique and pretty beaded fringe.

Pink houndstooth with buckle


White vinyl clutch with music note in sparkly denim

and a bunch of teenies

Black and white floral print clutch/wristlet
the zipper for the pocket on the back wraps around and makes the wrist strap

red and black and polka dots clutch (with rickrack!)

Same fabrics for a little tote:

Okay, my ride for the fair is here, so I'm off wish me luck!

I'll be sure to let you all know how it went!

Original post with the rest of the month:
30  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / -IMG HEAVY- A bag a day for a month on: July 22, 2007 12:17:55 AM
Part Personal goal, part freaking out about not having enough things to fill a booth at my first ever craft show, I started this month determined to sew up at least one new bag for every day.  I've managed to stick to my goal for 21 days now, and I'm pretty proud!

By LauPre at 2007-07-21

(Click on the photo to see the image full size, about 1024x768)

As you can see, they're all a bit different.  It was fun trying to come up with a new idea every day.  I really got a chance to play around and experiment.

If you don't mind, I'd like to share a few details about a couple of my favorites:

Caution Man Clutch--  I just loved the lining material, so I made a cute patch to go on the front of the bag.

Cherry Bag, with name tag--  I made the patch to look like a name tag type patch.  I wanted the bag to look kinda like a shirt with the buttons, but I guess that didn't come across too well.  I like it anyway.  It's got a cute little snap pouch that can clip on, and the inside is lined with the cherry fabric that you can see as trim on the outside.

I absolutely fell in love with this lining fabric!  When I found this applique I knew it would be perfect with it, and the blue fabric that makes up the body of the bag is soooo soft.

I made three skull bags this month.  The first one was inspired by the black and blue striped fabric, I just thought it was pirate-y.  The second one was a gift for a friend who really liked the first one, but wanted it a little bit different.  This is the third one I made, and I just thought it was fun because of the handles.  I made them out of wood and painted them glossy white. 

I've got just one more week before the fair, and I'm still freaking out.  Honestly, I'm pretty scared. eep  If anyone has any tips for a first time doing a craft fair I'd love to hear them!

Thanks so much for looking!!
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