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1  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Creepy-Cute-inspired Phantom of the Opera on: October 07, 2009 01:38:46 PM
So the time came where I was getting ready to craft for Halloween. I wanted themed decorations. After seeing the Broadway Across America rendition of the book I'd adored for half my life, the theme came easily enough.

The Creepy-Cute style seemed natural for the project, but I wanted something a little more complex. The mini-Phantom would have been happy for me to crochet the mask right onto his face (or just to make him cute instead of creepy). But that to me seemed to lose so much character.

So crochet faster! I've got careers to ruin and people to strangle, and I need props. Oh, and something I can wear on a date... I can't go out looking like this!

I solved the main technical problem easily (if disturbingly).

You want me to... button it onto my eye??

But mini-Erik seemed a lot happier as a result.

Naaaaaaah! Na na na na naaaaaaaaaaah!!!

The mini-Phantom developed a personality based on things I found funny about the book/production/2004 movie. But it was as though I'd bred a chihuahua. Whereas the full-sized Phantom had his majesty, his wounded dignity, and ultimately some decency, his crochet version just had a lot of weird ticks - he told dirty musician jokes, spied on me and my husband in the bedroom, talked about his hosery fetish, and rewrote all of Lloyd Weber's production - all of it! - to be about breaking large light fixtures.

But also unlike the full-sized Phantom, he was so... cuddly! He liked to sit on my chest and read gothic shorts with me, and I'd pat his little mostly-bald head. When he demanded lots of props, I was happy to satisfy him with a wee little Punjab lasso, a pair of plyers from an old charm necklace...

Paaaaast the point of no return
No upward glances
The exit's blocked, so let this thing descend...

...and of course the other technical challenge.

...What raging fires shall flood the crowd!
What rich desires to scream out loud!
What sweet destruction lies befooooooore uuuussssss...

It was the chandelier, I think, that took my husband over the edge. That or my refusal to crochet a Raoul (on the grounds that he'd be subject to repeated stranglings, chandelier-induced traumas, or catnip massages. My husband fantacizes wearing a cute little Hussar uniform like the one Raoul wears to the masquerade).

The huz decided I gave the Phantom whatever he wanted (not true; I drew the line at letting him saw a trapdoor in the dresser so he could disappear into his lair in the sock drawer).  Soon it was war between them. They were trash-talking each other ("Bravo Messeur, such spirited words!") and challenging each other to sword fights and setting stuff on fire. (No doubt my husband I had to prevent a disaster beyond imagination. (Actually I did imagine the huz strangled by a long piece of red yarn.)

Of course, we all know the Phantom has one weakness.

My nuptual mass has been written. Wait till you hear the kyrie!

But having refused to crochet Raoul for ethical reasons, how could I possibly make a cute little soprano for the Phantom to kidnap? I argued to him that couldn't make Christine because she wasn't creepy. He said, she'd be sort of creepy if she was wearing the wedding dress I picked out for her like she did at the end of the production.

I ran out of arguments. I felt like Dr. Frankenstein - quite the wrong story. But there was a ray of hope - Raoul was ultimately helpless against the Phantom. Christine had a chance.

The Phantom made me redo the dress three times before he was sure it would fit her, and then rip out all the lace. And don't even get me started about making those Sarah Brightman curls. But as I worked, I realized that Christine, too, was being changed a bit by the shrinking. She was going to be cute. Heartbreakingly, devastatingly cute. But while the real Christine seemed slightly ashamed of her duplicity, mini-Christine would return to the sock drawer freely just to torment the Phantom with her cuteness.  She was going to have him whipped. She was going to have his mask any time she wanted it.

Thanks for looking!
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Strawberry Shortcake's best friend? on: September 23, 2007 11:04:35 AM
This ought to go under a 'stitch and botch' type thread but I can't find one so I assume it should go here.

This is my first attempt to make a pattern. I was aware of the cheese-problems with making a smock, but since it was so easy, I attempted it. I used this cute cherry fabric I found at a thrift store.

Unfortunately I think I have created a passable pattern in the wrong fabric. My husband and I think it's a really nice top for someone half my age.

The punch line? I really like it! But I'm afraid to wear it, so I haven't finished it yet. What to do? Help/suggestions/comments?

Sorry for the blurry pics.

3  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / weight issues on: August 19, 2007 12:04:10 PM
... for fabric, of course.  Wink
I'm planning a scrap quilt and was wondering if anyone had any experience combining fabrics of different weights - in my case, it's calico and khaki. Is this a totally stupid idea? Will something awful happen if do it? Or does it make any difference at all?

Thanks in advance.
4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / 'Mandarin Bay' top - now with clearer pic on: May 17, 2007 02:26:32 PM
I'm so proud to have finished a sewing project for once that I had to show off.

Several months ago I picked up this (cheesy? Wonderful?) home decor fabric from a thrift store. I liked the Asian brushstroke thing, and the little parrot.

For many months I wondered how to use it. Cushions? curtains? Tapestry?

About a week ago I decided I wanted to make a dress for a wedding next month. I bought a pattern and a silk remnant. While I was hemming and hawing about cutting into the silk and wanting something to practice on, it hit me... the best way to decorate with the parrot fabric was to hang it on my closit door.

 I folded the skirt-part of the pattern up short to make a top. The hardest part was getting all the images where I wanted them. I managed to squeeze the best motif onto the front and cut the waistband and shoulder straps from the borders. The whole piece, including the lining, fit onto the ... oh... yard and a quarter of fabric.

(Update:) Okay, I think this is the non-blurry one. There's this thing called a flash on my camera. I'm still learning how to use it.

The back view:

On me: (That's my other kitty, Magellan, in my armpit there)

Now I have something to wear to Florida next month. Next project: to make a coordinating pair of capri's from my husband's old work pants!
5  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Jeans into Skirts on: March 04, 2007 12:31:52 PM
First of all, hello everybody. I've been wanting to do something like this for a long time but after discovering Craftster, I finally sat down to do it. I'm perpetually attracted to denim skirts but as something of an environmentalist, I feel guilty about buying chemically distressed denim when there are loads of naturally distressed reclaimable fabric in my closit. So I took two pairs of guy's jeans with obscene holes and Simplicity pattern DYO 5065, view F. I chose it because it had narrow gores that could easily be cut from denim legs.And it came out like this. I'm also wearing it in my avatar pic.


All materials are reclaimed except the thread, and some interfacing leftover from other projects. I used the zipper (not shown) from one of the jeans, and I lined it with thrift store calico...


... which caused some confusion...


... and I'm not sure if it was a good idea, because if it shows on top, it looks like i'm wearing cheap undies. But here it is on me.



... I don't know if the shoes do a thing for it.

I'm kind of underwhelmed actually; it seems kind of bland. So I started one of these ubiquitous numbers...


And yes, I'm going to leave that flap in the back!  Wink not.

But anyway, I was hoping for some suggestions for the first one. I feel like it needs something. Top stitching? Tea dying? Some way to unify those different colors? Or should I just wear it and love it and break it in and let it get its character that way? Thanks a bunch.
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