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1  Re: Would you knit this? (or wear it ?) in Knitting: Discussion and Questions by val_for_design on: October 27, 2008 04:20:54 PM
Alright folks, I promised you photos so here they are. Not my finest photographic moment - I had about 4 minutes before I had to leave the house for work, and the coffee hadn't really kicked in, and... Onwards!

The front. Note the effective self-boob-grab manoeuvre (wtf?) and my bra shining through my shirt, and the dubious water stain. Oh, and there's a big wrappy shrug scarf in there as well!

The back. I found this to be the best wrapping technique for this length & gauge. Looks pretty sweet!

The devil's in the detail. Here's the 100 rows of 1x1 ribbing. Hell on earth.

And the top of the sleeve. I did two laps of crochet around the open edges for a bit of stability, and to help reinforce the joins on the sleeve.

Now for some technical stuff!

I used reclaimed 3-ply merino wool (I think that's fingering weight for you American types), and it's knitted entirely on my knitting machine. A good thing, too - it's approximately 2.5 metres long (oh fine - that's nearly 8 and a half ft long, not-metrics). From a 3-second gauge check this morning, it's about 9 or 10 stitches to the inch, and the body of the garment is in stockinette. Obviously, there is no real "pattern" - I made a gauge swatch, and based my schematic on that, and my own measurements. Something like this...

Don't forget to include a little ease! (I didn't...)

I'll probably dye it at some point - pale colours aren't really my bag, but I'm wearing it in the meantime! For everyone out there thinking about making one of these, I say go for it. At the end of the day, it's only slightly more complex than a scarf. Knit a gauge, draw some diagrams, and get cracking!
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2  Fifties glamour goes to the pub (pics ahoy) in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by val_for_design on: September 16, 2008 06:05:46 PM
A few weeks ago, my favourite pub had its 10th birthday. We dedicated bar-flies were specially invited, and the dress code was "Strictly formal - no excuses". So, what's a girl to do but whip up a massive frock? I did a few sketches, came up with an idea that I liked, and went fabric shopping... and was unable to find ANY of the fabrics I had in mind. Poo. So compromises were made. I got the red tulle that I wanted for the petticoat, ended up settling for black poplin for the skirt (lighter than I wanted - I couldn't even find drill!), and found this delish Japanese cherry blossom for the bodice. At that price and fabric width, it would have cost me $80 to do the skirt in this fabric as well, but I decided I liked the two-piece look of the outfit. Onwards to images!

This was taken after we got home (I wanted to make sure I had some good dress pics - pity it's blurry...). Whole outfit, including freshly painted red stilettos!


Have some petticoat! The pic's blurry because other people don't understand the concept of pre-focus. Thanks to Chris for being my drunk prop.

Closer pic of the bodice fabric, and my boy (also drunk. He didn't tell me about the bottle of red wine before we left the house).

And here's one of the petticoat during construction. This was my first petti, and it was scaring the pants off me just how big it was getting! This is with one (extremely) gathered layer, and a flatter layer on top to smooth things out. Also featuring special guests Jeans, Pink Frog Socks, and Vacuum Cleaner. I ended up putting another flat layer on top.

Let me know what you think - I got a lot of compliments that night, but I don't think I'll wear the petticoat again in a hurry! I didn't fit in the taxi, under the table, in the toilet cubicle...  Cheesy
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3  Re: Completely Random Swap Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by val_for_design on: September 16, 2008 05:08:18 PM
It's not over yet, people! I received from reenreen on Monday (post office hullaballoos), and here's the swag she sent me!

I said I didn't like cutesy bunny wunnies, so she sent me a zombie bunny instead... I've named him Barney!

A memory stick for all my graphic designery needs... hand-decorated with paisley motifs (minor obsession)

The most important daily requirements... coffee lollies and deep, dark chocolate (will be coming to work with me very soon!)

A delish red scarf - after a cold winter, I'm bored with all my old scarves, so this is a welcome addition to the collection. I'd just got home from work, so there was extreme bad face action going on - hence the cropping.

A GORGEOUS handbound journal, covered in butter-soft leather. Just the thing for sketches, ideas, lists, quotes and hopefully a bit of stash-busting fashion design!

This is cool. After I'd gone through everything, I realised that all of the little explanatory notes came together to make a picture of Robin Hood! Just chillin in Sherwood Forest. And on the left is the pretty handmade paper card with petals and leaves embedded in it.

Thanks so much reenreen! This was a great introduction to Craftster swaps - thanks for taking my cherry!  Cheesy
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4  Re: 150,000 members! in Craftster Itself by val_for_design on: August 26, 2008 06:40:28 PM
Not crazy at all! I took a screenshot to celebrate!

Congratulations Craftster, another brilliant milestone achieved!
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5  Re: How to??: Lux Deep V Crossback Top in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by val_for_design on: August 12, 2008 08:38:02 PM
This top isn't TOO hard to make, as long as you work carefully.

1. Take a tank top (preferably a loose one, like in your pictures) and trace around it to make a pattern. The front has a low, round neckline, and the back has a low v-neck.

2. Cut your BACK pattern piece off at the waist line, and put the bottom piece aside for now. In the top half, draw a vertical line at the centre back - to the point of the v-neck.

Now you need to divide the back into equal portions - maybe a bit over an inch wide? You'll need about six sections, but don't go into the arm-hole, or the top of the shoulder.

Cut out each of these strips - it may help to number them, so you know where they belong, and which way up they go!

3. Fan out your pieces as equally spaced as possible, keeping the shortest (centre) pieces together and vertical. Make sure the bottom corners of each strip touches its neighbour.

Do all of this on top of a new sheet of paper, so that when you are happy with the placement, you can carefully trace around it.

As you can see, the edges are a bit wonky, so you need to trace a new v-neck shape - it's actually gently curved, but this will straighten out when you make the garment. You also need to square off the bottom edge. These new lines are purple on the diagram.

4. Once you've done all this, re-attach the bottom half of the back panel.

5. You also need to construct the bottom waistband bit. Measure the bottom hem of the front and back panels, and draw a rectangle of this length. It needs to be twice as deep as you want the finished version to be.

6. Cut out all your fabric pieces carefully.

7. CONSTRUCTING THE BACK PANEL: All of that excess fabric needs to be gathered in. Sew a line of stitching close to the v-neck edge (do one side, and then the other, leaving long threads at the start and finish), using your longest stitch length (or by hand). Don't back-stitch! Place a pin perpendicular to the stitching at one end, and wrap the thread ends securely in a figure-8 pattern. Then, pulling gently on the bobbin thread at the other end, gather up the fabric til that edge returns to the size of the original v-neck. This will need to be "finished" - use bias tape, or hide it with a strip of your fabric.

8. Sew your front and back panels together, and sew on the waistband... I can't really tell what's happening on the shoulder, but you should be able to make up some extra pieces, and pleat/scrunch/fold as you like, and attach them.

Hope this SUPER long post has given you enough help! I haven't covered every little step, as I'm not sure what your skill level/experience is, but feel free to come up with questions!
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6  Re: Drafting a pattern for a cowl neck shirt in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by val_for_design on: August 10, 2008 06:35:40 PM
Just to expand on odd_artist's explanation, this is how I construct cowls.

Basically, the further up you move the top section, the drapier the final product will be. And of course, the red  neckline is the cutting line - the little triangle is ignored.

Cutting through the pattern at the underarms as shown will produce drape *on top* of the breasts; if you move the cutting line further down, it will drape around and on your boobs.

Hope that helps.
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7  Duct tape dressform... the adventure continues in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by val_for_design on: June 26, 2008 09:35:57 PM
I made a duct tape dressform last year some time. Unfortunately, I got my (now ex-)boyfriend to do the wrapping. His method was to stick the end of the tape down on my body, then wrap it. Sadly, we discovered that tape stretches... I lost 3 inches from my waist and 2 from my bust. And because all my phat was squished out of my waist, it ended up in my hips. Check the booty!



So, along with a new boyfriend, I got myself a new dressform. Careful application of tape meant there was very little distortion (only a little lost off my bust - not much to start with!), and a shape that's much more true-to-life. All I need now is a stand!



So the moral of the story, dear children, is to work slowly, cut short pieces of tape, and do it with someone who won't get over-excited about the fact that they're wrapping you up in tape. Oh, and go to the toilet before you start...
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8  Re: C&C California Top... I need some help, please. in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by val_for_design on: June 25, 2008 05:34:17 PM
This shouldn't be too hard. What you want to do is start with a basic short-sleeved shirt pattern - this one looks like a raglan. Draw in the neckline so it looks like the photo, and then chop it all up!

1. Divide the bodice panel vertically into several equal parts (maybe 6-8). Number them! Cut along these lines.

2. Place a large sheet of paper under the strips, and space them an equal distance apart (more ruled lines), maybe about 1/2 to 1-inch apart. Stick them all down and trace around the shape. The neckline and sleeve seam will be a wacky shape now, so draw a smooth line along the all points.

Do the same with the sleeve, making sure that you end up with sleeve seams of the same length!

Then cut out the pattern on fabric. Sew the sleeve seams together as normal, then gather the front neckline til it's the same size as the original pattern. Do the same with the lower hems of the sleeve. Elastic in a tunnel seam might be the best way, or maybe a little cord. I can't tell what's happening at the bottom - it's gathered too but it might be attached to a band. Draw up a strip  long enough to go round your waist/hips and attach the gathered bodice to it.

You might want to use a light knit with a little stretch for fitting ease, but I think the one in the photo is in a light cotton weave.

Hope that helps!
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9  Re: Stripey wrap pants in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by val_for_design on: June 19, 2008 12:54:24 AM
Wow! I tried to find a pattern for wrap pants a while ago but failed miserably.

These are so cool. Any hints on where to look?

I'm not sure where to find a pattern but they're really easy to draft up yourself.

Start with a really basic pants pattern - without (or ignore) pockets, yokes, etc. Pyjamas or trackpants would work well (that's the yellow bit in the drawing). Start with the front panel. Trace around the crotch shaping, and then create straight legs. Then extend the side seam (The blue part). This should be a bit less than one-quarter of the waist measurement.

Do the same steps to the back panel - we do them separately because the crotch shaping will be a bit different.

Cut out all your bits, plus 4 long strips for the ties. Sew the front crotch seam. Sew the back crotch seam. Sew the front to the back along the inside leg seam. Hem everything, and attach the ties where I've marked the "x". Then put them on and flap about!

If you use a stretchy t-shirt material then they should be fine. If you use a woven fabric, then you might want to put in some little darts at the front and back, just to give it some shape around your hips.

Hope that helps!
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10  Knitting Machines - good or evil? in Knitting: Discussion and Questions by val_for_design on: June 17, 2008 11:54:44 PM
Firstly, I'm talking about REAL knitting machines - the type from the '70s/'80s that have to be bolted to the desk, and can give you a hernia by lifting it.

So my question is: Is this still considered "real" knitting? Am I going to incur the wrath of knitting snobbery if I post garments/items made on the machine? I know that Craftsters are a friendly mob, but I don't want to stick something up and get a snide little "yeah, but there's no real skill involved, is there?" kind of comment.

Let me know your opinion!
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