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31  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Bolero made from a Scarf--with Pattern and Instructions on: March 24, 2013 04:47:39 PM

I volunteer at a fair-trade store and always love all the scarves that we sell, but have always been nervous about trying to wear them.  I figure I am not coordinated enough to make it work.  So I was very excited when in the February issue of Marie Claire there was a short article on Lemlem and was inspired by how they used scarves to make simple clothing articles.

To be honest, I didnt think this would turn out to be anything special, but I love it.  It was the fastest thing I have ever made, and I think it turned out pretty well.  Now I just need summer to come so I can wear it and not freeze.

Pattern and Instructions:
1 Rectangular Scarf (mine measured 13 by 60)  The width needs to be greater than the circumference of your arm, and the length determines the length of your sleeves (for reference I am 53/4 tall). 
Note you could probably also use fabric but would need to finish the edges.
A sewing machine (unless you love hand sewingit probably wouldnt be that bad to hand sew)
A measuring tape
Thread and pins
Up to 1 hour of time (seriously this took less than 1 hour from start to finish) 

Step 1: Take some measurements:
Measurement A: From Armpit to armpit (can be done across your front or back)
   For me this was 16
Measurement B: From Armpit to Elbow
   For me this was 8

Step 2: A little bit of Math
Divide Measurement A by 2 (for me this is 8) (well call this number C)
Divide Measurement B by 2 (for me this is 4) (well call this number D)

Step 3: Mark the Centre Point on the long sides of the scarf

Step 4: Fold the Scarf with wrong sides together such that you have a long narrow rectangle

Step 5: On each side of the Centre Mark Measure (C+D+1) (this is where your seam will start)

Step 6: Pin the fabric together along the length of your seams

Step 7: Sew both seams with a half inch or less seam allowance

Step 8: Cut threads, turn right side out.

Step 9: Put on your awesome new bolero and show it off.   

32  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Art Journalling Starter kit for a young teen--ideas for contents? on: March 21, 2013 11:13:51 AM
I want to put together an art journalling started kit for a 14 year old family friend and would love some thoughts on what to put in it.  I can't spend a fortune, and am not certain the recipient would have ever been exposed to art journalling before.  I was looking at a couple of books to possibly include ( this one and this one )  would these be a good teen friendly introduction?  Are there better ones? 

What supplies would be essential to include?

Thanks everyone for your help.     
33  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Discussion and Questions / Alterations for a skinny kid on: March 14, 2013 05:18:51 PM
So I bought some Ottobre magazines and was very excited to start sewing for my two year old until I realized what a pain it was going to be to sew for her...

She has an 18 inch chest and is 32 inches tall (so in Ottobre sizing that is about size 62 around and 86 tall). 
I know I can adapt things that include those two sizes, but my question is about all the pretty dresses that only start at size 92 or 98 (so 1 or 2 sizes 2 big) is there any easy (ish) way to alter those to fit my tiny kid.   
34  COOKING / Dessert / Farmtastic Second Birthday Cake--image heavy on: February 18, 2013 11:43:48 AM
My daughter loves farms and tractors, so I decided to make her a farm birthday cake.  My husband had the great idea to make it a Smartie Farm since she also loves smarties candies (they are very similar to M&Ms).  All the recipes came from Edna Stabler's book Food that Really Schmecks (it's my go-to book for baking recipes) except for the marshmallow fondant, I found that recipe on a blog somewhere.

Both cakes were 2 layers with icing for the filling.  This was my first time layering cakes, filling cakes, decorating a cake, and trying to make tiers.  All in all I think it was a success. 

The bottom layer was chocolate cake with a chocolate icing that was intended to keep the cake moist (it ended up taking over an hour of fiddling with it to get it to thicken so I'm not so sure about it, but it tasted fantastic and 2 days later the cake was still moist so maybe it was worth it).  It was covered in marshmallow fondant.  It was my first time ever working with or making fondant.  I found it really elastic and therefor hard to roll out, and it shrunk up after I cut around the edges.  This layer was supposed to look like a red barn. 

On top of that I put the white cake, I used a bit of buttercream icing to hold it in place (I did not use any supports for the tiers). 

After icing the white cake green I added the farmer's field.  The dirt was oreo cookie crumbs mixed with whipped cream, which I placed on the cake (it looked gross while I was doing it), and after I planted the Smarties I added some more loose crumbs.  I then added some coconut that I tried to dye green around the edges. 

Then I added a little replica John Deere tractor we had, and some farm animals that I bought to finish the decorating. 

The birthday girl loved her cake...

but was only interested in eating the Smarties...

Next year we will skip the cake I think...
35  COOKING / Dessert / What do I need to know?--First time making a layered and tiered cake on: February 07, 2013 05:31:04 PM
So I want to make a 2 tiered cake and I want each tier to consist of 2 layers (because cake tastes better that way).

What do I need to know so I don't royally screw it up?  When should I bake the cakes (they are for a Saturday Dinner)?  When should I decorate them?  Do I need dowels to support the second tier?  What else should I be asking that I don't even know about?

I should add that I do have lots of experience baking cakes, just never with decorating or assembling them with any success (typically things I make taste great but look like a 4 year old did the decorating (no offense intended to 4 year olds Smiley )).

Thanks so much.  
36  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Resource about Feet, Stitches, and Tension? on: February 01, 2013 12:46:14 PM
So I've been sewing for basically forever, but have never really ventured beyond my zigzag and zipper feet and pretty much just use the zigzag and straight stitches.  I'm wondering if there are any good and easy to understand resources out there to help me understand when and how to change things up.

37  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / Craftster Craft Challenge Theme Ideas, Etc. / How to Tutorials for Beginers on: November 18, 2012 06:34:14 PM
My idea for a challenge is to have people put together tutorials for something that they do well and might seem basic to them but that might be quite daunting to others. 

(I just realized that some of these might already be on the site so that could cause a problem...)
Some ideas include:
How to put in a zipper (or invisible zipper)
How to follow a commercial sewing pattern
How to needle felt 3-D objects
How to "ink the edges" of something
how to create backgrounds for paper crafts
how to make and create with fondant

These are just the ideas off the top of my head, I'm sure there are lots of other options.
38  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Attention All Personnel: M*A*S*H Teesha Moore Bag on: October 10, 2012 09:37:03 AM
So I love all the Teesha Moore projects floating around and wanted to try it.  My goal is to make a Star Trek one, but wanted a quick practice project first.  So I decided to make a small quick M*A*S*H Themed bag to try out the technique.  This quick project took me more than 4 months to finish, but I love it.  It's big enough for my wallet, keys, and camera (I probably should have made it a hair bigger to fit a notebook the odd time). 

The hardware isn't exactly what I had pictured but was the best I could get to fit through the eyelets.  The bag it lined with quilting cotton with fusible interfacing attached to it (I forgot to ask my husband to take a picture showing the bag open--if anyone is interested in seeing it I'll see what I can do).  When I planned everything out to start I forgot to consider overlap for sewing the patches together so it isn't perfect (and in one spot there is a hole) (a lesson learned for next time). 

The whole bag.

I embroidered the words oh the two top patches (my first real embroidery ever...). 

Close up of the front:

I stenciled the M*A*S*H logo and martini glass using a computer printout covered in scotch tape.  It would have worked great if I hadn't used too much paint at one point (you can see the bleed on the logo). 

The Hawaiian fabric is from an old pair of my pants, and the green patch at the bottom is from a fulled sweater. 

Close up of the back:

Between the basketball and Green patch there is a small gap.  I sewed a piece of the lining fabric right side out to be seen through the hole. 

Close up of the Choppers:

This patch is made from an old shirt of mine (not exactly the right helicopters, but close enough).  Part way through I ran out of the colour of embroidery floss I was using.  Luckily enough it's not too noticeable where I had to use a new option. 

Close up of the Martini glass and the camo patch that didn't turn out that great. 

I added a couple of Radar Buttons for some fun. 

I attached the button to the lining through the little gap.  Sadly the music fabric is getting discoloured with use.   

All in all it's not perfect, but I am excited to try the method again for another project.  It was a struggle to sew through the patches with the sewing machine though, so I may need to think through the construction a little better next time. 

I'd love to hear what you think. 
39  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Fussy Cut Striped Dress on: September 18, 2012 08:45:42 AM
So I made this dress years ago, but it is still one of my favourites (the photos are also now 3 years old, I just haven't got around to posting it yet).   The fabric is a stretchy fabric that I got on a buy 1m get 2 free sale at fabricland, so it's not super high quality, but I like the stripes.  I combined a bustier pattern and skirt pattern to make the dress.  Both were from Burda Wold of Fashion magazine back issues.  The stripes on the fabric were vertical so I carefully cut each piece separately to match up the diagonals.  Looking at the photos I really should have done a better job with the bust darts, but oh well what's done is done. 

Here's the front

And here's the back
40  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Kitty Headband--with pattern on: July 19, 2012 08:06:46 AM
So everyone seems to think baby headbands need to have flowers and bows etc., but I thought we needed something a little more suited to our sabretooth tiger so I made her a kitty eared headband.  It was really easy just took awhile since I used fine yarn. 


Lace pattern adapted the Harmony Lace and Eyelets guide (Eyelet Lace Insertion pg 191).

Using 3.25mm needles and baby/sock weight yarn
Cast on 8 sts
1st Row: K1, [k2tog, yo] 3 times, k2
2nd row: Purl
3rd Row: K2, [k2tog, yo] twice, k2
4th Row: Purl

Repeat until work measures 14inches (or desired length) (14inches fit an infant/toddler)
Sew ends together.

For ears:
Mark centre top of headband.  Mark for ear placement on each side approximately 1.5inches from the centre point (you might want them closer together).
From that marker pick up 8 sts
K1, SSK, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1
Decrease 1 sts each side of each row until 2 sts remain
This just made one side of the ear.  Pick up 8 sts right adjacent to the ones you just picked up and repeat this process making sure the wrong sides are facing each other.  Once the second side of the ear is complete use a crochet hook to slip stitch the sides together using your yarn ends to lightly stuff the ear. 

Repeat at other marker to make the second ear. 

If you have any questions just let me know, I know my instructions aren't always the clearest.     
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