Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A skirt waiting to happen

Late last summer I came to the awful realisation that my favourite dress to wear on a really stinking hot day had deteriorated into a terrible condition. This made me quite sad as it was a pretty dress with very nice embroidery. I did notice that the damage was almost entirely on the top half so I put the dress aside intending on working out how to turn it into a basic skirt. I've done some machine sewing before so know my way around a basic machine but I've not done any work on clothes or with elastic before, so this was new. Many thanks go to Mum for helping me out here.

This is the old, tired dress with quite a bit of yellowing around the top and a lot of elastic that had given up and died. It took a bit of courage to take the scissors to a favourite item of clothing, but with a bit of courage...

After this I naturally forgot to take more photos, but I made a waistband from inch wide elastic, sewed it into the top and rolled it over. I did this with Mum's whiz-bang sewing machine as my 30-or-so-year-old ol' faithful sewing machine is in storage. Its a very nice machine. Even cuts the threads for me.The skirt might not be winning any competitions for refashioning, but it's nice to have it back in my wardrobe.

I'm also working on Etsy listings for these two necklaces. They should be posted this evening. I'll put a shout out on the TTL facebook page when they're up.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Babies and Christmas

A staggering number of people I know have been having babies lately (or so it seems). I made a couple of cards for some of the most recent arrivals today - one boy and one girl.

This card is for a neighbour who has just had a baby - an excellent reason to use a gorgeous paper I bought quite some time ago and have been waiting for a reason to use.

This one is for a friend's baby - I've deliberately made it somewhat less blatantly gendered. Opinions vary, but I am sure that this baby already has more than enough pink (though it is not entirely lacking here)

Christmas is getting entirely too close for comfort and I have made a huge number of Christmas cards lately. These are two of those I'm most pleased with.

This card was based on a stamp that I couldn't initially see a lot of use for - until I took a craft knife to the stamped image. Now the possibilities seem quite endless. I'm sure I'll be getting plenty of use from this one.

This card also allowed me to use a really gorgeous piece of paper I had sitting about the place.

Before these two I'd had very few cards with stamped images that I'd been happy with - cutting them out and adding a bit of dimension to them makes the world of difference. Now I have more use for my picture stamps that came with the word stamps I bought the sets for...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Tutorial: Bigger-on-the-inside TARDIS card

Time for the promised TARDIS card tutorial! As an added bonus this tutorial shows you my method of making standard card blanks. This is the first tutorial I have made, so if you have any feedback do let me know so future tutorials might be improved...

In order to avoid sounding like a broken record I'll let you know right here that you need to be quite precise here. It'll really show in the results. On with the tutorial - Allons-y!

These are the tools used. With one exception - the glue marker. How I could forget such a useful object is beyond me.

Tools and materials:
TARDIS blue cardstock - A4 or 12" square
Black cardstock - scrap is OK
White cardstock - scrap is OK
White printer paper
Self-healing cutting mat
Clear quilting ruler
Metal ruler
Rotary cutter
Craft knife
Bone folder
Glue stick
Glue marker
Glue tape
Fine silver paint or gel pen
Black fineliner - 0.1

The first step is to make the card blank. Start by cutting an 8"x6" piece of TARDIS blue card. Keep the scraps, you'll need them later. The best way to make the larger cuts is with a quilting ruler and rotary cutter. The cuts are kept straight and it's very easy to line things up precisely (don't use a craft knife with a quilting ruler, you'll kill the ruler).
Using the bone folder, score a line at the 4" mark on the long side. If the paper is textured, score on the side that will be the inside. Fold along the line and, with the card folded, run the flat of the folder along the crease to sharpen it.
Cut the top inch from the side that will become the front cover, and prepare for one of the trickier sections.

Keeping in mind you will need to erase later, rule a pencil line one inch from the top in line with the previous cut(not shown in the picture). Measuring up from here rule a line at 3/8", 1/8" and 1/8". This should leave 3/8" at the top.

As per the lower left section of the picture above, n the lowest ruled section draw vertical lines 1/4" from each side. In the next section draw lines 1/2" from each side. In the top section draw lines around a 1/4" section at the centre. Join this to the tier below with a diagonal line.

Cut around this outline using a metal ruler and craft knife. You may find it easiest to cut small sections away. Erase the remaining pencil lines.
Cut a section of black cardboard 1/4"x3.5", or slightly shorter if you prefer (see right side pictures). Write on the card with a silver paint or gel pen as shown. Stick in place with glue stick or marker.

Cut a 1/4" square of white card. Stick to form the light at the top of the card. That's the top section complete! Next, on to the front.
Cut four 1.5" squares, four in blue, two in white.

Cut a blue strip 1/8" wide and at least 4.5" long. Don't worry if it curves a bit, that's fairly unavoidable. Cut it into three 1.5" sections.

Using a glue marker, stick the strips on to form a window pattern.

On the front flap of the card, stick the blue and white squares. They should be 1/4" from the edge of the card and 1/8" from the top, bottom and other squares. You can use any kind of paper glue here, but glue tape doesn't have a drying time so you can continue on without fear of shifting things. Repeat for the other side.
Cut a piece of white card or printer paper 1"x3/4" and write on it with a fineliner as shown. Glue it to the centre left panel. While you're at it, why not add a silver doorknob?

Congratulations! The front is complete. The rest should, by comparison, be very easy.
The pop-up that will form the inside is a map fold. There's a great tutorial for it on this website (link replaced Feb 2015) which I doubt I can improve on. Use an 8"x8" square. The tutorial uses a rectangle, but squares are fine.

If you put it in your card you'll likely find it's marginally large. No worries! Cut off 1/8" and get the added bonus of an extremely tidy visible end.

Use glue tape on one side and stick the folded paper in with the centre line 2.5" from the bottom. Be sure to get the point right into the fold of the paper. Put glue tape onto the other side, press the card firmly shut, then re-open...
Ta-da! It's bigger on the inside!
 With Adelaide's famous Christmas Pageant on tomorrow and as I'm also preparing a lot of work for a stall I'll have at St John's Anglican Church Christmas Fair (Friday 16th November, 6p.m., Church Gardens at 379 Halifax Street, Adelaide) I'm in a very Christmassy frame of mind. I twisted together sparkly pipe cleaners and made a wreath to make a Christmas TARDIS.

That concludes my first tutorial! I hope you liked it - I expect I'll make more in future. If you use this tutorial, either as-is or with modifications, I'd love to see what you do!  Please do not use this to produce items for sale.

Do, however, feel free to share the tutorial further. By all means use the first or last image as a link, but please link to this blog for the rest of the tutorial.

P.S. The link marked as replaced in 2015 was changed as the original site was now just throwing particularly dubious looking ads. Sorry about that, and hopefully the replacement will stay... if it should fail again, search 'map fold tutorial', there are quite a few about - Heather