Thursday 30 May 2013

Bibs on Storenvy

The new super absorbent, 100% cotton bibs upcycled from preloved clothing are now in my Storenvy shop.

Sunday 26 May 2013

Baby Boots Pattern

This little piggy went to the market...
Recently I did something I probably hadn't done since high school.  I purchased a commercial sewing pattern.  I came across a photo of some outrageously adorable baby boots and was about start making a pattern, when I realised that I could simply buy one for only $4.  Even I can afford that.  I found the instructions somewhat clunky, but the making process was reasonably straight forward if fiddly.

One change I made to the original design was adding some padding into the sole.  I also made the sole outer from vinyl, so it's remotely suitable for trying to walk on. Still these boots aren't really designed for walking in, as they don't provide enough support.  My Chromatophobic Piggy buttons are purely decorative because the boots have a velcro closure.  I consider velcro to be one of my mortal enemies most of the time, but I have to admit it has its uses.
As adorable as [I think] these tiny boots are, they don't stay on too well, so I will be adding some elastic around the ankle to remedy this problem.

The rest of Zaika's outfit is also made by me.  It's all merino wool, and the cardigan buttons are laser cut from polypropylene.

Friday 24 May 2013

Ponoko Showroom

Thanks to Ponoko for perching Rubik the [Retarded] Raven on their showroom feature page!

Monday 20 May 2013

Olaf Diegel

This is the kind of ODD that we need more of in the world.
Spider LP 3D Printed Guitar -

Spider LP 3D Printed Guitar detail
Olaf Diegel is a professor of mechatronics at Massey University in Auckland.  "Mechatronics" is such a cool word.  I hope that a me in a parallel universe somewhere is hands on mad on mechatronics.  But back to Olaf who is by far more interesting as a design engineer with an expertise in digital fabrication, namely 3D printing.  He is best known for his insanely intricate, custom 3D printed guitars which cannot be manufactured by any conventional method.  I think I first came across his inspiring work on the Ponoko blog.  Last week he was interviewed on Radio NZ, and it was one of the most interesting interviews I've heard on the programme.  Of course, I'm passionate about the topic, but the man's enthusuasm for his work and innovation is absolutely contageous!  I really should get back into CAD modeling.
Scarab 3D printed Guitar -
I love Olaf's tagline "ODD designs weird stuff, usually manufactured through 3D printing"

Wednesday 8 May 2013

Monster Bum Tights Tutorial

This is like a warning label for a baby bottom.
Recently I doodled a whole lotta monsters, especially for this project in mind.   I don't have an embroidery machine, but my mother in law does, and she has very kindly embroidered the monsters for me from the digital files that I created.  In the absence of the magic trickery of the embroidery wizard contraption, the designs can be screen printed, painted with fabric paints or drawn on with textile markers.  You can also cut up an old t-shirt that has an image that works for this project.

Of course, first you need to draw yourself a monster that's the right shape for the baby's curvatiously protruding posterior.  I.e you want the general outline to resemble a deep bowl or a equilateral triangle with rounded sides and the vertex pointing down.  If the drawn shape doesn't mimic the form that it covers, the 3D effect won't work well.

Aside from the bum design you will need:
  • baby tights pattern for altering or existing pants that fit to make a pattern from as shown in Baby Pants post
  • tracing paper and basic draughting tools
  • 4 way knit fabric, preferably with 4-10% elastane (lycra) content to keep it from stretching out.  Old t-shirt with some elastane in them would be perfect, esp if it already has a bum-friendly graphic. The fabrics I used have no lycra, but they still keep their shape well: cotton/nylon, merino, merino/nylon, bamboo/modal.
  • waistband elastic
  • twin stretch needle
  • wooly nylon thread for the bobbin on the sewing machine and one of the lower loopers on the overlocker

1. I altered my existing footed tights pattern to take into account stretchier fabric.  The original pattern is for a reasonably loose fit.
footed tights pattern
I added the feet, narrowed the legs and added the bum piece.  I removed the equivalent of the bum piece from the tights pattern.  The side seam of the bum piece is the same length as the adjoining tights seam, but the curvatures are different to make more room for a cloth nappy.
monster bum tights pattern over the original
2. Cut out tights x2 and one bum piece.  The bum piece needs to be printed/embroidered before it's attached.

3. With right sides together sew the front crotch seam and the very short back crotch seam
Now they look like chaps.  Mmm pink chaps.
4.  It's a good idea to pin the bum piece to the tights before sewing in place because the curves can be tricky to match.  Start pinning from the mid points of the curves: back crotch seam to middle of the bum piece (fold it in half to locate mid point)
Pin from mid points
Pin all the way around, easing as needed
Sew the seam
5. Sew the inner leg seam all the way from one foot to the other, and the tights are nearly finished!

6.  The last step is the elasticated waistband.  There are loads of way of doing it, but I've gotten into a habit of creating the elastic casing by simply folding over the top edge and stitching it place with a twin needle.  The casing is just wide enough for the elastic to fit through, and I leave a 1cm gap between the start and end of the stitch to insert the elastic
The casing shoudn't be too wide to keep the elastic from twisting
Use a safety pin to pull through elastic
Sew together the ends of the elastic and wiggle the protruding bulk into the casing
7. Inflict the bum monster on an unsuspecting baby 

The pink looking tights are honestly not pink.  They are micro red and white stripes.
Blik the Bat

Monday 6 May 2013

Snoork Cufflinks on Felt Homepage

Drooly Snoork is gracing the Felt homepage today.  Woohoo!

Happy Customer

A lovely lady bought a couple of sets of Chromatophobic coasters and left this warm fuzzy feedback:

"Wow. what wonderful coaters, they dont stick to wet wine glasses, they soak up the moisture but don't seem to transfer it through to the table and they are nice and low, so if a wine glass is put on them off the edge, the glass doesn't overbalance and topple over. Much much better than the glass or ceramic ones Ive had before!"


Craft2.0 Debrief

I think I can say with confidence that there were more humans in nappies than out of nappies.

Here are a few images of some of the talented crafters' stalls.

Thursday 2 May 2013

New Bibs for Craft2.0!

A piggy for your piggy.  Or an owl and bat for your....?
Charcoal satin cotton bibs: Orlik the Owl, Blik the Bat, Pixie the Pig
A baby cannot have too many bibs, and I've been utilising all my cotton scraps to make piles of them for my drool monkey.  Other parents have been encouraging me to make bibs to sell, and now I do!  The bibs will make their absorbent debut at Craft2.0 on Saturday before they go on sale in the Chromatophobic online stores.
Pixie the Pig bib
The hand-printed bibs are 100% cotton, upcycled from unwanted towels and clothing.  They feature dome closures, not because I'm obsessed with doming, but because I cannot stand the evil, evil fibre destroying velcro, and because I find tying ribbons to be a pain in the posterior.
White cotton bibs
The bibs are screen printed with Grimly characters: the recent Orlik the Owl and the newly incarnated Pixie the Pig and Blik the Bat, both of whom materialised from the monsters series.  This already unleashed trio will be properly introduced in the near future.

Only two sleeps till Craft2.0!

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