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1  Trashy romance novel tote bags in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by ditzybrunette on: July 08, 2010 04:24:06 AM
Thanks for inspiration from barbolot's wallet tutorial http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=167691.0 and Leila at Bookshelves of Doom http://www.etsy.com/shop/bookshelvesofdoom?ref=top_trail!!!
I was desperate for gift ideas for three friends I'm seeing tomorrow, and after seeing barbolot's tutorial, I decided to run to the library sale for a bag of romance novels for a buck. I couldn't find any vinyl in my limited time frame, but used clear contact paper, which worked perfectly and may even have been easier to work with. I tucked the books I tore the covers from into the bags as an extra treat. After about 4 hours of mad cutting and sewing, they're ready, and just in time. Whew! I can't wait to give these gifts!


Close-up of my favorite:
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2  Purple jersey dress in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by ditzybrunette on: June 15, 2010 05:09:59 AM
Having ignored most warnings about using knit fabrics, I decided to try making a summer dress with jersey fabric as my second major clothing project. I did choose what seemed to be a more stable type of knit - interlock - which wasn't too hard to work with, but it did make the project somewhat bulkier than intended. I used Simplicity 3503, view D.
I wish that I had taken pictures all along, because this ended up being somewhat of an epic project. I had decided that I wanted shoulder straps rather than a halter, but aside from that, followed the pattern as written. After reading reviews on patternreview.com, I followed suggestions to use a smaller size than called for on the pattern, which was a good thing--I still had to trim down the width of the skirt.
When I was finished, the midriff band ended up looking bulky and unflattering. I was disappointed, but decided to take the midriff out and try turning it into an empire waist, simply attaching the skirt to the bodice. That just looked like a sack, so I did a little gathering here and there, till I thought it looked okay as basted. When I sewed it up on the machine, though, all of my gathers got pressed out, and we're back to wearing a knit sack.
At that point, I was nearly ready to give up, but decided that what the dress needed was something in the middle to give it more definition. I picked up one of the midriff pieces, folded it in half, and made it into a band to put over the seam between the bodice and skirt. The first attempt failed (I didn't measure carefully and cut the band too short.) Luckily, I had a second piece to work with, and with careful measuring and pinning, I think I salvaged the dress from the scrap pile.
Please let me know what you think. This is my first attempt at altering a pattern, so comments and advice are welcome!

Front:

Back:


Original pattern:
http://www.simplicity.com/images/product/medium/3503.jpg
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3  My first dress!! in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by ditzybrunette on: April 17, 2010 12:34:38 PM
I started sewing last fall, beginning with bags, which were so much fun to make that I decided I could attempt making clothing. For my first project, I wanted to make a dress for a beach wedding we attended last week. I had the pattern and fabric picked out over a month in advance, but of course didn't start until 10 days before we were scheduled to leave. No matter, I managed to get it all done in 9 days, even with a few adjustments and some seam ripping. I absolutely love it and am so excited to have discovered this new skill!

I used New Look 6557, view B (without the waist tie). I added a lining for the skirt (and then wished I'd added a lining to the midriff because I think it's noticable that it isn't lined). The only major problem I had with the pattern was the section on installing the zipper. I'd practiced putting in a zipper earlier, but instructions included with the pattern were somewhat different than the way I'd practiced, and for me, more difficult. I followed them anyway, but ended up with one side of the zipper about 1/4" higher than the other. Eh, it's only noticable if you look at it straight on, and since I can't see it when I'm wearing it, who cares?!  Wink

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