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1  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Trashy romance novel tote bags 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:
2  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Purple jersey dress 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!



Original pattern:
3  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / My first dress!! 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

4  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Newbie in need of alteration advice on: March 30, 2010 10:11:07 AM
I'm working on my first dress (New Look pattern 6557), and am having trouble making it fit my small/nonexistent bust. The bodice is meant to have small gathers under each breast, but the gathers puff out the fabric so that it's huge on me.

Not having experience with this kind of sewing, I'm not sure what I ought to do next. Do I make tucks in the fabric, make darts, discard the gathers....?
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