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21  you saw the dress to shirt - now see the shirt to dress! in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by tamagotchi on: April 21, 2006 07:53:47 AM
I saw this dress in a store for $28.  I went home and made it for $5!

I started out this this plus size top from salvation army:


And I ended up with this:


The sleeves actually became the skirt!  (Can you believe how much fabric went into those things?)

I'm not really sure what to say for a tutorial, since mostly when I sew I just make things up as I go along.  Here are the steps I used to make the dress:

1.  Use a seam ripper to take off the ugly pouch pocket.  This leaves an unsightly mark on the dress where the stitching was.
2.  Cut off the bottom of the shirt along the line of unsightly holes.
3.  Lay a shirt whose fit you like over the top part of the shirt, and cut up the sides.  Resew to fit you.  So now you have: the top part of the shirt (refitted to your body), the bottom part of the shirt, and the scraps of the sides/sleeves.
4.  Trim the sleeves on the top part of the shirt until you get a nice little cap sleeve that flatters you.  You could hem this if you want, I didn't bother since the fabric won't unravel.
5.  Lay out the top part of the shirt on the floor.  Now lay out the bottom part underneath it.  Cut the bottom part so that the width is the same as the top part.  Restitch the two pieces together to form a tube.
6.  Attach the bottom part of the shirt to the top.  This makes the waistband.
7.  Take your sleeves.  Cut them open along the hem on the underside of the arm.  Now trim the pieces into rectangles.
8.  The sleeves form the skirt.  My butt is pretty big, so I added a triangular panel on each side of the skirt to give me more room.  I cut these panels from the extra fabric taken from the sides of the shirt.
9.  Sew your skirt together.  Now attach it onto the waistband.
10.  Finally, run a gather along each side of the waistband.  Machine stitch the pleats in place to hold it.  You're done!

If that made no sense I can try to add diagrams or something...
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22  from ugly dress to cute blouse! (truly amazing) in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by tamagotchi on: March 25, 2006 04:37:06 PM
So, I bought this absolutely hideous early 90s career mom dress at Salvation Army for something like $7.  The fabric looked promising, which is why I ended up buying it, even though it was huge on me.  Here's my before shot:



Now here it is after I completely ripped it up and resewed it:



I love it!

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23  modette 'do! (3 pictures) in Bath and Beauty: Discussion and Questions by tamagotchi on: February 03, 2006 01:26:33 PM
I based this on the tutorial at the Hair Archives.  Here's the link if you wanna try it yourself: http://www.hairarchives.com/private/archive2/60s/retro60s.htm

Me waiting for my hair to set:


Finished product:


The back:
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24  totoro hat! (3 pictures) - TUTORIAL ADDED! in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by tamagotchi on: January 06, 2006 02:18:59 PM
After seeing audratron's amazing knitted totoro hat (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=49162.0), I thought to myself "I want to make that!  But not knitted."  So I made the amazing UNknitted version.  Here are the pictures:

without flash:


with flash:


somewhat blurry closeup of the ears:


I made it out of scraps from a dress that seems like boiled wool.  The features and the leaf are made out of felt.  Although not entirely visable, I embroidered little whiskers on both sides.  It has two extra-warm earflaps and ties with cords made out of twisted gray yarn.  I used a little bit of stuffing in the leaf and the ears to make them more poofy.  So...whaddya think?

[EDIT:]
Because of people's requests, I added this little tutorial.  I have no pictures of me making this, but just ask if you need to see a diagram or something.  (Unfortunately the hat was a present for my sister, so I can't model it for you.  But I'll ask her to send me some pics so you can see it on a person.)

What you need:
warm gray fabric (I used wool)
craft felt: one square black, one square white, two squares green
yarn or string for the ties
stuffing
white, black, and green thread  (my fabric was dark enough to use the black thread for sewing the hat, but you may wish to use a matching gray)
black embroidery thread

How to:
1.  Measure your head all the way around, and from front to back.  Divide the first measurement by 4 (this is the base of your triangle) and divide the second measurement by 2 (this is the height of your triangle).  Draw your triangle on a piece of paper for your pattern.  The sides of the triangle should curve outwards (you can always adjust it later).  The bigger the curve, the wider your hat will be.  These will make up the basic hat form.  Use your pattern to cut out four of these triangles from your gray fabric.

2.  Sew the triangles together in twos along one side.  You should now have two half-spheres.

3.  Now you need to make the ears.  On a piece of paper, draw the ear shape (you can see this in the bottom closeup).  It's a kind of arrow, with a base and a point.  Cut out four of these shapes from the gray fabric.  Now cut out four little tufts for either side of the ears (again, see the bottom picture for reference).  These are basically a rectangle with a triangular bit cut out of one end.  Try comparing them with your ear shapes to make sure they're the right size.

4.  Pin two ear shapes together with a tuft sticking out either side of the base, right beneath the point.  (I chose to leave my seams exposed here but you could always have the tufts pointing inward and then flip the ears inside-out to hide the seams.  Your choice!)  Starting at one side of the base, sew until you reach the bottom part of the point on the other side.  Poke a tiny bit of stuffing into the point to make it poofy.  Then continuing sewing the ear closed.  Repeat for the other ear.

5.  Pin your two half-spheres together, positioning the ears at equal distances from the center.  The two center seams should meet in the middle.  Remember: you're sewing inside out, so the ears are actually pointing downward into the interior of the hat.  When you're done sewing, turn the hat inside out, and try it on your head.  Make adjustments to the size as needed.  (The ears I made are actually kind of floppy, since I didn't want them to be poking straight up.  You could make them stand up more by using more stuffing, making the base shorter, or even putting in some florists' wire.)

6.  Fold the edge of your hat over and hem all the way around.

7.  Now we make the ear flaps.  On a piece of paper, draw a triangle shape.  (These are regular triangles, without the curved sides).  Measure it against your head to make sure it fully covers your ears.  Cut out four of these shapes.  Pin two of them together to make one ear-flap.  Pin the string or tie at the point of the triangle, so that the long part of the tie goes between the two pieces.  Now sew around the edge, sewing several times over the string to reinforce it.  Repeat for the second ear-flap.

8.  Pin the ear flaps on opposite sides (try the hat on to make sure they're in the right place) and sew them on.

9.  Now for the fun part!  Cut out two large circles from the white felt and two smaller circles from the black felt.  These are your eyes.  Position the pupils where you want (I made my Totoro looking off to one side) and sew them in place with the black thread.  Now, here's the sneaky part: if you're using a sewing machine, change the top thread to white, but leave the bobbin thread as black.  Pin the eyes in place and sew them on.  The thread should be invisible from both sides, inside and out.

10.  Cut out a squat triangle for the nose (see pictures for reference) and sew it in the middle, using black thread for top and bottom.

11.  Now we make the leaf.  Put the two pieces of green felt on top of each other and cut out a leaf shape.  Cut out a rectangle for the stem.  Try testing it on the hat to make sure it fits between the ears.  Now change the top thread in the machine to green, but leave the bottom thread as black.  Pin the two leaves together, with the stem sticking out the bottom.  (Again, my seams are exposed here but you could choose to do it a different way.)  Starting at the base of the leaf, sew around.  When you are 3/4 of the way around, put some stuffing into the leaf to make it poofy.  Continue sewing the leaf shut.  Sew from the base of the leaf to the point in a straight line to give the impression of a stem in the center.

12.  Pin the leaf onto the top of the hat.  I decided to put the point of the leaf off to one side to give it more of a jaunty appearance.  Sew all around the leaf on top of the seam you just created.  Leave the stem sticking up.

13.  Ok, you're almost done!  Take out your black embroidery thread and embroider three little whiskers on either side of the face.

Ta-da!  You're finished!  Enjoy your beatiful new hat!
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25  Re: velvet dress? in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by tamagotchi on: November 20, 2005 02:46:02 PM
well, it's hard for me to describe, but basicallly...ok, let's say you have a piece of fabric sitting in front of you.  If you pick up some of the fabric in your left hand, and some in your right hand, and bring them together, that's basically what a box pleat is.  So, there should be two front rectangles, and a back rectangle.  The two front rectangles meet above, making a rectangle of fabric below them.  this is too friggin difficult to describe...here's a rough picture:


so, the red lines are where you fold, and the blue lines mark where you sew.  stitch your pleat to the waistband or whatever it is, and also stitch partway down on both sides.  this keeps the fabric in the back of the pleat from shifting around.  then iron it flat so you get a nice crease.  I hope that makes sense!
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26  retro salt/pepper shakers shaped like clocks (?!?) in What the heck can I do with THIS? by tamagotchi on: November 19, 2005 12:02:30 PM
I found these vintage salt and pepper shakers in a consignment shop and just HAD to have them.  Problem is, I use grinders for my salt and pepper, so I really have no use for these.  So far all they've done is sit around on my desk, but they're so awesome I would really like to use them for something.  Here's a picture of them:


The left one says "Salty" and the right one says "Peppy".  The tops screw off, and there's a little circular cavity inside about 3/4" across.  The outside is varnished wood, but the inside is unvarnished.  Any ideas on what to do with these guys?
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27  Re: 2005 Completed Costumes Scrapbook (completed projects with pictures go here) in Halloween Costumes by tamagotchi on: November 01, 2005 02:31:39 PM
like a nerd I completely missed this post until AFTER I had already put up a separate post for my costume, but here it is again:

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28  spock: the final frontier in Halloween Costumes by tamagotchi on: October 31, 2005 03:53:28 PM
final version of the spectacular spock costume!  100% DIY.



as you can see, I have my leonard nimoy face on.
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29  modette at a teaparty dress in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by tamagotchi on: October 14, 2005 03:40:52 PM
yay, I finally finished making this totally rockin dress, so now I am completely ready for cold weather!





It has a turtleneck collar, 3/4 sleeves, and a huge gathered skirt that comes to the knees.  It's made out of some knit black jersey that I got on sale. Veeery adorable.  Sorry you can't see more detail, but it's been raining all day so it's all dark and gloomy.  Here's a closeup of the collar:



This was also my first time sewing in a zipper, and it took me a few tries to get it right.  I ended up having to shorten it to about half its original length.  But it looks so good, I'm so proud of myself!  I am now totally ready to go to the local disco dance party.
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30  snuggly tees for cold weather in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by tamagotchi on: October 14, 2005 03:34:42 PM
inspired by past featured proj "black and white and pleated all over", I decided to make my tee shirts a little bit more cozy for wintertime.  I'm sorry for the poor quality of the photos, but I'm alone in the house and it's raining outside, so there's not a lot of natural light.

here's one:

I added a faux-bandana-type cowl collar and some cute gathered sleeves out of some leftover black fabric I had.  I love love love this shirt, I wish I had a better picture to share with you guys!

I made this one for my friend:

This shirt was a buttondown, so I just cut off the collar and added a cowl.  Luckily I had an old dark brown shirt which matched perfectly, so I chopped that up for the fabric.  I had also cut off the bottom at some point, so I sewed a band around the edge.  Then I sewed on a little lace bow and added this old transistor transistor pin I had lying around.  ta-daaaa, mega cute!
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