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1  Office-style button-up shirt and skirt combo in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by localtalent on: May 19, 2008 06:48:15 PM

Well, it was a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, but I finally finished my first complete outfit (except for buttons - the buttonholer broke tonight, but I was too excited and had to post it as-is).  I was really just trying to get my feet wet with more tailored clothing, so the fabric isn't terribly exciting - it was whatever they had at the store by my work  Tongue

A couple of lessons learned:

1.  When sewing darts, thread a hand needle and run it through the end of the dart.  Hold onto both the thread ends and the needle (so you have a loop through the fabric pulling it tight).  This gives you a lot more control over the garment when you're sewing the dart.  When you're done, pull the hand needle and thread out and clip the machine thread as normal, but leave a little extra.  Tie it in a knot against the fabric to get a nice point on the dart.

2.  When sewing an invisible zipper in, shorten and cut it after you sew it in.  Unzip and press the coil open as usual, but stitch it in as far as you want before cutting, because when you cut it, the pull gets in the way.  You can move the pull up to the top, but when the zipper is closed it's much more difficult to get the stitch underneath the coil to make it nice and invisible on the other side of the fabric. 

3.  Cheap thread is horrible, spend the extra $2 for the good stuff and save yourself a thousand headaches. 

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2  Machine-quilted polka dot tote in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by localtalent on: January 31, 2008 04:59:46 PM
Made this in a class (that I took with my mom, aww), so I can't post the pattern - but ogle away.

The fabric was a rayon fused to a cotton backing, the lining and handles are just quilting fabric (thin cotton print).  Since the outer fabric was so heavy, I didn't put any batting in it, but I put it in the handles and the inner pockets.  I liked the zipper end covers too, they're a nice touch.

It's a little girly, so I probably won't carry it (plus I prefer messenger bags to totes), but I definitely learned a lot making it  Grin

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3  Cadet style cap in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by localtalent on: January 31, 2008 04:54:33 PM
Well, this was my first project without a pattern - and I think it came out pretty well, although it took 8+ hours.  And broke two needles.

Once I get the bugs worked out of it, I'll post a pattern.  I'd never seen one of these in person before, so I just kinda took a crack at it.  It's more or less a strip that flares on one side, a circle, another band, and two U-shaped pieces. 

I hemmed the bottom of the 'main' piece before I stitched the band piece on - that was a mistake.  The commercial one I stole from my friend after I produced this actually has two band pieces, one on the inside and one on the outside - the bottoms are turned under and stitched together underneath the main piece.

That didn't make any sense.  It will once I get the pattern together.

The brim's a little crooked, and it's too flimsy - the only thing I had that my machine could sew through was a Quaker Oatmeal Squares box and it doesn't cut it.  I'm going to try with some plastic folders from Staples, but I was really sick of the project at the end and I just wanted it to be done.  The band is the selvege from the side of the fabric I had - this was scrap fabric to see if it worked, but I ended up liking it.  I wear it all the time now.

It's meant to look a little frayed, but it wouldn't if I had hemmed the edges of the main piece before attaching the top piece. 

Pictures: (yes, I am aware that I match my shirt, no it was not planned)

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