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11  My first shirred dress--w/ a link to the tutorial that inspired it! in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by travelbug on: June 20, 2008 06:10:40 PM
I found this really great tutorial for a shirred dress and it inspired me to sew something for my little cousin. It was my first time using elastic thread to get the "shirred" look and I was pleasantly surprised that it was so easy!

Originally I was going to just gather the neckline and sleeves with elastic, but when it was finished the dress still looked a bit baggy. I ended up drawing a line across the bodice and shirring one seam all the way across to give the dress more shape.

Here is the dress:

Here is a close-up so that you can see the shirring:

a link to the tutorial that inspired me to sew this!

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12  Amy Butler + Ikea = My New $5 Desk Organizer in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by travelbug on: June 19, 2008 02:51:20 PM
Last night I found two cardboard magazine holders that I'd bought at Ikea a couple of years back but never used. I decided to cut them up and try to rig together some sort of DIY desk organizer since I've been searching for something to store loose papers in as well as my digital camera, pens and scissors.

I cut the front off of the first magazine holder (it's cut horizontally across about halfway down). From the 2nd magazine holder, I cut and taped together 3 smaller compartments of different heights.

Last week, I found some really great Amy Butler paper at my local craft store and I thought that this would be the perfect time to crack into it. I traced the newly-cut magazine holders onto different pieces of the paper and cut them out. Then I used double sided tape to adhere the paper to the cardboard.

Some of the edges looked a little unfinished, so I found some pieces of ribbon and used double-sided tape to stick them to the edges of the 3 smaller compartments. I think that this organizer only cost about $5 to complete!

Desk Organizer:

Desk Organizer before I filled it with stuff:

Ikea magazine holders:
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13  A man bag in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by travelbug on: June 14, 2008 11:03:59 AM
I've never sewn anything for my brother before because I don't think he's so into purses  Wink However, I was inspired by a bottle of Pepto Bismal this week to finally create something for him....

My brother is going on vacation to Mexico in a couple of weeks and while I was killing time in a pharmacy I found a bunch of really cute travel sized items that he might need. I was going to wrap them up in a little gift bag but because they are so small it looked kind of cheezy.

I had some black vinyl on hand and decided to make him a man bag toiletry bag. I used a teflon sewing foot and changed the tension so that it was a really high number (around eight) and made the stitch length really long. I had googled "sewing vinyl" and someone had suggested those last 2 tips. I noticed a difference in that it was easier to sew with a longer stitch length and "looser" tension. I didn't add a handle to this one because I wasn't sure that my little sewing machine could handle 4 layers of vinyl.

Here it is:

Here is the inside (the seams are raw, but I think that because they are vinyl and non-fraying it should be ok):
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14  Re: Ongoing Wish Swap Round 34 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by travelbug on: June 12, 2008 04:25:20 PM
I received a great package today from Sajona!

Inside was a minky pillowcase that fit my queen sized pillow perfectly, some extra minky fabric and a UK fashion magazine. The pillowcase is super well-made and looks like something that you'd see in a boutique. I took a 2nd picture so that you could see how it closes. It has a little flap at the back. Thank you Sajona!!!

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15  Hello Kitty Cowboy Sundress with pockets in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by travelbug on: June 11, 2008 09:26:18 PM
I had this really cute Hello Kitty fabric in my stash that I've been saving for a good project. Since it's been really hot out this week I decided to make sundresses for my little cousins.

I cut out a simple A-line shape dress. The armholes and bottom of the dress are embellished with wide double fold seam binding. I made a casing at the top of the dress and sewed elastic inside to give it a "gathered" look. Then I placed the ends of the straps into the ends of the casing and sewed them in. I wanted to make the dress look similar to the "pillowcase" style dresses. I don't have kids, but for some reason I'm a little bit iffy about whether or not it's safe to have ribbon or strings that gather near the neck. That's the reason that I used elastic and then sewed the straps on later.

The dress looked a little bit plain so using some scraps I made 2 pleated pockets and sewed them onto the front of the dress. Perfect size for hiding cookies from Mom  Wink

Here is the dress:

Here is a close-up so that you can kind of see the pockets:

Here is a close-up of the straps:
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16  The Amy Butler Weekender Bag that took a year to finish ;D in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by travelbug on: May 15, 2008 09:51:40 AM
Over a year ago I bought an Amy Butler Weekender Bag pattern. I had seen a finished one on craftster and fell in love with it. Now the only problem was/is that I can't follow sewing patterns! After a year of saying that I would do it, last night I finally decided to crack into the pattern. I had this great scrap piece of Amy Butler decor weight fabric on my shelf so I decided to use it up. Here are some pics, some of the problems I encountered and tips if you want to make your own.

Problem #1: There wasn't enough fabric. I'm not the most patient crafter, and I really wanted to start it last night so I decided to improvise Wink The pockets on the side are made from a different piece of scrap fabric. I used the tiny scraps that were left and sewed on a strip of the Amy Butler fabric to the pocket so that it would match better.

Problem #2: One of the pattern pieces was supposed to be placed against a folded piece of fabric before it was cut. I accidentally placed the wrong side of the pattern against the fold so that piece that I cut out coudn't be used. Oops. The funny part is that I ended up sewing the messed up piece to the zipper and it wasn't until I top stitched it that I saw it was a weird shape. I was so annoyed that I had to quit sewing for 2 hrs haha. I didn't have any more fabric to use, so I ended up cutting up the piece and sewing it together to resemble what it should have looked like (you can see in the 2nd picture that there is a seam in the fabric connected to the zipper...in the original pattern it's not supposed to be there)

I made a couple of modifications to it. The front and back pocket are pretty large and I decided to make them into 2 pockets. I just sewed a simple seam down the middle of the pocket and voila I now have 4 pockets. Now I have places to store flip flops, books etc. I also added a couple of pockets to the inside so that I could keep my keys and cellphone separate. You can kind of see the pocket seam better in this photo. PS the finished bag is massive. About twice as big as I expected it to be from looking at the picture. I decided to sew some more seams onto the straps as I was worried that if I packed the bag full it would put too much stress on the original stitching.

Some tips that I learned :
1) I bought pre-made piping. The pattern suggests that you make your own, but I think it'll save you about 30-45 mins. to just buy it.
2) Heavier fabric will keep it from being floppy. I used decor weight fabric for the outside and a canvas type fabric on the inside.
3) Cutting off all of the interfacing around the seams makes it easier for your machine to sew around the corners. I had to go back and do this because my machine was getting jammed on some of the thicker parts.
4) Use quilting pins (the ones with the plastic ball on the dull end). I think I have pin indentations still in my fingers from trying to stick normal pins through all of the layers LOL.

I'm looking forward to trying it out this weekend!
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17  Awesome owl fabric sewn into a padded case in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by travelbug on: February 17, 2008 06:19:55 AM
I'm always super excited to get new fabric. I ordered this fabric online and it arrived from Singapore a week or two ago. I'd been eyeing it for awhile, but wasn't sure to do with it since I don't usually buy fat quarters. I decided to try my hand at making a padded ipod case since I carry my ipod to work everyday. It lives in my purse which unfortunately gets thrown around and dropped several times a day  Wink

I used a little clip at the end so that I could hook it onto my purse or the loop of my pants. The most difficult part was sewing in the zipper since it was the amount of fabric that I was using was alot smaller than I'm used to working with.

Here it is:

Hooked onto my pants:
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18  Re: "My Country Doesn't Have That" Round 9 Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by travelbug on: November 07, 2007 03:31:26 AM
I just received an awesome package from Octopusinclothing! The outside envelope was decorated with cute Hello Kitty tape, a bunny envelope and doraemon paper. It made me smile when I saw it. I caught a nasty cold on the weekend as was feeling quite yucky when I got home from work but as soon as I got the package I felt ten times better. Better than medicine Smiley

I received an Allure magazine, US Weekly magazine, sour peach rings, sour neon crawlers, jolly rancher candy, licorice and four different types of fabric. Thank you SO MUCH Octopusinclothing, your package is great!!!!!!

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19  Re: 12 Days Of Christmas Swap 2007 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by travelbug on: September 29, 2007 02:37:28 PM
Pics are finally up!

Here is one of everything...

Day 12: 6 notecards (4 christmas ones and 2 really cool retro ones), 6 bookmarks and a set of colour pencils

Day 11: My fav. day so far! A needle felting kit including the foam backing, two felting needles and a whole assortment of different colours of material to use for felting. I can't wait to try it out  Smiley

Day 10: A cute pink drawstring bag w/rabbits to hold hair accessories and an assortment of hair goodies and a handmade fabric headband.

Day 9: Christmas cookie kit- a pink apron! A book of cookie recipes, cookie cutters and sprinkles for the cookies

Day 8: A bunch of sweets and chocolate from Ireland  Grin (which I've already started to eat)

Day 7: My new fav. day! A brown and pink tote bag with a pocket inside to hold extra stuff. A matching make-up bag with a make-up brush and some make-up, 2 wonderful scarves in pink and purple. I love wearing scarves right now and they are in two of my favourite colours so they will be well used.

Day 6: AMAZING handpainted re-usable grocery bags. I will get lots of use out of these for sure! The designs were handpainted on unbleached calico bags. I took a couple of pictures so that you could see the detail better. My favourite is the one painted with an apple.

Day 5: Jewelry! Including a cute matching necklace and earrings set.

Day 4: Decorated disclothes and an awesome pair of appliqued slippers Smiley

Day 3: Some great pillowcases an eyeshade and a nice smelling lavendar bag

Day 2: Two amazing stencilled shirts. I LOVE the pink one, it has a little bird painted on it.

Day 1: A pair of pyjamas in brown and pink. Perfect for Christmas morning.
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20  Re: Ongoing Wish Swap - Round 25 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by travelbug on: August 22, 2007 09:52:34 AM
Here is a picture of the package that I received from Handbaghannah83. She claimed me for a scarf....and also included some extra fabric!

The scarf is pink and very soft. The fabric feels like it's an upholstery weight so it'd be perfect for making purses. I love brown and blue too. Thanks Smiley

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