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11  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / My first shirred dress--w/ a link to the tutorial that inspired it! 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!

12  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Amy Butler + Ikea = My New $5 Desk Organizer 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:
13  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / A man bag 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):
14  CLOTHING / Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects / Hello Kitty Cowboy Sundress with pockets 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:
15  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / The Amy Butler Weekender Bag that took a year to finish ;D 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!
16  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Awesome owl fabric sewn into a padded case 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:
17  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / The "I'm moving to a new country ahhh" purse! on: August 12, 2007 06:59:52 PM
Good news, I just found out that I got an internship that I've been crossing my fingers for Smiley The crazy part is that it starts in only six weeks, so come October I'll be living in Seoul, South Korea. I decided to make a new purse last night that I could take away with me and use both at work and more casually on the weekends.

A fellow craftster told me about a fabric store in my area that sells some really nice material  (best tip ever!) so I went to check it out this week. I'd never heard of it before, but it had some amazing stuff and I ended up buying a metre of this teal fabric. I lined the purse and the handles with two layers of heavy iron on interfacing as I'm not the most gentle person with my bags and I figured that it'd last longer that way. The flap closes with a magnetic snap. Here is the purse that I made out of it.

The one thing that I wish I had done differently was to make it wider at the top so that the curve would be more pronounced.

The purse:

Me holding the purse (It is just big enough that I can stick in a notebook):

18  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Plush Desserts care of a Japanese Craft Book on: August 03, 2007 06:30:42 PM
I ordered this really neat craft book from Japan a couple of months back. I saw it online and it had lots of cute pictures and patterns of food made from felt. Here is a play set that I made from the pattern book (cake, swiss roll, chocolate dipped strawberries, a brownie and cookies with sprinkles)

The instructions were really detailed and came with diagrams and cut out patterns so they were fairly easy to follow. This is the first time that I had really sewn with felt and I found it really easy to cut, but at the same time I had to undo my hand-stitching every once in awhile because it is so obvious when they were uneven Smiley (I'm used to machine sewing!)

19  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / My First Photoshoot...here are the 5 purses that made the cut (IMG HVY) on: July 30, 2007 04:47:00 PM
A month or so ago I contacted a newspaper about featuring a cpl. of my purses in their style section. I figured that it was probably one of hundreds of emails that they receive each week but thought "meh there's was no harm in trying" Smiley As luck would have it, they must have been looking for something to fill the pages and I went to my first photo shoot today! I think I used about 5 yards of interfacing, 5 yards of nylon strapping and 4 yards of fabric...which means that I'm probably about due for another visit to the fabric store (yeahhh I love fabric shopping!!!)

Here are the five purses that I made over the weekend (I was up until 3am sewing!!!)

The 5 Pocket Messenger in Light Bright:

The Silhouette Purse in Apple Red:

The Unisex Messenger in Abstract Olive:

The BlissByHeather purse in Teal Blossoms:

The Sling Purse in Artistic White:

20  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / This little birdie landed on my messenger!!!! SEMI-TUTORIAL on: June 21, 2007 11:22:19 AM
My aunt is super crafty and she taught me how to stencil/paint on fabric a couple of weeks ago. It's a fun and easy way to "create" your own fabric.

SEMI-TUTORIAL (instructions on how to make your own fabric!)

1)You will need an overhead transparency (or a piece of cardboard, but the transparency works better), paint, fabric medium, a round paint brush with short bristles, fabric, exacto knife
2)draw the image that you want on a piece of paper and then tape the overhead transparency on top. Using an exacto knife cut out the inside of the image (where you want the paint to go)
3)mix the fabric medium and the paint. The fabric medium is what prevents your paint from cracking after it dries. I can't remember what the exact proportion is, but it will tell you on the fabric medium bottle.
4)tape your new stencil onto the fabric. Dip your brush into the fabric medium/paint mixture and using an up and down dabbing motion, fill in the area that you'd like to be stencilled.
5)After you have finished filling in the areas, gently lift off your stencil.
6)Let it dry
7)The next day, you can heat set your stencilled area. I laid a piece of fabric on top of the painted area and then put my iron on top of it for about 25 seconds, and then moved onto the next section. Not in a brushing motion, more like a lift and hold motion.
Cool VOILA! You have a cool piece of fabric that you can make something out of.

***Stencilling is a great way to paint for people who have no clue how to paint. Seriously, the last time that I attempted to paint something was circa elementary school so if I can do it, anyone can Smiley***

Here is the messenger bag that I made out of my birdie stencil:

It's made from a black duck material and I lined it in baby blue so that it'd match the little birdie!
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