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I had just moved to NYC – friends were few and my new apartment didn’t lend well to my favorite hobby, oil painting. The need to take steps to fulfill my social and creative needs was evident. I began doing a little online research, attempting to find an affordable painting and/or sewing class in Brooklyn. This is when I stumbled upon 3rd Ward. Before I knew it I was touring the facility, seeing everything 3rd Ward had to offer, from woodworking to graphic design to fashion. Because I was looking for a painting class more advanced than the ones offered at 3rd Ward, it was clear I was meant to take their Sewing: Level I class instead.

To call me a novice sewer would be generous so a beginner sewing class was just what I needed, especially since I was now working at BurdaStyle. I made up my mind when I learned I would be sewing the BurdaStyle Charlie Bag in Sewing Level I – this class was going to be perfect!

On the first day of class the instructor, Tracey Toole, gave us a rundown of some important sewing basics: how to thread a machine, what was in our starter kit, where to purchase supplies in the city, etc. I found all the information particularly useful and she even made handouts for us for reference. Once we understood the very basics it was time to sew. We started off by sewing a small zipper bag for our starter-kit. My zipper was a little wonky but all in all I felt pretty proud of the outcome. Baby steps.

Tracey had transferred the Charlie Bag pattern pieces onto poster board for durable classroom use and we got down to tracing the pattern pieces onto our fabric at the start of day two.

I really wanted to make my bag reversible and Tracey was more than willing to walk us through the steps. I’m so glad she did. Now I have two different looks to choose from depending on my mood. Matching up my straps was my biggest challenge but perfection doesn’t happen on the first try. I’ll do better on my next bag. I’ll definitely be making another.

Even though everyone used the same pattern, each bag looked so different from the next. Greg, on the left, was the fastest learner and Ramell, on the right, was the most adventurous with his variation. It was so much fun learning from Tracey and my classmates. I’m looking forward to Sewing Level II.


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    Sep 14, 2012, 03.40 AMby Mtetar

    Your bag is really nice, and I love the idea of it being reversible.Thank you for sharing.How long did it take? Best

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    Sep 13, 2012, 09.53 AMby shilisha

    Really amazing!The bag is so cute!Great work!

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    Sep 6, 2012, 04.30 AMby unahowe

    Did I win some fabric or something. i was looking back at what I wrote. So send your fabric to: UNA Howe PO Box 156 309 B Street Dupree, SD 57623 I hope this is what you want. and Thank you so much for the donation. It is closing in on Fall and I am so ready for some great sewing weather.

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    Sep 5, 2012, 02.40 AMby cheraw

    Those boots are great until snow arrives, then you will be sliding all over. You’ll have to get some boots with traction! I know because it’s happened to me in my cowboy boots, and now I know better!

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    Aug 20, 2012, 07.55 PMby Tracey Toole

    It was great to have you in my class Jillian! Hope to see you in Sewing 102 and 103!

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    Aug 14, 2012, 10.07 PMby rosarini

    Next you will painting your own fabric & a whole new world of creativity will take a big part of your life.Continue on with sewing & you will having many hours of happiness

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    Jul 29, 2012, 01.14 AMby lu yinger


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    Jul 26, 2012, 01.26 PMby claudiacc

    Your bag looks great! Have fun in NYC.

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    Jul 25, 2012, 03.10 AMby unahowe

    love your boots and your Bag is great.

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    Jul 25, 2012, 02.11 AMby unahowe

    Thank you Burdastyle for allowing us to sew Charlie Bag free of charge.

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    Jul 25, 2012, 02.08 AMby unahowe

    I love this bag for several reasons. It is simple to make. It has so many uses. I used this FREE PATTERN to make bags for women and children in shelter homes; (You leave your home and then are asked to pack in a hurry. Things usually go into a garbage bag, ouch!! You have already lost your home and your belongs are put into a garbage sack.) So I have been making them and giving them away to shelters. If you have a little extra material and time please consider helping out fellow women and children who have lost their home at no cause of their own. Respectfully Submitted, Any style of bag will do.

    2 Replies
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      Jul 26, 2012, 06.51 AMby Showfen

      I just read your comment and have to say that I think that is really wonderful of you. If only we were all so generous and thoughtful :-)

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      Sep 5, 2012, 02.41 AMby cheraw

      where do you want us to send the fabric?

    • This is a question
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