Sunday, 11 August 2013

DIY - Sew Your Own Tulip Skirt

This is a patternless tutorial for a tulip shaped skirt with a fitted waistband and concealed zip to the centre back.

Step 1: Lay out your folded fabric on the table, with the fold (selvedge to selvedge) running along the edge of the table.

Step 2: Measure your waist in inches where you want the skirt to sit and add one inch to this number. For example a 30 inch waist will need a 31 inch waistband. If your waist is more than 44” you will need to make a 2 part waistband.

Step 3: Draw out a long rectangle on the fabric, 5 inches by half your waistband measurement. For example a 31inch waistband will be 15.5 inches long on the folded fabric. Then cut this out. If you are using a light weight fabric you might want to iron interfacing to the waistband.
Step 4: Cutting the skirt. Decide how long you want the skirt to be, around 18 inches will come to just above the knee. Still with the fold of the fabric on the edge of the table draw a line a quarter of the length of your waistband, plus 8 inches for the pleats (31” waistband = 7.75” + 8” = 15.75“.) This is the top edge of the skirt. For the bottom edge of the skirt draw a parallel line from the top edge with a gap the distance you decided the skirt length to be 9.5 inches long - this should be wide enough for you to walk in the skirt without a split in the back. Cut a second piece the same.

Step 5: Cut the centre back opening by cutting along the halfway fold THROUGH ONE PIECE ONLY! You can do this with pinking shears, or overlock or bind the back seams.

Step 6: French seam the skirt side seams - a French seam is a double stitched seam, start with the wrong sides of the fabric together and stitch a half centimetre seam, then turn the fabric to have the right sides together and stitch a second line with a 1 centimetre seam.

Step 7: Pin the pleats. Start about 2 inches from the centre front of the skirt and pin 4 pleats each side of the front and back, each pleat should be about 1 inch and they should be about 2 inches apart. Turn the pleat folds to the middle of the skirt (ie.The centre front and centre back.)

Step 8: Pin the skirt to the waistband with right sides together.

Step 9: Sew your waistband to your skirt. Then fold the waistband over and pin to cover the waist seam. Hand stitch this in place.
Step 10: Sew your zip. A concealed zip is best to use with this skirt. Start by sewing the zip to the right hand edge, then fasten the zip and mark the waist seam so you can line up waistband. Sew the other side, then sew the back seam together. To finish fold over the tops of the zips behind the seams.

You can hem the skirt by turning under or binding to finish. And there you have your skirt! I would love to see photos of your skirts on, hear your feedback and answer any questions you have.

Anna Vickery 2013 Ó

Thursday, 8 August 2013

DIY - How to Make a Sun Top

This is a patternless tutorial for a Suntop with spaghetti straps and ties at the back.

1m lightweight cotton fabric
2 x 22cm pieces of ½” wide elastic
4 x 75cm pieces of bias binding
Matching thread
Sewing machine
Pins/safety pin
Tape measure
Tailors chalk

Step 1: Measure - measure your bust in inches, add 6” for ease and seam allowances, divide this measurement in half to get the width of your suntop. (ie.38” bust, add 6”=44”/2 = 22”)

Step 2: Cut - Press your fabric. Fold your meter of fabric in half with the selvedges/finished edges on each side, so you can use the full width of fabric if required, by 50cm length. Mark out the width of your top (ie.22”) and cut, then cut along the fold of your fabric to get 2 large rectangles of fabric. Leave the 2 rectangles of fabric on top of each other and fold in half widthways.
Using tailors chalk draw an armhole on the selvedge edge approx 2” in from the top edge by 6” deep, curve the bottom edge of the armhole. Cut the armholes out, because the fabric is folded together you can cut all 4 layers at once.

Step 3: Elastic - On both pieces of fabric with the inside of the fabric towards you fold down a 1.5cm hem on the top edge and press, fold down another 2cm pin and press again. Sew across close to the fold to make a channel for the elastic.
Attach a large safety pin to the end of one of the elastic pieces and pull the safety pin/elastic through the stitched channel, pin to the top at the other end so it doesn’t pull through! Stitch both ends in place making sure to backstitch well to secure the elastic.

Step 4:  Side seams - Iron in half 2 of the 75cm pieces of bias binding and stitch along them to make the back ties (you could also use ribbon for this.) Pin the ties approx 6” from the bottom of the top at the back on both sides on the right side of the fabric, the ends of the ties will get sandwiched into the side seams.
French seam the side seams. A French seam is a double stitched seam, start with the wrong sides of the fabric together and stitch a half centimetre seam, then turn the fabric to have the right sides together and stitch a second line with a 1 centimetre seam to conceal the raw edges.

Step 5: Straps - Find the middle of one of the remaining pieces of bias binding, pin this to the underarm seam on the inside. Open up the fold on the binding and stitch to anchor it to the armhole edge of the top on the inside, repeat this on the other side of the top. Then starting at one end fold over the binding and stitch all the way along, concealing the edges of the armhole when you get to it. Repeat this on the other side of the top, knot the ends of the binding and tie to create straps.

Step 6: Hem - Double turn, pin and stitch a 1.5cm hem at the bottom of your top - you can embellish your top in lots of ways using trims or adding extra details. The top would also work as a childs/adults dress or longer line tunic top, if doing this you may need to make the rectangles of fabric wider at the bottom edge to fit over your hips.

Anna Vickery 2013 Ó

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Sew Your Own RaRa Mini Skirt

   DIY - Sew Your Own RaRa Mini Skirt

This is a patternless tutorial for a  RaRa style mini shirt with 2 gathered tiers and an elasticated waist.

80cm spotty cotton fabric (114cm wide)
30cm plain cotton fabric (114cm wide)
75cm of ½” wide elastic
Matching thread
Sewing machine
Pins/safety pin
Tape measure/ruler
Scissors/tailors chalk

Step 1: Cut - With the width of the fabric folded in half, cut a 20cm long strip and a 10cm long strip from the plain fabric and 4 equal 20cm long sections from the spotty fabric.


Step 2: Join Tiers - Join 2 of the spotty 20cm strips together to make a very long strip of fabric - place the right sides together, pin and sew using a 1.5 cm seam allowance. Repeat for the other 2 spotty sections.

Step 3: Gather - To gather stitch using the longest straight stitch on your sewing machine (no.4) and stitch about 10mm from the edge of the fabric. Do not backstitch and leave the thread ends long. Stitch along each edge of one spotty strip, sewing 2 lines through 1 layer of fabric - fold the other spotty strip in half and sew along the raw edge, sewing through 2 layers at once.
Gently pull up one of the thread ends to gather the fabric, so the strip ends up the same width as the 10cm long strip of plain fabric (114cm.)

Step 4: Bottom Tier - We are going to make the skirt from the bottom up, you are going to need lots of pins! * Remember to change the sewing machine back to a normal stitch length*
Pin both sides of the section which isn’t folded with right sides together to the 10cm long plain strip of fabric, sandwich the plain fabric between the gathered spotty fabric edges - the plain fabric should stay flat and the pins should be at 90 degree angles to the fabric edge. Sew all the way along using a 1.5cm seam allowance. Turn the fabric through (this is sometimes called ‘bagging out’) and there you have the bottom tier of your skirt!

Step 5: Top Tier - Pin the second (folded) tier of your skirt in place on the right side of the skirt, line up the top of the plain 10cm section with the gathered spotty edge, pin the 20cm long plain strip of fabric to the inside - this is going to be a double stitched seam. Stitch along through all 4 layers of fabric using a 1.5cm seam allowance. Un pin and flip the 20cm top section over the seam allowances and gathering to cover the raw edges, sew along the seam again.

Step 6: Back Seam - Because the back seam edges are the ‘selvedge’ edges of the fabric they do not need finishing (handy!) With right sides together line up the tiers and pin the sides of the skirt together. Sew using a 1.5cm seam allowance, iron the back seam open.

Step 7: Waist - Using an iron make a double fold on the top edge of the fabric, pin and sew to form a channel for the elastic. When sewing leave a 5cm gap for the elastic to go in through. Attach the elastic to a large safety pin and pull it through. Adjust the elastic to fit, tie it off and sew the gap closed.

Decorate your skirt with any trimmings you fancy and style with leggings or thick tights, heels or trainers.

Anna Vickery 2013 Ó