hand

Up-Cycle Old Jeans to Cropped Denim Jacket

Hi everyone

I haven’t had much time to do these tutorials as often as I would like to, so please accept my apologies. I hope you are all well and enjoying the sunny days that are coming our way in the UK (for those of us in the UK). So as I sat thinking, what can I do to make up for this shortage of new tutorials, it hit me that a nice up-cycle would be a good idea and on that note I stormed my husbands wardrobe with a mission (as you do). Tunde (my DH) has an abundance of jeans he just doesn’t wear any more so naturally I decided that this was the garment to pinch. I really wanted to use just the fabric in the jeans so the challenge I set myself was to come up with something stylish and wearable without adding any other fabric. Here is what I ended up with

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but I’m really interested to see what everyone else would do differently, or if you have ever done a jeans up-cycle please let me see!! In the meantime, here’s the “how to” for this one folks.

You will need:

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A pair of jeans (preferably a large pair, men or women’s as long as it will have enough fabric in it)

Scissors

Chalk

Ruler

Measuring Tape

Seam ripper or Razor Blade

Steam Iron

Sewing Machine

Measurements needed:

Back, bust, waist, shoulder to bust, shoulder to waist and round sleeve

I have a video on how to measure yourself http://chinelobally.com/2014/01/16/sew-essential-how-to-measure-yourself/

Step 1

Using your tape, measure and mark 0.75″ below the waistband all the way around, cut along this line and keep the waist band to one side (measure the thickness of the band and make note of this measurement)

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Step 2

Using your seam ripper or razor blade, carefully cut away the threads that hold the back patch pockets to detach them, set these aside.

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Step 3 

Working on one of the back legs, use your ruler to draw a straight horizontal line as close to the top as possible; this is to give you a straight edge to start building your measurements on

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Step 4

from the straight line, measure downwards 9″ and mark (this is a reference mark)

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minus the thickness of the waist band from the shoulder to waist measurement and mark this from the top as you just did previously. (this is your second reference mark)

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The outer side seam of the leg you are working on is going to be your centre back, so when you do your markings for these steps make sure that you work from that edge in towards the inner leg seams

 

Quarter your bust measurement+2″ and mark this horizontally along the 9″ reference mark you made with a small cross. This is now the bust line

quarter your waist measurement+2″ and mark this horizontally along the second reference mark, again with a small cross

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Half the back measurement+0.5″ and mark this along the top from the centre back.

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From the cross at the bust line, draw a 2″ straight horizontal line towards the centre back

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Draw a curved line that joins the mark along the top line to the beginning of the 2″ line you just drew

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To create the neck hole, measure 3.5″ along the top line from the centre back and 1.25″ down the centre back, draw a curve that joins these 2 makings

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draw a straight line that joins the 2 crosses at the side, and a straight horizontal line along the bottom that extends from the centre back to the second cross this is now your waist seam.

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Cut this out; be very careful when cutting, make sure you only cut one layer and do not cut off the seam allowance in the jeans originally because you will use this when sewing the back pieces together. lay this piece on the other leg in the same position you cut it out from and cut around it.

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Now flip your jeans over to the front, lay you piece on one of the front legs and cut around this, this is now one half of the front. take this piece and deepen the curve in the armhole

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now lay this on the other front leg and cut around it.

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Step 5

measure the crossover in the waist band, half this and make note of this

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cross your front pieces over in the centre to replicate the crossover in the waist band now draw a neckline that suites your preference

 

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cut this out and you are ready to place your darts

Step 6

line up your front and back pieces, measure across your breast points (apex/nipple), half this measurement, and fold your fabric along the waist seam at this measurement. press to create a definite crease; this is now your dart line. (the yellow line you see in the picture below is the cross over point in the front)

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from the highest point of the shoulder seam, mark the shoulder to bust measurement along the crease. place one finger In the deepest part of the front arm hole curve and another finger on the bust point you just marked and fold across these to fingers to create a diagonal crease that extends from the arm hole to the dart line, press this.

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you will now have a crease that resembles the yellow line in the picture below

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the dart from the arm hole will be 1″ deep and 3″ long and so will the dart in the front, when you draw them, slightly curve the lines,

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This is one continuous dart so when you sew it you must start from the arm hole and once you reach the end of the 3″ do not sew off the fabric; rather continue right on the edge of the crease and when the creases intercept, pick up the machine foot with the needle still down, pivot the fabric so that you will now be working on the front crease, keep sewing close to the edge till you come to the dart lines you drew and continue sewing along the dart line .

The Back darts are 1″ deep and 12″ long

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once you have drawn and sew your darts sew the back pieces together in the centre using the seam allowance that was originally in the jeans

Step 7

attach the front pieces to either side of the back piece with a 0.5″ seam allowance

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working at the waist seam of the bodice, measure the length from the centre back seam to the centre front

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Fold the waist band in half, measuring from the front, mark the measurement you just took from the waist seam of the bodice. Add 0.5″ to this as seam allowance.

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Cut off the excess from the waist band, sew it back together with the 0.5″ seam allowance.

sew the waist band to the bodice, matching up the centre back seams

Step 8

With your tape, measure the entire neck hole

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cut out a piece from the jeans that is 10″ thick and half the neck hole measurement +0.5″  long. Fold this in half so that it becomes 5″ thick, cut a slight slant on one end. I should like this

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repeat this so that you have 2 of these

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sew these together in the middle with a 0.25″ seam allowance , and sew the slanted edges with a 0.25″ allowance.

Turn it out press and sew this around the neck hole .

to make the sleeves have a look at my post on sleeves ( http://chinelobally.com/2014/02/04/busy-bee-how-to-cut-a-sleeve-without-a-pattern/ )

As usual guys if you have any questions just contact me and I will do my best to clarify for you, i would really love to see your attempt at this and would appreciate any pictures.

On another note, there are very few spaces left on my up-coming maxi dress work shop. Click on this link to book your space!!

https://www.kazoova.com/activity/454/

Till next time

Happy sewing

xxx

 

 

 

 

Hi-low Top Tutorial – The “hide it all but still chic” Top

Hi guys!!!

Its been a long time since I posted a tutorial, but it has all been for very good reasons, aside from expanding my waistline with one to many treats (as you do), I have had a lot on and promise to spill the beans all in good time. Talking about expanded waistlines, dont you just hate it when we get those sudden bursts of sunny days that you haven’t conditioned your body for? you know, that “OMG summer is here and I still haven’t kicked these kgs” moment. Well, worry not!! I have taken it upon myself to provide you with this tutorial for an uber cute top that will hide all your wintry sins; yes I am that considerate (and I have an occasion to attend tomorrow, the sun is shining and quite frankly my summer body isnt ready, but I still gotta look cute, O the dilemmas of a Lady!!!) .

Ok, so here’s what we are making:

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You will need;

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Fabric

Fusible interfacing

scissors

Pinking sheers

Measuring tape

Ruler

large piece of paper (I have brown paper roll but even newspaper will do)

Chalk and a pencil (with a rubber at the end)

Steam iron.

Measurements needed

Back

Bust

shoulder to bust

shoulder to waist

shoulder to hips

Round sleeve, Round Elbow

Sleeve length, Elbow length

Method

Essentially your piece of paper is going to be used to make a template that will be laid on the bias folded fabric; this is what gives you the voluptuous fall in the back of the top; however, since I always cut the front and back of a bodice together, we will make a template for the front and back in the same manner. I would normally do all what I’m about to show you directly onto the fabric but I have chosen to do a template because of how we will angle it on the folded fabric.

The piece of paper you are using needs to be shoulder to hip measurement long and half the bust measurement +6″ wide. Once you have cut this out, fold it in half and you are ready to start. Note: remember you always work from the centre out, unless otherwise stated.

Step 1

From the top corner, measure 3.5″ along the top edge, then along the folded edge measure down 5.5″ and join these two marks with a rounded semi “v”; this is your front neck hole. Working again at the top edge mark half your back measurement+ 3/8″

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Step 2; place the top of your tape on the top edge of the paper measure down 7″ and mark. then mark your vertical measurements+0.5″ (shoulder to waist and shoulder to hips)

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These marks will now serve as reference points, along which you will place your horizontal measurements.

Step 3; along the line of your first reference point (the 7″ down mark) mark a quarter of your bust measurement+2″. Along the last reference point (shoulder to hips, this should actually be the bottom edge of the paper), mark a quarter of your bust measurement+3.5″.

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Step 4; From the bottom centre corner, measure up 2.5″ , from here curve a line down that meets with the mark along the bottom edge. Now join the horizontal measurement marks with a straight line; it should look like this.

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Step 5; At the top of the straight line draw a straight line 2″ in towards the centre, then from the furthest marking from the centre, along the top edge, draw a deep curve the joins the 2″ line you just made. It should now resemble the second picture.

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mark 0.5″ along the top of the curve and slant a straight line that meets the corner of the neck hole; this will form your shoulder slope, like so

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Step 6; return to the 2″ line you drew and repeat the same, exactly 2″ below it

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Step 7; back at the shoulder slope (outer edge) draw a shallower curve that meets the second 2″ line.  Inside the neck hole, draw a shallower curve that will form the back neck hole, this really shouldn’t be more than 2″ deep. return to the

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Step 8; You are now ready to cut! please pay close attention to this statement; only cut around all outer lines. This is because you are cutting front and back pieces together and not all lines are the same, as you can see.

when you have cut out your pieces it should look like this;

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cut along the fold, and separate the pieces. Transfer the armhole markings unto the back piece, from the front piece, cut this out, then cut the front neck hole, erase the bottom half of the back armhole curve and cut the deeper front armhole curve.

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Templates done and ready to be used. The back piece has the higher neck line and lower armhole, mark them accordingly so you don’t get confused. Believe me, this is a very easy and annoying mistake to make.

Step 9; for the back piece, fold the fabric at a 45 degree angle (raw edge folder over to line up with selvage edge)

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Lay your back template piece on the fabric as shown in the picture (note; the centre of the template is facing the folded edge),

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along the bottom draw a curve that is lower at the folded edge, and slopes upwards to meet the bottom outer edge of the template. It should resemble this:

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cut this out and set aside.

Step 10; Fold another piece of fabric as you normally would if you were cutting out a pattern piece, line the centre of  your front template with the fold and cut out.

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This top will need some side bust darts, although the top is not fitted, darts will help it hang better on the body. To create the darts, place the top of your tape measure at the highest point of your shoulder seam, measure down your shoulder to bust measurement and mark. along the side seam place a mark about 1″ lower than the mark you just made;

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draw a straight line that connects these two marks, then press along this line:

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Unfold the piece and use your iron to invert the right side facing crease. these are your dart lines (the centre of your darts), use your tape to measure a dart that is 1″ deep and 5.5″ long, draw this with chalk:

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set this aside.

Step 11: To make the facing for the front and back pieces, lay the template pieces on the fold of fabric cut right around the neck, shoulder and armhole, stopping 1.5″ beyond the armhole, along the side seam. lift the template up and draw an arch that curves towards the neckline.

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Cut this out and use the pieces as templates for cutting the matching fusible interfacing.  Fuse the interfacing to the facing, snip along the bottom edge with pinging sheers, turn up a single 3/8″ hem and sew.

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Construction

Step 12; sew your darts

Step 13. Lay the facing over the relevant piece, right sided facing each other, pin (if you must) and sew with a 3/8 seam allowance. Press the seam allowance towards the facing and top stitch on the right side of the facing (this is done right at the edge of  the seam). press

step 14. You will now treat the facing and the top pieces as one. Lay the front piece on top of the back piece, right sides facing inwards, pin the side seams

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sew with a 0.5″ seam allowance.

step 15; open the shoulder seams so that the right side of the facings are facing each other and the right sides of the front and back piece are facing each other, sew it like this:

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your top will now look like this inside out:

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Finish the hem by doing a double turned hem, I thing this is the best way for this top.

for sleeves follow my tutorial on sleeves, the link is: http://chinelobally.com/2014/02/04/busy-bee-how-to-cut-a-sleeve-without-a-pattern/

sew in your sleeves and there you have it, the most forgiving top ever.

I have added a leather appliqué to the neckline of mine and also added shoulder pads for extra sharpness. I’m thinking, black skinny jeans and heels?.

I really hope give it a go, and please send me pictures of your completed garments, I get sew excited (sorry, I couldn’t help that) when I see what other people have done. As ever if you have any questions just send them over and I will try my best to answer.

Have a blissful week

xxx

Thank you all xxx!!!

Hi Stitch-hearts (lamest pun ever but I like it)

Its been a while since I posted on my blog but I’m sure everyone can appreciate how hectic it has all been, but I am giving my scouts honours word that I will be posting a new tutorial more regularly.

Firstly, and most importantly, I will like to say a huge thank you to all of you who have supported my sewing bee journey, I am so grateful for all the kind messages that have kept me very busy responding. to all the new followers, welcome to my blog and I hope it will be a useful resource for you.

I really felt the support of the British public and  am so pleased with how my approach to sewing has been received. Doing sewing bee is an experience I will never forget and I am so thankful to have been short-listed for the programme. I know the application for next years series has closed but I will strongly recommend anyone considering taking part in the one after to go for it.

Being in a room full of people who shared my passion for sewing was amazing and something I had never experienced before. All the contestants were fantastic; a really good bunch and I loved every minute of it.

When it came down to the final and it was just Heather, Tamara and myself, I must admit that it induced some bitter-sweet feelings; I was proud to be competing with such experienced sewists in the finals but was also afraid of that same fact. I have to say that losing the crown to Heather, was not a loss at all, technically, Heather is a fantastic sewist and she is highly skilled, she deserved her win!

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

I’m sure everyone remembers my tie melt down. Gosh that was a very wordy pattern and not being a pattern girl it completely threw me. Prior to the sewing bee I had never used a pattern, but when I was confronted with my first pattern for the show, I relied heavily on the pictures for direction. So sorry to all those who were disappointed with the melt down, but hey, I never have to make a tie EVER again (I say that now but something inside me tells me I will soon post up a tutorial on making a tie freehand).

I love making glamorous gowns so designing my finale dress was O so joyous to say the least. I have to say a massive thank you to my bestie Rose for being my model, I still cant believe it, she doesn’t even do phone cameras so imagine my utter shock when she walked in to a room full of broadcasting cameras for a BBC programme, talk about conquering your fears!! Extreme! The dress looked amazing on Rose and I was very happy with it.

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Wish I had some more time to press out all those creases though.

After the show aired on Tuesday I have had hundreds of emails about workshops so I have added a couple more dates for London!!! the link for these is below but they are filling up fast so if you are interested get in there as soon as possible

https://www.kazoova.com/activity/407/

I have also had loads of interest from readers and viewers outside the UK and I am working on ways to get you free-handing so once things have been confirmed I will  put up a post to update everyone, but there are loads of exciting things happening so expect some good stuff  😉

Have a wonderful day

With Love

Chinelo

xxx

Exciting News!!! First workshop Ready

Hello stitcher

I hope everyone has had a good week and are eagerly awaiting tomorrow’s sewing bee.

My sewing bee freehand antics seems to have a few of you interested in learning to do this also, so due to popular demand I have decided to set up a workshop to teach just this.

The workshop will hold on Saturday the 5th of April from 13:00-18:00, in the very trendy Bow area of East London.  This is an all inclusive 5hr workshop; all the fabrics, equipments, haberdasheries  you need to make the top/dress will be included and I have taken it upon myself to make sure you have unlimited tea/coffee and biscuits (O what a hard task!), who knows I may even bake a cake ,not promising though.

There will only be 12 in the class because I want to make sure that you get as much of my attention as possible.

This workshop does require you to have a bit of sewing machine experience and the ability to sew a straight line, I am offering a 30min sewing machine refresher, just before the workshop begins, because I know that some of us have had our machines gathering dust for a looooooooong time and have become a bit rusty with operating it. This is at no extra cost, so if you feel you need this just show up at the venue half an hour before the workshop is due to start.

We will be making this peplum top:

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or you may wish to extend the length of the peplum to make a skater style dress, whichever you choose to make on the day, it will be beautifully fitted to you and a stylish addition to your spring/summer wardrobe.

Here’s the link to book the workshop //www.kazoova.com/activity/376/

Hope to see you there!!!!

Summer Dress with Full Skirt; Juniors Edition.

Hey Guys

Hope you enjoyed the bee. This week I will be showing you how to make a little girl’s summer dress with a full skirt (no pattern of course). This is truly a deviation from my usual escapade so I feel the need to explain why: there are two reasons really, 1. its juniors week on the sewing bee so in honour of that and 2. one of my god-daughters watched the preview for this weeks show last week and was traumatised by the JOKE!!! I made about me not liking kids, this 7 year old sweetheart actually refused to go to sleep that night until she understood what I meant by that comment (which was a joke)! so I have decided to dedicate this weeks post to my little rug-rats. I have made them these cute little summer dresses, now these little divas are ready for some sunshine

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Here’s what you’ll need:

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Measurement – back, chest, waist, shoulder to chest, shoulder to waist, shoulder to hem.

Tape

Fabric (preferable a nice cotton fabric)

Something to mark your fabric with (chalk, biro)

Scissors

Ruler

Iron

Pins

Zip (I used an invisible one)

Bias binding

Method

Step 1: Cut a piece of fabric that is the width of the largest measurement on the bodice+6″ and the length of the shoulder to waist measurement+1″

Step2: fold in half width wise and press, then on the open ended edge (opposite the fold) fold 1″ in towards the fold then bring the fold over to line up with the edge you just created. Press. These are now your centre front and centre back bodice.

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step 3: half the back measurement and mark this along the top edge starting from the centre front and back edge

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Step 4: from the top edge (working vertically) mark the shoulder to chest measurement+0.5″

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Step 5: Along this point you just made, mark a quarter of the chest measurement + 1″

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Step 6: Back at the top again! measure the neck hole as wide and as deep as you like in the top corner of the centre front and back (I did, 3.5″in and 3″ down.

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Step7: Join these to marks with a curve to make the neck hole

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Step 8: Along the bottom edge mark a quarter of the waist measurement+1.5″

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Step 9: using a ruler join the chest and waist mark, then freehand a curve from the chest mark to the back mark along the top edge, it should look like this:

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Step 10: Measure 0.5″ down from top of the curved line, then with your ruler slanted from the top edge of the neck hole seam, draw a straight line to the mark you just made

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now cut this out and separate the front and back pieces.

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Step 11: measure 3.5″ in from the centre edge and fold and press (this is your dart lines)

 

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Invert the dart lines that are outwards facing on the right side of the fabric, now you are ready to draw your darts

Step 12: starting at the bottom edge of your folded dart line , measure a dart that is 0.5″ deep and 3.5″ to 4″ long

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do this for the front and back bodice pieces (with the back pieces you can make the darts 1 or 2″ longer)

sew and press darts.

Step 13: now you are going to make make the circle skirt for the dress, quarter the waist measurement. Get a piece of paper, take your tape and make a quarter circular curve in the corner, mark on one edge where the tape ends.

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place the top corner point of the 0″ mark of your tape on the top corner of your piece of paper, measure down to the length of the mark you made (this is now your reference length), now pivot your tape (keeping the top corner in the same position) and mark the reference length in intervals:

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Join these marks with a smooth curve and using your tape measure make sure that the curve is a quarter of the waist measurement+(0.25″ to 3/8″). if the quarter circle is too big or to small, shorten or lengthen the reference length and repeat until  you get a close enough match to the waist measurement.

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Cut this out and reserve as a template.

Step 14: Minus the length of the bodice from the shoulder to hem measurement then add the length of the reference to this, (this is now your skirt length)

Step 15: cut 1st piece of fabric double the skirt length+2″ width wise by skirt length, length wise, fold in half, then fold 1″ in towards the folded edge and press (this is the centre back zip allowance). Cut 2nd piece of fabric double the skirt length width wise by skirt length, length wise. fold in half, press and line the fold with the zip allowance.

Step 16: working directly on the fabric, repeat the pivot action, only this time make it the skirt length measurement. them place your template in the top corner and cut around the 2 quarter circles

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Step 17: working on the back skirt piece measure down 8″ from the waist seam in the zip allowance, then sew that down to the hem

 

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Step 18: attach the skirt to the bodice making sure the centre folds line up (I often start sewing from the centre)

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step 19: Insert your zip

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I am adding an organza belt to mine (I think it’s really cute in little girls dresses), to do this, cut a long enough strip of fabric to go around the child’s waist and tie a nice bow, cut it in half and fold each strip in half  length way, sew around the raw edges leaving one shorter end open on each strip. Turn them out and iron. Attach the raw ends to the side seams of the back of the dress like this:

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Lay the front of the dress on the back of the dress, right sides facing. Make sure the waist seams match up, sew the side seams with a 0.5″ seam allowance and the shoulder seam with a 3/8 seam allowance, I finished off my neck and arm hole with bias binging and did a rolled hem.

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This is what my little girlies looked like in their dresses

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As usual I would love to see how you get on, please send me your pictures, questions, comments, and suggestions

xxxx

Mock Wrap Skirt

Hi there Stitchers,

GARMENT OF THE WEEK!!!!!!!!!! so so so excited and I absolutely loved making that dress. Velvet is high up there in my list of fabrics I love and I absolutely adore gem tones hence that rich purple and emerald green.

This week on the sewing be we tackled stretch fabric and although a lot of people don’t like working with stretchy fabric, in it’s defence, it does produce some beautiful garments. I love the way it sculpts itself around the body, its just totally delicious.

Inspired by my Mock wrap dress on Sewing Bee, I have decided to do a tutorial based on the skirt of the dress. Here goes!!

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You will need:

Fabric (width: your waist+14″ Height: the length you wish your skirt to be)

Tape

Scissors

Something to mark your fabric

Iron

Contrasting thread and needle.

Method:

Take the fabric and fold it in half width-wise, and fold in one inch on the selvedge edge (this is your zip allowance);

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*Note (if you are using a 2 way stretch fabric, then make sure the stretch is going across your body, so test which way the fabric stretches before cutting it

along the top mark half of your waist measurement, then mark 5″ in towards the zip allowance

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On the folded edge, measure down 7″ from the top corner and mark

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At the bottom corner of the zip allowance edge, measure 4″ towards the fold:

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Working from the top edge again, freehand a curve that joins the first mark with the mark you make 7″ down from the top corner.

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now draw a curve from the 7″ point to the 4″ point along the bottom edge that looks like this: and cut it out.

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from the top of the zip allowance edge measure and mark the length of you zip. From that mark sew down the remaining of the zip allowance so you only have a short opening at the top to fit your zip into.

unfold the skirt and hem right around the edge (you can hem it or use bias binding, I have used bias binding).

Do a gathering stitch from the second notch at the top to the end :

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gather up the gathering stitch so that the gathered edge is the same distance as the distance between the 2 top notches.:

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fold the gathered edged in so that the inner start of the gathering meets in the middle (this is now the centre front of the skirt), pin in place. it will look like this:

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Sew from gathered edge to gathered edge, to secure on place. now you are ready to do the waist band

Cut out a strip of fabric 4″ length way, and you waist measurement + 2″ width way. cut out an identical strip of fusible interfacing and fuse to the strip

Fold the strip in half length way and press. Then turn in 3/8″ along the width and press:

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*notice I have pen marked the centre of the waist band, this will be batched with the centre front of the skirt

 

At both ends of the waist band fold in 1″ and press like so:

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This 1″ will not start folded this is just to create a crease for matching up with the zip allowance fold on the skirt.

 

With the skirt inside out still, lay the waist band on the skirt with the centre points matched up.

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secure with pins matching the seams together at the zip allowance fold and sew right along the entire edge with a 3/8″ seam allowance:

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Turn the skirt right side out and bring the folded edge over and in in place like this:

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do a hand sewn basting stitch all the way around the waistband then take the pins out

IMG_2255

 

Now top stitch right on the inner edge if the waist band, insert you choice of zip at the back and hey presto.

This skirt will only work in a fabric with a good amount of stretch.

If you don’t want a skirt why not use a pattern you like for the bodice (or stay tuned to learn how to cut a bodice freehand soon) and attach the skirt to it, omitting the waistband.

As usual I would loooove to see your attempt please post them up so I can have a look. Feel free to leave a comment below and ask me questions about anything you don’t understand. Apologies for the picture quality, I’m working on getting a new camera.

Till next week, have fun sewing

xxx

 

The Shirt Challenge: My Giant Bow Boob-Tube Tutorial

Hey everyone.

Hope your all as excited about the sewing bee as I am. A massive thank you to you all for the kind words and support, it has been great encouragement for me and I just wanna give you all massive hugs. On a downer, it was sad to see simon go this week, he was such a great character and its really encouraging to see a young man  interested in sewing; I say that like I’m miles older than him when I’m only a year older, but you know what I mean.

This week my favourite challenge was the 2 shirt challenge, and I am going to show you how to make the top I made with the big draping bow shoulder detail. This one:

IMG_2122

I have been eyeing one of my husband’s old(ish) shirts for a while now so as he isn’t around this has presented me with the perfect opportunity to pinch it, so I have done just that, and check this, it has a stripy pattern (O the joys of re-living sewing bee days).

You will need:IMG_2036

A large men’s shirt (preferably stolen from your spouse or partner, dads and brothers also count)

Fuse-able interfacing

Bias binding

Ribbon

Ruler

Pen/chalk/something to mark your fabric with

Scissors

Steam Iron

Sewing machine

Needle and tread.

Your measurements ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkywf2kGthg&feature=youtu.be )

The very first thing to do is iron the shirt so that it is easy to work with. Fold the back and front of the shirt in half so that the side seams meet in the middle and press. like this,

IMG_2039

 

bring the centre front fold (where the buttons are) over so that it meets with the centre back fold

IMG_2040

 

Place the 25″ mark on your tape at the bottom centre edge of the shirt, and mark the shirt a quarter of an inch above your “shoulder to upper bust” measurement. Mine “shoulder to upperbust measurement is 6.75″ so I have marked my shirt at 6.5”.  Then put a mark 1″ below that mark (so for mine the is a mark at 6.5″ and 7.5″; this mark is where the top will dip at the chest so you can make yours as low as you want but bear in mind that you want a button right at the top of the centre front or else it just won’t work)

IMG_2043

 

from the mark you just made for your “shoulder to upperbust” measure 4.5″ inwards and mark; as belowIMG_2047

 

Now place the 25″ mark on your tape at the bottom of the centre again and mark your “shoulder to waist ” measurement (mine is 16.5″),  and at 9″ mark on your shirt. These marks are your waist line and your bust line

IMG_2049 IMG_2048

 

 

Divide your waist and bust measurements into 4 and mark them along the waist and bust line accordingly, (add 3″ to the divided waist measurement and 2″ to the divided bust measurement before marking; so it will be “bust/4+2” and “waist/4+3”) This is sewing so at some point you will need to do some maths 😦 sorry guys)

IMG_2051 IMG_2053

 

 

Divide your hip measurement by 4 + 2″ and mark along the bottom of the shirt.

IMG_2054

 

Now use a ruler to join the tree marks you just made

IMG_2055

 

From the bustline mark, measure 2″ in towards the centre and mark

IMG_2057

 

Using a ruler or freehand if you like, draw lines that join all the marks along the top. It should look like this: Note the button right at the top.

IMG_2058 IMG_2060

 

Cut this out and separate the front and back of the top.

IMG_2061 IMG_2062

 

Take the back piece and fold down the top of it to create a straight edge, press and cut along the crease line, like this:

IMG_2063 IMG_2064

 

Now measure 4.5″ from the centre back in towards the side seams, mark and fold the top length ways on this mark as pictured below: press to create definite crease lines

IMG_2065 IMG_2066

Do he same with the front piece. These creases you just ironed in will create your dart lines.

Unfold the front and back pieces and invert the crease lines that are facing outwards, you do this because you will be drawing in your darts on the inside of the top.

Take your back piece, working on the dart lines, mark 1″ inwards along the waist line. from that mark measure 6″ up and down, slanting towards the fold. Use a ruler to join these marks. like this:

IMG_2078 IMG_2079 IMG_2080IMG_2081

 

Now take your front pieces and do the same, but on the top corners of the dart lines measure 1″ in from the fold and slant a line 3.5″ long down towards the fold:

IMG_2069 IMG_2070

 

Again use a ruler and join the marks so that it looks like this:

IMG_2082

 

now sew along the darts you have drawn for the front and back pieces, you will find that the front piece needs rounding off at the top of the dart, simply fold the front piece in half, take your scissors and round off the top like this:

IMG_2084 IMG_2085

Give the front and back darts a good press. Use some bias binding of your choice to finish off the top edges, lay the back and front pieces on top of each other, right sides facing, line up the side seams and pin to secure together.

Working from the centre, mark a quarter of your bust measurement along the bust line, do the same for the waist and hips:

IMG_2090 IMG_2091

 

Using a ruler Join these marks. It should look like this:

IMG_2093

 

Flip the shirt round and repeat. Sew along the lines you created in both side seams. Test your top for fit and make any necessary adjustments by letting out or taking in the side seams (always equal amounts on both sides).

Once you are happy with the fit attach a ribbon over one shoulder from the highest point of the front to the back (do this whilst wearing the top so that it fits over your shoulder perfectly

IMG_2119 IMG_2120

 

 

For the bow I decided to use another fabric because my husband would notice if 2 of his shirts went missing.

The size of the bow is completely up to you. It is made using 4 identical strips of fabric and 2 strips of fuseable interfacing.

fuse the interfacing to the fabric’s wrong side  for 2 of the pieces. Lay these pieces over the other 2 strips of fabric right sides facing. like this:

IMG_2110 then sew sown the longer side seams:IMG_2111

Turn the strips out and press, then finish off the top and bottom edge with some bias binding or by folding in 0.5″ and top stitching along the edge:

IMG_2112        IMG_2113

 

lay the strips of side by side, off centre. Pinch the middle of the strips to create the bow. You can either use a sewing machine to secure this or hand stitch:

IMG_2114 IMG_2115

 

Wrap a bit of the ribbon around the centre of the bow and secure with a couple of hand stitches

IMG_2117

 

Drape the bow on the ribbon over the shoulder and secure with a few discrete hand stitches, so that it holds the shape you want it to.

Have fun creating your own, oooh and try some contrasting fabrics and trimmings (for the Tamaras out there).

Please send me pictures of your own project and place your comments in the form below.

Have a lovely day and God bless xxxx