Saturday, November 8, 2014

In the sewing room...

So I've started doing a little of what might be called "selfish sewing" - that means I'm making something just for me, not for someone else, for sale, whatever.  And it's nothing fancy, but I'm pretty pleased with the results.

Doing some window shopping on Net-a-Porter, I came across this shirt, and really liked the idea of the ruffle peeking out from the bottom.

Not so much the price tag!  I think it was around $50 or so, and I just can't see that.  So the creative juices started flowing, and here's what I started with:

A length of pretty chiffon and a thrifted long-sleeve tee.  Chiffon I think was less than $5 a yard, and the tee was $2.  So I'm in it for $7 so far.

My first step is to measure the hem of the tee.  Remember, it stretches, and you'll use that stretch later.  After measuring, I added about 12" to the number, allowing 6" of stretch for front and 6" for the back.  You'll see why.

I figured I wanted about 3" of print showing under the shirt.  I could have gone wider, this was just a number I thought would work nicely.  Take in to account the inch or so from the bottom of the tee to the hem stitching, and a tiny bit that will be serged off.  Cut a band DOUBLE that.  So 3" to show, and 1"-ish for hem, and I cut an 8" wide section of chiffon.  You can tear it also, that way you are straight on the grain.  (Note - depending on your yardage, you may need to sew two pieces together to make one long band, that's what I had to do.  Just make sure the pieces are even for front and back.)

Then fold it in half, WRONG sides together!  You can press it if you like.  Pin together.  Notice the seam line, this was because my length of chiffon wasn't long enough to go around my wide butt the hem of the tee.  Just make sure they're two equal lengths for front and back, you'll see in a sec.

Handy with a serger?  Then you can probably skip pins.  If not, remember to REMOVE the pins before you get to the mechanism!

Now it's time to pin!  Place the serged edge along the hem on the inside of the tee.  If you used two sections of chiffon, make sure seams meet.

You will have more band than tee.  The way I did this was 1) pin each side seam.  Stretch to where the tee is the same as the band and 2) pin the center.  Then 3) pin halfway between the side and center... and so on.

Clear as mud?  Lookey here.

As you sew the band, you're going to gently stretch the tee to take up the slack.  And this is easy, because you have the twin-needle hem stitching as a guide, just stitch right in the middle of the two.  Slowly.  Really.

And that's it!  I also made a matching infinity scarf (that's my next tutorial) and wore the outfit to church the next morning.  Compliments all around!  Any questions, let me know and I'll answer the best I can.  Maybe a version in lace next?

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