Tutorials: June 2012 Archives
I love using a lightweight chiffon or knit chiffon, which work great for the dupioni top in this example, but if I'm working with a more casual top, a drapey knit also works fabulously.
This one involves some math, but don't panic. I'll walk you through it (and it's pretty easy)!
First, measure around the upper part of your arm between the two points you wish you to attach your flutter sleeve. The positioning is entirely up to you. Don't sweat it if it's an estimate -- you can alter your flutter sleeve late in the game if you need to. (I had to on this one!)
My first measurement was 10 inches. I'm cutting the flutter as a half-circle, so I have to figure out how long the radius of my half circle is. If a circle's circumference (C) is calculated as 2 x Pi x radius (r), it stands to reason that half a circumference is Pi x radius. So, since we know that the half circumference measurement is 10 inches, we just need to divide that by Pi (3.14) to solve for the length of the radius.
Short version: Divide your measurement by 3.14 to get the radius. For mine, this result is roughly 3.2 inches. I show my work below (someone call my high school geometry teacher!):
Once you know the length of your radius, you have to mark out your semi-circle on paper to start your pattern. Mark an edge of your paper with a point -- this will be the center of your half circle. Measure from that point, and mark the length of the radius, working around your semi-circle with a series of dots.
Once you've made your series of dots, draw an arc to connect your dots.
To check your work, measure the semi-circle you just drew and see if it matches the first measurement you took.
Next, decide how long you want your sleeve to be. I decided on somewhere around 4.5 inches. Add this number to your radius number to get the length of the second radius you'll be using to draft your pattern. Using the exact same center point you used for your first semi-circle, draw in your second, larger semi-circle.
Use the paper pattern you just created to cut out your two sleeve pieces.
Next, test the dimensions of your sleeve with your garment. I had to cut mine down a little bit -- 10 inches was longer than I really wanted.
Once you have the sizing finalized, it's time to edge finish your sleeves. For the smaller arc which will become the top of the sleeve, I like to stitch a narrow piece of ribbon to the sleeve, and then turn it under and stitch again. This keeps the sleeve from distorting and stretching during wear.
Once my edge is in place, I edge finish the rest of the piece. If you have an overcast or rolled hem foot for your machine, now is the time to use it!
Once the sleeve is finished on all edges, you simply tack it to your garment at the top corners both front and back with a little hand stitching, and you're ready to go!
You can move your placement of your flutter sleeve up or down to suit your taste. You can cut it longer than needed and gather it for a fuller fall. You can also cut it as a full circle instead of a semi circle for even more flutter. This is also a good trick to add a little princess flair to a little girl's wardrobe.
Once you start playing with simple garment altering, you may find yourself inventing all kinds of ways to add new style to existing pieces. Be sure to share those with us on Facebook!
If you're like me, and you're scrambling to come up with a gift for your dad at the last minute, look no further than you fabric stash! If you've got a couple of 16" x 10.5" scraps, you can whip up an iPad sleeve your dad will treasure.
For your lining fabric, something ultra soft with a nap is best. Think velvet, velveteen and minky. For your exterior fabric, anything that fits your dad's personality is perfect. I went with a striped suiting remnant.
All seam allowances on this project are 1/4".
Once you've cut your rectangles, stitch your lining and your exterior fabric along the top long edge. To orient your napped fabric, lay it out in front of you so brushing downward is a smooth motion, with the fabric's fibers laying flat. With this orientation, the top edge of your fabric is the one you will join to your exterior fabric. This way, the iPad will slide into the sleeve easily, and the nap of the fabric will naturally remove any dust or debris from the screen when you pull it out.
I like to understitch the seam allowance to the lining fabric at this stage.
Next, fold your fabric into a long tube as shown below. You'll be stitching along the long edge, and then across the exterior fabric to the fold.
This is a good time to turn your project right side out and test for fit. Remember, iPads have buttons along the outside edges, so if your sleeve is too tight, it can end up depressing buttons and adjust settings like the volume when the unit is inserted into the sleeve. You want the sleeve snug enough to hold the iPad without it sliding around, but with enough ease that it's not a struggle to slide the iPad in or out. Because the thickness of napped fabrics varied greatly, you may need to make adjustments.
Once you've got your fit squared away, close up the bottom of your lining fabric. You can machine stitch it like I did, or use a whip stitch to close it by hand.
Your iPad sleeve is ready for prime time! And this project can of course be easily adapted for any other brand of tablet. Just measure the unit's dimensions and add about 1" -1.5" to those measurements to determine your cutting dimensions.
If you have a sewing machine that does simple lettering stitches, you can further customize your project by adding a special message or sentiment. You can also embellish with patches or other trim to perfectly match your gift to your dad's personality!
If you have one great t-shirt pattern than what more could you ask for. Well, maybe not a whole closet of the same shirt in different colors. Perhaps you would like the same fit but with a different sleeve, neckline or any other added detail to keep you on trend. So you scour the net or pattern books for just the right look and hope that that pattern fits just the way you like. Umm, nope, let's not do that and make out own instead. If you have a great fitting tee than you have the basics to get started. Making modifications is easy and you only need a few tools to get it done.
Tools you will need:
Big paper- This is to draw your new pattern on and make notes as you go. I use a huge roll of newspaper print that you can ask your local paper for the end rolls. My mom uses rolls of painters' paper or you can use a roll of freezer paper.
French Curve- This is a set of weirdly shaped measuring devices that can help you make graceful and appropriate curves that are great for necklines, hems and hip lines among others. If you don't have a set then you can easily use household finds like plates, knives (the edges often feature soft curves just be careful) oval or round frames or you can print an image from the web and adjust the size.
Clear quilting ruler- this will help you extend sleeve lines, hem line or width of your pattern.
To make a shirt like mine, I choose a well fitting front pattern piece from a crew neck tank (I used our free pattern download HotPatterns Flutterby Tank) that I had previously modified into a deep V-neck with attached capped sleeves. Since I was only modifying the top I decided to only add paper to the top part of the pattern to save paper and hassle. I traced the pattern line I wanted to keep and added my new lines. I made a more modest v-neck and added some slim kimono sleeves (attached, not set in). To make a nice v-neck, always make the v-neck narrower than you think. Remember that you are creating a pattern piece on the fold, so it will be twice as wide as it looks and you will probably be adding some neck trim so that will make it even wider. Too wide V-necks can slide off your shoulders and expose bra straps. A proper v-neck is also slightly curved toward the tip of the 'v' so using the French curve really helps obtain that gentle slope. I added 4 in. to my arm holes to get a nice, slightly fluttery kimono sleeve. Then I cut out my new pattern piece and matched and taped it over my existing pattern piece. Voila a new t-shirt pattern piece. I opted to use the same pattern piece for the front and back of the shirt to give an interesting back. It turned out really great. I also ended up adding 6 in. to the length, adding elastic to the sides to make it into a maternity shirt for now. After the babe is born I will cut off the extra length and remove the elastic.
If you want to try other changes, I recommend folding your paper in half when you are drawing your modifications so you can open it up to see how it will look or drawing on a muslin so you can see it with drape. Try changing the rotation of the v-neck to make a boat neck, just changing the back neckline of a crewneck for a dramatic and sexy scooped back or changing the length and width of your set in sleeves. Raglans can also be easily modified to make sweatshirts, halter and tank tops. All you need is paper and some imagination (or inspiration from the net).
Check out Holly's Flutterby here and special thanks to her because I borrowed her picture
Visit my Blog at www.gruenetree.com
Here's how to make one for yourself:
You'll need a little bit of swimwear/activewear fabric. Since I make a lot of my running gear, I have an epic stash of lycra scraps. The key is that it needs a lot of stretch. You'll also need some t-shirt scraps, and a short zipper. (Any zipper 4" or longer will work -- you can trim any excess length.)
This version works great on a 7" wrist. It's got plenty of stretch, so there's some flexibility to the size. It's also easy to adjust measurements to customize your fit.
- Cut 2 rectangles 3.5" x 5" out of your activewear fabric.(You want the greatest stretch across the 3.5" width.)
- Cut 2 rectangles 3.5" x 5" out of your tee shirt scraps. I like to use the sleeves of a t-shirt and leave the bigger pieces for other projects.
- Last, cut a 5.5" x 8" piece of your activewear fabric.
(A quick note on pictures: I was making three of these concurrently, so steps may be shown in different fabrics as we go!)
First, fold your long rectangle so the 5.5" edges meet up, right sides together.
Stitch along the 5.5" edges. I suggest using a stretch stitch, as this seam will wrap around your wrist.
Turn your tube right side out, and set it aside. I like to align my seam so it sits along the center of what will be the middle of the underside of my cuff.
To set in your zipper, sandwich it in between your activewear fabric and your t-shirt fabric. The t-shirt scrap should be on the underside of the zipper and the activewear on top. Stitch along the edge, catching in all three layers. You may need to move your zipper pull out of the way at some point to keep your stitching smooth. Repeat this step for both sides.
Flip all fabrics outward, away from your zipper, and top stitch along each side of the zipper. You may be tempted to press your fabrics out, but I wouldn't advise it. The elastic fibers in activewear fabrics will often melt under even low heat.
Grab your tube that you set aside earlier, and place it on top of your zipper section. Situate it seam side down with one of the open ends approximately 3/8" to 1/2" to the right of the zipper.
Stitch down the tube 1/4" from the raw edge.
Now, fold your tube to the left and top stitch 3/8" from the folded edge. This will hide your raw edge, and it will give you a bit of reinforcement for your cuff.
Next, baste the remaining open end of your tube to either edge of your open zipper section.
You can give your cuff a size test once the basting is in place and adjust if needed. Keep in mind, it will get a little tighter as you finish the wallet.
Open up the zipper before the next part, or you won't be able to turn it right side out!
Fold your wallet closed, right sides together.
And then stitch around the three remaining edges, being careful not to catch your cuff in the stitching.
Turn it right side out, and voila! Ready to roll!
And the second is a little Hawaiian number to enjoy through the summer, and during the winter when I need a boost.
I love these handy little cuffs -- they're great for running and travel, and when I'm using one, I always know where my wallet is. (I am a perpetual nervous wallet checker.) I never take a bag with me anywhere on quick errands -- I just grab my wallet and my phone and go! And speaking of phones, you could always make a larger version if you need to carry your smartphone, but remember -- these aren't water resistant, so sweat or inclement weather can get to your electronics.