Monday, 30 November 2009

Jeans -> Mini Skirt:: A different way

{I was 4 months pregnant with Vincent in these photos! Hahah}

Back View

This tute will show you how to make a simple mini skirt using the legs from denim jeans!

Sewing Machine, Serger, Old pair of jeans, zipper the length of the skirt, scrap fabric + light interfacing.

1. Cut the legs off your jeans. i'm using a pair of black jeans + a pair of pink jeans. Jeans sideseams are quick thick, so i just cut the side seams completely off. I was left with a pile of strips

Here's my strips. They're not perfect, but that's ok :D

I kept the hems of the jeans and I'll be using them as the hem on my skirt. I've got four legs which is a perfect size for me for front + back including a tiny seam allowance.

2. Stitch the short ends of your strips to make long strips. I made one loooong black strip + the same in pink. Serge the new seams.

My long black strip :D

My piles of strips ;D

3. Grab a skirt that fits you well

4. Lay the strips over them. I'm going to have alternating stripes of black + pink. Remember to leave about 1cm on the edges and overlap them by one cm when you lay them down for seam allowances. Cut the strips to size. It doesn't hurt to be a little generous with this, just in case.

You should get something that looks a little like this. I added an extra strip across the top in the end because it was a tad too short.

6. Flip over each strip + pin it the strip below it - you're matching the right sides together.

7. Stitch it!

Topstitch it! This helps your stripes lay flat.

9. I usually always topstitch the seam down. Because I wanted the pink to stay pink + not have a seam through it, I did all my topstitching on the black stripes. This means on the inside, some seams are sticking up, but because I only used small 1cm seams, it doesn't really affect how the skirt sits or feels.

10. All your strips sewn together should look like this. Not perfect I know ((I realised my black jeans were slightly stretchy + the pink was not!)) Now you have a front of your skirt

11. Fold the base skirt you're using in half. This is going to be the back of your skirt.

Start laying your strips down. Make sure you have seam allowances like you did for the front. I'm doing an exposed zipper on this skirt, so I only need one cm down the centre back on each side for the seam allowance. If you're inserting the zip properly, you'll need to add about 2cm for the seam allowance. Remember you need to do double for both sides of the back, make sure you don't two of the same side! The strips need to be mirror images of each other ;D

13. You should have this! Try to keep the centre back edges as straight as possible. When you stitch them you'll prolly have to trim them back to make them straight again so again - be generous with your seam allowances.

get distracted by your adorable cat

Stitch your strips together as you did for the front, remembering to top stitch.

If you need to trim the centre back edges to make them straight, do it now. Then serge them.

You should have two of these now ;D Hopefully they are mirror images!

Now we're going to make facings as this skirt doesn't have a waistband. Facings help the top of the skirt to sit nicer + looks neater too. Go to your box of scraps and get some fabric. It doesn't matter if it matches or not because no one will be able to see it. I always make my facings or pocket linings in totally outrageous colours just for fun ;D

17. Fold your scraps in half + lay one of the back pieces on top of it, matching the centre back edge to the fold. Cut across the top of the scrap and down the side about 4-6 cm. Now cut down the fold so you have two seperate facings. Do the same for the front piece of the skirt, cutting one long facing out.

Here's my facings. Usually they're a little curved to fit your body better. I was being lazy >.<

Cut out matching pieces for the facings out of interfacing. I use iron-on interfacing because it's much easier to work with. You can use the sew on one, but it's a little fiddly. Interfacing strengthens the fabric a little, makes it tougher. I always use interfacing for my facings.

Iron the interfacing to the wrong sides of the facing pieces. REMEMBER that the shiny side goes down face first as the shiny stuff is the glue! Always check 529572975 times to make sure you're not going to melt interfacing onto your iron!

20. Stitch the side seams of your facings together + serge, make sure you don't accidentally sew the straight centre back edges instead!

21. Serge the lower length of the facing.

It should look like this :D

23. Stitch the side seams of your mini skirt together - the backs to the front. You'll need to trim the edges a little to make them evenish. Serge the edges.

24. Pin the facing to the skirt, right sides together. Make sure you match up your side seams!

Stitch + Serge it!

25. Topstitch!

Pin your zip to the edge of the centre back of the skirt. Remember I'm doing an exposed zipper!

Stitch it! Do the same for the other side + you're done!


Prance around your place in the glory of your awesome recycled skirt!


Underbust Pinafore Dress

It's rated one scissor out of five, even though basic sewing machine knowledge is assumed. You're pretty much cutting out rectangles.

Gather your supplies. Sewing machine + my serger, pins, scissors, tape measure + some fabric. I cut up an old bed sheet :D

2. Wow I'm a hot mess.
Measure yourself. You're going to need the measurement around your body under your boobs.

3. As well as underbust, measure how long the straps will need to be. Measure over your shoulder to below your bust front + back ((use your bra as a guide))

Write down your measurements and maybe do alittle doodle like i did for easier reference to what the heck you're doing. you're also going to need to measure yourself from your underbust to however long you want the dress.

These are the pieces you'll be needing. I've put the measurements of my pieces there as a guide for you to compare to.

You're going to 2x Underbust bands, mine are going to be about 9cm high but I'm folding them in half lengthways. OR, a quick way that i did was only cut one underbust band, but placed one of the short edges on the fold of the fabric. That way you sew less! I did the same for the skirt piece.

You'll also need two straps. Make the piece wide enough to be able to fold them in half.

Cut two of the skirt as well, for front + back.

4. Cut your pieces out

Mine was made from a sheet, so I cheekily used the hem on one of the edges as the hem for my dress!

5. Fold your underbust piece in half. I made my piece one continuous piece of fabric instead of a defined front + back. Stitch along the long raw edge. I do 1cm seam allowances.

6. Right. Here's the fun bit! This is going to be hard to explain.

What you're going to do is pleat/gather your skirt onto your underbust band. I'm going to show you the lazy way to gather.

First of all I pin the far left edges together and the far right edges together. Find the exact centre of the underbust piece ((by folding it in half)) and mark. Do the same with the skirt piece. Pin these two centres together.

7. You're going to keep finding the centre of each section. So in between the dar left edge + the centre, find the centre of the underbust piece and mark it. The same with the skirt. Pin them together.

Do the same with the other side.

Keep going, finding the centre of each little section. You may need to start just bunching fabric up and pinning little bunches down when the spaces bewteen pins get smaller. Don't make the bunches too big or your machine will have a hard time sewing over them.

8. Stitch it down. I sew over my pins, but if you're not that confident in your skills, or you really love your machine, take your pins out as you get to them. This is me bunching a little section to sew over it. When it's done it will be a cute little gather.

Stitching over the pinch.

9. Flip it the other way and you'll see your awesome 'gathering' skills!

Serge ((overlock)) the raw edge + then topstitch it.

10. You're going to do the back of your dress now ((Almost done!)) Get the edges of your dress + serge them ((not together!))

Make sure you serge the seam between the skirt + the underbust panel down towards the hem. You've already topstitched it down, this just helps it sit better + makes it more comfortable.

This is the part where you put in a zipper. I havn't made a tute for that yet, so it'd be a good idea to consult a book or a website. I have a quick + easy way, which I'll link to later.

11. Straps!

Fold your straps in half lengthways + stitch along the seam.

12. Turn them inside out + iron them. Ironing makes everything sit really nice so try to iron as often as you can after you've stitched something. Makes it so much easier!

You can top stitch the straps if you like.

Try the dress on and mark/pin where you want the straps to go. I usually follow my bra straps as an easy reference guide. It's hard getting the back by youself, but a bit of twisting and a mirror gives a good enough job. Stitch the straps on, making sure you attach them strongly.

Embellish and you're done!

NOTE:: if you're having issues with the lazy way of gathering, I have some additional photos. Just comment + ask + I'll put em up!

Here's a pic of a delicious pink one Julia made!

I Love it!

And here's a cute one my friend Stacey made. I DIG the tartan! Yesss!

 ((And her shirt))

Here's some other variations I have made