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The Bessie Beach Robe
The Bessie
The Bessie is a free pattern and tutorial for your own use at home and not to be reproduced commercially. The Bessie Beach Robe is a gorgeous project for beginners with some experience. If you are very new to sewing I suggest to make the Nancy Kimonoor a few of my small projects first, then move onto the Bessie Beach Robe.
Materials and Equipment
150cm of fabric that is 150cm wide, I got mine from here
Matching thread, pins, tape measure, chalk and scissors, a small safety pin or a rouleau maker
Suitable Fabric.
It is important that you choose the correct fabric for The Bessie.Your Fabric choice needs to be thin light and flow, to achieve the look in the image.
The fabric used for this project is from Fabric land and is 100% viscous.
Heavy or stiff fabric would result in a different look to the images shown.The Bessie would be very suitable for lightweight fabric such as viscose, light weight cotton, or a thin chambray, silk or a polyester fabric, with drape and flow.
Tips for beginners
Seam allowance (SA) 1 cm or 2 cm this is the distance between the edge of the fabric and the stitch line. You will find a series of parallel lines engraved on the needle plate of your sewing machine pick the one marked with the measurement you need and keep the edge of the fabric to this guide.
RS = right side of fabric WS = wrong side of fabric.
Press = Iron the section you have just sewn, seam should be ironed open.
Sizing
Small
Fits up to size 12 - the finished garment measures, is adjusted at the waist to fit. N.B. THE LENGTH IS A MIDI ON A SMALL 5 FOOT 2 INCH WOMEN,
IF YOU WANT A MIDI FINISH AND YOU ARE 5" 6 INCHES YOU WILL NEED TO ADD 10CM TO THE SKIRT SECTION OF THE PATTERN,
you will not need to buy any extra fabric as the amount 150cm is enough for the longer midi length.
Medium Fits size 12 to 14
Large Fits size 16 to 18
Make a paper pattern follow the measurements for your size as given , OR Pin the selvedge edges of you fabric together, and using tailors chalk, measure and chalk out the pattern pieces
Pin the selvage edges together, and pin the paper pattern onto the fabric or chalk on the measurements on the fabric.
Cut out.
1. With RS together iron then pin the 4 straps, as shown
2.with the foot of the sewing machine to the edge of the fabric, stitch the ties together.
3. trim the raw edge of the ties.
4. with the rouleau maker or a small safety pin turn the straps inside out. if you are using a safety
pin tie the loose thread from stitching the seam onto the safety pin and drop the pin back into the
tie, and pull through.
Leave 2 ties to one side (these will be used later) press the remain 2 ties, and cut into 4 equal sections.
5.
You will now need the 4 sections that you cut out for the top of the Bessie.Using a zig zag stitch or overlocker neaten the 4 shoulder seams 2 x front 2 x back.
Lay two facing you WS up, with the shoulder seam at the top, and make a turn and turn hem, on the side seam, fold under 1cm press ,fold under another 1 cm press, as they face you one hem needs to be on the right hand side and the other hem needs to be on the left hand side of the other front. With the shoulder seams at the top, you will then have a pair of fronts, repeat for the back.
Measure down 30cm and mark with a pin on all the 4 of the turn and turn hems. Stitch from the neatened shoulder seam to the pin, on the turn and turn hem, repeat on the remaining 3 sections.
6 and 7. Join the shoulder seams using a 2CM seam allowance, this is important because you will need to thread the ties into this seam, and if you make the seam too small you will not be able to insert the ties.
8. attach a safety pin to the end of one tie, insert the safely pin and tie into the shoulder seam you have just sew
Pull out at the other end, and using a pin secure the tie in the seam.
Stitch across the ties with the foot to the raw edge of the fabric. Repeat on the remaining side.
Using a zig zag stitch or overlock stitch neaten the remaining raw edge.
Lay the right sides of the top section together to make a pair.Using a pin mark 8cm from the raw edge up, repeat at the end on the raw edge.
Using a 1cm seam allowance machine stitch the 8cm sections, press the seam open.
Make a small turn and turn hem 0.5cm x 0.5cm on the neatened front and back , machine stitch into place, as shown in image number 10.
With the seam flat (for 8cm ) before you come to the turn and turn hem, start stitching from the raw edge ,(mine is shown overlocked in this image) until you reach the remaining raw edge, repeat on the remaining side. Neaten the remaining raw edges with a zog zag stitch or the overlocker.
The skirt section.
Neaten with a zig zag stitch or overlock the 2 long seams and one short seam, the remaining seam with form the hem of your dress. repeat on the remaining section.
11. Fold one of the skirts sections in half and mark with a pin. Pin, the skirt to the top, from the middle (marked with a pin and matching to the middle seam on the top) to the edge of the skirt and top, repeat from the middle to the remaining end you should be left with 2cm on each end of the skirt.
keep in the pins to hold in place and on each side of the skirt section measure down 3cm, as shown below make a 1cm x 1cm turn and turn hem for 3 cm only.
Machine stitch into place. Machine stitch the waist of the skirt of the top using a 2cm seam allowance. Press the seam you have just sewn open.
12. Press the seam flat and open.Repeat on the remaining section of the skirt.
13. Stitch along the neatened seam edge creating the same casing as on the sleeves. repeat on the remaining side. The casing is ready for the side ties but they will be added later.
Pin the casing RS together and unravel the fold and fold seam. Pin the seam together from the unraveled section for 40cm * stitch together using a 2 cm seam allowance. You will have to start sewing 2cm under the casing. * the 40cm stops for the side split you may want to make this longer or shorter. Repeat on the remaining side.
Press the seam flat. The turn and turn seam shown by the pen, can be hand stitched into place or machine stitched as shown. N.B. Be very careful not to stitch over the opening for the casing.
Thread one the the remaining ties in to the top casing, using a safety pin, starting at the right hand side of the dress, cross over the left hand side of the dress and bring the tie out back at the right hand side seam. Insert the remain tie into the left hand side of the dress cross over the right hand side and bring the tie out at the left hand side of the Bessie dress. You will have one tie on the left and one on the right hand side of the Bessie Beach robe. Neaten the hem of the dress.
Try on the dress :-) (sorry we jump to number 18 )adjust the side ties to fit and check the length, of your Bessie Dress, if needed cut the hem to the desired length, using pins or chalk, to mark how much you want to shorten the dress, cut the section off.Finish the side splits, fold the remain edges back for 2cm, stitch into place, repeat on the remaining seams.
Turn the hem up for 1cm ( if you have had to adjust the length you will need to neaten the hem now, then hem) and machine in to place, repeat on remaining side.
19. Neaten the end of the ties.
Trim to a neat edge if required, make a small turn and turn hem on the end of each tie, and hand stitch into place.
20. One final press of the dress, and CONGRATULATIONS you have successfully finished the Bessie Beach Robe.
21. Wear with Pride.
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The Nancy is a free pattern and tutorial for your own use at home and not to be reproduced commercially. The super simple Nancy Kimono is a simple pattern hack from the Clara Kimono
Beginners project.
Materials and Equipment
170cm cm of fabric I got mine from here
50cm of light weight iron on interfacing.
Matching thread, pins, tape measure, chalk and scissors.
Suitable Fabric.
It is important that you choose the correct fabric for The Nancy.
Your Fabric choice needs to be medium to light weight, to achieve the look in the image,
Heavy or stiff fabric would result in a different look to the images shown.
The Nancy would be very suitable for lightweight fabric such as viscose, polyester or a lightweight crepe.
Tips for beginners
Seam allowance 1 cm this is the distance between the edge of the fabric and the stitch line. You will find a series of parallel lines engraved on the needle plate of your sewing machine pick the one marked with the measurement you need and keep the edge of the fabric to this guide
RS = right side of fabric WS = wrong side of fabric.
Press = Iron the section you had just sewn, seam should be ironed open.
Sizing
Small
Fits up to size 12 - the finished garment measures, front laying flat 58 cm and the back 58cm total finish circumference 116cm
Medium
Fits size 12 to 14 - the finish garments measures front laying flat 62 cm and the back 62 cm total finish circumference 124cm
Large
Fits size 16 to 18 - the finish garments measures front laying flat measures 66cm and the back 66cm, total finish circumference 132cm
Make a paper pattern for the Clara kimono follow the measurements for your size as given above,OR Pin the selvedge edges of you fabric together, and using tailors chalk, measure and chalk out the pattern pieces.Cut out the kimonoUsing your iron on interfacing cut out 2 pieces measuring 84cm x 8cm.Check your measurements and cut out.Lay both of the front pieces RS up with the short measurement at the top, measure from C to A (all sizes) 12cm. Cut a small notch or mark with chalk, measure from C to B 40cm (all sizes), drawn a chalk line from A to B, repeat on the other side as shown in the diagram, THE FRONTS MUST BE A PAIR. Cut, A to B, repeat on the remaining side.Join the front shoulder seam to the back shoulder seam using a French seam. With WS together pin, the front shoulder to the back shoulder and stitch a 0.5cm seam, press flat, flip your work over, leaving the RS together stitch again using a 0.5cm seam. Press. Repeat on the remaining shoulder.
Iron on the interfacing to the WS of the band x 2.
Join the short seams on the neck band together giving you one long band, fold the band in half RS together, and press your band should measure 4cm x 168cm cm, using a 1cm seam stitch together the ends of the band.Clip the corners and turn inside out, press.
Fold the back neck of the jacket in half and mark with a pin. Fold the band in half and mark with a pin. Join the jacket and the band together at the point marked by the pins.
Continue to pin the band to the jacket. N.B. the band ends 2cm from the hem. Stitch the band to the jacket, start sewing from the middle of the back neck stitching down to the hem of the band, the shoulder seams will need to be pushed forward and pined flat to the front of the jacket.
Zig zag or over lock this seam. Press.
Fold the sleeve in half and mark the middle with chalk or a pin. Lay the kimono flat RS facing up and pin the sleeve to the jacket. The chalk mark or pin must match at the shoulder seam. Repeat with the remaining sleeve. Stitch using a 1 cm seam allowance. Repeat on the remaining sleeve. Zig zag or over lock the seams.
With the RS together fold the sleeve in half and pin, making sure the shoulder seams are pushed towards the sleeve. Pin the under arm seam as shown.
Stitch the sleeve and side seam together. Start sewing from the raw edge of the sleeve, stitching over the seam you made to join the shoulder to the jacket. Stop, leave your needle in the fabric, lift up the foot, and swivel the jacket around until you are able to sew the side seam. Repeat on the remaining side. Over lock or zig zag the seams.
Making the cuff. With RS together fold the cuff in half and stitch the short seams together, press the seam flat. Fold the cuff in half RS together and press as shown in the image.
Attach the cuff to the sleeve. With the RS of the sleeve facing, slip the cuff onto the sleeve. Match the seams and pin the 3 raw edges together. Stitch the 3 layers together using a 1cm seam allowance. Zig zag or over lock, press. Repeat on the remaining side.
Nearly finished :-)
Using a zigzag stitch or an over locker, neaten the hem. Using a tape measure, fold under for 2cm the raw edge under the band on both sides. Pin. Press. Fold the hem up for 1cm pin and press. Start stitching just under the band on the RS towards the hem, leave the needle in the fabric and lift up the foot, swivel your work, continue to stitch the hem until the end, leave the needle in your work, swivel, and stitch up the front until you meet the band. Trim and loose thread, press and CELEBRATE.
CONGRATULATIONS your have just made an awesome Nancy Kimono.
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What is interfacing ? – Where is it used ? and why do I need to use it?
Interfacing is an additional layer applied to the inside of a garment or craft project when you want that area to be firmer. With dress making it is adding to certain area’s only, collars, cuff, waistbands and plackets. For craft projects, its added where you need to add firmness or structure.
You would use interfacing on button bands.
Waist band and front openings need interfacing
Cuffs and collars need to be interfaced.
Interfacing is sold mainly as
Fusible or sew-in,
Three main weavesnon-woven, woven and knit,
Different weights(light, medium, heavy weight)
Two coloursonly, black or white.
Black for dark coloured fabrics and white for light coloured fabric. It is important to choose the correct type of interfacing for your garment; if you are using a pattern, they will normally indicate if interfacing is required and what type you need.
I would recommend that beginner’s use, fusible (iron on) lightweight or medium weight interfacing. If you buy lightweight interfacing and it does not make the fabric firm enough you can always add another layer of interfacing directly on to the first layer.
Sew-in or fusible interfacing
Fusible interfacing is by far the easiest to use, especially for beginners. It has an adhesive on one side which bonds permanently with the fabric when applied with an iron, due to the combination of heat and steam.
Fusible interfacing is suitable for most uses, but avoid it for:
Very textured fabrics – the glue won’t bond well to the fabric
Napped fabrics (e.g. velvet / fur) – the pressing needed to bond the adhesive will crush the fabric. Fabrics that are very heat sensitive – e.g. sequins, metallic’s and vinyl fabrics (the heat can melt or distort the fabric).
For these types of fabrics, sew-in interfacing is more suitable. Sew-in interfacing is sewn on to the main fabric just like another normal layer of fabric, and is held in place by the stitches.
Waist bands need interfacing. With out interfacing every time you sat down the waist would curl over.
How to apply fusible interfacing
Before you apply interfacing to your main fabric, it is worth doing a test using a scrap piece of fabric and interfacing. This will let you check that the weight of the interfacing is suitable and that it results in the right amount of shaping to the garment. If you find the end result is too “stiff”, you should try a lighter weight interfacing; if the result is too flimsy, try a heavier weight or apply another layer.
The first step is to identify which side of the interfacing has the adhesive on it. The adhesive side normally has a slightly gritty, raised appearance, and usually you can see a slight shininess from the glue.
Then cut the necessary pattern pieces from the interfacing. Then take your main fabric pieces and interfacing pieces to the ironing board. Put a piece of paper on the ironing board, Place the main fabric wrong side up on the ironing board; and then place the fusible interfacing on top, with the adhesive side facing down on to the wrong side of the main fabric.
Cover the fabric and interfacing with a piece of paper, and press the iron on to the fabric. Hold in the same position for about 15 seconds at a time (10 seconds for light weight fabrics), before lifting the iron, moving it to the next position, and repeating. Using the paper will stop the fusible interfacing sticking to your iron and ironing board.
How to apply sew on interfacing.
Cut out your pattern pieces as instructed, or use the pattern piece provided with the pattern. You can fit the pattern onto the interfacing as you wish because there is no straight of grain on interfacing.
Using thread that matches you fabric, put the foot of the sewing machine to the edge of the fabric and interfacing that you have pinned or tacked together. Stitch around the edge. Now your sew in interfacing is attached to your fabric and you can continue with your sewing project.
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The Clara Kimono
The Clara is a free pattern and tutorial for your own use at home and not to be reproduced commercially. The super simple Clara Kimono is stunning
Beginners project.
Materials and Equipment
200cm of fabric I got mine from here
50cm of light weight iron on interfacing.
Matching thread, pins, tape measure, chalk and scissors.
Suitable Fabric.
It is important that you choose the correct fabric for The Clara.
Your Fabric choice needs to be medium weight, to achieve the look in the image,
The fabric used for this project is from John Lewis Sevenberry print line Fabric, because the
pattern is printed on the fabric I was able to use the WS as a contrast for the band and cuffs.
If you fabric can not be used in this way, you will need to buy 70cm off contrast fabric.
Heavy or stiff fabric would result in a different look to the images shown.
The Clara would be very suitable for lightweight fabric such as viscose, polyester or a leightweight crepe.
Tips for beginners
Seam allowance 1 cm this is the distance between the edge of the fabric and the stitch line. You will find a series of parallel lines engraved on the needle plate of your sewing machine pick the one marked with the measurement you need and keep the edge of the fabric to this guide
RS = right side of fabric WS = wrong side of fabric.
Press = Iron the section you had just sewn, seam should be ironed open.
Sizing
Small
Fits up to size 12 - the finished garment measures, front laying flat 58 cm and the back 58cm total finish circumference 116cm
Medium
Fits size 12 to 14 - the finish garments measures front laying flat 62 cm and the back 62 cm total finish circumference 124cm
Large
Fits size 16 to 18 - the finish garments measures front laying flat measures 66cm and the back 66cm, total finish circumference 132cm
Make a paper pattern for the Clara kimono follow the measurements for your size as given above, OR Pin the selvedge edges of you fabric together, and using tailors chalk, measure and chalk out the pattern pieces.Using your iron on interfacing cut out 2 pieces measuring 62 x 14cm.Check your measurements and cut out.Lay both of the front pieces RS up with the short measurement at the top, measure from C to A (all sizes) 15cm. Cut a small notch or mark with chalk, measure from C to B 40cm (all sizes), drawn a chalk line from A to B, repeat on the other side as shown in the diagram, THE FRONTS MUST BE A PAIR. Cut, A to B, repeat on the remaining side.Join the front shoulder seam to the back shoulder seam using a French seam. With WS together pin, the front shoulder to the back shoulder and stitch a 0.5cm seam, press flat, flip your work over, leaving the RS together stitch again using a 0.5cm seam. Press. Repeat on the remaining shoulder.
Iron on the interfacing to the WS of the band x 2.
Fold the 3cm x 25cm in half, press, open and fold the outside raw edge on each side into the middle, press. Fold in half again and press. Stitch the edges together. Repeat on the remaining tie.
Position the ties at point B on the front jacket and pin and stitch or tack into place, as shown in the image.
Join the short seams together giving you one long band, fold the band in half RS together, and press your band should measure 7cm x 146 cm, using a 1cm seam stitch together the ends of the band.
Clip the corners and turn inside out, press.
Fold the back neck of the jacket in half and mark with a pin. Fold the band in half and mark with a pin. Join the jacket and the band together at the point marked by the pins.
Continue to pin the band to the jacket. N.B. the band ends 14.5cm from the hem. Stitch the band to the jacket, start sewing from the middle of the back neck stitching down to the hem of the band, the shoulder seams will need to be pushed forward and pined flat to the front of the jacket. Pin the ties to the front of the jacket as shown so they do not get caught in the band.
Zig zag or over lock this seam. Press.
Fold the sleeve in half and mark the middle with chalk or a pin. Lay the kimono flat RS facing up and pin the sleeve to the jacket. The chalk mark or pin must match at the shoulder seam. Repeat with the remaining sleeve. Stitch using a 1 cm seam allowance. Repeat on the remaining sleeve. Zig zag or over lock the seams.
With the RS together fold the sleeve in half and pin, making sure the shoulder seams are pushed towards the sleeve. Pin the under arm seam as shown.
Stitch the sleeve and side seam together. Start sewing from the raw edge of the sleeve, stitching over the seam you made to join the shoulder to the jacket. Stop, leave your needle in the fabric, lift up the foot, and swivel the jacket around until you are able to sew the side seam. Repeat on the remaining side. Over lock or zig zag the seams.
Making the cuff. With RS together fold the cuff in half and stitch the short seams together, press the seam flat. Fold the cuff in half RS together and press as shown in the image.Attach the cuff to the sleeve. With the RS of the sleeve facing, slip the cuff onto the sleeve. Match the seams and pin the 3 raw edges together. Stitch the 3 layers together using a 1cm seam allowance. Zig zag or over lock, press. Repeat on the remaining side.
Nearly finished :-)
Using a zigzag stitch or an over locker, neaten the hem. Using a tape measure, fold under for 1cm the raw edge under the band on both sides. Pin. Press. Fold the hem up for 1cm pin and press. Start stitching just under the band on the RS towards the hem, leave the needle in the fabric and lift up the foot, swivel your work, continue to stitch the hem until the end, leave the needle in your work, swivel, and stitch up the front until you meet the band. Trim and loose thread, press and CELEBRATE.
CONGRATULATIONS your have just made an awesome Clara Kimono.
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What is a fat Quarter?
I often get asked at the sewing classes what is a fat quarter?
A Fat Quarter is made by cutting half a meter of the full fabric width and then cutting this piece in half vertically (essentially cutting it by the width). Fat Quarters are usually cut from quilting fabrics as they provide a smaller piece (essentially quarter of a meter ) but in a way that you still get a sizeable piece of the design.
The second diagram shows in black a fat quarter cut from one meter of fabric.
With most quilting fabric widths being 44″ / 110cms wide a Fat Quarter is therefore usually around the 50cm x 55cm mark.
If you didn’t ask for a fat quarter in your fabric shop you would receive a quarter of a meter of fabric cut along the width of the roll of fabric, the first diagram shows a quarter of a meter in black cut from one meter of fabric. Fat quarters can be bought from here
When should I buy a fat quarter?
Fat quarters, are traditionally bought by quilters and used making quilts, but they a great for small sewing projects too.
The way the fat quarter is cut allows you to place your pattern pieces on the fabric more easily.
What sewing project would be suitable using a fat quarter?
You could use a fat quarter to make some of the small projects on my blog, the glasses case, the wallet and other craft small projects. This book has great ideas for fat quarters.
What is a Jelly Roll?
Jelly Rolls were first arrived in shops about 5-6 years ago and have since taken over the quilting world! In a Jelly Roll you have 40 x 2½" strips (each cut the width of the fabric). They are individual strips (not joined together) and you have just over 2½ meters of fabric in one roll. Jelly Rolls are great for many reasons. They are all accurately cut at 2½" so no need to cut lots of strips from fabric as it has been done for you! Jelly Rolls are co-coordinated fabric - whether from a range or from a colorway. If you find it difficult choosing
fabric then you know a Jelly Roll will look lovely together. It is a great way of obtaining a large variety of fabric from a particular range without having to buy a fat or long quarter of 40 different fabrics! There are many patterns and booksavailable to show you exactly what you can make with a Jelly Roll .
You can buy Jelly Rolls from here.
What is bias binding?
Bias binding is a narrow strip of fabric, cut on the bias. The strip's fibers, being at 45 degrees to the length of the strip, makes it stretchier as well as more fluid compared to a strip that is cut on the straight of grain. Because it is cut on the bias it is much easier to stretch around neck lines and armholes.
Bias tape is used in making piping, binding seams, finishing raw edges, etc. It is often used on the edges of quilts, place mats, and bibs, around armhole and neckline edges instead of a facing, and as a simple strap or tie for casual bags or clothing.
Commercially available bias tape is available as a simple bias tape, single-fold bias tape, and double-fold bias tape.
You can make your own bias binding, using the fabric to make or contrast with your fabric. Cut strips of fabric cut on the bias as shown in the diagram. You will need to start with a square, the size is not important, but I have shown you 50x50cm but it could be 30x30cm, fold the fabric in half A to B as shown, cut along the fold line. You will have 2 pieces of fabric, start cutting your bias strips, 3cm or 4cm is a good width, smaller is hard to sew.
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The Clementine is a free downloadable PDF pattern and tutorial. The super simple Clementine, Tee Shirt shape, loose style dress is the perfect beginners sewing project. It is ONLY for your own use at home and it is not to be reproduced commercially.
Suitable Fabric.
It is important that you choose the correct fabric for The Clementine
Your Fabric choice needs to be lightweight, as the dress is a very simple shape,
Heavy or stiff fabric would result in a different look to the images shown.
Lightweight Chambray, lightweight cotton, Medium weight Jersey, Lightweight linen, Viscose and Rayon, Ponte Roma
Fabric
150cm wide fabric = You will need 150cm
114cm wide fabric = You will need 240cm
Rib jersey all sizes = 25cm
Materials and Equipment
150cm of lightweight cotton I got mine from JohnLewis
25cm of ribbed knit I got mine here
Matching thread or contrast thread, pins, tape measure, chalk and scissors.
Sizing
Small
Fits up to size 12 - the finished garment measures, front laying flat 54cm and the back 56.5cm total finish circumference 110.5cm
Medium
Fits size 12 to 14 - the finish garments measures front laying flat 58cm and the back 61 cm total finish circumference 119cm
Large
fits size 16 to 18 - the finish garments measures front laying flat measures 62cm and the back 65cm, total finish circumference 127cm
Seam allowance 1 cm this is the distance between the edge of the fabric and the stitch line. You will find a series of parallel lines engraved on the needle plate of your sewing machine pick the one marked with the measurement you need and keep the edge of the fabric to this guide
RS = right side of fabric WS = wrong side of fabric.
Machine-wash your fabric , before to cut out.
1.. Print the PDF pattern.
2. Join A front to A front matching the notch.
Join B Back to B back matching the notch. Cut on the line for your required size,
Small cut on the green line, medium cut on the pink line and cut on the black line, for large.
3. With the selvedge edges together iron a crease down the middle of your fabric (only for fabric that is 150cm wide) fold the selvedge edges to the middle crease, pin on the pattern pieces. As shown.
For fabric that is 114cm put the selvedge edges together, and lay all the pattern pieces on the fold of the fabric. As Shown in the illustration, above.
What is the selvedge?
Fabric selvage is the tightly woven edge that runs along each side of a piece of fabric's lengthwise grain, which is also called the fabric's warp. ... They are bound more tightly than the rest of the fabric -- another quality that prevents fraying.
4. The next section of the pattern needs to be chalked directly on the fabric, as shown above.
5. From the top of the front shoulder seam chalk a line that measures 96cm ( this will be the finished length of the dress, if you are taller you will need to add extra length, please check the finish measurements of the dress and adjust for your height don’t forget to add in a 2cm for the hem hem ) If you do not have someone to take your measurement from your shoulder to hem plus 2cm, the easiest way is to measure a dress that you own, from should to hem and add 2cm to the measurement. Repeat the measurement from the top of the back shoulder.
6. Place the sleeve patterns on the fold of fabric below the hem. Pin. You do not need to chalk any length on to the sleeve.
You need to chalk the belt pattern piece. This measures 150cm x 16cm if your fabric is 150cm wide or 114cm x 16 cm if your fabric is 114cm.Draw a chalk line across the entire width of your fabric, drop down for 16cm and draw another line, for sizes medium and large repeat, if your fabric is 150cm and for all sizes on fabric that is 114cm cut twice.
7. Check your measurements and your chalk lines.
8.Cut around the pdf template and your chalk line, for the front and the back. Cut out the sleeves using the pdf pattern and cut out the belt.
Remove the patterns pieces from the fabric. Using you rib jersey fabric cut a strip that measures 4cm x 53cm.
9.Thread the sewing machine in matching thread, and with the foot to the edge of the fabric sew a line of stitching around the front of the neck, this is to stop the fabric stretching during the sewing process, and called stay stitching. Stay stitching is done on your largest stitch and not secured at either end.
10. With the RS of the fabric together, pin the shoulder seams, and stitch together using a 1cm seam allowance. Check that you have changed to the normal size stitch on your sewing machine, after stay stitching.
11. Press the shoulder seam and zig zag the edges or over lock.
12. Fold the sleeve in half and make a small notch on the fold at the widest end of the sleeve. Open the sleeve and lay flat and with RS facing, Pin the notch onto the shoulder seam. Pin the remaining sleeve onto the dress. Sew into place using a 1cm seam allowance. Repeat for the remaining sleeve. Over lock or zig zag the seam.
13. Using the rib jersey join the short seam.
14. Pin the shoulder seams together. And make a small notch in the middle of the front neck, and the middle of the back neck.
15. With the RS of the dress facing you and the jersey band folded in half, match the seam on the jersey to the notch on the middle of the back neck. Divide the remaining band equally in 4 to match the front notch, and the shoulder seams, as shown in the image.
16. Pin the remaining band on stretching the jersey to fit the fabric of the dress, checking you have all 3 layers together, layer one dress, layers 2 and 3 jersey band.
17. With the foot to the end of the fabric stitch around the neckband.
18. Using a stitch un-picker remove your stay stitching.
19. Using a lover locker or zig zag stitch neaten the neck band. If your fabric is thick you can cut away the middle layer, then neaten your edge.
20. With RS facing join the under arm seam. Pin and stitch using a 1cm seam allowance, from the edge of the sleeve to the stitching line on the dress, as shown. Repeat on the remaining side.
21. Push the seam that joins the sleeve to the dress, towards the sleeve and pin from under the arm to the hem. Start your stitching from the underarm seam to the hem. Repeat on the remaining side.
22. Try on your dress now, check the length of the sleeve and the finished length of the dress. Adjust the length if needed, if you want to make it 2cm shorter, chalk a 2cm line up from the hem of the dress, and cut of the excess.
23. Over lock or zig zag stitch the hem and the sleeves, using a tape measure, turn up the hems for 1cm and stitch into place.
24. The belt, For size small fold the fabric in half length wise , and using a 1cm seam allowance, stitch up the short side 8cm , along the length of the belt, leaving a gap in the middle to turn the belt through, resume sewing to the end of the seam and down the remain short seam. Turn inside out and iron, slip stitch the gap. For sizes medium and large, you will have cut two lengths for the belt with RS together join the short seam open the belt and fold the long seam in half, continue to follow the instruction for size small.
CONGRATULATIONS you have made your self THE CLEMENTINE, well done. Please share your photoson the SEW RETRO Facebook page, Thank you.
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In this tutorial, Sew Retro takes sewing right back to the essential basics, showing you step-by-step in their guide on how to sew on a button.
You will need;
The item or garment you want to sew the button (s) on.
Matching thread, needle , buttons and scissors
Thread your needle, and tie the two ends together in a knot. Stitch up from inside the glasses case/item or garment and do a couple of little stitches on the spot to secure the thread.
Thread the button on to the needle and start stitching through the buttonholes. If it is a two-hole button then just keep coming up through one hole and down through the next.
If it is a four-hole button, then make sure you replicate the stitching in the rest of the buttons either with two parallel stitches or two diagonal stitches creating a cross. Stitch through each hole about four or five times.
Once you have finished the last stitch, come up underneath the button and wrap the thread around the stitching underneath the button a few times this will protect the stitches and help hold the button in place.
Make a loop to secure the stitches.
Then take the thread back down to the inside of the glasses case/item or garment and do a couple of secure stitches on the inside of the item/garment (these stitches should not be visible from the right side of the item/garment).
Cut the thread.
Congratulations! You have learnt the basic of sewing on a button.
Interested in more sewing projects for beginners? Follow the tutorials on our blog or come along to our regular to meet others and expand your skills.
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Free tutorial -Beginners sewing project _ Make your own “Fabric” and up cycle old plastic carrier bags.
Materials and Equipment
A pile of plastic bags
50cm of cotton tape I got mine here
D rings x 2 I got mine here
A small piece of leather or faux leather
20cm zip I got mine here
Matching thread or contrast thread, pins, tape measure, chalk, glue and scissors.
Tips for beginners
Seam allowance 1 cm this is the distance between the edge of the fabric and the stitch line. You will find a series of parallel lines engraved on the needle plate of your sewing machine pick the one marked with the measurement you need and keep the edge of the fabric to this guide
RS = right side of fabric WS = wrong side of fabric.
Collect old, broken or unusable plastic bags, sheets of plastic and the plastic used to deliver mail order packages, is all suitable for this up cycling project.
I kept a few plastic bags that were given to me when I bought bread from the bakery on a holiday to Greece, with this project in mind.
Cut the plastic into as large as possible squares or rectangles, at this stage you can make your design, the images below illustrates that I have started with a square of plastic, cut out and put on top of the plastic a layer of plastic stars, then put another clear layer of plastic over the stars.
Your layers of plastic now need to be put between two layers of non stick baking paper, and ironed with a hot iron, the plastic bags will shrink slightly and “glue” together (creating one layer) leaving you with a “ fabric “that is suitable to sew together to make simple items. You may need to repeat this process a few more time to make enough” fabric” for the wallet and key ring.
Cut out 2 x 20cm x 15cm for "fabric" to make the wallet.
Using a hand held needle, stitch the ends of the zip together.
Cut two pieces of 5cm tape, and pin the tape over the end of the zip, the tape need to be close to the end of the zip. Using a sewing machine stitch over the tape and the end of the zip. Repeat on the remaining end.
Fold the tape over the zip and stitch into place; this just holds the tape in the correct position for the next stage.
With the RS of your “fabric” facing up, place the RS of the zip on to the “fabric”, pin the zip to the wallet.
Change to the zipper foot, you will have to start machine stitching after the zip head, (the zip head is too wide to sew closely to the zip) machine stitch to the end, secure the stitching. Undo the zip and sew the section that has not been attached to the wallet. Repeat to attach the zip to the other piece of the wallet.
Cut a 6cm piece of tape, and insert the D ring, fold in half, and with the RS of your fabric facing up, pin the D ring 4cm down from the zip edge, the D ring facing into the wallet, as shown in the image.
Fold the wallet in half and stitch the 3 remaining sides, catching the tape with the D ring.
Turn the wallet inside out, and gently push out the corners of the wallet.
Using a small piece of leather or faux leather cut a half centimeter strip
X 14cm long. Thread the strip through the hole in the zip and glue together.
Congratulations, you have just made an AWESOME wallet.
Free tutorial -Beginners sewing project _ Make your own “Fabric” and up cycle old plastic carrier bags
and make a key ring
You will have enough tape left from the wallet project and 1 x D ring.
Using a few pieces of your left over fabric; cut out 2 identical heart shapes, mine were 8cm x 8cm approx.
Fold a 4cm strip of the tape into 3 and using matching thread, sew a line of stitching down the middle.
Fold the tapes in half with the D ring in the middle. Pin the tape to the WS of one of the hearts.
Pin the hearts WS together, and using a zig zag stitch, stitch around the edge of the heart.Secure the stitching, and thread the loose thread onto a needle and push the tread back into the heart, through the stitching, this helps to keep the stitching secure.
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Free tutorial -Beginners sewing project _ learn to sew and make an eye mask.
Materials and Equipment
15 cm x 50cm of cotton fabric, (main fabric) I got mine from here
15 cm x25cm of cotton fabric, (lining) I got mine from here.
15 cm x 25 cm of wadding /batting I got mine here
30cm of 0.5cm elastic
Matching thread, pins, tape measure, safety pin, and scissors, chalk and a ruler.
Optional -Rouleau Tool
Tips for beginners
Pinning the fabric for sewing.
Place the two pieces of fabric together, with right sides facing (the correct side of the fabric) and pin the raw edges together.
Seam allowance 1 cm this is the distance between the edge of the fabric and the stitch line. You will find a series of parallel lines engraved on the needle plate of your sewing machine pick the one marked with the measurement you need and keep the edge of the fabric to this guide.
1. Pin the pattern onto the main fabric, and cut 1,mark the notches for the placement of the band, repeat cutting out one eye mask from the lining and one from the wadding/batting.
Using your chalk and a ruler, mark as rectangle that measures 4cm x 50cm. Cut out this section.
2. Using the iron press the rectangle in half as shown.
3. Keeping a 1cm seam allowance stitch from one end to the other of the band. Trim the seam to 0.5cm it will make turning the WS to RS easier.
4. Either tie the thread onto a safety pin and drop the pin back down the rectangle, or use a rouleau tool to turn it to the right side.
5. Iron the rectangle/band flat.
6. Attach the safety pin to one end of your elastic, and thread the elastic through the gap at one end. Use a pin to secure the end and stop the elastic being pulled through.
7. Machine stitch a few stitches each end of the elastic and fabric to make it secure.( As shown in the image).
8. With the right side of the fabric facing you pin the band into place using the notches as a guide. Sew over the band on both edges.
9. With the wadding/batting facing you lay the main fabric and band on top of the wadding/batting RS up. Lay the WS facing you and the RS facing the main fabric, pin the 3 layers together.
10. Stitch around the eye mask leaving a small gap (as shown) to turn the eye mask inside out.
11. Using a sharp pair of scissors trim 2 of the seam you have just sewn, as shown, (the batting/wadding and the lining fabric) cut the wadding/batting and the lining to a 0.5cm seam.
12. Turn the eye mask inside out.
13. Using slip stitch and matching tread sew the gap closed.
14. Pat yourself on the back, Congratulations you have just made a gorgeous eye mask to gift or keep.
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Welcome to your exclusively free and oh-sew-simple tutorial from Sew Retro on how to make your very own fabulous tote bag, from scratch!
What you will need:
50 cm of medium weight fabric (I bought my fabric from Ditto). Cotton is easier to sew for beginners and a firm cotton fabric is suitable for a tote bag.
2 x meters of webbing 4cm wide for the handles (I bought mine from
Matching thread, pins, tape measure, and scissors
Quick tips for beginners;
Pinning the fabric for sewing. Place the two pieces of fabric together, with right sides facing (the correct side of the fabric) and pin the raw edges together.
1cm seam allowance. This is the distance between the edge of the fabric and the stitch line. You will find a series of parallel lines engraved on the needle plate of your sewing machine pick the one marked with the measurement you need and keep the edge of the fabric to this guide.....
1 .Cut out your materials according to the diagram; make the template 5cm x5cm square in paper or card.
2. Cut out a 5cm square using the paper template you have just made from each bottom corner of the main fabric. See image below;
With the right side of the fabric facing, pin the front and back together along the side and bottom edges.
Now you are ready to sew!
3. Thread your sewing machine in matching thread according to the manufacture instructions. Line the first seam up to the 1cm seam allowance guide on your sewing machine.
Sew a few stitches forward hold down the reverse button or leaver, reverse stitch for a few stitches, Sew to the end of the pined seam, using the reverse button or leaver, make a few stitch back to secure the seam. At the beginning and end of every seam you sew you will need to repeat this process. (This stops the stitching unravelling.)
4. Sew along the remaining 2 seams, securing the stitching at the beginning and end of each seam.
5. Change to zig zag stitch, to neaten your seams and stop the seam fraying, using the zig zag stitch sew on the edge of the 3 seams you have just sewn. You now have sewn 3 seams and are ready to make the corners of the tote bag.
6. As shown, open out and re-fold the corners so that the side and bottom seams match up. Pin and machine stitch taking a 1cm seam allowance.You are now ready to neaten the top.
7. As shown in the photo, measure and pin down a 2cm turning using a tape measure to make sure the depth is consistent. Press the top edge. Keeping the 2cm turning tucked under, turn the top of the bag down again for 6cm, and press. Machine stitch around the bag 5.5cm from the top edge of the bag, to hold the turning in place. Machine stitch around the top of the bag, placing the foot of the sewing machine to the edge of the fabric, or use the guide on you sewing machine.
Adding the handles
8. Cut two pieces of webbing to measure 86cm, fold each of the 4 ends under for 2cm pin and press. Pin the handles to the top edge of the bag so that the outside edge of the handle lies 8cm in from the side seam and the short ends are lined up along the stitch line, pin and tack, then sew down securely with a box of reinforcing stitches. Starting at the top right hand corner, stitch a square, going back over the existing stitch line. Sew diagonally across to the bottom left hand corner, along the bottom edge then diagonally up to the top left hand corner, repeat on the remaining handles.
Congratulations you have made your first tote bag!
Tag us on Instagram or Twitter to show us your designs, we'd love to see how you got on.
Interested in more sewing projects for beginners? Follow the tutorials on our blog or come along to our to meet others and expand your skills.
x
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