Thursday, July 23, 2015

DIY criss-cross crop top (tutorial)

Hey everyone!
I was asked to elaborate on a criss-cross crop top I posted on Facebook.

This one.

So here's a tutorial on how to make your very own criss-cross crop top!

You'll need:
- Stretchy fabric, about 1-1.5 meters (the pieces we're cutting out are kind of odd-shaped that this is rather fabric-wasting project tbh...)
- Scissors
- Measuring tape
- Pins and some safety pins
- Sewing machine (and an overlocker if you have one, but a sewing machine will work just as well)
- Thread that matches your fabric.

So here's my design on the top:

The measurements in the picture are mine, so you'll have to measure your own:
- A is the circumference of your chest, minus a few centimeters and divided by two. So my chest circumference is around 90cm, and I ended up actually making the length of A a bit more, something like 43cm.
- B is just there to remind me that my arm should fit through the armhole :D
- C is the length of the sides. I wanted to make a crop top so mine is around 20cm, but you can make it longer (or shorter)
- D is the width of shoulder seams (the only actual seams of this top). I'd written down 10cm, and the white top's shoulders are around that width, but the black one I made for this tutorial has narrower "straps".

So like it states on the picture, you cut the fabric so that your C length is on the fold of the fabric. The stretch of the fabric should go sideways from C.

For this tutorial, I made a black top with a purple inside lining (because I didn't have enough black fabric for the lining as well).

Here I have cut the black pieces:

There's two pieces and the side (C) is on fold, so I've actually cut through four layers of fabric in one go. This gives me two black pieces. I guesstimated the shape of the piece, measured the lengths A-D, pinned the four layers and and cut out.

Then I repeated the same on the purple lining fabric (stretchy as well), using the black piece as my guide. That gave me two purple pieces and two black, like this:

Here you can see what the pieces look like when unfolded.

I unfolded the pieces and put a black one and a purple one right sides together (if your lining is the same fabric just slap any of your two pieces together right side to right side). Here are the pieces pinned together (upside down):

In case you're wondering at the small cut pieces at the opposite ends, I wanted to make the back of the top a bit different, but you can totally leave the pieces identical.

Then I serged around the edges, leaving the ends open (if you don't have an overlocker, just use a zigzag stitch or a stretch stitch):

Above is one piece serged around the edges, leaving the shoulder parts open so you can then turn the piece inside out (or more like "right sides out", as demonstrated by the lower piece in the picture). Once you've turned the pieces inside out to reveal the right side of the fabric, iron the seams so they settle neatly!

Then they should look like this (folded):

(They are folded so that this will be the backside.)

The above picture doesn't really look like a top, but once you put the pieces on top of each other, it starts to look like one:

(This is the front.)

Next, fold the pieces right sides together to sew the shoulder seams (pinned here):

I sewed the seams with a small straight stitch and then overlocked the excess to get a neat result.

Then it's time to put the pieces on to see the way they should be attached together. This is where safety pins come in handy, as they allow you to pin the top while it's on you without murdering you when you take it off.

Simply put the pieces on separately, the shoulder seam is (logically) at the shoulder and one arm + head go through the piece so that the C length is at the side opposite from the shoulder. Position the pieces so they look nice, then pin with safety pins at the front (don't worry about the back just yet).

Like so.

Take the top off and thank your safety pins for not trying to kill you like regular pins would have done.

Sew along the red lines, using a straight stitch:

Try to stay close to the edge. The front then looks like this:

Put the top back on and tug the back as you want it. If you have someone who can help you, have them put the four safety pins as you did at the front. If not, then just try and get some safety pins in place so you can determine where to sew. :D Sew the back seams like you did the front:

Along the pinned line.

And that's it, folks! Your criss-cross crop top is done!

Put it on and rock it!


So, I hope you found this tutorial helpful. What do you think of the top? If you decide to try this out please comment with a link, I want to see your criss-cross tops as well! Also, if there was something in this tutorial that was unclear or you didn't understand, don't hesitate to ask, I'll do my best to clear things up! :)


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sweetheart-neckline polka dot dress (rockabilly style)

Hey everyone!
So I got extremely lucky at the Salvation Army secondhand store the other day. I found this raspberry colored fabric with off-white polka dots. Actually, I found 6 meters of it (roughly 6.5 yards). For 4 euros (~$4.30).

Four euros! For six meters of fabric! Now that's cheap.

So anyway. For me, anything polka dot automatically means pin up or rockabilly. Or at least that's the first association.

So I headed out to Google Images and googled polka dot rockabilly dresses for inspiration.

I decided to try a sweetheart-neckline top with wide straps. I'd watched Coolirpa's tutorials on how to create a basic sweetheart top and how to make a lining for such top, and with these videos as my guide, I measured and cut out the pieces for the top, twice (I decided to use the same fabric for lining the dress since I had so much fabric to work with, but any fabric will do as long as the stretch of the fabrics is sort of similar).

Top pieces x1.

I sewed the top pieces together at the sides (right sides together), creating two identical top pieces. I tried one on for size, did a little trimming at the seams, and then measured roughly how long the straps should be. Now, the easiest would have been to make a halterneck like in Coolirpa's first video, but halternecks give me a headache. I mean literally, the strap pressing into the back of my neck all day gives me a massive headache, so hence the regular straps. I cut out two rectangles of the length I'd guesstimated the straps to be, with the width being twice what I wanted the finished straps to be. I sewed the straps into tubes right sides together and then turned the tubes inside out. So then I had two identical top pieces and two straps:

Putting the top together with the straps happens like this: Put the top pieces together, right side to right side, and the straps should be in between the pieces so that when you sew along the top line and then flip it open, the straps are where they're supposed to be. Sounds confusing, but it's actually really easy.

So I pinned the pieces right sides together with the straps in like this:

Then when I sewed along the top edge and flipped it open, it looked like this:

I top-stitched along the edge to prevent the lining from rising up and being visible to the outside:

So then I cut the skirt pieces. Full circle, of course, and since the fabric was kind of thin (not see-through though), I lined the skirt part as well, making it double-layer. I also added pockets like these in this tutorial. Add waistband, zipper and hem the dress... as usual. :D

And done:

Rocking the dress:


So, what do you think of this polka dot dream? :)


Monday, July 13, 2015

Household fabrics into clothing vol. ??? - dress from a curtain

It's the middle of July and I'm making fall clothes. Perhaps it's because it hasn't really felt like summer due to the weather being rainy and cold, so I'm simply looking ahead and planning for when it really gets cold and miserable.

And well, today's project isn't fall-themed except for the colors of the print on the fabric (and maybe the thickness of the fabric).

See, I found this 1m x 2m curtain from a secondhand store for 2 euros, and I immediately loved the print:

The colors are definitely made for fall, even though the print itself is sort of summery.

I'd had this inspiration picture of a front-zip dress saved on my laptop for ages now, so I decided to try it out with the curtain:

I'd found a long separating zipper for 50 cents at the secondhand store, and it was dark brown with brass-colored zipper teeth so it was perfect for this fabric.

I started out by cutting the already hemmed ends of the curtain (so I wouldn't have to hem the dress, because I'm lazy af. ;D) I cut them 57cm long from both ends of the fabric, leaving enough fabric in the middle to make the top:

I then placed the two bottom pieces right sides together and sewed down on one side only, making a 2m x 0.57m piece with a seam down the middle (this seam will be at the back):

I made pleats on the piece until it matched my waist:

Then I sewed over the pleats to keep them in place (and took off the pins from the hem):

I cut out the top pieces from the remaining fabric:

The two separate pieces are the front (since the zipper will be in the front).

Then I simply sewed the top pieces together at the sides, added some darts to make it more fitting and also made one pleat to the front on each side of the zipper. I attached the top to the bottom right sides together, sewed the zipper in, hemmed the armholes and neckline and the dress was done:

Also, just for the hell of it, I tried the dress on "backwards", and what do you know, it works just as well! (If you can stand sitting on a zipper... :P)

So I can wear it like this for a change...

...But I think I prefer this look. :)


So yeah, Scoundrel makes clothes out of household fabrics, vol. ???

What do you think about the front zipper? Yay or nay? :)


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Some random things I've sewn lately (shirts, skirts and a dress)

Hello everyone,
I've done a lot of sewing lately, but I haven't put all of my finished projects on my blog. Here are some pictures of stuff I've finished.

When I made that matching vintage crop top and skirt, I made another cropped tee as well, with raglan sleeves:

(Also of vintage fabric.)

I also made a shirt for a 4th of July hangout I had with a friend (front piece fabric from my grandma-in-law, lacy fabric from a from a blanket piece I got from a friend):

(Star-and-stripes drawn on Paint, made into stencil and painted with fabric paint.)


Then I've made skirts. Seriously, I'm like a skirt machine or something. I see a fun patterned fabric, and BAM! It turns into a skirt.

...As demonstrated by:

A) A former picnic blanket (7 euros from secondhand store):

(I also made the bandeau style top.)

B) this floral fabric (2 euros from secondhand store):

C) This old curtain (4 euros from secondhand store, fabric design is Marimekko):

D) This maxi skirt (skirt fabric 2 euros from secondhand store, and the top is actually the hem of a pencil dress I'd chopped in half earlier this summer):


I also made this dress with lace pieces at the waist, hem and sleeves (blue fabric from my grandma-in-law, lace is from the same blanket piece as the 4th of July shirt):


So yeah. I've been sewing a lot. :D What do you think of these pieces? :)