Pattern hack – zipped cowl top

Is that a good name for it?  Not sure what to call this style.

Okay, what we have here is a tutorial for a pattern hack to get this style of top:

Instructions to hack a pattern

In order to do this hack, you need a basic long sleeve t-shirt top pattern that fits.  I used the Wardrobe by Me Basic T-shirt in a size larger than I would fit per the measurements.  I wanted it looser fitting.  I added the band at the bottom, the cowl and a facing, but otherwise, the bones of this top is just a basic long-sleeved t-shirt top.

Need –

  • Basic t-shirt pattern
  • 1.5 yards of fabric (roughly)
  • Interfacing
  • 16″ or 18″ zipper
  • Optional: Wondertape (for placing zipper)

Take out your front, back and sleeve shirt patterns, and trace a copy of them.  Figure out where it would hit just under your breasts, and mark that spot on your pattern piece.  Now make a gradual curve down to the side.  I just draw this in with a pencil first and then cut.

The diagram above shows what I did for the front and back pieces.  Make sure the cuts meet up on the sides.  The bottom band for my shirt ended up being 6″ x 18″ on the fold (both top and sides).

This next diagram shows how I used the front piece that I had cut from the pattern to draft two new pieces.

The cowl I measured the length of the neck opening on the pattern pieces (subtracting the seam allowance at the shoulder), and used that length for the length of the piece.  The width is 7.5″ wide, which can be cut on the fold OR you can use two different fabrics for the inside and outside (what I have done).

These are the majority of the pattern pieces (just missing a piece for the bottom band and front facings).

These are all the pieces cut out except the front facings.  I forgot to do those until I got to that part of construction.  I just used 2″ into each side of the front pieces for the facing pieces.  The facing is just giving you some protection from chaffing from the zipper.

Construction:

  • Sew the shoulder seams together (I sewed the bottom on the back piece first, but you can wait on that if you want).

  • If you have an inside and outside of the cowl piece, you need to sew them together along the long edge.
  • Attach the cowl to the neckline along one edge right sides together.  The inside of the cowl is going to be the one showing, so select the outside part to attach first.

  • Next add the facings to the inside edge of the cowl.  Don’t use a serger for this, just zigzag them on.

  • Add interfacing along the edges.  My interfacing was 1.5″ wide.  If you have a seam for the cowl, just go up to that seam and not over it.  I ended up cutting the interfacing there, since it affects how the seam folds over.

  • Take your zipper, and figure out where it will hit at the neckline and mark this spot.  This helps to make sure your zipper does not get skewed and offset when stitching up.

  • Place the marking at the neckline and sandwich it between the inside/outside cowl, front piece and front facing.  Clip in place, and you can check to make sure the zipper will match when zipping it up by turning it carefully to the outside and zipping up. Straight stitch the zipper.  If you want to make sure it won’t shift, use Wondertape to hold in place.  Just make sure you are placing the tape inside the seam allowance so it won’t show once stitched up.

  • Top-stitch the zipper seams.

  • Attach the inside edge of the cowl to the neckline.  You can turn the edge under, pin and top-stitch or do the burrito method (enclosing the body pieces in the cowl), leaving an opening to pull everything through to the outside.  I did the burrito method, and then still top-stitched.  It just allowed me to not have to pin as much.

  • Top-stitch the top edge of the cowl (if desired), and stitch down the front facing pieces.

  • Now we are going to attach the bottom front to the top.  I didn’t want the extra zipper teeth at the bottom to be irritating when worn, so first I stitched across the zipper.  Next, I cut off the excess zipper and pulled the teeth apart up to the stitching.  Lastly I pulled the excess teeth off with a small pliers.  When stitching the bottom to the top, I wanted to make sure it held together, so I just did a quick basting stitch to the bottom of the zipper to keep them together.
  • Mark the middle on the top and bottom pieces.  Clip them together and stitch for both the front and back.  I first stitched the front pieces on the sewing machine and then serged.  I just wanted to make sure my serger wouldn’t hit the zipper, because that causes broken needles flying to your eyeballs.

  • Top-stitch the seams, if desired (I did).
  • Attach the arms.  I color blocked them at the 3/4 sleeve line and added a few inches of extra length.
  • Sew up the side seams, matching the curves at the side, and hem the arms.

  • Sew the edges of the bottom band together.  Mark it in 1/4’s for the sides, middle front and middle back.

  • Mark the middle front and middle back on the bottom of the body pieces, and match them up on the band.  Sew the band on the shirt.

  • All done!

Let me know if anything is unclear in the tutorial.  I didn’t detail everything, as if you have a basic pattern, you should have instructions for some of it already.

The fabrics I used here are a brushed poly stripe from Fabric Anthropology, a black fleece backed poly and a quilted faux leather from Joann’s.

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How to make a leather tassel

Leather tassels on purses can be a great accent.  They can go on the zipper, or just hang off the handle.  I also use these for my keys.  I tend to have large purses, and it is much easier to find my keys when it is attached to a bit of fringe.

This is how I make these leather tassels, though, I am certain there are many other ways.  (Yes, my cutting mat has seen better days.  I tend to do multiple crafts on it, and it gets a bit messy!)

  1. Cut out a piece of leather. You can roll the leather to figure out how thick you would like the tassel.  Some leather is thicker than others, so it will be larger when rolled.  This piece is 6″ long and 13″ wide.  I usually cut somewhere around 10″ wide.  The length, again, is personal preference.  I sometimes keep the natural edge of the hide.  I do these for two reasons.
    • One:  I don’t like to waste the leather.
    • Two: It’s an interesting edge.

This piece sat next to an oil tanned hide, which leached into this one.  The discoloration will look fine on the tassel.

2.  Next, you need to take a straight edge and a rotary cutter to cut the fringe.  I make them roughly 1/4 inch apart, and stop it at 1.5 inches from the top.  You can use a scissors, but rotary cutters work really well for this.

3.  Now that the fringe is cut, you need a little strap for the top.  This is around 1″ x 4″.  I just rough cut the length to make sure it is long enough to go into the fringe.

4.  Using a glue (here are two options), spread the glue across the entire top piece.  I used a bit too much on this one.  You could also use something like a school glue, too, if you don’t have access to these.

5.  Place the top strap at the inside edge, and tightly wrap the fringe.  Make sure the top is even as you wrap it.  The glue leaked out a bit on this, since I went a bit too aggressive with it.

6.  Next, I put a contrast leather around the top piece.  Cut to size.  I suggest cutting a little wider than you think you will need.  This should have been a smidge wider.  I added some “bling” to dress this up.  You can also add decorative rivets.

7.  Sew the contrast piece to the top.  Generally, I want to have to stretch it to fit, so it fits tightly.

8.  Add a split ring and snap to finish it off.   Usually the snap piece needs to be wide enough to fit over a purse’s hardware.  I also had purchased some odds and ends on clearance at Michaels, and this stone worked perfectly!

Now you have a lovely fringe for your purse or keys!

 

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Leather gifts

We are at a point in our familial gift giving, that many just want to exchange for the kids and not do anything else.  We are getting some gifting back, but for the most part the adults are not interested.  I miss it.

I do have a cousin in California that always sends something nice and thoughtful to us.  This year I finally had time to be thoughtful, too.  I made a little clutch for her that could go over her saddle horn, if she wanted a place to store her keys and phone while riding.  I made her hubs a wallet, which was a first for me.  I would make some changes.  It is narrower than I would like and the inside card pocket needed some more room on it, too.  Next one.

These are a mixture of an oiled cowhide and lambskin leathers.  The cowhide is VERY oiled.  The other leathers were starting to darken up from the oil in the main leather.  Oh well.  It still looked nice. 🙂

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I put together a tutorial on how to do a reverse applique on leather.  This is the process I use for each one that I make.

Leather reverse applique tutorial

First, I cut out a piece of Heat n’ Bond that will be a little larger than my design.  Next, I draw my design on half of it.  Options for designs if drawing is not a skill you possess – trace out an image from an image search of tattoo designs, clip art, coloring book pages, etc.  It just can’t be too intricate, since you have to anchor it with stitching.  It is hard to do that if they have a lot of small pieces.

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Cut out the design.  You can also do this when it is on the leather, but I like to do it beforehand, so I can cut the leather cleaner.  Your choice. 🙂

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Now, find the mid-point on the leather for applying the applique.

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Now, iron it onto the leather.  Make sure that it is placed evenly on each side before ironing it.  Ask me how I know to do this??  Use a press cloth, or else your iron will stick, and possibly sear, the leather.

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Now time to cut it out!  I use a combination of exacto knife, small scissors, big scissors and rotary cutter.  I try to get the big, longer cuts first and then do the smaller intricate ones last.

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Peel off the backing, and cut out another piece of leather that will cover the hole.  Iron this on, using the press cloth.

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To secure it, sew it on the sewing machine.  To sew this, I have a leather needle and use a long stitch.  I have to walk it around some of the areas, so you really have to go slow to make sure it looks nice in the end.

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Don’t cut the threads, but pull to the back and tie off.

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I have a full tutorial on this No Hardware Clutch here.

Pattern hack – Cowl/hood top

I like to look at CAbi for inspiration on new pieces to make.  I like the details, in general, and they tend to have nice finishes.  I have a friend that invites me to her parties, and I usually end up buying a few pieces that fit into my wardrobe.

This casual top caught my eye this time:

cabi-playground-pullover

It is a deep cowl (about 12″) that transitions into a hood.  It is a nice piece, but I knew I could make it much cheaper than the price they were charging.  It was a pretty simple hack, too.

The top pattern I used here for the base is the Wardrobe by Me Builder T-shirt, which I sized up by one size to make it a looser fit.

The first top I did, I learned a good lesson with it.  Don’t use a poly knit that has a definite right side and wrong side.  You need a knit that is hard to differentiate the front from the back, or where you don’t mind the wrong side color.

After making this first one, I realized my pattern was too shallow for the hood part.  I also didn’t do the thumb-holes or tie waist.  I just wanted to get a muslin completed.  It was wearable, at least.

I do like how this second one turned out.

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Here is the add on I made to the basic pattern.  The neckline I used was the medium scoop boatneck.  Here are my hand-drawn pattern pieces for the hood and cuffs.  I wrote on the main hood piece the hood binding measurements, so don’t miss that piece.

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Fabric is from Joann’s. I uploaded my Silhouette Studio file for the shirt design to my Google Drive folder.

  1.  Sew your shirt up (shoulder seams, attach sleeves, sew up the side seams), leaving the neckline edge raw.
  2.  Sew the front and back cowl/hood pieces together.

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3.  Top-stitch the seams.  I just used a long straight stitch and pull it while I stitch it, so it has some stretch to it.

20161022_15754.  Sew the ends of the binding together and attach to the hood, with the seam in the middle top of the hood.

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5. Press the stitching down towards the inside of the hood and topstitch.

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6.  Turn the binding inward in half and then over the seam.  Pin and topstitch.

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7.  Mark the midde front and middle back of the shirt neckline and cowl.  Clip together at these spots and pin the rest together.  They should match fairly close.  Sew together.

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8.  Pin the bottom hem 1.5″, sew up the hem, leaving an opening to add elastic.  Put in the elastic, and close up the hole.  I measured the elastic on my high hip to determine a comfortable length.

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9.  The thumbhole cuffs are hard to explain, so see this tutorial if the pictures don’t make sense.  First you sew up the side seams on the cuffs.

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10.  Have one cuff edge inside out and one right side out and fit the corners together.  You can use a needle and thread to sew in the corners and pull them together.  Baste them down, so they won’t move.  Sew just inside the seam to catch the edge, and stitch a few lines 0.5″ down.

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11.  Place the side seams together, matching them carefully, and pin.  Sew down from the hem, along the seamline for 1.5″ (I did 2″ here and it was a little tight). Make sure to back-tack and secure the seams.

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12.   Turn right side out.  One side will generally look better, so choose that one for the outside. Pin the cuffs to the ends of the sleeves and attach.

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All done!

Sewing with Leather – Some Tips

This is a blog post I did for the Sewing Pattern Testers blog.  It was edited a bit and she is new at blogging, so didn’t get how to put the html into the post.  I am sure she will get better in time.  So…here is the complete post with pictures and links!

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Hello all!  My name is Stacy, and I blog over at Stylin’ Stacy.  I have been sewing for over 30 years, and am over-run with projects constantly!

I am by no means an expert on sewing with leather, but I do have a few years’ worth of experience under my belt.  Here is a compilation of sewing tips and things to look for when sewing with leather.

#1 – Leather Selection

Different animals produce different kinds of leather products.  Tandy Leather has a detailed explanation of weights and terminology.

Here are some basics that I have learned.

Lambskin – This is the softest and thinnest leather that you will find in commercial outlets.  It is a common leather product and is generally dyed different colors and may have some embossing (a pattern stamped into the leather).  The hides are generally small, so don’t expect to get a lot out of one hide.  Lambskin is popular for making apparel due to its soft and pliable nature.   It is also easier to sew with it due to the thickness.

Pigskin – Soft, relatively thin, and a little larger hide than a lambskin.  You can feasibly get a purse out of hide.  This also gets dyed many different colors and gets embossed.

That green wants to be a Green Bay Packers purse…I can tell. 😉

Deerskin – Very soft and large hide.  These tend to be pretty spendy due to the hide size, durability and softness.  These are generally found in more natural colors and black.

Cowhide – This is the thickest you will find.  It also comes in varying thicknesses, from ones you can sew on the machine to ones too thick to sew on a standard machine.  It is the most durable, but also hardest to sew.  Some of the more processed hides can be made fairly soft, but the thickness will make it harder to sew.

#2 – Sewing Machine use

By and large if you are sewing with the thinner leathers (Lambskin, Pigskin and some Deer hides) you won’t have a problem with your home machine.  If your machine has a hard time sewing denim, then you may want to look for a more durable machine.

I purchased a Singer 401A vintage machine for the heavier projects, since after sewing a thick cowhide purse I needed to repair the timing on my machine.

A few things to make sewing with leather easier is a Teflon foot and a Leather Needle.  I have heard good things about having a walking foot, as well.   I don’t have one, so can’t give out personal experience on that.

Suede will glide easier under the pressure foot, but the stickier leathers will have a hard time consistently going under.   If you don’t want to buy a teflon or walking foot, or are still having issues, add a layer of tissue paper over the leather.  This will help it glide over, and just carefully tear it off the seam afterwards.

You may also need to decrease the presser foot pressure.  See your manual for how to do that.

I use normal weight thread when sewing with leather.  If you have a spot that will have a lot of stress, I would recommend sewing with upholstery thread.  It is thicker, and may require some tension adjustment, but it is really hard to break.

Keep the stitching length long, to lessen the holes in the leather and likelihood of tearing.  On my Janome I use a stitch length of 3-4.

#3 – Sewing with leather

Some random tips…

– You can iron leather, but turn off the steam.  The water releasing onto the leather can stain it.  I also use a press cloth to make sure my iron doesn’t stick to the leather.

– Use a hammer or mallet to pound down seams.  Some seams get pretty bulky, so use your hammer to get them flatter and easier to go under the presser foot.

– Don’t use pins.  Instead of pins, use Clover Clips or paper clips to hold in place.  The pins will puncture holes in the leather.

– Glue is your friend.  Not being able to use pins can put you in a bind in some places.  I use a glue stick to hold it in place for stitching, or I also use Wondertape.

– Leather will stretch.  This is something to keep in mind for bag handles.  You can use interfacing (including iron-on interfacing) to keep them from stretching out too much.  I have also sewn twill tape or ribbon in between layers to keep things in place.

– You can wash leather, but some take to it better than others.  I would suggest using a color catcher in the wash the first few times to make sure the dye doesn’t bleed onto other garments.  The leather will lose some of its softness.  If you make a leather jacket, skirt or bag, I would suggest dry cleaning those.  If it is just an accent on clothes, like a collar or elbow patches, I throw it in the wash on cold and hang to dry.

– The lighter leather colors are predisposed to staining, so you might want to seal it.  Don’t wear a new pair of blue jeans with your natural colored leather purse.  Ask me how I know?

– Unless you are interested in tooling leather, stay away for the vegetable tanned leather hides.  These are usually heavier weight to account for the tooling/stamping that happens with these unfinished hides.  They are fairly hard, too, and not good for garments.  They can work for purses, but will likely require hand-stitching.  Tooling leather is a whole other animal from sewing bags and garments.

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– If you are using rivets or studs for the leather, be aware that they come in different thicknesses.  You want a shorter shaft on anything you will be putting on thinner leathers.  Otherwise, when you go to pound it down, there will be too much room and it will go offset.

rivets

– Sometimes you will just have to hand-sew the leather if it is too thick.  Sewing machines for specifically sewing leather are very expensive, so unless you plan on doing it often, have some extra room and a spare $1K+ you may have to bust out the leather sewing needle and thimble (you will need a thimble, trust me).  If you do go this route, I recommend getting this, this and this.

hand sewn laptop bag

That is all I can think of to tell you right now, but feel free to ask questions!  I will try to answer if I can.

Draped front top

Years ago I bought a jersey t-shirt at a fast fashion store, and it turns out that I loved the fit of it.  It was too casual to wear to work, but I wanted to make a pattern from it so I could make some shirts to wear for my business casual office.

They turned out just the way I wanted!  One didn’t drape as much, so I angled out the pattern piece more after that one.  If you want more drape on it, you just move the top of the front pattern piece out from the fold line, and keep the bottom of the pattern at the fold line.

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Here is what the pattern pieces look like:

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Here is a link to a pdf of the hand-drawn pattern that is my size (39B, 32W, 39H).

draped top layout

You can grade it to your own size by using a pattern that fits you already.  This can just give you some guidelines.  I estimated from my memory on the bands.  They should be correct, but my memory isn’t that great.  I have found bands also really depend on the stretch in your fabric.  These tops had a nice amount of lycra, so it worked for them.  Generally I go with 75-80% of the opening for the bands.

EDIT: That bottom band is off.  It should be about 16″ x 6″ on the fold.

EDIT #2:  To create a greater drape on the front: Put your front pattern piece on the fabric on the fold, and angle the top out away from the fold a few extra inches.  The bottom pattern piece will still be next to the fold of the fabric.   The more you move it out, the greater the drape and opening at the top.  I have been moving it out about 2 – 3″ for the tops I have been making lately (6/7/17).

I also suggest a jersey or a bamboo lycra for these tops.  If the fabric doesn’t have a drape to it, then it won’t work as well.

This pattern was really quick to make with a serger.

Steps:

  • Fold the back neckline binding in half, long sides, wrong sides together.  Attach to the back neckline, stretching the binding a little as you go.  Press and topstitch.
  • Serge the front hemline.  You could leave it unserged, too, since it is a knit and shouldn’t fray.
  • Attach the front and back together at the shoulder.  You need to sandwich the back neckline in between the front neckline where it angles out.  Serge.
  • Bind the armholes.  Press and topstitch.
  • Sew up the side seams.
  • Sew the bottom band in a continuous circle and fold in half.
  • Attached the bottom band.
  • Done!

I made three tops with this, and I know I will be wearing them a lot this summer.

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Skirting the issue – some oldies but goodies

It is that time of year for Skirting the Issue. Simple Simon hosts a month of sewing tutorials and sewalongs to sew up some skirts for foster girls.

Over the years I have done a few tutorials for sewing up some skirts, as my girl used to wear them quite often.  Not so, now.  Ah, the tween years!

Here are the tutorials that I have made.  Skirts are such a quick and easy project to make, and even better, you can bring a smile to a little girl in foster care.

Twirly skort with a detachable pocket

2009 03 10_0192Double layered drop-waist skirt

double layered skirt

Scalloped hem skirt with side pockets

scalloped hem skirtNow, go forth and make some pretty skirts for girls.  I intend to make a few myself, and I will make sure to link up when I do.

WBM – Sewing in swim cups

I happily decided to test this new swimsuit by Wardrobe by Me, since I wanted a new suit to wear.  This is a good basic swimsuit, that most people should be able to make.  I did a few things different from the pattern, and Christina asked me to write up a guest blog post on them, which is (will be?) over on the WBM blog.

One thing that I definitely like to have in a swimsuit is bra cups.  I have nursed two kids and tend to be cold quite often.  I’d rather defray any additional attention, and put in some cups.

My favorite swim cups I have purchased were from Sew Sassy.  I also got my micro mesh from there, too (tummy control lining).  I didn’t like the cups I found at Joanne’s Fabric Store here, which were Dritz brand.  They didn’t form quite as well, and were more pointy.  These give a nice rounded appearance and form to your body.

Okay, so now that you have your swim cups, I am going to show you how to insert them in the cups of your swimsuit.

First things first, mark the gathering lines.  It is easier to do it now before putting in the cups.

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Now, place your cups at least an inch up from the bottom edge and center them.  You may want to place them over your chest to make sure that is the right placement, too.  Now, flatten out the bra cups over the lining, and make sure the lining is not stretched out underneath.  Smooth everything out, while keeping it flattened, and then pin the edges.

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Take them to your machine and zigzag stitch them onto the lining, pulling out the pins as you go.  The result may have a little bunching, but it will smooth out when worn.

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Now place the fabric over the swim cups in the lining and serge, or zigzag the side edges together.  I also gathered the bottom edge while I was at it.

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Attach the elastic to the inside edge of the cups.   When attaching, leave a tail out at the beginning to make it easier.  I don’t cut my elastic first, and just cut the edge when I am done.  Pull the elastic slightly (just the elastic) as you zigzag this onto your swimsuit.  Repeat for the other piece.

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To ensure that your cups stay together when attaching to the body or band, just do a few stitches within the seam allowance.

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I wanted my suit to have the seams enclosed, so here is how to do that, as well.  I tend to do this to all my lined garments.  I enclose as many seams as I can!

Side note: If you want to use micro mesh, or some other equivalent, don’t do your entire suit in this fabric.  Your crotch lining needs to be a lining fabric.  I find it more comfortable to just do the tummy, or front, panel in micro mesh and everywhere else in regular lining fabric.

Gather your cups in between the markings.  Take your swimsuit lining and main body and sandwich the cups in between, right sides of the cups facing right side of the body.  I mark the center of the body with a pin and align the middle of the cups to make sure everything is centered.  Loosen the gathering on the cups until the edges meet up.  Make sure your gathering looks even on both cups and then pin or clip the layers together.

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Sew with a zigzag stitch.  Clip any threads between the layers.

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Now, attach one of the back sides (main and lining) in between the front lining and main fabric.  Zigzag or serge this seam.

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This is where it gets a little more complicated.  Think of a burrito, where you have to roll things in the middle.  The front pieces end up in the middle here.  Place the back main piece right sides together with the front main and lining.  Pull the back lining around and attach over the front lining.  Pin or clip in place and serge.  If you want to check to see if it is all correct before sewing, pull it out while pinned to make sure everything is attached correctly and then put it back.  Saves on seam ripping.

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Now you have it all nicely lined!

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Continue on with the rest of the instructions for the swimsuit and get it finished up for a day at the beach. 🙂

Ciri cosplay – the accessories

I knew that my daughter wanted to be Ciri for many, many months, but I was stumped on how to make a few of the items.  The metal belt that Ciri wears is one of them.

screenshot corset

I wasn’t sure how I would make it so that all of the pieces were the same.  I knew I had to make a template, but wasn’t sure what to use.  I first tried to make one out of wax, and that was a failure.  Next, I decided to make it out of clay, and that worked.

20160504_6760 20160504_6758 20160504_6759First, I drew out the template in pencil and then rubbed it onto the flattened clay.  Next, I cut out the pieces and then baked it.

20160504_6754 20160504_6755 20160504_6756Once it was baked, I let it cool and then used the pieces to push into the clay.

20160504_6761Using a straight edge, I cut the sides and angled the corners.

20160504_6762 20160504_6763The glass bead is something I found at Michael’s in their flower section.  You need to press it into the center so that it has a place to sit.

20160504_6764 20160504_6765To attach these to a belt, you need to have some holes in them.  I decided to attach them underneath the bead, so I made three holes.  Once done, I baked them.  For the two side pieces, I draped them over cannolli tubes so that they curved.  When they were cool, I sprayed them with silver spray paint.

I cut a piece of leather, and spaced out the tiles.  I attached them to the belt with wax thread.  Once that was done, I glued the glass beads over the top with E6000 glue.

20160504_6766 20160505_6742The other clay piece I did was the cat’s head.  I looked at pictures of it and then carved it with my clay tools.  Once done, I baked it and spray painted it.  I added the back ring with E6000 glue.  Not perfect, but good enough!

20160507_6737Next belt was the leather belt.  I bought a belt blank from Tandy Leather and then the cross stamp.  I used the swivel cutter for the rest of the cuts.

20160505_6747Next was dying it with leather dye, and then adding the hardware.

Other leather pieces I did were the arm straps and the pouches.

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Lastly was the knife and sheath.  I didn’t get any pictures of making it since it was last night, and I was running out of time!  The handle is a cut up wooden candle holder, the knife part is a small piece of wood, and the circles in the middle and the cap are made of clay.  The handle is wrapped in leather.

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I think she turned out pretty close.  I am just missing her gloves and sword, which I will work on before the Renaissance here in the fall.  Plus, I have to get my son’s costume done, too.  I just ran out of time.  Story of my life!

ciri collageBetter pictures will come, too.  She rocked it at the con, though.  And she loved the scars (little wierdo).

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Keyhole overlay top – pattern hack

A few years ago, I pinned this picture on my Things To Make board on Pinterest.  I love the look of this top, and figured I could just hack a t-shirt pattern or something to make it.

As part of my wardrobe capsule, I wanted to make that top…finally.  After having sewn up the Sneha tunic, I decided to hack it for the top. It has a long hemline, scooping neckline and cap sleeves, so it worked well for it.  I cut it to have the asymmetrical hemline.

In case you notice it, let me be the first to say that…Yes, I know the bottom of my v-neckline is a little off center.  I was having some issues and finally said, “screw it…good enough!”

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I just basically did an overlay and then bound the necklines.

To draft it, I took the front pattern piece and redrew it.  I think I lowered the scoop a little, too.  I laid that over some paper, and drew out where I wanted the keyhole to be.  You have to take into account the binding that would go around the necklines.  I made sure the armsyce matched and then went down about 2.0″ inches into the body.

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Note that the inner shoulder is narrower.  We’ll get to the “why” later.

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There is about a 2.5″ difference for the keyhole.

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In making it:

  • I bound the underneath neckline and the bottom hem of the overlay.
  • I serged all the pieces together at the shoulder seam.
  • I bound the neckline.  The underneath neckline at the shoulder is narrower than the top piece and the back so that it doesn’t get caught in binding the neckline.
  • Lastly, you add the arms, do the side seams and hem the bottom and sleeves.

There you go.  A fairly easy pattern hack and a cute top!  I know I will make more…just need some more sewing time!

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