Sunday, 6 July 2014

Procraftination #2 (or how to make a slouch top...)

Like I said in my last Procraftination blog, I try to avoid domesticity in any way possible by choosing the path of sewing (or craft) instead! Now, I don't claim to be a dressmaker, I am not qualified in any way, I learn as I go along but I love to give anything a go. So if you find another easier or more effective way of doing some of my projects then please do let me know! I like projects that are quick and easy. I don't have a huge amount of spare time, so if I am going to start something I need it to be something that can be completed within an hour or so. 

This time, I will be talking you through how to make a slouchy top. Unlike my last post, you will have to kind of make up the measurements yourself! You may (like me) have a top that you want to replicate so you can use that, or you may have to overestimate and see how you get on. I am literally going to show you how to create something wearable out of a couple of pieces of fabric. You can make a dress in this way too - just make the garment longer.

So... without further ado! I had to tidy up my son's bedroom, but I didn't want to. Plus I wanted something new to wear to meet friends and so this is what I did...

Right, like I said I based this pattern on an old t-shirt that I love but is starting to get a little out of shape. It's very wide and baggy and just how I like it! I cut round the t-shirt and cut out the shapes from a lovely piece of floral fabric I sourced at my favourite antique shop! 

Then, I sewed the shoulder and side seams, right sides together.

The trickiest thing is the bias binding. You can buy bias binding but I make my own to match the garment and means it is a nicer finish. I finish all my dresses and tops with home made bias binding, and it is actually very easy to make, just a little time consuming. I will try to explain as best I can (with photos) the procedure involved!

Bias basically means on the diagonal. That way the fabric can stretch to shape and is easy to manipulate around bends (neckline and arm holes) You will need to fold the fabric on the diagonal and then cut strips of the fabric about an inch wide. They then need to be sewn together to make a long length. Remember, right sides together when sewing them, and they need to be attached as on the photo. Press and snip edges off. I hope the pictures are understandable!!

Once you have your long length of bias, you need to edge the neckline and armholes. Remembering right sides together, sew the bias all round the edge of the neckline, approximately 1cm from the edge. Please see the pictures as I'm not great at explaining!! 

Once you have sewn all the way round, you need to fold the bias back on itself and sew a line of stitches as close as you can to the edge of the seam you have just sewn. This helps keep the bias in place and gives a neat edge.

Then you have to tuck the surplus of the bias underneath and again, sew all round to form the seam. From the front you will only see one line of stitching, but on the reverse you will see two lines. As you can see, it gives a really neat edge to the neck. Repeat with the armholes too. This is the fiddliest bit, but once you get the hang of it you will be able to do it so much quicker. You may want to practise on a scrap piece of fabric beforehand, just so you understand the procedure better!

After finishing the bias you just need to hem all the way round the bottom of the garment. Fold in a cm, then fold in again and sew all the way round. 

And ta-daa, you're all finished!! I think when I make my next one I will make it a bit longer, but I was limited on this one due to how much fabric I had. 

I hope you have fun experimenting, and as ever, please please send me pictures of what you have made!! I love to see your creations.

Happy making,

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