Saturday, October 5, 2013

Easy Tunic Tutorial

I have had this fabric for a while now.

 I believe I bought it at a yardsale last year. I know I didn't spend alot. I think it was less than a dollar.  And I'm not sure how much there was. If I had to guess (and that's what I'm doing because, like an idiot, I didn't measure this before I started cutting), I would say it was about a yard of fabric.
I knew I wanted to make something to wear. I've searched and searched for the perfect tutorial, and I never really found one I was in love with. So today, I decided to make a tunic for my daughter without the help of a tutorial.  What I really love about this is I didn't have to put in sleeves!  
The materials I needed for this were:
Fabric- I had about a yard of knit fabric...but it just depends on the size of the shirt 
Thread - a color that goes with your fabric
Elastic - I used 1/4" wide for the sleeves and 1/2" wide for the waist
Stick Pins
Sewing Machine
Measuring Tape
And a tshirt that fits to use as a pattern
I folded my fabric in half. I pinned the open sides together so the fabric wouldn't move around while I was cutting out the tunic.
I grabbed a tshirt from my daughter's closet. I chose one that fit comfortably and was a little long on her.
I lined up the shoulders of the shirt on the fold of the fabric. 
 I pinned the shirt down face down. I used a piece of red chalk to outline the tshirt.  I left about an inch between the top of the shirt and the outline. This was to make sure the tunic was a little loose and for a 1/4" seam allowance  I drew a curved line where the armpit is. From the armpit to the bottom of the shirt, I flaired out my outline. I wanted the shape to be more like a dress than a tshirt.  I freehanded the outline.  Once I finished outlining, I marked where the neckline of the tshirt was with 2 chalk marks.
Next, I cut along the chalk line. Be sure to keep the shoulder seams uncut, so once it's cut out, it will be all one piece. 
I cut the neckline into a boatneck style. I did this by measuring about 1/2" from the chalk mark I made at the neck and scooping down just a little until I reached 1/2" past the other chalk mark on the neckline.  
To sew the tunic, I flipped it.  With the right sides together, I sewed up the sides, bottom of the sleeves and at the top of the sleeves.
At this point, I had my daughter try it on to make sure I didn't make any mistakes.
While she had it on, I measured from her shoulder to a little above her waist.  This is where I will place the elastic. 
With the shirt inside out, I chalked a straight line where I decided to put the elastic. This will be the guide used when sewing the elastic into the tunic. This line needs to be straight all the way around or it will be noticeable once the elastic is sewn on.  
I measured around my daughter to get a measurement for the elastic. I subtracted 1 inch from this measurement.  I cut the elastic that length.  I pinned the end of the elastic to the side seam of the shirt and started sewing all the way around. I stretched the elastic while sewing to give it a gathered look.  When doing this, remember to stretch the elastic with one hand and guide the fabric through the machine with the other.
This is what it will look like on the inside after the elastic is sewn on.
When I sewed all the way around, I had my daughter try on the shirt AGAIN to make sure it looked even.
With the tunic inside out, I sewed a small piece of elastic (probably 3-4" long) on the top seam of the sleeve. I did this by stretching the elastic while sewing.

This is how it should look after the elastic is sewn on

The only thing left to do was finish the raw edges of the sleeves, neckline, and bottom of the tunic.
This tunic from start to finish only took about an hour, but it is super comfy and totally adorable! =)

***If you have some time, swing by my Zibbet shop and take a look around!***

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Super Cute Dress Tutorial

With about a yard of fabric (with a little bit of stretch) and a black bedsheet, I made this cute, little dress!         


You may remember the flowered fabric from a purse I made a couple of weeks ago.
I love that I had enough left to make the top of this dress.  For the bottom, I used an old black bedsheet that I had.  It had a hole in it, so I put it in my sewing stash. Using sheets as sewing fabric is a fun thing to do. I like getting old sheets and pillowcases from yardsales and thrift shops. It's great because it's alot of fabric and it's usually super cheap.  Which is perfect for the person just learning to sew. If you make a mistake, you won't be out a ton of money.

Here's how I made the dress:

For the top of the dress: I folded the fabric in half.  I used my favorite tank top as a pattern. I laid out the tank top on the fabric and pinned it in place. I used a piece of chalk to outline the tank top.

Next, I cut along the chalk line.
I cut the front of the neckline a little lower than the back (like the tank top).

I flipped it inside out and sewed up the sides, leaving the armholes open.
At this point, I tried it on to make sure it fit and looked right.

Then, I finished the raw edges of the neckline and armholes by folding the fabric under twice and sewing.

I tried it on again. With my chalk I marked where I wanted the waistline of my dress.

Ok, now onto the bottom of the dress:

I measured from the chalk line to where I wanted the hemline of my dress to be.  Then I measured around where I wanted the waistline of my dress.  I multiplied the waistline measurement by 1.5.  My original measurements were 27" length (I like to overshoot the length...I can always shorten at the end.) and 33" waist.  So I needed to cut out a rectangle from the bedsheet (I used a queen sized sheet) that was
27"x 49.5".
Once that was cut out, I folded it with right sides together and sewed up the short edges. 
To keep from having any closures in this dress, I added elastic to the waist of the skirt part of the dress.  To do this, I measured around my waist. I took that measurement and cut my elastic to that length. I used 3/4" elastic.  When sewing the elastic to the top of the skirt, I stretched the elastic as I was sewing.
              Now to attach the top to the bottom:                                                
I trimmed the length of the top about an inch below the chalk line. 
With both pieces inside out, I pinned them together. I made sure to place the pins below the elastic. 
Next, I sewed along the path of the pins. 
I tried on the dress. I wasn't happy with the length, so I cut the bottom to a better length.
I finished the dress by hemming the bottom.

I added a cute belt. =)
I love the fact that this dress doesn't have a zipper or buttons.
 I also love the fact that this dress can be worn in the summer or winter.
For the cold weather, I can put on a cute black cardigan and a pair of black tights. =)

 ***If you have some time, swing by my Zibbet shop and take a look around!***