Monday, August 31, 2020

Hi everyone,

 As promised, today I'd like to show you how to add sleeves to the boxtop (view B) in the This or That pattern.   Here's the boxtop with sleeves that I made for my Summer Wardrobe in the group of plum, green, and white fabrics.


I chose a mesh fabric from my stash that happened to go with the pants (Easy Ageless Cool) and shell (Putting It Together) that I had made earlier.  Please keep in mind that this boxtop can also be worn over the other striped shell in the wardrobe as well as the dress/tunic in the flocked white fabric, a pattern hack from the Putting It Together shell.  One garment = 3 new looks. (I covered the how-to's of that dress/tunic in my previous blog.)

As you can see from the envelope, the boxtop (on the left) has no sleeves.  But we're creative, and we can add them if we want them.  First, I decided on how big around I wanted my boxtop to be by consulting the measurements included in the pattern.  Then I used the following steps to draft a sleeve pattern--really easy!

The original pattern has dots that mark the armhole.  I laid the pattern on some tracing paper and marked those dots. I also marked the shoulder point.


Here's a view of the straight line for the top of the sleeve with those markings.

Then I drew the sides of the sleeves by drawing perpendicular lines 5/8" away from my original marks, to give me the seam allowances.

Finally, I added the hem.

Obviously, these sleeves are straight.  They're short (9", I think) and I didn't want to taper them.  The idea of the Summer Wardrobe was easy and casual, so the straight sleeves fit right in.

I was lucky.  The selvedge of my fabric was firmly woven, so I cut my sleeves to have that finished edge at the hem.


Of course, my first step in sewing the boxtop was to follow the instructions to stitch the binding to the neckline.  It's a nice, neat finish.   Take another look at the finished boxtop at the top of this blog--you'll see that I used a more firmly woven fabric for the neckline binding.  The mesh fabric was too loosely woven to use. I had also serged all my edges.

Then I stitched the side seams.  I chose to leave the lower portion of the side seams open as vents.  At the top of the side seams, I secured my stitching at the dots marking the armholes.  I was ready to pin the sleeves into those armholes.  You can see my turquoise dot marking the top of the sleeve.

 At the left of the photo above, you can see the seam allowances at the sleeve underarm.  When stitching the sleeve into the armhole, push those underarm seam allowances out of the way so they don't get caught in the stitching.  There's a pin at the left poking into the bottom of the sleeve showing exactly where to begin your stitching.  

Once the sleeves are stitched, press the sleeve seam allowances toward the sleeve.

Taaaa-Daaa!  You've made a garment you didn't know you could make!  I love pattern hacks, and I hope you'll play around with your patterns too.

Friday, August 28, 2020

 Hi Everyone!

At last I'm ready to show you another project.  I've been working on patterns (soon!!), writing newsletters, and helping to create another special project (also coming soon).  
But I'm so glad to have time to show you another way to use one of your Cutting Line Designs patterns.
As you know, I've been sewing a casual, comfortable summer wardrobe over the last couple of months.  I began with some plum linen, some green linen, and some prints that could work with both.  Once I made the green linen pants from Easy Ageless Cool, I knew I could make a couple more tops to go with them, expanding this summer wardrobe even more.
I had a very lightweight white cotton with little flecks of green thread woven into it.  It would make a floaty, cool something, and I decided to lengthen the shell from Putting It Together to make a sleeveless dress.  Here it is:

And a side view:

  As I began working, I realized that this might need to be a top with long side vents to allow movement over the pants.  I can't really wear it as a dress with such high vents (at least in public), but that's ok as I really was after a new top anyway.  But you might want to think about this detail if you decide to make this same top.  You are your own designer!  Once I was all finished, I decided this would get a lot of at-home wear.
The first thing I did was trace the pattern and make it longer.

I made it just a bit bigger through the hips for more ease over the pants.  Look closely at the right side (side seam edge) of the pattern to see that I added 5/8" to make the side vents wider.  I thought they would give a more finished look to the garment and add a bit of weight so it would hang better.  (The x's are boo-boos!)

I drafted the side vent/hem miter.  For more info on this, search for miters in this blog or read all about them in Louise's article in the September 2020 (issue 210) Threads Magazine.
I used the neckline facing from the pattern but decided on a lighter finish for the armholes.  I cut 1" wide bias strips of white fabric and used my tape maker to make single fold bias tape.  If you haven't done this, be sure you press the folds just as they are coming out of the tape maker.  Otherwise, the tape unfolds.  It's an easy process both for finishes and to make embellishments.

 I trimmed away 3/8" of the seam allowance from the dress's armholes (side seams are not sewn yet).  Then I stitched the tape to the armholes in the 1/4" foldline on the right side of the garment.

 I pressed the seam allowance away from the garment, maintaining the second pressed fold in the tape.  Here's the view from the right side.  It's helpful to press from both sides.

And from the wrong side.

Next, I pressed the tape into the armhole, favoring the seam a thread or two to the wrong side of the garment.

I then pinned the side seams, with the tape turned up away from the garment so I could sew it as part of the seam.  I turned it back down and trimmed away the excess.

After sliding strips of Steam-a-Seam under the bias tape, pressing lightly, and removing the paper backing, I pressed the tape again to fuse it in place.  Then I just edgestitched the bias tape.  It was a quick and easy finish to the armholes.

I pressed the side vents to the inside.  With the added 5/8", they are 1-1/4" wide, of course.  

At this point, I was ready to press up my 1-1/4" hem, stitch my miters, and try on my new dress/top. 

I hope this inspires you to try playing around with your Putting It Together pattern.  You could make your new top any length, from a fingertip-length tunic to an ankle-length dress that would be great to wear while we are all at home so much.