Thursday, July 11, 2013

The One With the Attempt at a Tutorial

A month or 2 ago, I had an addiction to Project Runway. Fortunately, I watched all the available free episodes on Hulu so my life has returned to normal since then. However, I absolutely fell in love with the show. I mean, I even had a dream where Tim Gunn was telling me to hurry with buying my fabric but I just could not decide which fabric choice Heidi Klum would approve of.

It was very stressful.

Anyhow, as I watched the show I started forming these lofty goals of someday being proficient in sewing new clothes and refashioning old ones.

I found this blog and was immediately envious of this chick's skills. She makes the cutest clothes and all for really cheap.

Anyway, I made one attempt at refashioning some old t-shirts into a maxi dress...and while I completed it easily, I wasn't sure whether I liked the finished product (which is why you guys didn't see it).

My dreams were put temporarily on the back burner (for lack of ideas and funds) until I found this lady. She mentioned that she made a skirt from 2 pillowcases. And I though, "I could do that." Plus it would be perfect for China--comfy and cool.

So I went to D.I. in search of the perfect fabric. I wasn't set on getting pillowcases...just for the fact that pillowcases are rectangles and as long as I had enough fabric, I could definitely cut and sew some rectangles.

D.I. had some good options. I would recommend checking out the sheets/ tablecloths they have there. I know some people think it's gross...but you can get like 4 or 5 yards of fabric for a couple bucks. Just make sure you inspect it well. But most everything that I've found is clean and in good condition.

I actually ended up getting some discount fabric at our local craft store. They didn't have a full yard of it, so my skirt ended up being a little less full than I wanted. But I loved the fabric so it was worth it.
My camera really sucks at picking up color, but the fabric is kind of sage green and it has a little bit of unexpected shine to it. I got 3/4 yard of that for 3 dollars. The elastic (I went with gray) was about $4.50 so I made the skirt for less than 8 dollars total. Woot! woot!

P.S. Does anyone know where to buy cheap elastic?? Seven ninety-nine a yard is not my idea of a bargain...

Here's what went down:
First I trimmed everything to make it even. Then I sewed a hem by folding the fabric twice, about 1/3 inch. I ironed it well and then sewed it with 1/4 inch seams. After the hem is when I sewed the 2 sides of my fabric together to make a tube (but if you are working with more than 1 piece of fabric, I would suggest doing this first and then hemming so that everything matches up).
Then I fit my elastic around my waist. You want it to be snug, but not uncomfortable (that's my favorite part about making my own clothes: they're made to fit ME!). Make sure to sew it with a zig zag stitch or else the elastic won't give.
Next, you'll want to do a basting stitch around the top of your skirt. When you grab the top string, you'll be able to make ruffles like this (gosh, isn't my hand so modelesque?? I must be made for giving blog tutorials;).

Ruffle all the way around and make sure it matches the length of your elastic.
Then pin it to make sure you don't end up with either:
a) a whole lot of ruffles at the end
b) a whole lot of nothing at the end

Then sew...
Again, use the zig zag stitch...
And wa-la! You're done!

Now, the first time I finished (yes, I had to finish twice) I realized it was too long and the elastic was too loose. Soooo I ended up picking out the thread, cutting it a little shorter, and tightening the elastic. But even with all the extra sewing time (due to my lack of planning) it took me less than an hour and a half. So quick and I love love love the results.
There's a better picture of the color...sheesh! the other ones look awful in comparison. I promise I chose an attractive color to work with.


Meggie Holden said...

This is supes cute Kim!!! Perfect for China!

Erica Ellen said...

What takes you an hour and half would take me an entire day… but this is SUPER cute!

Farnsworth Family said...

You sewing wizard!! Cute cute, nice job! :)

whitney said...

Ooo, love it! I too am obsessed with Project Runway. It always gives me such lofty sewing dreams...although not literally, like you ;)