10 Ideas How to Upcycle Old Clothes | Denim | Shirt

 

I love upcycling, not just because it is cheap but you just can’t get some fabrics. Jeans for example should have that worn look. In industry it is painstakingly created with lots of machinery. Denim from fabric shops more often than not, look to new! You never quite gets the same result. Don’t get me wrong it can look awesome too, after its been scrubbed, bleached and tormented! But upcycling a pair of jeans is a great way to make a cheap and soon to be favorite item in kiddos wardrobe.

 
 
 Issariya Sotthibandhu Smith loves trying new stuff and she used the Oscar shorts pattern to create a cool pair of shorts.
 
 
 
 Usually the pattern has a gathered front but she decided flat was the way to go. I do have to say, I agree, gathered denim in the front wouldn’t have looked as nice.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This is the pair of jeans she used. You can often also recycle the pocket openings etc but these were just too worn. So here is what she did.

She cut open the center front and back, so the pieces could be placed on flat.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Then, easy as pie, she placed the pattern pieces on and cut them out.

As you can see, she created a contrast, which she also used in the lovely Paris jacket she made. I think we all are inspired by what we see on the ‘Great British Sewing Bee’ every season, if you haven’t watched this program yet, google it you will absolutely love it! Needless to say I think Issariya would be a perfect candidate for the show.

 
 
 
 

She kept the back pockets, which can be a pain to get on and they look fabulous all over sized and worn.

 
 
 
 

For the front she created new pockets and the contrast peeps out of the front nicely making this upcycle of an old pair of jeans, ready for the bin, a favorite for this little lady

 
 
 
 

Next up is the lovely Bianca Scherer. She sewed a boys shirt using an old discarded shirt from her husband. The pdf sewing pattern used was of course our favorite, the ‘Cool Shirt‘.

 
 
 
 

You can already see that she use the check pattern very cleverly and added a contrast placket for the front.

 
 
 
 

She completely unpicked the entire shirt and after cutting out actually had some left over. Old shirts are absolutely brilliant as fabrics like this are hard to come by. This shirt was made for a very special first communion service!

 
 
 
 

Bianca showed us a sneak peak into her progress here. It of course takes time but it also saves so much money and the fabrics are usually also good quality!

 
 
 
 

And there you have it, a perfect shirt for a lucky little laddy!

 
 
 
 

 

Of course I can’t leave out the awesome blouse Ela created for her little girl some years back! She used an old shirt of her husbands, he wears very nice shirts, and created the Lily blouse.

 
 
 
 

Ela created these lovely roses and even adorned them with tiny pearls. A bit of lace at the trim and a wonderful favorite was made.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

You can get roses on a roll too, and its so easy to just pop on some beads to make them super special.

 
 
 
 

There is so much more we can do to upcycle, safe a little cash and also help our environment. I will add to this post soon until we really have 10! For now I hope you are suitably inspired to make your very own upcycle!

#upcycle #summer #FrocksFrolics #buttondownshirt #greatbritishsewingbee #PDFSewingPatterns #pdfpattern #howto #meetthemaker #denimupcycle #pdfsewingpattern #frocksfrolics

 
 
How to Apply Bias Binding

How to Apply Bias Binding

Today I am going to show you how to apply bias binding to a neckline, armhole and more. I just love bias binding. It is great for making your clothes look super professional with a good couture finish. It’s not the easiest thing to do and it can look pretty messy if you don’t follow the steps so I am going to share a few secrets with you to have your garment looking beautiful.

When I worked for high end designers, they were sooo picky about the bias binding. Whilst it often gave me a headache, I also became quite an expert on it.

In the nineties I worked for a wonderful designer in Bath, England. I produced an entire collection of wonderful clothes twice a year working with slippery velvet and fine, sheer silks. We rarely serged anything and bound all seams with bias binding or used french seams. Needless to say it wasn’t always easy and my particular pet hate were bias binding sheer organza coats!

Once you had to apply bias binding to an orange organza coat (of which I made one too many!) you will understand that bias binding is a complex issue. I couldn’t find the exact picture of the coat in question, but have a look at this recent design and you will see examples from Carole Wallers’ most recent collection!

The reason I mention orange organza in particular is because orange organza is soft, whereas black organza is firmer. It is just how the fabric dye works. The lesson I learnt from this? When you are making your own bias binding, you need to ensure an even firmness of the bias tape and to achieve this I recommend investing in spray starch (it’s going to be your new best friend) which is especially important when you are using a bias binding attachment on your sewing machine. If it’s too soft it will twist and be an absolute nightmare to work with…save yourself the headache!

So, I’m going to show you two professional methods with self-cut bias tape/ binding.

“Why these methods and not the pre-ironed bias tape you can readily buy everywhere, Marina?” You may ask? Because this is so much nicer! It also gives you a much more professional look and lastly you can make any lightweight fabric into a beautiful finish on your garments.

Here we go, let’s learn how to apply bias binding (the couture way)!

 
 

First of all, grab that starch and generously apply to the fabric you wish to turn into bias binding. The beauty of starch is that it washes and wears out – by the time you have finished handling the fabric or when you wash it the starch will magically disappear and the perfectly applied bias binding will make people admire your skills.

“How on earth did she get it so straight and even?” they will wonder.

 
 

How wide should you make the bias binding?

The short answer is that if you have lots of bias binding to do keep it wide (about 4cm) as it will be easier to work with, and if you have less to do then you can make it less wide.

*The most important thing about bias binding…. is that it must be cut across the grain.* This means that you need to cut it at a 45 degree angle, as this gives you the right amount of stretch (making bias binding perfect for curves!)

 
 

1. The Couture Method (bias tape is visible)

The couture method has two options and the first one has the bias visible. It actually will turn out super professional and its also less likely to look home made, if correctly executed.

Here we need to cut the bias tape a little wider, as we are first folding the bias lengthways in half. This will result in multiple layers of fabric so it is important to use light-weight materials for it. Cut the wider strips, say at least 4.5 cm ( 1.8 inches) wide.

 
 

Grab your ruler and mark the bias tape out. Straighten up the rough edge first.

 
 

Mark the bias tape out. Cut the strips and you are almost there.

 
 
 
 

Iron the bias lengthways in half.

 
 
 
 

To show how it all works I am sharing with you how to bind a pocket on the festive version of my half apron which you can find here.

 
 
 
 

The bias is placed on the underside of the pocket and sewn on with a 1 cm seam allowance. The key here is to keep the bias tape straight as you feed it into the presser foot while you move the pocket edge which lies beneath.

 
 

Now we are going to cut back that seam allowance.

 
 

Now we are doing some understitching (in this case we are sewing the binding to the apron). The reason for understitching is that it stabilises the fabric, gives you a perfect edge and makes your sewing much easier to wok with.

 
 

This method is used in the industry really frequently, as it means that the production worker doesn’t have to get up to iron the garment! It’s one of my favourite tricks as it’s much quicker than getting up to iron after every step.

Onwards my dears…. next we are rolling that gorgeous bias to the top side of the edge.

 
 
 

Pin the bias to the edge, keeping the distance even. If you work accurately it is a breeze (take your time on getting this bit right, I promise it’ll make all the difference to the finished product).

 
 

Alternatively, if you’re feeling confident and are a more experienced sewer, there is no need to pin. I personally love just going at it and not moving from my sewing machine. Bam!

 
 

Now we topstitch very neatly and close to the edge. You only have to worry about that and it whether it catches underneath! Lovely!

And that is it friends, a beautiful firm edge which will be much less likely to stretch!

2. Couture Binding (not visible)

 
 

This is the most common used method in industrial manufacturing. You see it absolutely everywhere! The key is to make sure the bias ends up nice and slim!The bias tape should be 3,5 cm wide for this method. Some people prefer the 1 cm seam allowance and then trim. Professionals usually just use less seam allowance and a slimmer bias tape. That is up to you.

Beginner sewers should use the 1 cm seam allowance and then trim back sharpish!

 
 

So this is how it is done. We sew the bias tape to the outside of the garment. Then we cut the seam allowance back.

 
 

Now we under-stitch the seam. This means we are sewing the bias to the seam allowance. It results in a perfect finish. A little lip is created which prevents any of the bias from showing.

 
 

Roll the bias to the inside and topstitch at an equal distance to the edge.

The result is a perfect t-shirt edge which will not stretch – hurrah!

 
 

And that is all for today folks! I really hope this helps you understand a little bit more about self-cut bias tape. Let us know in the comments how you found it….!

Don’t forget we also have this tutorial as a video in our academy.

 
 

Sign up, enroll and enjoy!

 

#freesewingcourse #beginner #sewing #free #techniques #biasbinding #howtoapplybiasbinding #howtosewbiasbinding #Biasbindingsewingcourse #couturebiasbinding

How to Add Snap Style Fastenings to a Romper

How to Add Snap Style Fastenings to a Romper

Hello everyone!

Today I am introducing you to a video I recently added on my YouTube which shows you step by step exactly how to put snap style fastenings onto a romper/babygrow. An even more detailed video can be found when you buy my ‘Lollipop’ Baby Romper which is now live in our shop. You can find the Lollipop Baby Romper here.

I’m so proud of my new Baby Collection which we are going to be launching for spring. If you’ve bought my patterns before, you’ll know that I spend a long time perfecting the sizing and fit and that I provide full detailed video instructions which are really clear (comes from my experience as a sewing teacher I think!). You can check out the Romper sewing course here, absolute bargain at $8.50 and it goes from newborn to 3 years so you’ll be using this pattern again and again.

Snap fastenings can be fairly intimidating to work out. There are so many different parts and you need to make sure that everything lines up and is put in correctly. This is where I come in!

When I was first drafting my ‘Lollipop’ Baby Romper pattern I have to admit that I inserted my snaps wrong, and I’ve been a professional sewer for many years (it can be so confusing). This has helped me to create the best how to insert snap fastening video to make sure you get a perfect result every time.

In this video I show you:

  • Introduction to our new Baby Collection PDF Sewing Patterns

  • What supplies you need to insert snaps

  • Tips & Tricks for choosing the right snap fastenings

  • Where to buy your snap fastenings

  • What size snap fastenings you need for baby rompers

  • How to use snap tools

  • Where to insert snaps on a baby romper

  • How to insert holes into fabric

  • How to insert snaps on the binding

  • Tips & Tricks for inserting your snaps perfectly every time

Sign up to our mailing list here to get notified when new items in our Baby Collection comes out (plus free goodies and discounts)!

#SewingforBaby #Snaps #BabyCollection #howto

How to create and insert a ruffle sleeve

How to create and insert a ruffle sleeve

I made this video because one of my customers had asked me how to insert the sleeves to the Bolero Jacket without binding or overlocking. If you don’t have an overlocker, you will find this video very useful! I show you how to make sure the sleeves sit beautifully for a professional, well-fitted finish. I also decided to throw in instructions for adding a ruffle hem to the sleeve as well, because I just love the effect! I hope this inspires you to get creative with my patterns – there really are endless possibilities.

 

If you want to sew up a fancy little jacket for your girl aged 1-12, then you’ve come to the right place. As with all my patterns, I’ve tested the Bolero Jacket with my dedicated team of testers so you can be sure the fit will be great! You can find it here. The jacket can be made for all sorts of occasions from casual to wedding and it works like a dream with our flower girl dress pattern which you can find here.

Can you see yourself giving this a bit of a twist by adding embroidery to the collar? I can’t wait to make more of these beautiful fitted jackets and hope you join us at the Academy. In the course you can share what you make, chat with other learners and ask me questions. It is a new way of learning that I’m sure you will love!

In this video I show you:

  • Introduction to my Bolero Jacket PDF Sewing Pattern

  • How to insert inner and outer sleeves separately, without binding or overlocking

  • How to modify the pattern and create a fantastic ruffle hem for the sleeves

  • How to hand stitch a sleeve hem

  • Which fabrics work well with the jacket, including chiffon

  • How to ensure your sleeves sit well by adjusting the seam allowance

Sign up to our mailing list here to get notified when more tips & tricks come out!

#summer #girls #PDFSewingPatterns #flowergirl

Tutorial: Learn how to sew a decorative fabric rose

Tutorial: Learn how to sew a decorative fabric rose

Hi everyone! It’s Jo here today showing you how to sew a beautiful rose. This technique is super quick and easy to create – it takes just 5 minutes! This rose is the perfect addition to a flower girl dress (you can find our gorgeous flower girl dress sewing pattern here), but can also be added to handbags, cushions, tops and dresses (whatever you can imagine really!). We have used it on our Lily Dress and Tunic Sewing Pattern, which you can find here.

 

In terms of fabric, you can use any fabric to sew this quick rose, but if it’s to customise a flower girl dress it would look beautiful in silk, chiffon and satin. If you are using the rose to decorate everyday wear or homeware you could use chiffon, linen and cotton. This technique works best on woven fabrics but stretch fabric works too.

If you would prefer to watch a video tutorial, you can find this video on YouTube here.

What you need:

  • Fabric 13″ long and 3.5″ wide

  • Sewing machine

  • Needle

  • Matching thread

  • Scissors

Step 1: Cut out and iron the fabric!

Step 2: Fold your fabric in half lengthways

Step 3: Tuck in the end from the folded edge to hide the raw edge and create a triangle

Step 4: Do a gather stitch on the open end, starting from the triangle you have just created (remember to lock stitches on the triangle end by stitching a couple of stitches back and forth to secure). Make sure you do not lock your stitches at the other end

N.B. A gather stitch is the longest stitch possible on your sewing machine

Step 5: Grab the top threads at the loose end and pull gently so that the fabric starts to gather (the tighter the gathers, the more dense the flower will be)

Step 6: Once you have your desired denseness, start rolling the rose from the folded over end keeping it even on the folded edge

Step 7: You can now see your beautiful rose! Adjust the gathers to make it perfect to your taste

Step 8: Tuck the rough edge in to hide the raw edge (as you did on the other side) and use the loose threads to wrap around the ‘stem’ and hold the flower in place

Step 9: Time to secure your rose! Grab a needle and matching thread (double thread, knotted at one end) and put a single stitch through the bulk of the rose stem

Step 10: Cut off the excess rough edge of the rose

Step 11: Wrap the thread around the rose stem several times and then sew 5-6 stitches through the stem to make sure it is really secure

Step 12: Tie a knot in your thread and cut off the excess

And that’s it! You know have a beautiful and simple rose made from some scrap fabric. This rose works on our more formal flower girl dress pattern which you can find here, but we have also used it on our Lily Tunic (which you can find here) which just looks gorgeous don’t you think?

Let us know what you’re using yours on in the comments!

#flowergirl #howto #free #costumes #ideas #Craftideas #easy #beginner

How to apply Bias Binding – the Couture Way.

How to apply Bias Binding – the Couture Way.

Today I am going to show you how to apply bias binding which I LOVE. It is great for making your clothes look super professional with a good couture finish. It’s not the easiest thing to do and it can look pretty messy if you don’t follow the steps so I am going to share a few secrets with you to have your garment looking beautiful.

When I worked for high end designers, they were sooo picky about the bias binding. Whilst it often gave me a headache, I also became quite an expert on it.

In the nineties I worked for a wonderful designer in Bath, England. I produced an entire collection of wonderful clothes twice a year working with slippery velvet and fine, sheer silks. We rarely serged anything and bound all seams with bias binding or used french seams. Needless to say it wasn’t always easy and my particular pet hate were binding sheer organza coats!

Once you had to add bias binding to an orange organza coat (of which I made one too many!) you will understand that bias binding is a complex issue. I couldn’t find the exact picture of the coat in question, but have a look at this recent design and you will see examples from Carole Wallers’ most recent collection!

The reason I mention orange organza in particular is because orange organza is soft whereas black organza is firmer. It is just how the fabric dye works. The lesson I learnt from this? When you are making your own bias binding you need to ensure an even firmness of the bias tape and to achieve this I recommend investing in spray starch (it’s going to be your new best friend) which is especially important when you are using a bias binding attachment on your sewing machine. If it’s too soft it will twist and be an absolute nightmare to work with…save yourself the headache!

So, I’m going to show you two professional methods with self-cut bias tape.

“Why these methods and not the pre-ironed bias tape you can readily buy everywhere, Marina?” You may ask? Because this is so much nicer! It also gives you a much more professional look and lastly you can make any lightweight fabric into a beautiful finish on your garments.

Here we go, let’s learn how to apply bias binding (the couture way)!

First of all, grab that starch and generously apply to the fabric you wish to turn into bias binding. The beauty of starch is that it washes and wears out – by the time you have finished handling the fabric or when you wash it the starch will magically disappear and the perfectly applied bias binding will make people admire your skills.

“How on earth did she get it so straight and even?” they will wonder.

How wide should you make the bias binding?

The short answer is that if you have lots of bias binding to do keep it wide (about 4cm) as it will be easier to work with, and if you have less to do then you can make it less wide.

*The most important thing about bias binding…. is that it must be cut across the grain.* This means that you need to cut it at a 45 degree angle, as this gives you the right amount of stretch (making bias binding perfect for curves!)

1. The Couture Method (bias tape is visible)

The couture method has two options and the first one has the bias visible. It actually will turn out super professional and its also less likely to look home made, if correctly executed.

Here we need to cut the bias tape a little wider, as we are first folding the bias lengthways in half. This will result in multiple layers of fabric so it is important to use light-weight materials for it. Cut the wider strips, say at least 4.5 cm ( 1.8 inches) wide.

Grab your ruler and mark the bias tape out. Straighten up the rough edge first.

Mark the bias tape out. Cut the strips and you are almost there.

Iron the bias lengthways in half.

To show how it all works I am sharing with you how to bind a pocket on the festive version of my half apron which you can find here.

The bias is placed on the underside of the pocket and sewn on with a 1 cm seam allowance. The key here is to keep the bias tape straight as you feed it into the presser foot while you move the pocket edge which lies beneath.

Now we are going to cut back that seam allowance.

Now we are doing some understitching (in this case we are sewing the binding to the apron). The reason for understitching is that it stabilises the fabric, gives you a perfect edge and makes your sewing much easier to wok with.

This method is used in the industry really frequently, as it means that the production worker doesn’t have to get up to iron the garment! It’s one of my favourite tricks as it’s much quicker than getting up to iron after every step.

Onwards my dears…. next we are rolling that gorgeous bias to the top side of the edge.

Pin the bias to the edge, keeping the distance even. If you work accurately it is a breeze (take your time on getting this bit right, I promise it’ll make all the difference to the finished product).

Alternatively, if you’re feeling confident and are a more experienced sewer, there is no need to pin. I personally love just going at it and not moving from my sewing machine. Bam!

Now we topstitch very neatly and close to the edge. You only have to worry about that and it whether it catches underneath! Lovely!

And that is it friends, a beautiful firm edge which will be much less likely to stretch!

2. Couture Binding (not visible)

This is the most common used method in industrial manufacturing. You see it absolutely everywhere! The key is to make sure the bias ends up nice and slim! The bias tape should be 3,5 cm wide for this method. Some people prefer the 1 cm seam allowance and then trim. Professionals usually just use less seam allowance and a slimmer bias tape. That is up to you.

Beginner sewers should use the 1 cm seam allowance and then trim back sharpish!

So this is how it is done. We sew the bias tape to the outside of the garment. Then we cut the seam allowance back.

Now we under-stitch the seam. This means we are sewing the bias to the seam allowance. It results in a perfect finish. A little lip is created which prevents any of the bias from showing.

Roll the bias to the inside and topstitch at an equal distance to the edge.

The result is a perfect t-shirt edge which will not stretch – hurrah!

And that is all for today folks! I really hope this helps you understand a little bit more about self-cut bias tape. Let us know in the comments how you found it….!

Don’t forget we also have this tutorial as a video in our academy.

Sign up, enroll and enjoy!

#freesewingcourse #beginner #sewing #free #techniques #biasbinding #howtoapplybiasbinding #howtosewbiasbinding #Biasbindingsewingcourse #couturebiasbinding

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