Our Clothes Category

Nov. 2012 8

Leather Leggings

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating: I buy 99% of my fabrics off the bargain table ($2.95/yd!!) at my local fabric store. So some days when I go, I find only crappy fabric, and some days I find amazing fabric. One lucky day, I found this beautiful piece of brown stretch leather fabric hidden under a stack of ugly purple glitter taffeta. After much thought, I decided to make a pair for leather pants/leggings. I used this Burda pattern but for the life of me, I can’t find it. My sewing room has appeared to have eaten it. I did make a bunch of changed to the pattern when I used it:


-I tapered the legs a ton, they were not nearly tight enough.

-I added scoop pockets. You can follow the tutorial to the Knit Mini and it will show you exactly how to do it.

-I added butt pockets as well as a 5th pocket.

-I riveted all the corners to give it that jean feel

One thing I wish I had done was drop the waist band 1-2″. They are just too high. But by the time I realized that, I had already done all the pockets, so I wasn’t going to take them all apart. Oh well, next time.


To do the butt pockets

-On a piece of notebook paper, trace the pockets off your favorite pair of jeans

-Add 0.5” seam allowance all the way around

-Cut 2 from your fabric

-Fold over top edge, top stitch with 2 lines.

-Fold over remaining edges and pin.

-Pin pocket to pants and top stitch with 2 lines.

-Use your bedazzeler to add “rivets”

Some tips for working with stretch leather:

Working with faux leather is hard enough. I know some people will put tape on their presser foot to prevent the fabric from sticking, but that never seemed to work for me. I use the paper trick instead. Simply take strips of notebook paper (computer paper seems to be too thick) and place on top of leather facing and line it up with the edge of your seam. Then stitch through the paper and fabric as usual. I recommend using this trick for if the front of your fabric is facing up or down. Just keep a layer of paper in between the fabric face and the machine and you’ll have a much easier time sewing.

I even used this trick in the case of the butt pockets. I cut out a piece of paper the shape of the pocket and pinned it to the fabric. Then I stitched as normal. It worked great!

Oct. 2012 24

Knit Mini Skirt

This skirt is really basic, and really easy. You can do it with out the pockets and make it ridiculously fast. I recommend including the pockets though. You will never regret having somewhere to put your ID, or ticket, or Chap Stick, or whatever.


You only need about a yard (or less) of knit fabric. I found this great chevron print on (of course) the clearance table. So this skirt cost me less than 3 bucks to make.


1. Measure your low waist (where your jean usually sit) and measure your hips.

2. Measure the vertical distance between low waist and hips, and then subtract 1”

3. Measure length add 1″

4. Cut 2:

5. Cut 2:

6. Making Pockets.

6a. Pick 1 piece to be front. Cut pockets like so:

6b. Use the front piece, trace waist line, hip line and pocket outline. Now finish out the pocket. This is your outer pocket piece. Cut 2, opposites

6c. Trace front piece of skirt and lower seam of pocket from step 6b. This is your inner pocket piece. Cut 2, opposites

6d. Sew outer pocket piece to skirt. Trim excess seam allowance and turn right side out. Top stitch seam

6e. Sew inner and outer pocket pieces together.

6f. Secure pocket by top stitching:

7. Sew front and back of skirt together

8. Sew waist band pieces together then fold in half.

9. Attach waist band to skirt. I suggest using a lightning bolt or zigzag stitch (or even better, an over-lock machine)

10. Hem and done!



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Oct. 2012 17

Chiffon Button Up

I have this really bad habit of buying chiffon every time I go to the fabric store. I just love the way it looks and feels, but then I get it home and I go “now what?” Well on one such occasion, I bought this black chiffon burn-out striped fabric. It was so pretty I bought up all they had (3+ yards). After staring at it for months, I finally figured out what to make out of it: a button up.

I could have spent hours making up my own pattern but honestly, I had no desire. Instead I used one of Vlad’s old dress shirts (that he was OK with my destroying) and used it as a pattern. I’d like to note that I went with the oversized/loose look on purpose. I thought doing something tight with this fabric would look tacky.


What you’ll need:

Men’s button up shirt that you can cut up

Chiffon Fabric

Cotton fabric (for collar and cuffs)





1. Use your handy dandy seam ripper and take apart the men’s shirt. Don’t cut.

2. Lay out the pieces on your chiffon. Cut out 1 back, 1 left front, 1 right front, and 2 sleeves. For the front panels, make sure to add 2” to the middle edge. That way you have enough to fold back.

3. Sew fronts and back together at sides and shoulder seams. I highly recommend using a surger to finish off these seams. But you can also use bias tape, or roll the excess and stitch it down.

4. Sew sleeves up long seams (Surge). Then attach to body of shirt (Surge)

5. Roll bottom hem to finish edge.

6. Along the center edges, fold raw edge towards back 1”. Then repeat. Now you will have a 1” strip that is stable enough to add buttons or button holds to.

7. From cotton: cut out 2 collar pieces, 2 collar stands, and 4 cuffs. From interfacing: cut 1 collar, 1 collar stand, and 2 cuffs.

8. Attach interface to collar, stand, and 2 cuff pieces.

9. Sew a guidance stitch 0.5” from edge along bottom edge of collar

10. Sew collar together along the seams shown below. Then turn right side out, press and top stitch.

11. Pin stand to collar along bottom edge. You will make a sandwich: collar stand, collar, collar stand. Sew together. Turn stand right side out.

12. Along your guidance stitch from step 7, iron the bottom edge of the stand up inside

13. Attach shirt to collar assembly by tucking the raw edge of the shirt into the assembly.

14. Add buttons and button holes along center line of front. I opted for 18 (I think) because I love the look of a lot of buttons. But do whatever works for you.

15. On two of your cuff pieces, sew a .5” guidance seam.

16. Sew cuffs together, leaving .5” clearance from edge

17. Turn right side out, press.

18. Attach cuff to sleeve on 1 side (not the side you sewed the guidance seam on). The finished ends of the cuff should meet up right at the sleeve seam.

***I have to admit, I cheated on the sleeves. I didn’t want to deal with the slit up the arm, so I turned it into a faux French cuff******

19. Turn the raw edge of the sleeve into the cuff. You may need to take out a little stitching in the sleeve to make it smooth. Then iron the other raw edge of the cuff along the 0.5” guidance seam into the cuff, pin in place. Now top stitch the whole cuff. All your raw edges should be hidden now.

20. Here’s where the faux French cuff part comes in. Pinch the edges of the cuff together. Now fold over to one side and pin. Make sure you and get your hand comfortably in and out. Stitch in place, add a button for effect.


All Done!


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Oct. 2012 11

Leather and Chiffon – Part 3

The bottom:

I have a confession: I hate to small rolled hems. They are time consuming, and I haven’t quite gotten the hang of my rolled hem foot for my sewing machine. So, I figure I should let you know, you are more than welcome to finish this skirt with a small rolled hem (which is usually what you do for chiffon). But I refuse. So I’m doing something that more resembles a bubble hem. I really liked the way it turned out because it feels much lighter and flowier to me.


1. Measure your natural waist and divide by 2. To that number add 1.5”. This is the waist line

2. Measure the vertical distance between your natural waist and hips.

3. Measure your hips, add 3”, and then divide by 2. This is your hip line.

4. Measure from your natural waist to knees. Add 2” for outer length, add 1″ for inner length

5. For the outer fabric, cut 2 using outer fabric length measurements.

6. Repeat for inner fabric using inner length measurement.

7. Sew outer fabric together along right seam. Sew up left seam, leaving 6 to 8” open. Repeat for lining pieces.

8. Sew lining to outer fabric along bottom edge. Press

9. Turn right-side-out. Line up top edge and pin together. (Surge this edge if you have an over lock machine) Notice that your bottom seam is now on the inside of the skirt.



1. Sew skirt to bottom edge of top. Turn seam allowance up towards top. Top stitch.

2. Install invisible zipper from arm hole down, stopping 2” before the opening seam in skirt. Be sure to secure the end of zipper.

3. Install hook and eye closure at top of zipper if needed.

4. Below the end of the zipper and where the side seam of the skirt starts should be about 2”. Hand sew this distance closed. I know it’s a pain to hand sew anything, but trust me, it makes for a smoother finish.

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