Posts Tagged ‘tutorial’

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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Sep. 2012 12

Long Sleeve – High Slit Maxi Dress

AKA The Aztec dress (because of the fabric)

I love sewing so much in part because it is very much a building block skill set. You learn how to do a skirt, a top, and then you combine the two to make a dress. I like to think of the tutorials I do as kinda the same thing. I do a lot of t-shirt pattern dresses because they are great for beginners. Then once you have that mastered, you use that as a base and build up from it.

This dress looks complicated, and to some extent it is. But trust me when I say it is totally doable, even if you aren’t a master seamstress. If you’ve followed any of my posts, you’ve seen all the pieces of this dress before:


Skirt: Almost identical to the Kimono Dress skirt

Top: Almost identical to the top on the Winter Wrap Dress. (with a couple adjustments)

Sleeves: Exactly like every sleeve I’ve ever done.


Seriously, it’s easier than it looks. Yes, it is a lot of steps. And no, you cannot make it in 10 minutes or even an hour. But sometimes, don’t you want to look like your clothes took a little more craftsmanship than that? Don’t get me wrong, I love a fast project as much as the next person, but the problem with most of those projects is they look like they were done fast. So carve out some time for this dress, or do it in small intervals, trust me it’s totally worth it and you’ll be happy you did.


You’ll need about 3 yards for this (give yourself more incase you need to re-cut anything)



The Skirt:

1. Measure your natural waist, hips, and the distance in between the two. Measure from your natural waist to the floor.

2. For the back, cut one of the following:

3. For the front: take your natural waist and hip measurements and multiply by 0.4375, cut 1:

4. Take your natural waist and hip measurements and multiply by 0.25, cut 1:

5. Sew side panels to back piece.

6. Finish straight edge on side panels by folding back 1” and stitching




1. Measure from your shoulder to your natural waist.

2. Measure the front half of your chest (from armpit to armpit on only the front half of your body.

3. Cut 2 as follows:

4. Measure the distance between your shoulders (like where the seams on your shirts sits)

5. Measure (on your back) from your shoulders to natural waist. This will be different than it was on the front half because you don’t have boobs on your back (at least I hope not).

6. Cut 1 As follows

7. Sew fronts and backs together at shoulder seams.



1. Take the top that you sewed together in step 7 above and open up. Trace this opening, and then add 0.5”

2. Decide on a sleeve length. Cut 2 as follows:

3. Sew sleeves down side seams

4. Finish hem by rolling up 1”, stitch using zigzag to lightning bolt (so it can stretch)




1. You can skip this next part if you don’t want to include the ring detail.

-I took an old broach that was a simple silver circle to use for my ring. I broke off the pin with pliers.

-Cut 2 of the following shape:

-Sew together along top and bottom seams

-Pin to right side panel.

2. Sew front and back together along side seam.

3. Finish raw edge by folding to the back 0.5”, stitch

4. Attach sleeves to top.

5.  Pin top closed at bottom seam. If you are opting to add the ring, leave a 1/4 portion of the left side out as well as the addition flap on the right side.

6. Pin closed the skirt portion of the dress at top. Then pin top and bottom halves of the dress together. Stitch using lightning bolt or zigzag. If desired you can use elastic thread here too.

7. Take flaps and loops through ring, hand stitch in place.

8. Put the dress on, decide how far up you want the slit to be able to go. Maybe you want it the whole way, that’s fine. But when I sat down in this, I quickly realized I needed to stitch up a portion of it. Stitch along the seam that you made to finish the edges, that way you won’t be able to tell it is even there.

9. Hem the bottom and you’re done!



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Jul. 2012 25

High-Low Dress

Every now and again I feel like I need to make trendier things. I get stuck in the habit of dressing for work and sometimes forget to try something new. I was sitting on my studio floor one day looking through all the fabric I have (I tend to hoard a bit) and I found this African inspired fabric that I had bought a few months back. It has a great brown and white print and had strips of a yellow/green color down each edge. I bought it having no idea what I wanted to use it for. I feel the need to mention that I had just come off of a 3 week break from sewing, which I had taken because of a complete lack of inspiration. So while sitting on the floor I decided I just needed to jump into something. I picked the high-low skirt trend because it’s something I haven’t done before.

As I go through this tutorial, I’m going to tell you what I should have done rather than what I did. I wish I would have cut the skirt a bit differently, so you get to benefit from my mistakes. Also, you’ll need a good amount of fabric, I think I have 2 or 3 yards, and I wish I had had more. Anyways, enough chitchat, on with the tutorials!


1. Take a favorite t-shirt and trace the out, adding 1/2” seam allowance. You may want to bring in the shoulders a little. Trace down to where your natural waist is, plus 1”


2. Sew together at shoulder and side seams

3. Roll neck and armhole seams and use a zigzag or lightning bolt stitch to finish. Set aside

4. Measure your natural waist and subtract 1”. Cut 2 strips of fabric that length by 3” wide. Cut 1 piece of elastic to this length

5. Attach both strips to the top of the dress. Use a zigzag or lightning bolt stitch, that way the seam will still stretch when you wear it.

***If you don’t want a full skirt, use your natural waist instead of your hips for this next step***

6. Take your hips measurement and divide by 6.28. This is your inner radius.

7. To find the front length: Measure from your waist to the length you want and add 1.5”. If you want a band around the edge like I have, don’t add the 1.5”. This is your front length. For the back length, measure from your waist to the low length (about mid-calf) and add 1.5”. Again, if you want a band, don’t add.

8. Add your inner radius times 2 with your front length and back length. This is the totally measurement for your skirt. It’s just a reference really, but it will let you know how much yardage you need.

9. Fold your fabric in half long ways. Now we are going to make reference marks to make our lives easier: Mark the very front of the skirt, measure up the Front Length and mark. Then the radius and mark, then the radius again. Then the back length, mark.

10. From the mark in between the 2 radius marks: make a circle with the inner radius.

11. Measure out about 45 degrees, from the front mark use the front length measurement to make an arch out to the 45 degree point.

12. From that point you are going to make an egg shape and connected to the back length.

13. Attach the skit to the waist band, ruffle in excess. Leave a small opening in the back. Work the elastic through this opening. Once all the way through, sew the ends of the elastic together, then finish attaching the skirt to the bodice.

14. If you wanted a band at the bottom: Cut long strips out 4” wide, sew pieces together to get enough length. Fold strips in half. Attach to hem of skirt, cut off excess or surge.

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May. 2012 23

Tank Top Dress

This tutorial once again combines two of my favorite things in the world: Jersey and Dresses. I originally made this tank top dress because I needed something in a hurry to go under my Easy, Breezy Caftan. I opted for a dark purple because it was the only fabric I had on hand that I had enough of. I had no idea how useful this piece would become! I wear it to work under my suit jacket for a fresh new work outfit, or under a cotton button up for an easy going casual look. After I made the purple one I then went on to make the gold and white, and am working on the maxi version. What can I say; when I find something I love I stick to it!


So you’ll only need enough fabric as it tacks to wrap around yourself once.


1. Take a favorite t-shirt and trace the out, adding 1/2” seam allowance on side and shoulders, ¼” on arm holes.

2. Continue the line down for the hips.

3. Measure out the length you want and add 1”

4. Cut out neck line, leave ¼” seam allowance.

5. Repeat for back side

6. Sew together sides and shoulder seams.

7. This step is optional. I like to sew the shoulder seam allowance towards the back. This just makes sure it stays flat when you are wearing it.

8. For the neck and arm holes, fold raw edges ¼” towards wrong side of fabric. Pin and sew using a small zigzag stitch.

9. Hem bottom up 1”

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