How to Draft Your Own Baby or Toddler Tee Pattern (From Existing Clothes)

Here at Stitches & Sunflowers I’m all about sewing to save money. One way to do this is to make your own patterns. This tutorial will teach you how to make a tee shirt pattern for your baby or toddler. This pattern is super simple to make, so it’s a good way to start making your own patterns. Making a tee shirt pattern is very forgiving since the fabric is stretchy and the fit doesn’t have to be exact (especially for a small kid).I think you’ll find that the precision and ease it gives you when sewing multiple (or even just one!) tee shirts makes the extra step of tracing a pattern onto paper well worth it.

You’ll Need:

  • Paper. I use medical exam table paper or the extra end of a newspaper roll (which you can buy from the local newspaper). You could make do with anything.
  • A tee shirt in the size you want to make
  • A pencil and a ruler (a clear ruler is really helpful for ALL sewing projects, but especially pattern making)

First you’re going to “trace” the sleeve.
  • Lay your tee shirt out on top of a piece of paper. Make sure you are using a flat surface underneath.
  • Start at the top of where the shoulder meets the body of the shirt. Trace down the top fold of the sleeve. Do the same thing from the armpit to the hem.

+ Note: In this picture I am using a onesie, but I found that an actual tee shirt makes a more accurate pattern which is why a tee shirt is shown in the supplies above.

  • Then you’ll use a straight line to make the hem by connecting the two “corners.”
  • Connect the corners at the top of the sleeve using a curve like you normally see on sleeve patterns. You can also use my photo as a reference.

  • Fold your pattern in half perpendicular to your hem line and cut out your arm pattern on the fold (like you are cutting out a heart). This makes a sleeve pattern you don’t have to cut on a fold. Be careful to not make your sleeve too big at this point. If you’re worried about the fit, just leave the sleeve pattern the way it is and cut out the sleeves on a fold.

Next, make the body piece of the tee shirt pattern.

You do this basically the same way you made the sleeve, there are just a few more lines to trace.

  • I start by tracing the shoulder seams, the side seams, and the hem.
  • Then use your ruler to straighten out the hem and the shoulder seams
  • Connect the armpit edge and the shoulder edge with a curved line on each side, as shown.
  • Connect the neck hole edges with a curved line to make the neck hole.

If you want your front and back pieces to be identical, you can cut two from this piece. Alternatively, you can trace your front piece and change the neckline to make your back piece.

Making the Neckband:

You can make a pattern piece for your neckband if you’d like. I just like to measure and cut a strip of fabric when I’m cutting out my fabric. You find out how long to make your neckband by measuring around the neck hole with your measuring tape. Add about a half inch for seam allowance (or larger, if you prefer). I usually make neckbands for little ones between 1 and 1 1/2 inches wide.

Draft Your Own Baby or Toddler Tee Shirt Pattern / stitchesandsunflowers.com

Now, add your seam allowance.

I like to use 3/8 inch seam allowance on baby tee shirts. You can use whatever you prefer.

  • Measure and mark 3/8 inch away from your pattern line all around each curve.
  • Carefully connect the marks, making a new curved line.
  • Mark the straight lines 3/8 away from your pattern edge as well.

Your pattern is finished!

If you used any paper other than tissue paper or medical exam paper you should cut out your pattern with paper scissors before you pin it to your fabric.

Don’t let pattern-making scare you away! Try this forgiving tee shirt pattern and make some tee shirts for your baby (or any kid, really). I have a tutorial for how to sew up this tee shirt here, along with a free pattern in 12 month size. If you want to add a pocket to your tee shirt there is a tutorial here with a free pattern for older babies/toddlers.

If you are looking for a more precise way to copy patterns, I am intrigued by this technique that uses pins or this technique that uses tape.

Love, Jess

DIY Baby Pocket Tee + Free Pattern

One of my first posts on this blog was my DIY baby tee made from an upcycled adult tee shirt. It’s still one of my favorites! It seems I always have an old tee shirt or scraps of knit tee shirt fabric laying around to experiment with, but it’s not always cute baby fabric (in fact, it never is!). I added a pocket to a plain baby tee and I love the result! A super cute, free, diy baby pocket tee!

Materials:

The Tutorial:

Use my DIY baby tee tutorial to learn how to sew a baby tee shirt. I added the pocket after I’d finished sewing up the tee shirt.  If you want to add a pocket to an existing tee shirt, you can do that as well.

pocket tee 1

Step one:

Cut out the pocket piece.

Step two:

Fold back the top edge of the pocket piece 1/2″ and sew the sides of that fold as shown.

pocket tee 2

pocket tee 4

Step three:

Flip the pocket right side out and top stitch across the edge of the top fold.

pocket tee 5 pocket tee 6

Step four:

Press in all the sides of the pocket 1/4″.

pocket tee 8

Step five:

Pin the pocket to the shirt and topstitch around the edges, leaving the top edge free if you want the pocket to be “functional.” Make little triangles around each corner to fortify them. I try to make sure I use the same angles and amount of stitches for the triangles on both sides so that my pocket is symmetrical.

pocket tee 9

pocket tee 10

 

Step six:

Now you can admire your beautiful work! This is such a simple way to add some interest to your homemade baby clothes.

pocket tee 12

I love the way the shirt turned out, and how it looks on L, although he stained it the first time he wore it! 🙂 Oh well… That’s what stain remover is for!

DIY Baby Pocket Tee Tutorial + Free Pattern stitchesandsunflowers.com

If you use any of my tutorials to sew something, I’d love to see it!! You can post it to my facebook page or on Instagram and tag me @stitchesandsunflowers.

Love, Jess

Added to these link parties: Project Inspired, Create Link Inspire,

 

 

 

 

 

Finish Seams without a Serger: Bias Bound Seam

For those of us who don’t have access to a serger, it can be frustrating to sew professional apparel without having straggly, fraying seams after a few washes. That’s why I’m giving you tutorials for my favorite and most versatile serger-free seam finishes! So far in this series we have covered French seams, false French seamsclean finishes, and zig-zag finishes. The last seam finish I want to teach you is a bias bound seam.

Bias Bound Seam

A bias bound seam is a very professional seam finish that leaves no raw edges and can be done without a serger. You might even notice it in high quality ready-to-wear garments (Can you tell I’m a sewing nerd that likes to examine the inside of clothes?). This technique encases the seam allowance in bias binding, covering all the raw edges so that your seams are beautiful!!

Using bias binding takes some practice and patience (I’m still working on it), but it’s so worth it! Unlike the French seam, false French seam, and clean finish it can be used on curves such as the edge of a facing or the armhole seam.

Tutorial:

I recommend that you practice all seam finishes on a few scrap rectangles before you sew them onto a project. It might be a good idea to practice this one a little more if you are not familiar with using bias binding.

Step One:

Sew a 5/8″ seam allowance.

Step Two:

Trim your seam to the desired length. I chose to trim mine a little smaller, but not quite hide the seam stitches. You may choose to trim it so that you cover your stitching from the seam (an example of this is here) or you might want to keep your whole seam allowance.

Step Four:

Now you are going to attach your bias binding. Encase the raw edges of your seam with the binding, using pins to keep everything in place. You can also finish your seams separately if you need to press the seam open.

Using a stitch length of four, slowly and carefully topstitch the bias binding in place, being careful to catch the fold on the opposite side of your seam.

Step Five:

Your seam is finished! Press it to one side as directed in your pattern instructions.

If you get frustrated with this particular seam, don’t give up! Bias binding is one of the most difficult sewing techniques for me. The more I use bias binding and carefully practice, the better I become. Have patience with yourself and you will improve.

Love, Jess

 

 

Finish Seams without a Serger: Sew a Neater Zig-Zag Finish

Finishing seams is a basic skill YOU can use to make your sewing professional without fancy equipment, or even a serger. This month I’m writing simple tutorials showing all my favorite ways to finish a seam without a serger.

So far in this series we’ve practiced 1) a French seam, 2) a false French seam, and 3) a clean finished seam.

Zig-Zag Finish

Today I’m sharing my take of one of the most common seam finishes: a simple zig-zag stitch.  I’ve noticed in my sewing that the zig-zag stitch can get sloppy. I’m sharing the steps I take to make sure my zig-zag stich stays neat. Although this finish is not as polished as the others I’ve shared, it comes in handy on curved seams such as an armhole or crotch seam.

The Tutorial

As with all new sewing techniques, I recommend practicing on scrap fabric before applying it to your garment. The extra step may take up some time, but it is worth it if it prevents mistakes later on (trust me, I know!).

Step one:

Sew a seam with a 5/8″ seam allowance.

Finish Seams without a Serger: How to Sew a Neater Zig-Zag Finish stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step two:

Line up the left edge of your presser foot with the seam and sew your zig-zag stitch.

Finish Seams without a Serger: How to Sew a Neater Zig-Zag Finish stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step three:

Trim the edge of the seam allowance as close as you can to the zig-zag stitch. Be careful not to cut into your stitches!

Finish Seams without a Serger: How to Sew a Neater Zig-Zag Finish stitchesandsunflowers.com

This one is so simple, it only takes three steps! The most important step is to line up the presser foot with SOMETHING when you sew the zig-zag stitches, so that seam isn’t swerving all over the place. Trimming the seam really helps it to look neater and leaves less fabric to fray.

How to Sew a Neater Zig-Zag Finish (a part of the "Finish Seams without a Serger" series) stitchesandsunflowers.com

+ A nice twist to this finishing technique is to press the seam open first and zig-zag the seam allowances separately so the seam can lay flat when it is finished.

Love, Jess

 

 

 

 

 

How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt

I’m trying to use sewing to create wardrobe basics that will be versatile and classy, and last a long time. Being able to tailor clothes that I already have to fit me better helps me do this with less expense and less waste. I was gifted this skirt, so I thought it would be a great basic addition to my wardrobe, and an opportunity to show you how to tailor a pencil skirt!

How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt_ Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.com

First, try it on.

Put the skirt on and pinch the sides at the waist to figure out how much the skirt needs to be taken in. I like to do this on both sides. Use pins to hold the alterations in place.How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt_ Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.com

Mark the alterations.

Use some kind of fabric marker (as you can see, a white crayon works fine for dark fabrics) to mark where you’ll take in the skirt.

  • On the inside, mark the spot where the pinched fabric meets.

How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Upin the skirt.
  • Take apart the lining and waistband.

How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Measure how much you’ve taken in the skirt, and then mark that alteration all the way down all the side seams. +Pay attention to how your skirt is sewn together, you will try to match it as best you can when sewing it back up.

How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.com

How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Unpick the hem about four inches on each side of the side seam.

How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.com How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.com

Sew the skirt:

Step one:

Sew all the side seams. Sew down the line that you’ve marked on all the side seams.

How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step two:

Sew the waistband back together. The way that you do this exactly will depend on how your skirt was put together. Pay attention to how it used to be sewn, and copy it as best you can.

  • First, I sewed the waistband to the main piece of the skirt.
  • Then I finished the edges of the main skirt.
  • I left re-attaching the facing for my next step.

Step three:

This is where it gets a little fuzzy. Bear with me! Remember that your skirt may look different than mine. Replace any topstitching. My skirt didn’t have real topstitching, but it stitched the waistband facing to the adjoining seam allowances.

  •  I pinned the seam allowances to the facing as shown below.

How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.com    How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • I  topstitched where the stitching had been before.
How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.com
Topstitching the facing to the seam allowance. There is no stitching on the outer waistband.
  • I then tacked the waistband facing down by stitching in the ditch.

+ Stitch in the Ditch is topstitching in the middle of an existing seam to hide your stitches.

 

How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.com
Stitching in the ditch to “topstitch” the facing down. The stitches are barely visible from the right side.

The sewing on this skirt was really beautiful quality! Taking apart a skirt like this is kind of like learning about biology through dissecting something. It is so fascinating and inspiring to me! Of course, then the sewing I use needs to be closer to that standard, which helps me stretch myself. I can’t sew as well as those pros yet, but practicing is what will get me there.

Step four:

Hem the skirt again. The lining of my skirt just had a simple rolled hem, so I could just sew that up on the machine. However, the outer shell of the skirt used a tailor’s hem. I chose to do the same to keep the skirt looking professional.

  • Sew a rolled hem in the lining.

How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.comtailor skirt 26

  • Hand stitch a tailored hem for the outer fabric.

 

Handstitch a Tailor's Hem (from How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt) stitchesandsunflowers.com (1)

 

+ Tip: When it comes down to tailoring a skirt so that it still looks professional, the best way is to copy the original sewing as much as possible. I hope these steps have helped you figure out your own skirt project!

How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.com

Congratulations on your newly tailored pencil skirt! You’re sewing your way to a beautifully fitted wardrobe.

There are more tutorials and recipes to see at Made by You Monday! Check them out here.

How to Tailor a Pencil Skirt Sew Your Way to a Perfectly Fitted Wardrobe at stitchesandsunflowers.com    

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finish Seams without a Serger: Clean Finish

Welcome to my third post in the “Finish Seams without a Serger” series. In this series I’m teaching you how to make your sewing more professional even if you don’t own a Serger. So far I’ve already covered how to sew a French seam and a false French seam. Today, I’m showing you how to sew a clean finish.

How to Sew a Clean Finish: the third post in a series that teaches you how to sew professionally without a serger. stitchesandsunflowers.com

Clean Finish

I first learned to use a clean finish at the edge of a facing, but it can be used in seam allowances as well. This finishing technique is beneficial because it allows you to press the seam open, creating less bulk than sewing the seam allowance all together. It also happens to be my sewing professor’s favorite type of finish. She worked in the garment industry for thirty years before teaching university classes. I soaked everything she told me like a sponge, and the tips I didn’t follow came back to bite me later.

It is made by turning the edges of the seam allowance under, pressing them, and sewing them. It is similar to creating half a hem. Here’s how:

The Tutorial

As with all of these, if this technique is new to you I recommend practicing with two scrap rectangles first, as shown here.

Step one:

Sew a normal seam with a seam allowance of 5/8″.

How to Sew a Clean Finish: the third post in a series that teaches you how to sew professionally without a serger. stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step two:

Press the seam open.

How to Sew a Clean Finish: the third post in a series that teaches you how to sew professionally without a serger. stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step three:

Press the edges underneath so the raw edge is against the fabric of the garment.

How to Sew a Clean Finish: the third post in a series that teaches you how to sew professionally without a serger. stitchesandsunflowers.com  How to Sew a Clean Finish: the third post in a series that teaches you how to sew professionally without a serger. stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step four:

Sew along the edge to hold the fold in place.

How to Sew a Clean Finish: the third post in a series that teaches you how to sew professionally without a serger. stitchesandsunflowers.com

How to Sew a Clean Finish: the third post in a series that teaches you how to sew professionally without a serger. stitchesandsunflowers.com

This technique can also be difficult on very curved seams, but on straight seams it is so simple! If you are a beginner and find it’s hard for you to sew on such a little edge, just take your time and practice lots!

How to Sew a Clean Finish: the third post in a series that teaches you how to sew professionally without a serger. stitchesandsunflowers.com

 

Love, Jess

 

 

 

 

 

Finish Seams without a Serger: False French Seam

Hello all! Welcome to my second post in the series that teaches you how to finish seams without a serger. This series is for those of us who want to learn to sew professionally but don’t have a Serger. It is possible! View the first post in the series about French seams here.

The False French Seam

This technique is great when you can’t, for any reason, start your seam with the right sides facing out as you do in a French seam. For example, when I sewed my lace blouse I used this technique to finish the bottom of my zipper seam. I also like to use it if I forget to start the seam like a French seam, but I don’t have time (or don’t want) to un-pick the seam and start again.

It’s also said to be easier than French seams. For me, they are about the same.

The Tutorial:

If you’re sewing this technique for the first time, or just want extra practice, use two small rectangles to test it out.

Step one:

Sew a normal seam. Place your fabric right sides together and sew with a 5/8″ seam allowance.

How to Sew a False French Seam (A part of the "Finish Seams without a Serger." series) stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step two:

Press the seam open.

How to Sew a False French Seam (A part of the "Finish Seams without a Serger." series) stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step three:

Fold and press the seam allowances in half towards the center seam.

How to Sew a False French Seam (A part of the "Finish Seams without a Serger." series) stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step four:

Bring the seam allowances back together and topstitch so that both raw edges are encased in the seam allowance.

How to Sew a False French Seam (A part of the "Finish Seams without a Serger." series) stitchesandsunflowers.com

And…that’s how you sew a false French seam! It is a super simple way to add some class to your sewing. As with the French seam, I only use this on straight seams. Pressing curved edges in this way could get really tricky.

How to Sew a False French Seam (A part of the "Finish Seams without a Serger." series) stitchesandsunflowers.com

 

Check back in next Tuesday for the next post in the series! Also, you can refer to Nap-Time Creation’s Create-Link-Inspire post for lots of other lovely tutorials.

Love, Jess

 

 

 

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial

In this blog post I’m sharing the tutorial and free pattern (yay!) for the ever-classic lace blouse. This is an exciting moment for me because it’s my first ever full size (meaning not baby clothes) pattern that I’ve created for others and digitized. That means I’m a newbie and I would love your feedback of how it worked for you and how the fit turned out!

Sew your own lace blouse with this free pattern and tutorial. stitchesandsunflowers.com

 

I used eyelet lace, which made sewing up this blouse fairly straightforward. However, if you use true lace it will be a little trickier to sew, so just be aware of that if you’re a beginner.

The pattern for this blouse is only for one size, although the techniques I show you can be used for many blouse patterns. The measurements of the finished garment are as follows:

Bust: 39 1/2

Waist: 37

Hip: 40 1/2

*When measuring yourself to see if this will fit you don’t forget to add a couple inches to account for ease (the extra room in a garment to make it comfortable to wear).

Materials

Free Blouse Pattern

2 yards Lightweight apparel fabric (I used eyelet lace)

An invisible zipper (preferably matching, but all I could find with limited resources was grey)

 

Here’s How to Sew It:

Step one:

Cut out all your pattern pieces.

*I would provide a sample pattern layout, but I actually used a really small and randomly shaped piece of fabric to make this…haha. When it comes to sewing and diy my mantra is often, “Use what you have.” Do your best to save fabric while keeping all the pattern pieces in line with the grain of the fabric as marked.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step two:

Sew the darts.

  • Mark the dart point and the dart ends (I do this with pins) and then pin the dart flat with the dart ends together.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Sew the dart starting at the dart ends, but don’t make a straight line to the dart point. It helps the shaping of the blouse if you curve in earlier than you think and then slowly taper to the point. Pictures below.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

 

Step three:

Sew the shoulder seams, finishing them as you go. I used a French seam.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step four:

Prep the facing.

  • Sew the facing and interfacing together at the shoulder seams.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • If you are using fusible interfacing, iron it on now.
  • I used non-fusible interfacing. If you do this baste the interfacing to the facing fabric along the neck seam.

Step five:

Attach the facing.

  • Pin the facing to the neck hole of your blouse right sides together and sew the seam.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Clip the seam allowance and press right side out.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Now, finish the edge of your facing. I chose to turn it under and topstitch it onto the blouse and I like the results.
  • To do this, stitch along the edge of the facing with 1/4″ seam allowance. This will give a line from which to fold the fabric under and press.

Sew your own lace blouse with this free pattern and tutorial. stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • After it is pressed under, trim the interfacing to be 1/4″ smaller than the facing (if you are using non-fusible interfacing. If not, skip it).

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • After the edges are pressed under, pin the facing in place and topstitch around the edge.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Leave two-three inches on either side of the back/zipper opening.
  • You may also choose to simply serge this edge and topstitch it or leave it loose.

Step six:

Sew the side seams. I used a French seam to finish my edges here as well.

Step seven:

Sew the sleeves.

  • Sew the sleeve seam and finish it.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Baste (don’t backstitch!) from notch to notch along the top of the sleeve.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Pulling the bobbin thread, gather the fabric as tight as it will go.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com   Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Smooth the fabric back out. It should have a nice shoulder curve to it now.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step eight:

Attach the sleeves.

  • Flip the sleeves right side out and pin into the armholes right sides together.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Sew around the armhole and serge or zig-zag the edges (I don’t attempt French seams here)

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step nine:

Add the invisible zipper. Zippers are still so hard for me! I used this tutorial to help me remember the steps. Since I didn’t plan ahead enough to buy a zipper online, I bought a thrift store dress and picked out the zipper.

  • Iron out the roll in your invisible zipper. Notice how the two lines of stitching are visible in the photo because the zipper has been flattened out.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Unzip and pin one side right sides together on one edge of the back opening. The edge without teeth should be lined up the raw edge of the fabric. Make sure that the top part of the zipper is going to be sewn under the facing.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Use a zipper foot and sew along the teeth of the zipper, as close as you can. Stop when you get to the desired zipper length.
  • Zip up the zipper and mark where to sew on the other side. Mark any topstitching lines so that they match up.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Unzip and pin the right side of the other side of the zipper to the other back edge. Check and make sure that the zipper will zip up properly.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Sew this side close to the zipper teeth as well. Sew a zig-zag stitch along the edge of the zipper.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Fold the loose edge of the facing under and topstitch it onto the zipper. Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com
  • Zip up the zipper to check it all worked out.Starting about an inch above where your zipper ends, sew the rest of the seam down the back and finish it.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

  • Cut and stitch across the end of the zipper if it’s too long.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

Step ten:

Hem.

  • Press up the bottom first 1/2″, then another 1/2″. Hem.
  • Press up the sleeve hems first 1″ then another 1″. Hem.

Lace Blouse Free Pattern and Tutorial: stitchesandsunflowers.com

And that’s how you sew your own blouse! If it’s your first, congratulations on finishing. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!

Sew your own lace blouse with this free pattern and tutorial. stitchesandsunflowers.com Sew your own lace blouse with this free pattern and tutorial. stitchesandsunflowers.com

Please also give me feedback on the success of the pattern. 🙂 I am always editing.

Love, Jess.

P.S. Go visit Made by You Monday  and Create Link Inspire to see some other fun tutorials.

 

 

Finish Seams without a Serger: How to Sew a French Seam

Hello friends! This is the first post in a series that teaches you how to finish your seams without a serger. I know most beginners and some intermediate sewers don’t own a serger. In fact, I’ve never owned a serger (lately I’ve been using my M-I-L’s), so I’ve had to come up with ways to make my sewing look professional without a serger. This means I need to finish the seams in some way so they don’t look raggedy and bleh.

In this series I’ll share with you my favorite ways I’ve learned to finish a seam. Many of them are relatively simple, they just take a little planning and ironing. Today I’m going to jump right in and teach you the first (and my favorite) one: French seams.

French Seams

The way that French seams are sewn encases the raw edge of the fabric inside the seam, making a beautifully finished little edge on the inside. This makes them perfect for sheer fabrics where you can see the seam through the outside of the shirt.

I recommend only using them on straight seams, or almost straight seams. I’m pretty sure even the best seamstress couldn’t figure out how to sew a French seam around a sleeve…or could they? I’m not sure, but I stick to the straight seams.

The Tutorial

In order to practice this you can use to scraps of fabric with straight edges. This is a really good idea if you’ve never used this method before. It will give you a chance to make mistakes without messing up your sewing project.

Step One:

Place your edges right sides out and sew your seam with 1/4″ seam allowance.

Finishing Seams without a Serger_ How to Sew a French Seam

 

Step Two:

Trim the seam allowance down to 1/8″ and fold the fabric over it, press.

Finishing Seams without a Serger_ How to Sew a French Seam

Step Three:

Using the folded seam as your edge, sew/topstitch another seam with 3/8″ seam allowance, encasing the raw edge. Your fabric will be right sides together now.

Finishing Seams without a Serger_ How to Sew a French Seam

Step Four:

Press your seam to one side and admire how beautiful and professional it looks.

Finishing Seams without a Serger_ How to Sew a French Seam

It doesn’t have to be really hard to make your sewing look more professional. It just comes down to paying attention to detail and taking the time to polish your work. Look forward to the rest of the series! I’ll be posting another seam-finishing guide every Tuesday.

Love, Jess

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