Thursday, May 19, 2011

DIY One Shoulder Top

This time of year is best to be bare, and one shoulder tops are one of my favorite ways to be cool and cute. It is easy to whip one up and i did just that.
You need about 1.5 yards of lightweight fabric, silk or similar, 1/4 inch elastic, and if you want a shirred bottom, you need elastic thread.  I hope you can understand my tutorial.

You need to draft an easy pattern. The measurements you need are the fullest part of your bust, the distance between the top of your shoulder and the underarm, the distance between the top of your shoulder and where you want the top to end, and the distance between the center of your neck in the front, and where your neck and your shoulder meet.

I use wax paper, from the kitchen.   Draw point A, add 4 inches to your bust measurement and divide it by 2.  Mark point B at this distance straight across from A.   Point F is placed up from point B with the measurement of the shoulder top to the underarm, and it goes about  2 inches in. This might change depending on your body, but you can change it later. Connect F and B with a curved line. You can use a french curve, or follow the curve from one of your tank tops.
Now, point E is about 1/2 inch higher than F, about 1.5 inches in.   If you measure from point E to the center of distance A-B, this should be about the measurement of the center of the front of your neck, and where your neck meets your shoulder.
points C will be about 2 inches out from point A, and it will be the length of your top. Point D is the same, straight across from C, about 2 inches away from point B.  Connect all the points, A-E and E-F will be straight, the only curve is F-B.

This is the front and back. Try the tissue on you, to make sure that it fits your body.   YOU NEED SEAM ALLOWANCES!!!!!

Cut 2 pieces from a single thickness of fabric.
You will want to embellish the neck line. I made a flounce.
 Cut a long spiral, as wide  as you want the flounce to be.  Wrap it around one shoulder and your chest as in the picture, and cut it about 2 inches longer, for seam allowances and ease of wear.  Sew the ends to close the flounce.

Sew the side seams and the shoulder seam with right sides together.  Cut a bias strip of fabric to finish the armhole, sew it.

 Cut a 1 inch wide strip of fabric, on the grain, the same length as the flounce, and sew the ends together, with right sides together.   Finish one edge, I serged it.

Finish the free edge of the flounce. I used a rolled hem, but a narrow hem will do.

 Pin the flounce to the top. The right side of the top to the wrong side of the flounce. then place the strip of fabric on top, wrong side up.  Align the seams from the strip, the flounce, and the underarm seam.
 Fold the strip of fabric to the inside, and sew from underneath the flounce.
Measure a length of elastic snug around your shoulder and under your arm, like the flounce, but snug. Sew the ends together. Sew the elastic to the inside of the top, close to the edge.
 Go ahead, try it on, ......
Hem the top, and you are ready to wear it as is, with a belt at the waist, or do like I did, and sew straight rows of stitches at the bottom, with elastic thread on the bobbin,  for a shirred, or blouson effect.  
You can also, gather the bottom, and sew a ribbon, or a sash of self fabric, that can be tied on the side.
                                          Find somewhere sunny to go !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fruity Summer Cocktails

It feels like summer here in Arizona.  Poolside cocktails are a must. The fruitier, the better. I made pineapple and orange liquor to make cool refreshing adult drinks. 

Mix a cup of sugar for each cup of rum, tequila, vodka, or your fave, stir until dissolved, and place in a glass jar with pieces of fresh fruit.  Cover and store for 2 weeks. 

This are super good poured over ice and mixed with sparkling water, or in your favorite cocktail recipe. 
Enjoy with friends by the pool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

DIY DVF Inspired Side Zip Mini Skirt

There is a certain thing about exposed zippers that entice me, and DVF made a fabulous skirt with a full length side zipper that I want to replicate. Here it goes!!!!!

First, make a pattern. I use wax paper from the kitchen. Measure your waist and hips, and add the amount of ease that you want. I added 2 inches.  Those are thee new waist and hip measurements. We are going to draft half the back and half the front, because it is going to be cut on the fabric fold.
 Now, the back needs to be a little bigger than the front, so it can fit nicely.  First the front.
Draw a straight line for the waist, It should be 1/4 of the measurement of the waist, plus .5 inch. that is to leave fabric for the darts and seam allowances.  Check on your body, or with a ready made skirt or dress, where you want the darts. Mine are 5 inches from the center. Draw the darts, about 5 inches long, 1 inch wide,  from the waist edge down.  Now mark the hip width. About 7 inches  down  from the waist line, mark a point 1/4  minus .5 inch of the hip measurement. Connect the waist line to the hip point and extend the line to the desired skirt length.
Do the same for the back pattern, but add 2.5 inches to the waist measurement, and 1 inch to the hip  point.  Draw the darts in the same place.
Cut waist facings. To do that, pin the darts in the front and back pattern and trace the new "finished" waist length and shape. It should be slightly curved.

 Cut one front and one back pieces on the fold.  Cut the center back open, to allow for adjustments if necessary. Cut the facings.

 Apply fusible interfacing to the facings. Sew the facings at the right side seam. Finish the bottom edge of the facing. I used a serger.

 Pin the darts, at the point and at the waist, and sew from the waist to the point. Press to the center seam.  Sew the back center seam and the right side seam.

 Pin the facing to the skirt, right sides together, and sew.

Now for the fun part, the zippered left side seam. You need a separating zipper about the length of the finished skirt. Mine is 18 inches.       

 Sew the zipper, right sides together, to the front part of the skirt. Use a zipper foot, and sew about 1/4 inch from the teeth, so you can see a little bit of the zipper when worn.
 Fold to the inside and press. Now Sew the  zipper to the back part of the skirt, in the same way. Turn the facing to the inside and topstitch in place.
Hem your skirt.  

Leave your comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DIY Alice + Olivia Inspired Peplum Top

Have you seen the SS 11 Alice and Olivia peplum top? It is a gorgeous knit top, black and white striped fabric, and they also made a solid color one, I believe in white or coral pink. Hefty price tag of $200.00.
I decided to give it a try and DIY!!!!!!!! Here is the tutorial.

It was mission impossible to find a black and white striped jersey or knit,  and I found this synthetic fabric, that is stretchy, in my local fabric store. For the pattern, I took an old T shirt that fits well, but that its useful life is over, and cut it at the seams, that gave me a perfect pattern.

 Fold the pattern pieces in the middle, and cut on the fold, adding seam allowances of 0.5 inch or so. Align the stripes on both pattern pieces, back and front, at the underarm seam, so the stripes match when you sew it.
Cut a front neck facing and a back neck facing. It should be about 1.5 inches wide, and it should follow the contour of the neck.

Sew the side seams, shoulder seams, and sew the sleeves short end. Set the sleeves and sew.

The peplum is cut like a circle. The small circle's circumference is the measurement of the top at the waist, For mine it was 32 inches. Use a compass to draw this circle. If you don't have a compass, like me, you need to calculate the radius of the circle, to use a string to trace it, use an internet calculator, or good old math. mine was about 5.4 inches. Cut a string with your measurement, attach one end to a stick, another to a marking pen, using adhesive tape. Pivot the stick in the center of the fold, and trace the half circle. Mark the center. For the outside cut, add about 8 inches to the string, and repeat. Cut out the circle. It looks like a doughnut.

 With right sides together, pin the peplum to the top, at the level where you want it to be. Match the center of the circle to the center back and the center front.  My top was cut long, to allow for adjustment, so I cut the excess fabric.
Sew the peplum in place.

Sew the short sides of the neck facings together, pin it to the top with right sides together, and sew. 

 Top stitch in place from the right side.

 Hem the peplum, and the sleeves, and wear proudly!!!!!!!! Now I just need a cute skirt to go with it!

Leave a comment if you like it, and follow my blog, I will post more creative things soon.