Friday, February 10, 2012

My First Garment!

I am very excited about today's post. This tunic is the first (wearable) garment that I have sewn for myself! Let me share with you how it came to be.

I stumbled upon a free pattern from for a Fringe Festival Knit Top. I really liked the simplicity of it for my first clothing project. I printed the pattern and cut the fabric. I made one change initially: I cut the back and front as one single pieces rather than splitting them in half as shown on the pattern. I sewed the front and back together at the shoulders. Then the pattern and fabric sat in my "to be sewn basket" for a couple of months...

In the meantime, I started working on one of these dresses:

Picture from Simplicity

I am working on top H with bottom J, if you are interested. The dress is much more difficult than the tunic top, so when I got frustrated with it, I went back to the tunic. The dress is still in the works, but the point of my side story is that working on the dress taught me a couple of new sewing techniques...

When I finally picked up my fabric that I had cut for the "Fringe Festival" top, I decided that I did not really want the scarf part of the shirt. So I made a few changes:

First, I decided to make a finished neckline rather than having the attached scarf. To create the finished neckline, I took the pattern and cut a strip 2.5 inches from the neckline on the front and back. Let's call those 2.5 inch wide pattern pieces my "neckline pattern."

I cut my neckline pattern out of my fabric. (The fabric is folded in the picture below.)


Then, I sewed the front and back neckline pieces together, right sides together.

Next, I pinned the neckline pieces to my previously sewn together shirt pieces, right sides together, and stitched all the way around the neckline.

After sewing the shirt and lining pieces together, I notched the fabric at the "v" of the neck and restitched there to reinforce the "v" shape. (This is one of the new skills that I learned while working on my dress.) After that, I used another one of my new skills. I "understitched" all of the way around my neck seam. Look at this video to see how to do it:

The seam was still not as fixed as I wanted it to be, so I stitched through both pieces to hold down the lining. I then cut off the excess fabric on the inside. This is what it looks like on the inside and outside of the neck: (Forgive my not so straight stitching.)

For the sleeves and bottom, I folded over the fabric and stitched the hem using my new Twin Ballpoint Needle that I bought on Black Friday.

I was a little sad to see that the fabric is puckered-looking between the two rows of stitching. Can anybody tell me why that happened?

I also used the extra fabric to make a belt for the tunic. I just folded a long strip of fabric in half with the right sides together and sewed along the edge to make a long tube. Then, I flipped the tube right side out, folded the ends toward the inside and stitched the ends closed. Super simple.

The last thing that I did was add beads to the neckline. You can see how I did that here. Here is the final product: