Monday, July 13, 2015

DIY Romper

I've been wanting a romper for quite a while now, so here's how I made my own. I used about 1.5 yard of a heavy knit purchased at Joann's and some half inch wide elastic. 
I started by making the shorts of the romper using a pattern I previously made as seen in my high waisted shorts post, and essentially made them with the pockets as I did before, with the exception of not adding the waistband and extending the top of the shorts higher by an inch or two. 
For the back of the shirt part, I followed the basic shape of a loose fitting shirt I already own, also adding some length to the bottom. I matched the width of the top to the width of the opening of the shorts. For the front of the shirt, I traced the same shape onto two layers of fabric, and then drew a diagonal line across one shoulder to the opposite bottom edge. (Make sure the two layers are right sides together so you get a left and a right piece, unless the fabric has no right or wrong side.) I later adjusted this diagonal until I got the shape I wanted. I hemmed the angled edge and connected the bottom of the two front pieces and then connected the sides and shoulders of the entire shirt by sewing the two parts right sides together. 
To connect the top and shorts, I left the shorts right side out and turned the shirt inside out over the shorts, matching up the edges of the openings. I pinned around the opening and sewed around it. 
Next I measured the elastic to fit my waist and sewed the ends together to make a circle. I pinned the elastic around the waist, stretching it as I went along, and then sewed the elastic down.
Lastly for the sleeves, I traced the general shape of the sleeve onto some fabric, using the arm opening of the romper as a guide and adding a seam allowance. I hemmed the edges, and then folded them in half, stitching the shorter edge together. To attach the sleeves, I turned the romper inside out and left the sleeve right side out and pinned around the curved edges.
Once everything is all put together, that's it. It's super comfortable to wear and the wrap front top opens to make it really easy to put on and I think it's perfect for summer.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Smock Dress Sewing DIY

Inspired by these two pictures I found online (and partly this tutorial by Annika of The Pineneedle Collective), here's how I made this simple cotton smock dress.
I used about 1.5 yards of a gray knit (pre-washed), and it only took a few hours, since the shape of the dress is very simple and fits very loosely.
To start, I made the body of the shirt using a loose fitting crop top I own for reference, adding a few inches around the edges for seam allowance and adjustments. I traced around where the sleeve seams were to make it a tank top shape, and adjusted the front and back necklines. Since the back piece was cut into two pieces instead of one like the front, I added some width to it, and then sewed the middle seam to connect the two. (I mostly just did this because I laid my fabric out weirdly and it was just easier to cut it in half.)
I then attached the front and back pieces along the sides and shoulders, and then tried it on to adjust the width and length (I find it easier to make it bigger at first and then adjust instead of trying to make it fit from the start in case it's too small).
For the skirt, I cut the widest piece I could from the fabric to about 17 inches (later shortened to about 15 inches since I'm short) and gathered the top edge by sewing a long basting stitch along the top edge and gathering it to match the size of the opening at the bottom of the shirt. I then connected the two ends to make a tube with the top of one opening as the gathered edge.
With the skirt wrong side out and the shirt right side out placed  inside of the skirt, I attached the skirt to the bottom of the shirt using a straight stitch all the way around.
For the sleeves, I used the opening of the armhole as a template for the sleeve, and cut it so that the top of the sleeve was on fold. I first hemmed the edge of the sleeve using a rolled hem, folding it under twice, and then connected the bottom edge to form a tube shape.
To attach the sleeve to the armhole, I matched up the top of the sleeve with the shoulder seam and pinned along the opening, starting and the top and working down the each side towards the armpit area. It's easier to make the sleeve diameter bigger than needed, since my sleeve was slightly too small and I think it would've been easier to have a too large sleeve and then adjust the size down instead of trying to make a small opening match up with a larger one.
I finished the dress off by hemming the neckline in the same way I did on the sleeves, and then hemming the bottom edge by folding it under twice and sewing two straight lines around (sort of like what you see on the bottom of most shirts).

I later added some white lace around the neckline only on the front which I bought at Joann which I sewed on by tucking under the folded neckline.