‘I, Natalie (craftmyescape.wordpress.com), sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’14. I endeavour to wear at least 2 handmade items per week for the duration of May 2014 and create 2 new items by the end of May’
I’ve signed up for Me-Made-May for the first time this year, I watched enviously from the sidelines last year not quite feeling ready to join in. My handmade wardrobe is slowly growing however, I am limited by how much of it I can wear to work so I’ve pledged to wear 2 me-made outfits a week, but hopefully I can top that.
I haven’t been panic sewing I have however, been digging out all those half finished projects and trying to get them finished quite quickly!
I’ve also pledged to make 2 new items during May and I would really like one of these to be a skirt. I wear skirts all the time for work but very rarely make them. I made a black jersey half circle skirt recently and really enjoyed it.
In fact, I’ve been really enjoying working with stretch fabrics at the moment. Fitting clothes is one of the aspects of sewing I find the most difficult, and also the most disheartening, there is nothing worth than working really hard on something for it to end up unwearable. With stretch fabrics you naturally get a good fit and as long as you’re careful and aware of what you’re working with it’s not really that much more difficult than working with standard fabric.
I recently made a lace peplum top using a 4 way stretch jersey and stretch lace and couldn’t be more pleased with it! I even drafted the pattern myself using a simple tank top and a bit of maths!
If you want to give this a try it’s surprisingly easy. Find a plain vest top similar to what you want to make and use this to get a template for the top section, mark your waist (your narrowest point) on the pattern and then get rid of everything below this- this is where you’ll attach your peplum. It’s really important to make sure the top you’re using for the outline has a similar stretch to the fabric you’re going to make your new top in. If the original top is much stretchier (as mine was) you’ll want to make your pattern slightly wider to account for this. You can sketch your outline directly on to the fabric but I prefer to trace it on to pattern paper first so I have a copy I can use for any future tops.
To make the peplum skirt you’ll need to use circle skirt maths (you can find a good tutorial here), make sure you add seam allowances where needed and you’ll need to use the waist measurement of your pattern NOT your actual waist measurement (which will be bigger) as you want the fabric to be slightly smaller than your actual measurements so it stretches slightly to fit.
I finished my neck and sleeve edges with bias binding and turned up a narrow hem on the peplum. As I was working with the jersey and lace on top I only turned up the hem once so there wasn’t too much bulk. My normal method for turning up a hem on a peplum or circle skirt is to stitch a line on the longest stitch length about 1cm in, then turn up hem along this line and press, turn again and stitch. This helps ease the extra fabric in and always works great for me.
You’ve still got a few days left if you want to sign up to Me-Made-May as well!
Sign up here!