Thursday, 15 March 2012

Tutu fabulous.

Tutu’s are described by the Urban Dictionary as a “frilly looking skirt, made of tulle and worn by ballerinas and cool people”. I don’t know how ‘cool’ they really are, but lets face it they are fun to wear, for any age..

Rainbow Tutu
This particular tutu is made by knotting the netting around the elastic waistband, a technique widely broadcast on You Tube. In most of the videos the tulle strips are made from tulle ribbon. In the UK this is not as widely available in the local fabric shop, but if you want to find some try a florists wholesaler instead.

TOP TIP: Wash the netting first and it softens a little, but DO NOT Iron it .. 

First make the waistband.
Measure the waist and add 2.5cms. Overlap the elastic by the 2.5cm and sew in place using an elastic stitch or by hand.

Cut the strips of net.
To work out how long to cut each strip of net you need to work out the length of the skirt and times by 2. Add a further 4 cm for the knot that goes round the elastic.  Now cut enough strips for 3 knots per inch, give or take. In the picture I used two strips together, so I would calculate for 6 strips per inch.  This is a little hit and miss, although if you by a bit extra its not the end of the world really?

Next knot the strips around the elastic. The video shows how to do this best.

This skirt would also look great in organza.  So get making and let us all see!! 

A few other tutu's to inspire you, notice the big smiles.

My fabulous godmother in her brilliant tutu!!

Our 'Hen' in her fetching tutu and veil... 

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Getting The Bunting Ready..

The sun is shining and we are all hoping that this summer is going to be hot. With Bank holidays, the Jubilee and the Olympics what better way to get ready for a truly British summer than by getting the bunting ready? Or at least starting it in plenty of time!

According to Wikipedia, Bunting was originally a specific type of lightweight wool, used to make flags and ribbons. It was used to make signal flags for the Navy, and the officer responsible for raising the signals was called a “bunt” Today it can be seen in vintage fabrics, papers and plastic. It can be as easy as cutting out coloured paper and attaching it to ribbons, using glue or even staples. I am going to show you how I make bunting. It looks beautiful as the flags hold their shape well in the wind and last out in the rain, it is a British summer after all.
Beautiful Bunting

How do I know how much to make?
I normally expect to have 3.5 flags per meter. When I measure the space I want to bunt I add 20cm per meter if I want to swag my bunting. So if a window is 2 meters long. I make 2.4 meters of bunting. That’s 9 Flags, 18 triangles of fabric. If worried, make more, you can always cut off the excess bunting, or use somewhere else.

What do I need? 
To make the bunting you need some fabric, wonderweb seam tape, an iron, sewing machine and bias binding or ribbon.

Ready Steady Sew…

How the bunting triangle will look.
The green lines show the finished size. 
 Firstly I draw my template for the flags. Easiest way to do this is to draw a straight line 26.5cm long. At the top of this line mark 12.5cm either side to make a T. Now draw the diagonals to meet at the end of the line. All done! This flag will give you a seam allowance of 1.5cm. Remember you can make your flags any shape, even make them smaller if you need to.

Now cut out the flags from the fabric. I make my flags double sided so you will need to cut two fabric flags for every flag on the bunting.

Cut the wonderweb tape to the same length as one side of the triangle and fold the fabric over the top to make a crisp edge. Iron the folded edge in place following the directions on the packet. Repeat on the other side.

Next take the two flags, wrong sides together and stitch about 5mm from the edge. Repeat as many times as you need to.

When ready start laying the flags onto the bias tape and pin in place. I tend to leave about 10cms between each flag. Have some fun and work out if there is a pattern to the flags before you start sewing. Think about colours and textures. That’s all there is to it.

 I often hang the bunting out, but for the jubilee I’m planning something special, I’ll keep you posted.

This was for the World Cup Breakfast we hosted.

Halloween, during the day...
And at night....

Saturday, 18 February 2012

This is Kate wearing her infinity dress, looking beautiful. Kate kindly posted how she wore this dress through two pregnancies and as you can see from above, in between baby bumps and the dress not only fits, but looks stunning!! That really is versatile.. Thanks Kate for sharing with Seams Sew Simply. 

21 Ways to Wear the Henkaa Convertible Dress in 5 Minutes!

I found this Video on you tube and it really shows you how versatile the dress is... Enjoy...

Monday, 13 February 2012

A few pictures to show you how versatile the infinity dress is. Black Tie to Fancy Dress

Floor length elegance                                                 Look at how the dress moves!!

The start of the night, with sleeves.

Fancy Dress, a whole lot of options... 

Sunday, 12 February 2012

The floor length infinity dress

This is me in my floor length infinity dress. 
Put simply this dress is made by sewing together four rectangles. It has a total of three seams and no hems. You cut the jersey to the finished length and the most complicated part is working out the right sizes of the rectangles.

This is the way to make a floor length infinity dress. It differs from a lot of the patterns on the Internet because it gathers on the hip and is an oval skirt rather than a square. The last dress I made, the one you can see in the video was a 400 gm lycra, suitable for dancewear and ice skating costumes. I bought it from Fabric Land at £9.99 a meter.  

The floor length version takes between 7 and 9 meters of fabric, which brings it to about the same price as a dress from the high street. The true beauty of the dress is the flexibility it gives you, something the high street can’t offer. I also find that regardless of how much my size has changed the dress still looks great, and can be easily taken apart and made bigger or smaller.

This dress is stitched using a stretch stitch and a stretch needle. The stitch looks like a sloping zigzag. Your sewing machine stitch book will help you determine the correct stitch. If your not sure, stitch a little on a scrap of Lycra and pull. If it’s the wrong stitch the thread will break.

The rectangles for the skirt.

The width of the rectangle for the skirt is determined by the width of the fabric. The length of the rectangle is the following calculation.

Measurement from bottom of bra to floor.
Times two.

Don’t forget to wear the right shoes when you take this measurement
Waist Measurement minus 5 cm.  Divided by 2

This measurement is needed for the rest of the pattern.

You will need to cut and sew two of these rectangles together to make the skirt. 

The rectangles for the top.


Waist measurement as for the skirt.
Divided by two
Plus 23cm


Your height x 1.5.

You will need to cut two of these rectangles for the top. 

Putting the rectangles together.

Pin the rectangles for the skirt right sides together. Use the selvedge to make life easier. Fold the skirt rectangles in half and mark with a pin. This is the center point. From the centre point mark half the waist measurement on either side.  You can now sew the first seams. Sew from the waist mark to the edge of the rectangle on both sides. Sew the seam line bellow the selvedge using the stretch stitch.  You now have I a whole in the middle of the two rectangles. Try on the skirt, it should fit snugly around your waist, if it feels too loose pinch the sides together and pin, continue the stitching up to the pin. Try on and check again.

Now for the top.

The top has pleats that are very flattering. Place both rectangles, right sides up on a flat surface and mark the following measurements. The two rectangles should mirror each other.

Fold 15 cm of the fabric under the rest of the rectangle.

A     4cm from fold 
B     5cm from fold 
C     6cm from fold 
D     8cm from fold 
E      9cm from fold 
F     10cm from fold 
G    12cm from fold 
H    13cm from fold 
I     14cm from fold


To make the pleats

C matches to A, B is the middle of the pleat         
F matches to D, E is the middle of the pleat
I matches to G, H is the middle of the pleat 

Word of advice
Once you have pined the fabric pleats tack them in place. Life is a lot easier.

And finally

Take the two top rectangles and overlap them at the middle by 2cms. Now we are ready to attach the top to the skirt.

Turn the skirt so the seams are on the outside and put the straps inside the skirt with the pleats at the top. The right side of the straps should be next to the right side of the skirt fabric.

Remember the pin in the middle of the waist? Now match that up to the middle of the top and pin into position, tack the fabric in place.

Now check that if the dress is turned around the right way its right. it’s easy to un-pick and re- tack at this point.

If all is good, stitch together and remove the tacking thread.

Check and cut the length of the dress.

Try on WITH SHOES and mark the hem length. A neighbour or a friend is always good for this. Pin in place

Take off the dress and measure from the waist to the pin. Lay the skirt rectangle out flat and make sure the top straps are out of the way. Measure from the edge of the waist (B) and mark the hem length moving diagonally out from B making a curve.

Repeat for the other side of the dress and cut at the markings.  

Your dress is ready to wear!