Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sew Easy - Part 1

Easy Skirt Sewing tutorial Sometimes I feel like sewing is a dying art...simply because I meet so few people who want to sew these days. When I was growing up back home, every women in my home knew how to sew, at least the basics. So did everyone in the neighborhood. Me and my cousins were lucky to be born in a family where we saw a lot of sewing on a regular basis ( No, we don't have a professional seamstress in the family, if you discount my little venture. All that sewing was only for the family)
But as I grew up I saw the shift in the enthusiasm for sewing...very few of my friends knew how to sew, by the time I had a family, very few of my friends knew how to thread a sewing machine. The thing that is even more sad is that most of them didn't feel the need to learn it.
I don't know if I'm just plain old fashioned to love sewing, or it is a skill worth saving ( after all, doesn't Walmart sells ready to wear clothes cheaper than the fabric it would take to make them...never mind the time and skill). However, very often I come across women who are fascinated by sewing, want to try their hand at it but are either scared by the whole process of taking detailed measurements, cutting, sewing, finishing, buying so many notions and tools, lack of sewing machine or some combination of the above. I feel that as somebody who has enjoyed the art of sewing for a long time, I can address those difficulties. Maybe I can make some of you reconsider sewing as a skill worth learning, even enjoyable.

With this goal in mind I'm starting off this series, called Sew Easy. In this series I'll write some tutorials for items that require very little skills and would look totally cute on your kids or yourself. I'll also try to include pointers to tutorials to such projects from other blogs. I hope you like these projects and warm up to sewing more.

Part 1 - 10 mins ( or less ) skirt

What do you need

1 Tshirt - ( Adult or child size - preferable bigger than the child who will be weaing the skirt )
2. Scissor
3. Elastic - 1 Yd - 3/8 inch
4. Sewing machine or sewing needle and thread matching with Tshirt
5. Measuring tape or ruler
6. Safety Pin

Step 2. Measure the Wearer's waist lets call it X inches
        Measure the length you want the skirt to be lets call it Y inches ( you dont need any seam allowances here)

        Add about half of waist measurement to width X calculate the width of fabric = X+X/2 but since the Tshirt is already double layered lets divide the whole thing into half again so the width we need to cut is = X/2+X/4 = lets call it W.


Step 2. Lay your Tshirt flat on a flat surface

Step 3. From the bottom of the TShirt Measure up Y inches.
Step 4. Fold the TShirt upwards Y inches making sure that the length is even all across.

   Step 5. Now measure W inches at the fold you just made from one side.

Step 6. Cut the Tshirt upto W inch mark. The cut it perpendicular to this cut upto the bottom to get a folded rectangle of WxY
(Sew Easy Tip: If your TShirt is a couple of inches wider than W, don't bother making the second cut, just cut the Tee along the width, we are making a full skirt so width doesn't have to be precise and and not making the lengthwise cut will reduce the sewing you need to do)

Step 7. Now attach a safety pin to the elastic

Step 8. Thread the elastic through the bottom hem of the T Shirt piece you just cut.
Step 9. Pull the elastic to its desired length ( X - 3 inches  would be a good starting point). At this point you may want to try it on the wearer by attaching both elastic ends with a pin. Take care not to poke her with the pin. Adjust the elastic according to the fit.

Step 10. Bring both raw ends together and sew a seam with right sides together. Make sure you catch both ends of elastic in your seams. Go over the elastics 2 - 3 times to make them more durable.

Step 11. Turn the skirt inside out

Step 12. The skirt is ready! Ta Da!
Ummm...why are you yawning?..aren't you excited? made a skirt!!!
Ohhh, 'coz you made a boring skirt!!!
Hey not so fast...
The reason, some clothes look so fab isn't because they are overly complicated or some rocket scientist designed them. They look so awesome, because before/after the main garment was constructed somebody spent some time jazzing it up before you got to see it. And know what? You could totally do this to clothes you make. I'll show you how in my next post. And yes! we'll turn this boring skirt into something fab!