Saturday, May 16, 2009

Shirred Pajama Top and Cropped Pants Tutorial Part II - Sewing

Welcome to the sewing portion of the tutorial! If you have any questions please feel free to email me. I do want to mention that you can use these instructions to make pants and tops and dresses, on a smaller scale of course, for kids...just use clothes that you already have for approximate measurements and go from there :) Here goes!...

1. Fold each pant leg so the right sides are facing one another and sew the inner leg seam. Finish this seam off by going over it again with a zig zag stitch or just use pinking shears...depending on the "frayability" of your fabric.

2. Turn one pant leg right side out and insert this leg into the other leg so the right sides are facing one this curved seam and sew from front to back and finish seam to prevent fraying....
3. Pull inside leg out and go to ironing waistband iron down 1/2 inch all the way around and then fold this down a further 1 & 1/2 inches to form a channel for the elastic to be insert ed into. Flip your pants so your are looking at the bottom of the legs and iron down 1/2 inch and then fold down and iron down another 1/2 inch...this is your hem...

4. Sew 1/8 inch from the edge of the waistband starting at the back center (crotch seam) and leaving a 1 &1/2 inch gap that you don't sew so that you can insert your elastic. Sew 1/8 inch from the folded edge of the hems on the pant legs.

5. Measure your a comfortable stretch around the waist and add 2 inches

6. Put a safety pin through one end of the elastic and thread it through the waistband channel...being careful not to lose the other end into the channel..and also being careful that it doesn't get twisted....when it is all the way through overlap the ends about an inch and sew together down one side and then the other to make it very secure...let it go back up into the channel and then sew down the opening that you left....voila!!! pj pants

7.Now for the the side seams together and finish by zigzagging, pinking or serging

8. Hem the top and the bottom the same way you did the hem on the pants...fold and iron down 1/2 inch and then another 1/2 inch and sew this 1/8 inch away from the folded edge.

9. Now, take your sleeve rectangles and iron down both of the long sides 1/4 inch and then 1/4 inch again to create a narrow hem...stitch these edges down very close to the folded edge.

10. Wind your bobbin by hand with elastic thread...use regular thread for your top thread

11. Set your stitch setting to the longest, basting stitch you can and sew one or two times down the long sides of the rectangles, making sure to backstitch back and forth a couple of times at the beginning and end to ensure the threads are secure...your sleeves will look like this:

12. Lay the body of your top so that the two side seams are at the sides and then fold in half again so the center front and back are to the right...lay this flat and then find the center of this and mark with a pin...measure about one inch closer to the center fold and mark this with a pin...mark all four layers with a pin at this point...this is where you will center your sleeves:

13. Open the top body up with the side seams at the sides and pin your gathered sleeves from front to the back centering each strap where the marking pins are, like this:

14. Now, for the final step, starting at one side seam, and making sure to backstitch securely, sew around and around your top using the elastic thread in the bobbin and the sewing machine on the basting stitch until you are satisfied with the amount of shirring...i shirred 5 times around so the gathering would fall above the breast line but you can do as much as you like... each time you go around,when you get to the side seam that you started on just take the needle out of the fabric, lift the presser foot , move the top over about 1/2 inch, use your presser foot edge as your guide ,presser foot down again, needle down, and off you go....

just make sure to check the amount of elastic thread in your bobbin as you wouldn't want to run out mid go-round...make sure you securely backstitch whenever you have to reload the bobbin and at the beginning and the end...and there you have it!