DIY Upcycle & Recycle: Designing Shoulder Cutouts

DIY Upcycle & Recycle: Designing Shoulder Cutouts

How to Design and Sew Shoulder Cutouts

Spring cleaning time again and I have a stack of clothing items that I haven’t worn in a LONG time. You know the rule, if you haven’t worn the item in 2 years, it has to go!  What happens if you love the fabric, the print, or even just the buttons? Why not recycle or upcycle the items into something I might actually wear!  Here is an upcycle project for spring and summer and it’s right on trend … adding shoulder cutouts to a button down shirt.

Let’s Get Started!

Lay the shirt flat.  Locate the top of the shoulder and outside arm. Measure along the shoulder seam from the neck edge to where you want the edge of the hole to start.  In my case I am going to start 2” to 3” from the neckline.

With a fabric marking pen, mark the top opening of the hole at the shoulder position.
Mark the bottom of the hole opening. Choose a spot above the elbow along the outside edge of the sleeve.
Draw an oval like the one I have here.  The oval doesn’t have to be perfect, just free-hand draw the curve.  Keep in mind this includes the ½” seam allowance, so if you think you need a smaller opening after sewing draw a smaller oval.
Cut along the markings.

For the full tutorial, check out my post on the Brother Stitching Sewcial blog.  I always love to see what your are working on, be sure to share photos of your upcycles shirt using #angelawolf #brothersews

Cheers,

Brother Expert Sewing Consultant. This blog post may contain affiliate links.

DIY Upcycle & Recycle 2 Denim Shirts into 1 Dress

DIY Upcycle & Recycle 2 Denim Shirts into 1 Dress

Upcycle Denim Shirts

My husband was cleaning out his closet and handed me a couple of denim shirts to donate.  I couldn’t help but notice the logo on one of the shirts from a marina we frequent on our summer boating trips – I couldn’t bear to allow that one to go.  A friend mentioned making a quilt, but I don’t foresee that on the shortlist anytime soon.  Then it occurred to me – UPCYCLE!  I do need a sundress for the boating season and what better than a couple of denim shirts to play with!

Supplies

Let’s Get Started – Designing the Tank!

Try on the shirt and check the fit. Start by marking the width of the desired tank onto the shoulder seam

 

As I am holding up this sleeve, notice how wide the top is and how low the armscye falls. This will all be changed J

Measure from the back of the neck to your natural waistline and draw a line. Measure on the front of the top as well.

From the waist marking, measure down an additional 3” and place another mark.  (I am adding the 3” to allow a little blousing when the dress is belted).  Measure down another ½” to allow for a seam allowance.

Next, draw a line from the underarm seam up to the shoulder mark as shown.

For the full tutorial, check out my post on the Brother Stitching Sewcial blog.  I always love to see what you are working on, be sure to share photos of your upcycled shirts using hashtags #angelawolf #brothersews

Cheers,

Brother Expert Sewing Consultant. This blog post may contain affiliate links.

DIY Upcycle & Recycle: Designing Shoulder Cutouts

How to Design and Sew Shoulder Cutouts Spring cleaning time again and I have a stack of clothing items that I haven't worn in a LONG time. You know the rule, if you haven't worn the item in 2 years, it has to go!  What happens if you love the fabric, the print, or...

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DIY Upcycle & Recycle 2 Denim Shirts into 1 Dress

Upcycle Denim Shirts My husband was cleaning out his closet and handed me a couple of denim shirts to donate.  I couldn’t help but notice the logo on one of the shirts from a marina we frequent on our summer boating trips – I couldn’t bear to allow that one to go.  A...

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Fringe Skirt Sewalong Part 4: Sewing & Fitting Darts

Darts have a unique role in clothing.  The obvious reason for adding darts would be for fitting purposes, but they are also used as a design element.  After you try on your muslin, you might find that you need to add additional darts to the front or back waist - this...

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One Pattern, Many Ways!  #Patternhack

One Pattern, Many Ways! #Patternhack

[brightcove vid=2651917033001&exp3=1028803756001&surl=http://c.brightcove.com/services&pubid=1815808391&pk=AQ~~,AAAAAGw7CYc~,QzYiemrfSlNEkU3EugminXwN2BNsYZTO&w=550&h=355]

This is my new DVD with Threads Magazine and this was a fun one. I took a basic pattern and teach you how to alter one pattern into 4 different styles. Click here for details and behind the scenes photos with the crew!

How to Prepare & Sew a Jacket Lapel (another giveaway)

How to Prepare & Sew a Jacket Lapel (another giveaway)

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When I asked what part of sewing jackets you find the most intimidating to sew, many of you left a comment about the collar and lapel.  I must have had a premonition, as this week’s episode of It’s Sew Easy gives you a few tips for success.  You are right, the collar and lapel is what really makes your jacket stand out … and the good news …  it’s easier to sew than you think.  In fact, sewing is only a minute part involved in tailoring a collar.  The most time-consuming part involves preparing the center front jacket, upper collar, and under collar pattern pieces with interfacing and twill tape, not to mention pad stitching if you are going the traditional tailoring route.  The weight of the interfacing will determine the thickness and stability of your lapel and collar, so be sure to test a sample first.  My two favorites for jackets are armo-weft fusible interfacing (shown here) and horse hair canvas (perfect if you plan on pad stitching – which I will show in a later blog post).  Fusible interfacing can be added in layers if you need more structure at the end of the lapel, keep that in mind if you interfacing supply is limited.

Despite adding interfacing, extra measures need to be taken to prevent the neckline and center front of the jacket from stretching out.  Twill tape is the perfect solution!  Look closely and you can see hand stitching attaching the 1/4″ wide cotton twill tape to the front edge of the jacket.  As I am hand stitching, I am holding the twill tape tight and allowing the jacket fabric to ease in.  Not too much easing though!  Make sure the jacket doesn’t change shape or become skewed.

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What about that perfect roll on the lapel?  Again, twill tape is hand stitched to the roll line (the roll line should be printed on your jacket pattern)

angela wolf jacket lapel

When hand stitching the twill tape to the roll line, keep the twill tape tight (tighter than when we added twill tape to the center front and neckline).  Again, easing in the fashion fabric.  I use a pin to hold one end of the twill tape and start stitching from the other end.  You can see below how much I am easing!

tailoring jackets angela wolf

Here I started hand stitching the twill tape in place, the main part of the stitch is on the twill tape and I am just picking a short fiber in the fashion fabric, then back through the twill tape.  You can barely see the stitching from the right side of the fabric.  When you are finished steam press the lapel roll using a seam roll.  Again, for more details see this weeks episode of It’s Sew Easy, scroll to the bottom of their page and click on the video.

angela wolf tailoring jacket

Another Giveaway, this one is for my online class:  Sewing a Designer Unlined Jacket on PatternReveiw.com.  Does your favorite jacket style close in the center front or asymmetrically?  Just tell us your preference to enter the jacket class giveaway.  (A random winner will be drawn next Monday)   Congratulations to last weeks winner JRP53 who will be joining me in the  Beginner’s Guide to Sewing Jackets on PatternReview!   Good luck on your jackets!

Cheers 🙂

Angela Wolf

How to Sew a Curved Welt Pocket

How to Sew a Curved Welt Pocket

angela wolf fashion sewing welt pocket

Getting back to sewing jackets … by any chance did you happen to catch last weeks episode on It’s Sew Easy TV where I demonstrated adding a curved welt pocket.  Welt pockets can be a little intimidating because once you cut into the garment, you can’t change your mind! In case you missed the episode, here is a quick recap:

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1.  Interface the entire jacket front and side front  pattern pieces (not only does that prevent the fabric from fraying, it supports the pocket).  Similar to a standard welt pocket, take two bias strips of fashion fabric, add fusible interfacing, and press in half.  Draw the curve line of the pocket onto the right side of the fashion fabric.  Turn the welts with the fold side away from the chalked in line (or make sure the raw edges are touching) and stitch along the center of the welt flap.  Notice how I have  also chalk marked the ends of the pocket opening.

IMG_19062.  Turn the jacket over and on the wrong side of the garment you will see the stitch lines (I obviously used a yellow thread so you can see this :)).  Starting about 1″ in from one end of the stitching, cut into the fashion fabric.  Cut right in the middle of the stitch lines and end the cut about 1″ before the other stitch end.  Going back to the 1″ that we left alone, snip each corner from the cut line to the edge of the stitch line.  Do this for all four corners – as shown above.

3.  (See below) What is left is a slit with each welt on each side.  Pull the welts through the open slit, toward the wrong side of the fabric.

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Angela Wolf Curved Welt Pocket Fashion Sewing

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4.  Align the welts and press.  Run a basting stitch through the fold of each welt.  Now the pocket opening won’t slide around while finishing the pocket.

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5.  Topstitch 1/8″ from the edge of the welt pocket.  The pocket shown above is a straight welt style, yet the topstitching you see would be the same on the curved welt.  Add the pocket lining.  That’s it!

This weeks It’s Sew Easy episode demonstrates preparing the jacket collar and lapel.  Have you been following along and sewing your own jacket?  On that note, I better giveaway another one of my online jacket classes:  Beginner’s Guide to Sewing Jackets on PatternReview.  Entering to win is easy, leave a comment below about what you find the most intimidating about sewing jackets.  (A random winner will be drawn on Friday).

Runner_bestiblog

Don’t forget ALL my PatternReview online classes are on sale for the rest of the week.  Why?  Just a special thanks to all of you that support my teaching.  Speaking of support, thanks to your votes in the Craftsy 2013 Blogger Awards, we won Runner-Up for Sewing Best Instructor’s Blog!  You all are awesome!!!! Thanks 🙂

Congratulations to Stephani the winner of my PatternReview class Create a Jacket Muslin !

 

Cheers!

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A BIG THANK YOU!!!!

A BIG THANK YOU!!!!

Vote for me for Craftsy's blogger awards!I woke up this morning to an email that made me very happy and I have YOU to thank 🙂  Just so you know, you made my day!!!!!  In case you missed it, Craftsy is holding their 2013 blogging awards.  Round one of voting is finished and your votes placed my blog into the finals in the category of Sewing – Best Craftsy Instructor Blog.  There are only 4 of us and now another round of voting continues until October 29th – Of course I am hoping you will vote again 🙂

First, let me tell you how encouraging this was to hear.  Writing a blog and posting video tutorials does take up quite a bit of time, but I personally do so in order to  encourage you to sew.  Not only sew, but to sew clothes and sew clothes that look like they walked out of a boutique with a high price tag.  I have been sewing my own clothes for over 20 years (that just gives me a reason to buy more shoes and handbags LOL) and I love sharing what I have learned with you.

So what happens now?  There is a final round of voting that will end on October 29th and Craftsy is offering a free class to one of the lucky voters.  For me, I already feel like a winner.  As a special thank you for the support you have already shown and encouragement for you to vote again during these final weeks (bribery never hurts right :)) I am going to offer a few giveaways. Angela Wolf Bootcut Jean

Recently I offered a free Crafty class to my new Sewing Designer Jeans class that will launch later this month and a huge CONGRATULATIONS to the winner Marie C..  Well, the class doesn’t include a pattern.  Why?  Because maybe you copied your favorite pair in Kenneth D. Kings class or you already have a favorite jean pattern from my friend Jennifer Stern or you like the range of sizes in Jalie … just to name a few of my favorite reasons.  During the class, I will be using my  Angel Bootcut Jean pattern (my current pattern includes misses sizes 0 – 16 and I am diligently working on the women’s sizes 16W – 24W) and I even show you how to alter the pattern for a higher or lower waist (amongst other fitting issues).  So, it only seems appropriate to giveaway one of my jean patterns.  How can you win?  Pretty simple – let me know why you want to sew my jean pattern and please vote in the final round on Craftsy (remember you can win a free class on Craftsy just for voting).  Afraid of sewing jeans – no worries, it’s really easy.  Remember back when I showed you videos on how to sew pockets.  There are lots more, just scroll through my posts about sewing jeans.  I will announce the winner of jeans pattern on Monday and I will announce another “thank you” giveaway tomorrow.

Again, THANK YOU so much for making my day today 🙂  xoxo Angela

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