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Showing posts with label clothes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label clothes. Show all posts

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A simple dress - bali style

My favourite thing to wear around the house is a "Bali dress"  I don't know if that's a proper name for them, or just what I call them since I got my first one on holiday in Bali many years ago.  They are so simple and comfy and I love them!

Well, a couple of years ago we holidayed in Thailand, and I was disappointed that they didn't have any "Bali dresses" there. 
(was it very silly of me to think they would have Bali dresses for sale in Thailand??) 

Anyway - we're actually off to Bali itself soon for a family holiday so I'm hoping to get more of these dresses there.

However - I did start to think that perhaps, maybe I have a little skill in sewing now - and although I'm not yet making many clothes - I could perhaps give a simple Bali dress a try!

After all - I've done things like patch holes in our ceiling after watching a You Tube video, and replaced the inverter in our laptop from another You Tube video!  I even tiled our whole house - including two bathrooms and two patios after one workshop at the local DIY store! 
So why shouldn't I be able to sew a simple dress!! (since sewing is what I do!!)

It's all about confidence!

So, using an old favourite for the size and shape:

and some material I got from the charity shop the other day for 50c

I managed!!!


 I had to patch the fabric together at the back because it wasn't quite big enough to cut whole pieces the right size:

But for my first try - and a round the house dress, I don't mind the seams!

And at least I now know that I can make my own Bali dresses!!

Mind you, if they have them in Bali this holiday, it will cost me the same to buy them as make them here - so I will be stocking up!!

Still, it's nice to know there's something else I can do!

I don't know why I have this fear of making clothes for myself!  I'm perfectly happy making so many other things - and recently did all my clothes upcycling - which resulted in lots of new, refashioned clothes for our family!

So, I'm going to make a concerted effort to make more clothes!

How about you? What is your 'achilles heel' in your craft?  Does it need to be?  Have you actually tried it or does it just scare you ?- (Zips used to scare me and I avoided them all the time, until one day I actually tried sewing one, and found they weren't quite so bad after all! I've since learned lots and now am confident sewing zips!).

I think sometimes I'm as bad as the kids with saying "I don't like it"  without even trying!!!

So why not try something new - so something that scares you, and maybe it won't be so bad after all!!

For more creative spaces, go here!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How to make a dressing gown or bath robe

Here in Australia it's winter now - and with the cool mornings we've been having lately, I decided to make my girls dressing gowns to keep them cosy and warm!

I made them nice and big - so they can wrap them snug around themselves - and so that they can also grow into them.  Up here in the tropics, we don't get to wear things like dressing gowns very often, so I want them to last for a good few years of growth!

So here's how to make them if you want to try one yourself! 
All you need is some fleecy, cosy material, and a sweater that fits now!

So first of all, lay the sweater on your fleece, with the arms (and a hood if it has one) folded in, so you can clearly see the outline of the back of the sweater:

Then cut around the outline of the back of the sweater, leaving a gap of around 5cm (2") all the way around.  This allows for seams, and plenty of room for growth!
For the length - choose how long you want the robe to be. I measured from my daughter's neck to the ground and made it arond this length. If it's too long, you can always make the hem at the bottom wider - and it then gives more room to grow again!

Now fold this back piece in half, and trim the edges to make sure it's all even.

Now lay this folded back onto more of the fleece, and cut two front panels - around 5cm (2") wider than half the backing. Make sure you cut one left and one right side!

Now put both front panels together and curve the front neckline a little by trimming:

So now you have one back and two front panels cut:

Now you need to cut 2 sleeves.
Again use the sweater you have that fits, and lay it on a folded piece of fleece:

Now cut around the sleeve leaving the same 5cm (2" gap). Once again, longer is better as sleeves can always be rolled up! You need to cut two sleeves - one left and one right!

The final pieces you need to cut are:
2 pieces 18cm x 6cm (7" x 2.5") for the strap loops at the side.
1 long piece for the strap, mine was 2m x 16cm (79" x 6.5") - this allowed LOTS to tie around - you could go with less, depending on waist size!
1 long piece for the opening trim 10cm (4") x over 2m (79"). This is roughly twice the length of the robe, plus the neck width.  I joined pieces together to make mine extra long - then trimmed it at the end when I pinned it on.

Now it's time to start sewing!

Take your 2 rectangles that you cut for the side loops for the strap.
Fold them lengthways in to the centre, then in half again and stitch along close to the edge.

Repeat for the other rectangle to give you two strips like this:

Now you need to pin the front and back panels together - right sides facing.  Pin the two loop straps you just stitched in around waist length (again you can check this from the sweater you are using).
Pin on the shoulders and down the side seams.  Remember to leave the arm holes open!!

Pin both front panels on - making sure the strap loops are level on both sides. Then stitch. I generally use a 0.5cm (3/8") seam all the way.

Now for the sleeves.
Fold both right sides together, and pin then stitch along the opposite side to the fold.

Now, keeping the main body of the robe still inside out, turn the sleeves right side out and push through the arm holes matching up the edges.  Make sure you have the longer length of the sleeve at the top end of the robe!  Pin then stitch  both sleeves into place.

Now for the trim around the opening. Take your 10cm (4") wide strip and fold in in half lengthways - right sides facing OUTWARDS!
Then starting at the bottom of one front panel - pin to the front opening - up and around the back of the neck - and back down the other front panel. Then trim the end, and stitch into place.

Then fold the trim flat and topstitch close to the seam, catching the edges of the seam in on the bottom to hold them flat.

Now finish off your hems - at the ends of both sleeves, and the bottom of the robe, by double turning over and stitching down.

Now to finish all you need to do is the strap!
Fold it lengthways both sides to the centre, then in half again and stitch along all four edges.  Remember to turn both short sides over to hide the raw edges too!

Thread the tie through the loops in the robe - and it's done!!

Try it on and get some cool poses!

I hope you liked this tutorial.  Feel free to ask if you want anything clarified or have any questions!

For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

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