And here's how it started:
Supplies I used-
3 old camis
Matching thread (I picked up three separate spools to match, but the most important color is the main one, in my case, blue)
Seam gauge or ruler
Dressmaker's pencil or disappearing marking pen
In this tutorial, the first cami piece will be your main piece. My main piece was blue. The second cami piece is the one directly below it, mine was pink. The third cami piece refers to the final piece at the bottom. Mine was white. Also, just an up-front warning... I hate math. I avoid it when possible. Some of the steps I opted for the "eyeball" option... so if you're looking for super-duper precise... read through and change the process as you see fit. My cami material was stretchy and forgiving, so I could afford to eyeball it and not suffer the consequences. I was also going for "shabby chic". If it wasn't precise, it added character.
Step 1- Gather up your goodies and figure out what you're going to shred for your creation. Might as well take the your measurement now from your child. Measure around the chest and back, right up under her armpits. Write it down, you'll use it later and if you didn't she'd probably be down for a nap... frustrating you that you have to wait. (Hmm... can you tell what happened to me?) ;)
|Three cut up camis|
Step 3a- Lay the front of your main cami piece (the one you want on the very top) on top of the cami piece you want to be directly below it (in my case, my main piece was blue, the pink was directly below it... so blue on pink). Flip up the edge and see where you want your seam to be. Cut a notch to mark how long your strip is going to be. I was lucky with my camis as the bottom was embellished and had pre-existing seams so that I could attach the pieces to the seamlines already present. You may have to play with the cutting of your hem strips if your cami does not have this. Most camis have a seamline at the bottom (though they may not be embellished), so you can just attach it to that. Remember, if you cut it longer than you need, you can always trim it later if need be.
Measure on the other side of the second cami piece and make another notch. Keep the measurement on your seam guage, you're going to use it in the next step. Then, take your acrylic ruler and lay it across the cami so the the edge lines up on the notches. Make sure that the fixed point you measured from to make your notches is in a straight line so that when you cut, your strip's width will be the same all the way across. Cut.
Don't worry about tags or extra seams on the side. We'll trim those later.
Step 4- Using the measurement on your seam guage. Repeat step 3b for the front piece of the third cami, and the back pieces of the second and third camis. This will make your hem pieces even all the way around. you should have four strips of cami bottom pieces. Two bottom pieces of the second (pink) cami, and two of the third cami bottom (white).
Step 5- Overlock or zigzag stitch the raw edge of your 4 bottom strips.
You should have this:
Your hem pieces will be a little crazy on the edges. We're going to fix that really soon!
Step 6- Wrap your front piece that you just pieced together around your munchkin. I had an awesome pleated front that I wanted to wrap around under her arms towards the back. Making sure that it's centered, use your finger to mark where you want your back seam to be.
|Ugh, ignore the boys' room. It was a mess!|
Run back to the table like a madwoman, all the while, keeping the spot you pointed to pinched. I hate math so I try to eyeball it as much as possible. Pin it about a 1/4" away from where your finger was to adjust for seam allowance.
Now, measure from the center to the pin. Use that measurement to place a pin on the other side.
20" - Scarlett's chest/back/pit measurement
-13.5 - front piece measurement
- 0.5"- Seam allowance
Now add what you got (7" for me) to your seam allowance.
+ 0.5"- Seam allowance
7.5" - How wide the top part of your back should be
Step 9- Fold your main back piece in half. Now, take the measurement you got from Step 8 (7.5" for me) and cut that in half.
7.5" ÷ 2 = 3.75"
Take that measurement and measure from the fold to that point. Mark with a pin. Using the same technique that you used in Step 7. Use your rotary cutter to trim from the pinned point to the outermost part of the bottom that you can. If you want to lay your front piece up and match the measure of the angle to be more precise, go for it. I'm an "eyeballer" or guesstimator. Just cutting to the outermost bottom edge from the pinned point worked for me. The fabric had a lot of stretch so it was forgiving. Looking back, I MAY have made the angle a bit more shallow, but this angle also gave me room for a big, fat bustle... which I wanted.
Step 12- Take your 4" strips and, wrong sides together (yes, wrong sides), stitch about 1/8" from the raw edge. Then go back and overlock or zizag stitch the edge. Do this with all the strips. You should have a bunch of striped strips of varying length, with right sides out, raw edges zigzagged, and ready to be gathered.
Step 13- Set your machine stitch length as long as it'll go. About 1/4" from the edge, run a long basting stitch down each strip. Pull the thread to gather and make it ruffle-y.
Step 14- Starting at the bottom of your bustle piece (the trapezoid-looking piece you cut out on Step 9), pin ruffles and sew in place. Be careful about how ruffle-y you make it. If you make it too ruffle-tastic, you may not have enough to cover your bustle piece. Trim the extra off the end, but it doesn't have to be too precise. Sew rows so that one overlays the other, being careful to cover up stitches and the zigzag raw edges...
We'll call this piece the bustle piece for clarity. Sew down the sides you just trimmed (the angled part of the bustle piece), getting as close to the edge as possible, while being careful that your ruffles all lay the right way. Otherwise, you'll flip it over, your ruffles will be goofy and you'll get upset. Sewing down the angled sides will help your ruffles from getting wonky in the next step.
Step 16- Remember the other piece you cut in Step 9? The "U"-shape one? Pin that to the bustle piece, right sides together. Working around it and lining it up as best you can.
Step 17- Now it's time to add the hem pieces to the back. Take your hem strips and line the second cami strip up to the designated seam line on your main piece. Pin and sew, being careful not to sew through your ruffles. Repeat with the third cami hem strip, pinning it and sewing it to the second.
Trim the hemlines even. I folded it in half and trimmed it that way. I would have liked to have cut it so that the hems fell in line with the slope of the "U", but didn't have enough room left. Doesn't have to be "perfect", remember? Shabby chic. It worked out alright. :)
Step 18- Zigzag or overlock stitch down the long sides of both your front piece and your back piece. The long sides are the sides that will be joined to be the side seams (only our "side" seams are slightly in the back b/c I wanted the pleated pretty front to wrap around to the back). You should zigzag stitch all four sides.
Step 19- Now, take your front and back pieces, pin them right sides together down both long sides. Sew. Secure by backtacking at the beginning and end of each side. (Didn't take a picture, I was too excited to see the nearly-finished product).