Saturday, 9 July 2016

DIY: Palazzo-pants pattern

As promised, I'm finally going to show you how I altered my basic pants pattern to make these 40's inspired palazzo-pants.

I've seen instructions on the Internet that tell you to add the width to your basic pants pattern to the side and inner leg.
This would be fine if you just want the leg to be straight and even in width. But if you're looking to get some flare, I would advice against this method. Adding a lot of flare to the inner thigh will result in the fabric bunching up between your legs awkwardly. Instead it would be better to add the width evenly spreading out the pattern pieces in the middle.

I'm going to guide you through the steps with a miniature pattern, because the real pattern is so large it would be really hard to photograph.

For these pants you will need a basic pants pattern for woven fabric, either drafted to your measurements or a standard size that's closest to your waist measurement. These pants fit quite loosely around the hip, so a standard size will do just fine and still look great.

Start by  defining the lines where you're going to spread out the pattern. I'm going to spread at the center line / waist dart closest to the center front/back. I'm also going to spread the pieces at the crotch hook. Do this closer to the point where the line starts to curve rather than too close to the crotch point.

Cut along the lines, but leave a hinge where the circles are in the picture below

Take a piece of patter paper and draw a horizontal line. This will be aligned with the seat line.

Align the back piece with this line at the seat. measure 3 cm to the right and align the front piece at the seat line. I added a few centimeters here because I didn't want the crotch seam to cling to my body. if you're making narrower pants you can leave out this step. Or if you'd like more ease, for example if you have a full bum or belly or you're making very wide pants, you can add a little more, up to 6 cm. You can try and see what feels and looks the best for you.

Tape or glue to keep the pieces in place.

Now measure 6 cm at the leg on both pieces from the line at the inner thigh. Rotate the pieces at the hinge where you see a small circle. Tape to keep in place

Now measure 12 cm at the center line of the leg and rotate at the hinge at the point of the dart. Don't worry if your dart closes completely or not, we'll take care of this at the end. Tape the pieces to keep in place.

Now measure 6 cm again on both sides at the outside of the leg (side seams) and draw a new side seam that connects to the hip line.

Join the pieces at the bottom leg and crotch line to create smooth curves.

Draw a grain line that's at a 90 degree angle with the crotch line.

Now, if your darts didn't close completely or if they overlapped where you spread out the leg, no worries.
If the dart didn't close completely you can either add the amount left over to the next dart if there's only like 0,5cm or less, or divide it between the dart and side seam if there's more than 0,5 cm or so

If your dart overlapped you can reduce the amount either from the side seam or the next dart.

I had about 0,5cm left of the dart so I just moved it to the next dart taking 0,25cm in from both sides.

If you want to add more or less flare to the leg, a basic rule of thumb would be to add half of the amount in the middle to the inner leg and side. 
For example if you wanted super wide pants you could add 24 cm to the middle of the leg and 12 cm to the inner leg and side seam.

And here you have a basic pattern for Palazzo-pants! :)
Have fun experimenting with different kinds of waist lines and waist bands, or adding some pockets!

You can also see the pants in action here :)

Monday, 4 July 2016

Inspiration: 1930s catalogue dress

Suvi-Vintage fair is now over and it's time to sit back and take a breath until it's time to go again.

I thought I'd take this lazy day and show you my day 1 outfit from the weekend.

30s calatogue dress made by CheriseDesign

I had already made this dress earlier for my shop in a different fabric, but I wanted one for myself as well. And since blue doesn't really suit me, I chose to use this vintage rayon fabric I had bought from a friend.

30s calatogue dress made by CheriseDesign
This version of the dress is available for purchase in my Etsy Shop. Model: Pussy C'outure.

I had saved this catalog picture a long time ago and browsing through my files came across it again. I thought the style was pretty much perfect, but I did make a few changes.

The dress I'm talking about is the red one on the top right.

For starters I made the neckline a little more open. I often find myself not using dresses with very tight necklines. They just make me feel a bit uncomfortable.
Second: I made the skirt from 4 pieces cut on full bias. This gives the fabric a little bit of stretch and makes it fall beautifully. This makes the skirt appear very slinky and hug the curve while it still flares out a little bit at the hemline.
Third: no pockets on this one.

30s calatogue dress made by CheriseDesign

The dresses I made for my shop have fabric covered buttons and buckles, but for my version I used real vintage buttons. 

30s calatogue dress made by CheriseDesign

This dress turned out to be an instant favorite. It's flattering yet comfy. The blousy top allows me to breathe and move my arms freely. Maybe I could even use this dress for dancing :)

30s calatogue dress made by CheriseDesign

I paired the dress with white espadrilles that I hunted high and low for. I checked almost every shoe shop in the downtown area until  I finally found a pair at an outlet shop. I guess espadrilles not that fashionable this spring/summer :P

30s calatogue dress made by CheriseDesign

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Inspiration 1940s: Palazzo pants

As I mentioned in my DIY beach cover-up post, my boyfriend and I are going on a tropical vacation later this summer.
Because Finland isn't exactly  a tropical place, quite the opposite, I don't really have proper clothes for such conditions.
So I decided I should make some.

I had been playing with an idea of some kind of palazzo pants, but I couldn't really decide what I wanted.

I had seen this striped rayon at my local fabric store couple times, but didn't first pay too much attention to it. Until I was going through some of my old pins on Pinterest and came across this picture from the 40's. Now I don't know if the outfit in the picture is actually a skirt or pants, but it did give me a spark.

The next day I ran to the fabric store and bought the rayon. I knew exactly what I had to do.

I made the pattern for these pants myself out of a basic pants pattern I had drafted for my own measurements. I can show you on an other post how you can turn your basic pants or culottes pattern into palazzo pants.

As you can see I didn't exactly save fabric with the leg width. Go big or go home, right? :D I wanted this to almost look like a skirt while still being relatively close-fitting at the top.

I also wanted to make a high waist band, so I decided to add boning to keep it upright and now fold over when I sit.
I just used plastic rigilene as I wanted to keep it light in weight since the fabric is so thin. I sewed the rigilene pices on the inside of the waist band facing. Since I didn't have tips for the boning I secured the ends with tightly woven cotton fabric to prevent them from poking trough.

I also had some extra fabric left over so I cut a really long strip to tie on the waist. For this I just used a thicker thread to make a chain over the side seams. Just like crocheting a chain, but instead of a hook you just use your finger. This is like a belt loop to keep the fabric strip in place.

These pants actually turned into multifunctional pants by accident. The fabric strip I cut is so long I can use it to tie a top on myself making this outfit sort of like an overall or jumpsuit.

And here's an extra picture of me doing the knee-knocks. You're welcome.

Have a great day! :)

Friday, 24 June 2016

DIY Beach Cover-up Tutorial pt.2

Before you proceed, check out my tutorial on how to draw the pattern and choosing the material for this beach cover-up we're going to sew up today:

DIY Beach Cover-Up Turtorial pt.1

This cover-up is a really easy project to make for anyone with some basic sewing skills. It took me less than 2 hours to finish from start to finish, from drawing the pattern to a finished product, so you could easily make this in one afternoon.

Also this is just one way of assembling the cover-up. If you've sown more, you can go and experiment with different techniques. You could even use long folded strips of fabric to add to the sleeves and front edge for a more kimono-y (that's totally a word, right?) look.

To make up

 We're going to start by finishing the back neck edge. For this you'll need either store-bought grosgrain ribbon or you can make it yourself from your fabric. To do this cut 4 cm wide ribbon from your fabric to the bias. This means at a 45 degree angle in relation to the selvage. You'll only need about 30cm for the back of the neck. Fold each side to the middle, about 1cm, and iron.

Sew the ribbon to the right side of the neckline from one edge about 1 cm away. fold to the inside, iron and attach stitching along the open edge.

You could also use this method on the entire front edge if you'd like. I didn't have enough excess fabric to make enough ribbon to do this though.
If you choose this method, only cut 1 cm seam allowance on the front edges and seam the shoulders together before finishing the whole edge with this method.

Next we're going to finish the front edges and sleeve-openings. If you left 2 cm seam-allowance like I did, you can make a double rolled hem on these edges. First iron a 1 cm fold then fold again so you'll have a 1cm wide rolled edge. Stitch close to the fold, about 8mm from the edge.

Now lay out the back piece and connect at the shoulders right sides together. Seam and finish either with a serger or zig-zag.

You could also use French seams if your material is very thin, see-through or if it frays easily. In this case you'll need a bit more seam-allowance.
Now we'll attach the sleeves. Lay our your bodice piece so that both back and front pieces are flat on the table. Match the center of the sleeve piece with the shoulder seam and pin right sides together. Seam and finish.

Remember to iron the seams as you go.

Now fold the front and back pieces right sides together and pin the side seams at the sleeve and sides. Make sure you match the sleeve opening edges carefully. Seam and finish.

Now it's time to finish the cover-up. If you chose to use some embellishment at the bottom edge serge the edge and iron a 1 cm fold on it. Top stitch the embellishment on the edge attaching the folded edge of the fabric at the same time. Fold the ends of your embellishment between the folded edge of the fabric.
If you don't want to use any embellishment, you will have cut a 2cm seam allowance at the bottom as instructed in the first post. In this case you can make a double fold just like we did with the front edges.

And here you go! A super-doper easy beach cover-up you can make in all kinds of fabrics and colors.

If you'd like to give your cover-up a bit more vintage vibe, think about Paul Poiret and the Oriental revival of the 1910s and 20s.
You could make this cover-up a little bit longer and choose a luxurious burn-out velvet or oriental inspired silk. You could even add some feather boa to the edges for a decadent 20's flapper look.
Here are some of Poiret's designs for your inspiration.

"La Perse" Designed by Paul Poiret in 1911. Source

Paul Poret 1913-19. Source

Capy by Paul Poiret, 1926. Source
Illustration, George Barbier, 1912. Source

Friday, 17 June 2016

DIY Beach Cover-Up Tutorial pt.1

Hi everyone! So it's been really, really, really long since I actually wrote in here. My life has been kind of hectic for the past year.

But now I have decided I'm going to try to revive this blog, in fact I am determined to do so.

To start I came up with this simple tutorial for you to make your own beach cover up. 

I got the idea after booking a vacation with my boyfriend to a tropical destination and I thought I might need something to protect myself from the sun.
The sun in Finland is very tame because we're so up north, that I had gotten a bit cocky about never getting a sunburn. But after visiting Washington DC last summer, which is much further south, I had to eat my words after getting a decently bad sunburn on the first day. :D So I learned my lesson, and next time I'll be prepared!

But to get to the point: I'm going to explain in this post how to draw the pattern for your cover-up and what kind of and how much fabric you will need. To keep the post shorter, I will be making an other post on how to sew it up.

This cover-up will fit most sizes, but I would recommend this pattern to someone who is between sizes S and XL. I will explain below* how to make this cover-up smaller or bigger.

For this cover-up you will need about 1,6 meters of fabric of your choice if the fabric is at least 140cm wide. For narrower fabric you will need about 2 meters. 
In my opinion fabrics that are thin and drape-y such as rayon, silk, chiffon, georgette or thin polyester work the best. You could also use cotton voilé or batiste or thin linen, but those will not drape so fluidly.
You will also need about 1,4 meters of embellishment such as pom-pom, fringe, or tassel ribbon, if you wish to use some.

I found this lovely soft rayon with white flowers on yellow from my local fabric store.

To draw the pattern

We will start with the back piece
- Start by drawing a rectangle 82cm tall and 32,5 cm wide
- Measure 3cm down along the left long edges and 6cm down along the right long edge
- measure 10 cm along the top edge starting from the righ
- connect points creating the back beck line and shoulder, curving the neckline slightly

To draw the front piece
- Connect the bottom left corner with the point where neck and shoulder meet

To draw the sleeve
- Measure 46 cm down along the right side starting at the tip of the shoulder seam.
- Draw a straight 36 cm line to the right starting from the tip of the shoulder seam. This line should be at a 90 degree angle in relation to the right side seam
- Measure 26 cm down from the tip of the last line you just drew. Again these lines should be at a 90 degree angle.
- connect the point at the side seam to the sleeve opening.

And there you go! 
Also note that the miniature pattern demonstrated here isn't scaled and the proportions will look slightly different when you draw your pattern.

Now you will just need to trace your pattern. you will need only one back piece as it will be cut on fold and one front piece. you will need to trace your sleeve piece twice, mirrored at the top edge to create the back and front side of the sleeve.

You should end up with something that looks like this:

To cut the pieces fold your fabric in half lengthwise. But the back piece on fold and the front piece next to it.
open the remaining piece of fabric and fold it in half width-wise and cut the sleeve piece horizontally using the center line (shoulder line) as a straight grain.

If your fabric is less than 140 cm wide, just fold your entire piece of fabric in half width-wise and cut all the pieces side by side like in the picture above.

Remember to leave seam allowance
I left 1 cm seam allowance on all other edges except the front edge and the sleeve opening where I had 2 cm allowance.

In the next post I will show you how to sew up your cover-up. I will also try to get some nice pictures of it on me so you can see it in action :)

Check out my next post for sewing instruction:

DIY Beach Cover-up Tutorial pt. 2

*If you need to make this pattern wider or narrower you can just cut the front and back pieces in half lengthwise from shoulder to bottom and add or subtract as much as you need to. You can also make this cover-up longer or shorter by just folding the bottom edge. 
To add or decrease width or length on the sleeve cut it in half just like with the bodice pieces depending which way you need to adjust.
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