Category Archives: Tutorial

How to make your t-shirts (etc..) look High Street cool!

Do you ever feel that your handmade garments are looking a bit too, well, handmade?

So the other day I was wearing the Olivia Tee I’m wearing on the picture on the right.januar_14-20

My 18 year old bonus-daughter (who is a fashion addict) said: “That’s a cool t-shirt! New? Where did you get it?” (well, obviously she said it in Danish, but it translates into something like that…)

So i asked her what she liked about it and obviously it’s the shape (which I love too) and the way top is flattering – but she also likes the print – and we figured out that the print really is what makes this kind of boring dark grey tee stand out.

So I wrote a newsletter about it – but then I thought I would share it on the blog as well – so here it is:

 

Here we go, taking great care into fitting and sewing our new top/dress/skirt.
We make sure to press and everything, but still it seems like the final garments lack something.
What is it? I find that it’s often the little details that does it. Or the bigger details.
And quite often it’s some sort of print on the front or back, that makes all the difference!
So today I’m going to show you how you make that print using fabric paint and either screen print or stencils!

You will need:supplies

  • Something to print on (like a t-shirt)
  • Fabric paint (sometimes called fabric ink)
  • Stencils (which you can easily make yourself)
  • OR Screen print templates (that you buy from hobby shops)
  • OR Screen + stencils (also easily made)
  • An iron, some newspapers and a sponge

Screen Printing

Screen printing gives the most detailed and often most professional results.
Also you can use your screen print many times.I get my screen printing templates (which includes mesh) at the fabric store or hobby store. But you can easily make your own screen print frame (using mesh fabric stretched over an old picture frame or an embroidery hoop) + stencils and – for the very detiled print – decoupage glue.The process of creating a screen printing design can be seen in these tutorials [link][link] and [link] which I found via a small google-ing session (the methods are a little different, but I like them all – and especially like the simpleness of the first one)For the store bought template I’m using below, I don’t need the frame as the mesh is already included.

PicMonkey Collage

1. Place your t-shirt (I used a Birgitte Basic Tee in rayon jersey) in front of you. Put a newspaper or some cardboard inside the t-shirt – to prevent the paint from bleeding through.
2. The fabric paint I used was a little thick, so I watered it down a bit for it to be able to go through the mesh. Pour the paint onto your screen and drag it using a piece of plastic or cardboard to distribute it evenly all over the design.
3. Lift off the screen and let the paint dry (it says on the bottle that my paint should dry for 24 hours).
4. Iron the motive through a pressing cloth. On my paint it says to iron for 5 minutes. It depends on the paint  – read the label!

 Stencils

Stencils are templates which you can buy pre-made or cut out from paper, vinyl or cardboard.The one I’m using today, is a free design I found by doing a search for free printable stencils. I found it [here].
I printed it, cut it out using an excacto knife – and then I was ready to go.stencil

1. Cut your stencil and place it on a t-shirt (this one is a kimono tee) that already has a newspaper inside it (as explained above). Tack it down with some tape or temporary fabric glue (like patchworkers use). I didn’t use the glue this time (I couldn’t find it ;-)), but it works really well!
2. Use your sponge (or a brush) to paint inside the motive. Use an up-and-down motion so you don’t accidentally smear paint under the stencil.
3. Lift off the stencil (and throw it away if it was made from paper). let the fabric and paint dry for as long as it says on the paint bottle.
4. Iron the t-shirt through a pressing cloth for as long as it says on your bottle.

P.S. Did you know that I have released 2 new patterns this month? It’s the Olivia Oversize Tee (the one I’m wearing in the pic) and the Pernille Pencil Dress. I have a special offer going on until March 1st, (you save 35%) if you want them both - it’s right here

The Draped Skirt Tute

Great news: It turn out that the draped skirt works well with tights for winter too! I wore the grey one all day yesterday around the house – and it’s very comfortable. Yay!

Do you want to make one now? – It’ll take you less than an hour!

Here’s how:

1. Cut a piece of nice jersey (not too heavy, ponte knits won’t work) the width of your hips + seam allowances and twice the length you want the skirt to be + twice the seam allowances (if you are making a casing instead of adding ribbing, remember to add something for the casing as well.)
drape1
For me that was 96 cm wide (I folded the fabric and measured out 48 cm) and 102 cm long.

2. Snip mark the fabric at the fold (opposite of where the seam is going to be) at each end.

drapetute2

3. Sew the seam (using a stretchy seam), right sides together and press. You now have a long tube.

4. Fold the tube into a double layer, wrong sides together. The folded edge is your hem.
drape4
5. Now we turn the outer layer of the skirt half way around the inner layer. This is where we need the snip marks. You simple turn the outer layer so that each snip mark aligns with a seam. Pin or baste or both:-)

drape5

6. We now have a messy twisted blob instead of a simple tube:

drape6

7. Finish the waist by either sewing a casing and inserting elastic or by adding ribbing (with or with out elastic). I added ribbing by cutting ribbing 14 cm high and about 10% less than the waist wide, sewed the centre back seam of the ribbing, folded and pressed it wrong sides together and sewed it on with a 5 cm wide elastic in between the ribbing layers.

8. You are done. :-) Yay! Wear the skirt with sandals or ballet flats in summer and with tights and boots in winter.

drape skirt collage

Happy Sewing! :-)

FIT(TING) TO A TEE.. changing the neckline

The great thing about sewing is that we are all designers and we are all able to get clothes that fit us well and make us look and feel even better.

But yet many people just sew up the patterns straight out of the envelope (or printer, as may be the case) with out enjoying the possibilities for individual fitting. Some may not do it, because they don’t know how.

SO I thought I would do a series on fitting and altering different kinds of t-shirt.

While there are many ways to fit garment and almost as many books instructing how to, most of them merely talk about fitting woven fabric garments. And while I’m a big fan of tissue fitting, it just will not work with a pattern with no or even negative ease. So here is my tried and true way of fitting t-shirts.

This is not really about fit – but about altering a pattern to be what you want it to.

MariaDenmark.com How to change a neckline

{The tee with a boatneck that I made from the pattern I’m altering here}

A lot of people have asked me for a kimono shirt with a different neckline than the boatneck. But since it’s such an easy alteration (and the pattern is still free), I thought I’d show you how to do it your self instead. It’s really easy. All you have to do, is to make sure that the front and back shoulder lines match up.

On the pictures, I’m showing you how to alter the neckline on the Birgitte Basic Tee (I wanted to copy a boat neckline for a Breton Styled t-shirt).

What you need:

  • A t-shirt pattern, preferably one already fitted for you.
  • Pattern tracing paper
  • Pencil and/or marker
  • T-shirt you want to copy the neckline of – or, indeed, a pattern you wish to copy.
  • Paper scissors

And here’s how to do it:

First trace your pattern front and back onto tracing paper. I don’t want to change the fit, so I just copy it by tracing on top of the pattern lines, and I’ve already included seam allowances on the pattern. Put a note on each pattern piece – what pattern, size, alterations already done. Don’t cut the new pattern yet.

 

MariaDenmark.com How to change a neckline

{ 1 ) “Original” pattern pieces, 2 ) Tracing, 3 ) Traced}

Fold the t-shirt you want to copy in half so that the centre front is folded. Align the shoulder seams and pin at shoulder and centre front.

MariaDenmark.com How to change teh neckline

{The neckline of the t-shirt I want to copy. Front is folded in half and pinned}

Place the folded t-shirt on top of the pattern. You want to align the centre front of the t-shirt with the one on the pattern, and get the shoulder seam of the t-shirt to touch somewhere on the shoulder seam of the pattern (or where the shoulder seam would be if it was longer – if you are making a crew neck, for instance). If you like, you could fold in the ribbing or binding of the  t-shirt, but for me, I want to make a visible 1 cm ribbing, so I’ll just let the  ribbing be the guide of my 1 cm seam allowance for the neckline.

MariaDenmark.com How to change the neckline

{Place the t-shirt on top of the traced pattern. Align the centre fronts and let the shoulder seams meet. Not like I did in the picture, where I let the shoulder seam meet the line of the seam allowance…}

Take your pencil and sketch the new neckline on your front piece. Then draw it so it has a nice curve.

MariaDenmark.com How to change a neckline

{Now sketch and permanently draw the neckline on the pattern. I’ve marked both neckline and seam allowances}

Now it’s time to work on the back piece. What we want is to make sure that the shoulder length of the new back piece matches the shoulder length of the new front piece.

I place the back piece on top of the front piece, making sure to align the outside shoulder point. I pin the pieces together there, then slide the back piece (note that my shoulder line is very steep – that’s because I’ve altered for a major round shoulder!) so that the back shoulder line follows the front shoulder line. Then I mark on the back piece, where the front shoulder line stops.

 

MariaDenmark.com How to change a neckline

Now I sketch and draw the back neckline – and I am ready to cut out the pattern and place it on fabric!

 

MariaDenmark.com How to change a neckline

{Draw the back neckline, cut the pattern pieces and you’re done!}

P.S. If you don’t have a t-shirt with the neckline you want, it’s perfectly okay to draw one yourself – just make sure those shoulder lines match!

{The finished t-shirt, again}

P.P.S. Remember – there is still time to participate in the Fabric Give-away!

FIT(TING) TO A TEE (the forward shoulder)

The great thing about sewing is that we are all designers and we are all able to get clothes that fit us well and make us look and feel even better.

But yet many people just sew up the patterns straight out of the envelope (or printer, as may be the case) with out enjoying the possibilities for individual fitting. Some may not do it, because they don’t know how.

SO I thought I would do a series on fitting and altering different kinds of t-shirt.

While there are many ways to fit garment and almost as many books instructing how to, most of them merely talk about fitting woven fabric garments. And while I’m a big fan of tissue fitting, it just will not work with a pattern with no or even negative ease.

According to Celia (The Palmer/Pletch instructor I interviewed for the Twin Needle podcast (a bonus episode from April ), the forward shoulder alteration is one of the most common needed alterations today.

This is because, as we spend more and more time at the computer and sewing machine, we round our shoulders bit by bit. Luckily it’s a very simple alteration!

I have quite a lot of forward-shoulder-ness (damn being in a computer literate family who had PC before anyone else and also sewing since child hood. And writing a lot… ;-)) – meaning that the outer part of my shoulder turns forward.

{See? Very round (forward) shoulder – sorry for the lousy Iphone pic. What I could manage today..}

This alteration is the  same whether you are working with a woven or a knit shirt. And I should mention that I’m just following the directions from Fit for real people (page 162).

I usually do a kind of big alteration of 12 mm (as I have very forward shoulders). To determine the amount you need, wear a shirt (with a shoulder seam, of course, raglan wont work) and look in the mirror. Then place your finger at your shoulder point, and figure out how much you need (maybe getting somebody to measure it for you) to move the outer point of the shoulder seam.

The rest is easy:

You are moving the shoulder (outer) point of the shoulder seam towards the front, so you need to take some off the front shoulder and add some to the back shoulder:

{I’ve rotated the shoulder seam forward 1.2 cm (the red line) by taking it down in the front and up in the back}

Then just adjust the seam allowances, too.

{Added seam allowances again (the broken lines) and I was done!}

And voilá! Ready to cut!

Do you have any fitting issues you would like me to talk about here? Please let me know!