Retail Roundup: Summer Scarves

Wide Fringed Scarf - 1

Links to Retail Examples of the DIY Wide Fringed Scarf

Urban Outfitters striated crinkled linen scarf , 70" by 25" in linen gauze with fringe.
Faliero Sarti Ombre Scarf, in crinkled lightweight cotton with short fringe.
Extra-wide linen-viscose scarves from SCOOP (76" by 38") and Intuition (74" by 39"), both with fringe and in several solid colors.
Plus, Coquette explores Jessica Alba’s summer scarf collection.

Retail Roundup: Gathered Skirt with Knit Waistband

Gathered Skirt with Knit Waistband - Front

Links to Retail Examples of the DIY Gathered Skirt with Knit Waistband

J. Crew airy cotton skirt, knee-length extra-fine cotton lawn with a 4.75" thick knit waistband, in several solid colors.
Anthropologie Reversible Busy Bee skirt, knee-length silk skirt with a thick knit waistband, in a navy and yellow print which reverses to solid navy.
Anthropologie Blackleaf skirt, calf-length cotton batiste with a thick knit waistband, in white with black appliques on the skirt body.
And, featured at Shopaholics Anonymous, an American Eagle Outfitters skirt in white with a drawstring at the top of the knit waistband.

How to Make a Gathered Skirt with Knit Waistband

Gathered Skirt with Knit Waistband - Front
Gathered Skirt with Knit Waistband - Back

Knee-length skirt with 4" (10 cm) knit waistband (shown folded over) and gathered cotton voile skirt body. The circumference of the finished skirt body (ungathered) is twice the hip circumference, and the length of the finished skirt body is 18" (46 cm).

Materials

  • Knit fabric with at least 40% stretch for waistband
  • Lightweight woven fabric, like cotton lawn or voile, for skirt body
  • Optional lightweight woven fabric for lining

Instructions

Measuring and Cutting

  • Waistband: Cut 1 rectangle from your knit fabric as shown in Diagram 1.
  • Note for the Length (L): The waistband length of 9" (23 cm) used in Diagram 1 creates a finished waistband that is 4" (10 cm) thick. For a different waistband thickness, multiply the desired thickness by 2 and add 1" (25 mm) for seam allowances. For example, for a 3" (76 mm) thick finished waistband, cut a length of 7" (18 cm), and, for a 5" (13 cm) thick finished waistband, cut a length of 11" (28 cm).

    Note for the Width (W): For the best fit, you can figure out exactly how wide to cut the fabric for your waistband. Wrap a folded piece of your knit fabric crosswise around your waist where you want the waistband to be, stretching it for a snug fit. Mark the width and add 1" (25 mm) for seam allowances.

  • Skirt Body: Cut 2 rectangles from your woven fabric as shown in Diagram 1. To determine the skirt body length, measure from where you want the bottom edge of the waistband to hit on you hips down to your desired hemline, and add 1" (25 mm) for seam allowances.
    For example, I cut the skirt body 19" (48 cm) long for a knee-length skirt.
  • Skirt Lining (optional): Cut 2 rectangles from your lining fabric as shown in Diagram 1. For a very long skirt, this lining won’t be suitable; you’ll need an A-line version for greater hemline sweep.
  • Diagram 1

    Diagram 1

Sewing the Knit Waistband

  1. First we’re going to sew the waistband into a tube that will fit around your waist; it will have only one seam, which will be at the center back (CB). To do this, fold the width of the waistband in half with right sides together and sew the lengthwise raw edges (i.e., the edges that are 9" in length) together, as shown in Diagram 2.
  2. Diagram 2

    Diagram 2
  3. Now fold the waistband in half lengthwise with the wrong sides together, as shown in Diagram 3, and pin in place.
  4. Diagram 3

    Diagram 3
  5. Divide the waistband into quarters by marking the raw edges at center front (CF) and at each side.

Sewing the Skirt

  1. With right sides together, sew the side seams of the skirt body. Repeat with the lining.
  2. Divide the skirt into quarters by marking the top edge of the skirt body at CF and CB. Repeat with the lining.
  3. Sew a gathering stitch (i.e., a long, straight stitch with the tension loosened) with contrasting thread 0.375" (10 mm) from the top edge of the skirt body, starting and stopping with each quarter section of the skirt body and leaving long thread ends. Sew a second row of gathering stitches in the same manner 0.25" (6 mm) from the top edge of the skirt body. Repeat with the lining.
  4. Pull the thread ends on each row of gathering stitches to gather the skirt body to the width of the waistband, distributing the gathering evenly across each quarter section of the skirt body. Repeat with the lining.
  5. Place the skirt body around the lining with wrong sides facing, matching quarter markings. Pin in place.

Attaching the Waistband to the Skirt Body

  1. Pin the top of the skirt body to the (raw-edged) bottom of the folded waistband, with the right side of the skirt body facing the waistband and with quarter markings aligned. With the skirt body on top, sew the skirt to the waistband using a stretch stitch, as shown in Diagram 4 (if you have a lining, the lining will be on top with the skirt body directly underneath it and the waistband on the bottom).
  2. Diagram 4

    Diagram 4
  3. Remove the gathering stitches from the skirt body and the lining.

Finishing Up

    Hem the skirt by folding the hem edge 0.25" (6 mm) to the wrong side twice, as shown in Diagram 5. Sew along the upper edge of the hem. Repeat with the lining, making sure the lining is about 1" (25 mm) shorter than the skirt.

    Diagram 5

    Diagram 5

Retail Roundup: Sarongs

Sarong 2

Links to Retail Examples of the DIY Sarong and the DIY No-Sew Sarong

Lotta Stensson sarong, 67" by 38" printed silk chiffon in plum with a border print.
Calypso Mirabel sarong, 76" by 37.5" sand-colored linen blend with tassels.
Scoop Ikat sarong in a blue or orange cotton blend with a border print and tassels.
Calypso Kailash sarong in turquoise or peach printed silk with fringe.
Calypso Island Batik sarong in turquoise silk.

How to Make a No-Sew Sarong

No-Sew Sarong

Close-up of a no-sew sarong made from cotton voile. The sarong has selvage edges along its length and fringed edges along its width.

You can easily avoid all the hemming involved with the DIY Sarong by selecting the right fabric and doing a little fringing.

Start with 2 yd (1.8 m) of a lightweight woven fabric that is 36-45" (91-114 cm) wide and has nice-looking selvages (the selvages will end up as the finished lengthwise edges of your sarong). See Diagram 1.

Diagram 1

Diagram 1

Fringe the short, raw edges of the sarong by pulling out the crosswise threads until you have 1-3" (3-8 cm) of fringe on each edge. A seam ripper is helpful to grab individual threads. You can leave the fringe as-is or create tassels by knotting it as shown in the DIY Wide Fringed Scarf.

Free Patterns: Belle Epoque Tank Top Tutorial

Belle Epoque Top-Front
Belle Epoque Top-Back

Cotton jersey knit tank top based on belle epoque’s tutorial. The straps are made from self-fabric, each one cut lengthwise in a 2" (5 cm) wide strip with the raw edges left to curl up.

I found a tie top tank tutorial at belle epoque (via Craft) a couple of weeks ago and tried it out for myself. My version seems to be a much drearier take on it than the summery printed ones I saw in the belle epoque tutorial Flickr group, but I figure it’s a great addition to the basic tank either way. Thanks, belle epoque!

How to Make a Wide Fringed Scarf

Wide Fringed Scarf - 1
Wide Fringed Scarf - 2

Cotton gauze scarf, with a finished length of 72" (1.8 m), including 3" (8 cm) fringed ends, and a finished width of 24" (61 cm). Fringe is shown unfinished at top right and knotted every 0.75" (19 mm) at bottom right.

Lately, I’ve seen many versions of the summer scarf, a wide scarf (call it a wrap if you’d like) with fringed ends. It comes in a lightweight, semi-sheer fabric about 2 yd (1.8 m) long and about 15" (38 cm) to 30" (76 cm) wide. Here’s a sampling:

Anthropologie macaw wrap, 70" by 27" in mint-colored linen.
Anthropologie crepuscular wrap, 67" by 19.5" in white cotton.
Banana Republic cotton woven wrap, 65" by 30" in semi-sheer white or blue.
Urban Outfitters crinkled linen scarf, 70" by 16" in brightly-colored gauze.
Urban Outfitters floral gauze scarf, 69" by 18" in linen-polyester.
Michael Kors linen scarf, 80" by 25" in white or tan demi-sheer linen gauze.

You’ll need about 2 yd (1.8 m) of lightweight woven fabric, like cotton voile, cotton gauze, or linen gauze (although I couldn’t find any linen gauze myself–any tips?–and had to settle for cotton gauze). Cut a rectangle of fabric as shown in Diagram 1.

Diagram 1

Diagram 1

Fringe the two short edges of your fabric rectangle by pulling out the crosswise threads until you have about 3" (8 cm) of fringe (or until you can’t stand it any longer). A seam ripper is helpful to grab individual threads.

Next, hem both long edges of the scarf by folding each edge 0.25" (6 mm) to the wrong side twice and sewing along the inside hem edge. See Diagram 2.

Diagram 2

Diagram 2

Leave the fringe unfinished or make tassels from it by knotting the fringe in regular intervals, such as every 1" (25 mm).

Retail Roundup: Smocked Tube Tops

Smocked Tube Top - Front

Links to Retail Examples of the DIY Smocked Tube Top

Lux Kyoto tube top, 21.5" long in printed jersey.
BCBG knit tube top, 19.5" long, also in printed jersey.
Juicy Couture smocked gauze babydoll top, 21" long in printed gauze with spaghetti straps and a bottom ruffle.
Hard Tail ruched peasant top, 26.5" long in voile with thick straps.

How to Make a Smocked Tube Top

Smocked Tube Top-Front
Smocked Tube Top-Back

Jersey knit tube top smocked at the bust with multiple rows of elastic thread. The circumference of the top (unshirred) is 8-9" (20-23 cm) larger than the bust measurement. The finished top is 21" (53 cm) long, including 4.5" (11 cm) of smocking at the bust, and hits below the hip.

Materials

  • Jersey knit or lightweight woven fabric
  • Elastic sewing thread

Instructions

Measuring and Cutting

    Cut 2 rectangles from your fabric as shown in Diagram 1. For the length, measure from above your bust down to your desired hemline, and add 1.5" (38 mm) for seam allowances. For example, I used a length of 22.5" (57 cm) for a tunic-length top; a regular shirt length would be about 17" (43 cm).

    Diagram 1

    Diagram 1

Sewing

  1. With right sides together, sew the side seams.
  2. Overcast or zig zag stitch the raw top edge (optional for jersey knits).
  3. Fold and pin the top edge 0.875" (22 mm) to the wrong side.
  4. Replace the thread on your bobbin with elastic sewing thread (you’ll have to hand-wind it on the bobbin). With the right side of the tube top facing up and starting at one of the side seams, sew 0.25" (6 mm) from the top folded edge around the circumference of the tube top, making sure to sew through both layers of fabric. See Diagram 2. When you start and stop the row of smocking, leave long thread ends and don’t backstitch.
  5. Tip: If you haven’t sewn with elastic thread before, practice sewing with it on some scrap fabric first to see how tightly you should wind the elastic thread on the bobbin. Keep in mind that the smocking will get tighter as additional rows are added.

     

    Diagram 2

    Diagram 2
  6. Start smocking the second row 0.5" (13 mm) below the first row of smocking, making sure to sew through both layers of fabric again.
  7. Continue sewing additional rows of smocking every 0.5" (13 mm). Start with about 10 rows, or about 4.5" (11 cm), of smocking and then try on the tube top to see if you want additional rows.
  8. If you need to adjust the fit after you have completed smocking, you can adjust the elastic thread ends for tightness (it can be difficult to do). After you have the fit right, tie the loose thread ends for each row of smocking.
  9. Hem the top (optional for jersey knits) by folding the hem edge 0.25" (6 mm) to the wrong side twice. See Diagram 3. Sew along the upper edge of the hem.
  10. Diagram 3

    Diagram 3

Fabric Guide: Japanese Tenugui

Tenugui

Assorted 1 ft (30 cm) by 3 ft (91 cm) tenugui cloths available at Tortoise.

Sunday’s New York Times features girls’ dresses in adorable brightly-colored prints from Japanese brand Noko. The dresses are made from a hand-dyed cotton gauze fabric called tenugui, traditionally used as a hand towel or handkerchief in Japan. [NY Times]

With modern colorful patterns, like these at Tortoise, tenugui work not only for children’s clothes, but for headbands, napkins, placemats and other accessories as well.