Monday, 6 April 2020

How To: Linen Set - Tie-Up Sides Top & Elasticated Waist Shorts

I had a set like this as a child and been feeling very nostalgic lately, even started watercolour painting again:) The top is super easy to make, and you could use many different fabrics (I'll probably make one out of some leftover crepe/other flowier fabric, with bigger ribbon ties at the sides). For this set I used a relatively firm linen with a bit of stretch.

I've made these shorts 4 times now I think - they're an awesome project if you have about 1 meter of fabric and want a quick project (also very comfortable for hanging out at home, but can be dressed up for when we can all go out again). Here's the original tutorial where I made them out of silk - I've also done another linen pair - and you can see how different the look is based on the material. I won't duplicate the full tutorial for the shorts here, just showing the mods for the belt-hooped version.

TOOLS:
Fabric, about 1.5 m (1 m width), 1 m for the shorts, 0.5 m for the top   Elastic (3 cm wide better, I only had 1.5 cm wide so had to use that)  |  Scissors  |  Pins  |  Thread & Sewing machine  |  Not pictured: Bias tape


TOP

I. My cut top pieces (I'm a EU36/US4). I cut the neckline in the front 15 cm deep. If your fabric does not have stretch or you are very curvy, you'd definitely need to do bust darts - I'm not, and my fabric had stretch, so I didn't need them.
II. I pinned the pieces right sides facing, sewed the shoulder seams. Then opened one fold on my bias tape, pinned it along the arm holes & the neckline on the right side, and sewed along the fold. To see more detail on how to fold the bias tape when you start pinning it on the neckline, see this post.
III. Next I folded the bias tape on itself, and onto the reverse, pressing well. I didn't want a visible stitch on the right side, so I hand-sewed it on the reverse, but you could also do a machine stitch.
IV. Then I made my straps for the sides - You need 8 in total. I made mine about 35 cm long. My linen was a bit rough so making straps using the pull-through method was not going to work well, so I did them using the double-fold method. Just cut long rectangles 3 times the width you want the finished strap to be, fold in half width wise, and folded each half again in half inside, sewing along the edge. Make sure you finish one end of each strap (the other will be attached to the top, so no need to finish). Here's a quick video if that made zero sense.
V. Last step was to attach my straps to the top and hem. I did a double fold along the edges, and tucked the ends of the straps under the fold, and hand-sewed the whole thing down. 
I also hand-sewed all around the base of the strap to secure it super tightly, as they'll be pulled every time they're tied.
The hem I hand sewed as well, to stick to the no stitch look on the right side.

SHORTS

I. The first steps (up until IV) I did the same as here. In this version, once I had cut my waistband and sewn it into a loop, I pressed the seam allowances onto it (I cut it so I had room for 2 times my elastic, so just over 3 cm of width in the finished band).
.. Pinned my waist band to the shorts, right side facing the reverse:
.. And folded it over to the right side, pinning in place:
II. Next I had to make the casing for my first elastic. I checked the width, and sewed all around twice (right along the edge, and another stitch just a bit more than the elastic width from it), leaving a small gap to insert the elastic from..
.. And put my elastic in with a safety pin, sewed the ends of it together, and closed the gap in the stitch.
III. Next I added the belt hoops. First I made the hoops themselves (using the same method I did for the side-tie straps on the top). I made 5 - two in the front, two on the sides, one center back (length needs to be your waist band width + 1.5 cm or so).
Then I pinned the hoops onto the shorts:
And sewed right at the edge of the waistband, at the same time securing the hoops in their spots (and again leaving a small gap to put in my second elastic).
After inserting it, I stitched over both of the elastics along the middle (you need to stretch them out as you sew, so the fabric gets evenly distributed.)
The only thing left was to fold the belt hoops up and hand-sew the loose ends on the reverse of the waist band + hem the shorts.
xo,

Julia

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