Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Finishing Touches on Handmade Clothes

t and t tuesday

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Ever since I started making clothes for myself I’ve been on a quest to make them as store bought looking as possible. I absolutely love it when someone asks, “Now you bought that one at a store, right?”

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I’m finding that one of the keys to taking a top from nice-and-cute-yet-homemade-looking to being-asked-where-you-bought-it is all in the finishing touches.

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More specifically: the neck band, waist band and arm holes (or sleeves). I’ll share more about this top another time, but for today I’m going to show you how I finished off the openings.

After sewing the front and back of the shirt together, right sides together at the side seams and shoulders, I was ready to finish off the neck, arm holes and hem.

I measured the arm holes, neck line and waist line for the lengths of the strips of fabric I would need. To figure out the width of the bands, I took how wide I wanted my trim to be (in this case, 3/4”) and multiplied it by 2, then added 1/2” for seam allowance. So my strips were 2” wide and as long as I measured for the opening I would be finishing. Make sense?

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Then I sewed the two ends of each strip together so I ended up with 4 loops—one for the neck, one for the hem, and two for the arms. (Just pretend like I have 4 shown here.)


Then I folded the loops in half long ways, wrong sides together so the seam ended up covered up. Iron it so it stays nicely in place.


With your shirt right side out, pin the loop around the opening it is intended for. For the picture below, I pinned the loop on the arm hold. Pin it so the raw edges line up with one another. It will feel weird to do it this way, but you’ll be folding and pressing your loop over so the seam will be on the inside of the opening.


Here it is on the neck line—raw edges together and folded edge down.


I serged my seams, but you can just use your normal machine. You just might want to zig zag over the raw edges after sewing your seam. I did a 1/4” seam allowance. If you want to do a larger seam allowance, just be sure you take it into account when cutting your strip.

Next all you have to do is press your seams down so the trim sits nicely on your shirt.

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If you want, you can top stitch just inside the seam, on the shirt side not the trim side, to keep your raw edges in place.

Then, enjoy your finished product!

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Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. pretty shirt, and I love how you paired it with the sweater. Very nice!

  2. Very pretty shirt- this is a great tutorial!

  3. This outfit is so cute! The shirt you made goes so great with that sweater. Love it!

  4. More finishing tips, please!! These kinds of things are what keep me from making more clothes for myself. =)

  5. Love the shirt! I serge my inside seams too which seems to help get the "store look" too.

  6. I love it !! Its look so easy and wonderful :) so elegant :)

    Pozdrowienia z Polski!! :)


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