Thursday, May 31, 2012

Modern Lederhosen Tutorial


I’m excited to be here participating in Vintage May!  I love looking to vintage or even historical clothing for inspiration, and trying to take the old fashioned styles and make them modern.  It’s a challenge for me to design clothing with the influence of the vintage piece, but make something that doesn’t look like a historical costume.  I also love to sew for boys!
So how I was inspired to make modern lederhosen.
My neighbor is German and immigrated to the United States as a child, and was showing me a pair of heirloom leather lederhosen her brothers and sons wore.  They were so cool, over fifty years old, and had metal exposed zippers for the side front closure.
So I pinned quite a few lederhosen for inspiration and got thinking of ways to take a traditional Bavarian short design and make it modern and hopefully cool.


This top photo in the collage is my favorite, specifically the boy on the far right.
{top}, {left}, {right}


So I designed a pair of knee length shorts with the double exposed zipper front, slant pockets, and a side flap-patch pocket.


The front of the shorts unzip into a front panel.  To secure the front panel to the rest of the shorts, Velcro attaches at the waistband.  I thought Velcro would be easier for little guys to get them on and off rather than two snaps, buttons, or hook/eyes.


I added my son’s nickname “RJ BOY” to the front of the flap on the side pocket, and you can see the contrasting orange stitching that I used throughout the shorts.


I also included standard back pockets on these shorts, as boys need lots of places for their treasures.


Here are the shorts as is, and below with the orange vinyl belt I made him.

We found the shorts were perfect for running and playing, and he liked how easy they were to get on and off himself.

Supplies: 1/2 yard medium to heavy weight fabric, two 5” zippers, 2” velcro, optional: buttonhole elastic & button
1/2” seam allowances unless otherwise indicated

1. Cut out
I use a pair of paints or shorts that fit well to cut 2 front, 2 back,
waistband= 4”x (waist of pattern pants +3”),
 front waistband: 2 pieces 6.5”x2”,
two velcro pieces 1” each,
2 backing fabric scraps 6.5”x2”shortsa

2. Sew Front and Back Center Seams
With right sides together, sew the curves for the front center seam and back center seams.
Add back patch pockets at this point to back half of shorts.
Add slant side pockets to front at this point if desired. Tutorial here for front pockets.

3. Prepare Zipper Holes
On wrong side of shorts front (photo is right side), mark 1.5” away from center seam at top.  Draw angled lines where your zippers will lie, 4 to 5” long. Prepare the backing fabric strips by finishing all four edges with a zig-zag, serge, or hem.  These will be inside the finished shorts.shortsc

Place the backing fabric on the right side of shorts, lining it up with zipper marks.
On wrong side of fabric, sew down, across and back up zipper marks with 1/4” seam allowance, making sure to sew through backing fabric.  Cut down your drawn zipper line, then snip into each corner at the bottom.

Once sewn and snipped, fold backing fabric to wrong side of fabric and press flat.
This creates a channel for zipper, using the backing fabric to turn right sides under.

4. Sew In Zippers Pin the zippers to back of shorts front, centering teeth in open hole.
Sew down one side, across, and up the other side using 1/8” seam allowance.


Repeat on other side to have both exposed zippers in place.

5. Make Front Waistband
Take front waistband pieces (6.5”x2”) and on one waistband strip sew velcro centered vertically and 1/2” from ends.
Place second waistband strip and sew with right sides together with 1/4” seam allowance all around edges, leaving an opening the width of your center front portion (zipper to zipper) on one long side.  Snip corners.


Turn waistband right side out, pushing out corners. Press flat, folding the hole’s seam allowances up and inside.  Slide waistband on the center front, making sure the velcro side is facing the inside of shorts.  Top stitch around front waistband, securing it to shorts front.


6. Construct Shorts
Sew shorts front to shorts back, sewing the side seams and inner leg inseams, right sides together.
Optional: If you want to add a cargo flap pocket, sew that side seam first, open the shorts, attach pocket and finish the other side seam and inner inseams.shortsl

7. Attach Back Waistband
First press the waistband in half. 

Take back waistband and sew around the back of shorts, zipper around to other zipper.shortsm

Fold waistband up, zip up shorts and use the front velcro to mark where the back velcro on the waistband should be sewn.
Sew opposite veclro on back waistband, being sure to open the fold so it's only sewn on the front or outer half of waistband.


8. Finish Back Waistband
Fold the raw ends of the waistband right sides together, and sew vertically 1/2” from velcro edge, then pivot at bottom corner to sew into pants/waistband seam.
Snip the corners and turn waist band right side out, pushing out corners of waistband tabs.


At this point you can add buttonholes to the sides of the inner waistband.  I like to sew buttons beyond the buttonhole, then insert the buttonhole elastic and sew the end down just beyond the button in case the button pops off the elastic won’t snap back in the pants.shortsp

Finish waistband by folding raw edge up 1/4” and pinning to shorts/waistband seam.  I like to sew the waistband down on the right side of the shorts, stitching in the ditch of the seam to hide the sewing.shortsq

9. Hem
You can hem your shorts and you’re done!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Silky Summer Jammies: Vintage Romper Pattern

I’ve had a scrap of flannel backed satin for almost two years. 
There was about 1/2 yard left over from Ellie’s baby blanket, and I’d planned to make her a silky nightgown.
But I found this vintage romper pattern and decided that would be easier for her to walk in than a longer nightgown.
The pattern was printed in 1980 and is made for “knits only”, but it ended out working by putting the snaps on one shoulder, and also have the crotch velcro to make it easier for diaper changes.
I skipped the pocket and didn’t have the yoke contrasting fabric.
I had some scraps of this orange floral print and top stitched it across the front and back yoke seam, along with the leg hems.
The pattern used an elastic casing across the back, but I chose to sew two rows of shirring with elastic thread in my bobbin to cinch the waist slightly.
That may be my favorite aspect of the romper, the 80s scoop side seams on the shorts.
The sleeves are a slight dolman style, barely enough to even call it a sleeve.romper5
The sizing was weird on the pattern, so I was glad it ended up fitting pretty well.
Rompers or jumpsuits can be hard as the torso length can be off and ruin the whole proportion, but this turned out for well for tiny Ellie.
Ellie really loves silky fabric. 
The blue blanket is her favorite, and these summer jammies are silky on the outside and have the soft flannel backing on the inside.
Hopefully she likes them as we really have no idea what she thinks about what she wears!romper1

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Just Sew Week: DIY Vinyl Belt

Go check out my tutorial for making your own DIY Vinyl Belt.
I made an orange belt using a thrifted belt and orange vinyl for RJ to go with his modern lederhosen.

Check the belt tutorial out as  part of Just Sew Week at Mama Says Sew

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

DIY Filigree Earrings

I’m not that good at accessorizing, but I found this tutorial to make your own filigree earrings on pinterest and made a few sets.
I couldn’t find the charms any where locally, and finally got them at Hobby Lobby
I glazed the green, but left the rest solid. The orange are a splatter of yellow and orange.
I just used the standard earring tops and opened the bottom loop with needle nosed pliers, plopped on the filigree, then squashed it shut.
Really easy and affordable.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Vintage May: Modern Lederhosen

I was excited to be part of the Vintage May series going on between Kristin at SKirt As Top and Jess at Craftiness Is Not Optional.
I'm Participating!

I love to design kids clothes inspired from vintage styles, so for this guest post I attempted to make traditional Bavarian shorts or lederhosen modern and easy to wear.  Sewing for boys can be a challenge as they’re limited to shorts and shirts, but I wanted to make a pair of shorts I’ve never seen in stores.
Hop over to Skirt As Top to see the rest and a quick tutorial on making them yourself!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

LIbrary Class

Well our little community class was Tuesday and I think it went OK other than my slip was hanging out the whole time and I talked too much and interrupted Lynette all over the place.

We ended up not recording the presentation, but we've split our parts up on our blogs. 
 So you can read about what we taught at the class, then hop over to Lynette's where she shows you how to draft a basic block pattern from scratch for a bodice.
I talked about using clothing as a pattern and had three ways you can do that:
The first method, cutting the garment apart is probably the most accurate.  You'd trace each piece and add seam allowances.  But this would also destroy your garment, so I never really use this method.
The second is to trace each piece carefully with tailor's chalk or pencil, then add seam allowances.  You can carefully pull the actual garment away as you trace to get a pretty accurate tracing.
This is more precise and how I made my husband's residency coat and the oxford gent dress shirt:

The third method is the least accurate, but is the fastest and what I do most often,
just plopping the garment on my fabric and hacking out the pieces, eyeballing the seam allowances.
In the class I demonstrated a pair of leggings, but you can see how to use a pair of pants to duplicate here and leggings here:

So for a shirt and/or dress:
Fold both fabric and shirt and line them up on the folds.  
You're cutting the shirt back in the image below and can see the seam allowances cut on the side seam, neck and shoulder.
Also notice a larger seam allowance on the bottom for a hem.

Next you'll fold the shirt over, and carefully pull the shirt away until you can see the shoulder seam.
Because it's curved, work slowly pulling the fabric away as you trace/ cut.

To cut out the sleeve uses both cuts in the above photos:
Straight cut up the underarm seam, then carefully work around the curve again at the top.

We briefly talked about designing around the kid's head.
Obviously it's a bigger issue for babies and toddlers when their head is proportionately larger than the rest of their body.  I've made a few things that were meant to pull over the top and found the neckline was too small to get over their head, so we just listed some quick ways to design around the head:
Recently my favorite opening for a toddler dress with non-stretch fabric was the back keyhole:

The last slides were tips:
Lynette made the coat for Ellie but had 2" hems for the sleeves and bottom so it will fit again this winter.
Next to take advantage of small scraps when sewing for kids as they don't require nearly as much fabric.

My tips included how to sew a sleeve into a small shirt.
Rather than sewing the shoulder and side seam in the body, and the underarm seam in the sleeve and easing the sleeve in--which makes a tiny circle you're sewing around--it's easier to to sew the shoulder seam then sew the sleeve in, sewing a rainbow shape rather than a full circle.
After your sleeve is inserted you can hem it and then sew up the underarm seam, pivot at the armpit, then sew down the side seam of the bodice.
I also mentioned how I love inserting my own buttonhole elastic when I make pants or shorts.
I bought mine at in 30yd bulk roll, but people in the class mentioned they found it at JoAnns and Hancock Fabrics in the packaged elastic.
The last tip was to get input and let kids make decisions on projects, like picking the fabric for the lining/ pockets of the Real McCoy Suit and picking out the features on the monster hat.

My last one

Here's a few links to answer questions from the class:
ANOTHER KNIT TIP LIST via sew mama sew
HOW TO USE A FACING FOR NECKLINES via Shwin and Shwin (there are more great tutorials for beginners in the Sewing 101 collection)

Thanks to those that came to the class, hope there was something to learn.
I had fun meeting people and getting to chat a little at the end!


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