Tag Archives: Easy Sewing Projects

Batik Shorts Tutorial

Hi, here I am going to show you how easy it is to make a pair of shorts without a pattern. After all summer is just around the corner (it’s actually snowing outside!).

I chose a lovely batik fabric which used to be my grandfathers sarong when he lived in Indonesia and I chose some shorts that fit me nicely.

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I folded the shorts in half and folded the fabric in half as well, laying the folded shorts on the fabric, making sure that the pattern on the fabric is facing the right way. Then I drew around the folded shorts with chalk, adding about one inch seam allowance all the way around, otherwise your shorts will be too small. I then cut around my chalk markings and repeated this once more for the other leg of the shorts.

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Cut a waistband out, this needs to be about 15cm deep and the length needs to long enough to go all the way around the top of the shorts, plus a seam allowance. Then zig zag your fabric. The reason I zig zag is to make sure that the fabric doesn’t fray when it is washed.

Take the two pieces of one leg and lay the fabric good side to good side. Pin the two longest straight sides together and repeat with the other leg.

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Use a straight stitch to stitch the pinned sides together and repeat for the other leg. I used the edge of the fabric with the edge of the sewing machine foot as my guide. Remember to go forwards and backwards at the beginning and the end to secure your stitch.

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Press your seam open using the iron. This means that when you stitch it all together later, you don’t get big bulky bits.

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Turn one leg the right way out and put that inside the other leg which is the wrong way out. Pin the curved edges together matching the seams and sew using a straight stitch. Then turn the shorts the right way around, you should now have something that looks like a pair of shorts without a waistband.

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Get the waistband and put the two short ends together. Pin it and then sew it together using a straight stitch. Take the pins out and then open out the seam using the iron. Fold the waistband in half across the length like in the picture, press.

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Open out the waistband as shown and pin the top edge of the shorts, lining up your back seam. The back of the waistband (where the seam is), needs to be pinned to the back of the shorts. (Just decide which side is nicer to decide which side is the back). Stitch this seam using a straight stitch.

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Press a little seam at the top of the waistband as shown in the picture. Mine is about 1cm long. Fold the waist band over the seam  and then pin it, leaving an inch gap to insert the elastic. I have marked the gap with two pins either side so I don’t forget to stop sewing here.

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Stitch this seam nice and close to the edge where the open side is. This will prevent any flapping bits of fabric on the inside. Then insert the elastic, I used a safety pin to do this. Try them on before you cut the elastic to make sure they fit over your hips. Then tie the elastic with a strong knot and stitch the hole in the waist band together, following the same line of stitches as before.

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Using the iron fold a neat hem line. I folded it over twice so that it looks nice from the inside (it also means I can turn them up on the outside if I want to). Pin and then sew the hem line, keeping your stitching nice and close to the open edge.

Press and wear!

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Pillow Case Aprons Tutorial

Welcome to another Dotty Bobbin Tutorial. Here I would like to show you how to convert those unwanted pillow cases into gorgeous little aprons. If you are anything like me I am constantly in the charity shop picking up things such as mismatched pillow cases, in this case the fabric is a lovely brushed cotton. It came with a bed sheet that I have already made into a winter nightie for my daughter. The lace is from a vintage stained tablecloth that was no longer required so I saved the lace. The blue cotton ties are from Primark packaging! The pink cotton lace was saved by my grandmother from a tablecloth that she no longer wanted. True upcycling!

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First cut the pillow case, I took off the section with the envelope on it, otherwise you will have too much fabric bulk on your apron. Then you need to secure the open end and prevent any fraying by serging/overlocking or zig zagging the raw edge.

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Next, I have attached the cotton lace, I have firstly pinned this in place and then used a zig zag stitch to attach it. If  I used a running stitch then I would have the lace flapping around a bit, hence I chose the zig zag, however if you were using a narrow ribbon or lace a running stitch would probably be best.

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Next how to gather, if you are using a single layer of fabric then you can use a gathering foot on your machine, but they don’t work as well with multiple layers, so here is the old fashioned way. You need to set your machine to it’s longest running stitch. DO NOT go forwards and backwards at the beginning and end of your stitches as you need to pull the threads and that will stop you doing so.

Sew two parallel rows of running stitch along the top edge of your apron. If you want a ruffle at the top of the apron, then sew your rows a couple of inches further down the apron. Tie a knot in one end of the rows (make sure you tie a knot in the same end for both rows). Then from the other end very gently pull the threads, you will need to pull only the top or only the bottom threads for this to work. Using your other hand gently gather the fabric as you pull, evening out your gathers until you reach the desired look. If you snap your thread you will need to start again, so be gentle!

Now carefully stitch a normal length running stitch in the middle of the two rows you sewed before, stitching over the gathering (going forwards and backwards at the beginning and the end). This will secure the gathering in place. Now you can remove your gathering stitches if you wish with an unpicker. I didn’t bother as I was covering it with the lace afterwards anyway.

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Next pin your lace or whatever you are using as a tie onto the top and secure in place using a running stitch. I have first attached the blue ribbon then I have attached the lace. Below I have made a second one, slightly different with some pink cotton lace instead. Here my friends twins are modelling them, whilst serving us adults some wine on the beach. Could life get any better?

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