There is a box, in the corner of my sewing
room. It is a box whose contents have not seen the
light of day for many a month. Many crafters will be familiar with this box,
in all of its forms: There’s the ever-growing amorphous lump
that lies underneath your desk… The monster underneath your bed…
The stuff you vacuum-packed in a fit of organization and stuffed into your garage in the hopes
that you’d never have to deal with it again… This, my friends, is the UNFINISHED SEWING PILE. So, this is the item that I pulled out of
the box and that I’m going to work on for this episode.
This is a really lovely strapless blue gingham dress. The problem, however, is the strapless
part. When I attempt to wear it, it falls down!
So, I want to add straps – more specifically, tie-up halter-neck straps! The first thing that I do is to measure roughly
how wide I want the straps to be at the top of the sweetheart neckline. I want them to
be about 3 inches wide, and then taper off and get thinner as the straps reach my shoulder.
I want most of the strap to only be 1.5 inches wide. And I also need excess length at the
back so that the straps can be tied up, and the straps should also curve a little bit
so that they will sit flat around my neck. Awesome. So, I put all that down onto a piece
of newspaper and here’s my pattern! The fabric that I’m using for the straps
is stretchy white jersey. I fold it over so that there is two layers,
so that I can cut out 2 matching pieces at once. I place my pattern onto the fabric, pin it
on, and cut around the paper. Then, I flip the pattern over and I repeat this. So, I’ve ended up with 4 pieces of fabric,
each pair sandwiched together like this. And, I’m going to then sew them together just
like this. I’m making sure that I leave a gap in my stitching at both the top and
the bottom. To sew them together, I’m using a zig-zag
stitch because I’m working with stretchy fabric. I’m also using a walking foot attachment
to help the seam lay flat. After I’ve sewn the two pieces together,
it gives me this tube thing. So I stick a safety pin in one end of the tube to help
me turn it inside out, and I turn the tube all the way around, so that the seams are
now on the inside of the tube. Then, I simply sew the gaps closed by sewing
over the top of them. For this smaller end,that I left completely open, I fold the excessfabric inside it about half an inch and then sew over the top. Once I’ve done that, I attach the straps
to the dress where I want them to sit, pin them on, and sew carefully over the top here,
using a really small straight stitch. Then, I also decide that I want to replace
the buttons with something a little bit cuter. Now, I have a LOT of cute buttons, and it’s
honestly really hard making a choice, but in the end I go for something a bit more subtle
than cat or heart buttons – I got these white buttons are from my grandma, and I think that they’ll give the dress a more vintage, pin-up feel. I carefully cut off the old buttons, and,
using a needle and a thread in matching colour to the buttons, I sew the buttons on, using
the small holes left in the fabric from the buttons I just removed to know where to place these new ones. To sew these buttons on, I sew up through
the back of the dress through one hole of the button and back down through the other hole. I repeat this a couple of times, then, with the thread at the back of the dress I
tie a knot, and cut off the excess thread. And here is my new and improved dress!
I think that the new halter straps go really well with the dress and it also has the added
bonus of not falling off when I try to wear it! So, that’s good!
Here’s the tie-up straps in action – 10 inches extra seemed to be about the perfect
length to allow me to tie a messy bow at the back. And – yeah! There we have it! Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you all next time!