Friday, 18 September 2015

TUTORIAL - Sewing Ottobre 2009-04 #14 "Pistachio Chocolate" - Reversible Top

TUTORIAL - Sewing Ottobre 2009-04 #14
"Pistachio Chocolate" - Reversible Top

As promised heres the first of a series of sewing tutorials on how I went about sewing up the sometimes challenging Ottobre patterns.  Although generally Otto's are very easy and straightforward some patterns can be challenging even for seasoned seamstresses like myself!
This reversible raglan top appeared to be easy, and if you made it without making it reversible it would be!  I found there was a knack to getting the two tops together easily without twisting the sleeves and making it impossible to turn inside out and get right.

So I took photos as I went along so I could recreate the top in the future, and of course provide a tutorial on how I went about sewing it.

I had two lovely one-way stretch cottons that I had pre-washed and shrunk.  I had chosen to make a size 116cm tall for my great niece who at that time was only 4 1/2 years old but very tall! I wanted to make her something warmish for Autum/Winter and as I had found these coordinating cotton knits I thought it would make a lovely reversible sweatshirt for her.

Choosing the Fabrics and Cutting Out

So I needed to make sure the fabric was a good weight and wouldn't be too stretchy and I decided on one-way stretch cotton interlock that I pre-washed and put through the dryer on low so that it would also be pre-shrunk.  I do this for ease of use, the young Mum (my niece) who was going to be giving these to her daughter would need to be able to wash and dry them with minimum fuss so I made sure they could at least go through a dryer!
I didn't take any photos of the construction or cutting out as they were all pretty basic and if you follow the instructions for making up the basic two tops separately you should do fine. Its when you get to combining the two tops together that the instructions can be a bit unclear and confusing!

Joining the tops together - the challenging bit

The best way to do everything is to add the pocket to the side you wish, in my case I did it on the patterned side and omitted putting it on the plain side as well.  I then stitched the raglan armhole seams on both tops. Then you sew up the side seams and sleeve side seams as well. I chose to have the same fabric hood as the top which is different from what the pattern suggests, they instead chose to have the solid hood the same side as the striped top.  But I wanted it to be a solid fabric colour one side and the pattern the other side.  So after making both raglan tops up I then proceeded to stitch both hoods together at the centre seam and then placed them inside each other wrong side to wrong side and overlocked the outer edge together and bound with ribbing as suggested by the instructions.

Once the hoods were stitched together its time to put them
into one of the tops I chose to do the hood into the solid coloured top first.  I put the hood into the top right sides together (solid top right side to solid hood right side - see photo) and pinned then using a small zig-zag stitch on my standard sewing machine I sewed them together.

Then turn top inside out with patterned hood facing you

Place hood and top piece inside the patterned top body right sides together and pin.  Stitch these together around the neckline.  (I chose to overlock afterwards)

This photo shows the two tops overlocked together at the neck/hood neckline, with the patterned top inside the solid top.  You now have your two tops joined together at the neck edge.

You now need to separate your two tops so they are no longer 'inside' each other.  As you can see in this photo they are both pulled out to show their right sides and obviously attached at the neckline.

Now you have the fiddly job of pinning and stitching the cuff/sleeve edges together.  You do this by ensuring the sleeves are end to end on each other and not twisted. You can sort of see by my picture how they need to be attached.  I wish I had a good trick for making sure they are not twisted but I managed to do it wrong at least once and I have made these tops 3 times now!  If you eyeball as you go making sure the seamlines match up and that each sleeve seems to be straight with no twists in them you should be Ok.

This picture gives you a better view of how the sleeves need to be attached together.  I overlocked mine which was a bit fiddly and unfortunately I never took a photo of how I stitched them together on the machine.  The best way is to treat it as a 'flat' seam not a circular one.  Just keep flattening out the two fabrics right side to right side as you pull it through the overlocker (or sewing machine on small zig-zag) until you have a completed sewn together edge.

You need to do both sleeves like this before turning the sleeves right side out by threading one sleeve back over the other.

You should then have one top (e.g. the solid one) inside the other wrong sides together and the hemline should still need finishing like in this picture.

I pinned and overlocked the two edges together to make it easier and then just tucked it over to the solid side and stitched it down with a small zig-zag stitch to finish the hemline.  But its up to you how you finish it off.

And that is it! I hope those pictures and my somewhat unclear instructions are helpful in completing this Ottobre Pattern.  It really does make a lovely fitting top.

Stay tuned for more tutorials coming up in the future!

Cheers, Vivien

Monday, 14 September 2015

Tutorial Posts Planned!

Hi All!

I have posted lots of Special Needs Communication posts of late but I am going to start returning to my other love Sewing and Crafting! Therefore I am intending to post some tutorial posts (when I find time to get to them).  They will probably be past Ottobre magazine Kids clothing I have made and how I did them.  Anyone who uses these magazines knows they don't have much instructions, and certainly rarely have photos of HOW to do them so it can often be a bit tricky to work out exactly WHAT is meant by the sentence you have read and re-read a few times! So I will leave you with this taster and hopefully you'll have something to read and view shortly!