First of all… Thank you, thank you, thank you for wanting to sew my very first pattern.
You may notice (now you’re definitely going to notice) that I used a different pattern. It’s just an older version that I had in paper and instead of wasting paper I just made the necessary changes and reused it.
We start by cutting or drafting the pattern. I usually cut the patterns, but when I decide that it’s best to trace one, because maybe I’m going to sew more than one size and I don’t want to run again to the copy shop, I put the patterns on a big window and tape them. This way, I can use an opaque paper instead of having to use a tracing paper that is usually more fragile. It’s just a tip.
Now that we have our fabric all washed, dried and smelling amazing, it’s time to cut it.
Let’s place the pattern pieces accordingly to the cutting layout on the instructions. Notice that we need to cut both front and back top pieces once each, on fold. But we need to fold a little bit the pattern, because that extra 1cm on the center front is going to be only for the linings, that will not be cut on fold.
The pieces need to be traced onto the fabric, because we need those same pattern pieces to trace the lining.
For the lining we need to unfold the paper and place it accordingly to the cutting layout.
Also on the cutting department, the straps pattern piece needs to be folded or not in order to cut the fabric. But you can see that on the cutting layout that applies to you.
You may be saying “But, Sara, the grainline position for the straps is not the same for every layout!!”. I know. But… (CONTROVERSIAL OPINION FOLLOWING) they are straps.
If you still love me after this, I want to give a tip. Sometimes I use my ironing board to cut the fabric. The bad thing is that it is not that large enough and the fabric hangs, which we don’t want because it’s stretching. When that happens, I gather the fabric on top of the board, making sure that the part I’m cutting is flat and in place.
Another thing we may want to do, specially if you’re a beginner, is to mark the seams lines. We’re using 1 cm seam allowance, so you can trace a line 1 cm away from the edge of the fabric.
Now that we have all hour pattern pieces cut, it’s time to get this party started!
Actually, before getting the party started, let me just give a little tip. If you have your pieces of fabric all facing the same side (right or wrong) I find the sewing process runs a lot faster and smoother, since we don’t have to check and double check the sides.
Let’s take care of the side and bottom edges of the skirt. If you don’t have a serger, fear not! Just make a zig zag stitch instead.
Now, let’s make the straps.
Fold the strap fabric in half, horizontally, press and sew.
If your machine doesn’t have a 1cm mark, you can trace the seam in the fabric or you can mark it on your machine, if you find it to be easier.
Now, we trim the seam allowances and trim those corners really carefully.
After we turn the straps right side out, we’re going to make a top stitch all around.
Personally, I’m a big fan of using the presser foot width for this kind of top stitching.
Now, we just need to repeat the process for the other three straps.
After the straps are done, it’s time to make the pocket.
We sew the pocket pieces together, leaving an opening at the bottom, just enough so we can turn it right side out.
Now, we just need to snip the corners and trim a little bit the seam allowances. Also, snip the rounded bottom.
The pocket is placed on the right side of the top piece, matching the pocket markings.
We sew the sides and the bottom of the pocket to the top piece.
I like this seam to be as close to the edge of the pocket as possible. This way, we’re making sure that the opening at the bottom is going to be sewn. One way of doing this is to use the width of the presser foot opening.
Let’s sew the lining, shall we?
We pull the back lining pieces and place them together, right sides touching. We sew the center back, open the seams and press nicelllyyyyy.
We do that for the front pieces aswell.
Now that we have our front and back lining pieces, we place them on top of each other, right sides together and sew the sides.
We open the seams and press them.
I’m not sure I should be saying this. But I’m saying it anyway. Sometimes, depending on the fabric, of course, I don’t use the iron to press the seams. WWOOOOOTTTT?! I don’t! I open the seams and press the stitching using a pair of embroidery scissors.
Whatever the method you use, press those seams!
We do the same for the main top pieces.
Now that we have the lining and main pieces ready, we’re going to put one inside the other, with the right sides together. Between the lining and the main pieces, place the straps.
We’re going to get those pins out of the box and pin all around the top edges.
We need to sew all around the top edge. But we need to be careful not to catch the straps. Make sure they still where they should be.
Once again, trim the seam allowances, snip the corners and snip the rounded parts.
Let’s turn the finish top piece right side out.
We’re going to make it look really nice by ironing it.
Now, let’s move to the skirt.
We’re going to put the skirt pieces on top of each other, right sides together, making sure to match the notches, and sew the sides, open and press the seams.
Now, we’re gathering the skirt. For this, I ALWAYS use baste thread and do some hand-sewing. But you can baste and gather using a machine, it’s really up to you. Although, if you use a machine to baste stitch, make sure the seam is going to be inside the seam allowance, so, sew less than 1 cm away from the edge.
I place my baste thread in the machine so I don’t waste thread, and hand-sew all around the top edge of the skirt.
Place the top part inside the skirt, right sides touching, and, matching the middle notches and the side seams, pin the top to the skirt on those parts. Now, we pull the thread to gather the skirt and pin everything in place.
Let’s sew all around.
After this, we need to finish this seam. We can either use a serger or a zig zag stitch to sew the seam allowances together.
Now, we only need to do the hem.
For this, we just fold the fabric at the bottom and sew all around.
But, I was feeling a little inspired and did a scalloped hem.
For this, we just need to make some semi circles on a strip of fabric that goes all around the hem.
We’re placing the strip of fabric and the skirt with the right sides together.
After we pin all in place, we sew along the line we draw.
Now, we trim the seam allowance and snip all around, because everything is curved. Where the semi circles join, snip really close to the stitching.
Now, let’s turn and press!
We have our Betelgeuse ready!!
You were amazing!!
Please, please, pretty please, send me your feedback. I need feedback to make adjustments where adjustments are needed.
Thank you for sew with me!
Yarn hugs ❤️