Zel Gratela

DIY Faux Leather Racerback Crop Top

I was bored with my life again last night that I decided to make something for myself. It’s been more than a month since I last sewed something and I missed doing it. Been catching up on Project Runway episodes, too, and I got really inspired by the contestants’ designs.

I wanted to do something simple, not too ambitious, so I chose something from my Fashionary sketching notebook—a racerback crop top. I bought this faux leather at the Fabric Warehouse for 250php a yard. I bought 2 yards because I’m planning on doing lots of stuff with it. This is only the first.

Anyway, here are the things you’re going to need:

fabric (1/2 to 1 yard)

pattern paper

scissors

black thread

measuring tape

needle (if you plan on hand sewing)

sewing machine (if available)

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Next is to make a pattern that looks like this. The left photo is the left side of the front top. The length of the top depends on how long you want it. I wanted a 16-inch top and added 1 inch for the hem. My bust size is 32 so I estimated I needed 10 inches, 0.5 inch seam included. This measurement was actually quite big and I had to remove one inch on each side for it to fit perfectly. I measured 3 inches for the shoulder with 0.5 inch seam included on both sides and on top.

Please note that this is a pattern I made based on my measurements, you will have to add or deduct some inches to fit your body.

After making your pattern, fold your fabric lengthwise with the fold facing you, as shown, and cut.

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This is how they should look like after cutting.

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Next is to sew the shoulder. Flip the fabric, with right sides facing each other. You can also hand sew this if you don’t have a sewing machine.

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Then sew the waist.

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Afterwards, I would recommend fitting your top to check if the breast part is not too loose. In my case it was, so I had to make a seam to make it fit. To do this, measure 4 inches from the armpits and 7 inches from the highest point of the shoulder. Mark the point where they meet…

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And from that point, draw a small right triangle, then pin it. And sew that area, as shown below:

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Next, hemming. It is optional, but if you want a more polished output, then by all means hem away. 🙂

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This is how your crop top should look after. Trimmed the back a bit to make the cross look more pronounced. And yes, I will definitely wear this on my next OOTD post.

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What do you think of the outcome? If you have any questions, feel free to comment below! 🙂

DISCLAIMER: I don’t know if this is how professional dressmakers make things. Please note that this is MY process and therefore I cannot assure you that it works hundred percent of the time—so please follow at your own discretion. 😉

DIY Circle Skirt (Skater Skirt)

I haven’t told you this yet, but it has always been my dream to make clothes. I used to watch my mom make our school uniforms and I remember being so amazed every time. I never got it out of my system. So, a month ago I gave in and decided to take basic sewing classes. I learned how to make patterns and sew a blouse, dress, and skirt.

My first project was actually a sweetheart top but it looked terrible so I switched to a much simpler one–a skater skirt.

Skater skirts, also known as circle skirts, have been quite a hit in the country, although they’ve been around for a long time. Fashion trends, after all, just repeat themselves. They’re called circle skirts because you’ll only need a big circular cloth to make a full skirt. You’ll see an example below.

First, to make the skirt, you’ll need:

a sewing machine

1 1/2 yard of cloth

thread

measuring tape

chalk/colored pencil

pair of scissors

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Next, measure your waist in inches. Divide it by 2(pi) or 6.28 (2 x 3.14) to get the radius. My waistline is 28 in, divided by 6.28 yields 4.45 in.

Fold your cloth in fours so you don’t have to draw a full circle. Then, draw the inner edge (waistline) of your quarter circle on the cloth using your radius measurement.

Quick tip: To draw the waist radius, pin your measuring tape on the corner of the cloth, and move the tape around the cloth with a chalk/pencil at the other end to mark the waist radius.

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Decide on your skirt’s length, then add the radius plus 1/2 inch for the hemline for easier measurement later. I wanted a skirt with a 16 in length, so from the corner of the folded cloth I measured 21 in (16 in + 4.5 + .5).

Next, mark out the skirt length using the measurement.

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Afterwards,  measure the waistband. The waistband length (WL) and width (WW) depends on you. Usually the WL is just the waistline + seam allowance on right and left ends, and the WW is 1 or 2 in + 0.5 in seam allowance on top and bottom of the waistband.

In my case, my WL is 32 in [28 in + 2 (2) in] and WW is 2 in [1 in + 0.5 (2)in]. You can do the waistband before or after you’ve cut your circle skirt, whichever is more convenient for you. To save time and fabric though I decided to mark out the waistband while the fabric is still folded.

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And finally, CUTTING! Cut the fabric carefully by following the markings. Here’s what a quarter circle looks like:

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And here’s how it looks when unfolded–perfect circle!

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For beginners like me, this is where the tedious work begins. Pin the waistband to the top of the skirt (waist/inner circle) with right sides facing each other, then sew with a 0.5 in seam allowance as shown below. Do not forget to hem the top part of the waistband also. You may insert an elastic before doing so.

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Finally, finish your skirt by hemming the bottom of your skirt. I used a very stretchy material for this project so I didn’t have to use a zipper. If you want to know how to sew a zipper, go here for a more detailed tutorial.

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This is the final product! Looks great for a beginner, no?

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Will wear this skirt for my OOTD post so watch out for it! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Comment away if you have any questions! 😀

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