Sunday, September 12, 2010

New York City Grit - Two Tutorials

Hello Everyone!
So as you may or may not know, it is currently NYC Fashion Week. Well, this outfit embodies to me New York cities grittier side. The street mixed with the posh, leather, denim, cotton and studs. The perfect combination.

I was really inspired a lot to make some pants with leather inserts. In particular there was a spread in Nylon magazine recently that I found really interesting. Of course, being me I decided that I needed to try my hand at making some of these must have pants myself. This is the 2nd project that I have finished from my 101 Crafts to Make Challenge.
The following were my results.

This was my inspiration spread. Lots of leather, lots of denim.
So for starters, if you want to make a pair of these pants yourself, you are going to need some jeans and some leather. I had a pair of skinny jeans that I never wear anymore and a pair of leather pants that I had picked up at the thrift store. I decided to draw out my design before beginning. I really wanted to make sure that I liked the way my vision looked in "real life" before committing to it with fabric.

Old Jeans.

Old Leather Pants.

Next I tried on the jeans, and measured how high up I wanted the leather to come. I wanted to make a diagonal leather insert. I laid the jeans out on my cutting mat and measured the diagonal line on both sides making sure that it was even.

I used the portion that I had removed from the jeans to measure how much leather I would need length wise and width wise. If the jeans you are using are too long for your legs make sure you take a proper measure or the pants will end up too long. Also I made the leather part slightly wider than the jean pieces I had removed as leather that is too tight is really tough to get into.

As you can see the leather above is WAY wider than the jean. I did not make them exactly the same width but left the leather slightly larger to make it easier to get into.

Now came the sewing. It is important that you make sure you have the pieces aligned properly before you begin to sew. Double, even triple check them. You don't want to be resewing through leather as this will weaken it and cause it to rip at the seam over time. Sew through all of the layers and be sure it is secure.
Turn inside out and enjoy!!!

To go with my New York leather and denim I decided to make a tank top. Something simply but still a bit edgy. Since I had never tried it before I decided to use a technique called reverse applique. It looks really awesome and was really quite simple to do.

I started with an old white t-shirt but you could also use an existing tank top. I traced out the shape of one of my favourite tank tops being sure to leave a seam allowance.

Tracing the Tank Top.

All cut out. Make sure you have a seam allowance too!

Next I traced a pattern that I had made onto the front of the shirt. You will also need a piece of contrasting fabric. This should be a stretchy material (like another old t-shirt) as well.

The contrast needs to be as wide as the whole tank top and tall enough to cover your designs.

Position the contrasting fabric under the design that you have traced onto the front. Pin it securely in place. Now sew around the design you have traced. You should leave about 1/8th of an inch between the tracing and the sewing line.

Pin the fabric together securely.


Sew 1/8th of an inch away from design.

Once you have finished stitching around the design you will need to cut out the shape you have traced. Cut on the traced lines and keep it as neat as possible.

Now sew the tank top up at the sides, making sure you have the right sides together when you do this. Flip right side out and voila! A new custom tank top.

Brand new outfit!

I hope you enjoyed these two tutorials in one. The photos of the outfit also show my Leather Bag which was made from a Skirt. You can find the Tutorial on that HERE.

Shirt - Refashion, Pants - Refashion, Necklace - Gift, Rings - H&M/Vintage/Gifts, Bag - Refashion, Shoes - Sam Edelman.

Until next time.....


Tracy Krauss said...

Brilliant! (As always) I really like both the pants and the top, and those shoes . . . well, what can i say but FAB!

Pris said...

Wow. I love the tank! And your hair sure is getting long! Guess what I bought for you at a garage sale on Saturday???

Lydia said...

Thanks guys!! I have no idea??

Anke said...

Genial, Kompliment! Du siehst aus wie ein Topmodel :D

Sora said...

omg!! you are so gooood!!!