HOW TO make narrow ties

If you're making the ESSENTIAL WRAP SHIRT you have the option of using ribbon for the ties or you can make a couple using your fabric.  Here's how you do it...

1. Following the instructions in the pattern cut two strips of fabric each 118cm long x 4cm in width.  Once you've made the ties the length can be adjusted to suit your size.

2. Press in half right sides together and then stitch 1cm from the fold all the way along.


3. Trim away half of the seam allowance and clip across one end at an angle.

4. For the next step I use a handy little tool called a LOOP TURNER.  Insert it into the tube you've formed all the way to the other end.  

Hook it into the fabric and carefully pull the fabric into the tube and pull out from the other end or as they put it "pull loop turner with one hand while sliding fabric over itself with the other".

5. At the end of each tie push in about 4cm of fabric (for this I usually use a crochet hook) and then make a small knot.  You can slip stitch the end closed if you don't want the knot.

The LOOP TURNER can also be used for making rouleau loops, my least favourite of all sewing chores.



Some may disagree but for me a wrap shirt is a wardrobe essential,  effortlessly elegant and adaptable.  Here's my version, The ESSENTIAL WRAP SHIRT has been designed for lightweight woven fabrics and features long ties that wrap around the body, 3/4 length flared sleeves and side splits.

I made the photo sample from a Liberty print cotton called Ruby Templar which I found here in Melbourne at Luccello.  The ESSENTIAL WARP SHIRT is now available from my Etsy shop in Australian sizes 8-14.  For international customers a size conversion chart can be found right here.

I agree wraps can be fussy to wear.  Adding a snap fastener to the V front is one option but personally I just wear it with a simple jersey tank so I don't have to think about it.


HOW TO attach cotton tape

A new pattern nearing completion called the ESSENTIAL WRAP SHIRT requires cotton tape to be attached to the front edges, here's why you need it and how to attach it.

When sewing jersey fabrics a light weight stretchy tape can be added to the shoulder seam to help maintain the shape.  Select a rubber tape like the ones shown below.

For woven garments a woven tape is used.  It reinforces seams and helps to stabilize edges (especially when they are on the bias) in order to prevent stretching. 

The ESSENTIAL WRAP SHIRT is made from woven fabric and has two long angled front edges which are effectively on the bias.   Unless the edges are taped they will stretch and develop a wavy appearance which in turn effects the fit.
Press the fabric piece along the edge.  With the wrong side facing up and with the tape placed on top, overlock along the edge catching the tape into the stitching.  Take care not to stretch either the fabric or the tape.

Once complete this is how it looks.  In this case the edge is then folded twice and top stitched so the tape is hidden inside and the edge will not stretch.



 I'm currently wearing in a new pair of raw denim jeans, in fact I'm wearing them right now.  10oz Japanese selvedge denim, 17 weeks without a wash and the creases are just starting to show signs of abrasion, they are truly a thing of beauty.  

This definitely wasn't an impulse buy, I needed to replace my old pair and I probably looked for about a year before I found the perfect style.  In the end I went for Nudie's TIGHT LONG JOHN and not just because of the fit Nudie produce their denim from 100% organic cotton and the company embraces the idea that your denim can be repaired, reused and eventually recycled.  You can read more right here.  

Denim is a beautiful fabric to work with and wear but it's not just for jeans.  The London based design duo at Marques' Almeida definitely inspire a greater level experimentation through their creative use of the fabric.

With all of this in mind I decided to try something a little different recycling 2 pairs of old jeans which I turned into a jacket using the ESSENTIAL WRAP SHIRT pattern.  You can check out the results and the HOW TO by scrolling down the page.