Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday...Catch Up

I feel like the rabbit from Alice In Wonderland, "I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date! I took a break from the blog as I have been in Texas for quite a while and we were getting ready to leave and drive back (we drive because the dogs of course come along). Everything was a little overwhelming at the end and something had to give, sadly, it was the blog. But, I'm back, and very happy to be. Oddly, the blog has become something I truly look forward to each day. Although I don't get to speak with you directly, in some strange way it is a connection. I love looking and seeing the countries where you visit from. Please excuse me, but I had no idea that a country by the name of Reunion existed. I was curious, so I decided to look it up. The history is quite interesting. If you're like me and don't know about this country, you can also learn a little something new here. So wherever you are from, whether it is near or far, thank you so much for stopping by.

So now for last week's pattern. I'm calling it the Paper Bag Top. I don't know if you've ever done this, but when I was a child, we would take paper bags scrunch them at the top, blow into them until they were full of air and then POP them. It was actually a lot of fun. Now that it's on paper, it sounds a little like we didn't have enough to occupy us, or we were really destructive. It didn't feel like that at the time. Actually, I think we were a little crazy. One day I'll have to share some of the other games we played like playing hide and seek in the grave yard and another game that I loved, Chickens and Buzzards (you won't believe just how crazy we were when you hear about this game).

 The front view.
 The back view.
The measurements that you will need are;
1. Your hip measurement
2. Your length measurement. Measure from your armpit to your desired length.
3. Your back measurement. See the above picture. You will want to add at least an inch for ease to this measurement.
4. The measurement around your arm as shown in the picture below.

Once you have these measurements, to determine the length of your rectangle start with your length measurement ( I would add a few inches to this measurement as the tie will pull the garment up and you can always cut off the extra if need be), then take your armhole measurement, for instance if it was 20, divide that in half, 10 and then add another 8 inches for the shoulder and the gathered area around the neck. So if my length was 20 inches and I had a 20 inch measurement for my armhole and then I added another 8 inches for the shoulder and neck area, my final measurement would be 38 inches.
For the width, you will need your hip measurement and then for the wrapped area measure over to your hip bone, not all the way to your side seam area. So if your hip measurement is 40 inches and the measurement to your hip bone is approximately 8 inches, your final measurement will be 40 plus 8 plus 8(you will need enough to wrap over on both sides), a total of  56 inches for your width, I would also add a few inches for ease.
 Now that you have your rectangle, you will need the back measurement that you took. Add an inch  for ease. Divide that measurement in half. Find the center of your rectangle. You can see a small dot on the top line of the rectangle in the above picture. Measure over from this point half of your back measurement. Measure down the 8 inches for your shoulder and neck. Mark this point. Now measure down half of your arm measurement and mark this point. Draw in a nice oval shape for your armhole opening.
Cut a casing. The measurement for your casing should be approximately an inch and a half. This will give you an inch for your casing and 1/4 inch on either side to turn under. As for the length, I stopped my casing approximately 2 inches form my finished edge. In the picture below, you can see that I sewed a line down the middle of my casing so that I could have two pieces of cording. With two pieces of cording I can draw up the cord and then tie the two cords together.
Finish off the armholes with a piece of bias cut fabric. Thread the coding through the casing. I used a small leather cord. I just liked the way it looked. You will also need to make a belt. I made mine long enough to wrap around my waist twice and then tie in the front. And that is it. I am making a skirt to wear with this top so once I have it finished I will post a picture of me in the outfit.
When I last posted, I promised a little give away. What I'm giving is a copy of the book, "20,000 Years Of  Fashion." It's a wonderful book. It begins with prehistoric costume and finishes with some talk on fashion from the early part of the 20th century. This is not a brand new book. It is in excellent condition though. The reason I can be so generous is that I was given two of these books, so I would like to pass one on to someone who would like to have it. Now, the problem is that this is a VERY heavy book, 442 pages, so I will only be able to send it to someone here in the United States. If you would like to have a chance to win the book, you must be a follower. Leave a comment on this blog post or send an email message. You will have until Monday, October 24th to enter. I will announce the winner on Tuesday, October 25th. Remember, I can only send it to an address in the United States. Good Luck! For all of you who follow around the world, I will have another contest in the near future that will be open to everyone.
Thanks again for stopping by.

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  1. I am what you would call creatively challenged, so I am constantly smazed at the things you create and how effortless you make it appear. Oh, I remember popping paper bags. My sibs and fought for the bag to pop it.

  2. You are so creative. You make everything so simple and my wardrobe increases by the week. Thanks for sharing your talents with us.

  3. Hi! Love all your generous blogs and tutes!
    I have a question on the paper bag top but totally understand if you cant get to answering! :)
    I am wondering if you have 2 pieces of fabric for the rectangles that make up the paperbag top? or is there a fold somewhere? I think the armholes are just in the front, correct? and also how does the wrapped part fit in? I just cant seem to get a picture in my mind, hope you can help!
    Love your ideas and your fabric selections!! Beautiful!
    Peace to your day!

    1. I just used the width of the fabric to make up the top, so no seams. As for the wrap aspect, the tie is seperate, So one side of the top just lays over the other and then the tie belt is wrapped around the waist. Hope this helps :)

  4. I finally got a new (working!) sewing machine last Christmas. Last year I mainly made costumes (Regency gown was the hardest), plus a couple of utility items. This year I want to make some clothes, because it's so hard to find flattering clothing that is affordable and fits! I would rather spend the money on good fabric and end up with a great piece than compromise...

    This makes three items I want to make for my anniversary cruise.(Though I may make the paper bag jacket, which would make four...) Yay!

    Even if I have little free time, I should be able to manage that in five months. Right? I hope...

    1. The pieces you've chosen are so easy, so I am quite confident that you'll be successful :)