DIY Gathered Skirt

DIY 50's-Inspired Full Gathered Skirt Tutorial

ANOTHER skirt tutorial, you say? I know I’ve been creating a hell of a lot of skirt tutorials, but they’re honestly my favourite item of clothing to create–Short, simple DIY projects that can be completed in a day or less, with often fabulous results. This is the third instalment on my series of simple skirt tutorials, and my favourite one so far.

You will need:

  • Sewing Machine
  • General Sewing Kit–Scissors, needle, seam ripper, tape measure, regular pins and safety pins
  • Something to draw on your fabric with (chalk, pencil, pen, etc)
  • Fabric (we’ll get to how much in a bit)
  • Matching Thread
  • Button/Kit or Clasp
  • Regular zip (At least 15cm long)

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DIY Camera Strap

DIY Star Wars DSLR Camera Strap Tutorial

For something a little different, I wanted to post up a DIY tutorial that I recently made for my fabulous photographer’s birthday present.

Robert has been such an awesome influence on this blog, encouraging my sewing and writing, and always around to take candid shots of me sewing and mucking around in the yard in my latest concocted outfit, that I wanted to show him my appreciation and make him something he could use. I’m not one for meaningless gifts bought on a whim–if you mean something to me, I’m never going to get you a basket full of bath salts or a Coles Myer Gift Card, I’d much rather find or make something perfect for you as an expression of our friendship and how much I know you and how much I love you.

That being said, I know the dude’s passion in life is photography and he’s a big Star Wars buff, so I bought about three metres of sturdy Star Wars fabric from Spotlight with a plan in mind. I only used a small strip of it here, but just you wait until you see what my plans are for the rest of it! Anyways, I think a custom DSLR strap is a great DIY present for the avid photographer in your life, so I wanted to share my process/tutorial for making one for yourself.. Just in time for Christmas.

DIY Star Wars DSLR Camera Strap Tutorial

What you’ll need:

  • An existing DSLR strap (I feel like this is cheating somehow)
  • A strip of fabric
  • A sewing kit (scissors, bobby pins, needles, thread)
  • Tape measure
  • Sewing machine

Theoretically you may be able to do this by hand, but the fabric is pretty hard to pierce and my machine was struggling as is, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

DIY Star Wars DSLR Camera Strap Tutorial

First step is unpicking your DSLR strap. Kindly enough, Miss Directions supplied me with a couple of spare straps that were not being used, so if you have none yourself, just appeal to friends on Facebook, because chances are, someone has one lying around.

Halfway through unpicking the strap, I was wondering if it was worth the effort because it also seemed to have been glued down by something, but I finally managed to separate the fabric from the pleather backing. I kept the ends loosely stitched on because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to figure out how to re-attach them. Otherwise, try to pull out all the remaining loose threads that make the strap look messy.

DIY Star Wars DSLR Camera Strap Tutorial

Measure the strip that you’ve removed and cut a piece from your fabric or textile with room for seam allowances. I folded them over and pinned them down at this stage.

DIY Star Wars DSLR Camera Strap Tutorial

Next, the embroidery. This step is optional, but I think it adds a nice touch. If your fabric is thin enough, you can overlay it on top of an image on your highly backlit phone and trace it with chalk, but my fabric was very thick so this wasn’t an option.

DIY Star Wars DSLR Camera Strap Tutorial

I somehow managed to trace Rob’s name in the classic Star Wars font onto a piece of paper and then cut it out so I could trace it onto my fabric.

DIY Star Wars DSLR Camera Strap Tutorial

At this stage, embroidery is pretty easy. Just go around all the letters using a satin stitch and outline it afterwards with black thread. Don’t make your stitches too long, i.e. if you’re stitching the letter “i”, make the stitches horizontal instead of vertical. You can use embroidery thread, and this is probably more desirable, but I was pretty unprepared and used regular thread (and performed some major filling-in afterwards). I found this process took longer than I expected for three letters, and much more thread than I anticipated, but the results are very worthwhile!

DIY Star Wars DSLR Camera Strap Tutorial

After that, pin your fabric to the existing strap backing and sew around, trying to be precise and follow existing stitch holes. Make sure to doubly reinforce the ends as shown above. The last thing you want is their DSLR to find itself smashed to bits on the pavement below because you didn’t sew it together securely enough.

DIY Star Wars DSLR Camera Strap Tutorial

And voila, your end product! I guarantee that photographer in your life will treasure this one-of-a-kind gift forever. If you’re a blogger, it’s a really neat gift idea to show your appreciation to the person behind the camera, but otherwise, just a cool gift idea in general for anyone who takes their photography seriously.

DIY Star Wars DSLR Camera Strap Tutorial

DIY Knife-Pleated Skirt

DIY Knife-Pleated Schoolgirl Skirt Tutorial

Hey guys, what up? We’re back with another little “skirts for dummies” tutorial! Hope you’re not sick of them yet. This time around, we’re looking at a slightly different technique to achieve that “schoolgirl chic” look with a knife-pleated (or side-pleated) skirt. I’m using a woven tartan here, but you can use whatever material you prefer for yours, so long as the fabric is thick and sturdy enough to be pressed (so obviously no chiffon, satin, or velvet–you know what I mean).

You will need:

  • Sewing Machine
  • General Sewing Kit–Scissors, needle, seam ripper, tape measure, regular pins and safety pins
  • Something to draw on your fabric with (chalk, pencil, pen, etc)
  • Fabric (we’ll get to how much in a bit)
  • Matching Thread
  • Regular zip (At least 15cm long)

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DIY Dress to Skirt Refashion

Yes, more tutorials for you! My mother recently picked up this dress for me from Igedo for $2, and, well, the design wasn’t.. quite for me. Nude mesh panels surely suit someone out there, but that someone is definitely not me.

However, I loved the non-wrinkle fabric of the skirt with its full satin lining, and figured with a couple of easy alterations, I could turn this into a skirt! This tutorial works best with dresses which have a waistband.. If there’s interest, I can also show a tutorial on how to add a waistband to a premade skirt so you can do this with dresses that don’t have waistbands, too, but for now, the easy stuff!

First thing you have to do is separate your skirt from your bodice. Do this carefully with a seam ripper because if you rip the top of the waistband, you’re going to have to repair it.

When you’re cutting off the zip, please make sure that your zip is pulled all the way down and you cut off with enough excess in case something goes wrong. I initially cut off the zipper when it was pulled all the way up which wasn’t my most genius moment, but with about half an hour of struggling, I managed to slide it back on, so crisis averted!

If you’re lucky, the waistband will be double sided, but if the lining goes from top to bottom without a seam, you’ll have to cut it off with enough excess that you can tuck behind the front section of the waistband like you see below:

Now the fun part, which is tucking the sides of the zip into the waistband and sewing the waistband around it. You may need to snip off a little bit of the zip if you have too much excess.

I used an invisible closing seam which was basically wriggling the needle along between the two sides of the waistband to hide the stitch as I sewed. You can easily do this by hand, so that’s a bonus! Just make sure you use a matching thread just in case your stitching isn’t very neat.

And voila! A perfect seam to compliment the perfect skirt.

DIY Box-Pleated Skirt

My DIY Box Pleated Skirt Tutorial

Thank you for purchasing How to Make Your Own Box-Pleated Skirt for Dummies! (Also known as The Idiot’s Comprehensive Guide to Stabbing Yourself in the Fingers With Pins Until You Magically Conjure a Skirt.) Today we’ll be going through the tutorial for sewing a full box-pleated skirt.

Ground Rules:

  1. My machine is awful, it can only do one type of stitch, so I will usually indicate when would be a good idea to change the stitching on your machine.
  2. While this tutorial is linear, it contains lots of optional steps that you can skip over–these are indicated.
  3. If you create a skirt using this tutorial, I want to see it! (Okay this part is optional, but I would really, really love it if you showed me!

Step forward, if you dare..