Make a quick and easy fashion garment
If you don’t want to stitch from scratch, customize what you already have. Here, a basic and inexpensive T-shirt has been given a frill hem to make a quick and easy fashion garment. Use white T-shirt fabric for the frills and stitch them onto a white T-shirt, so that you can then dye the finished piece any colour you like.
•Using the master frill template on page 217, trace and cut out three patterns for the small, medium and large frills
• Fold the fabric to fit the widest frill. Pin the pattern piece in place, aligning the straight edge with the fold, and cut out. Measure the circumference of the T-shirt hem. Stretch out the frill and measure the top edge. Add 4cm (11?2in) for seam allowances. If the length of the frill is shorter than the hem of the T-shirt, you will need to cut more frill (see page 161). Add another 4cm (11?2in) for seam allowances to the length of the shortfall. Measure this amount around the inner edge of the frill and cut this section in fabric
• Refold the fabric to fit the medium frill and cut it to the same length
• Repeat to cut out the smallest frill
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Have the master frill template enlarged by 340 per cent at a photocopy shop and cut out a template for each of the three frills on dot-and-cross paper or newspaper.
To draw your own master frill template, fold a large piece of paper (at least 45cm/15in square) in half
to find the centre, then open it out again. Using a drawing pin, fix one end of a piece of string to this centre point. Measure 9cm (31?2in) along the string and attach a pencil at this point. Use this as a compass to draw a semicircle with a diameter of 18cm (7in). Repeat in the same way to draw three more semicircles with the pencil attached 20cm (8in)
27cm (103?4in) and 33cm (131?4in) from the centre point. Cut out the largest curve, which is 24cm (91?2in) deep. Draw a wedge measuring 3.5cm (11?2in) from one straight edge along the inner edge and 9.5cm (33?4in) along the outer edge, and trim the paper along this line. This is the master template from which you will cut a paper pattern for each of the frills. First, recut the master on a separate piece of paper to make template for the largest frill. Now, trim the master template back along the 27cm (103?4in) line and use it to make a pattern for the middle frill, which is 18cm (7in) deep. Finally, trim the master template back along the 20cm (8in) line and use it to make a pattern for the smallest frill, which is 11cm (41?4in) deep.
If you had to lengthen the frills to fit the bottom edge of the T-shirt, stitch those seams together first to make three frills the correct length. Work zigzag stitch along the bottom edge of all of the frills. Layer the frills, with the widest at the bottom and the narrowest on top. Align the top edges and pin, then stitch all three layers together with zigzag stitch. Place a pin 2cm (3?4in) in from each end on the top edge. Fold the frill in half widthways, matching the pins, and mark the halfway point with a pin. Fold the frill in half again and mark the quarter points with pins.
Decide where on the T-shirt you would like to position the frills. This may be the bottom edge or it may be a little higher up. Measure up from the bottom edge and mark this position at several points around the T-shirt using tailor’s chalk or a fabric-marker pen. Fold the T-shirt so that the side seams meet and mark the centre front and back with pins. Matching the pins, pin the frill onto the T-shirt at the centre back, side seams and centre front.
Starting at the centre back, stitch the frill into position using zigzag stitch. With right sides together, stitch the ends of each of the frills together and trim the seams. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, dye the T-shirt.
If you plan to dye the finished garment, ensure the fabric is at least 95 per cent cotton, as home dyes don’t take on synthetics. Using polyester thread will result in a contrast detail.