Hey all! I’m back with a quick little tutorial on how to give your Uniform Tunic a cute little cuffed sleeve like the one shown above. This will work on both the original pattern as well as if you’ve modified it into a dress. You can also apply these same principles to any sleeve pattern to get a similar look! Let’s dive in.
To begin you’ll need to figure out how long you want your finished sleeve to be. I want my finished sleeve to be 8 ½” long along the outer edge of my arm so I’m taking that 8 ½” (you’ll use whatever length you want here) and adding 2 ¼” to that. Take that measurement (12″ in my case) and draw a line from the top of the sleeve cap down, parallel to the grain line, then square that marking out from the grain line. Cut and remove the lower portion of the sleeve.
Draw a line from each underarm corner, down to the new lower edge of the sleeve. These should be parallel with the grain line as well. These lines are your new underarm seams.
We’re making a 1 ½” cuff here so we’ll need to mark each of the fold lines at this point. Mark a line ¾” up from the lower edge, then another 1 ½” from that line. The final line will also be 1 ½” from the previous line. Your pattern should look like the one above.
This sleeve is straightforward to sew as well. Sew the underarm seam as you would according to the instructions in the pattern booklet.
With the sleeve right side up, fold the lower edge up along the top dashed line, 3 ¾”, and press. Then fold and press ¼” over for the hem allowance.
Fold the hem edge over another ½” and press.
Fold the hem edge down to meet the lower edge, you’re creating the cuff right now.
Tuck the new sleeve length edge into the hem edge and pin in place catching only the hem edge and sleeve, not the cuff.
Fold the sleeve down and out of the way, stitch along the edge of the hem anchoring the hem in place. You may want to do a small bar tack at the underarm of the cuff to keep it from folding down while being worn.
If you’re looking for the tutorial on how we turned the Uniform Tunic into this dress you can find that here: Uniform Dress Variation. If you have any q’s just let us know in the comments below!
Patterns Used in this Tutorial
There was a collective, “We’re so happy summer is finally here! … Wait, how are we halfway through the year already?,” moment in the studio this week. I personally look forward to the summer season every year, but once it arrives I often end up feeling intimidated by how quickly it’s passing by. In an attempt to combat my seasonal paralysis, I’m grounding myself in my summer sewing plans and appreciating the season while it’s here!
The slightly oversized Lark Tees I sewed for our previous embroidery inspiration post had me dreaming about a loose fitting mid-calf length Lark Dress. I want something that is relaxed, comfortable, and effortlessly stylish. I think the Lark checks all of those boxes, and I know it sews up quickly. I can imagine wearing this to my neighborhood farmer’s market, lounging around in my yard, and out and about to barbecues.
I try to steer clear of trends, but these sheer organza blouses have been calling my name. I’m really drawn to longer duster versions as well, and I’m planning on using the Archer Button Up to make one. The hardest part will be deciding on length and color. I will likely stick to a neutral tone so that I’ll feel comfortable wearing this long after this fad passes.
I already have a set of Lakeside Pajamas, but have always thought about making a few pairs of the shorts in linen to be worn as day or night wear. I’m thinking about using the Willow Tank to make a few sets of coordinating separates. Lexi also gave me the idea to combine the Willow and Lakeside Shorts into a romper, and I don’t know that I’ll be able to stop thinking about it until I make it. If I do we will definitely be sharing a tutorial!
Ever since Jen made her Uniform Dress I’ve been wanting my own, and think a sleeveless version made up in a leather would be amazing not to mention multi-seasonal. Last on my list, for now, is to use the Felix Dress pattern to make a beach or pool cover up. I might lower the neckline so that the dress cover-up is more similar to the image shown on the right.
All of these images came from our Summer 2019 Inspiration Pinterest board where you can find additional inspiration. I’ve roped Jen and Lexi into sharing about their summer sewing plans, and they’ll be adding to their sections of the Pinterest board and posting about their summer style soon!
Do you have summer sewing plans? Let us know in the comments below.
Earlier this week we shared some embroidery inspiration in the form of these two embroidered Lark Tees. Today, we’re circling back and breaking down five basic embroidery stitches with step by step instructions!
Here are the five stitches you’ll be learning today:
- Back Stitch: This stitch can be used for straight lines, curved lines, and is a great choice for outlining areas.
- Stem Stitch: This angled rope like stitch is perfect for flower stems, curved lines, straight lines, and outlining.
- Satin Stitch: The Satin Stitch as a filling stitch, use this to shade in solid areas.
- French Knot: Used as a decorative stitch, French Knots can be used for flowers, eyes, or other details.
- Chain Stitch: Another outline stitch that can be stitched straight or curved.
Begin by bringing the needle up from the underside of the fabric. Take a small stitch backwards from the original stitch point.
Pull the thread taught. Then bring the needle up from the underside of the fabric above the original stitch point. Be sure to keep the stitch length uniform to the stitch you previously created.
Again, take a small stitch backwards and then pull the stitch taut. Ensure that the stitches are smooth, uniform, and aren’t causing any pulling on your fabric.
Repeat the previous two steps. Continue until your Back stitch chain is your desired length.
Begin by bringing your needle and thread up from the underside of the fabric. Take a stitch forward and begin pulling the thread to the underside of the fabric.
Before the thread and stitch are completely pulled tight, bring the needle and thread up from the underside of the fabric halfway between the original and subsequent stitch. Pull the thread taut.
Repeat the previous steps, and continue until your Stem stitch is your desired length.
Begin by outlining the shape you’re planning to fill with a washable fabric marker or some other marking tool. We recommend testing the marking tool you plan on using on a scrap piece of fabric to ensure it can be removed without leaving any marks behind.
Then bring your needle and thread up from the underside of the fabric at the edge of the shape you will be filling.
Stitch to the opposite edge of your shape. Pull your thread taut.
Repeat the previous steps being sure to keep your stitches very close together. This will create a consistent fill.
If you need to make the video larger, hover your mouse over the bottom of the video screen and click on the four arrows pointing in opposite directions to play the video full screen.
Begin by bringing your needle and thread up from the underside of your fabric. Take a small stitch forward and pull taut.
Take a stitch ahead of the stitch previously created. Then, loop the needle and thread underneath the previously created stitch.
Bring the needle and thread back towards the previous stitch and reinsert the needle through the same hole. You’ve created your first chain!
Repeat the previous steps to continue your Chain stitch until you achieve your desired length.
Do you have a favorite embroidery stitch? Let us know below!
Over the past couple of years we’ve noticed a resurgence of embroidery in fashion, home decor, and art! From floral motifs to political statements, custom embroidery is a great way to experiment with adding eye-catching or humorous design details to garments or other hand sewn items.
We wanted to share some custom embroidery inspiration with you today in the form of these two Lark Tees! The winking eye design was inspired by an image we’ve had bookmarked on Pinterest for awhile, and we were excited to bring it to life. We actually have a Design Details Pinterest Board that’s chock full of design details of all kinds if you’re looking for additional inspiration.
One thing we really love about embroidery projects is how portable they are. It can be challenging during the summer months to balance the brief window of beautiful weather with a desire to complete personal projects. This past week we were able to take our embroidery out of the studio and continue to work while sipping iced tea from our back porch! It was the best of both worlds.
We’ll be publishing an embroidery tutorial later on this week that will teach you a few embroidery stitches and highlight the stitches we used for our Dandelion and Eye Lark Tees. Let us know below what you’re planning to embroider!
Today we’re sharing our next Uniform Tunic Modification post, how to turn your tunic into a dress! We’ve been wanting to do this modification for a while and I finally got the chance to take a break from developing new patterns a few weeks ago and make one to wear to the Knit 1 Brooklyn Tweed Weekend here in Chicago. As soon as I made my Uniform dresses I couldn’t believe I hadn’t made one earlier! Seriously these are my new favorite garments. They’re dressy enough to wear to work, yet comfortable enough to wear…to work? I never realized how odd that saying is until right now.
In addition to the style modification I love how the choice of fabric affects the look of these two dresses. The black Uniform dress was made using a linen/viscose blend from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics and it has a slouchy, cool vibe and feels like secret pajamas. On the other hand, the paprika Uniform dress was made with a crisp, lightweight linen from The Fabric Store which holds the shape of the dress well.
Altering your Uniform to make a dress is very straightforward as you’ll see below. It’s also a great way to get more mileage out of a pattern you already own!
To begin, trace out the size you need; we’ll be starting with the bodice. I’ll be using the round neck for my versions but you can also use the v-neck, the choice is totally up to you. Next decide how much you want to lengthen your dress. Keep in mind that the Uniform is already has a dropped waist bodice so you may not need to lengthen this part at all. I lengthened mine by 1″ just to keep the dress proportions slightly closer to the proportions of the original tunic.
If you are going to lengthen your bodice, slash across the lengthen/shorten line marked on the pattern and spread the two pieces the amount you intend to lengthen your pattern. Redraw the side seam and these are your new bodice pattern pieces.
To adjust the skirt, we’re simply going to add onto the hem. I added 15″ to my hem which hits just above my knee. Extend the side seam and center front & back lines down, then measure down from the hem line the amount you’ve chosen to lengthen. That’s all there is to it!
After that, cut your pattern pieces and sew according to the instructions in your pattern booklet! This is such an easy modification and takes almost no time at all, but really changes the look and function of the Uniform. Hope you enjoy this modification and if you make one definitely tag us in social media using our IG handle @grainlinestudio and the hashtag #uniformtunic.
You also might notice that the sleeve on the paprika isn’t standard for the pattern. We’ll be back soon with a tutorial for that as well!
Patterns Used in this Tutorial
We’ve slowly been combing through our post archives in order to update older posts, and simultaneously identify gaps in the resources we provide. Outside of two French seam posts – one that covers a how to for straight and curved seams and another for right angles – we’ve never provided a comprehensive guide for common seam finishes. Seam finishes are an essential part of garment and accessory construction when working with woven fabrics.
In addition to providing neat and tidy insides, the finishing stitch is what keeps your fabric from fraying or unraveling and ultimately weakening your construction stitch. Different seam finishes can also provide additional reinforcement that will make your garment or accessory durable and able to withstand the stress of everyday wear or use. Being aware of different seam finishes also empowers with the knowledge to choose a finish that’s best for the fabric or project you’re working on. This comes in handy if you use a different fabric than suggested by a pattern and you need to reduce seam bulk or otherwise conceal raw edges.
We’re discussing 8 common seam finishes below and have included step-by-step instructions for a few of them. Scroll down to read and learn about them all!
A pinked seam finish is created by using pinking shears. Simply snip close to the edge of your seam allowance using your shears, and the zig-zag edge will help to prevent fraying. You can also sew a straight line of stitching close to the pinked edge in order to prevent fraying. This option is useful for fabrics that will become bulky when turned under and stitched.
This finish is best for tightly woven stable fabrics and curved edges.
Turn and Stitch
This is a quick finish that will keep your raw edge tucked under and out of sight. Fold the edge of your seam allowance under 1/8 inch (0.32 cm), press, and and stitch close to the folded edge.
This finish is best for light to medium weight wovens, course weaves, and tweeds.
In addition to being a quick seam finish, the zig-zag stitch is an available stitch option the majority of sewing machines. One option is to stitch both pieces of the seam allowance together and press to one side. Or you can separately finish each edge of fabric with the zig-zag stitch prior to sewing the seam with a straight stitch. This option is useful to reduce bulk when working with heavier fabrics.
This finish will work on most fabrics to prevent fraying, but delicate fabrics may get eaten by your sewing machine. We recommend testing the stitch on a scrap piece of fabric and adjusting the stitch width and length to suit your fabric. Heavier fabrics require larger settings and lighter fabrics will require smaller settings.
Serged seams provide the construction and finishing stitches in one pass, but require the use of a serger. Similar to the zig-zag stitch shown above you can serge the edges of your fabric piece separately before stitching them together which allows you to press the seam open. Or, you can serge your fabric pieces together and press to one side. You can use a three or four thread seam finish – we’ve shown a four thread finish above.
We serge nearly everything in the studio from wovens to knits; however, we recommend a different finish for sheer garments, unlined jackets, or items that need to withstand a lot of stress.
A French seam is best for sheer, lightweight, or delicate fabrics that are prone to fraying and unraveling as the finish fully encapsulates the raw edge.
The seam finish is sewn in two parts so you’ll need to divide your seam allowance in half. In this example our the total seam allowance was 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) so we will be sewing 1/4 inch (0.635 cm) at each step. Begin by placing your fabric together with wrong sides matching. Sew at 1/4 inch (0.635 cm).
Trim excess fabric or seam allowance to 1/8 inch (0.32 cm) and then fold the right sides of your fabric together so that the raw seam is now sandwiched between both pieces of fabric. Press, and then sew 1/4 inch (0.635 cm) from the folded edge. Press again and you’re French seam is complete.
Bias bound seams take a little more time, but they stand-out visually and are recommended for fabrics that fray, unlined jackets, and formal garments.
You’ll need store bought or self-made bias tape that is 1.5 inches (3.81 cm) wide. Cut a piece of bias tape that is slightly longer the seam you’re finishing and pin to seam allowance edge with right sides facing.
Turn over and check that you’ve only caught one side of your seam allowance. Ensure the rest of your fabric is out of the way. Turn right side up and sew the bias tape to the seam allowance 1/4 inch (0.635 cm) from the edge.
Press the bias tape away from the garment.
Fold the free edge of the bias tape over the edge of the seam allowance around to the back. There’s no need to fold the edge of the bias tape under. From the right side, stitch near the edge of the the bias tape in order to anchor the binding in place.
Trim any excess bias tape that hangs over the edge of the seam. Repeat on the other side.
Mock Flat Fell
A mock flat-fell seam finish provides the visual appearance of a flat-felled seam without the bulk. The drawback is that it doesn’t provide the strength a true flat-felled seam provides.
Before sewing your seam finish one edge of your fabric with a zig-zag stitch or by serging. Leave the other edge unfinished and proceed to sew your seam. Trim the unfinished edge to a 1/4 inch (0.635 cm). Press both seam allowances to one side so that the finished seam allowance edge covers the unfinished trimmed edge. Using a straight stitch, sew a line of stitching 1/4 inch (0.635 cm) away from the original seam. You’ll catch the finished seam allowance edge and encase the trimmed unfinished edge. We also sewed a line of stitching 1/8 inch (0.32 cm) away from the original line of stitching to provide additional visual detail
This finish can be used on denim jeans, shorts, jackets, canvas accessories, duckcloth, and sportswear.
A true flat-felled seam provides more than a clean finish. The overlapping seam makes this an incredibly durable and sturdy finishing stitch. We recommend using a flat-felled seam finish for garments that will experience a lot of stress – denim or canvas jeans, jackets, outerwear, and sports related garments.
After sewing your seam, trim down one side of your seam allowance to 1/4 inch (0.32 cm).
Fold the untrimmed seam allowance in half, press, and then fold over the previously trimmed seam allowance. Pin in place and edgestitch along the folded edge.
Do you have a favorite finish stitch? Let us know below!
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