Hello loves! This is ReneA P. bringing you another DIY Creation! With everything going on in the world, finding a distraction is very important. I have been taking the time to delve into my marketing studies, work on my businesses, and challenge myself to use every piece of fabric I own and create new pieces. This piece was a major success, and I can't wait to share my expedience with you!
I found this gorgeous sheer patterned fabric. The dots created a textured feeling on the right side of the fabric, and immediately I thought this would look good as a two-piece set. My first thought was to conserve as much fabric as possible by creating a simple, shirred cropped top along with a no-side seam flared.
It's important to continue to seek out sustainable options for fashion and reduce the effects of textile waste. With the economy crashing, fast fashion has taken a hit. You would think our waste problems will be solved! Well, let's not forget us sewists of the world can learn to reduce our textile waste. How am I doing better? I decided to create my pattern by forgoing side seams. This reduces the amount of fabric I cut out as creating four separate panels adds to waste. I even used left over sheer black fabric from a previous project to create the shorty-shorts.
When creating a no-side seam pattern, I first needed to take into account how I wanted to get the pants on and off. Obviously, I didn't want to use a zipper, so I had to make sure the waist and hip measurements were identical. This would require an elastic waistband. So the easy part was done, but then I thought: How am I going to create a flare without a seam?
How to Create a Flare
I scoured the web for tutorials and pattern designs for no-side seam flared pants...couldn't find anything. I even looked through my pattern making book to see what tips they may have in the bodysuit section. Still no luck. So for a good half hour, I was contemplating really hard on what to do. That was, until I found this image in my book.
If you notice, the flared pant has a curved hem. I figured this would be the best way to make these pants properly. I also wanted the flare to begin at my knee. To be honest, I didn't know which was the best option for my body shape, but I felt above the knee would make me look shorter, while below the knee would reduce the flare effect. At the knee seemed perfect for me!
It's hot outside, which means shirring is in! This technique is so fun and exhilarating. If you haven't tried it, I advise you do.
So the process is simple. You need elastic thread, which you can find at your local craft store, and a matching top-stitch thread. I can only find black and white, but I'm sure there are other colors out there. When threading your machine, the elastic thread can only be used in the bobbin and cannot be threaded on top. Other sewists say to wind the bobbin by hand with the elastic thread, which I did this time. Normally I would wind it automatically, carefully so it doesn't stretch. Ultimately, I see no difference so depending on your machine, I say wind it however you see fit. It's also best to do two at a time (for easy changing).
I like to use the same tension I always use but I change my stitch length to about 4 (or the second longest stitch on your machine). I also like to place my stitches half-inch apart. Sew as you normally would, and if you run out of elastic thread on the bottom, make a knot on the inside to keep the thread from pulling out.
When shirring, it's important to know that this technique allows you to make your fabric expand and contract to your body. Since I am using chiffon pieces, there is virtually no stretch. To create it, I take my bust measurement and add an additional 4-5 inches for the length and about 12 inches for the width (so mine was 45” X 12”). The sewing process was relatively easy, and I can complete one within an hour. Overall, it's a fun way to make you cropped tops pop!
Pros and Cons
I'm very thrilled with how the hem on the pants came out. I should have made it just a tad bit wider for a dramatic effect, but I’m not really complaining
I'm proud that I was able to conserve so much fabric. I believe it was about a yard, maybe a 1.5 yards of fabric
The shorty-shorts are the favorite of this piece. Both the black chiffon and patterned fabric were see-through, which meant I had to be mindful about my undergarments. But the black under the top doesn't show a thing, while the shorty-shorts look so cute!
So to keep myself from adding a zipper, I had the waist measurement match the hip measurement so I could slip them on and off. Sadly this caused the fabric around my midsection to puff. Since there is no side seam, I think I would have needed to bring in the crotch curve just a little bit in to keep it from puffing too much.
Piggy-backing on the puff, if I added more inches on the hips going down, the garment would fit more comfortably. I tend to forget to add "thickness allowance"--which is the seam allowance needed to accommodate my curves. The pants fit snugly, but I wish I had a little more room to move around.
If you see on the main pattern, I have the area around the knees curved inward which I should have left them as a straight line. This doesn't bother me as much, but I know next time I need to either curve outward or keep the line straight.
I could take in the top just a tad bit more or made it narrow in the waist.
I LOVE this look! While it has some flaws, I am so happy with the way it turned out and I can't wait to experiment with other fabrics!