MAKE THRIFT BUY #64 | DIY Lettuce Hem Off Shoulder Top


Hello, what’s sewing on everyone? It’s been a long time since we’ve done one of these, huh? Welcome to Make Thrift Buy, the show where I try and recreate items of clothing from the internet that are either from terrible fast fashion sites or super fancy and expensive high fashion sites! In this episode, we will be trying to recreate — this! This item was, well… it was technically suggested by three people… But one of those was… three years ago… sorry about that. So I guess it’s technically now suggested by me. Anyway, I’m doing this now because for months and months I’ve been seeing these kind of tops all over the Internet. I’m also seeing kids even wearing this at Uni or when I go to the city and now I want to make one for myself, mostly because I saw one being worn in a really cute way in this Zipper magazine. In this photo here and made me go Oh, these come tops look really cute worn underneath, uh, overalls or pinafores. So the tops I’ve been showing you here are from a cheap, fast fashion website called ZAFUL (ZAFOOL?) (ZeA?eF0uL??) and this website is the epitome of cheap, disposable, probably made in a sweatshop fast fashion, which is the stuff we trying to avoid here on this channel because on this channel we’re not into destroying the planet or human rights abuses. If you think the people who are making this stuff are being paid fairly for their time, then you are kidding yourself. Anyway, I also think that this top is something that we can very easily make for ourselves. So, let’s begin! The fabric that I’m using for this project is a thrifted, pink, ribbed, knit fabric. It stretches in this direction only and I’ve got a little over one yard – so that’s about 1 meter of this stuff which will be more than enough for the length of top that I want to make. I also needed elastic, about half an inch wide. And I also made sure that the elastic was even stretchier than the fabric. Most clothing elastics are, just make sure your elastic isn’t weirdly stiff. So first up, I planned out the pieces that I wanted to cut out from the fabric. I’m going to need one long rectangle of fabric for the torso and two smaller rectangles for the sleeves. First off, I’m going to get the measurement for this side, the width of the torso piece. To estimate the width of fabric that I’d need, I actually wrapped the fabric around my body like this with the stretch going in this direction I put my finger on the spot where the fabric meets up and then I laid the fabric flat along a ruler and I got 29 inches. I’m going to add one more inch to give it half an inch seam allowance on both ends because I’ll be sewing it into a tube later on. So it ended up that the width of this torso rectangle was 30 inches. My bust measurement, which is the widest part of my torso, is about 36 inches. But because my fabric stretches quite a bit, I can just use 30 inches of this fabric and it’ll stretch fine around my bust. So compared to my bust measurement, 36, I reduced the width about 20 percent So that should give you a ballpark idea of how different your bust measurement should be from the actual width of the torso rectangle. However, because different fabrics will differ in stretchiness, it’s a good idea to estimate the width you’ll need by wrapping it around your body, like I did before. Now the length – Now the length – this is determined by how long you want the top to be. I wanted my top to be 8 inches long plus half an inch to account for the lettuce hems on both ends. So, I wrote down eight and a half inches here. So these are the final dimensions for my torso rectangle piece. For the two sleeves, the method is very similar. The top of the sleeves will sit around my bicep, so that’s where I measured around. Again, to account for the stretch, I used some of the fabric to estimate a good width. So, my actual arm measurement using a tape measure is 11 inches, but after factoring in the stretch of my fabric in my estimation, I’m going to make the rectangle 10 inches in width making sure to add in a 1 inch seam allowance first. The length of my rectangle is, again, however long I want my sleeves to be. I wanted my sleeves to be a short four and a half inches long So I made the length in my rectangle five inches, adding half an inch to account for the lettuce hems. If you wanted longer sleeves, however, all you really need to do is to make this into a longer rectangle. You can also taper the rectangle a little bit like this for tighter sleeves on your forearms, but I wanted short sleeves for my top, so the arm pieces I need to cut out will be 10 inches by 5 inches. So, I then cut out all three of these rectangles from my fabric, and here’s all three pieces! Now we’re going to make a lettuce hem, which is the technical name for that ruffly looking hem on these tops and we’re going to be making that hem only on the long edges of all three of the rectangles of fabric. So we’re going to use the same method for all three rectangles. This is what we’re gonna be aiming for, to get this nice ruffly effect. There’s two methods to create a lettuce hem: The first is the serger (A.K.A overlocker) method and the second method, which I’ll show you in a minute, is how to do it on a sewing machine if you don’t have a serger. I prefer the serger method because it’s faster, but it’s certainly not the only way to do it. Okay, so I’m going to change my serger settings first to a rolled hem setting: 1. Make sure you’re only using three threads, not four, and now you only have the right needle threaded, not the left. 2. All the threads that I’m using are polyester. 3. I had to play around with the tensions but I ended up having my lower looper set to slightly above four, the upper looper set on four, and the right needle also on four. Your machine might differ – check your own manual and play around with it until it works. 4. I set my differential feed all the way up to two. 5. My stitch length to two and a half. 6. My overedge cutting foot to just above four. 7. And finally, I removed the stitch finger from inside the machine, which is basically the most important part of this whole process because it’ll give you a much more narrow hem. Okay, now I’m going to test this out on a piece of fabric that isn’t one of my three rectangle pieces that I just cut out before. However, the test square is cut out from the same piece of fabric so that I can ensure that the settings are correct. Importantly, what you want to test here is you want to test how much you need to pull the fabric with your hands in order to get the ruffle that you want. You can see on this side [left] that it’s less ruffly, even though I was using the same settings all the way through because I wasn’t stretching the fabric as much when I was feeding it through the machine. Then here [right], I started pulling on it more and creating more tension and it became like this, which is what I want. So now my serger settings are correct, I know how much to pull on the fabric while feeding it through the serger, let’s get going! Note here that I’m trying to maintain the same amount of stretch on the fabric as I’m feeding it through the machine, So that just involves me pulling the fabric back towards me slightly, not strong enough to actually pull it in my direction, just strong enough so that there’s some small resistance and tension created in the fabric as the machine pulls it through. Okay, if you are scared of sergers or you don’t have one, the second method of making a lettuce hem is by using a sewing machine. I’m going to use this standard zig-zag stitch. I’m also going to set the stitch width to quite wide, I’m setting it to four, (it can go up to five), and the stitch length to its shortest setting, so reducing the length as short as it can go. First, I’m going to fold the raw edge that I want to hem up about 1/4 of an inch on the wrong side of the fabric and I’m going to iron it into place, giving me this. Then I’m going to place it underneath a standard sewing machine foot. You might need to do a bit of adjusting here, but the middle of the sewing machine foot should be right on the folded edge of the fabric. Basically, you want the right side of the zigzag to just fall off the edge of the material. And then, as I sewed with this exact stitch, I pulled the material gently from both the back and the front. This creates that lettuce hem effect. And then, if you want to, you can also use a small sharp pair of scissors to cut this little extra bit of fabric off on the wrong side of the hem. Ok, back to the project – So I have ruffled all the long edges of all three rectangle pieces. So now it’s time to add some elastic to them to make the top fit. So again, this is going to be the same method for all three pieces. I’m going to attach a strip of elastic to the top of each rectangle about half an inch down from the top lettuce hem. You can, if you want, also add elastic around the bottom edge as well. Totally depends on how you want the top to fit, the style you’re going for. This is a totally personal preference. For me, I’m just going to add elastic around the top edge only. To measure the amount of elastic needed, I’m going to wrap the elastic around my body in the places where it’s eventually going to sit once I’ve constructed the top. So, the top of the main piece will be sitting just above my bust. I made sure that the elastic was snug, but not too tight or uncomfortable, and then I added half an inch to the elastic, and then cut it to this length. If you’re adding a piece of elastic around the bottom edge, wrap it around the place where you want your top to end. For the arm elastic, it was the same deal. I wrapped it around the top of my arm, added half an inch, and then cut two pieces of elastic at this length. The pieces of elastic ended up being a bit shorter than the length of the fabric pieces. This was pretty much expected because the elastic I’m using is even stretchier than the fabric. So remember, this is the same method for all three rectangle pieces. I laid the piece of fabric wrong side up and then I put the elastic on top, positioning it about half an inch down from that top ruffly edge of the fabric. I clipped the fabric and elastic together at one end and then brought it over to my sewing machine. So when I’m sewing it on, I’m going to stretch the elastic gently while trying not to stretch the fabric underneath, so that the two pieces will end up stretched the same length. Now, if you wanted to, or you are not as confident sewing stretchy fabrics, you can pin the elastic on all the way along the edge of the fabric. But personally, I live on the wild side and I find it easier if I just guide it as I sew. I’m using a zig-zag stitch to sew the elastic on and I’m using the same color thread as the fabric so that the thread won’t be visible from the front. I’m also using a walking foot attachment. This isn’t strictly necessary, I just find it easier to use one whenever I’m dealing with stretchy fabrics like this because it just feeds everything through really evenly. So I’m taking my time here and readjusting every couple of inches along just trying to keep the elastic the same distance from the edge of the fabric at all times and also keeping the needle going down through the center of the elastic as well. Again, I recommend testing this out on a bit of test fabric first with a little bit of test elastic to get the hang of it because it can be a little bit tricky. So after I had attached all the elastic that I wanted to attach, it’s time to turn this rectangle into a tube. Again, it’ll be the same method for all three pieces. With this piece facing right sides up, I folded it in half like this so the elastic is on the outside and the two short edges of the rectangle are meeting up. Then, I clipped it all in place and next, I’m going to sew a narrow, long zigzag down this edge with half an inch seam allowance, and I’m going to do this to all three pieces. Now you could technically probably even use a straight stitch down these edges, as long as there’s no stretch in this direction of your fabric. But I’m using a zigzag because stretch fabric scares me a bit and I’m not taking any chances. So, doing this will turn the rectangles into tubes. So with that done, all three of the tubes look like this. Next I pressed the seams open. Then I did a short wide zig-zag stitch over the elastic piece, which will just stop it from popping up and irritating my skin. Then I cut the seams down to about half their width, which will take a lot of bulk out of the seam. Next I turned each tube piece right sides out, and guess what? We’re nearly done! All that’s left is to sew these little arms to the tube top that we’ve just made. So I grabbed one of the arm pieces and with the side seams matched up, pin them together, right sides together at the side seams of both pieces. I repeated this for the other arm. This side of the main tube top piece doesn’t have a side seam, but when it’s laid flat like this, this fold should be directly opposite to the side seam. So, I matched up the side seam of the arm piece with this fold, and I pinned it in place. Then I’m simply going to sew both the arms to the top using a straight stitch from the very top edge down just about one inch. I went back and forth a couple of times over this seam to reinforce it because I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t accidentally rip off the arms when I moved around wearing this top. There we go. Nice and strong! So that’s the top finished! Okay, time for the reveal. How does it compare to those other tops? How did I go? All right, so, I think that turned out pretty well! [To Ella] Oh, bye! So even if my dog apparently doesn’t like it, I think that this is a… [scissors snipping] make! Definitely. This was pretty easy to make for myself. I think it only took… It only took me about an hour and a half or so to make. Really easy to whip up. I’m going to do some in some more colours, because I have some more cute knit fabric and I want to make a couple that are just maybe a bit longer in length. Like, I like the crop top version But I also want a couple that can be worn when I don’t want my whole belly to be hanging out on slightly colder days. Like today, that’s why I’m not wearing it right now. So today’s video is sponsored by… (Teleported Luci): Squarespace! Bing! Here I am! Annika: Editing tricks! Luci: Editing tricks! No, it’s not an editing trick. I can teleport so… Annika: We all knew it. Luci: There’s been no behind the scenes camera trickery. Don’t worry about that! Luci: Today you get two spoonfuls of sugar to help the ad go down. Me and Ella say hello. Luci: “Hello!” Annika: She’s like “What is going on?”
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Annika: And we will, well, I will see you all- Luci: Oh, I thought we were about to record my show. Luci: I thought we were just doing this ad at the beginning and now we’re recording my… my show, the dog talk show. Annika: **Slow Gasp** Annika: Comment if you want the dog talk show! Oh my gosh! Luci: Where I interview dogs – Luci: I was gonna interview Ella first, you know kind of a friends and family, like I don’t know any famous dogs. Annika: We need to do this! Annika: Scrapping my whole business, we’re now making the interview talk show with dogs with Luci and dogs. Oh my gosh.
Luci: Ella’s not a good first, let’s be honest. Luci: She’s so bored. Annika: Thank you everyone for watching! Give this a thumbs up if you liked this, and I’ll see you all in my next video! Luci: Byeeeeeeee.
Annika: Bye! Thank you to all of my patrons who make my videos possible. If my work has helped you learn how to sew or even just taught you something new, become a patreon or leave a one-off donation on Ko-fi. Luci: So Ella, you’re here promoting your new movie? Luci: I think we’ve got a clip. Why don’t you set this up for us? Ella: I don’t speak English Ella: why am i here? Ella: i have to pee Annika: Um, no comment. Luci: No comment? Hang on, what… Annika: No comment.
Luci: Who are you in relation to her? Annika: I’m her lawyer. Luci: Wow, you big celebrity coming on with your lawyer. Annika: Please do not touch the client, please do not touch the client

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