30 Minutes Elastic Waist Shorts

I know, I know it’s still dress week but I was very much inspired by this elastic waist skirt which I saw over the weekend on Tasia’s blog. The skirts are so sweet but as I do not wear skirts, I thought the idea behind it could also work for a pair of shorts, like the one I saw on modcloth. I used a 3″ wide black elastic and less than a yard of black floral print fabric to create this pair of shorts which is think is perfect for summer! The light weight cotton (light but not at all sheer) makes the garment so comfortable and cool.

What I like most about this is the almost instant gratification you can get from cutting, sewing and completing it in half an hour! The Bella and Ruby shorts took me an average of two days to complete so this is a Polaroid equivalent in comparison! It takes me longer to type this blog LOL!

What I used:

-Less than a yard of cotton fabric

-Less than a yard of 3″ wide elastic

-Thread

What I did:

1) Take a pair of comfy shorts made of woven fabric and fold into half. Place the centre of the shorts on the centre fold of the fabric. Using a white fabric chalk and measuring tape, I marked the fabric 5cm from the shorts (My seam allowance was 1cm) as shown. Cut two pieces. If you want them longer simply extend the hemline.

2) For each piece, fold the bottom leg together, right side facing and stitch.

3) Turn one of the pieces inside out and insert the other piece into it. With right side facing, stitch the front and back seams. Try it on and see if you are comfortable with the bottom fit.

4) Place the elastic on your waist and determine how much you will need. Do not stretch it. With right side facing, stitch the ends of the elastic together. Fold the ends down and stitch to the elastic.

5) Pin two pairs of pleats in the front and two pairs behind the pair of shorts, baste them. I measured equidistant from the front and back seams to determine the placement of the pleats.

6)Match the back seams of the elastic and shorts and pin the right side of the elastic to the right side of the shorts. Ensure they fit perfectly. Stitch.

6) Finish the hems and the shorts are done!

Just two things to be careful if you are making one.

1) Do not use white elastic or the garment won’t look finished and avoid prints that reminds you of a pair of boxer shorts or it will look like one.

2) Try out the waist elastic and ensure it can loop over your hip area, otherwise you won’t be able to wear it.

I’ll be making another pair out of this greenish floral fabric and wide silver elastic at the end of my dress week (if I can wait!).

Now, back to ironing, pinning and cutting these washed fabric for the macaron dresses!

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Ai Drawstring Bag with Tutorial

Ai means love in Chinese and this is the Ai Drawstring Bag which I have made as a mothers’ day present. Ai also happened to be my mum’s name so I really couldn’t find a more appropriate name than that. This isn’t exactly a surprise gift as I wanted to ensure it’s something she find useful. My mum does not like bags without a proper closure and requested for a long strap so she can carry it over her shoulder. She already has many formal bags so it has to be something she will use on any normal day. Her main activities outside the home includes visiting the market or supermarket, going for a facial, visiting the doctor and going for a game of mahjong. So, after some thought, I decided to make her this drawstring bag with pear prints and sweet polka dots.

The bag is pretty easy to make. I finished mine in slightly more than an hour. Love is meant to be shared so I have come up with a step by step tutorial here for the Ai drawstring bag. Hope someone else finds it useful too:)

If you intend to wash the bag from time to time, please prewash the fabric. Otherwise, it is likely that it will shrink to a baby size version.

Materials required:
Main fabric (Pear fabric on mine)- cut 2 pieces of 35cm X 32cm medium weight fabric
Top fabric (Polka dots on mine)- cut 2 pieces of 35cm X 45cm

(If you wish to line your bag, you need two sets of the above)
Shoulder strap- cut 2 pieces 100cm X 5cm
Two 35cm cords
Matching thread
* If your fabric is not medium weight, please add interfacing to the main fabric. Iron the interface onto the wrong side of the main fabric.

Step 1:
Cut fabric as required

Step 2:
Main fabric right side facing, stitch the side and bottom of the fabric using a 1cm seam allowance.

Step 3:
Using a fabric marker or chalk, measure 7cm from top of the Top fabric and mark. Stitch the side and bottom of the fabric using a 1cm seam allowance but do not sew above the 7cm line.

Step 4:
Fold the bottom corner of the main fabric. Measure and ensure that it is 5cm from each side to the middle of the fabric. Stitch across. This will create the base of the bag. Repeat the same steps for the other bottom corner and for both bottom corners of the Top fabric.

Turn main fabric right side out and it should look like this.

Step 5:
Fold and iron the remaining seams of the Top fabric twice towards the wrong side of the fabric. Stitch in place. Repeat for the other side.

Step 6:
Fold the top of the Top fabric twice and iron. Stitch in place. Repeat for the other side.

Step 7:
Strap fabric right side facing, stitch with 0.5cm seam allowance, leaving a gap for turning out the fabric. Remember to reinforce the stitches. Turn out the fabric and iron the strap. Stitch the opening.

Step 8:
Attach the strap right side to the right side of the Main fabric. Turn the main fabric to the wrong side, fold 1cm and iron.

Turn the main fabric right side out. The bag should now look like this. Do not stitch at this point.

Step 9:

Insert the right side of the top fabric into the wrong side of the main fabric. Ensure the base of both fabric match.

Now match the sides and pin the two fabric together. Stitch together with a 1cm seam allowance.

Step 10:
Using a safety pin, loop the cord into the openings of the Top fabric. Tie a knot at the end. At the other end. Insert the second cord and tie a knot at the opposite end. They should look like this.
We are done! Enjoy your Ai Drawstring Bag!