Upon a few requests over at Threadbanger, I've decided to put together a quick tutorial for the spats I made to match my she-tails:
Apologies that I don't have pictures of the first couple of steps - I began making this pair before I decided to make a tutorial! :)
Materials and tools
- Main fabric - at least 1x0.5m
- Lining fabric - at least 1x0.5m
- Matching cotton thread
- Iron-on interfacing
- Elastic - 2x 10-12cm lengths; use thin elastic, like 5-10mm width
1. Download Thank you for not being perky's spats pattern by clicking the image below:
2. Print the pattern and cut it out. Place the pattern pieces on the interfacing with the printed side up and cut two of each pattern piece. Then place your pattern pieces on the interfacing printed side down and cut two more of each piece. This way you will have one spat for each foot. You know what I mean! It's easier to visualise than to explain.
3. Separate your interfacing pieces in two identical piles (each containing 1 A and 1 mirrored-A, 1 B and 1 mirrored-B, 1 C and 1 mirrored C) and iron one pile to your main fabric, one pile to your lining fabric. Make sure you leave enough space around them so that when you cut them out you can add 1cm seam allowance. Also make try to ensure you put your fabric's max stretch going across the pattern pieces. Cut them all out with 1cm seam allowance.
4. For both the two mains and the two linings, sew the seams as indicated by the notches in Thank you for not being perky's pattern, i.e. piece B on the left side of piece A, C on the right side of A. You can see one main and one lining complete below.
5. Now snip little triangles out of the seam allowance and iron it open. Doing this will prevent puckering in the curved seams. Run a topstitch down both sides of the seam, securing the seam allowances as shown below.
6. You will now be able to see the general form the spats will take. Fold over the front of one of the mains (i.e. fold piece C over onto piece A) so that the two peaks at the bottom of the front match, as you can see in the top part of the image below. You can see the position where the elastic should be attached. Mark this position on both your mains.
Baste your elastic in place on the main fabric. Make sure you sew it on the right side of your main, right near the edge of the fabric so that it will be hidden in your seam allowance in the finished product. (See the bottom part of the image above.)
7. Now it's time to sew the first part of the perimeter. Place main and lining right sides together, then pin along the edge as indicated in the image below. It's important to do the perimeter seam in two parts, because the elastic pulls too much to get a neat seam otherwise. Make sure the elastic is hidden inside, between the main and lining.
8. Now pin and sew the other part of the perimeter seam, leaving a gap for turning on the straight edge as indicated below. Oh yes, because of the curved seam, that little bit in the middle at the top of the work in my photo is just folded over. The seam really is continuous, since you will join the second part of the perimeter seam at the corner where the first seam ended. Once again, easier to do than to explain. :)
9. Trim the corners and then turn your spats right side out through the hole you left in the last step. Use something skinny to push the corners out so they're nice and sharp and heat up your iron.
10. Iron it flat, tuck in the raw edges around the turning hole and pin it shut.
11. Run a topstitch around the perimeter of your spats to give them a polisehed look and to close up the turning hole.
12. Add buttons and button holes and you're done! Note - if you suffer from the dreaded cankle like I do, you will want to position the buttons quite close to the edge of the spats so as to give you as much wriggle room as possible. Those with slender ankles, I envy you.
Alright. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you will make yourself many and varied spats, because it's time they came back.
As a side note, I decided I will give this tutorial's pair away to the first person who leaves a comment saying they're interested and with a way for me to contact them. I don't want to call it a competition, because I disappointed myself by doing one very messy button hole and accidentally snipping a tiny hole (like 4mm) in the middle of the lining of one of the spats. As much as it pains me to be honest about these stuff-ups, I'd feel worse to send these away to someone without warning them about what to expect. Nonetheless, they're still pretty darn kewl, and no-one will see the lining hole when you're wearing them, and the button hole should be mainly covered by the, y'know, button. :)
[EDIT] Congrats Allegra, you will be seeing some spats in the mail shortly.