Make the Cape: Drafting a Peter Pan Collar for Your Cape // Sewing the Collar

Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.comMaking the cape? Pattern assembled and cut out? Then it’s time to draft the Peter Pan Collar!

Drafting a Peter Pan Collar for Your Cape

In order to do this, we will need to make some adjustments to the cape pattern piece. Best, you cut out your cape fabric before you draft the collar. If you want to cut out the fabric later, you will need to put the pattern piece back together after drafting your collar.

1. Take your cape pattern piece and lengthen the shoulder seamline by drawing a straight line down to the hem like so:Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by

2. Cut the pattern apart along this line.Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by

Now it’s much easier to join the shoulder seams, which we will do in this next step:
Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.comTo make explaining this step easier, I have marked two points, A and B. A is where the shoulder seamline meets the neckline. B is where the small circle is marked.

3. Fold away the seam allowance like so:Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.com4. Now join the two pattern pieces, so the As match up and the Bs overlap by approx. 1cm. Tape together (don’t glue, you will want to be able to separate the pieces again and tape them back together in order to cut out your cape if you haven’t done so yet).

The point of overlapping the two pieces is to help the collar lie very flat against your cape.Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.comYour pattern will now look like this:Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.comNow that we have a continuous neckline, we can start drafting the collar.

5. Place your pattern piece on a piece of paper (I glued together two A4 pages).Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.com6. Copy the shape of the neckline, also marking the position of center front & back and the shoulder seamline.Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.comIt should look like this:Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.com7. Now add 1.5cm (5/8”) seam allowance. (The seam allowance is already included in the cape pattern, which is why we need to mark it on the collar piece. You don’t want your collar end up too narrow).
Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.com8. Draw the center front line (parallel to the front edge).Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.com9. For this step I used a lid, but you can also do this free hand. Starting at the center front line draw a curved line. Here it’s completely up to you how you want the shape of your collar to look. When you’re satisfied with the shape, measure the width.

As you can see in the picture below, my collar is 7.5cm wide (including seam allowance at the neckline).Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.com10. Mark the width measurement on the center back seam. Depending on the fabric you use the collar will be either cut on fold or in two pieces. If you are using fabric in a plain colour, you can simply cut the collar on fold (make a note next to the center back line). If you’re using patterned fabric which needs to be neatly lined up in the front, you will have to cut the collar in two pieces. In this case you will have to add 1.5cm of seam allowance to the center back edge.Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.com11. Mark the measured width all the way around the neckline.
Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.com12. Draw a smooth line through all of the marks.Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.com13. Now you’re almost done! Just add some seam allowance to the bottom edge of your collar.Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.com14. Mark the shoulder seam placement and center front with notches. Now grab a coffee and admire your newly drafted Peter Pan collar!Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by

Sewing the Collar

Next to your pattern and fabric you will need:
♥ matching thread ♥ fusible interfacing ♥ scissors ♥ iron ♥ sewing machine ♥ pins ♥

Now it’s time to cut out and sew this beautiful specimen of a collar! Before you head off and cut into your lovely fabric, here a quick hint for those of you using plaid/striped fabric.

First of all, matching the pattern perfectly is easier when you only cut out one piece at a time (so no folding or layering of fabric). But that’s completely up to you.

The easiest way to make sure the pattern matches up nicely in the front is to use the center front mark on your pattern piece as a guide. As you can see in the picture below, I lined up the center front with the darker, vertically running line. Using my fabric as example, you could then mark the position of the lighter, horizontally running line on your pattern piece to make sure that the next piece is cut out in exactly the same way.Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by

1. Cut out 4x collar (or 2x if cut on fold), 2x fusible interfacing (or 1x if cut on fold). Cut out the fusible interfacing without the seam allowance (we don’t need extra bulk).

Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by

2. Using your iron, fuse the interfacing to the left side of your collar pieces. Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.com3. If not cut on fold, sew your collar pieces together at the center back. Press seam open.Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.com4. Pin or baste collar pieces together (right sides together) starting at the seam allowance mark at the front corner, all the way along the bottom edge. Leave the top edge as it is. Don’t sew it closed!

With this step I always prefer basting instead of pinning, but that’s just my personal preference. When basting, the fabric layers are less likely to shift, which is important when you are trying to match patterns.Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.com5. Sew along the pinned/basted edge using 1.5 cm of seam allowance. Before you turn the collar inside out, clip the rounded edges to remove bulk like so:Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.comYou can trim one seam allowance shorter than the other. this also helps to remove bulk.Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by thisblogisnotforyou.com6. Turn inside out and give it a good press.

After sewing together the cape, the collar will be attached to the cape’s neckline, matched up at the center front. If you’re sewing a lined cape, you can simply sew the collar to the cape left on right (see picture below).

I will explain how to add a lining in my next sewalong post.

If you are not lining your cape, you could sew the collar onto the cape left on right, finish the raw edges, press them in and stitch them onto the cape (without catching the collar!). The stitching will be hidden under the collar.

Peter Pan Collar Tutorial by

The next part of the sewalong will be coming this week next week and covers:

Cutting Out and Sewing the Lining

Happy sewing!

Stay in touch!

Adding Piping to Pockets and Waistband

Hello, hello! I actually wanted to write this blogpost yesterday, but I HAD TO WATCH THE SEWING BEE! Seriously, how can one not love this show?

Kelly Skirt by

Anyhow, I thought I might share how I made and added some piping to the Kelly Skirt. This tutorial is a very basic one, so if you already know everything about piping you can read this, this or this instead.

Adding piping to seams is a very easy but effective way of adding some trim to a garment. Piping can be flat or corded. For my Kelly Skirt, I used twine and contrasting bias binding to make my own piping.
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When you make the piping yourself, you don’t want to spend too much time making too much piping, so measure the length of the seams carefully before you start to determine how much piping you will need for your garment.

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Cut out strips of contrasting fabric (cut on the bias, i.e. at a 45 degree angle) with the desired length. You can add up the lengths of all measured seams (plus a few extra inches) and cut out one continuous strip. The width of the bias strip should be approx. 4cm/1.5” depending on the width of your cording and the desired seam allowance.

Place the cord/twine in the middle of the bias strip (wrong side up) and wrap it around the cord like so:Adding Piping by

Use pins to secure the cord to make sure it doesn’t shift out of place.Adding Piping by

Using a zipper presser foot, stitch very close to the cording. Now trim the piping so that you end up with a nice even 1.5cm or 5/8” seam allowance.
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As the seams of the pockets are curved, you will have to clip the seam allowance of the piping before attaching it to the pocket seams. This way you will get a nicely shaped curved edge. Make sure to clip in regular intervals and don’t accidentally clip into the stitched seam.Adding Piping by

Place the piping on the right side of your fabric, aligning the edges of the seam allowances (provided both are the same width. If not align stitched line on the piping with the seamline of the garment piece). When adding piping to pockets, place the piping on your front skirt/trouser panel. Adding Piping by

Using the zipper foot, stitch on top of the line you just stitched on the piping. I chose to trim away half of the seam allowance of the piping to remove bulk.Adding Piping by

Now sew the actual seam, placing the pocket lining on top with right sides together, again stitching on the same line. If you sew the two pieces together so that the skirt panel is on top, you can see the stitched line better and it is easier to stitch on top of it.Adding Piping by

Turn the pieces and give it a good press.
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To make sure the lining stays in place, you can either understitch or edgestitch. When understitching, you are stitching the pocket lining to the seam allowances, stitching very close to the seam.

I chose to edgestitch/topstitch so that the stitched line is visible on both the top panel and the lining. You can either use your zipper foot or an edgestitch foot to do this.

A stitch length of 2mm is recommended when you topstitch. Also, make sure there is enough thread left on your bobbin/spool. Adding Piping by

Adding Piping by thisblogisnotforyou.comAdding Piping by

Now place your actual pocket piece on the pocket lining, right sides together. Sew them together. Now you can sew the side seams of your garment and add a waistband.

I used the same steps for adding piping to the waistband. After stitching the skirt to the waistband, I pressed the seam allowances up (into the waistband) and topstitched close to the piping, fixing the seam allowance in place at the same time.

Hint: If your piping is too bulky to be folded over, as you will have to when sewing the waistband (see the small corner under the buttons in the front?), gently pull some of the bias strip back, trimming away the length of the seam allowance from the cord. Now the piece of the binding without the cord can be easily folded over and you will get a sharp corner.Kelly Skirt by

Happy sewing!

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Anthro-inspired Apron: Making-of/Tutorial

tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by thisblogisnotforyou.comHeeeeeeeeeeello!

After being a bit ill (and lethargic, blogging-wise) I finally managed to write up the ‘tutorial’ for my Anthro-inspired apron. I use quotation marks because I realised that I actually didn’t take quite as many pictures of the process as my busy brain had imagined. Oooppsi.

Well, think of it as an entertaining collection of commented making-of pictures. You will surely unterstand the process, since it’s really not that complicated. Think as if you had to sew with Burdastyle pattern instructions – at least I have pictures 🙂
tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by

First of all, I chose suitable fabric. (Obviously.)
It wasn’t quite as easy as it sounds, since I have many leftover fabric pieces in different sizes, colours, styles. When using fabric scraps you should map out what goes where before you start cutting to make sure you have enough fabric. (Ask me how I know this!)

I pinned different fabric combinations on my dressform, which helped a lot with figuring out the ‘design’. (And no, I didn’t like the neon-cupcake version.)

Anthropologie apron

tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by thisblogisnotforyou.comAfter choosing my fabrics, I used some black tape (you can also use ribbon and pin it) to mark the lines of the apron on my dressform. Alternatively, if you do not have a dressform, just draw it on paper and use it as a pattern piece. (It’s a kitchen apron, so don’t worry about the perfect fit too much.) I tried to make it very similar to the Anthro-version, as I really loved the shape of the neckline.tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by thisblogisnotforyou.comPinning my fabric (wrong side up) on my dressform, I traced the marked neckline with tailor’s chalk.tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by

I cut out two pieces, one for lining the bodice (yes, even a kitchen apron appreciates lining). FYI, the side seams of my bodice meet the waistband about 1inch/2.5cm behind where your side seams normally would be (hope that makes sense). So the bodice part of the apron hugs the body and fits more snugly.

Before sewing together the two bodice pieces, all embellishments need to be applied first to get a neat finish.

tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by thisblogisnotforyou.comI cut out a bib (don’t forget the seam allowance!).tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by thisblogisnotforyou.comI marked the center on the bib (and also on my bodice piece) with a small notch.tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by

I stitched around the bib and clipped the seam allowance. This step helps you to keep the exact shape of the bib when pressing and topstitching.

Still with me?

Grab a cup of coffee before we go on – now comes the exciting part. Topstitching (YAY!).
tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by


Yeahh, I sort of got so excited about the whole topstitching part that I forgot to take pictures of the steps in between.

Just a few tips:
Fold and press the seam allowance of the appliqués first. Align them with the center (important!) and pin/baste them in place. I would recommend handbasting in place, especially when sewing the bib onto the bodice. Round shapes are tricky enough to topstitch. Pins can cause the fabric to be a bit uneven or stretch out of shape. When you baste, the fabric lies completely flat.

I stitched the faux placket onto the bib first, then topstitched the bib onto the bodice. In a separate step I added some lace trim, stitching very close to my topstitching (I actually used contrasting thread for that).

Now it’s time to sew the bodice parts together, stitching around the side seams and neckline.

tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by thisblogisnotforyou.comUsing the same marking and tracing technique on my dressform, I cut out the straps. I stitched around the edges like so:
tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by

I left the bottom part (where the straps are attached to the bodice) open. This way you can easily turn the tube inside out and you can use the opening to slip in the top edge of the bodice, then topstitch around the neckline and all the raw edges are neatly hidden.

tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by

I messed up my topstitching here (probably too much coffee?) and had to unpick twice. In the end that wasn’t even necessary. After adding the trim to the neckline, the topstitching was hidden anyway. Sewing is about the things you don’t see, I know.tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by

Fold and press the seam allowance of the bottom edge of the bodice. Pin both bodice pieces together (left sides facing) and stitch together close to the edge.
tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by
I then attached the waistband to the bodice. When cutting out the strap/straps for the waistband, make sure it’s long enough to tie it in the front.

I basically cut out two waistbands, topstitched together, enclosing the bodice and skirt. This way the apron also looks nicely finished on the wrong side.tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by thisblogisnotforyou.comBefore gathering and attaching the skirt panel, I hemmed it and added trim. It’s easier to do that when the fabric lies flat. tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by

I gathered the skirt panel and sewed it onto the waistband.tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by thisblogisnotforyou.comAfter the apron was finished, I decided to add a ‘second hem’ (is there a name for that?) in a contrasting colour/the same fabric I used for the bodice. I simply cut out a strip twice as wide as I wanted the hem to be, folded it over in the middle and stitched it onto the skirt, both hems overlapping.tutorial: anthro-inspired kitchen apron by

And that’s it. I hope my instructions made sense  – sorry for the lack of pictures.anthro-inspired kitchen apron by thisblogisnotforyou.comanthro-inspired kitchen apron by

Happy Sewing!

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Refashion It! The Jersey Blazer (no sewing machine needed!)

blazer refashion before and after by thisblogisnotforyou.comI love blazers. I love red. Bright red blazers can look really cool, but this one was a weird mixture of too bold and too boring.

I love that it’s a jersey blazer, which kind of makes it more casual (since I don’t go to fancy events too often). But I thought that some contrasting colour was missing. It was just too red.

blazer refashion by

Look at all the red. RED.

I love to combine red and black and found that beautiful black lace in my fabric stash that has been waiting its turn for quite some time.

I also love to embroider fabrics with beads and sequins, I have no idea why. It takes so much time and hurts your eyes, but I guess the process is just really relaxing and meditative, like knitting for example.

After a huge amount of coffee, Star Wars Episodes IV & V and some Game of Thrones in between, I finally finished the blazer today. I only used simple handsewing techniques. (Even for the bias binding I used backstitching. The jersey fabric would’ve been too heavy for the machine and the jersey bias binding too stretchy.)

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.comblazer refashion by

So if you don’t have access to a sewing machine, this could be a perfect project for you. You don’t need too many materials, no complicated sewing techniques, just a handful of beads, a few strips of lace and bias binding and A LOT of time and patience.

Instructions for making your own embellished blazer

If you do not have so much time, omit the beads and use some lace trim instead for the collar.

blazer refashion by

First of all, I took out these two bad guys (by opening the lining at the hem).

blazer refashion by

What you’ll need:

  • black thread
  • beads (different sizes and colours)
  • black sequins
  • black bias binding
  • lace
  • scissors, sewing needle

I made the bias binding from a black jersey (I guess there’s some Lycra in it, too).

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Cut out some strips of fabric (approx. 4cm wide) on the bias, enough to cover the edges of collar and pockets.

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Cut out the lace, a little larger than the pocket. Pin it.

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… then pin up the piping (if there’s some), so you can easily hide the lace under it.

blazer refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.comblazer refashion by

After sewing the lace on with a basting stitch all the way around (approx. 0.5-1cm from the edge), start attaching the bias binding:

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Start with the side facing up. Place the bias binding on the lace, right sides together. Handstitch approx. 1cm from the edge.

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Tightly pull the binding over the edge. blazer refashion by

Pin the raw edge under and stitch (I used a backstitch).

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To hide the raw edge of the lace, I sewed the piping onto the flap using a slipstitch.

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Now it’s time to add some sparkle!

I used the same technique for the collar.

I embroidered the flap with black beads, silver-blue rocailles and black sequins.

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I embroidered the collar sewing on black beads in two different sizes, starting at the bottom. Half-way up the collar I added silver-blue rocailles.

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Since the collar did not have piping where I could hide the raw edge of the lace, I used a satin stitch all the way along the lower edge where I couldn’t add bias binding. This took almost as long as watching the whole Episode IV. So may the force be with you!

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But it was totally worth it!

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Here’s a close-up of the embroidered collar. I placed black sequins under the silver-blue rocailles. The beading also keeps the lace nicely in place.

blazer refashion by

blazer refashion by

I love my old new blazer (thanks mum for clearing out your wardrobe 🙂 ). I don’t like so much that the blazer lost a bit of its casualness. It looks really good with jeans and t-shirt, but I still feel a bit overdressed wearing it at work or when having coffee with a friend.

What do you think? How would you style it? Do you also enjoy time-consuming sewing-techniques (haha)?

Happy Sewing!

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Refashion It! Sweater Dress to Cowl Neck


sweater dress refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.comI used the last days of my Christmas break for some quick refashion projects. I have a huge pile of old or thrifted clothes I keep for refashion projects and recently, a friend gave me a bunch of cute dresses and sweaters that doesn’t fit her anymore.

One of these was this cute grey sweater dress which was not very flattering and a bit too short for my liking. I decided to make it into a sweater and use the excess fabric for a cosy cowl neck.

sweater dress refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.comsweater dress refashion by

This was my first time sewing with knits – not as bad as I had imagined. I had some troubles with the hem of the sweater as is kept curling up, but I’m thinking about using some leftover black jersey to combine with the sweater and make a more flattering sweater dress in the future. As soon as I get my overlocker, these problems will be over, hopefully. For the time being I’ll just hide away the hem 🙂

sweater dress refashion by

I tried the dress on and marked the new hemline with a safety pin. Using tailor’s chalk I marked the line for cutting the fabric (left side of fabric).sweater dress refashion by

With my overlocker foot I carefully sewed two seams on either side of the marked line using a stretch stitch setting for finishing raw edges.

For sewing knitted fabrics, I recommend using ballpoint needles. They’re not too expensive (these were  3 pounds) and they have teeny tiny balls at the tip of the needle which prevent the yarn from breaking when sewing over it.sweater dress refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.comsweater dress refashion by

sweater dress refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.comAfter sewing two rows on each side of the marked line, use your fabric scissors and carefully cut the two pieces apart. The seams will prevent the knitted fabric from fraying. Be careful not to pull the seams as this will stretch the fabric and it will start to fray.sweater dress refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.comFinish the hem of the sweater. Then sew the cut-off part onto the neckline (left side up, so the right side is showing when turning the cowl neck inside out).
sweater dress refashion by thisblogisnotforyou.comI’m quite happy with how it turned out, although I this this technique probably would work even better with a sweater that has a slightly higher neckline (for a more snug fit).

The skirt was a refashion project from last year.sweater dress refashion by

This little refashion can be done in less than an hour and is a perfect project for starting to sew with knits.

You could also use two sweaters in different colours to make a colour-blocked cowl neck sweater.

Please note: You might not want to use an ancient sweater that has been in the laundry every week since you bought it – the knitted fabric might be strained and tear easily when sewing over it.


Happy Sewing!

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