Thursday, 17 April 2014

Braiding tutorial

So today should be the next part of my sew along unfortunately I've had a week from hell and not been able to do it shame on me but I hope to win favour by bringing you a new tutorial.
 I started to write this  on the train going to a gig, Delain and Within Temptation \m/,  accompanying me is my 7 year old daughter. It struck me that my old band long sleeve could be adapted to somehow fit her.
After some thinking I thought I would braid down the back well it worked better then I could of thought fits a dream and as you can see it looks totally cute.

So I bring you how to make a braided top.
T-shirt (must be bigger then required)

needle and thread
Something to cut fabric (craft knife or rotary cutter will work well)
Cutting mat
Glue dots (not essential)
crochet hook if doing smaller braids
iron and starch
This gives instructions to make a double braided top. To make a single braid down the middle I will let you know the steps to skip.
 First fold your top in half down the middle seam to seam, starch and press well. 

Now you should have a nice sharp line down the middle

If doing a single row you're ready for cutting leave the shirt folded in the middle bit ensure you only have the side your cutting folded place a couple of pins to ensure the fabric doesn't shift.
If doing double then fold one underarm seam to the centre fold and press well repeat for the other side, you may wish to repeat the fold on the other side after you have cut if easier.

Next is to place the top on a cutting mat, I placed some glue dots on the mat to help stop it slipping but if you put anything on the mat make sure it is safe to use with your fabric. 

Line the fabric up with a line to start from and decide how big you want the braid, I was 2 squares along well near enough and 1 inch deep, this makes a 2 inch cut. 
Using a ruler or other hard straight edge cut carefully. I started with a craft knife but found a rotary cutter easier in the end.  Alternatively you could draw your marks on with tailors chalk and use scissors. 

Repeat on the other side.

Now you're ready for braiding

To braid it your going from the second to top piece and bringing it up and over the top one.
This leaves a little loop from the piece you just brought up, you're going to bring the next one down up and through that loop, making a new loop bring the next one through that one and repeat till you reach the bottom.

On the back where it was quite big I found it fine using my fingers but on the sleeves where I had much smaller slits I couldn't use my fingers so I used a 6mm crochet hook.

When you reach the bottom secure it with a quick hand stitch.
Repeat on the other side and then take it to the machine and go over your hand stitch to ensure it is very secure.

As you weave it through the loops it makes a braid

I then topped it off at the top with a small bow as I found the gap a bit too big. You can sew the big gap up, embellish it or leave it as it!

I embellished it with Bows at the top


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