“Pretty Pirate Project” – Part Two

A better name has not yet come to me, so i’m continuing on with the “Pretty Pirate Project” ! If you haven’t read part one, which talks about making the shorts, I would suggest you do so. It can be read here

In this post I will talk about making the corset/vest/bustier/whatever you would like to call it and the tunic (which is more of a undershirt) 

I went ahead and drafted out a basic top. I did this by holding a measuring tape up to my chest and marking down the inches between the neckline and waist, along with how wide I wanted the neckline to be and how long the straps needed to be. 


I cut this out of cotton and turned that into a mock up. Overall the fit was good, the neckline just needed to be a bit narrower. 


Luckily that was an easy pattern adjustment! 


I’m kind of awful at cutting symmetrical pattern pieces, but I didn’t want to cut this on a fold. So I decided to make my pattern from poster board, which I can trace around. 

The only change I needed to make was adding a half inch seam around everything to allow for lining.


And here is the finished pattern!


I cut out two pieces of brocade, and two pieces of cotton for lining. 


I marked out the boning placement on my lining, then cut the ten pieces of boning. Each piece was eight inches long, four were metal, six were plastic. 


The boning was sewn in place!


I fused on some scraps of interfacing onto the sides of my brocade material. This gave it a bit of stiffening so it could better support the grommets I added later.


Then the lining and brocade were pinned, right sides together. 


Once that was sewn and turned rightside out it was pinned (again!) for topstitching


I struggled a lot with this part, the blue lining kept peaking over and my machine fought me every step. I think I must have made a shoddy bobbin or something, it was really annoying. 

In the end they looked okay, though!


I decided to use my grommet press and the “large” eyelets from dritz. 


I marked out the placement for each grommet (half inch from the top, half inch from the bottom, an inch between each) then used a pair of sharp scissors to make the holes. 


It’s sort of hard to photograph yourself putting the grommets in, so I will just show you the finished product!


I sewed the shoulders together and it was officially FINISHED! 


But before I could photograph it ON me, I had to make the garment that goes beneath it…


So the next piece I decided to work on was the tunic, or really, the undershirt since it can’t be worn on it’s own. (if I did it would be more of a ‘pirate prostitute project’ if you know what I mean)

Instead of making a fitted tunic I decided to go make a big loose one with gathered sleeves. I also decided to make it out of chiffon since I forgot to by linen 


I started off by cutting out six panels that were all thirty inches by twenty five inches – or something like that. Four were for the body of the garment, two others were for the sleeves. I also cut out two four inch by ten inch pieces which were folded in half to make sleeve cuffs. 


Then I marked out how deep I wanted the neckline to be. I think the “V” ended up being eight inches wide and eleven inches deep. 


Then I sewed two panels together at the neckline.


I snipped the corner and turned the thing rightside out, then top stitched around the shoulders and neckline.


I repeated this for the back panel, but made a much smaller V! Then I sewed up the shoulder seam. 


I have about ten inches of spare fabric on each side, but that’s alright. I moved onto making the sleeves, which were just gathered rectangles sewn onto smaller rectangles…


The tops were gathered down to eighteen inches and then sewn onto the tunic. All that was left was hemming, but I decided to try it on before getting to that part. 

Since it is chiffon, when worn alone it’s pretty skimpy. I threw the bustier over it and voila! 


You can also use elastics to tie the sleeves into sections.


It’s a pretty versatile piece and I plan to make another out of linen in the near future! If you have a spare hour and two or three yards of fabric I would suggest making one! 

Next we will move onto the hat of jacket. The jacket is giving me a horrible time so I’ve been avoiding it, but I promise to put some work into it tomorrow and at least get the pattern cut! 


7 thoughts on ““Pretty Pirate Project” – Part Two

  1. Melissa says:

    Wow, cant believe you are so young and that you taught yourself, you are absolutely amazing and talented, I have been attempting to sew for quite a few years and I could never compare to what you have done in a short time. Hope this leads to great things for you. Beautiful work.

  2. Eira says:

    Hello Angela,

    I just wanted to ask you a few things.

    1. How expensive was your sewing machine?
    2. How can you afford all of your sewing things?
    3. Where do you sleep? Because I can’t imagine that a bed fits in your sewing room… Do you have two rooms?

    • Angela Clayton says:

      I used to use a Singer 4411 which is a $150 machine, but recently it broke so I upgraded to a singer industrial machine which I purchased on ebay for $600.

      My parents are very supportive. The consider sewing an extracurricular activity and support it financially the way other parents would support a child interested in sports. They purchase fabric and sewing supplies for me, and sometimes trims and add ons.

      My hobby has taken over the guest room, haha. Though I probably could combine it into one room, i’m lucky and don’t have to. I talk about my sewing room here

  3. Amber Fisher says:

    Reading your posts makes me want to learn to sew sooooo badly! I just don’t have the money to get a machine 😦 but it would be so cool! Did you use the internet to learn how to sew? (I know you said you taught yourself) If you used the internet for anything, what sites did you use??

    • Angela Clayton says:

      I already knew the basics (like threading a machine, how to sew a seam, always sew things ‘right sides together’) since I have family members that sew. I mostly figured it out from there, I taught myself to drape patterns on a dress form and from there to flat pattern things. I didn’t use any specific site, usually I’d just google whatever I had a problem with and use whatever information seemed helpful at the time. For things like making puffy sleeves I literally googled “puffy sleeve patterns” to figure out how they should look.

  4. Soto says:

    Hi Angela! You are beautifully creative! Are you interested at some point in designing for movies, stage or operas? I know you are young and probably still in school, but I would love to one day see you create a whole cast’s wardrobe. Who knows, maybe I’ll contract you in the future! 😉 beautiful work and beautiful lady!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s