Tag Archives: tutorial

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TUTORIAL: GENIE PANTS

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By very popular request, I’ve made a tutorial for the genie pants. This is a very long post, with lots of pictures! If there’s anything that doesn’t make sense, please let me know in the comments field at the end.

DIY genie pants, made by Julianne

Click on the link to see the instructions:

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Some people call them harem pants, but I prefer genie pants, cause I’d rather be a genie and make magic than be in a harem. Sure, you could say that both reference confinement, servitude, and giving pleasure, in which case I would call them balloon pants. BUT WHATEVER.

For this example I am using a very stretchy lycra, but you could also use a woven fabric for the legs. I love the wide stretchy waist and leg bands, but you could use elastic on a woven fabric, or have this waistband fitted with a zipper like a pencil skirt.

Since this design has so much fullness, and my fabric is so stretchy, nothing has to be exact. I came up with this technique myself, and I’d love to hear any alternative methods.

how to make genie pants, made by Julianne

I’m making this pair of pants for my husband, so use your own measurements!

You can either cut these pants on the grain or cross grain, depending on the stretch of your fabric and layout of the print. Since they are so voluminous and stretchy, I don’t worry about seam allowances.

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

STEP 1: CUTTING

These pants are made in 5 pieces: a left and right side, a waistband, and two leg bands. You need approximately 2.5 yards of fabric total (2 yd for the legs, 1/2 yd for the bands).

First, I cut the length of the pants, about 30″. You’ll need two pieces this length, one for each side (I take one 60″ piece and fold it in half. This cut should parallel to the finished edge of the fabric, and perpendicular to where it was cut off the bolt). With the waist and leg bands, the pants can be worn down to the ankle or bunched up on the calf. Like every other measurement, adjust this as you see fit.

For a very balloon fit, I like to have the pants about twice as wide as the hips (2:1). So each side piece is cut as wide as the circumference of the hips. If you don’t want your pants to be as gathered, or don’t have enough fabric, you could reduce this ratio to 1.5:1. My husband’s waist is about 40″, so I am cutting the pants to be about 80″ in the waist.

how to make genie pants, made by Julianne

In my case, each piece for the legs is 30″ long, and 72″ wide, with the stretch and selvedge across the 72″ side. Once I cut out the crotches, the top of the pants will be about 40-50″ wide.

The next step is to cut the crotch scoop. I do the front first, and base it off pants he already owns. Since these genie pants are loose and breezy, I cut the crotch lower and wider than his trousers fit.

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

Regular trousers laid out on the fabric to trace the scoop of the crotch

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

Crotch scoop, traced from trousers

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

Wider and deeper scoop, shown by the light pink line

My husband’s hips are approximately 40″, so the waist of each side piece is 40″ for a total width of 80″. Basically, I’m using the entire width of the fabric, in my case 60″. Moving to the opposite selvedge, I cut the back with the same length but a wider scoop (about 3″ deeper) to accommodate the booty. Again, not rocket science.

how to make genie pants, made by Julianne

Crotch scoop, with the back on top

Here’s a nice shot to show the crotch. The front piece is on bottom, with a “shallower” crotch scoop. The back piece, on top, is cut deeper, to accommodate dat booty as well as sitting without too much wedgie action.

Regular trousers laid out on the fabric to trace the scoop of the crotch

The shallower front crotch is used as a guideline for the back scoop. I laid the front piece on top of the back and then traced that curve.

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

The front crotch is traced in pink, and then I drew the line for the deeper back scoop in blue chalk. Notice that it’s only wider, not lower.

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

Wider back scoop

how to make genie pants, made by Julianne

Here’s the whole piece, with 24″ in the center folded (because otherwise it’s too big to photograph on my cutting table.)

Since the fabric has so much stretch and will be holding up a lot of fabric in the pants, I make the waistband about 20% smaller than the actual waist. The length depends entirely on you, but cut it high enough that it can be doubled. In my case, the waistband is 30″ wide and 16″ high (which will be folded down to 8″ on the finished pants)

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

Waistband, 30 x 16″

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

Leg bands, 15 x 8″

The leg bands are just smaller versions of the waistband. Mine are 8″ high (to be doubled over to 4″) and 15″ wide.

You should have two leg bands (15 x 8″), one waistband (30 x 16″) and two leg pieces, one for the left and one for the right.

STEP 2: SEWING

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

Now to the sewing! I sew the seams on my serger, and use my regular machine for the gathering stitches. If you don’t have a serger, use a zigzag or 3-step zigzag to give your seams enough thread to stretch.

I’m illustrating these steps using the smaller leg bands, but the process is the same for the waistband as well.

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

A: The two leg bands, side by side

Sew the waist and leg bands each into a tube. Take this opportunity to test that the pieces are the right size for your body. You want the waistband to be tight enough to hold up the pants securely, but comfortable for lounging and getting bloated from all the beer and crackers. Likewise for the leg bands, but maybe your calves don’t get bloated so just make sure that they fit your leg snugly. Fold the bands over, wrong sides together, and pin the raw edges. I like to place my pins in quarters (dividing the entire circumference into 4 segments) to help with the gathering later.

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

 Top: leg band from step A. Bottom: the leg band has been folded with its wrong sides together to that the raw edges meet. The seam is vertical, along the short edge.

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

The leg band is pinned with raw edges together, right side out, and the raw edges are marked into quarters with pins.

Set the leg and waist bands to the side for now.

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

Then I sew the front crotches together, then the back center seam, and then the inseam as one long seam.

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

Crotch and inseams sewn together, and now they are starting to resemble pants!

Mark the top and legs of the pants with pins (dividing the circumference by 4).

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

Gathering the fabric at the top and bottom of the pants

Next comes gathering! I’ve done this step in so many different ways, but I feel that simply sewing a long seam with low top-thread tension is the easiest. I like to use different color threads for the top spool and bobbin. I don’t have a ruffle foot because I don’t do a lot of gathering, and this works for me. Usually this tension gathers the fabric right behind the foot automatically. And so: sew the top of the pants and the bottom of each leg.

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

Gathered pant leg, with pins dividing the opening into quarters

Pull the thread to gather the fabric so that it’s about the size of your waist and leg bands.

Pin the leg bands onto the bottom of the legs, right sides together, aligning the band seams with the inseam and the other pins. Repeat for the waistband.

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

The leg band is pinned to the gathered pant opening, with the quarter-pins lined up.

Sew the gathered pant opening onto the leg bands. Your seam should be along the gathering line. Once you stretch this seam, the gathering straight-stitch will pop, as it should.

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

Serging the gathered pant leg (top) onto the leg band. The pin is about to be pulled out before going under the knife.

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

how to make genie pants, Made by Julianne

Repeat for the other leg band, as well as the waistband.

AND YOU’RE FINISHED.

DIY genie pants, made by Julianne

I don’t add pockets in my stretchy pants because the weight inside them would pull the fabric in all kinds of crazy ways. I have done it with woven pants, and here’s how: Cut the legs as four pieces (right front, right back, left front, left back) and then just sew a pocket into the seam. You could also sew the top of that pocket into the waistband seam, for added stability.

If you’re interested, you can see more photos of the finished pants.

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DIY BEADED FABRIC NECKLACES

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Here’s the promised tutorial for making fabric necklaces!

These necklaces are an easy project that don’t require much skill. The only sewing required is one long, straight seam. This project is also great for using up a scrap of a special fabric that you don’t want to toss out. It can be done in a group, possibly with sewing the tubes beforehand (do the turning together!) and also makes a great Burning Man gift.

beaded fabric necklace DIY

AND I think they’re beautiful. Much prettier than regular Mardi Gras beads!

beaded fabric necklace DIY

fabric necklace DIY

Depending on the size of your necklace, you’ll need a strip of fabric 5-7′ long and about 2-3″ wide, enough to wrap around the circumference of your beads with room to spare, plus seam allowance. Oh yeah, you’ll also need beads. Like everything else, this varies based on your actual supplies, but you’ll use up to about 50 beads.

As a New Orleans native I inevitably have tons of Mardi Gras beads lying around, so I cut those up. At this point I’ve made so many necklaces that I’ve had to have more beads sent out to me in LA.

If you don’t have a huge bag of cheap plastic necklaces sitting in the back of your closet don’t worry. Just about any craft store will sell loose beads. You could also use wooden or glass beads.

I like to make these necklaces out of thin fabrics so that the bright plastic beads shine through. I normally use silk chiffon scraps, but for this example I’m using a poly-chiffon print. If you’re also using a print, keep in mind that the knotting will obscure your pattern, so smaller designs may work better. I’ve also used less-pretty beads and gorgeous opaque fabrics and they always turn out beautiful.

Tying the knots takes up a lot of fabric, so your finished necklace will be about 1/3 the size of your starting fabric. You need to start with a strip about 7′ long to fit around your head when finished. If your fabric is short you can sew two strips together, and disguise the seam with a knot. My fabric is the length of the bolt (5′) and I will be attaching a chain for extra length.

fabric necklace DIY fabric necklace DIY

Measure the circumference around your bead. I like to have my fabric tube be a little bit wider than the bead; this makes it easier to insert the bead and doesn’t require my width to be 100% exact. In this case my bead is 1.5″ around, and I’ve cut my tube to 2.25.”

beaded fabric necklace DIY

I usually sew the seam on my serger, only because I like having the narrow seam allowance bound, and it feels faster than my regular machine. For this example I’m using my Pfaff. I sew very close to the raw edges because I don’t want extra fabric from a large seam allowance to bulk up my tube.

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tube turner tube turner tube turner

tube turned tube turned

Once your tube is sewn you need to turn it rightside out. There are special tools for this, including this medieval-looking device, which works well and quickly. It also makes the tube look like a little fabric shrimp.

But no need to drop precious money on a specialized tool if you’re not going to use it often (mine was free anyway). You can turn tubes using just a safety pin.

turning a tube turning a tube turning a tube turning a tube

Attach the pin to one open end of the tube, at least 1/4″ in from the raw edge. Inset the pin head into the tube and grasp it with your other hand, using it like a needle to scrunch up the fabric around it. Keep up this inch-worm action until you get the pin to the other open end, and then pull the tube completely out.

Another way to sew these tubes is on a serger (or you could zigzag stich on a home machine) with wrong sides together, right sides out. You don’t need to turn the tube at all; just leave the stitching exposed. Coordinate your threads to the fabric so that it becomes a ‘design feature’.

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beaded fabric necklace DIY

Once your tube is turned you should tie a knot in the middle of it. If your sewe two strips together, make sure the knot is over or immediately next to the seam. You don’t want it to bulge over a bead, where the seam allowance would be very visible.

Insert a bead into either open end of the tube…

beaded fabric necklace DIY

…push the bead down to the first knot…

beaded fabric necklace DIY

….and tie a second knot tight against the bead.

beaded fabric necklace DIY

Now do this about 30 more times.

beaded fabric necklace DIY

Stop when you have about 4-6″ of fabric left at the ends of the beading.

Test the necklace length to see if it can fit over your head. If it’s big enough, then all you have to do is tie the loose ends to each other. They can either be tied in a knot to each other or sewn together.

beaded fabric necklace DIY beaded fabric necklace DIY

If your beaded section is too small to fit around your end, tie each end to a small length of chain.

beaded fabric necklace DIY

I like the way the ends look sticking out, but if you want a neater look you could also stitch these ends down. One could also attach a clasp to the necklace ends, but I prefer the over-the-head Mardi Gras style necklace.

beaded fabric necklace DIY

This technique is open to lots of interpretation; this is just the way I do it. If anyone has any creative ideas or questions don’t be afraid to post!

I taught my niece’s NOLA Girl Scouts troop how to make these necklaces, and we all had a lot of fun. I usually have a few of these ready to give as little gifts. They also make charming headbands or belts!

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