Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Making Garters

I love garters because they are SO easy to make and the possibilities are endless when making them!  I mean really, you can do or use anything for them!   Weddings, bridal gifts, bachelorette parties, Valentine's day; they are good for many occasion's.   I thought I'd give you a quick tutorial on how I usually make them.  Again, you can make them differently but this is how I usually go about making them.

Okay first thing I do is find some satin ribbon.  What size you use depends on how big you want the garter to be.  I usually like smaller ones but the one I am showing you in the tutorial was one I made for a client recently and so I'm using that.  I took satin ribbon ( that I found at the Dollar tree! )  and if you can measure the recipients leg, then do so.  I have HUGE thighs so I usually measure a smaller part of my leg.  You want to cut your ribbon longer then your measurement so we can gather it.  Again, how much you want it to gather is up to you too.  Generally speaking if you cut the ribbon at around 25 or 26 inches long, you should be good. The ribbon I used was wide so I knew I was going to have a border coming off of both sides.  YOu don't have to do this but this is what I did for this one.  I'm goign to show you pictures of some other ones I have made at the end.

Here is a picture of my supplies!  Lace, ribbon and some measuring tape.

I measure out 26 inches of ribbon and cut TWO pieces.  You need one for the back and one for the front.    I also had to cut down my lace because this is a sheet on lace and not lace used for trimming.  If you have lace that is already cut down for you then you have one less step!

Here you can see that the ribbon is centered with the lace.  If you only want lace coming off of ONE side, then make sure to pin it that way.

Make sure your second ribbon is also pin to the back.  Usually when sewing everything is right sides together.  This time you want the right sides facing OUT because we are not going to be turning any thing.

Find where you want the elastic to be and we are going to create the casing for it.  I wanted the center to be about 1/2 inch or so.

See?!  Basically I am doing a 1/4 inch on both sides!  Turn the ribbon around and do a 1/4 seem on down the other side now.

Don't worry too much about the satin puckering up or gathering where you don't want it to.  Remember we are going to add elastic and it will be gather any ways so it will not be noticeable.

I don't have a picture of this next step but you need to feed your elastic through your casing.  I use a safety pin on one end of the elastic and then feed it through.  When you get to where the elastic on the end without the safety pin is at the end, pin it in place so you don't lose your elastic inside of the casing and have to start over.   Then I get it to the other end ( the side WITH the safety pin ) and pin that in place too

Next I put my sewing machine on a zig zag stitch and I sew the ends closed.

They don't need to line up perfect because I trim the excess off and now you have a garter ready to be embellished!  Isn't it pretty.  If you get your ribbon at the dollar store these are SO cheap!  They are pretty fast and easy to do as well.  I like to take mine and embellish them for weddings with a personalized stamped charm!  Most brides want to have their future husbands names on the charm and have the wedding date on the "toss" garter.  It makes for a fun and personal thing for your wedding day. I bought my garter and I kinda wish I had been crafty enough to make it back then.

So here is the finished product after I added the charm and the embellishments.

This one was a little bigger then I usually make them but I think it's cute!  Here are some others I have made

So be creative and have fun!  I have one in my shop in animal print with a charm on it that says, "Take me"    I made it with fabric.  When making the garters with fabric you want to put the two pieces of fabric together and stitch along both long sides with right sides faces.  THEN, you want to turn it right side out and THEN make your casing for the elastic.  That way you don't have any raw edges.

Any questions let me know!  OH!  I just realized I didn't tell you what size to make your elastic.  YOu want to make it an inch or so SMALLER then your thigh measurement.  So if you are 20 inches around your thigh make it 19 or 18 inches long.  You want it to stretch a little but not TOO much!  The first time I sold a garter on line on etsy, I made it too small because I didn't ask the bride to be what your thigh measurement was.  She had to send it back to me and I had to re make it so that it would fit.  Opps!  You never want to make something twice.  So be careful but most importantly have fun!  These are supposed to be pretty, sexy and fun!  Go to town


Alyssa Harford said...

Thank you so much! I knew it had to be easy so I had to find a tutorial! I can't wake to make my wedding garter!

Michelle said...

Thanks for this tutorial! Just wondering, how do you make the personalized stamp charms or do you buy those somewhere? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

do you need elastic thread? or just normal sewing thread? does it not snap when it expands?

Katie said...

Some how I got my settings screwed up on my blog and blogger never sent me these comments. Sorry. I use regular thread on these. The elastic thread would be too much and way to thick to sew threw lace. It would probably just rip it. The personalized charm I actually made myself. I bought the little charm really cheap on easy and then I used a stamp set I got at Harbor Freight Tools to put in the initials. I'm SO sorry I didn;t get these comments sooner because I would have made you a charm. Bummer!

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