by Modest Maven
They're called "Keep" and "Toss" Wedding Garters and as the name implies, the bride "keeps" one as a wedding day keepsake and the groom "tosses" the other one to the woman-hungry bachelors at the reception. If you're too embarrassed to gift kinky lingerie at the bridal shower, then this is a classy and fun alternative. Use the bride's wedding colors and embellished them with little touches that suited the personality of the bride. Of course, if you're not sure about the bride's wedding colors, white or ivory is a safe bet (and throw in a touch of blue to fulfill the "something blue" tradition.)
Charmeuse satin is the way to go. It comes in silk or synthetic (polyester). Charmeuse is different than regular satin in that it's thinner and more delicate. It's the stuff they use to make lingerie, ladies. Of course real silk is nicer, but more expensive. Granted, it doesn't take a lot of fabric to make a garter, so even if you used real silk, the project cost would stay low. As for polyester charmeuse, I have come across some pretty good qualities.
- 30"x5" rectangle of charmeuse for outer trim of "keep" garter
- 30"x4" rectangle of charmeuse for outer trim of ""toss" garter
- 2 cuts of 30"x 1 3/4" rectangle of charmeuse for center of each garter
- 2 pieces of 3/4" wide non-roll elastic: 15" long
- Embellishments (bows, charms, beads, flowers, etc) - optional
Note from tutorials creator - For this tutorial, I'm only going to make the "keep" garter. The instructions for the "toss" are pretty much the same. I've used two different colors 1) because I love the fun contrast and 2) it's easier for ya'll to follow along in the tutorial.
With right sides together, sew the long sides of the 30"x 5" cut of outer trim (blue) to the 30"x1 3/4" center fabric (black) using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
(Note: It is important that you use a small 1/4 inch seam allowance and tiny millimeter top stitch (in below step), otherwise your elastic will not fit in its casing.)
Repeat for other side.
Turn right side out so you have a tube. Using low to medium heated iron, center the tube of charmeuse as desired. For the "keep" garter, I pressed it so the ruffle on bottom is longer than the top. For the "toss" garter, I press it dead centered.
(WARNING: polyester melts... no high heat or steaming unless you want to risk a shriveled plastic mess. Silk is a natural fiber and does not melt, but rather burns and should be pressed at a low heat as well.)
At one end of the tube, tuck and press in approximately 1/2 inch.
Top stitch about a millimeter in along each side of the center part of the tube. On the end that you tucked and pressed, DON'T top stitch.
Insert elastic. An easy way to do this is put a safety pin on one end of the elastic and work it through the tube. Push the charmeuse tube well into the center so you have both ends of the elastic hanging out for ease of sewing together.
Sew the elastic. Make sure you don't have your elastic twisted. Overlap the elastic approximately one inch and sew a nice square and diagonal to to secure it.
(Note on sizing: a good rule of thumb on just how much elastic to use is to measure the thigh and take away one inch. You'll use TWICE that length in you charmeuse pieces. This pattern is for "one size fits most" but I wanted you to know how to calculate for customizing plus or stick figures).
Tuck the raw end of the tube into the nice pressed end. Hand blind stitch closed or machine stitch close to the edge. This will be the back of the garter. Now give it a good stretch to distribute the gathers evenly.
Leave as is or embellish as you see fit with a bow, flower, lace or beads. Oh, and add a "Keep" and "Toss" tag so the bride knows what the heck you're giving her. If you don't, she may just think you gave her a fancy baby headband ;)