Hello there (again),
This top was born out of the need to want to make a really quick airy summer top with some beautiful fabric that a friend of mine chose for me to make her a wrap top from. I just thought the tulip design was so wonderful that I had to be cheeky and use the leftovers for something for myself. (I went back to the shop the next day to grab myself more of it for the Walkaway Dress workshop that I went to earlier this month. I will write a short bonus post soon.) Throughout the process I made an error again, but again it meant I had to be creative to rescue (and overall improve) the design.
This is the result:
- 0.5m of patterned fabric
- 0.5m of plain fabric
- elastic band, 2cm wide (or any will do but please adapt the steps below)
- your chest measurement
- to know how long you’d like the top (measure from your armpit to your desired length)
And this is HOW YOU * Craft It Yourself *…
- Draw a rectangle on a piece of paper. Assign your chest measurement to the longer side and the length you want to the shorter side. Add [width of elastic band + 1cm] x 2 + [1/2 (width of elastic band + 1cm)] to the top of the long sides – this will be where you insert the elastic band aka the top. Add 3cm to the bottom as seam allowance. Add 3cm either side as seam allowance.
- SO if your measurements were 90 x 37 cm and you have a 2cm elastic band – you need to end up with a rectangle of 96 x 47.5cm as fabric.
- At this point I was still thinking that the top seam would overlap or at least sit flush at the back. I also thought I had enough of the tulip fabric to make the whole top.
- Then the latter went out the window. The fabric wasn’t long enough. But no problemo – I also had left over of the lining in a complementary colour. I cut 96 x 32 cm out of the tulip fabric. And 96 x 17.5cm from the plain green fabric (this includes 2 x 1cm seam allowance to join the 2 fabrics horizontally).
- Sew together the bottom of the patterned fabric and the top of the plain fabric together right sides facing with a 1cm seam allowance. Press
- Turn the side seams and the bottom over twice at 1.5cm and sew to hem the edges.
- Now for the top – cut your elastic at the length of your chest measurement for now (you will shorten it later) and lay it on the wrong side of the fabric.
- Now it will get a bit fiddly. Turn over the fabric twice to encompass the elastic band and leave about 1cm at the bottom to sew along later. You want a 3cm tunnel for the 2cm elastic, leave 1cm to sew along the bottom. Try to match this on both sides and along the whole seam. (I never said it was going to be easy. Or did I? Shoot.) Sew along the seam below the elastic trying not to catch it.
- In order to get the elastic at the right length to not be too loose but not be too tight either, I had to experiment a bit. Just overlap the ends and sew a rectangle to join. ** If it turns out too loose just cut the bit off and do it again. If it’s too tight I’m sure it will loosen over time. However, if you want to do it again, cut it, take it out the seam, measure where you joined the pieces, cut a new piece at a shorter length, insert into seam, join, try on – right size? Repeat from ** 😉
- Once the right size is found, try on your top and see how much of a gap you have between the sides of the fabric at the back. Cut a piece of fabric that turned over will cover this gap and fit into the seam for the elastic. Mine was about 7 x 5cm. Fold twice along the short side to make a strip of 2.5 x 5cm. Sew down the middle to secure. Set to the side for now.
- We shall make the bow next. Watch this tutorial until 2:03 to make the main bit of the bow (you won’t need a glue gun for this top, don’t worry.)
- Then cut a bit of bias binding long enough to wrap around the centre of the bow tightly, fold it over and sew along it. Wrap it around the middle of the bow and secure it without sewing into the bow itself. Take it off the bow and attach it to the small strip of fabric you made two steps ago. (I attached it the wrong way at first so make sure you attach it so that the bow will be horizontal in the end, not vertical :)).
- Now wiggle the strip (with the loop) into the space for the elastic on both sides and sew together without catching the elastic.
- Then feed the bow back through the loop and secure with a few stitches to the loop.
- Then secure the sides of the bow with a tiny stitch to the top seam so that it doesn’t droop at the back.
- (This bit is optional: fix one or two hook and eyes where your 2 fabrics meet on the back to achieve a bit more structure and security.)
- And then: \\ YOU’RE FINISHED, WELL DONE! // Put it on and enjoy how light and airy it is! Now we just need the heat wave to stay a little longer…
Here are a couple more pictures of the top: