Hello there –

this week I’ve got another one of my creations for you. It’s one of these tops that started off as a ‘quick one’ but as I have now learned – nothing in dressmaking is ever ‘quick’. It is a fairly loose summer top with a halter neck and bow detail at the back.

I feel like the summer might be over but I thought I should be allowed one last glimmer of hope… I have also realised the other day that it can be worn very nicely over a long sleeve top.

I must say this pattern is probably not as well suited for the fuller chested ladies out there, it would just lift the front up quite a lot and would probably look a bit off. At the same time, go for it! If it turns out awful you won’t have wasted much fabric at all! And you can always give it as a present ūüôā

You can see I made the previous wrap top¬†with the same fabric, I just love it, it’s so bold yet playful…

Well, anyway…

You will need:

  • 4-5 hours of leisure time
  • 1m of primary fabric
  • 1m of lining
  • ca. 1m of ribbon
  • ca. 20cm of bias binding
  • to be comfortable with making button holes on your sewing machine (goddess Minerva knows, I wasn’t at first!) – if you’re not you could always add some hooks and eye? or even a zip along the back…
  • a few measurements (diagram below)
    • neck circumference, under bust, hip, top of shoulder to under the shoulder blade, under the¬†shoulder blade to hip (length)

FullSizeRender (1)

And this is HOW YOU * Craft It Yourself *

  • lay both layers of fabric together wrong sides facing
  • fold in half vertically – the fold is your centre front, so if you have a pattern on your primary fabric, try to line this up well
  • now mark your measurements as follows (including seam allowance)
    • as you will fold down the centre front – mark 1/2 of the hip measurement, 1/2 and 1/4 of the under bust measurement, 1/2 neck
    • to work out the correct radius for the neck – calculate: neck circumference / phi (3.14) = diameter, then diameter / 2 = radius e.g. 35/3.14 = 11 / 2 = 5.57cm (you only want about a quarter of a circle for you halter neck so mark 1/8 off the centre front)

FullSizeRender  FullSizeRender (3)

  • in order to get the arch under the arms right I devised a bit of a strange technique because I haven’t got a fancy curve ruler (or whatever they’re called):
    • find the centre point of the measurements you need to join and measure how far away this is from each end point
    • now substract the shorter distance from the longer distance e.g. 18-10=8
    • to find out where to make the mid-way mark between both ends divide the result by 2 e.g. 8/2=4, now add this to the shorter distance to work out how far away from the centre point you need to mark the mid-way point e.g. 10+4=14
    • then divide 4 by 2 to and add AND subtract the result to/from 14 to find 2 more points to mark along the curve e.g. 12 and¬†16
    • if necessary you can keep dividing 2¬†by 2 to get more exact points along the curve
    • I KNOW it sounds mad! here, have a diagram, that will hopefully help:

FullSizeRender (2)

  • pin your fabric pieces together along the markings you made
  • cut along the markings – be careful! your lining is longer at the¬†bottom hem
  • turn your fabrics so that the right sides are facing before you pin them together again (sorry it might seem odd that you can’t just have them the wrong sides facing from the beginning – but of course you can. It would def cut out the whole taking-apart-and-laying-back-together part. I think that would work perfectly well if you’re using a less patterned or plain primary fabric but for quite patterned fabric I prefer to actually see where my centre front is going to be, and line it up properly with the design on the fabric. It’s your choice really…)
  • sew together with a 1cm seam allowance – only along the sides and neck though, you still have to turn it inside out and do the hem
  • turn inside out after cutting the seam allowance at the corners (this reduces bulk in the next step)
  • press (I know, I’m sorry! but it makes the edges so nice and crisp and really helps with that arm pit arch… what a description, yum)
  • topstitch along the same seams to secure them, try to get it as close¬†as you’re comfortable with to the edge (I feel I’m definitely getting better at this, it’s thrilling! #topstitchporn is actually a thing on the line…)
  • now just fold over the bottom hem twice (this should be the lining fabric) and sew along it
  • now for the neck – as the edge is curved you can’t actually just fold over a piece of fabric as with the hem (trust me, I tried) which is why I used bias binding to hide the ribbon for the halter (neck)
  • [for the blog I have described to sew the neck together above (I didn’t do this for the top in the pictures because I was going to ‘hem’ the neck as the bottom hem. I had to cut the extra fabric off because it just wouldn’t have worked) so the bias binding becomes optional because all you’re going to do at the neck now is sew 2 pieces of ribbon to either side. No one will see the back but if you’re happier to have it all neat and tidy (like me, sometimes) then finish off the neck with a bit of bias binding after attaching the ribbon]
  • and now you only need to sew (at least 6) button holes (3 either side) along the back centre and feed a ribbon through them to fasten (if you do more button holes the back will come up higher/closer to the bottom of the shoulder blade)
  • and then * \\ YOU’RE DONE – SUCH WOW! // * Have a cupcake, you’re amazing ūüôā
  • (Oh and just in case you wondered – I just leave the ribbon done up like that and slip the top over my head without undoing it. Ain’t nobody got time for that!)

And this is what mine looks like:

 

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Show me yours??

Cu next Friday xoxo

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