Thursday, April 5, 2012

Make your own easy top

The Spring Top Pattern


I never made a top before and in the past few days I have made two. It is addicting! You see, a while ago I decided to rummage though my "summer" clothes in storage as I couldn't find anything to wear. Well, that was when I found out I didn't have summer clothes in storage. Consequently, I needed more!

This has been modified by making the top longer and omitting the sashes in the back.


At any rate, this time I made my own pattern that is easily reproducible, so I thought I would share the steps with you.

What you need:
1. About one yard of fabric for the outside and another for the inside lining. I used an old curtain for the lining of this one. The fabric for the outside was given to me, so this was basically free to make.
2. 16 Inches of thin elastic (I used 1/2 inch)
3. (optional) 40 Inches of lace trim


I bought a shower curtain from the dollar store and have been using it to make patterns. You could do this so you have something to use again, or you could just be super careful and cut the fabric using these measurements. I am roughly a small/medium. Just add a little if you are a size larger. Remember, since the front is made with elastic, you can adjust the size there.



So, from the top to the bottom, measure 28 inches. The front panel is 23 inches wide while the back panel is 17 inches. I cut the straps at 4.5 inches, but kind of wish I had made them a teensy bit wider. It is up to your taste. From the top of the shoulder to the neckline is 6.5 inches in the front and 6 inches in the back. I have given generous seam allowances (about .75 inches per seam). In order to get the best fit, I try the top on several times while sewing so that I can go back to make adjustments if needed.

Katherine likes to help!
Cut one of your printed fabric and one for the lining of each piece. If you want a tie in the back, cut this piece now. A good size would be a long rectangle of 20x3 inches (cut two of these).


Sew the tops of the shirt together (The seam that runs along the shoulder)


Next, sew the inside (around the neckline together) of the printed fabric and lining together. After that, press the seams. This will give it a crisp look and will be much easier to work with.

BUT WAIT

Before turning right side out, clip along the edges of the seam in the back. Since it is curved, clipping the edges will help it to lay right. 



Now that your shirt is pressed and turned the right way out, you will make a place for the elastic to go in the front. Sew a seam on the front of the shirt between the shoulder straps. You will need one along the very top and another two seams just below the bust. To get the right fit, try the shirt on to determine where you want the second strip of elastic to be. 

Using a pin to thread the elastic makes it a million times easier. 

Thread the elastic through the tunnel you have just made. I used about 8 inches of elastic for each part. You can try it on to make it fit your size perfectly (use safety pins to hold the elastic in place). If the elastic is too long, your undergarments may show. After threading the elastic, sew it in place by making a small stitch on the outside of the shirt. If it helps, look at the next picture to get the full idea. You can email me (rebekahbethany@gmail.com or leave a comment if you need more explanation for this part).

Um, yes, that is a slightly uneven stitch on the bottom. *cough*cough* Don't do that.

It will look like this!

I forgot to take a picture of the arm holes, but it isn't really necessary. Just turn the raw edges in and do a top stitch around them.

Next, sew the sides of the shirt. Add the ties at the same time. I put then level with the second strip of elastic.


 Leave about five inches at the bottom for a slit on each side. This will make it easier to move in. 

For both the slits and the sleeves, I sew a little line at the edge to make it much more sturdy.
Now, sew the slits at the bottom of the shirt. Do this by turning the raw edges in and sewing a top stitch over them.

You are almost finished!


Add the lace as you turn the raw edges and top stitch the bottom.


You are done!

It was so easy to make!

The tie in the back helps it to fit a variety of sizes.




29 comments:

  1. very nice! sei bravissima. spero che capisci un pò l'italiano. I hope you understand italian.... you are very good at sewing.

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  2. beautiful, I love it thank you!

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  3. Love it! I have a pattern for a similar looking top but it's more complicated and not lined. I like your way much better. Thank you for sharing!

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  4. love the shower curtain idea for cutting a pattern!

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  5. Super cute. I think this would make a really cute dress too. Make it longer. You could also have the bow tie in the front if you have trouble fastening things behind your back. I really like the elastic around the top. Love the lining idea.

    Robbin

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  6. iam searching for this elastic model top to stitch to my teen age daughter
    thanks for your mail.

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  7. Thanks all the way from South Africa! Just what I needed since summer will be here soon and I like the fast and easy way! Thanks again!!

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  8. Super cute top! And it looks so easy to make. I love the idea of making it into a dress too.

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  9. I just made it...... I did change some things, but it was very easy ty for posting it!!!!

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    1. Thanks! I would love to see how it came out. :) Sorry for the epic delay in responding!

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  10. I just love this pattern. After i make it a top, i'm going to make it again only longer for a dress. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much! Also, if you decide to make it into a dress, make sure to give it extra width so it isn't too tight. I have a new dress pattern that I am about to type up instructions for. I am hoping to have it out in a week or so. You might like it! It is my favorite pattern so far.

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  11. Hi there, I'd love to try this top, but I am a L-XL (40" around at largest part of bust). I was wondering if anybody has tried enlarging the top? What difference between the front and back pieces would you suggest?

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    1. Hi Anonymous,
      I am about to make this top for a 60in bust/waist.
      I studied the plan Rebekah made and using her method measured my widest part and added a few inches for movement room (I got bodacious hips.) then I halved this to give me the back measurement. I then halved it again giving me a quarter measurement. I then added the half and the quarter together and marked this out for the front piece. I widened the straps by nearly double too.
      I figure this will give me a nice amount of gather and loose enough around my hips.
      Rebekah thank you so much for sharing this pretty top. Fingers crossed mine comes out as nice as yours. :)

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  12. Love this top I plan on make bunches on them for this summer

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  13. This is so cute! I am planning to downsize it for my granddaughters. It seems to me it would be fairly easy to make this be reversible, if I choose a cute fabric for the lining. Have to work out how to do the sash, or maybe just add a bit of elastic in the back instead of the sash. Any ideas about this, or has anyone tried it?

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    1. Maybe this would work? Make two ties that are double the length of the original and finished at both edges on each. Then, as you sew the side seams closed, add the ties as mentioned above. Instead of sticking the end in the seam, place the tie so that it is sewn midway. I'm a visual person, so I'd have to make it to see if it works, but you might be able to play around with it...

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    2. That sounds like a good idea, just have to be sure the ties aren't long enough to show underneath, hanging out of the bottom. Thanks for the idea! Also, would be helpful if the tie was made of a solid or print that matched both prints of the top, so I could make one long tie for each side and not worry about matching each material with the tie. I need to get on this before summer is over!

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  14. Wow! thanks for the idea...I have a lot of old/vintage fabrics from my Grandma (curtains, bedclothes etc)and I have decided sew some nice Top/dresses with them. Viele Grüße aus Deutschland!

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  15. This is just lovely! I really want to make one (lots) but am struggling with the measurements (being a larger lady an' all). Is it bad manners to ask what size you are in inches so that I can work out how much bigger than yourself you made this? That's sounds terribly rude, hope you're not offended.

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  16. What size would this make?

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  17. Your shower curtain/pattern idea is brilliant! I'm making this top this weekend. Thank you!!

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  18. Thank you it's lovely and easy, I'm gonna try it! :)

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  19. I realize I am late to this party, but....what a good idea, to use a shower curtain for a reusable pattern! And the top is so cute-I am going to have to try this.

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  20. Better than never and never too late for a great idea
    and I also am going to try it ASAP

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  21. I've bought some leaf green broderie anglaise to make a dress using this pattern. Can't wait to get started.

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  22. Love the idea of using a shower curtain to make the pattern I am going to try that

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Thanks for stopping by! If you have a particular question, you can always email me at rebekahbethany {at} gmail.com

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