I finally got around to making some tops, not that I’ve been running around topless. I’ve been wearing my hand made pants, skirts and undies consistently for a while now and people have got used to seeing me in them. Kids have stopped asking me if I wore my pyjamas to school, adults have stopped looking startled as I approach and animals react as they always have (because they generally don’t care what you are wearing, or even if you are dressed at all, as long as you carry a feed bucket). Time to introduce a new twist…..
My top is a really simple sleeved shirt, made from an old quilt cover. I love this material, it has a little bit of shine to it and a subtle pattern. I think it’s a man made fibre of some sort (hard to get that shine on natural fibres) but it is up-cycled.
|The finished product.|
My first step was to find a pattern. There are a lot of free patterns out there for tops, but most of them are for stretch material so I decided to make my own.
I found a handy tutorial (here) which is for stretch sewing but I modified it. I followed the instructions but made the pattern much bigger, allowing for a longer sleeve too. I made it for half the top (as you can see in the photo) and cut on the fold so it would be symmetrical. In the end I cut a square neck line into it too.
|This is my ‘pattern’ pretty simple huh?|
Next I cut out two pieces using my pattern and sewed the top of the sleeves together using French seams to minimise fraying.
|I love the colours in this fabric.|
Then I sewed the side seams and hemmed the sleeves and bottom. The neckline got a special treatment. Because I cut the neck opening too big (forgot to halve the measurement for the neck opening) I sewed some edging elastic around it to create a gathered edge (the same way I put elastic on undies (see here). I really like the finished result.
|I made sure I used French seams on the whole lot.|
I like this pattern so much I made another one straight away from 100% cotton.
|My second attempt|
What do you think? I’m planning on making a few more tops using this design, then try something a bit harder.