It’s me. I was wondering if after all these years you’d like to meet. Okay. So maybe not completely relevant to my post, but who can resist. Adele’s new song is awesome and I’m actually a little scared to spam click the replay button in case I get sick of it.
Anyway. Yes, hello, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. So let’s get right into it. Don’t you hate it when all those lovely classic work blouses with clean lines and smart edges end up being by some artisan designer with boutique prices? And yes they are always lovely to look at and admire and re-pin but in real life, it just ain’t never gonna happen. Even if you did save up to buy that 1 top, just how many can you buy? So here’s a tutorial for a classic sleeveless work top. It’s structured in shape and suits both formal and casual occasions. If I can make it, you certainly can.
ONE. The first thing you want to do is get the shape right. You want everything to lie flat against your skin. I’ve written some notes on the pattern above that will help achieve this. An interesting detail to add is to cut in straight near the armhole rather than having a smooth curve. Trust me, just do it. Also, I’d suggest mocking it out on newspaper and seeing how it fits before transferring the pattern to your fabric.
I’d say the most important take away is to slope the front shoulder seam (in red above) which will help prevent problems with your top looking like this.
TWO. When you think you’ve got the shape right, transfer it to your fabric. To make sure that it’s symmetrical follow the pattern above by folding your fabric in half (in purple) and only tracing out half the front/back. Leave a bit of room around the edges, but no need to be real pedantic about it. Cut!
THREE. Sew the front bodice first, i.e. the “dart” (drawn in light blue). Then the shoulders, but NOT the sides. Of course don’t forget to make sure the seam is on the inside.
FOUR. To get nice sharp edges with a clean look without sewing lines everywhere, this is where lining comes in. The idea is to sew all the rough edges to some lining fabric (where you’d usually use bias tape or whatever), without doing the usual fold under and resewing to secure it. How do we get it secure then and make sure it doesn’t show? Well, by using lining that is WIDE and also sewing the side seams last when the lining is attached which will help keep it tucked inside. But first let me explain how to do the lining. I’ve drawn a diagram to make it clearer.
First make sure your top is right side out (i.e. how you’d usually wear a top out). Then place some lining fabric (in my case just some white fabric) on top of all your edges and pin into place. It doesn’t matter at this point how neat you are, you just want to cover the edges and (just as importantly) some of your garment, as this will end up being flipped to the inside to form your lining.
Sew along the edge (1st image), follow your top outline and cut along the edges (2nd image), then flip and iron (3rd image). Phew! What a mouth full.
Once you’ve done that simply fold it inside and iron again. Do not resew the edges. Lucky I’ve taken an image and you can see how it works below.
FIVE. Once you’ve done this with all the edges, use a zig-zag stitch on your lining to make sure it doesn’t fray.
SIX. Now all you have to do is sew up the sides and you’re done! Note, if you haven’t left enough lining around the collar you may find that it may poke out when you put it on. But you can easily fix this by resewing the shoulder seams with the lining attached which will secure it into place. Now that wasn’t too hard was it?
Of course if you’re lazy like me, you can make another one using black scuba fabric and pretty much skip all the steps. Trust me, it still looks good!