Thursday, August 1, 2013

College Top

Fabric doesn't just call my name, it leaps at me begging, kicking and screaming to come home. To say I have a fabric stash is like saying the Smithsonian is a small collection. This said, what did I do? Buy more fabric!

What else could I do? It was literally crying to be made into a top to match my summery blue pants!

Soft blue ruffles, perfect for a summer top. One yard was more than enough for this easy summer top. I found the pattern online. It works for shorter tops, tunic tops, short dresses or even a maxi. I decided tunic length was perfect for me, although the yard would have made the perfect length short dress.

I made this top for touring Augustana College with my daughter Josie. Looks like I picked right as the sun is shining and the sky is almost the same color as my shirt.

To make your own version just follow these steps.

First, measure from the middle of the back of your neck down your shoulder to where you'd like your sleeve to end. This is the width of each panel of your shirt.

Measure from the top of your shoulder down your body to were you'd like your top to end (or do it the way I did, cut it the length of your fabric piece and then trim it when you're ready to hem). This is the length of your rectangles.

Cut 4 rectangles total. Start by sewing two rectangles together at one of the short sides. Repeat this with the second set of rectangles. Pin the rectangles together lengthwise measuring down from the shoulder seam for the front and back necklines. Put pins at each of these spots.

Sew the front and back seams together between the pins, then hem your neckline. I usually add a hanger strap at the shoulder seam at this point.

Now decide how wide to leave your sleeve openings. Mine were about 10 inches. Easier, try your shirt on and mark one opening where it feels comfortable. Transfer this marking to the other side of the shirt and sew both side seams. If it's easier to hem the sleeves before sewing the seams, now is the time, otherwise hem them after.

Now, try your top on and double check the length. You may decide you want it shorter or you might want to taper more under the arms. Depending upon what look you are going for and what type of fabric, you may chose not to do hems, just leave them raw.

Now for the best part of an easy shirt! Wear it!!! This is the second of these I've made. I already have fabric for another and am considering cutting some rectangles to make 3/4 length sleeves. And, then to make another maxi, a dress and several more tops!!

It's easier to write about it than to remember to take photos every step of the way, but when I make the next top, I'll take photos and edit them into this post.

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