Monday, April 1, 2019

Geometrics make a cute top!

After much searching over a long period, I decided to make my own top.  I was fed up with wearing solid colors (mostly white and black) with very little variation.

Our local Benjamin Franklin store had a bolt-end of this fabric (I think it was just over a yard, but may have been less).

I had a top I quite liked, except I wanted it a couple inches longer.  So I made a paper pattern from the store-bought top (tricky to get right, but I did).  Laid the big print out to center a big "stripe" down the center front and the center back.

After cutting, I serged the shoulder seams and side seams.  Checked the fit -- it was good.  Pressed the seams.

Then I cut some fairly-diagonal strips to make a binding for the neck and armholes.  Stitched the strips and pressed the seams.  Then folded the strip and pinned it together.

NOTE:  In my opinion, it is ALWAYS tricky to stretch just the right amount when sewing binding to curves!  If you stretch too hard, you get crinkles around the curve in the garment.  If you do not stretch enough in the deeply curved areas, the binding will flop out like this:

Please note it is doing the flopping in the center front AND in the back as well where the curve was much more gentle.  (The sleeves came out well because you sewed the binding down, then turned the whole thing inside and stitched.)

I had zig-zagged around those curves, then serged the binding onto the top, then placed a row of stitching on the top to keep the binding flat.  (Until I stitched the top I could not be certain it was not acceptable).  Had I attempted to remove all those stitches I was certain the top would have become so distorted that it may never be okay.  So I came up with a "cheat"--I wasn't certain how it would work, but it did okay.  Now I just have to see how it wears over time.

My solution was to go into the front neck below the "cross-type" design.  I put in a thread on the back side, pulled it up through the binding, and put a row of stitches around the part of the neck that needed to be tightened.  I did the same thing on the back neck.  I sewed through to the inside of the neck fabric but no stitching goes through the outside layer.  With each stitch I pulled a little bit, trying to gauge how much I needed to reduce it by.

If you look closely on the back of the neck you can see the stitching where I pulled it just a little.  On the back I should have pulled it even a bit more, but it is okay.  The front came out acceptably.  I wish I had done it the right amount in the beginning, but this is an okay option.  I think you can hardly see the "puckering" around the front neck.  I wonder how it will wash???

[Better luck next time.]

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