Thursday, May 05, 2011

Spring Top Sewalong Entry #2

Spring Top Sewalong #2
Before the seam ripper
I’ve been ruminating about my second entry for the Made by Rae Spring Top Sewalong for so long, it’s crazy…how to create the pattern, which fabric to choose, how to assemble the darn thing…it’s been preventing sleep for a few weeks now. One of my all-time favorite tops was no longer wearable due to some unfortunate accidents while eating, so I took the seam ripper to it to trace the pieces for the outer and lining patterns (they were not the same!) After several discarded fabric choices, I finally gave in to my original vision for the project and ordered Anna Maria Horner’s Pastry Line Voile in lilac, using white cotton lawn for the lining from a local fabric store.

Invisible zipper--can you see it? :)
Obviously, the most critical aspect of recreating the top was matching the stripes. I had to cut two versions of the bodice to get the right placement of the V, the zipper was applied twice to match seams/stripes (see my tip below), and much care was taken to space the vertical stripes on the “skirt” so it would appear seamless (there are actually 6 panels on the skirt). Other than the darts breaking the lines in the bodice, I couldn’t be happier with the result.

I am not a professional seamstress, so without explicit instructions, the installation of the full lining (that didn’t involve copious amounts of hand sewing) was a mystery to me. After a first failed try, I consulted an unlikely source: this “singlet bag” tutorial. Additionally, while it may be a well-known technique in the business, I figured out a great way to apply an invisible zipper to match seams or stripes (or both, as in this case): lay the zipper where you want it to end up, mark both sides of the coil and use those marks for reference when sewing in the zipper. Worked perfectly!

Shirred strap detail
Back with matching stripes
As per the original blouse, the straps were shirred at the top.  It was my first time shirring using elastic thread, which I found to be easy and fun. I’ll have to incorporate this technique into future projects.

Even though this shirt is completely impractical for me at the moment (as I can't hike it up for breastfeeding) I am very pleased with the final product!


  1. I love this top, and voted for it! Looks great. Would you consider posting the pattern pieces you drafted...I would love to make it, but alas, I am breast feeding too.

  2. Love this top. you've done a great job.

  3. @Janet Thanks, Janet! I would love to post the pattern I drafted, but I'm not sure the company from which I bought the shirt would appreciate it! Copyrighting of patterns is tricky stuff!

  4. quiero votar por tu polera, me encantó, pero no se donde es la votacion :P

    I want to vote for your t-shirt, I love it, but I don't know where the "votation" is :P

  5. @origanimal Oh no! Voting for this top ended early this morning. Thank you, anyway!

  6. Anonymous1:15 PM

    Very well done. Very flattering on you. Wish I had the patience to try it!!