Friday, April 20, 2012

10-Minute Top Tutorial

This top is seriously the easiest thing I have ever made. I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I came up with the idea of sewing a summer yoga outfit with cargo pockets for the sew along at Project Run and Play. My machine was not cooperative with all that topstitching on the cargo pockets. If the machine wasn't eating my fabric, the threads in the double needle were tying themselves into knots. I needed a really simple top to finish off the outfit, so I could at least grab a few hours of sleep.

When I thought up the concept for this top, I searched Pinterest and Googled to see if I could find  a tutorial or pattern.  I came up empty, which is not to say its not out there.  (This thing is so simple, I know folks must have made it before.)  But this is my version:

All you need is two rectangles of stretchy fabric.  You sew four straight lines, and you're done.

I measured my girl and got a 23 inch chest.  I added a few inches for the seam allowance and ease, so that makes 26 inches. 

Next, I measured from her shoulder to where I wanted the top to fall at her hip.  I got 17 inches.  I added four more inches for seam allowance and because the top blouses a little, so I knew that would take up some of the length.  So that's 21 inches.

I cut my two rectangles 13 inches (half of your chest measurement, after you add for seam allowance and ease) by 21 inches.  Make sure if your fabric only stretches one way, that the stretch is going around the body--the way of your chest measurement.

I placed right sides together.  On the 13 inch side, I sewed in 2 1/2 inches along the top.  I did this on each side to make the shoulder seams.  I placed that pin there at 2 1/2 inches, so I'd know where to stop.  That's your first two straight lines.

Then I sewed up the side seams.  I sewed down along the sides, starting about 5 1/2 inches below the shoulder seam to form arm holes.

Sorry I didn't get pics of all the steps, but I hope the above diagram will help.  The dotted lines show where you need to stitch.  Make sure you use a zig-zag stitch if you're not using a serger, so your fabric doesn't pucker or get too wavy.  The measurements given will make a top that fits about a size 8-10.  It fits a smaller child as a dress.  Of course, you can adapt for smaller sizes.  I made a slightly smaller version that fits my six-year-old, who wears a size 6-7. The very same top fits Dozer (She plows through everything.), who wears an 18-24 months, as a dress.

That's it.  All done.  I did not hem, because the edges rolled nicely.  The fabric is grey cotton lycra with silver dots that I purchased from Girl Charlee for $5.25 a yard.

Ten minutes of sewing + about $1 in fabric=top/dress that should fit for several years. I'm pretty excited about that deal. I'm going to be sewing up several of these for each of my girls. I'm even thinking of making a onsie version for the baby. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I'm waiving at you from across the Blogosphere!!! Thank you for visiting my site today! 4 girls, huh? That's awesome!

    Thanks for the tutorial. (If only all sewing took just 10 minutes :).)