I went to the thrift shop in search of a men's large dress shirt, in nice colours, that didn't have a pocket on the front. This was not as easy as I had hoped it would be. There were only two men's button down shirts that didn't have a pocket in the front and they were u-g-l-y. So I headed over to the ladies large sizes and found the perfect top for this project.
Here's what you need:
I marked my line right under the arms in an effort to get as much fabric as possible.
2) Cut out along your lines. Check to make sure that everything is somewhat symmetrical.
3) To add a little flair and make this top truly mine I decided to add a bit of crocheted lace to the front on either side of the placket. Just pin it down, remembering to fold a little under on each end to avoid fraying, and sew it in place. You will most likely need to use your zipper foot for this to get around any snaps or buttons.
4) Once the lace was secured, I snapped the front closed and then sewed down either side of the placket again so that the front is totally closed and won't come open even if a snap comes undone.
5) Now we have to make a casing along the top to insert some elastic. You could just fold the fabric down but then you'd lose length from the shirt. I wanted to maintain as much as possible, so I used bias tape instead. I still got a nice clean seam with a casing but I only lost a fraction of an inch of length.
To attach bias tape, lay it edge to edge along the top of your top, with right sides facing one another.
6) Pin and sew down right in the little ditch of the fold.
You may want to switch to your zipper foot again for this in order avoid hitting any buttons or snaps when you get to the front.
7) Press your seam towards the bias tape.
8) Now we get to do my favourite stitch! (yes, I am that much of a sewing nerd) Sew in the hem as close to the edge as you can without hitting it. This is an edge stitch. It looks simple, but what it does for your garment is amazing.
|Notice all those skipped serger stitches?|
It shouldn't look like that, I just need to take my serger
in for a tune-up~
9) That little stitch allows you to make a super clean fold line that holds everything in place. So cool right???
10) Fold the top down and press.
11) Now you just sew along the bottom of your bias tape, making sure to leave a space open to thread your elastic in. Make sure your elastic isn't too wide for the casing. I used 3/4" wide elastic. This will effectively be a tube top, so make sure you use something with enough strength to hold this baby in place. Also, watch where your buttons are falling in the front. You may need to make your casing a little wider to accommodate a button or snap. I was lucky and mine fell almost perfectly.
12) Once your elastic is in, sew the ends together, and finish of your hem, closing the hole you left for the elastic.
|Bottom hem: 5/8"wide|
|Using lace from the front|
|Use the left over fabric from the sleeves|
Funnily enough, being small chested actually makes it easier for a tube top to stay up somehow, so I don't need any straps.
I really wasn't too sure how this project would turn out but I'm quite happy with it and I think I might even wear this top out this weekend. Let me know what you think. I'd love to see this in a men's pinstripe number.
Don't forget to check out the linky party tab up top. That's where I'll be hanging out all week and you'll find loads of other fun projects too!
Have a wonderful week everyone~