Monday, January 5, 2015

Self-drafted Gathered Knit Top

Olivia is making a rare appearance on the blog today. I sew more often for her than it would seem, she just shuns the camera so I don't blog about it. Most of what I do for her is refashions, alterations, and basic tees or skirts. But this is a top I designed and sewed for her for Christmas and it turned out great.

The fabric is a rayon spandex print that I found at Joann's and knew she would love. Sometimes it's hard to tell with teens, but I was confident when I bought this. It's slinky and drapey without being too thin. Fingers crossed that it holds up well. I washed and machine dried it before cutting, but I intend to hang dry from here on out. I made no attempt at pattern matching, by the way.

You can see that the back is identical to the front, with the exception of the neck height of course.

I started with a basic long sleeved tee pattern (with some shaping, not a boxy one) and traced and cut the bodice into 5 pieces - one full-length center section, and then the side pieces were each cut into a top and bottom.

 The center front piece is 7" wide (but cut on the fold as normal).

The top side pieces are the remainder of the pattern piece with .5" seam allowance added to the center and bottom edges. They are about 12" from the top of the shoulder.

The bottom side pieces are the remainder of the pattern piece with .5" added to the top edge and 5.5" added to the center edge, to roughly double the width.

When designing this, I was just thinking about a general rule of thirds so I was pleasantly surprised to see that the seams fell in a good place. Lucky.

To construct it, I first gathered the bottom sections to their respective top sections. Then I attached them to the center piece. Everything else was just normal t-shirt construction after that. I prefer to sew both shoulders together and attach the neckband in a circle for a cleaner finish. I did more pressing than I normally do with t-shirts and I hemmed the sleeves and bottom with the double needle.

When her same age (16) cousin saw it, she liked it too so I let her pick some fabric from my stash and made her one. Hers is exactly the same except for it being sleeveless because she lives in south Florida and has no need for sleeves. She probably would have preferred a narrower strap like a tank but I followed her school dress code and barely trimmed the arm opening at the top only. I just folded them under and hemmed them with the double needle but it took a couple tries to get them to lay flat without tunneling. And because the fabric she chose isn't as stretchy, I added about .25" extra to the inner edges of the top and bottom side pieces to add an extra inch to the whole top in width.

We were able to catch a couple pictures the night before she flew back home. Less than ideal lighting conditions, but I know she will be pleased to make the blog. Thanks for posing Heather!

Posting pictures of Olivia reminds me that I've been meaning to share some of her artwork here. There is an awesome ceramic piece that isn't glazed yet so I'll wait on that one, but here are some of her drawings/paintings.

Charcoal drawing

Charcoal gargoyle

The only part of her self-portrait that she liked.

Padre Pio painted on a bamboo flooring scrap

A colorful painting for once

This is shell art with acrylic paint she did as a joke for her church youth group leader but I think it's amazing.

Did you make it this far into the post? Kind of a long one. Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. I think the art she'll mixed media is amazing too! Great tops. Very cute but still appropriate for young ladies!


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