DIY Tutorial, Sewing

DIY Summer Top Tutorial

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The high street is full of off the shoulder tops this season, with variations from button up shirt style to floaty ruffle designs… if like me you look at these and think to yourself ‘could I make this myself’ the answer is a big fat Yes! and you don’t even need a pattern to do it, just follow this tutorial!

You will need the following supplies and step by step (there’s not many of them) you can make your own in an afternoon;

  • 1 metre of fabric – a light jersey knit, viscose or Rayon is perfect.
  • Matching thread
  • 1/2 inch elastic
Supplies required; 1m of fabric, elastic, matching thread

Step 1“The Ruffle” – Fold the fabric in half, selvedge to selvedge. Measuring from approx. 2 inches below the top of your shoulder to underneath your bust, add 2 inches (for elastic channel and hem) and mark this measurement on the fabric from the top and cut. This piece will make your top ‘ruffle’. Sew at the side seam, leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Step 2“The Body of the top”   wrap the remaining amount of your fabric around your body (under arms, around bust and hips) and with chalk or pins mark a line where it sits comfortably at your widest point (this could be your hips, bust or waist) add 2 inches for seam allowance and ease. (If you are slightly bustier you may prefer to add darts). This is also a good point to work out how long you want the top to be and cut off the excess (remember to add a couple of inches for the elastic channel and hem)… this excess will then become your straps in step 4! Now stitch the side seam with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Step 3“The Elastic” – Now for the elastic. The elastic should sit comfortably around your shoulders for the ruffle piece and comfortably just above your bust for the ‘boob tube’ piece. You will need to make a channel in both the main top and the ruffle… To do this fold over the top part of each to create a 1 inch channel and sew, leaving a space to insert the elastic. Once elastic is inserted, stitch both ends together and sew the channel closed. As there will be slightly more excess fabric on the shoulder piece, it will create a nice ruffle as the elastic width is smaller.

Step 4“The Straps” – fold the excess piece of fabric in half and mark out out 4 x 1.5in strips from fold to selvedge and cut. Sew each open side leaving the bottom open to turn inside out. Once all four are sewn and turned the right way, iron them all! You will now have 6 pieces that look like this…

Step 5“Construction” – Now to put the body piece on and the ruffle over your shoulders, you now need to pin where you want the shoulder straps to sit (You may want someone to help with this part, especially for the back straps). You will now sew through all three pieces at the four strap points.

Step 6 – Voila! You now have a new gorgeous summer top!

*There is an alternative method that would involve only sewing one channel of elastic with the fabrics overlapped, I find this method more restrictive when wearing the top. Both ways do work though.

If you get stuck at any point, pop me a message and I’d love to help!

Be sure to share your makes with me, I’d love to see!

Happy Sewing!

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