Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Summer time sewing

And now for something different (kind of)!  I took the day off yesterday from the 10x10 challenge, as I was planning on sewing a shirt to wear, and didn't get to it because we had guests staying with us until yesterday.  I spent most of the day in jeans and a black tank top, which is basically my everyday outfit when I work from home.  I was able to spend a few minutes finishing up a summer top that I had started a week or two prior.

I came across the image below when I was falling down a pinterest rabbit hole:

I loved how simple and chic it was, as well as I'm super ready for summer shirts!  I just made it up as I went, and ended up making some changes which don't quite stick to the same vibe, but I realized I'm also not stick-thin, so it will never look the same on me. :)

Photos are first, and then I get into the nitty gritty details below!



Pattern:  Self-drafted, based on inspo photo

Fabric:  1 meter of lightweight cotton I got in Thailand for like $1 - ahhh, I miss that fabric shopping.

Difficulty:  Super easy!  It probably took me about 2 hours for the whole process - think through the design, cut it out, sew it and take photos.

Sewing Details:  I literally just cut four rectangles - two for the body (keeping the selvage for the hem) and two for the straps.

Before sewing the body together, I ironed down 1/4" at the top, as it was easier to do it then versus after sewing them into a tube.  I then french-seamed the sides, folded down the top just slightly larger than my elastic (I think it was 1-1/4" elastic), and sewed it down, leaving a couple of inches to get the elastic in.  I then threaded through the elastic using my trick of attaching a large safety pin through one end of the elastic, which is easier to push through the tube than just the elastic.  My standard finish for elastic bands is to overlap the two ends and zigzag.  This eliminates extra bulk and the zigzag is essential for stretching, as a straight stitch would break.

The arm straps were the piece that took a bit of thought.  I didn't want to wear a straight jacket, but I also didn't want them too droopy.  I settled on using another piece of elastic that would wrap around the sides of my arm, leaving enough room to tie the ends.  I made two tubes that were the width of the elastic, and estimated a good length for the tie.  I then threaded the elastic in until it hit that point, and zigzagged straight down to hold it in place.  I scrunched the tie down and zigzagged the other end, leaving me with a tie that had a stretchy bit in the middle and flat ties on either end.  I just found the center of each tie, and zigzag stitched it to my side seams on the body of the shirt.  I wish I would have taken a closer picture, so let me know if you want more details!

I wish I would have used a smaller, less strong piece of elastic though, as the whole elastic band is the part that really doesn't match my inspiration (both with the front being too blousy and the straps looking more fussy).  Particularly when I tied the straps like the photo, it makes the ends look wimpy, so that's why I also tried out the bow.  I debated taking it apart and taking out some of the width, but I think I'll call it good enough for now - if it turns out I never wear it, I might revisit it.

And because I wanted to keep up my outfit sketches, I also did a sketch of the top!  For some reason I really struggle drawing my head when it's turned to the side and down like that - another thing to work on! :)

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