Friday, June 18, 2010

Strapless Summer Top

I am on the Craft Mag blog all the time, and today I came across this pattern and tutorial for a really easy summer top made with elastic thread and a big rectangle of fabric. I'd need to add straps (more on this later) but I love the blousy look accomplished with elastic shirring on the top and bottom.

This is yet another "use your own measurements" project. Handily, the blog includes a pdf link that shows where and how to measure, as well as the math you'll need to do to get the right amount of fabric. Easy! The tutorial has a lot of pictures and instructions to make this project a breeze.

Once you get the hang of a top like this, you can easily lengthen it to make a dress or cover-up. Add more shirring at the bottom for a nifty 80s throw-back or more at the top for a form-fitting chestal area. See the shirred dress tute link below to see what I mean.

If, like me, you need to add straps, just measure your shoulder area where the strap will be placed and cut a three inch wide strip of fabric to your measurements (plus 1 inch for hems. I like three inches because it results in a wide, sturdy strap (perfect for keeping bra straps neatly tucked away). You can find instructions for making tidy straps in this shirred dress tutorial if you'd like a little visual assistance. How you attach them is up to you; you can sew them directly to the inside of the dress or you can create buttonholes on the straps, then place buttons at the top front and back of the dress (both sides) so that they are removeable. Buttonholes can be a little tricky, so practice on scrap fabric first if you've never made them.


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