It is a new year, and I have decided to kick start it with a vibrant new and blue mash up! I had such a great time every month last year choosing a new issue pattern and putting my unique spin on it, and this year I’m going to step it up a notch. This month I did have a hard time choosing a pattern, but in the end I decided to make our Skirted Top. Check out how I made it my own…
I really liked the silhouette of the Skirted Top, and it really had that baby-doll style. This silhouette was a challenge for me as it is a bit ‘feminine’ for my taste, but I thought I would try my best to make a at least a little bit edgy. I had the pattern in mind before I went fabric shopping, and I really wasn’t sure what I was going to make it out of. The pattern called for faux leather, but I knew I didn’t want to use that (I used enough leather in the past, and wanted a change.)
The top pattern had these under arm sleeve panels that I really liked, so I knew I wanted to play them up by cutting in a contrast fabric. I saw this bright blue fabric at the store and I knew it would look great in this top! For the contrasting fabric I found this black mesh stretch polka dot fabric that looked fabulous with the blue. I just love black and blue together. To turn the top into a dress-look I also made a matching skirt using this pattern and my left over blue stretch fabric.
I thought the top pattern needed a little extra detail, so I thought of drafting a peter pan collar. Then I thought I should sew an inset collar and use my mesh fabric. To do this I simply drafted along my top neckline (as a would a regular collar), but cut out the collar shape on the top.
I also altered the shape of he lower flounce. I wanted to make the back flounce longer than the front. I didn’t add hem allowances to the lower edge of the flounce either because mesh fabric is quite hard to stitch a hem into. Then I cut the inset collar, flounce, and under sleeve out of the mesh. The rest of the top I cut out of the blue stretch fabric (front and back bodice, and upper sleeve).
To sew the collar I simply laid the mesh collar pieces under the right side of the top. I pinned in place and then topstitch 3/16" around the edges working from the right side. Then I flipped over to the wrong side and trimmed a little bit of the mesh collar allowances to reduce bulk.
For the flounce I put a basting stitch on each waistline edge and gathered in to match the corresponding bodice piece. I sewed another basting stitch to keep the gathers flat and secure before I serged the seam together.
On the back bodice I cut a slit to the marking from the neckline at center back. This become the keyhole.
For the keyhole I decided to bind the edges with my black mesh fabric. I cut a long strip 1" wide. But before I bound the keyhole edges I sewed the mesh binding to finish off the neckline. To bind the keyhole and neckline, I first serged my binding strip to the fabric edge (stretching the binding strip a bit while serging). After that, I flip my binding strip to the inside and use my coverstitch machine to sew down in place (you are also use the zig-zag setting on your regular sewing machine). For the keyhole I continued coverstitching so that I have small strands that I could tie in a bow at the start of my keyhole.
Then came the sleeve! I stitched up my side seams first and then sewed a set in sleeve. Before I set in my sleeve though I had to stitch the under sleeve to the upper. I also left the sleeve hem raw and unfinished to mimic the flounce hem. Since I was using both knit fabrics the edges could not fray.
Here they are in all their glory! I love they way they look together, and really make a polished outfit, almost like a two-piece dress. Check out more pictures here.
Meg Healy is BurdaStyle.com’s Online Editor and eCommerce Manager. She has an education in fashion design and earned several awards for her technical skills in pattern making and sewing.