Finally the warmer weather is rolling around here in New York, and I am certainly enjoying it! Looking back at my other Mash Ups I noticed that I have made a dress, pants, and skirt. So it just seemed right to make a top from this issue, which is perfect because as soon as I saw this Bodice Top sewing pattern from the April 2013 issue of burda style magazine I knew I wanted to make it.
I love this Bodice Top pattern for this time of year. The angled front and back style lines really caught my eye, and I also liked the aesthetic of the bust darts and thicker straps. If you were to check out my studio you can see I make a lot of spandex sewing projects. I thought this bustier top in particular would be great sewn in spandex, since it is form fitting.
All the small pattern pieces made it easy for me to use my scrap spandex! I had this amazing multicolored metallic spandex that reminisces the look of when oil is combined with water. A top purely in this spandex would be overwhelming, so I paneled it with a shiny black spandex I had. I love these two fabrics together!
This top pattern is originally pretty short in length (ends at belly button). I wanted it a bit longer so I could wear it with a pair of jeans and with bottoms that didn’t have a high waist. After I cut out the paper pieces I taped more paper and lengthened the hemline by 5". I extended all seams 5", and then drew a slight smooth curve to create a new hemline.
Since I am sewing with spandex I only need to use a serger, so only 1/4" seam allowance is needed on the piece edges. I decided to bind the neckline so I added no seam allowance to those edges. The front princess seams get sewn to the center front at marking, so I notched the seam allowance (bottom right image). For the hemline I added 3/4".
For the binding I folded the metallic spandex and cut a few strips long enough to cover each edge and 1" wide. I find it easiest to cut binding on a cutting mat with a ruler and rotary blade. I cut the center front panel in the colored metallic spandex and the sides in black. I thought this would be flattering on the figure and I really wanted that awesome metallic spandex to be front and center!
First was to sew the darts in the center front piece. You do not need the serger to sew the darts, just use a regular sewing machine on a small stitch length. DO NOT press these darts down, spandex does not like to be ironed (especially metallic).
Match up the seam allowance notch on the side pieces and sew to the top of the center front and back pieces. for ALL seams simply place right sides together and serge together. When I serge a seam together I always match up the finishing edges together so I am sure the top or bottom layer doesn’t stretch more than the other to prevent rippling. When starting and ending a serged seam always leave a long tail so it won’t unravel.
Then I placed the front right sides together with the back and serged together the side and shoulder seams. It is easiest to start at the bottom left side seam and work your way around the top, this saves time!
Since the shoulder and side seams are together it is now time to sew on the binding. This is the way I apply spandex binding, and I think it works and looks great! First you take one strip of binding and place it right sides together with the edge you are going to bind. I started out with the neckline. So I placed the binding edge in line with the shoulder seam, and simply serged around the edge slightly stretching ONLY the binding strip. This prevents the binding edges to roll outwards. When you get to the end overlap the binding approx 2". When finished outer edges together so they hold in place. Repeat for armhole edges, I always start the binding for the armholes at the side seam as opposed to the shoulder seam.
Now that the binding is serged on the edges, it is time to secure them down. I have a coverstich machine (which is great for spandex) but this could also be done on your regular sewing machine on the zig zag setting.
It is really easy to do, just wrap the binding around to the wrong side and working from the right side of the topstitch down in place over the serged seam.
For the hem, I turned under the hem allowance and again working from the right side of the top, I coverstiched down in place.
After trying on the top the center front gaped a little bit and as I played with it, I noticed a gathered pinch would look great! I measured down 3" from center front and hand sewed a gathered pinch. I went over the gathers with a stitched on my regular sewing machine to make sure the gathers would not come out.
Here is the finished top! I’m so glad I lengthened the hemline, but I also may make another one that is shorter so I can wear it with high waisted shorts or a skirt. The metallic spandex makes it a great top for going out at night as well.
Photography by Julian Michael Majewski
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.