Sewing Simple Chevron Top
July 8, 2014
This simple blue chevron top is a sewing project I finished a couple of months ago. I had intended to share it sooner but things have gotten in the way of my plans which is I guess how life goes for everyone at times. I have wore the top several times already and love how simple it was to sew and how comfortable it is to wear. Also, it looks good with skirts, shorts or jeans.
The pattern I used for this top was from the Bernina My Label software – which is pattern drafting software I have that drafts patterns by your measurements. I have mentioned it before and use it quite a bit. This top is actually not one of the patterns in the software – I used the tunic pattern to design this simple cap sleeve top. It is only two pattern pieces – a front and back – and I make a bias neckband facing which I am going to share with you below on how to do this.
The fabric I used was a 100% cotton fabric that I think I ordered from fabric.com. The one thing about making clothing with the chevron prints is that you want to have a little extra fabric to match the chevron pattern as close a possible to look uniform. Also, you want to make a top that does not have a lot of complicated darts or seams that will make the print look strange.
The neckline of this top is sewn with a bias strip of fabric for the facing. A lot of patterns come with a facing that is curved but I often find they are kind of wide and do not always lay well. I have found that using the bias facing technique works much better – especially with this style of top. Below is a little tutorial on how to make a bias neckline facing.
- Step 1 – cut a fabric strip on the bias that is 1 1/4 inch or 1 1/2 inch wide and a little longer than the length around your neckline. For this top I did 1 1/4 inch wide. Note: the bias is the 45 degree diagonal grain of the fabric – most quilting rulers have the angles marked and you can use that as a cutting guide.
- Step 2 – after you have your strip cut finish off one of the long raw edges with a serger or a zigzag stitch
- Step 3 – then pin the other raw edge with right sides together to your neckline starting at the center back of neck- overlap the ends a little (what I usually do is just have an extra long strip and after I am done pinning it to the neckline I cut it where I need to)
- Step 4 – sew the strip to the neckline edge using a 1/2 in seam allowance
- Step 5 – Clip the curved neckline edges close to stitching line, with a steam iron press bias strip out with seam pressed toward the bias strip
- Step 6 – Understitch the facing just inside the neckline seam on the bias strip – you can use the inner toe of your presser foot as a guide
- Step 7 – Press the facing to the inside of the top and topstitch the facing down from the right side of the top – I usually use a 3/8 inch seam or the outer edge of my presser foot as a guide while stitching around the neckline – press again after you complete your topstitching
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and are getting lots of sewing projects done this summer. I would love to hear about what you are working on – click on Leave a Reply to tell me about your current projects and crafts. Also, to receive future blog updates and tutorials follow my blog via email subscription, RSS feed or bloglovin. All icons are in the right sidebar.
Have a great week!
Sewing Project Knit Jacket
March 18, 2014
I recently made this knit jacket using a pattern that I also made a tunic from this past summer. The pattern is Simplicity 1668. It is one of those patterns considered to be sportswear as there is a whole ensemble that you can make in the pattern that includes a dress, jacket, pants, shorts and a tunic. So far I have only sewn the jacket and the tunic.
The fabric I used for this jacket was a lightweight knit that I believe I bought from Hancock Fabrics. The jacket is very easy to sew as it has minimal pieces. There are no sleeves to sew as it has a dolman sleeve. I always like that as it makes completing your project so much easier when there are no separate sleeves to sew. The front features a shawl type of collar and that was sort of time consuming to sew as it requires interfacing and since it is curved you have to sew slowly and do some clipping to make the seams lay nicely. I don’t think the jacket front is hard to sew just requires a little time and patience to ensure it turns out well. You also need to press it to get a crease to make it fold back.
As you can see from the photos the jacket is a 3/4 sleeve and it also has an asymmetrical drape as the back is lower than the front.
I really like this jacket a lot and was so pleased that I had some navy pants that I made a couple of years ago that went with the jacket and It also looked nice with my Olympic Crochet Scarf that I had finished during the winter Olympics. I think I would like to make this jacket again in the near future in a cream or white for spring or summer. This jacket is the perfect thing to keep with you for those air conditioned places that are so chilly in the summer time.
Currently I am working on sewing some jeans and jean shorts. I will be doing a future post on them so be sure to subscribe via bloglovin, email or RSS for updates.
Have a great day!
December 31, 2013
Leggings seem to be coming back around again. Maybe they have been around and I am just slow to noticing. I decided that I would make my own leggings because they seemed pretty simple to make – and they really are. The way I made mine there are only 3 seams then a waistband casing for your elastic and then the hem.
I chose to make mine with a little more ease in them than those you buy. I really don’t like super tight things on my legs. I like the way these fit me and they are comfortable to wear. That is one of the things I love about sewing my own clothes – I can make things the way I want.
I did not really use a pattern to make these. I consulted pinterest first on how to sew leggings and found a couple of good blogs with this info. You can look at my Sewing board on pinterest to see these pins-blogs. This helped me figure out how to use an existing pattern for just some basic pants and turn it into a leggings pattern. What I did was take my measurements and then using the My Label pattern I have for pants, I butted the front and back pieces together on the outer sides and then adjusted the size per my measurements, making sure I added in approx. 1/2 inch for a seam allowance. I then took some pattern drafting interfacing, I by this at Joann, and laid it over the two pieces and traced around to make a pattern for the leggings. This way there is no outer seam only an inner seam and the front and back crotch seam.
Sewing these is so fast and easy! You just sew with right sides together your inner leg seams and then sew the crotch seam. Then, turn over your casing for your elastic waistband – I use 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 inch elastic so the casing is fairly wide. You also turn up 1 inch for your hem on the legs. You are done! So simple. I have serger so sewing these is super fast but you could also use a regular sewing machine and a zigzag stitch. I sometimes use a twin needle for the hems but this time I chose to use a narrow zigzag to sew the hem and the casing. I think this gives it a little better stretch.
To make leggings you will need some fabric that is stretchy with a little bit of spandex or lycra in it. I think mine was from Joann and called Ponte Roma Sew Classic knits. The gray ones I made below that I use to workouts in are the Sweatshirt Performance fabric from Joann. Both fabrics have a little lycra or spandex and retain their stretch after hours of wear.
I have made four pair of leggings now and have some camel color fabric to make one more pair. Two of the pair I use as my workout pants in the morning.
I have lots of other sewing projects and ideas for 2014. Please follow my blog via bloglovin or RSS to receive future updates. I hope everyone has a Happy New Year!