Tuesday, August 25, 2009

DIY Tuesday: Polkadots Babydoll Top

Made a new top! Actually I made it last week and had already worn it twice & had gone thru the vigorous washing machine process. hehe Thought I'll save this for a slow blogging day. ;+) I really was in need of something new for my blah wardrobe as mentioned. I hardly get to shop for clothing these days, not to mention the mass-production quality leaves me nauseous. Ugh. Anyhoo, I had this super cute classic polkadots fabric hanging around for a while, actually planned for a cute bubble-hem dress but thought I'll try a top first, besides, I needed it right away! Instant gratification can be pretty satisfying sometimes! And how easy was this top & pretty cute on too! If you got a tee, some fabric, a sewing machine & some 1/8" elastic, you're good to go. Instructions below!

1) First, take a well-fitted tee, draw a straight chalk line across the bottom very near to the seam, cut off the bottom band, and measure about 7inches up, draw another line across. Make sure this band fits your bust line and its not too loose.

2) Cut the band out and fold over & iron about 1/2 inch on the top to form the top hem ready for the elastic.

3)Take your 1/8" elastic, go around yourself above your bust, make sure it fits snug, add an inch & cut. Sew the elastic together with an zigzag stitch.

4) Sew the elastic around the top hem you made on the t-shirt band earlier. To do that, watch this episode of Threadbanger. You'll need to pin the joined elastic portion to the back of the top hem, the other side to the other half. Stretch and sew along the elastic with a zigzag stitch.

5) Take out your fabric for the bottom portion. Depending on how wide/comfy you wish the bottom to flare out, you'll need to adjust. A good way to measure is your hip measurement, adding 10-20 inches in order to have that babydoll effect. My polkadot fabric is pure cotton which doesn't stretch so I added a couple more inches for luck. If you're using another tee, and prefer your bottom not to flare out too much, add about 5 inches to your hip measurement. The length depends on your favourite top/preference. Don't worry if its too short/long. If its too short, you can always add lace! If its too long, simply cut, leaving enough room for a bottom hem. I left 3 inches for the bottom hem since it adds a bit of weight and boxy style. :+)

6) Fold your fabric in half and sew down one side, iron open the seam. If you're super neat, you can fold both seams and sew down both sides to secure it. I simply cut both sides with pinking shears and they've been good.

7) Put the top Tee band into the bottom piece, right sides together, back seam to back seam. If you're skillful, add in the elastic (measured to your underbust comfort level) and sew them all up together. If not start with the top & bottom then add in the elastic, like the top hem of the top. If you notice, I did the bottom elastic looser than the top since I look better without the scrunched up fabric at my underbust, revealing a huge potbelly when I sit down! Its a bit more forgiving when the underbust elastic has a bit more give. ;+) Stretch and sew with a zigzag stitch and you're almost done.

8) Fold in and hem the bottom. I just went over it with a straight stitch.

9) If you like to wear it as a tube top, you can stop here! There's so many options here! I simply took out the leftover tee, measured about 6 inches and made 2 bands, pinned it on to the top elastic, stretched and sewed across with a zigzag stitch. The stretching gives it the slight ruched cuteness & it holds better when on the elastic. Of course, you'll need to wear the top and measure if the straps would fit you before sewing. If you prefer a halter, simply cut 2 long strips and sew to 2 front ends. Alternatively, use ribbon, rope, whatever you like it to be! ;+)

And you're done! Apologies for the word-only tute. Didn't expect to be writing a tute but thought you guys might wanna know the how-to. I promise when I do up my next maxi dress in the same style (soon!), I'll post the step-by-step tute with pics. Its in quite a similar style as the amazing Tee dress on Threadbanger so do hop on over if you need to!

EDIT: Tutorial!

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