Saturday, 9 May 2015

Beach 'thing' to summer top

I knew it had been a while since I posted, but I didn't realise it was as far back as January that I last shared my sewing stories. I'll get round to filling the gap soon, but in the meantime, today's success...

This upcycle was inspired by Carissa, but the material of my item was plain, light cotton rather than stretchy stuff, so I could tell pretty quickly her tutorial wouldn't work for me (though I'm grateful for the inspiration). Time to get creative.

First I took the top/skirt thing I've had in my drawers for ages. It cost £1 in Primark many years ago and has never seen the light of day as it was too loose on the bust to stay up and too hot to wear with that shirring anyway. (I don't know why I continue to be seduced by shirred tops, as I never wear them.)

I started by cutting off the shirred part and hemming the top. I hemmed it by turning it over twice as I'd made a hash of it with the pinking shears.

With that done I measured around my bust and took in the resulting rectangle on both sides. This then left me with matching material to do the straps.

Next step was to pull in the material at the back using a technique from my sewing teacher. It's kinda hard to describe but maybe you can see from the picture. (Although it's shown - upside down - with the straps sewn on, I didn't attach these until after making sure it was the right width and I could get it over my head.)
This little trick gave it a bit more shape at the back as well as ensuring it was the right fit around my body.

Next, I attached the straps and that was pretty much it. Voila!

What I learned:
  • When attaching straps, do so as close the the edge as possible to avoid that 'turned out' effect when you wear it.
  • Don't try to use pinking shears to separate shirred material - it just gets tangled.
  • Measure everything and press seams before sewing.
  • Try everything on every time you make an adjustment before sewing.

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