I promised my friend Jenny that I'd make her a top for her birthday and this is what I came up with. It's the first top I've ever made and I love it so much.
I hope this tutorial makes sense, I really didn't know how to explain the steps well. Any questions, just ask!
I started by cutting the front top bodice part. This is a basic tank top shape, wide enough to fit across your bust comfortably (remember to leave a generous seam allowance).
Cut out two, one for the front and one for the lining. I choose to line my top with the same fabric, but you could use lining fabric.
I then marked my darts across the bust, drawing directly on to the silk with a pencil.
Pin the dart lines together, making sure it's giving you a nice shape when you drape it across your chest.
Sew the darts together. Repeat this, adding darts to the lining fabric.
Lay the lining fabric on top of the front, with right sides facing and pin around the outside. Sew around the outside, leaving the bottom edge unstitched, and fold the right way out.
The back of the top is the same shape as the front, with a high neckline and no darts, and you need to make this in two halves.
Cut out four pieces, your two front sides and your two lining sides.
Pin the front and back sides together, wrong sides facing and sew around the edges, leaving the bottom edge unstitched.
Fold these right side out.
Now you want to sew these two halves together with a wide basting stitch.
Press the seams open and line the zipper up.
Sew the zip in place and the unpick the basted stitch.
You now have the front and back of the bodice of your top. It gets easier now...
We'll now make the bottom part of the back of the top.
Cut a large rectangle of fabric, measuring 12" tall x +5" wider than the width of the top back part of the top.
Fold over an inch at the bottom edge for a hem and sew in place.
Line the top back and bottom back up and mark the middle on the bottom piece.
Working out from the center, find the middle points between the center and the edge of the fabric and make a gather at either side.
The bottom part should now be about the same width as the top part.
Sew the gathers in place.
Lay the bottom part on top of the top part, so that the bottom edges are lined up and sew along the bottom edge.
Now we're going to work on the bottom part of the front of the top. This is going to be in two parts, which will overlap.
Cut another rectangle, with the same measurements as the back part. This will be the right hand side of the bottom of the top. Make a 1" hem at the bottom, like you did with the last piece.
Fold over the left hand edge by 2" and sew in place.
Sew about 4 gathers, spaced equally apart.
We want to make the left hand flap have a tilt to it. Sew cut a rectangle to the same width and a heigh of 12" at the shortest side and 14" and the taller side. Fold the fabric up and sew the hem in place. Sew 5 gathers along the top edge.
Lay the front bodice part down and then lay the left hand bottom edge on top, so that the bottom edges are in line. Then lay the right hand side on top (because we want it to go behind) and pin in place along the bottom edge.
Sew in place and then fold down. It should look like this.
You now want to make two ties for the front of the top. These should measure 20" x 2". Pin these in place at either side, so that they lay over the seam in the middle of your top.
Make another for the back and pin in place.
Lay the back of the top on top of the front, so that the right sides are facing and make sure all the ties are sticking out by at least an inch at either side. Pin around the edges.
Try the top on to make sure it fits nice and sew the edges.
Now for the straps. Twist the front strap over about 4 times and then pin to the back strap.
Fold the middle of the bust under and pin in place.
Stitch the bust and sew the straps together.
Tie the front ties in to a bow and you're all done!
Accessorise with a Vivienne Westwood brooch.