Sew Over It Vintage
Inspired by 1920s-style dropped waists, this top is really comfy and looks chic. I wear mine with Capri trousers or jeans. The fabric needs to be lightweight and drapey, so I have used a lightweight silk. For a more contemporary look, use a contrasting colour for the band and ties.
We are going to use our bodice block as a starting point but we need to lengthen it.
1. Tie a ribbon around your waist. Then measure down 10 cm (4 in) and tie a second ribbon. Measure around the ribbon. This is your top hip (approx.).
2. Keeping the ribbon tied around your top hip, measure down 11 cm (4¼ in) and tie a third ribbon here. Measure around this ribbon. This is your lower hip and where the top finishes. If you want to change the length of the top, adjust the distance between each ribbon.
© 2022 Lisa Comfort / Ebury Press · Reproduced with permission.
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How to draft the pattern
We will be using the same pattern for the front and back.
1. Copy your bodice block.
2. If you want to lower your neck, lower point J. Or make it wider by moving K towards B – this is what I did.
3. Add 10 cm (4 in) to the length of line JC, creating point L.
4. Square across from L and extend line BH to meet this, creating point M. Check that line LM is at least 1 cm (½ in) longer than the top hip measurement ¶ divided by 4. If it isn’t, extend line LM from point M until it is.
5. BH will create your armhole; however, we are eliminating the underarm curve. This creates a slightly looser fit. H must be marked with a notch so you know where the armhole starts.
Exceptions to above
6. If E on your block is wider than B, follow steps 1–3 only.
7. Then square across from L, in a parallel line to CE that is also the same distance, plus 2.5 cm (1 in), creating point M.
8. Join M to B in a diagonal line.
9. Make sure point G is transferred onto new line MB and mark it with a notch.
10. Add a 1.5 cm (5⁄8 in) seam allowance to all the edges except the neckline and foldline where you add 1 cm (½ in).
11. Label the bodice ‘FRONT AND BACK BODICE, CUT ONE PAIR’.
12. Copy the foldline and the grainline position from the master block.
13. Divide your top hip ¶ by 2 and add 1 cm (½ in). Draw a horizontal line that is this measurement; this will be line AB. Mark the centre of this line C.
14. Square down 11 cm (43⁄8 in) from C, and label point F.
15. Take your lower hip measurement · and divide by 4 and add 5 mm (¼ in). Starting from F, measure out this distance to the left and then to the right of F and draw a parallel line to AB. Label the points D and E respectively.
16. Join up D to A and E to B.
17. Add 1.5 cm (5⁄8 in) seam allowance to all edges.
18. Label ‘BAND, CUT TWO PAIRS’.
19.Label the shorter edge ‘TOP’.
20. Add a grainline perpendicular to the two long edges.
21. For the ties take the top hip measurement ¶ and multiply by 1.7.
22. Use this measurement to draw a horizontal line – this will be AB.
23. From A, square down by 10 cm (4 in) (width of band minus 1 cm (½ in)), creating line AC.
24. From B, measure back 60 cm (24 in) along line AB creating point E. Square down 10 cm (4 in) from E, creating point D.
25. Join C to D in a line parallel to line AB.
26. Then from D, draw a gently curved line that meets point B.
27. Add 1.5 cm (5⁄8 in) seam allowance to all edges.
28. Label ‘TIES, CUT TWO PAIRS’.
29. Label line AB ‘TOP’.
30. The grainline should be perpendicular to the long edges. This means you will have to use fabric that is 1.4 m (55 in) wide. Alternatively you can put the grainline parallel to the long edges but this will mean a directional print fabric would not work.
31. Measure the neckline on the bodice pattern (without seam allowances) and multiply by 4.
32. Cut a strip of fabric on the bias, measuring 3 cm (11⁄8 in) wide and as long as the neckline you just calculated, plus 2 cm (¾ in) to allow for finishing the ends.
33. Bodice – cut two on the fold.
34. Band – cut one pair.
35. Ties – cut two pairs.
The seam allowance is 1.5 cm (5⁄8 in) except for the neckline which is 1 cm (½ in).
Adding the band to the bodice
36. Gather the bottom edge of the front and back bodices. Pull the gathers to half of your top hip measurement and then tie a knot in the thread ends. Evenly distribute the gathers.
37. Place the top edge of the band right sides together with the gathered edge of the bodice. Pin and stitch in place. Overlock or zigzag the seams and press up towards the bodice. Repeat with the back band and bodice.
Making and adding the ties
38. Keeping one pair of ties right sides together, pin in place and stitch along the long edges, keeping the short, straight edge open. Trim down the seam allowance and cut off the point at the end. Turn right way round.
39. Press flat, keeping the seams right on the edge. Tease the point using a pin.
40. Repeat with the other pair of ties.
41. Pin the ties to the front band, aligning the raw edges. The top of the tie (straight edge) should sit right up to the seam with the bodice. This leaves 1 cm (½ in) of band extending out. Machine tack in place at 1 cm (½ in).
Joining the front and back bodice
42. Take the back bodice and place the right sides together with the front. Pin the side seams together from the armhole notch H (or G for the exception) to the hem, sandwiching the ties. Align the seams and edges. Pin in place and stitch. Overlock or zigzag the seams together and press towards the back.
43. Align the shoulder seams, right sides together. Pin in place and stitch. Overlock or zigzag the seams together and press towards the back.
44. At the armholes, working from the wrong side, press over 7 mm (3⁄8 in) and then a further 8 mm (7⁄16 in), clipping into the notch to allow the hem to sit flat. Edgestitch down.
45. Overlock or zigzag the bottom of the band. Press over the remaining seam allowance and stitch in place.
46. Take the bias strip and join the ends right sides together (see page 147 for the Piped cushion on how to join ends). Trim down the seam allowance and press open.
47. Fold over 1 cm (½ in) along one edge of the bias strip. Press in place.
48. Pin the unfolded edge of the bias strip right sides together with the neckline, lining up the seam on the bias with one of the shoulder seams.
49. Stitch with a 1 cm (½ in) seam allowance. Trim down the seam allowance to 5 mm (¼ in). Press the seam allowance up towards the bias strip. Understitch along the bias strip.
50. Tuck the bias strip inside the neckline, rolling the top edge of the neckline so that you cannot see the bias strip. Press again and pin in place. Edgestitch the bias strip down to the neckline.
51. Give the top a final press.