[UPDATED – the pattern and tutorial for this blouse is now available HERE.]
My regular rummage in the remnants bin this week found a piece of chiffon. It has a floral pattern and isn't too big, but it was so light, and the remnants are priced by weight, so this cost just $1.25. I'm sure it's supposed to be for sheer curtains or something, but I wanted to give it a try to see what it would be like to sew with. It's not only sheer, it's slippery !
I had seen a halter top on the Burda site, but I can't get the magazine here, and didn't fancy paying to download the pattern for something that looked so simple. So I had a go at drafting something myself. I wanted it to be very simple (because that's all I know !) so I used a single pattern piece and used it for front and back.
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I taped some plain copier paper together and drew a rectangle. The length top to bottom was the length of my body from top of shoulder to top of hip bones. The width of the rectangle was half of my bust measurement plus 2 inches. Then I used a large plate to scoop out two ‘armholes', draw lines straight up to the neck and it was done !
Seam allowances were added – a little on each side, and 2 inches at the top to form a casing, and a couple of inches at the bottom hem. It was very rough so I held it up against my body and it seemed to ‘fit' just fine.
Obviously I couldn't just make the blouse out of chiffon for modesty reasons, so I also had some cream stretch satin – also $1.25 from the remnant bin. I cut out the satin according to my pattern. Then I cut out the chiffon just a little larger all round because I didn't want the two to be exactly on top of each other, I wanted a little float in the chiffon.
I sewed up the sides, keeping the edges together on the two fabrics. Then I folded over and hemmed the armhole edges from one side all the way to the other in one seam. I folded over the casing at the top and tucked in the raw edges before sewing an inch and half down to leave an open tube at the top front and back. Then I hemmed the chiffon and the satin separately at the bottom so the chiffon hung loose.
I made a tie from a long tube of the chiffon and neatened the ends. This is threaded through the casing front and back. I adjusted the tube to a suitable length, overlapped and sewed them together and then wiggled the seam inside the casing at the back. I gathered up the front and back casings where I liked them and then just tacked the edges to the neck tie so that the gathers stayed in place when worn.
And it was done. I made a matching headband with some left over chiffon and a little elastic at the bottom (not modelled). A total of $2.50 spent. Certainly the top is not as fitted as the Burda one, but I am pretty pleased with it and I've already worn it a couple of times.
If anyone would be interested to see more about how I drafted the simple pattern, do let me know. I've kept the pattern so I could make a simple tutorial if anyone is interested in having a go themselves. (UPDATE: a tutorial is underway and will be published on 7th Feb 2013.)
And of course I'd be delighted to read your comments.
Authored by: So Sew Easy