Sunday, 12 June 2011

Stripe Mania! Tutorial on making a cute top for summer... with stripes of course

eek two posts in one day!? Both are time sensitive so you'll just have to flow with me here peeps. I wanted to participate in Holly Becker's Stripe Mania! blogger extravaganza over on uber blog Decor8 but being me it involved a little more than just snapping a pic of myself wearing a stripey top (which was basically the criteria for the job!). I had grand plans of up-cycling two of my unloved vest tops into one cute new summer version and thought I'd share a tutorial on how to do it. It's super easy and you can be wearing it within a half hour! Yep, it's that simple

There comes a time in a girl's life when tops that skim the midriff are considered dangerous ground; I have reached that time. Not that I have a giant muffin-top (yet!) but I really do feel so much better in something that comes down a little lower. Are you with me on this? I have a small pile of such tops which I still think are lovely but would just never wear any more due to the length.. and so, in true up-cycle fashion, I decided to combine a couple of them into something a little more demure and sophisticated

You will need:
  • 2 tops that you still love but just don't ever get round to wearing - make sure that when combined they will provide the length you require (otherwise there's no point!)
  • scissors, pins, tape measure and sewing machine

1 Take the vest top that will become the bottom section of your new item and cut the across the width at the armholes

2 Take the vest top that will become the top section of your new item and measure down from the armpit for the desired length. Mine was 9cm as I wanted it to end just under the bust

3 Do this on both sides and then using the tape measure as a guide pin all the way across

4 Cut along the width approx 1.5cm below your pinned line. This gives you enough fabric for your seam allowance

5 Turn your new top section inside out and place it over the bottom section. Their right sides should be facing. Be sure to line up the side seams of both as well as the top edges and pin in place all the way around

6 Carefully sew the seam using whichever stitch your sewing machine recommends for stretch fabrics. Mine is called a triple elastic stitch. If you can't find this info in your manual then use a long and narrow zig-zag stitch so that the fabric can still move once sewn. Press the seams open and then turn right side out

Tip: use a ball point needle when sewing stretch fabrics on the sewing machine. This is a tip I tell all my sewing students in the Get Smitten creative workshops. It allows the needle to push through the gaps between fibres rather than piercing them and possibly damaging the elastic of the fabric

et voila! A far more wearable, super cute top. I love to rock the nautical look with a little twist and wear with jean shorts or go a little bit more glam with white skinny jeans and a belted cardigan. All done in less than half an hour with just enough time to pop on a fake knotted belt, my new crocheted fedora hat and take a few silly snap shots outside (before the sun completely disappeared!)

How do you wear your stripes?

Lisa x

{Tutorial photos by Lisa Pocklington, 'snap-shot-not' photos by Jeremy Wilson}

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