SIMILAR PIECES YOU MIGHT LIKE
- Tank top
- 3 yards fabric
- 1 yard elastic
- Basic sewing tools
Because the front has a both a cutout area and is secured with a bowtie, the cut of the bodice is a little bit different from the traditional top. I strongly suggest using scrap fabric or pattern paper to play around with the fit. Try it on and adjust it to your body before cutting into your fabric. My pattern went through three revisions before I was satisfied with the fit!
MAKING THE PATTERN: THE TOP
There are two bodice patterns.
Pattern A: Front bodice
Pattern B: Back bodice
Pattern C: Straps
STEP 2. On the front bodice (Pattern A), create a sweetheart neckline.
STEP 3. At the bust area, draw a horizontal band that is 1 ½ inches wide. Taper the end into a point. This band will become the bowtie.
STEP 4. At the bottom of the center front, draw an arch that is 1 ½ inches wide by 3 inches tall. This arch will become the cutout.
STEP 5. Blend the neckline and the arch into the horizontal band.
STEP 6. Add ½ seam allowance. Cut two pieces of the front bodice on fashion fabric and two pieces on lining fabric.
STEP 7. On the back bodice (Pattern B), add 1 inch seam allowance to the top. Add ½ seam allowance to the remaining edges. Cut one piece on fold.
STEP 8. Cut 1 inch strips for the shoulder straps.
MAKING THE PATTERN: THE BOTTOM
The skirt is an A-line skirt. There are two patterns:
Pattern D: Skirt
Pattern E: Waistband
STEP 10. Take a rectangle that is the same width as the measurement in Step 9. Leaving the top intact, cut the square into equal strips. Spread out the strips to create an A-line shape.
If you don’t have enough paper to create a full skirt pattern, overlap pieces of paper to achieve the desired width and shape. At various points along the waist, measure down and mark the desired length. This will still create a circular curve for the waist and hem of the skirt.
STEP 11. Cut two pieces on fold (Pattern D).
STEP 12. Cut a 3 inch strip for the waist (Pattern E). The length should be equal to the waist of the skirt.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER: THE TOP
STEP 14. Place the strap upside down in between the two layers of the front bodice. Sew along the top, bowtie, and center front.
STEP 15. Snip into the seam allowance all around to add ease. Snip off the tip of the bowtie to eliminate fabric bulge when the bodice is turned right side out.
STEP 16. Open up the bodice. Fold the seam allowance onto the lining. Topstitch close to the seam.
The bowtie is quite narrow, so you won’t be able to topstitch along the entire bowtie. Sew as far as you can.
STEP 17. Attach the front bodice to the back. Leave the one inch seam allowance at the top the back bodice unfinished.
STEP 18. Flip the seam allowance onto the back. Fold the raw edge of the back bodice over twice to cover the side seam allowance. Topstitch in place.
STEP 19. Create the back part of the shoulder strap. To do this, take two small rectangles that is 1 inch in width and prepare according to Step 13.
STEP 20. Loop the strip through the O-ring. Attach to the back of the bodice.
STEP 21. Finish assembling the shoulder straps. Pass the long part of the strap through the slide, through the O ring, and through the slide again. Secure the end.
STEP 22. Finish the hem of the bodice with a zig zag stitch or a serger.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER: THE BOTTOM
STEP 24. Sew the ends of the waist band together. Fold the waistband in half lengthwise. Attach it to the skirt. Leave an opening for the elastic.
STEP 25. Thread an elastic through the waistband. Secure the ends of the elastic together. Close the opening from Step 24.
STEP 26. Distribute the elastic evenly along the waist. Top stitch vertically at each side or each quarter of the waist to keep the elastic in place.
STEP 27. Line up the side seams of the waistband to the bodice. Pin the waistband directly on top of the bodice.
On the front, gauge how wide of a cutout you want. Distribute the elastic waist accordingly. The more elasticity you allocate to the center, the smaller the cutout will be when the dress is worn. In other words, because there is more elasticity at the center, the cutout will stretch less. Secure with a zigzag stitch.
STEP 28. Hem the skirt by folding under twice and topstitch in place.
YOUR PROJECT IS NOW COMPLETE!
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