August 20, 2012

Make It: Polka Dot Chiffon Top Tutorial

Remember how I wanted to make a cute flowy blouse out of my polka dot chiffon?

Well I did! And you can too!

Chiffon Top Tutorial

1. Fold your fabric in half right sides together (the top edge along the ruler is the fold and the bottom edge is that selvage) and mesure across the fold how wide you want your top to be at the shoulders, including the sleeves.
I think I made mine 28 inches. Cut straight down so that you have a rectangle.

2. Measure down from the fold (the right edge how big you want your sleeves to be. I made mine 8 inches.

3. Measure 2 inches in from where you marked the sleeve, and then cut down parallel to the edge (cutting off a strip that measures 2 inches X the lenght of your folded fabric minus the lenth of the sleeve. Do this on both sides. Pin those cut edges (leaving the sleeve openings open).

4. Now you have a rectangle that's folded along the top, open along the bottom (selvage) and pinned up both sides, except for where the sleeve openings are.

5. Sew up both pinned sides, leaving yourself a 1/2 inch seam allowance. This will leave you with raw edges. You can either leave them as they are (if it's chiffon it will fray), serge the seam, or do a french seam, which is what I did (in this case, you'll have to fold and sew your fabric WRONG sides togethers for the first seam, then trim the seam allowance, turn the garment inside out, press it, and resew the seams RIGHT sides together).

6. As you're sewing up the seam, when you get to the sleeve pivot and sew along the bottom of the sleeve.

7. Make sure you make a little clip into the corner of the sleeve seam to keep it from bunching, being careful not to snip the thread.

8. Turn the garment inside out and press it.

9. On the top folded edge, measure from the center how wide you want your neckline to be. I made mine 10 inches wide, so I measured 5 inches on each side of the center. Pin to mark.

11. Measure down from the center how deep you want your neckline to be. I made my 4 inches deep.

12. Using a french curve (or a good eye) make a template of the collar on a piece of paper or cordboard that is 10 inches wide and 4 inches deep.

13. Fold it in half to make sure both side are symmetrical. Cut it out.

14. Place the template on the fold and trace around the end with a rotary cutter. You can also trace onto the fabric and cut with scissors.

15. For a curved bottom hem, fold the garment in half lengthwise and mark on the front middle and side seams where you want the hem to go. So I marked the front middle seam about 3 inches longer than the side seam, because I wanted the bottom seam to curve up. If you want a straight bottom seam, skip these steps.

16. I improvised with two of my french curves, making a seam that curve up from the middle to the sides.

17. Cut along the curve with a rotary cutter.

18. In the end of I didn't like the look of the square sleeve, so I cut it on a slant from the armpit to the top of the shoulder.

19. It made more a cap sleeve look.

20. The idea of folding and pressing and hemming all that chiffon made me crazy, so I decided to improvse a bound edge with seam binding. Take regular flat seam binding and press it in half, essentially making single-fold bias tape. Conversely, you could use bias tape for this, but I didn't have any, and I actually preferred the supple rayon seam binding to the stiffness of cotton bias tape.

21. Pin the folded binding around all raw edges (the bottom hem and the sleeves).

22. Sew down with a small stitch, making sure to catch the binding on both sides.

23. And done!

{Sorry about the godawful photo. By the time I finished it was dark out and the lighting in my room was terrible. It looks much cuter in person, I swear!}


Leesh said...

I went to visit my mom in Cali and I was sewing like there is no tomorrow. It really makes me want to get my own machine. My mom says that I have potential. I am going to save this post of yours so I can make this chiffon shirt one day.

Great job (as usual)!

city said...