Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday

I posted this picture yesterday as a little sneak peek at this week's pattern.
My husband took a few pictures of me this morning. They were taken very quickly as I needed to get him out to the airport to catch a flight. When I walked out, he was already in the car and not so happy about getting out to take pictures. So sadly, the quality is not the best, but at least you get an idea.
The top is made up of 6 rectangles and should be made in a knit fabric.
The first 2 measurements that you will need is your hip measurement and the desired length of the top. To get that measurement, measure above your bust line and down to your hip line, or a little longer just to be safe. I have an example in the picture below.
If your hips measure 40" and the desired length is 22", you will cut 2 rectangles 22" long by 20" (Half of your hip measurement) wide. If you would like, you can add a little ease to your hip measurement, but the top is made from a knit so it is not necessary.
The next measurements that you will need to take are your bicep measurement and the length from your shoulder to your elbow. When taking your length measurement, start at about the middle of your shoulder and measure down to your elbow. Because we want the top portion of the sleeve to blouse over the bottom portion, add 3" to your length measurement. You will double your bicep measurement because we want the top portion of the sleeve to be full.
As an example, if your bicep measurement is 10", double that measurement and that will be 20". From mid shoulder to elbow was 14", you will add 3" of ease to this measurement and you will cut 2 rectangles 20" wide by 17" long.
For the bottom portion of your sleeve. measure from your elbow to your wrist. If you would like a little bit of a scrunched look to your sleeve, add another 1 1/2" to 2" to your length measurement. I recommend adding the extra. Remember, it can always be cut off, it's a little more difficult to add back.
Once again, as an example, if your elbow measures 9" and your length from your elbow to your wrist is 10", add the 1 1/2" to 2" to the length and cut 2 rectangles 9" wide by 12" long.
I usually draw all of rectangles right on the fabric and don't make a separate pattern. It makes things go a lot faster.
Now we have all of our rectangles cut. I wanted a ruffled edge on my pieces so I threaded my serger for a rolled hem and as I serged the bottom and top edge of my bodice pieces, I pulled the fabric. Pull a lot and this will give the edge that ruffled look.
Sew the side seams of your bodice pieces together, but do not sew all the way to the top. We are developing a version of a raglan sleeve. Leave the top of your side seams open at least 9". Try the top on at this point and pull it up to see if you need a larger opening or if you would like a little closer fit under your arm.
Take the top portion of your sleeve and finish the top edge of this piece and take the bottom portion of your sleeve and finish the lower portion or what will be the wrist. To sew the top and the bottom together, secure one side and then stretch the lower portion to match the top portion. As you serge (you can also sew this together with a zigzag stitch), the gathering will happen automatically. You can see the gathering at the elbow area in the picture below.
Measure your wrist. Mark this measurement at the wrist area of your sleeve. If you are serging the sleeve, the excess will be cut off as you sew. Remember, we only want to cut the excess off at the wrist area, not all the way up the sleeve, so taper your seam line to the elbow.If you are sewing the top together with a zigzag stitch, cut away the excess once you have sewn the seam. Remember to leave the top portion of the sleeve open the same amount you left the top portion of your bodice open.
Sew the sleeves to the bodice. This seam will be in the shape of a "V".
In order for the top to rest on your shoulders, we need to add elastic. To determine the amount of elastic you will need, take a piece of 1/2" wide elastic and measure around your shoulders, stretching the elastic so that it is comfortable, but not tight.
I zigzagged my elastic to the top portion of my top about 1 1/2" from the edge. You will want to divide the top area of your top into 4 equal areas and use pins to mark the divided areas. Divide your elastic into 4 equal portions and us pins to mark the divided areas. Match the divided elastic to the divided areas to the top and as you sew, stretch the elastic.
Once the elastic is sewn in, try on the top. If the neckline feels a little loose, you can  take up the neckline by pinching in the armhole seam as you can see in the picture below. Taper the stitching back to the armpit area.
The top can be worn with the gathering up on the shoulders,
 or pulled down for a little more daring look.
The top takes very little time to do and I really like the outcome.
I posted about this jacket quite some time ago, but since my husband took a picture of me in the coat, I thought I would share it with you. It's one of my favorites. Seems I say that a lot, oh well!!
I posted pictures of the entire outfit here. The jacket is from an old OOP Sandra Betzina pattern. I really like how it turned out. It's great for throwing on when I'm in a hurry and the outfit is rather sticking when worn all together. A little matchy, matchy, but I don't care!!
I hope this post finds you having a lovely weekend!

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  1. Ok, I love the blouse- the wholer outfit? Squeal!!!

  2. Hi Rhonda, the cerulean blue Betzina jacket is beautiful. And also what a rich blog you have! Michelle