Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday, But Wait...It's Tuesday

Quite a while back I started working on a project, Rectangles, Squares and Circles. I did a few posts and then...well life took over and I didn't get back to it, but here I am for a second go around. I plan on having 52 items in all. Some will be accessories and some will be clothing. What I would like to show is how simple sewing can be. Yes, sewing can be a very intricate art, but I hope that through these posts someone will be inspired to start sewing. So today is relaunch day. The top below is so very easy to do. There are 3 rectangles and 2 triangles. It can be worn three different ways.   

Just straight over the head,

Or pulled back so that the collar is at the neck.

This version forms a very nice drape in the back.

Or the collar can be worn over the shoulders.

This version forms drapes along the sides.

So how to do this top. Start by taking your hip measurement. Be honest. (A little side story. I was working on a show for Johnson Wax. The company was celebrating their 100th anniversary. There were 6 actors in the show, none of whom I met prior to rehearsals. Everyone had sent their measurements and I made the costumes. When one of the female actors arrived, she was not the size that she had sent. Her costumes were many inches too small. When I asked her about the incorrect measurements she told me that the measurements she sent were her performing measurements. I was so aggravated. I told her that she had better perform a miracle and get into her costumes. She didn't and I had to open everything up and add gussets.)The second measurement will be from your shoulder to your desired length. The length of my top is 30 inches. This measurement includes the hem allowance. To your hip measurement, I would add 2 inches for ease. This is a personal preference, you may want more or less. So if your hip measurement is 38 inches add 2 inches for ease which will be 40 inches. Divide this amount in half, 20 inches. Now draw a rectangle that is 20 inches across by your desired length.

You will need a front and a back so cut two of these pieces.

To develop the neckline,find the midpoint of your piece. Measure over from midpoint 4 1/2" on either side. At midpoint measure down 3/4". Now draw a curved line. This will be your back neckline. 

To form the front neckline, my suggestion would be to measure around your shoulders if you would like to wear this top off your shoulders. The measurement I used was 13" from the shoulder to the bottom of the neckline. Once again, find the midpoint and measure over 4 1/2" on either side. Then measure down 13" or your desired measurement. Draw in a nice curved line.

To form the collar, measure the front and back neckline. In the above picture I put in 19" for the length of my collar. This is wrong. The measurement should be double that, 38". The width I used is a good width, 14".  The collar is folded in half so the measurement on the garment will be 7". But again, you may want a larger or a smaller collar. It's up to you.

Now to draft the side triangles. The top of the triangle is where you will put your arm through. I used 20".  Depending on the size of your arm and the drape that you would like to have, you may want to make this a little larger. The length I used is 23". Notice that this is not as long as my front and back piece. The bottom point of the triangle is about 6" from the finished bottom edge of my top.
To all of your pieces, add seam allowance. I sewed the top on my serger so I only added 1/4" seam allowances. The top edge of the triangle will need a hem. I added 1" to the top edge.

To sew the top together, start by sewing the shoulder seams. Sew the center back seam of your collar. Fold the collar in half and press. Sew the collar to the top, matching center back seam of collar to center back of the top. Sew the top edge hem in the triangles. Attach the triangles to the sides of the top overlapping slightly at the shoulders. Sew side seams closed. Hem top and you are finished!!

A flat view of the top. You can see the rectangle in the middle with the folded triangles on either side.
Good luck. If you give this a try, I would love to hear from you and see a picture. On Friday I will have another rectangle for you.

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  1. Rhonda, Thank you so much for taking the time to inspire and teach pattern draping. This is a great start and the top is "chicy" cute and versatile. I can't say when I will try your pattern, but when I do I will let you know. I look forward to learning more from you. Thanks again,

  2. Rhonda, I want to use this pattern for the next challenge on The Sew Weekly. I've got my rectanles cut, and I understand the collar, but I'm having a really hard time visualizing just what you did with the sleeves. Are there just 2 triangles (one for each arm)? Is it cut on a fold (with the 20" side on the fold)?

  3. SewBussted!!!! The Haute Couture ladies looked simply gorgeous in your "any way you like it top/dress" in their recent fashion show. From the solid stretch velveteen, shimmering knit, to the printed full length dress, they were all very striking on the cat walk. Let's see... rectangle, rectangle, triangle, I am on my way to FAB in no time flat. Just after I finish my last exam for this semester, and make your cream of celery soup, and your red lentil soup. Thank you SewBussted!!!!


  4. Rhonda I love your patterns, and will be making them all as time, material, and finances permit.