October 16, 2020

Classic Off-shoulder Top

I created this pattern for anyone who loves the off-shoulder look, especially with the #cottagecore trend going around, I thought it's a good idea to share. I wanted to post this tutorial in June but I was feeling very unwell with swollen lymph nodes then we found out that we're going to have a baby boy! With the uncomfortable symptoms in 1st trimester, I could only focus on teaching and freelance projects so it took me a while to finish editing this tutorial. I'm in my 20th week now and I'm having some interesting DIY ideas, I hope my pregnancy rash and ligament pain don't get worse so I could work on them. For this tutorial, I used leftover bedsheets from the donation for ARCG before. 

  • 1.2-1.5 metres of cotton/linen depending on how short/long your crop top is. I'm wearing a XS/S and I used about 1.2metres of bedsheet. 
  • Standard sewing tools
DIY challenge level: 3/5

Download the pattern in size XS/S/M [click] 
PDF size is A4, pattern is 1/4 scale.
Pattern includes 1cm seam allowances all around unless otherwise stated.

  1. I start off by finishing all raw seams of cut patterns. I have 2 pieces for sleeves, 1 front piece and 1 back piece 
  2. Use zigzag/overlocking stitch to finish the seams
  3. Mark the positions for the ribbon hole inserts on the front piece
  4. Fold it into half with right sides facing outwards.
  5. Use the pattern as a guide to mark front ribbon opening positions,  I’m using a 2cm wide ribbon tape
  6. Use buttonhole sewing to reinforce the 2 holes, approximately 1cm each 
  7. After the holes are done, use a seam ripper to open them, start from the bottom and cut open slowly
  8. For the sleeves, fold each piece into half, right sides facing together (on the inside)
  9. Pin the underarm seams for both sleeves and sew down both seams, use an iron to press open seams
  10. Next, place front piece and back piece together, right sides facing together (on the inside), pin the side seams and run a stitch down. Do it for the other side too
  11. Press open seams and turn the right side out. Match the front side of sleeve to front piece 
  12. Join the sleeve to bodice, I make sure the front side of sleeve match with the front bodice
  13. Align the seams and pin in place. Match the front sleeve notch to the front bodice notch, ease slightly and pin in place. Do the same for the back
  14. It is a double notch for the back, this is to differentiate the front and back pieces easily. Front piece only has a single notch. Run a stitch down and do the same for the other sleeve
  15. For the top, fold 6cm down. Pin in place or use an iron to press down. Make sure the seams are pressed open before folding them down
  16. From the new fold line, measure 2.5cm down and run a stitch around the top. I used a 1.2cm elastic band for the top
  17. From the stitch line you just did, measure 1.5cm down for the second stitch line. This is to create the tunnel for the elastic band and ribbon tape
  18. Place a pin to indicate where to start the stitch and another pin about 3cm from it which will be the point where to stop the stitch, leaving a hole to insert the elastic band. 
  19. From the hem, fold 9cm up, pin in place or use an iron to press down 
  20. From the new fold line, measure 6.5cm up and run a stitch around the hem
  21. From the stitch line you just did, measure 1.5cm up for the second stitch line, which is the tunnel for elastic band
  22. Like what I did for the top, I placed two pins to indicate start and end stitch points. I’ll also come back for the elastic insert later. 
  23. For the sleeve hem, fold 5cm up, pin in place or use an iron to press down
  24. From the new fold line, measure 2.5cm up and run a stitch around the sleeve hem
  25. From the stitch line you just did, measure 1.5cm up for the second stitch line, place the start and end pins before stitching too. Do the same for the other sleeve 
  26. Time to insert the elastics. I used a measuring tape to measure my bicep which is 24cm 
  27. My sleeve elastic is about 22cm including 2cm seam allowances. Use a safety pin to through one end of the elastic, remove the pins and insert the elastic
  28. Pin the other end of elastic to the sleeve so it doesn’t slip into the tunnel. Scrunch and even out the fabric, make sure the elastic is not twisted as you go. 
  29. Once the elastic end with safety pin is out, remove both pins and overlap the ends of elastic. Sew through the overlaps several times until it is secure
  30. After it’s done, let the elastic slip back into the tunnel. Run a stitch to enclose the gap and another stitch on the elastic to prevent it from moving about. 
  31. Repeat the same steps for the other sleeve and waist. My waist is 67cm and the elastic band for my waist is 59cm including 2 cm seam allowances, I subtract 10cm as my elastic is rather stretchy. The standard is to subtract 5cm /2 inches 
  32. Same steps for the shoulder too, my shoulder girth is about 92cm and my elastic is 84cm including  2cm seam allowances 
  33. For the shoulder section, I enclosed the tunnel but I did not sew down the elastic, this is so that I could insert the ribbon
  34. Measure the ribbon length, mine is 200cm 
  35. Insert one end of ribbon tape through the front buttonhole, slide it through the tunnel to come out from the other buttonhole 
  36. Last step is to trim and burn the ribbon ends to prevent them from fraying

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