Firstly, forgive the top of my head being lopped off in this photo. I’ve been experimenting with pin curls and hadn’t got round to taking them out when I took this picture. Secondly, yes Karen, you do recognise this fabric! Purchased at the Fabric Fandango, and mindful of Karen’s warning about how much it creases (oooooh how it creases!!) I thought it would be perfect for a simple project like this so as to keep future ironing as easy as possible!
Now, back to the subject in hand….pattern drafting. My toile for the Top Draftalong is FINALLY finished!!!! (More on that to follow) Which means that the design drafting element of the draftalong is imminent, and not a moment too soon in my view. ( Have I mentioned how much I detest fitting…?) Anyway, I thought I’d limber up my drafting muscles with a fun and, yes, easy peasy lemon squeezy, quick and simple “freestyle” drafting project that anyone could do. Seriously. You could draft AND make this top within a couple of hours. Faster if you’re not a slow coach sewer like me. Even if you have never put pencil to paper and drafted anything before in your life. Don’t believe me? Here’s how….
Start with a rectangle and calculate the length of the sides as follows:
A = Bust or Hip Measurement (whichever is the larger) + 2-3″ (ease) divide by 4 and + 3″
B = Required length of top + desired hemming allowance
Mark which is your side seam and which is your centre back/front line….
A = Mark a point approx 8″ down the side seam from what will be the top of your pattern. (This will be your armhole. I made mine 8″. Your’s may be slightly more or less depending on how big you want your armhole opening to be).
B = Along the bottom edge mark a point 3″ in from the side seam
Join these two points up creating a curve for the underarm…this will become your actual stitching line/side seam…
Now for the neckline:
A = Mark a point approx 2″down the CB/CF seam from the top (depending on how low you want your neckline to scoop this could be more but wouldn’t advise it being any less. As you can see from my top, 2″ has it sitting just at the base of my throat)
B = Mark a point along the top edge where you want your neck opening to finish. I used my bra strap as a guide as I don’t like to flash them!
Draw in your neckline curve either freehand or using a French Curve. Where the neckline curve hits the CB/CF seam needs to be at a 90 degree angle so as to avoid “peaking” when you come to cut out the pattern piece on the fold. I’d also advise a slightly less acute angle where it hits the top edge/shoulder seam too. I cut mine as shown here and it’s resulted in a very slight pulling at the point where the neckline hits the shoulder seam of my top.
Add a seam alowance to the underarm/ side seam AND the shoulder seam…
Cut out your new pattern piece. Then cut 2 on the fold out of your fashion fabric and with RS together sew together the shoulder seams and then the side seams. Finish seam allowances. I also put 2″ slits in the side seams for a little extra ease at the hips, finished the neckline with self fabric bias tape,(see posts here and here) and just hemmed the bottom and sleeves with a narrow hem. Voila! Simple top perfect for layering under a cardi for the winter months. Go on! Give it a go! ( I’d love it if you’d let me know if you do!)