Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Wardrobe Staples: A-Line Racerback Top

I'm a big fan of basics, and a firm believer in the fact that you can never have too many white tops with clean, sleek lines. My Labor Day project was an ode to this philosophy.

 About 0.5 m of fabric if you're skimpy like me (0.7 if you want more freedom)  |  Pins  |  Fabric marker  |  Scissors  |  Tube ribbon  |  Sewing machine or needle & thread  | Not pictured here, but iron-on hem tape

I. Fold the fabric so that the width of the fold is half of the desired width of the top at its widest part (at the hem). Trace one half of the front part with a wide A-line and cut out with a 1 cm allowance, this will give you the full front piece symmetrically and quickly.
 II. Fold the remaining fabric in half in the same way and trace the back piece (this doesn't need to be as heavy with the A-line, the effect works best when concentrated in the front).
III. You should end up with two pieces like this.
IV. Take the remainder of the fabric and place on top of the cut front piece, tracing an approx. 3 cm wide piece that follows the neckline as shown below (the ladies at the fabric store would say there's no way you can make a top out of 45 cm of fabric, but as evidence shows, you can).
V. Repeat for the back piece, leaving you with pieces like this.
VI. Pin the narrow pieces to the edges and sew a straight stitch about 0.5 cm from the edge. Zig-zag the un-sewn edge to make sure it doesn't start to fray.
VII. Bring out the lazy seamstress's best friend, iron-on hemming tape. I usually cut narrow strands of the tape to fit the seam I'm working with. First fold the seam so that the straight stitch gets protected inside, and place the hemming tape in between, ironing again to secure the seam nicely in place.
VIII. Zig-zag the short edge at the top of the back piece and fold over, creating a 1 cm-fold and the end for the strap. Straight stitch through.
IX. Repeat the steps VI to VIII for the front piece, but leave a gap in the stitch at the tips where your straps will be attached. You can iron the seam flat with hemming tape everywhere else except for the 3 cm area on each side of the gap in the stitch, to make sure you have access to it later to insert the strap. I never attach straps before everything else is ready, to make sure I get them the exact right length.
X. You should then have both pieces with neat seams done.
X. Place the pieces right sides facing and pin the edges. Best to do the pinning on yourself so you see exactly how fitted the underarm point should be. Sew a straight stitch down, trim extra fabric off, and zig-zag the edges.
XI. Iron the seam flat on the wrong side, placing hemming tape under the fold as before.
XII. Slip the strap through the fold on the back piece. Put the top on and measure how long the straps should be to hold the garment at the desired place. Mark those places on the straps with pins, this will make it easy to slip them through the openings you left in the stitching and act as stoppers while you complete the stitch (go back and forth a couple times to secure the strap in place). Iron the area with hemming tape to seal the deal.
XIII. Zig-zag the hem all around and iron a 1cm fold. Hand-stitch as unnoticeably as possible.
..And feel free to have a huge dim-sum lunch without anyone being the wiser!




  1. You make it look so simple, great detail and instructions! Keep up the good work on your blog.

  2. Thank you so much!! You made my day:)!


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