Friday, 15 March 2019

How To: Black Stretchy Crop Top with Elastic Shoulder Straps

This is the most comfortable top (and possibly any piece of clothing) I've ever made. I had the black stretchy fabric left over from here, and this top came to me at 3am when I woke up from a dream where we had solved the energy crisis and everyone lived in a pod with hologram walls. So it was bound to be good.

The unbelievable level of comfort is not just because of the softness/stretchiness of the main material, but the shoulder straps. Some time ago I was about to donate a skirt I had found from a second hand shop. I never wore it because of the pattern, but it had the most amazingly comfortable elasticated waist (I think that was the real reason I had bought it). So I picked it apart and took out the elastic, discovering to my delight that there was LOTS of it - it was doubled up. A good elastic is something incredible.. Stretchy enough to sit nicely around your body, but still firm to feel secure. This elastic is the queen of all elastics. So I figured it would be perfect as shoulder straps, and man was I right. This commences a new foray into shoulder straps made out of decorative elastic.

I didn't take a photo of my tools but it was just the leftover fabric, scissors, pins, thread, sewing machine (with stretch stitch), and the elastic.

I. My main top pieces were just 2 rectangles (note my fabric was very stretchy). I'm a EU36/US4. I had so little fabric to work with that I had to make the two pieces out of 2 smaller pieces each.
II. First I sewed both rectangles short edges together, right sides facing, to make two circular pieces. Then I placed them right sides facing (on inside the other), pinned one edge, and sewed using a stretch stitch. 
.. Then I turned it right side out.
III. Please admire this incredible elastic for a moment:
It was too wide as-is, so I just folded it in half and sewed with a stretch stitch:
By some miracle I had the exact right amount for the 2 shoulder straps when I cut the elastic in 2 equal pieces. Maybe there is some Fibonacci-type equation for your waistline elastic to also equal your shoulder strap elastic length🤔
I took the straps and sewed them on the outer layer of the top, on the front and the back:
.. And then folded both layers inwards, pinned them together, and sewed around with a stretch stitch.
IV. I then had this. I could've left it as it was, but still had some long scraps of fabric left so I made a gathered ruffle detail for the neckline and the hemline, using this technique.
Then I was satisfied.
Did I mention it's exquisitely comfortable??
xo,

Julia

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