Wednesday 6 March 2019

Basics: Spaghetti Strap Top with Subtle Cowl Neck [+Sewing Adjustable Shoulder Straps]

Quick projects out of scrap fabric weirdly sometimes end up being the most satisfying ones. Personally I prefer the look of fixed length straps to adjustable ones, but I realize now that might be because in most fast fashion garments, the adjustable part is almost always finished carelessly. I sewed everything by hand in the attachment stage, to make sure nothing sticks out.

It took me about an hour just to make the straps and attach them, and during that hour I was really contemplating the fact that you can go to H&M and get a similar top on sale for $3. If I were to sell this top, I would accept nothing less than $70 for it, based on the effort and time I put in. The factory worker in Bangladesh that sews the fast fashion versions would need to put in about 3.5 60-hour workweeks to make those $70. The equation just doesn't add up.

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Fabric (I used 100% cotton and a tiny scrap piece, about 60 cm x 70 cm)  Scissors  |  Pins  |  Strap hoops, 2 sets  |  Thread & sewing machine, serger if you have

I. Some high-level measurements for my cut top pieces. I made it crop length to suit most of my bottoms which are high-waisted. I was also using a piece of scrap fabric and this is the most length I could afford.
II. I started by finishing the neckline, underarms and top of the back piece with my serger, then folding once, and sewing the fold in place on the back piece and the underarms with my sewing machine. The straight front neckline part I blind-stitched by hand not to have a stitch visible on the right side. For some reason I also felt like finishing the hemline of both pieces with a double fold already here (normally I always hem last).
III. Then I placed the pieces right sides facing and pinned the sides, sewing them and finishing again with my serger.
IV. Next I made my shoulder straps. I used this method to get them extra-thin. 2 x 55 cm or so, and another two short ones say 4 cm. Or just make one longer one and cut into pieces.
V. Took the two small pieces, folded in half, slipped through the round hoops and hand-sewed in place on the back piece.
VI. To attach the straps themselves, I first hand-sewed the ends to the front piece..
.. Slipped the strap through the figure 8 hoop, then through the round hoop (making sure the strap was not twisted):
.. And finally again through the figure 8 hoop. To secure in place, I hand-sewed the loose end flat onto itself.
So I had a clean finish:



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