Thursday, August 22, 2013

Free Sewing Pattern: Tahiti Halter Neck Top Sewing Tutorial

Tahiti Halter Neck Free Sewing Pattern
tahiti halter neck top pattern

I first found out about Modern Yardage from this Shirred Summer dress tutorial on Make It and Love It. "What a cool concept!" I remember thinking. Basically Modern Yardage has fabrics in a lot of prints and designs and you could order whichever fabric you like and they will print on demand. Yes! you can pick however much you like in whichever print you like and also you can pick the scale you want the print in ( they have three options) and they will print it and ship it to you. So you can rest assured that your favorite print will never go out of stock. What a novel idea!

So I read about them on Make It and Love It and asked them if they would like to sponsor fabric for a halter neck top I wanted to sew. They said yes and soon I had on my hands fabric from this beautiful Earth To Sky collection from Katie Schrader. The thing that struck me most about this collection was its earthiness, the colors reminded me of pottery and bricks being made of dirt. Very different from florals or paisley I typically like but beautiful nonetheless. I whipped up this halterneck the first chance I got.

Here is how I went about it ( and you can too)

Skill Level:

1  hour

3 fat quarters
1 button
For embellishment:
Decorative Buttons
Pellon Wonder Under

Download the four-page Tahiti Halter Neck Pattern ( size 3T-5T). Print it on A4 (8.5 X 11 inches) paper with margins set to 0 and Portrait Orientation
Please note that this pattern has a lot of flexibility in terms of sizing. You could make it wider by adding more of shirred portion in the back. So the same pattern will work from 3 to 5 years size.

Seam Allowance:
1/4 inch unless otherwise stated.

Techniques Used:
Sewing buttonholes, Shirring, Appliques, Making and sewing Bias Tapes


halterneck top sewing tutorial
1. Cut a rectangle 13 inch ( length) X 15 inch( width) from the fat quarter picked for the back. Fold it in half on 13 inch side.

Free halter neck pattern
2. Fill bobbin with elastic thread and sew 4 to 5 rows of shirring about 3/8 inch apart. Don't worry if doesn't seem to gather much. Once you are done sewing steam iron the piece well. this will help it gather well. Here is a great tutorial on shirring from Make It and Love It.
Depending on how much the piece gets shirred we may need to use the whole piece or a part of it. To determine this either measure the child's chest and subtract the front bodice width from it. The measurement you are left with + 1 inch is the required width of shirred piece.
However, if you can its best to not cut it just yet and measure it on the child once its partially sewn. That is the best way to check and adjust the fit. You need to have the child nearby in order to do this though. I will show you how to do it in step 6.

cut out the pattern pieces
3. Cut out the front pieces using the pattern. Cut one from the main fabric and one from lining.

sew with right sides together
4. Place the main fabric and lining right sides together. Sew along the armholes and keep going over the shoulder straps, neckline all the way to the end of another armhole. Leave the sides and bottom raw.
Snip notches all along the curves  to get a crisp finish along the edges when you turn it out.

sandwich the back between the front pieces
5. Open the front piece on the sides and slide the shirred piece in between such that right side of shirred piece is together with main fabric of bodice. Cover with lining fabric and sew along the sides. Note that the front pieces are curved along the sides, so while sewing the back pieces just follow the curve of the front, we will cut out any excess fabric later on.

sew along the sides
6. Stretch the other end of the shirred fabric to line up with the other side and sandwich the shirred piece the same way as we did in Step 5. Keep the back piece width to whatever measurement you arrived at in Step 2.
The rest of the piece will be hanging out on one side and that is fine, we will take care of it later once we have tried the top on the child.

Sewing tutorial - halter neck top
7. Turn the top out and iron. Its looking like the halter neck now. Now try this on the child and see if the back is a snug fit. Ideally it should be snug without being uncomfortable. If it is a good fit then go ahead and cut off the excess shirred piece that was hanging on one side, if not then unpick the side seam of step 6 and adjust the back width as needed.

making wide bias tape
8. Cut out a 3.5 inch wide fabric strip from the back fabric and fold it like a bias tape, only in this case the raw edges don't get folded all the way to the center. I kept mine at 1/4 inch on one side and 3/8 inch on the other. Basically what we need is a wide bias tape without sacrificing a lot of fabric. So the precise width of the fold doesn't matter, just fold a little bit so you can sew it. Here is a detailed tutorial on making and sewing bias tapes from MADE.

sewing the bias tape
9. Sew the bias tape from Step 8, all along the bottom of the top ( including the back).

sew button and buttonhole
 10. Sew a cute button and a buttonhole on the shoulder straps for closure. Buttonhole and Button sewing tutorial on MADE.

I was almost done with the top at this point...but then I noticed this on the fabric

applique tutorial
The fabric I had received had this swatch of the collection in all colorways. So cute, it was just begging to be added into the top. I obliged.
Here is a detailed applique tutorial from my earlier posts.

appliquing with wonder-under
11. I cut out a rectangle of Pellon's Wonder Under and ironed it on the back of swatch piece.

How to sew appliques
12. Then I cut out these triangles from the swatch and peeled off the backings. I ironed them in place along the bias tape slightly off center to the right.

applique tutorial

13. I set stitch length to smallest, set the machine speed to lowest and sew a seam along all the triangles with black thread.
I also added a couple of cute buttons near the neck.

And...woohoo! Who is ready for last bit of summer a cute halter neck?

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1 comment:

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