The “Sailor Sweetheart” Top
Fabric: Medium-light rayon jersey with a whiff of lycra, .8m (~3/4 yd)
Pattern: I used my basic Blank Canvas Tee, which is fitted to my shape and preferences, then hacked it up to make this top. The one on Plasticland features an underbust seam and over the bust seams- like princess lines. I made mine shorter than theirs, as a personal preference, but otherwise faithfully followed along with the design.
Notions: Thread, strips of fusible woven interfacing, six 7/8″ buttons, satin lingerie elastic for trim. It’s like nice bra straps.
Time to Complete: Around 6-7 hours- documenting the process in painstaking detail for my blog REALLY slowed down progress.
Wear Again: Yes! I think for my lifestyle and manner of dressing, this is a great balance between “handy black knit top” and “quirky fun top.” I can pair this with many, many garments in my wardrobe. The cut-on sleeves allow for lovely air circulation under my arms, which greatly lengthens the life of my knit tops.
Total Price: $11.20 for the fabric, another $4 for three yards of elastic, and $4.50 for buttons. $19.70 all together.
When I saw the challenge was “make this look” I panicked a little bit. I don’t really know what’s in stores, and I don’t use a lot of the “big 4” type patterns- they never fit without a long list of alterations and it’s a better use of my time to just draft what I want. When I found the Sailor Sweetheart top on Plasticland, I fell in love! I knew I could use my favorite basic t-shirt pattern to draft this, and I could show others how to, as well!
The “hack” is like learning to draft, so if you’ve ever wanted to play with altering a pattern for design changes (rather than fit) and you like this design, my hack of the Sweetheart Sailor top is a great place to start. I recommend first muslining the basic tee pattern to be sure you like the length and width. Then go for it! Of course, you can also use your own tnt tee pattern.
I wasn’t sure what to use as trim, but I settled on the elastic because it’s a little hefty, it stretches, and it has a nice satiny stripe. Ribbon or bias tape might have done the trick, too. I was terrified the elastic would be a pain to sew, I even basted some of the elastic and carefully stabilized the area underneath, but I discovered all I needed to do was pin it on and stitch. Easy! I faced the neckline and carefully stitched it down to keep it from shifting and flapping around. I hate that. All in all, I’m more pleased with the way this turned out than anything I’ve made in a long, long time. Thanks for the little “push,” Sew Weekly!