I finally sewed that damn top! Honestly, the whole thing was a friggin disaster that frustrated me like you would not believe!
I haven’t sewed clothing in a long time and have never made anything without a store-bought pattern so, this was a great refresher and a major learning experience.
This isn’t going to be a full-on tutorial because well, it’s not. I will give the basic steps though, dotted throughout a bunch of bitching. This was mainly a trouble-shooting process that drove me insane. Like lying in bed at night and thinking of ways to make this work insane because… uhm… it’s impossible to line a tank top like I wanted to. Seriously. Impossible.
I had to give up on the lining and do interfacing.
Oh yeah, here’s the Badgley Mischka top I was attempting to copy:
First off, I used a top that I already had for the pattern. It has a similar shape, the arm holes are perfect on me and I can pull it over my head. I was really hoping I could avoid a side zipper and I DID!
I pinned it taut to some pattern tracing cloth.
This pattern tracing cloth is great. I bought a few yards of this years ago and never used it. It’s semi-sheer so you can line up fabric designs and it won’t tear. It’s cat proof! This is important considering Ulti was hellbent on helping me every step of the way. Regular craft paper is fine too, of course.
I cut around the top, making it longer and giving myself about a 1/2″ seam allowance all around and folded the pattern in half. Of course the 2 halves didn’t match so I trimmed up a bit and cut it down the middle, keeping the side I liked best. I was using the same piece for the front and the back (and lining and later just the top part for interfacing). A lower cut version may be in the works for the future.
When I cut out the fabric, I folded it in half and laid the center line of the pattern on the fold. A lot of store-bought patterns work this way and half-patterns guarantee an even piece if you’re making your own.
I cut the lining fabric too but all that got tossed in the trash after I figured it wouldn’t work and then cut out long interfacing that addressed the armholes later… much later.
This is neck interfacing in case you have no idea what I’m talking about. When you flip it into the garment, you have a clean line at the neck with no top stitching. Those little notches cut into curves prevent bunching:
I pinned the top together and put it on (carefully) and I was really happy with the fit but gave up on the side ties because the fabric looked too drapey. Then disaster happened over 2 nights of sewing.
I began to sew and everything went to hell. There is not a single tutorial online to show you how to line a tank top like I wanted. I ripped out seams so many times! There was no order in which to sew the pieces to be able to turn things right side out and have the wrong sides facing the correct way with clean seams and zero top stitching showing. To the trash it all went.
I cut everything out again, going with the interfacing instead, sewed it together, hemmed by hand and tried it on. It was so boring without the side ties so I gave em a shot. Thankfully I still had some more fabric. (2 yards would do the trick.) I eyed out and cut long triangles and on the 4th night of working on this, I then ripped the side seams out again, sewed up the side ties, tucked them in, pinned in place, sewed this bastard up, ironed it and it’s done!
So over it.
Seriously though, I’m really happy that I stuck with this. I’ve had a bad habit of starting things and not finishing them so I’m trying to be better about that. I also have a great pattern and when I make another one, it won’t nearly be as awful as this whole mess was.