Channelling My Inner Bardot.. 

cold shoulder top tutorial

You know that moment when you end up panic speed sewing the night before you’re due to go out…? Yes, that one. You fly home, with your scribbled doodles that you sketched during a conference call, ready to swing into action the moment you set foot in the house. Many of us sewists have been there. Normal people have a panic trip to the shops on their lunch break…we get the sewing machines out at stupid o’clock! (Although on the plus side, at least hoarding metre after metre of fabric in our stash has its uses!

Helpfully, I had about a metre (plus offcuts) of black and white striped ponte roma left from my Coco exploits (you can find my review of the dress here and the top here). In theory this should have been a disaster – ponte roma is warm…maybe too warm for a sweaty bar at 1am. Also, stripe matching when you’re speed sewing…was I mad?! Someone was clearly looking down on me as amazingly it all worked out OK.

I used a RTW vest top as the basis for my top; I could have gone for a bandeau tube top type affair, however the vest top gave me a good indication of how small to make the top so it was figure hugging, as well as giving me an easy shape to copy for the arm cut outs (for me, this made the top a little more comfortable).

After sewing the side seams to attach the front and back bodice pieces (carefully matching my stripes), then hemming the bottom of the bodice and the arm holes, I was ready to attach the ruffle.

To make this, I wanted to cut two rectangles of 75cm x 30cm (in the end I cut the full width of the fabric x 30cm + the remainder × 30cm to make the total length up to 150cm, as I was using up existing fabric!), I sewed the two rectagles at their short ends to make a circle of fabric 30cm in depth, then hemmed the bottom edge of this. With both right sides facing outwards, I then placed the bodice into the ruffle, matching the top edges and sewed the bodice pieces to the ruffle. It feels counter intuitive at the time but it’s fine – I then created a casing by turning the top of the garment 0.5inch inwards then another inch and sewed round, leaving a gap to thread some elastic through.

To measure the elastic, I put it round my shoulders (where the elastic would sit when worn) so it was snug. After feeding this through the casing, I overlapped the elastic by 1 inch and sewed it together. A quick close of the casing with a few more stitches and my top was done!

I’m so pleased with the finished result; I may not have eaten that night, and my first drink (of tea!) of the evening was at 10pm, but I had my top, and I loved wearing it the following night. Since then, I’ve worn it out a few more times and it’s so incredibly comfortable – I hope the Bardot trend is around for a while to come!

If you like this, you might also like my review of the Sew Over It Ultimate Trousers

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