Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pop POP Preppy Top Tutorial

You know what I love about tops with elasticized waists?  They just last so stinkin' long!  It's the same with peasant tops/dresses, like the Polky-Nots Dress; I find that, if I make the top long enough, my girls can wear them for two years... minimum!  Love that!

This top has the added bonus of being easily adapted to warm or cold weather.  Wear it as-is during the spring and summer; add a cardigan during fall and winter.

Anyone know which NBC sitcom wouldn't leave my head when I was thinking about this top?  *Pop POP!*  Even if you don't, as I was thinking about this top, I knew I wanted to use my navy with white polka dots (mmmm... I LOVE navy and white!), and I wanted a "popped collar"...  kind of.  What resulted was a preppy-ish wrap top with a splash of teal on the ruffle "popped collar."

3/4-1 yard of fabric, depending on your size
Lining fabric (can be the same as main fabric, as mine is)
Coordinating strip of fabric for ruffle collar
1/2 inch elastic
Sewing gear
Pattern pieces HERE and HERE, for a 3T/4T size

Making the pattern:
I didn't take pictures of this, but here's roughly what I did...  Also, I included notes on the printable patterns that coincide with these notes.  With those two things, I'm hoping it's clear!!

1. Determine the waist measurement on your child.  You'll want the waist of your back bodice to be that measurement PLUS 10 inches, divided by 2.  Riley's waist is 21 inches, so my back bodice piece was cut to 15.5 inches (half of 31). This is INCLUDING seam allowance.
2. Cut a curve for the back neckline that is 5 inches wide (larger or smaller, depending on your size and preference).
3. Your armhole should be at least 2.5 inches above the bottom of the bodice piece.  Curve the armhole up, so the shoulder piece is roughly 2.5 inches wide.
4. To make front bodice pieces, trace the back bodice's armhole, underarm hole and shoulder.  But from the neckline, angle a straight line down.

Your pieces will look like the pieces below...

**Unless otherwise indicated, use 1/2 inch seam allowance throughout.

Cut out your bodice pieces, one each of the main fabric and one each of the lining (I used the same fabric for both main and lining).

Pin the front pieces to the back piece and stitch ONLY the shoulders.  Do this for main and lining pieces.

Cut a strip of fabric that is two inches by the width of coordinating fabric (for the ruffle "popped collar").

Fold in half so you have a long strip that is 1 inch wide.

Topstitch the folded edge of the entire strip.

Run a gathering stitch along the raw edge.

Open up your main bodice piece.  You'll use this to get the measurement of your ruffle.

Ruffle the strip until it fits around the neckline.  You'll see that I didn't bring mine all the way around.  That's because that side will be underneath and won't be seen.

Now cover the main piece and the ruffle with your lining piece and pin.

Sew around the neckline and the armholes, but NOT underneath your armholes.

Flip it and press.  Topstitch around the neckline.

Now your going to place the right sides of the underarm sides (that you refrained from stitching) together.  Make sure the seams line up.  Stitch.

Now press that underarm areas and armholes and topstitch around the holes.

Here's your lovely bodice!  Run a quick basting stitch from the tip of one wrap to the other, just to keep them in place.

You'll see my bodice is 14.5 inches wide.  I'll use this measurement to make my "skirt" piece. 

I added 1 inch to my bodice measurement (for seam allowance) to get how wide I wanted the top of my skirt.  I then cut STRAIGHT DOWN 1.5 inches and from there I angled the skirt out.  Look closely, and you'll see how it goes straight down first.  Cut two of these.  You'll want your total length to be 2 inches longer than you want it to end up.

Place skirt pieces right sides together and stitch up the sides.  Finish with a zig-zag.   Go ahead and hem the bottom by folding over 1/4 inch then another 1/4 inch and stitching.

Flip the skirt right side out and press the top edge over 1/4 inch.

Flip the skirt wrong side out again and place your bodice, right side out, inside.  (Right sides will be together.)  Pin your bodice so the raw edge is separated from your raw edge (that you folded over) of the skirt.

Then stitch 1.25 inches from that folded over edge.  You may want to use a fabric marker to mark this for yourself since your machine probably doesn't have a guide marker for 1.25 inches.

After you've stitch that line, press so that the fabric is lying nicely and your raw edges are all hidden in what will now be your elastic casing.  (TIP: This isn't necessary, but I'd recommend trimming down some of the excess bodice fabric that's hidden in the casing-- especially the ruffle.  It'll make it easier for you to pull your elastic through.)

Topstitch around the top of your casing (this is that folded over edge again.  Nice and clean, huh?), leaving an opening through which to thread your elastic.

Using a safety pin, thread your elastic through.  Then stitch it together and close up the opening.

Now you've got a cool "popped collar" on a nice, classy summer (or spring or fall or winter) shirt!

It's especially nice if you just got a cute new bob. :)

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  1. So pretty, and you couldn't ask for a cuter model! You have a talent that I envy! Thanks for linking to Handmade Tuesdays.

  2. Great design! It turned out great! Thanks for sharing the tutorial. I will have to get a bit more sewing practice before I will be up to making this one though.

    1. You can do it! If you need help adjusting to a certain size, let me know! :)

  3. Wow, this is adorable! I love it! Would it be alright it I added it to my Pinterest board of projects I want to try?

    1. Absolutely! I kind of love being pinned. ;) Let me know if you have any questions when/if you try it! :)

  4. Super Cute! I would like to add it to a roundup of dress patterns and tutorials I would like to do for my blog. May I use one of the pics of finished dress to go with it? Crafty people usually need a visual anchor to pay attention to anything. I'll of course link it back to this post and give proper credit. Here's a pointer to my blog, in case you want to take a look:

  5. Adorable! My favorite colors, too! Now I just need to make it in my size- haha! or maybe I am serious! Love it that much.

    1. Thanks! And you better post a picture of you wearing your top if you make it! :) As for me, I'm nowhere near brave enough to sew for me. :)

  6. It's so cute! I love the fabric you chose!

  7. Oh, this is just too dang cute!!
    Thanks for linking up to this week's Catch a Glimpse Party. I'll be featuring this tomorrow.

  8. Such an adorable project! It looks super cute on your sweet little one. Megan

  9. This is so cute!!


  10. I love it. Looks great. I think I will have to try this for my little girl as well.

  11. Another beautiful sewing creation! Featuring your post on my FB page today.


  12. So cute...love the fabric choices!

  13. What an adorable top! I love the polka dots, and the elastic in the back is precious! Thanks for linking up to topsy turvy tuesdays, I'm featuring this today!

  14. Beautiful top and great tutorial. I'm pinning it!

    1. Thanks! I hope you get a chance to make it! (And if you do, I'd LOVE to see pictures!) :)

  15. Fun tutorial! I love the ruffles at the neckline. Thank you for sharing on A Crafty Soiree.

  16. You always have the most wonderful things here.......Thanks for linking up @CountryMommaCooks…..hope to see you again tonight and have a wonderful weekend:)

  17. I am going to be featuring you tomorrow morning on Blissful and Domestic. Stop by and grab a button.


  18. So cute and such a great tutorial!!!! I have bookmarked it, so hopefully soon I will be making one of this!!!!!

  19. thanks for the laugh (POP POP) and the tutorial! i am a new grandma and am insisting that she calls me Gangey!

  20. It's so cute, and the girl! Supercute!
    I want to make this for myself, only longer as a dress, with the waistband a little lowered. Only thing is I've never sewed. The sewingmachine I once got from Ebay doesn't work, the thread snaps and the back of the stitching looks like an unorganized mess. My mom's tried it, and she used to sew me loads of clothes when I was a little girl.

    But, the reason for reacting, I don't see the lining coming back in the dress. I thought you meant that the dress would have double fabric throughout (I don't know how to explain). And I don't get how you sew the skirt to the top, with the top right side out and the skirt wrong side out. Well I did, until I saw the picture where the top and skirt are sewed together with the skirt inside out (and the top right side out). But hé, if that is the only thing I don't get, as a sewing newbie... You did a good job explaining. (ow and it propably won't help that english isn't my motherlanguage)

  21. Made this today during sweet girl's nap - so easy and so adorable! Thank you for sharing so generously!

  22. Hi I made my daughter's dress seeing your tutorial, thanks very much.


  23. Thanks for a great tutorial! I made this yesterday and cant stop staring at it how great it turned out. I made it out of yellow cotton and the ruffle out of silk AND ... The collar really pops!!! I started to wonder if I could make it in adult size. Thanks again - I am new to sewing and this tutorial has inspired me to step out of the box

  24. I love it! I'm just trying to figure out how much to add to make a size 5

  25. So cute! Made it for a friend's daughter. Linked to you on my blog post: http://ediblethoughts-stephanie.blogspot.com/2014/09/purple-floral-red-ruffle-pop-pop-preppy.html. Thank you for sharing!

  26. I love this dress and would like to make it for my new baby niece that's coming. How would I adjust the pattern to her size?

  27. Hello I ran across this dress and wanted to try it out... it seems the pattern attachment for the 3T 4T only has one page, can you send me a copy of the full pattern? 6scarboroughs@gmail.com


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