Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Toddler Summer Top

My daughter's shirt drawer is fairly empty. It doesn't help that half way through the day she decides that she needs an outfit change and will strip off her shirt and ask for a new shirt. I guess it's time to add some more shirts to that shirt drawer.

Last summer I bought an eyelet shirt from Old Navy that I loved. So at the end of the summer instead of packing it away with the other baby clothes I set it aside so I could copy the idea to make more. I ended up changing it up quite a bit, but the tie straps and the elastic back are design elements from the original top.

It is such a simple top and can be sewn up really quick.

Materials needed:
1/2 yard fabric (for size 12-18 months)
1/4 wide elastic (7 1/2 inches long for size 12-18 months)
Double-fold bias tape (you can make your own, or buy a package)

ONE: Cut out pieces. Cut the front from the downloadable pattern, and cut one rectangle 9 inches by 15 inches, and another rectangle 2 inches by 12 inches. Cut bias tape pieces: you will need four 12 inch long pieces for the straps and one 6 1/2 inches long to line the top.

TWO: Make a casing for the elastic on the top of the back piece.
THREE: Thread the elastic through the casing. Use a safety pin to help you push the elastic through. When you have pulled the elastic far enough for the back end of the elastic to reach the shirt (about when you have reached the middle of the back piece) stop and sew the back end of the elastic down.
With the back end of the elastic sewn down, continue pulling the elastic through to the end of the casing. Sew the front end of the elastic down. Remove safety pin.

FOUR: Make the ruffle. Begin by taking the rectangle and folding it in half. Sew a gathering stitch along to top (the longest stitch on your machine- mine is a 4). Pull the threads to gather the fabric until the ruffle is 6 1/2 inches long.

FIVE: Baste the ruffle to the top (this will make adding the bias tape much easier).

SIX: sew bias tape onto the top, sandwiching the ruffle in between.

 SEVEN: cover the armholes with bias tape, leaving the remaining 7 inches or so of bias tape hang off the top.

EIGHT: Sew front piece and back piece together along sides.

 Finish your edges so they won't fray. You can use a serger, stitch a zig zag stitch along both sides, or cut it using pinking shears.
 Because the side seam is bulky on top, I like to fold the entire seam allowance towards one side and sew it down.

NINE: Hem the bottom.

TEN: Attach back bias tape straps. 

To keep it neat, sew bias tape strip down with raw side up.

Then fold it up and sew across the bias tape to enclose the raw edge. Repeat with the other strap... and you are done!
To wear, just tie straps together at the shoulders

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  1. So cute! I totally agree with using the extra straps at the back to make this for a toddler, rather than going with a halter

  2. This is SO ADORABLE! I think I'll make one in a size 2-3T and see how it comes out. Thanks so much for the instructions, I love it!

  3. Is the seam allowance (3/8 in ??) included in the pattern? Thanks for showing me how to do this. I'm pretty new at sewing so the pictures make ALL the difference! Can't wait!

  4. How will I ever get a safety pin thru a casing that is so narrow? How wide is the elastic?