Friday, March 25, 2011

Instant Gratification Top

Last night I broke down and ordered this top from one of my fav stores. I just loved it to much not to order it. I then headed to bed, at the super late hour of eh he 8:30 and laid there thinking about how much I wanted that new top and how I would have to wait 6 weeks and when it finally got here I would probably have to stretch it out over my preggy belly. I became determined to simply make one myself! Now, I am sure you have noticed my posts have been more spread out lately. This is due to my absolutely dying if I stay up later then 9pm. I am literally crawling to bed usually immediately after tucking the kiddos in. This has put a MAJOR damper on my sewing time since I usually shoved everything in during my 9-1am crafting hours. I really try not to ignore the kiddos, but this morning I REALLY wanted to make the shirt ha! So, we made home made play dough and I dumped out every single play dough toy we own PLUS all my cool cookie cutters. By the time I was done the kids had made various play dough creations (don't mind Evie's disheveled hair and runny nose, we have been one sick household)
and I had my top!
It is soooo embarrassingly easy and so fast that I already have everything cut out to make two more in different colors! Thankfully I received a package a while ago from Heather S. contain a ton of wonderfully stretchy and super soft jersey fabric. I decided to try first with the navy blue. I must admit I was very hesitant as I don't usually sew with stretchy fabric. It makes me nervous, it's unpredictable, it puckers and tucks. Turns out it is fabulous... as long as you are patient. I grabbed a tank I already own and used it as a guide. First I folded the jersey fabric and laid my folded tank on back and followed the outline of the back of the tank
The back has a much higher neckline:
(I also made mine a bit wider on the bottom for my ever increasing belly and longer to stretch over it)
I then folded the back of the tank so that I could follow the pattern of the front
I then laid the two pieces right sides together. I then pinned the heck out of the two sides and shoulder pieces so there was no chance of movement :)
Sew up both sides and across both shoulders. I was really worried about serging it. I thought it would go all wavy and puckered. But I just fed it through steadily and slowly and it only waved a tiny bit, totally unnoticeable
Once you are all done you can hem up the bottom. Again I pinned this, which I have not done in as long as I can remember but it made it an easy job. I also skipped hemming the arm pits as I never plan on wearing this tank without some sort of cardi, you know modesty prevails! Plus that is the fantastic thing about jersey knits is they don't fray woo hoo! Once you are done turn everything right side out:
It was at this point I was asked to take a picture of a "super cool and very expensive spider"
Now I cut a LONG (super long) strip of jersey.
I originally cut it about 5 inches wide but it was WAY to wide and I cut it down to about 3. I stitched a gathering stitch all the way down the center of the strip and gathered it up until it was the same length as the circumference of my neckline
At this point it was requested of me to take a picture of a snowman so I had to take a break
I now pinned the ruffle, lining up the center with the neckline of the top.
I then topstitched along the center line, removing pins as I sewed.
Taddah!!! You are all done! How easy was that! I absolutely LOVE how it turned out.
I wanted to make sure to get a picture ASAP before I spilled anything on it, which meant I didn't have time to get anyone else to model, just me, and man am I a horrible one. I totally do the opposite of everything I suggest, I hunch, I squint my eyes and do a huge ridiculous smile, but hey, the top is cute right? And making it gave Sawyer time to create his playdough surfer dude:
While I am still excited to get the original top the instant gratification of having one right away sure is sweet!


  1. I was terrified of jersey until I finally tried it and now I just love it. With a serger you can do no wrong. Perfect every time!

    I love how your shirt turned out and the kiddos playdoh creations... I'll have to remember that trick next time I get desperate to make something!

  2. Your snowman picture is wonderful. I love this top, so much that I think I will make one too. I sew a lot with jersey and if I want to sew rather than serge to have a seam allowance I usually just use a zig zag stitch and have not had a problem with breaking thread. I love that you distracted the kids with playdough so you could make it... you are a hero mom.

  3. I bought some knit to make some post maternity clothes for work (baby comes Monday!) and have been scared to actually start working with it. You give me hope!

  4. Love it! I can't wait to try it!

  5. Kelly, I just "found" your blog and had to laugh - I'm doing pretty much the same thing right now - sewing up a quick top (I love the serger!) while my preK boy is interrupting me "Mommy, look at this! It's a robot penguin! Mommy, look at this! It's a elephant surfer!" (and on and on). Meanwhile, the two little ones don't have much to say (ok, so they don't talk yet...). Happy to have found your blog, I'm about to subscribe - sounds like you have some great ideas for a thrifty/crafty mommy like me :)

  6. It's gorgeous! Love that colour for you. I've been wanting to try sewing with more stretchy fabric too, maybe I'll make this top as my first project!
    I recently took a serger class (so that I would be more confident with my machine AND sewing with stretch) and I learned that as long as you don't pull on the fabric as sewing, feeding it in slowly as you said, it won't bunch and pucker :)
    Great job - love your new top!

  7. This top is SO CUTE! I love it! I am totally going to try to make it this weekend! BTW You are a gorgeous model, don't let anyone (including yourself) tell you differently!
    Thanks for the tutorial!! :)

  8. Kelly it is SOOO cute! I might just have to make one today!!

    When I started sewing my stepmom sort of intimidated me and said that sewing clothing was REALLY really difficult and almost always not worth the money (for fabric and thread and notions and what not). But I have to beg to differ. I think this tank top is easy peasy! AND if you (or us I should say in the states) can use a coupon for fabric at Joann's or Hancock I think it makes it TOTALLY affordable!!

    Thanks for the cute tutorial (including candid moments from the kids! Which I'm sure we all have those kinds of interruptions) I loved it! Now go get some sleep and rest up for that sweet little baby in your belly!

    Love and Hugs, Jess

  9. I like the top, and I think it is a GREAT photo of you. I love the casual pose. It gives a relaxed and real air of this is who I am.

  10. love this top... i'll be making it soon. and i loved the pics of the kidlets. it brought a sweet dose of reality to what it's like to sew/craft during the day to your blog that i feel like a lot of moms leave out. i've been using your patterns to make clothes for my little girl. i've made the bali tunic, note taking skirt and i'm almost done with the frosted pane bolero (only sleeves left)

    i've sewn with jersey only for my daughter and found that i have to practice on a scrap to get my stitch length right, tension right, and if i should/shouldn't pull the fabric a little. i have yet to get a serger (maybe this year)... and i have found that wooly nylon thread is amazingly helpful.

  11. I love LE canvas too. I also hate the huge wait time for me to get my packages (in Oz). But sometimes, you just have to have that LE "fix" :)

    Just gotta that you made the tank, did you cancel the order?

  12. That is an adorable maternity top. I had made very similar top for my daughter recently.

  13. I love it! I totally need one now, for my ever increasing belly!!!

  14. The shirt is very cute! The Playdough is a fav in our house as well. =)

  15. It's cute. Why not add a little cap sleeve or a short sleeve to make it more modesty-friendly and to give you the option to comfortably take off your cardigan if you get warm? Just a thought.

  16. Oh my gosh! SO cute!!! This actually looks like something I could tackle...

  17. thank you!!! I have literally been staring at my {used to be} favorite {but now pilling} ruffle tank for a few days, wondering how I could make myself another--I am quite the novice sewer, but what an inspiring tutorial! could it really be that easy!? I'll have to give it a whirl...maybe I'll use our stash of homemade playdough to make that happen :)

  18. I think yours is WAY cuter than the one you purchased. Although, that's my opinion, and the one you purchased is still cute. I think yours has an awesome sense of flair to it, that the purchased one lacks. LOVE it!!!

  19. great shirt! I too have a great stash of homemade playdough and a box full of cookie cutters and other cutting and molding toys to go with. I use it at least four or five times a week in order to get stuff done around here. It's a life saver!

  20. Thank you for the great tutorial! This is my first ever shirt... and it's great! I blogged about it here, and I just wanted to to say thank you "in person!"

  21. The top is awesome.... and I absolutely love the mom in you.... willing to stop a super exciting craft to take and post pics from a budding designer! Awesome!

  22. You look great in the picture and make the shirt look good! Love this project thank you for sharing!


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