Monday, May 6, 2013

Girl's Lacy Suntop

I found some gorgeous lacy cotton at Joann's awhile ago and decided to use it on a suntop for little c.  I used Burda 9552 as a base, but ended up making quite a few changes!  And in showing you one of the changes, I'll also show you an easy way to make spaghetti straps.

First off, I was pretty sure I would be dyeing the top after I finished it so I used cotton thread.  If you use the regular polyester or poly/cotton blend thread, it'll stay white and contrast against the dyed top.  An effect you may or may not want!

Changes to bodice:

The two biggest changes I made were skipping the zipper and changing the shoulder straps to shoulder ties.  I think the zipper needed to be there when shoulder straps were used to make the top easier to get on and off.  With the ties, it should be fine.

Now onto the shoulder ties!  If you've ever sewn a tube and then had to turn it right side out, you probably never tried one again.  This much easier way to make tubes really should be in more instructions, but it's not.  In fact, even making the straps that the pattern originally called for would be much easier with the following method.

First, I cut the ties from the strap pattern piece, making them 18 inches long.  This may be too long, but I made it without little c here - I can adjust it when I try it on her by cutting off some of the end of the tie and refinishing it.  When you get your ties cut out, iron them in half lengthwise.

Next cut a piece of 1/4 inch ribbon a few inches longer than the straps and lay it against the fold.

Bring the top over the bottom and sew edges in a 3/8 inch seam (or bigger if you want a thinner tie).  Start at the short edge where the ribbon sticks out just a little, turn the corner and sew all the way down the long edge being careful not to catch the ribbon on this edge.

Scrunch the tie down toward the sewn bottom and wriggle it around a little so the fabric goes over the bottom seam.  

Pull on the ribbon until the tie has turned right side out.  Cut off the end - save the ribbon for your next tie.

Once I sewed the outside bodice together at one seam, I sewed a tie onto each shoulder on the right side.

Next sew the second side seam in the outer bodice.  Sew the bodice lining at both side seams.  Pin the two bodice sections right sides together and sew as the pattern instructions show.  The only difference with yours now is that it will be a circle that stands up since both side seams are sewn together.

Continue on with the patterns instructions.  The only thing I do differently is top stitch along the top of the bodice.  I think it gives a nicer finished edge.

Sew and gather the skirt as the pattern instructions show.  Now comes another change - I attach bodices differently than the pattern shows.  See on the instructions how you're left with a big seam that you're supposed to press up after you sew the skirt to the bodice?  There's a nicer way to do this that covers the seam up!

Attach just the outer bodice to the skirt - pin and then sew.  Leave the bodice lining free.

After you've sewn it together, press the seam up.  Now turn the edge of the bodice lining under 5/8 inches and pin it over the seam.

Sew the bodice lining down with a hemming stitch.

Turn the ends of the ties in just enough so that when you sew across the bottom the sewing will catch them and they won't turn back out again.

Sew in the hem and you're done!  And now that I'm finished, I'm thinking I might just leave it white ... it has a nice elegance to it.

Happy Creating!  Deborah


  1. Love the trick with the ribbon to turn the tubes! I will have to remember that one :-) Such a cute top...little C will love that one I'm sure!!!