written by Marica Mitchell
The sweltering summer heat in South Florida means sleeveless tops and tanks are my go to for the summer. I love the simple hacks I made with the ballet top DELPY and plan to make a few more with the different back variations.
This casual top has great details such as a side bust dart, simple gathers in the center V front and the scoop back. It is a staple summer piece that can be worn with jeans, skirts or shorts.
The modifications I made to the pattern suit my lifestyle as I love to wear skinny jeans, classic tops and heels. I wanted a more fitted top to accentuate my curves but still look jazzy. I love to highlight the smallest part of my waist, so a detachable belt was ideal so that I can still dress the top up or down. I also wanted a side curve slit at least 3-4 inches above the hip area so I measured and marked right at the “line up dress extension here” line to start the opening. I knew this was perfect as I flat measured to check the length of the top and where I wanted to start the opening.
The changes to pattern piece one and two were easy to make. I created an open side finish with a curve look on both sides that are similar to the dress pattern using my curve ruler.
The modifications to the pattern pieces are:
- Lengthen the bodice my 3.5 inches from the hem line
- Use a curve ruler to create a slight curve
- Mark opening 5 inches from the curve
- Hem side slit and top using ⅝ inch hem allowance
Instead of creating french seams on the outer bodice as stated in the pattern instructions, I finished the side seams separately before stitching. I then maintained a ⅝ inch seam allowance, especially for the curve side, sewing right sides together and then pressed the seams open. I definitely recommend sizing up at least 1 size larger to avoid fit issue with the modifications made. My bust measurement was in between 2 sizes and I decided to go with the smaller size because of the fear of gaping in the back.
TO CREATE A DETACHABLE BELT
- Option 1: Use 2 pieces of fabric with a width of 7 inches and a length of 42.5 inches (attach using ½ seam allowance). (Sew at ½ inch seam allowance) right side facing leaving an opening to turn and close the belt.
- Option 2: Use remaining fabric with a width of 7 inches and a length of 85 inches if you there is enough lengthwise. (Fold in half and sew at ½ inch seam allowance) right side facing leaving at least an opening to turn and close the belt.
- Finish measurements for the belt : width is 3 inches, length 84 inches
This Ankara cotton fabric has no stretch and even though I am very satisfied with the finish top, I will definitely size up next time around. The bust area was a wee bit snug and I plan to go up a size with my next make. I am truly in love with this top and will rock it all summer long.
Marica Mitchell is an educator and proud mother of two beautiful children; Aiden her first born son and Arielle her daughter. Her hobbies include DIY, sewing, photography, traveling and fashion remix. She enjoys sewing even more and has grown tremendously since she won the Fabricista Fashion Challenge 5 in October of 2017. She feared patterns the first 3 years of sewing and in 2017, she overcame the fear and has been working with patterns since. Marica truly enjoys working with bold print and colors and ensures that her garment fits her body type.
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Hi Marica, Your top is absolutely adorable! I’m a very small woman: 5’2” & only weigh 92 lbs. I do have a tiny waist not very hippy though. I like to accentuate my waistline too & just wondered how truly hard or easy is this to make? I did a lot of sewing when my kids were little but haven’t done much in the last 15 or so years & am a little fearful to attempt…any tips?
Thank you so very much!!