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  • Writer's pictureLonda

Side Tie Knit Top – Test Top #1

Updated: May 28, 2022

Since we are all sequestered at home these days and likely sewing up a storm, I thought this would be a good time to share more of the specifics of my ‘Test Tops’ for my favorite new fabric as I shared at THIS BLOG POST .

Honestly, for every year I can remember, even as a child, Easter Sunday was celebrated with something NEW and Special.  I remember Mom teaching us that we present our ‘best’ for celebrating the risen Christ.  For this Easter, even though I did ‘clean up’ and wear something other than my messy painting clothes (as I’ve been painting our master bedroom), it became obvious that I wouldn’t be needing to make that something ‘special and new’ in time for Easter Sunday.  Therefore, this current creative sewing project has been put on the ‘back burner’ for the time being.

favorite new fabric
tie top test #1

At the end of my first post on this ‘creative sewing escapade’, you’ll see that my first ‘try’ was the top as seen at the right.

Even though this ‘test’ didn’t make the ‘cut’ for my favorite new fabric (left below), I do like it, and – as I find I just ‘do’ as I sew, I took some ‘How-To’ pics as I designed and stitched.  I’ll share those steps here with the thought that you might want to give this a try yourself.

I can ‘see’ this done even in two coordinating prints, with the left and right front being different fabrics, or even complimentary solid colors.

From my re-cycle Green Stash Bin, I found this Croft 7 Barrow top in XL that blended perfectly with the sheer fabric I purchased from

Seeing this top as ‘fabric’, I cut off the sleeves, ribbing, and cut it apart so that I could apply my Terrific T Top pattern pieces to it to create the ‘under layer’ of the body of my new top.

One never knows where these original binding pieces might come in handy though, so I ALWAYS save them in a special basket as I work – just in case.  I sew pretty much ‘messy and un-organized’ (my hubby would laugh and roll his eyes at that description!) so establishing a ‘safe place’ for pieces like this has proven to be a smart way to work with at least a little bit of organization.  In the picture below you see my ABSOLUTE favorite seam ripper – the Clover Ergonomic Deluxe Ripper.  When I teach my young sewing students how to sew – I ALSO teach them how to rip.  Honestly, I share with them that there is hardly EVER a time I sit down to sew that I don’t have to also UN-sew.  Learning how is a very important skill to master!  


Right front pattern adaptation.

Here’s something I came up with years ago – after I put the buttonholes for my toddler son’s Easter sport coat in the right front instead of the left front:

Women’s fronts lap RIGHT OVER LEFT because

‘Women are Always RIGHT.’ 

By the way…here’s a bit of extraneous though related info:  Men’s garments lap left over right because, assuming most people are right-handed, fighting with the sword in their right hand, it was easier to un-button their coats with the left hand if the buttonholes were in the left front.  One of the ‘gems’ I remember from my History of Costume class back in my college days.  

Note at the bottom edge, how I just drafted it in a subtle curve, inspired by the photo of the garment as seen in the photo I pulled off the internet.

Below, you can see both my Right Front and my Left Front pattern pieces as drafted.  Below, even though you can’t see it very well, is that up-cycle T recut with a V neck.  You can see that I cut it longer at the hemline edge.  If you look on to the 2nd photo below, you will see that I cut the base re-cycle T ‘fabric’ with the included ‘modest’ V neckline using the included template.  Then, look back to the first photo below and see that on the edge of the ‘over layer’, that I extended the neckline outward another seam allowance worth.

Below, you can also see how I used the template pattern included with my pattern to cut the modest V front neckline.  

Cutting V Neck on base up-cycle T

Here, then, are my finished front pattern pieces.  Picture these cut out this side up on the RIGHT SIDE OF THE FABRIC, and it will all work out properly.  I designed the Left Front (at the right side of the photo below) to extend all the way to the side seam.  For the Right Front, note that it stops just a tad more than the center of the left half of the front.

altered front patterns to cut

To figure out the lengths of the front ‘ties’, at the left lower front, you can see that I ‘tied’ two tape measures together. Too long is better than too short – you can ALWAYS cut them shorter, right?  The ties were cut a healthy 6″ wide, folded in half right sides together, stitched, and turned right side out so they ended up a scant 3″ wide each.  I cut them each a generous 18″ long as you can see I determined by where my fingers are in the photo below.

Construction Guidelines 

Sew…how to stitch this all together?   This is how I went about it – generally: the Back as ‘underlined’ with the green up-cycle T fabric, and the Fronts stitched as separate layers, with the sheer fabric flowing free, and stitched in with the Back at the side seams.  I DID permanently stitch the overlap of the Right Front over the Left Front at the angled line though – just to hold it all together firmly at the neckline.  I figure, nearer now to 70 than 65, I’m far too old to be revealing any cleavage!

Close-up of the center front V – showing how each neckline edge is finished separately, yet the lap of the Right Front over the Left Front is firmly stitched through all layers. Don’t miss the paint on my fingers!!!

My left forefinger is pointing to the left side seam, so note the placement of the Ties a few inches back from the seam at the Front and Back.

Note the Back – neckline finished with my Clean Finish using Lastin Clear Elastic, treating both the green upcycle T and the sheer overlayer as ONE fabric.

Understand also that I finished the Front neckline and then the Back necklines separately …. THEN stitched together at the shoulder seams.  I serged, then topstitched towards the Back, then topstitched to hold into place.

Regarding ‘hems’ of the sheer fabric:  I find that the less one does to sheer fabric hems, the better off you are.  I simply turned the edges under and stitched with a very narrow zig zag, like 1.5, with stitch length of 3.  I used black thread.

So – try it for yourself.  Though I do really like this top – and especially because it ‘ties into’ my green eyes, I knew as I was making it that this wouldn’t be ‘the’ look for my ‘favorite fabric’ of this creative adventure.  One MORE top in the wardrobe!

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