Giving the hot shoulder

off the shoulder top

Oh dear God, is it really over three months since I last blogged? Dear reader, I think it is.

I still have a, frankly, RIDICULOUS backlog of things to write up because, while I’ve not been writing anything up I HAVE still actually sewn.

Items like the above little number; a gathered, off the shoulder top.

I have a confession; sometimes I don’t know whether I’ll wear the things I sew. I mean, I always intend to; hell’s teeth and underpants, you don’t spend hours making something by hand to end up going, “Meh, actually I think I’ll just go off to Zara”.

But I genuinely don’t know if this is that dreaded, DREADED term; TOO YOUNG FOR ME *MUTTON KLAXON*


The pattern is a self drafted version of Megan Nelson’s brilliant DIY tutorial for a ruffle off the shoulder dress. With a coupla alterations, ’cause ME.

Firstly, I realised that I wanted to make a top rather than a dress. And then I looked in my stash and discovered 1.1m of chambray blue polycotton. As I didn’t know if it would even suit me, and suspected it would be a one-summer wonder even if it did, poly-c it was.

And then I checked the pattern. My fabric was 115cms/45″ wide. The pattern calls for 150cms/60″ wide.

Fail .. OR WAS IT?

I made some measurements, scratched my head, and it struck me; if I made it fractionally narrower I could cut a front and one half of the back from one fabric width, make the ruffle from whatever I had left over, and add some extra seams!

*Being too lazy to go to the fabric shop and buy more fabric FTW*

In practise this means that, unlike the original, I have a centre back seam on the body section, and two seams at the back (behind each shoulder blade) where I’ve joined my fabric pieces to make one long continuous loop as required. You can’t really see ’em, so screw it.

Boring details stuff;

  • I French seamed everything inside. Because, perfectionist. Actually, no, that’s not fair; LAZY perfectionist. Having all the raw edges encased that way feels like the most efficient way to keep ’em neat. Plus, they’re now teeny-tiny little seams! Cute overload!
  • Rolled edges on everything. Because, I freaking LOVE my rolled edge foot, even if you can generally hear me swearing at it for the first ten minutes. But hey, we just have that kind of ‘Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor’ thing going on, where we love and hate each other, but can’t be without each other. Or something.
  • I bias-binded the armholes with dark gold satin bias trim. WELL classy amiright? I’m totally right.
  • Feeding elastic through that casing was an utter UTTER b*tch. Just FYI.

And finally .. I tried it on. The verdict? I can just about get away with it, I think. I wore it to lunch with a friend, paired with high-waisted skinny jeans on a super-hot Sunday (note to self; skinny high waisted jeans + heatwave = MELTING RIGHT NOW OH GOD MAKE IT STOP) and I looked like I was being hugged by a chic lampshade and I mean that in the good way obviously.

For once I feel like I’m on-trend and, more than that, it expands one of my regular silhouettes (yes, I think about this sort of thing) of loose/voluminous top over a skinny bottom half so *thumbs*. I even think it’ll look way cute with cut-offs.

‘Cause that’s how all the lambs are wearing it, right? *flicks tail, gambols off*


One thought on “Giving the hot shoulder

  1. Pingback: In Print | Everything Just Sew

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