This week I am attending Snap! Conference. It is my first time attending, and I am pretty excited. I am not sure if it’s because of the incredible classes I will have the chance to attend, or simply because it will be a reunion with many of the sewing friends I have made on-line through the years. Both are up there on my list.
As with many blogging conferences, the nightly parties tend to have themes. For Snap! those themes are Fire & Ice – where we are supposed to wear all black, and Flamingle – where being preppy is key. As a seamstress, I feel it is my duty to wear at least one item that it handmade to each of these events. Today’s post is showcasing the shirt I made to wear to the Fire & Ice party. I wanted to key in on a top that I would naturally wear every day with a pair of jeans – but that could also be dressed up for a night out on the town. Initially this shirt had a more bohemian vibe to it, with a large ruffle adorning the bottom. But when I put it on to wear, I found the ruffle largely unflattering. So I decided to streamline it with a curved hem band with side opening. The curved edge allows for a more slimming physique, drawing the eye more towards the U shape and allowing the natural waist and hips to hourglass out (whereas the ruffle just covered it all up in one large sack-like way).
I am extremely happy with how this top came out. The clean, crisp lines mixed with the gauze crepe like fabric gives a good balance to the open shoulder bohemian style. It makes me feel pretty, and is still appropriate for church. Which is the look I am usually going for – ha!
Open Shoulder Shirt DIY
Women’s blouse or top with a front yoke slit, and curved bottom band.
Time needed: 4 – 6 hours, Skill level: Advanced Beginner
- 2.25 yards woven fabric
- Bodice sloper, or nice fitting shirt to trace around
- Basic sewing essentials
Fabric used in the above photos:
- Black gauze, found at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores (affiliate link)
How to sew an open shoulder shirt.
- Use a bodice sloper or shirt pattern that you know and love, that has a bit of room to it (not fitting). Otherwise, trace around a shirt that you know and love (as I did) to get a ‘front’, ‘back’ and ‘sleeve’ pattern. (For more information on how to make your own pattern from clothing, click HERE.) Measure 4″ down from the front neckline of your Front bodice pattern, and cut a horizontal line across the pattern – separating the top from the bottom. Add 1/2″ seam allowance where you cut on both pattern pieces. The top will become your Front yoke, and the bottom will be the Front bottom.
- Cut (4) front yokes (not on a fold), Cut (2) front bottoms on the fold, cut (2) back pattern pieces on the fold, cut (2) sleeves, and cut a long 1.5″ piece of fabric strip of bias. To cut the bottom band, simply measure the width of your front and back pattern, and cut (4) bands that measurement x your desired length. Be sure to curve the side edges.
- Place the left and right front yoke right sides together with the back, matching the shoulder seams. Pin and sew, press open. Repeat for lining.
- Place lining and exterior right sides together, matching shoulder seams. Pin and sew around neckline, and down the side of the yoke center. Trim seam allowance and turn right side out. Press.
- Overlap the front yoke bottom center 1/8″ and pin in place. Baste stitch to secure. Match the top of the front bottom to the bottom of the yoke, right sides together, and baste stitch to secure. Place the other front bottom on the opposite side, sandwiching the yoke in between the 2 Front bottoms. Pin in place and sew. Press front bottom down.
- Sew the sleeve curve right sides together with the armsyce. Repeat for both sides. Trim seam allowance, and finish with either a serger, zigzag stitch or pinking shears.
- Determine the size you want for your open shoulder circle, and cut out from sleeve and shoulder – cutting directly over the seam. To make sure both shoulders have the same opening size, use your first cut out as a pattern piece.
- Fold and press the top edge of your bias strip 1/2″ towards the wrong side. Place the non-folded edge of your bias strip along the raw edge of your cut out shoulder circle, right sides together. Pin around and sew, measuring the bias strip to the exact circumference of your circle.
- Fold the bias strip to the inside of your shirt and press, enclosing the raw seam. Sew around to secure. Repeat for both shoulder openings.
- Fold shirt right sides together, matching up the side seams. Pin and sew side seams and finish seam with either a serger, zigzag stitch or pinking shears.
- Place (2) bottom bands right sides together, pin and sew around curved bottom edge. Trim seams, turn right side out, and press. Repeat for other (2) bands.
- Place finished bands along the bottom front and back of your shirt, matching up the raw edges. Pin in place and sew. Finish seam, and press seam up. Edge stitch to secure seam in place.
- Fold bottom of sleeve 1/4″ towards the wrong side and press. Fold 1/4″ again towards wrong side, enclosing raw edge, and press. Sew around to finish.
I am still trying to determine if I should pair the shirt with my black sequin leggings, some classic black pants, or black jeans for the party.
What do you think?
Now its time to get to work on my ‘preppy’ look. Eek, I ordered some pretty awesome fabric for it. I cannot wait! What to make, what to make, what to make :).
Thanks so much for stopping by, and until next time…