Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sewing Tip - Tie Back Tops

      Have you ever wandered through a store and studied the clothing? I do, a lot. I know, that's pretty weird. Most people go clothes shopping, I go clothes studying. Recently, while in a particular clothing store for women (I won't mention the name because I'm not sure they would appreciate me broadcasting my analysis of their clothing), I noticed something very particular about the shirts. I counted only about 5-8 styles, despite the store being jammed packed with all sorts of selections. You can cut 10 shirts using the exact same "style" or pattern, and come up with 10 completely different looking shirts. You can do this by slight variations such as, add a ruffle to the neckline, add a collar, make it sleeveless, cut a slit in the sleeves, drop the back, lengthen it or crop it, add a ruffle down the front, and on and on you can go. All the shirts are cut the same way, but the details make them different.
     If designers can do it, there is no reason why you can't with your own personal sewing. Find a fit you like and change it around! My last post showed you how to add cuffs to a shirt. That is one very simple way to switch up a look, especially if you use contrasting colors.

     Another simple variation is to cut the back low and add a tie or a bow. I use 7 inches as my rule of thumb for how low to cut the back. It is high enough for normal undergarments to be worn with out anything showing. Ties, such as are used in the top picture, are fairly self explanatory. When using woven fabric, I like to change things up, by adding a contrasting knit fabric, like this bow back shirt.

      A bow like this is super simple. You need a strip of fabric the width of the neckline, and a narrow strip for the center.

     Sew the center strip edges together to form a tube.

     Turn the "tube" right side out, and slide it onto the larger strip of fabric.

     Center everything all nice and tidy like.

     Sew it onto the back of your shirt, and you have another fun little variation to your favorite style. So, you want to know why I'm doing all this sewing and not showing you pictures of the final products? I'm working on my biggest project yet! A local boutique has offered me the chance to sell some of my stuff in their store! To say I am excited is an understatement! I'll post pictures, when I get my first set of stuff finished.

Micah 6:8   He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? 
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  1. You are so talented! I don't comment as often as I should, but I do read most of your post. To be honest, I kinda wish you were my neighbor! LOL I'm trying to learn how to sew clothing--mainly skirts, because I am tiny and everything in my size is immodest. Anyway, I admire you and thank you for sharing your talent! P.S.: I've recently started analyzing clothes too since I don't buy clothes for myself as often as I used to. I'd rather attempt to make it myself. Congratulations on the new prospect at the local boutique!

  2. I love it!
    Carmen (from Italy)

  3. Love the bow idea - will work great for purchased shirts with straps that keep wandering too. Will be trying this for sure!