My kids love the Beatles about as much as we do around here. Lately the favorite song has been Lucy in the sky with diamonds. It brings up a lot of interesting questions, or topics of discussion... like what are kaleidoscope eyes? and Jude has spent hours dreaming about how delicious a marshmallow pie would be.The song has been playing on what seems like a loop since as soon as it ends one of the kids runs over to the stereo to hit back and start it all over again. It was where the inspiration for this top initially came from. I wanted something colorful and bright and playful, everything the song is all about.
And of course it was the perfect summer outfit to go out and pick some fresh apricots from the tree... (which is as close to a tangerine tree as we will get at least it's the same color)
I like the playful billowy shape (which she will likely be able to wear next summer as well) The bright colors and big buttons. I of course went with my favorite color combo blue yellow and white but since you make the stripes yourself the color combo is endless. Oh and making it is really easy :)
Let's get started shall we?
To start measure from arm to arm to determine the width of the rectangle you will make. (add room for hemming) Then measure from one point on the chest (just under the arm) over the shoulder and to the same place on the back. This is the height of the rectangle and the other measurement is the width. This is your bodice piece. I wanted mince striped but I couldn't find the exact fabric I wanted, since I wanted stripes and solid. So I made my own. I took regular old painters tape (I bet any tape would work) and I taped off straight lines across the rectangle. I just eyeballed it but you could measure to make them perfect. Then I used tulip brand fabric paint and painted the stripes. I used one somewhat thin coat so they would have an almost vintage like feel. Then remove the tape and let it dry.
I ended up with this. I didn't have enough space on the ends for another full stripe so I left a larger blue section, but whatever you do is up to you.
Then fold the rectangle in half length wise and then in half again width wise.
Next cut your neck opening. I made mine more of a boat neck shape by making it narrow.
When you open it up you should have a nice neck opening right in the middle. Next cut a slit down the middle front of the neck opening. (an inch or two is fine)
Then fold the top width wise. Lay it on top of some fabric to make the neck lining piece. Cut out the neck opening to match and cut below the slit that you cut. You will also want to cut a slit in the neck lining.
Then following the neck lining you cut out, make the piece at least an inch thick all around.
When laid flat you should have a neck lining piece and the bodice piece.
Then fold the bodice piece length wise and angle the sides if you like. I found that I didn't want the skirt to be as wide as the arms so I angled it in a bit. Then you will cut two skirt pieces out a front and back that are the width of the bodice at the bottom and gets a little wider as it goes down.
Now for the sewing start my serging or finishing the outer edge of the neck lining piece.
Then with right sides together sew the neck lining to the bodice piece all along the inside neckline. I put two elastic loop sandwiched between the layers at the neck slit.
Then turn the neck lining to the inside and there you should have two elastic loops. Top stitch that edge.
Next hem the edges of the rectangle that will be the sleeve hem. Then sew the skirt pieces to the bodice front and back.
Next fold the tunic right sides together and starting at the top of the skirt sew down both sides. Hem the bottom.
Next I added a little nautical patch I had so the top had more of a nautical feel than a circus feel.
Lastly sew two buttons to the top for the loops.
That's all there is to it. Pretty simple right?
It can be worn plain as a dress or with a belt like my belt loving little one is liking these days.
I am not sure there is anything I love more than bold stripes and big buttons...
Except maybe afternoon wagon rides and apricot picking...
A favorite pastime for Abbey as well.
She is a girl after my own heart, off to get some more :)