Stitching a made-to-measure top like this wrap by Amanda Walker will result in a perfectly fitting garment every time, from just a couple of simple calculations. If you’ve never worked with chiffon before, its a good idea to stabilise it temporarily with tissue paper or a starch spray while you work. Alternatively, this top would look great stitched from any lightweight fabric with good drape.
- Dressmaking paper
- *Amount required depends on size. A size 10 (70cm waist) used 1.7m (1.2m wide)
- Front: cut two 58cm x (waist ÷ 2 + 42.5cm) pieces from fabric
- Back: cut one 58cm x (waist ÷ 4 + 40cm) piece each from fabric
- Tie: cut two 30cm x 1m strips from fabric
- 1.5cm seam allowance used unless otherwise stated.
1 Cut out all pieces according to the cutting guide and cut dressmaking paper to half the size of the back piece. Measure 11cm across from the top left and mark, then repeat 2cm down from the same corner. Draw a gentle curve between these points for the back neckline. Measure 14cm down from the top-right corner, then join this to the side of the neckline with a straight line for the upper sleeve.
2 From the bottom of the upper sleeve, measure down half of your lower arm measurement plus 4cm, then go 3cm in from the edge. Draw a straight line from here to the upper sleeve, plus a 6.5cm one at a right angle to this. From the bottom left corner, measure a quarter of your waist measurement plus 2.5cm, then mark. Draw an 18.5cm straight line up from this point, then a gently curved line from there to the end of the sleeve.
3 Fold the back fabric piece in half, right sides together, then place the paper template on it with the neckline next to the fold and cut out the back of the top. Place the front pieces right sides together, then reuse the template to cut the sleeves and sides from both. Measure 30cm up along the uncut side, then draw a gentle curve from this point to the top of the sleeve. Cut both pieces to create a pair.
4 Match the shoulder and sleeve of one front to the back piece, right sides together, then pin and stitch. Repeat with the second front piece. Neaten the seam allowances, close to the stitching line, then press them towards the back of the top. Match the 30cm edges of a tie and front piece, wrong sides together, then stitch 5mm from the edge. Turn right sides together and repeat to create a French seam.
5 Match the lower arm and side seams on the left-hand side, right sides together, then stitch. Repeat for the right, but leave a 10cm gap beginning 7.5cm up from the base for the tie. Fold back the seam allowance at the gap, neaten, then stitch in place. Neaten the rest of the seam allowances, then press towards the back. Switch to a rolled-hem machine foot and hem around the neckline, ties, base and sleeve cuffs.