Colouring outside the lines – aka No.1 Loose Drape Top. Drape Drape Book 1

It’s not black and white, but it is animal print.

This top is actually my third Drape Drape project. I posted earlier that I wanted to move away from so much black and white in my wardrobe so the natural alternative was animal print. I have a bit of a fixation with afore-mentioned print, I blame my parents. Specifically, I blame my mum and her absolutely glorious 60’s leopard print coat that I wore for most of my twenties. I think she can also take the blame for the top-heaviness my sister and I are cursed/blessed with. Anyway, to postpone my slide into becoming a full-time Bet Lynch tribute, I’ve placed a temporary ban on making/buying any more leopard print. This is temporary mind, I love Ms Lynch, who doesn’t? Coronation Street on the other hand…..

But I digress, back to the top. Here’s the back of the top.

It really, really quite low in the back, I’m talking “I can read your bra sizing tag” low. Ten, maybe five years ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice about that but it’d take me a few drinks to get into that sort of argument with gravity these days. So, in the interests of public decency, I’ll be wearing this over a bandeau. A bandeau that’s low in the front, of course. No sense trying to fight genetics (thanks mum).

Like the last project, this was very easy. It’s basically just two rectangles that taper a little to the waist, just two side seams. Since it’s a cowl top, the neckline is just a matter of turning down and stitching the hem, there’s no real call for binding here as it would only weigh it down and it’d sit weird.

The armholes, however, need binding and that was a bit of a pain. I was either too impatient or simply out-foxed by the instructions so, again, I did it my own way and after a bit of trial and error I ended up doing it like this.

Measure the armhole, that’s your length. Add a couple of inches though to avoid the inevitable cursing and scaring of the cats when you realise you’ve not got enough. Decide how wide you want your binding and multiple by three, that’s your width. I find an inch and a half works well and is the thinnest my machine and I can manage neatly. When using stretch fabric like jersey, I cut this with the stretch going across the width. You can cut this on the bias (diagonal to the selvedge), Colette patterns does an excellent tutorial on this.

Step 1. I used an overlocker to attach my binding to the armhole. Right side of binding attached to wrong side of garment.

This part is so boring.

Step 2. Work with the right side of the garment up. Fold the edge of the binding in to meet the overlocked edge but don’t fold that overlocked edge though.

Don’t fold that overlocked edge (where the black stitching is)

Now pin that sucker down with a few dozen pins. Be sure to drop some pins on the floor for you or your loved ones to step on later.

After folding and pinning, I ironed the binding flat. Turns out that was pretty much a waste of time but it kind of helped hold it down. Make sure you only iron over glass-headed pins! Not the plastic ones, that’d be just plain careless. Or something. So I’ve heard.

Still with me? It’s pretty dull but this is the last stage.

Step 3. Fold it over again. The fold line will be where the raw binding edge meets the overlocked edge. The binding will lap over the right side of the garment. Unpin and repin as you go. In this next pic, I’m working left to right so you can see the right side is still at step 2 and the left is at step 3.

Now sew that annoying, time-consuming thing down. Or, just go out and buy ready-made binding. Sometimes, life is too short for all this nonsense.

I finished this quite late in the evening and was so pleased I with it, I put the heating on and flounced around the house in it. I had been wearing leopard print leggings at the time so I ended up looking like a East London fashion crime scene.

Leopard Print. I have a problem.


About Vanessa

Sewing and assorted nonsense. For reasons that escape me, I left the sunshine and beaches of Australia for the crisps and glitter of London in 2001. I now live in the middle of some kind of feline drop-in centre in East London battling for space to make costumes and clothes. Over on twitter and instagram as @smittenness Email over here ------>
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One Response to Colouring outside the lines – aka No.1 Loose Drape Top. Drape Drape Book 1

  1. Pingback: Jersey dress – because you can never have enough stripes in your wardrobe. | Sew Smitten

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