Top #1 Series (A-D)

Overview of Top 001 (A to D)

The four tops in this series are quite simple as far as drafting the pattern goes. (Three of them are finished off with bias binding, so whether or not you consider that simple as far as sewing goes is another matter entirely).

I am starting off with tops that are easy to draft and that put in practice some very basic patternmaking principles; mainly manipulating darts (Tops C & D), button extension (Tops B & C), and adding in a design line (Top D).  With all of these I am starting off with my Sleeveless Torso Block.   Note that I do not make pattern pieces for bias binding; I make a number of strips of bias, then sew together the pieces I need and cut them to the lengths I need for the armholes and neckline.

The reason that all these tops are sleeveless in that I want to build incrementally on basic knowledge. I wanted to start off with the easiest tops you can draft, that are basically  the Torso block with just a couple of changes or additions.  None of these tops are very close fitting; there a significant amount of ease in the waist and hips (at least for me, given my figure. You could make these more fitting if the difference between your waist and hips/bust is not very large).  

I will be creating another four sleeveless tops in a Top-002 series, but they will have Empire and/or Princess Lines and be more fitting, and also have collars. Creating more closely fitting tops, if you have a small waist in comparison to your bust/hips, is easier with Empire & Princess stylelines.   The four tops in a Top-003 series will add in different sleeves.

Top 001a

This pattern is really just the Torso Block with a bit of ease added to the hip.  The waist dart is not sewn.  Two lines are marked on the pattern for sewing elastic under the bust.  I have kept the neckline quite high to avoid having to deal with a gape dart.  (Instead of sewing the elastic directly onto the fabric, another option is to draft a pattern piece to hold elastic or a drawstring, but I will do that in some other pattern).

Patternmaking principles: using dart value for gathers, understanding seam allowance when using bias binding.

Top 001b

This is the Torso Block that is shortened a little,  with a button extension added to the Center Front. As per the block, there are darts in the side seams and waist.  As with Top-01A, the neckline is quite high to avoid having to deal with a gape dart.

Patternmaking principles: button extension, understanding seam allowance with bias binding.

Top 001c

This is the same as 002b except that the side seam dart has been moved into the waist.  Therefore there are two waist darts in the half-block.  Note that while this (should be?) just simple dart manipulation, it can present problems depending on your figure. (For example: When I move the side seam dart into the waist I end up with an extremely large hem area, and an enormous amount of extra ease in the waist.  It can be confusing knowing what to do in this case, which is why it is a useful exercise).  The neckline is quite high to avoid having to deal with a gape dart.

Patternmaking principles: dart manipulation, button extension, understanding seam allowance with bias binding.

Top 001D

This top does have a design line added across the Upper Bust, and the side seam dart value is moved into that design line. The dart is not sewn, it is converted to gathers.  The waist dart is not sewn and extra ease is added in the hem.  The back has a design line at the same level as the Upper Bust at the front, and the back dart is similarly gathered into that line.  An additional amount is added to the CB for more fullness.  There is no CF or CB seam; it is pulled over the head.  The neckline is lower than the previous tops, and I did have to move some of the excess in the neckline into the side seam dart before I separated the pattern at the (yoke) design line.

Patternmaking principles: low necklines (gape dart), dart manipulation (gape dart AND moving side seam dart), adding design lines, adding fullness (back bodice).

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