Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Upcycle: Over-sized Top to Shirred Tunic

Since I am always a bargain hunter, I found a rather plain, over-sized knit top on a clearance rack for $4.00. Abracadabra! Now it has been upcycled into a stylish shirred tunic! Follow my quick and easy directions and photos to create your own. 

This knit "V-neck" top was a Ladies size XXL, and I wear a small. I knew this would be a "trial and error" project, but I am always up for a challenge.

First, I tried the top on. The length was good, so I would not need to bother the bottom hem (relief). 

It was very loose and looked "boxy", especially in the bust and arm area. I pinned the top through the sleeve hem, the remaining sleeve, underarm, and about halfway down the sides. I sewed the seam, tapering it into the existing seam, trimmed the seam, and tried it on again.  

I still didn't like the way it looked, so I decided to "shirr" it slightly above the waistline in the front. I turned it to the wrong side and tried it on again for proper placement of elastic (purchased at Walmart). I pinned the ends of 2 pieces of soft elastic to the top, removed the top, and attached the elastic to the top by stretching the elastic as I sewed a straight stitch with matching thread. 

View of the wrong side of top & elastic

It still seemed a little big, so I sewed and removed additional fabric from the arm and upper area, again making certain that the side seam tapered into the existing seam, stopping before the hemline. At this point, I finished the seam using my serger.

Carefully cut the excess from the seam.

The "V-neck" edges wanted to "curl and flop over", so I decided to create an insert.

I measured and used the remaining sleeve with hem from this turtleneck to create the insert. After cutting straight across, I removed the seam, making the fabric flat. 

I pinned the fabric from the turtleneck sleeve to the top with existing hem toward the neckline.

Using a zipper-foot and matching thread, I sewed the inset to the top, back-stitching at the beginning and end of the seam for reinforcement. From the backside, I trimmed the white fabric to 1/4".

Now the bead trim on the top really "pops" on my new tunic!

Nancy's Notes:

  • For more projects using the white turtleneck, please check out "Grow" This Shirt!
  • You could also "shirr" the back of the shirt using the above directions.
  • If you are unsure about how big to sew the side seam, use caution. It is much easier to sew a second wider seam than to "pick out" a seam that was too wide!
I love my new shirred tunic!

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