Tie Front Knit Top Sewing Instructions
(return to page 1 for photo styling pattern info, knit tips, and favorite knit fabric resources)
Products used and Recommended:
- My favorite fabric shop for knits: Funkalicious Fabrics and Girl Charlee. My favorite shop for cottons and other fabrics: Fabric.com.
- My Sewing Machine: SINGER 9960 Quantum Stylist, my coverstitch: Janome Cover Pro 1000cpx
- My Serger: Brother 1034D 3 or 4 Thread Serger or you can just use Pinking Shears
- Rotary Cutter
- I love my large ruler and large cutting mat, but you may prefer to start off with a smaller Cutting set
- Dritz Dual Purpose Marking Pen and Fray Check
- Wonder clips (I didn’t use these in the post, but they are just awesome!
- Ball point needles
- Ball Point double needle
- Walking foot
- Size 3: Height- 38.5 inches, Weight- 32 lbs, Finished length: 13 in, finished hip: 25.22 inches
- Size 4: Height- 41.5 inches, Weight- 36 lbs, Finished length: 13.75 in, finished hip: 26 inches
- Size 5: Height- 44.5 inches, Weight- 42 lbs, Finished length: 14.5 in, finished hip: 27 inches
- Size 6: Height- 46.5 inches, Weight- 48 lbs, Finished length: 15.45 in, finished hip: 28 inches
- Size 7: Height- 51 inches, Weight- 60 lbs, Finished length: 16.35 in, finished hip: 30 inches
- Size 8: Height- 53 inches, Weight- 66 lbs, Finished length: 17.25 in, finished hip: 31.75 inches
- Size 10: Height- 55 inches, Weight- 74 lbs, Finished length: 18.125 in, finished hip: 33.5 inches
- Size 12: Height- 57.5 inches, Weight- 85 lbs, Finished length: 19.62 in, finished hip: 36 inches
- Size 14: Height- 60 inches Weight- 96 lbs Finished length: 20.65 in, finished hip: 37 inches
- Enter your name and email to download the pattern. Save it to your PC, open the pdf document in adobe acrobat. Don’t print from google’s online version of adobe. (It will sometimes cause the pattern to print too small.) *there is also a new option to print only the size needed)
- Seam allowance is 3/8 inch with a 3/8 inch bottom hem and 1/2 inch sleeve hem.
- Pattern is designed to hit at low waist/high hip level. Shorten or lengthen as desired.
- The pattern for the neck binding is designed for a ribbed knit with 50 to 75% stretch with good recovery (Fabric Fairy has a lot of good quality ribbed knit choices.) If using a binding fabric with less stretch, Measure the neckline and cut a fabric strip 10 to 15% less than the measurement (multiply the neck measurement by .90 or .85) and follow the instructions in step 4. (This is the “in the round” method– and it never hurts to do the finger stretch test before sewing…)
Tips for sewing with knits:
- Use a ballpoint/stretch needle
- Sew seams with either a serger, stretch stitch, narrow zig zag or a straight stitch with a longer stitch length and a slightly loosened tension. (Make a couple of practice stitches on your fabric to see what works best.) I also like to use this “lightning bolt” stretch stitch on seams that need strength but a little give. (For my project I used a combination of straight stitch and serger for seams and zig zag, double needle on the hems.)
- Use spray starch when pressing hems. Sew hems with a zig zag, twin ball point needle, narrow zig zag with a long stitch length or a straight stitch with a long stitch length and a slightly loosened tension or leave raw. (also helps to use a walking foot.)
- If you find your fabric keeps getting pulled inside the needle plate, place a small piece of tissue underneath the fabric, so the feed dogs have something to grip.
- up to 1 yard of 60 inch wide knit fabric. (I was able to fit a size 14 on one yard of fabric with creative folding and flipping the pattern around. If your fabric has a one-way directional print or nap, you will need more.)
- ballpoint needle and ballpoint twin needle
- walking foot
- basic sewing supplies
Step 1: Print pattern, tape together and cut out size needed.
Once you have downloaded the pattern to your desktop and opened it in the free adobe reader program, there’s a new printing option for you. You can now print only the size needed. (this pattern only, I’ll slowly go back and start updating the older patterns.) This function is super handy and makes it much less confusing when cutting the pattern, plus I love that it enables me to print in black and white. (that color ink can be pricey!)
Assemble the pattern and cut out pattern pieces.
Step 2: Cut pattern pieces from fabric.
Lay out your fabric, so the most stretch is going side to side. Fold one side over, selvage toward the middle (until you have enough width to to cut out the sleeve.) Place the side of the pattern on the fold and cut out the front piece.
Cut out the back piece and the neckband.
Step 3: Assembling the top
Place the front and back pieces right sides together and sew along the shoulders and side seams.
(I used my serger for this step. If you have a serger by all means, use it, but it is really unnecessary to finish the seams since knits don’t fray. )
Use your iron and press the bottom edge of the entire top over 3/8 inch (including the ties). Use pins if you need too and when you get to the curve in between the tie, it’s ok if you need to stretch the fabric a little or even if you need to cut the shape slightly more circular. Once the top is tied, you can’t see this seam edge anyway.
Using your double stretch needle, sew along the bottom edge of the top, including the ties.
When you get to that tricky curved part, just go slow…
When you are using a double needle, you can’t pivot on turns like you normally do. I just sewed to the end, lifted my needle and presser foot and manually turned the fabric.
Step 4: Adding the neck binding.
The neck binding for this pattern is designed for a ribbed knit or other very stretchy fabric. If you are not using a super stretchy fabric, I recommend making your own binding measurement by lining up the front and back neckline and measuring the neckline width. (the front is deeper than the back, so shoulder seams will not be the edge. Once they are lined up, multiply by the measurement by 2 for the entire neckline measurement. Multiply that nuber by .9 and cut a piece of your knit fabric to your number.
(Tip: I always reccomend doing a finger stretch test before attachingthe neckline. Stretch it around the neckline with your fingers and if it seems like it will fit, it probably will.)
Fold the binding strip in half wrong sides together and press.
Open the strip, line up the short raw edges and sew together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Re-fold the binding.
Using pins or a fabric marker, divide the binding into 4 equal sections and mark the spots.Do the same thing on the t-shirt neckline. Keep in mind, the shoulder seams will not be the exact halfway point because the front neckline is slightly larger because of the dip.
Line up the 4 marked spots on the neckline and binding and pin the binding to the t-shirt. The binding should be smaller than the neckline and the extra fabric should be evenly spaced along the binding.
Use a straight stitch and sew along the edge using 1/4 inch seam allowance, stretching the binding evenly from pin to pin.
Fold the sleeve edge over 3/8 inch and press. Using your double needle and walking foot, sew along the edge of the sleeve.
That’s it you’re done!
Have fun and I can’t wait to see what you make, please come back and share!