January 16, 2023 2 Comments
by Esi Hutchinson
Folkwear is excited to introduce our new sewing pattern, 510 Passionflower Lingerie Top. The babydoll sewing pattern is sized XS-4XL with three cup sizes for each size. The full, above-knee skirt has an open front and drapes beautifully to a slightly lower length in the back. Instructions for optional lace applique and lace insertion are included in the instructions. I'll soon have a blog post showing how to do the lace insertion for this garment, so stay tuned!
While this pattern makes really cute sleepwear babydoll lingerie, it also can be a great casual top to wear in warm weather. For this sew along, I will be making the Passionflower Lingerie Top into a shirt you could wear casually. It has a charming character to it with the curved skirt and picot hem finish that allows it to curl at the edges - it's very cute!
Lets get started!
Fabric and preparation
Fabric suggestions for this pattern include lightweight or medium-weight cotton, cotton gauze, linen and blends, voile, batiste, rayon challis, silk, charmeuse, and very lightweight silk velvet with drape. You want something that is light and with a good drape. For lingerie, you might want to try something sheer or semi-sheer. For this top, I used an organic cotton voile in a dusty pink. I used the same fabric for the bodice lining, though you could choose a different fabric for the lining (especially if you are sewing with sheer fabrics). Folkwear has several colors of these cotton voiles in our fabric collection in case there is something that suits you for this pattern. I always recommend that you pre-wash your fabric before cutting the pattern out.
Optional: If you are doing lace applique and or lace insertion you will need 1-1⅝ yds (.9-1.5m).
Optional: If you like, you can use 1¼yd (1.1m) ribbon for straps instead of the strap pieces for the pattern. This can look really nice if you also add a ribbon applique to the top of the bodice (you'd want more ribbon then - about 3 yards).
Fitting and cutting out the pattern
You need to choose the size that best fits your bust and waist measurements, with bust being the most important. Also look at the pattern's finished measurements. The waist of the top, is an empire waist is fits just below the bust. You can measure there to make sure the fit is going to work for you at that point.
Once you choose a size, you will need to choose the bodice cup size to fit your bust. To find best cup size, measure your full bust and high bust. If there is a 2” difference, choose B cup; if a 3” difference, choose C cup; and if a 4” difference, choose D cup. If have a 1" difference, stay tuned - we will have a Small Bust Adjustment tutorial very soon. I used the B cup for this pattern. To make it easier to see the dart lines (or cutting lines) on the pattern, I use a marker to outline the size I want along the appropriate line(s).
Cut out the pattern pieces for your size, and refer to the Yardage chart for finished measurements as well if you need to adjust any of the pieces.
STEP ONE: Bodice Construction
It's helpful to highlight the darts for your size, so you don't get mixed up with the other dart placements.
Transfer the dart lines on the outer fabric and lining of the Bodice A. I used tracing paper and a tracing wheel.
With right sides together, sew the three darts on Front A pieces. Be sure to have the dart lines transferred to the wrong side of the fabric so it is easy to see where to pin and sew. It is helpful to sew each dart separately before pinning the other darts out. Instead of backstitching at the point of the dart, sew off the fabric and cut long threads then tie the thread ends together several times to secure. This makes a cleaner dart point. Press darts flat, then press toward Center Front. Repeat with Front Lining pieces.
With right sides together, sew Front pieces together along Center Front seam. Press seam open. Repeat with Front Lining pieces. You don't need to finish these seams as they will be enclosed in bodice.
With right sides together, fold Strap in half lengthwise and stitch long edge. Trim seam allowances. NOTE: As an alternative, you may use satin or lace ribbon for the strap.
Turn Strap right side out, and press.
Baste Straps to right side of outer Front (not lining) between dots, as indicated on pattern, matching raw edges.
With right sides together, sew Back pieces to Front at sides, matching notches. Press seams open.
Repeat with Lining pieces.
With right sides together, sew the Front/Back outer fabric to Front/Back lining along Center Back, underarm, and neckline edges, matching Center Fronts and side seams, and taking care to keep open strap ends clear of stitching. Trim seam allowances and clip corners. Turn right side out, and press. On Lining, press up ½” (13mm) to the wrong side, or inside.
Turn right side out, and press. If you want to add a lace insertion or applique do so now. We will have a lace insertion blog soon. If you want to applique lace, or ribbon, to the top of the bodice, place where you want it and pin in place. Use a short stitch to secure the lace or ribbon along the outside of the piece(s). You can stitch through both outer and lining layers, or you can open the bodice up and stitch through the top/outer layer only.
STEP TWO: Skirt Construction
With right sides together, sew Skirt Back pieces together along Center Back seam, leaving skirt open above notch. I finished this seam with French Seams. Press seam open, or press to one side if using French Seams, and press seam allowance open above stitching on both sides.
Press under raw edges of seam allowances by ¼” (6mm) along unstitched portion of Center Back, and press under again by ¼” (6mm) to enclose raw edge.
Topstitch close to pressed edges, pivoting at notch and crossing over seam allowances to return on opposite side.
With right sides together, sew Skirt Front pieces to Skirt Back at side seams, matching notches. Again, I used French Seams here.
Staystitch top edges of Skirt by stitching ⅛” (3mm) away from seamline, in seam allowance, using short stitches.
To create the picot skirt hem, set machine on long, wide zigzag stitch and sew along bottom and front edge of the Skirt. Work with the wrong side of fabric facing up and be sure that outer swing of machine needle encloses the raw edge. NOTE: If your fabric unravels easily, you may want to press under the raw edge ¼” (6mm) before beginning so that the swing of the needle encloses the pressed edge. Also, you may want to tighten the upper thread tension to create a scallop effect. The picot stitching gives the hem a bit of a wavy effect.
Instead of this picot edge, you could also finish the hem by serging, hand or machine roll hemming, pressing under raw edge and slipstitching, or topstitching lace edging to raw hem edge. These options all give a bit of a different effect and provide many options for the hem.
Overlap the curved Center Fronts of Skirt by ½” (13mm) and baste across overlap along top edge. Make sure raw edges of overlapped top edge are matching, so Skirt Fronts will drape correctly.
STEP THREE: Skirt and Bodice Finishing
With right sides together, sew Skirt to bodice outer fabric only, matching notches and side seams. Clip Skirt seam allowance close to staystitching as needed to ease in stitching. This can take a little bit of finaggling to get everything lined up, but the staystitching and clipping really help. Press the seam toward bodice.
Optional: Instead of sewing just the outer layer of the bodice to the skirt, you could baste the raw edges of the Outer Bodice to the Lining and sew both, as one piece, to the Skirt. You will need to finish the raw edges with a zig zag or serger like I did below on another sample I made of this pattern.
Outer layer of bodice pinned to skirt.
Press under ½” (13mm) to wrong side on Lining if you haven't done so already.
Slip stitch pressed lining edge over previously stitched seam, encasing the seam.
Pin Strap ends to inside of Back pieces where indicated on pattern pieces. Adjust for fit or comfort.
I drew a line indicating the final length, and a line ½” (13mm) below it indicating the cutting length. Where my finger is, is where I will cut the strap to fit my body.
I folded the strap into itself by ½” (13mm) and pressed.
Stitch the strap end to inside of the back bodice between the dots. I stitched very close to the edge of the bodice. You could also slipstitch this close to the edge for an invisible seam. Matching thread also helps, but I wanted the seam to show for this sew along. Another option that I tried and liked, is to finish the ends of these straps (you can do that when the sew the straps by sewing one short end together when sewing the long side together). Then, you can tie the straps behind your neck to make a halter style top.
Now just sew a bra closure, hook and eyes, or snaps to inside of Bodice at Center Back. I prefer snaps for this top, but a bra closure or hook and eye are perhaps more secure.
If you don't like the gap in the back of the skirt, you can sew on more closures, like snaps, to close it. I don't mind it at all so I left it open. The snaps provide a bit more overlap in the back also so it doesn't gape.
Now you are finished with your 510 Passionflower Lingerie Top!
Looks cute with a jacket!
And with jeans!
And I love the back!
January 17, 2023