Thursday, May 24, 2012

The L Flounce


I actually made this top last March at the sewing retreat. I didn't quite like how it turned out, so it was tossed into a corner. This week, I decided to try it on again and, low and behold, while not perfect, it had improved with age.

This uses my TNT t-shirt pattern (one of the Style Arc tops - I can't remember which one) with a couple variations: the Chico Twist neckline from "Nifty Necklines for Knit Tops", and an asymmetric flounce at the hem that I call the "L Flounce". The fabric is a yummy rayon lycra knit from Fabrix.

I was perusing a RTW website some months ago and noticed this flounce on one of the tops. I realized, from studying the picture, that the flounce was a very simple L-shape. (I love it when that happens!)

What is so Special about the L Shape?

Up until now, similar patterns I have seen place the draping at the hip. I have made several patterns like this and I do like that look. But the L shaping places the drape over the leg, not at the hip. This does not add any bulk to the hip and creates a flattering line for virtually anyone.



This diagram shows how the flounce is drafted. The "inside" edge of the L, or the length of A + B, is equal to the width of the front (or back) hem. For my top, I made the length of A to be about 1/3rd of the width of the front hem, and B was the remaining 2/3rds. This placed the long "point" of the hem 1/3rd of the way in from the side seam, as the "point" hangs directly below the inside corner. I made the length of the flounce 10", but you can use whatever length you prefer.

You cut two of the flounce shapes - one for the front and one for the back. (Though, if you don't want a "point" on the back, you can cut a simple rectangle that is A+B wide and 10" long.)

When the fabric is cut with right sides (or wrong sides) together, both the front and back will have the points on the same side of the body. When the fabric is cut with right-side-to-wrong side (so that both layers of the fabric are facing the same direction), the front and back points will be on opposite sides of the body.

In the diagram, the edges marked as 10" are the side seams. To construct, sew the side seams, wrong sides together. Sew the flounce to the hem of the top using a 1/4" or 3/8" seam allowance. Sew straight across the inside corners, which is quite easy to do in a stretchy knit. In a woven, stay stitch the inside corners at the seam line and clip to the stitching before attaching the flounce to the garment.

You can use this L Flounce on any top, loose or not so loose — just vary the lengths of A and B appropriately. I did not hem my flounce, but you certainly could, though I would recommend using Steam a Seam Lite 2, if you do.

For my top, I started with my TNT t-shirt and cut it shorter, to allow for the length of the flounce. I also cut the neck wider for the twist neckline. If I use this neckline again, I will not make the neck quite so open.


The Chico Twist neckline, from "Nifty Necklines for Knit Tops". The neckline is a bit too wide.


My first attempt at the Chico twist neckline. For this top, the neckline was too high. Next time I will get it juuuust right!

48 comments:

  1. It looks great - and you are rocking that new haircut too! I'm going to investigate that twist neckline further, and thank you for the instructions on the flounce!

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    1. Thanks, Thornberry! You can purchase the Nifty Necklines ebook through this site: http://www.londas-sewing.com/

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  2. I love this shirt on you. I think it's really flattering. The style and the details definitely suit you.

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  3. I just got an overlock / serger for my birthday and am looking forward to playing with it. I love this top, both the interesting hem and the neckline (but also that colour!). Can you tell me more about Nifty Necklines? Is it a pattern? A book? Where might I get a copy?

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    1. You can purchase the Nifty Necklines ebook through this site: http://www.londas-sewing.com/

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  4. Great top! I am going to have to try that flounce. What is the "Nifty Necklines for Knit Tops" that you refer to? I make knit tips all the time but am unfamiliar with this.

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    1. Hey, JK, the Nifty Necklines ebook can be purchased here: http://www.londas-sewing.com/

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  5. How cute is that? Love that flounce and with your slim hips, it's very flattering.

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    1. Thanks, Gwen! It's nice that this flounce has style but isn't overly full.

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  6. Wonderful top! I do like that flounce. Well, and the neckline treatment also, for that matter. Simple and elegant.

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  7. This is a really flattering top on yo and I love the twisted neck edge.

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  8. I really like this on you. Your diagram and instructions make this a very easy variation for my tnt t shirt. It's amazing what a little drafting will do.

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    1. Thanks, Nancy, I hope you give it a try!

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  9. It's amazing how effective the hanger fix can be. I love it.

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  10. Love the top! And it's in my favorite color! I'll bet there are a lot of L Flounces in the sewing world in the near future!

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  11. I love this color on you! I mean the top is kewl and so you but the color really is pretty next to your face!

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    1. I have a tiny bit of this fabric left and I plan to make a simple shell. I wish I could get more of it!

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  12. You look great in that top, Shams. Don't change a thing and hurry to make another in a stripe knit so I can see how the pattern works for stripes! (Just a hint, really. I'm sure you have tons of other sewing projects to get to first. :) )

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  13. "...it had improved with age." how beatiful when this occurs!

    Thank you for your instructions here. I've been seeing this type of flounce on a lot of RTW and was getting interested in trying it out. Much easier when someone else has already done the brain work for you! steph

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    1. Thanks, Steph! I haven't seen this flounce a lot on RTW. I have seen the more standard hip flounce, which is created differently.

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    2. hmm, i don't know that i chose the best wording. This might be better: "i've seen this on quite a # of big, arty white linen shirts in berkeley/oakland boutiques like Molly B, Patina, Atomic Garden and such". ;)

      Still, it FELT like a lot! But it's not taking macy's by storm or anything like that......

      in another topic, i was perusing sewing plum's bloglist of independent North American pattern designers and ran across Trudy Jansen Design.

      http://www.trudyjansendesign.com/

      Some really nice pieces (i'm esp. eyeing the Euro Knit Jacket) but what made me think of you is her way of using a princess seam to the armhole *and* a fisheye dart on blouses to achieve shaping around the front of the bodice. She uses it on her Well-Fitted Shirt:

      http://www.trudyjansendesign.com/images/pat_404.JPG

      Her website is a little difficult to navigate, but i was very happy to be introduced to her designs! Appealing and at the same time plenty of opportunities to fit a very wide range of different bodies.

      Thank you and happy weekend! steph

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  14. Shams, your top is that beautiful red is gorgeous on you. Do you line your thin Rayon knits? I assume not since you don;t mention it. Thanks so much for the L shape instructions. I would never have figured that alteration, otherwise. You are so generous to share your discoveries with the rest of us. Thanks so much!

    Karendee

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    1. Thanks, Karendee! No, I do not line the thin knits.

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  15. Both the red and black are absolutely to die for. The style is perfect for you! Thanks for the flounce tutorial. Headed over to Londa's site now to see what's new.

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    1. Thanks, Kuby! You always have such nice things to say. :)

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  16. Thanks for sharing. Great idea to vary a plain top.

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    1. Thanks, Vicki! I created a review on Pattern Review and I hope others give it a try.

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  17. Love that red on you! The whole look is great on you. Nifty neckline, I must check that out.

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    1. Thanks, Andrea. Unfortunately, the Chico Twist is the only neckline that appeals to me in the ebook, but I do like it.

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  18. I've heard that if you haven't worn something in a year, you should give it away. I too have put things away and then given them a try at another time, much later and then like magic, it's the piece I go for over and over. Your top looks great. One you should repeat over and over. Have a wonderful time this weekend with visiting friends.

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    1. Thanks, Rhonda! I made this top three months ago, so I hadn't hit the year mark yet. But I sure should clean out the closet, based on that rule!

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  19. Great tutorial, and another tremendously flattering top. I will have to try this with my TNT t-shirt pattern.

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    1. Thanks, Luckylibbet! Please let me know if you do try it. :)

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  20. Shams thank you for the L flounce tutorial. FYI there are free instructions on the web for the twisted neckline binding :

    Liana posted instructions on her blog for twisted binding back in 2007 http://sewintriguing.blogspot.com/2007/05/twisted-binding.html

    and Marcy Tilton also has a tutorial on twisted binding on her website
    http://www.marcytilton.com/index.php?cid=760&cp=9

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    1. Thanks, Terri! I was aware of Marcy's binding, but not Liana's. Liana's is the same technique that I used, pretty much.

      Glad to hear you are doing better.

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    2. Thanks Shams! I had something to celebrate since my birthday is this month now that I'm able to do most everything I used to be able to do, but I can't run - yet. I hope you enjoyed your visit with Reann and friends!

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    3. We had a great long lunch including a run to Fabrix. I have a couple pictures, which I'll share at some point. (The sales clerk at Fabrix took two pictures of all three of us. In one, ReAnn was blurry. In the other, Jillian was blurry. I'm hoping Jillian's pics turn out better, but it was the same clerk who took them, so who knows.

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  21. You look fabulous in your uniquely stunning top! Impressive!

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  22. Great looking top- AND you explain why. Love that. Also I have been partial to those twist neck lines...may have to try.

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  23. I think the l flounce makes this top.

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  24. Shams, Thank you for your observation of a unique style, your study to figure it out, your labors to make it and then write clear directions for it. You are a treasure to the sewing community!

    It appears to me the same flounce placement could be created with a princess seam from shoulder to hem, placing the seam so it ends above center thigh. The bottoms of the side & front would flare out to create the flounce in the same manner as the side flounce version does. (Clear as mud?) That would avoid a waist seam and make using a stripe easier. The stripe could go one direction on the larger portion of the front and a different direction on the smaller portion.

    See! Your creativity sparks ideas in others! A great gift you give.

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  25. Shams, your top looks terrific, and so do you. I have done the L flounce and the neck top treatment, but not together. Great idea.

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