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!