We were so excited to be asked to join Michael Miller’s Great Pattern Hack. It is always fun to think about ways to edit and redesign patterns we have in our line. Some patterns lend themselves perfectly for a “hack” like The Gathered Back Top & Tunic, which was just released last month along with 30 “new arrivals” which debuted at Quilt Market!
The Great Pattern Hack has given us the perfect opportunity to share our idea for making the Gathered Back a sleeveless top – using a technique already in the pattern, as well as Michael Miller’s Seedling by Thomas Paul.
This simple, pull-over top, features a a flattering horizontal gathered seam in the back. The curved neckline is finished with a bias facing, which gives a beautiful, professional finish to your garment. It is this technique which we will use to create a sleeveless garment.
The bias facing technique is so simple, but incredibly effective. You start with a strip of fabric, cut on the bias, the length of your opening, plus your seam allowance. When you have your strip, press it lengthwise WST. Then use a steam iron to steam the strip into a curve that matches the curve of your opening.
When the strip is steamed into shape, open the edges and place the short ends RST. Sew with a 1/2″ seam. Pin your loop to the opening, on the RS of the garment, starting in the back, matching the seams and raw edges. Pin along the opening. When you have the binding pinned to the garment, stitch around the opening with a 1/4″ seam allowance, then clip around the curve.
Press the bias binding to the WS of the garment. Again, using a steam iron will help you shape the bias to the curve. Then, pin along the opening. When you are finished pinning, top-stitch along the opening with a 1/4″ seam allowance, then press.
This bias facing technique can be used to create a professional finish to any garment. I love how the Gathered Back Top & Tunic looks sleeveless and this is an easy way to make a dramatic change.