From the shape above to the shape below!
The basic pattern that I used to hack/alter to make this pattern is a very basic shape. If you want to try it for yourself, start with any basic, sleeveless pattern that you have used and that fits you well over the upper area, from the bust/underarm up, front and back. The images below are my original pattern pieces.
In fact the first top was already refashioned from a sale dress, I loved the print, the dress looked awful on me, so it had to be reused. I even went back and bought more! Who doesn’t make more than one from a favourite pattern? Anyway back to the tutorial!
Draw round the original pattern pieces and transfer any information, then put them aside.
Cut out the back and front pattern pieces. My seam allowances are 1cm, the neck and armholes have no seam allowance because they are bound. If its easier, this is the time to remove the seam allowances.
Split the back pattern into 4 pieces. Cut these lines from bottom to top, I usually leave these bits attached by about 2mm, in this instance, at the shoulder. The line positions dictate where the flare will sit. My flared top pattern measures 35cm across the half back at the hem. Measure and mark this to get this amount of flare. For me it meant only 1.5cm to be added between the cuts. The lines I have put in are slightly angled, to follow the line of the pattern piece. Open out the pieces, from 0 at the shoulder edge to the required amount at the bottom edge.
At this point I would be starting on the front pattern piece. This is difficult to show in images, but I always work on the back and front simultaneously, so that what I apply to one, gets applied to the other, if necessary. And so that I don’t forget what I’ve just done??
The shapes produced at this point for the front and back, above and below would be fine to use as they are. But I wanted to give a curve onto the side seam, without having to increase the hem measurement. Therefore I marked the 32cm from the centre front, overlapped 4cm to make sure the front was flat and reshaped the side seam to meet the 32cm point. I marked the side slit 11.5 cm up from the hem edge. I allowed myself the loss at the side seam of front panel because I knew it was full enough and I wanted to encourage the shape into the curve rather than it looking pointy at the sides!!
I measured 35cm from the centre back, along the hem edge and marked it onto the paper. This is how wide I want the half back to be. I laid the front pattern piece on top of the back piece, matching at the armhole, down the side seam to the 35cm mark. I want the curves of the front and back side seams to match.
These are images of the back neck opening and the side slits, although you can finish these in whatever way you prefer. Cut the strips for the binding on the bias 4cm x 50cm x 2 for the armholes and 4cm x 48cm x 1 for the neck edge, or check your own measurements. For the belt strips cut on the straight grain 9cm x 70cm x1, to finish 3.5cm wide and for the strip for the D-rings 10cm x 14cm, to finish 4cm wide. Or cut these narrower or wider to suit your own styling of the belt. For bigger sizes add to both lengths.
The belt position on the top is an odd one. I got the perfect position by trying on the finished top and pinning it at the best spot. I had tried several times to decide where it should sit as a marking on the paper pattern, but it ended up in slightly different positions, depending on the fabric. However I notched and inserted the longer tie into the side seam at 15.5cm and then 19cm down from the armhole. On the other side I stitched a thread loop but it could have been a belt loop, following the same measurements. The front and back can both be cut to the fold, meaning as one piece! My coral top was made from palazzo pants so had to have front and back centre seams because of the lack of width in the trouser!
This top and the measurements I’ve used are based on a size 10. If you have your basic shape, which already fits, I would add 1cm per half front and back, but only to increase the front and back width given measurements of 32cm and 35cm! This would increase each size up by 4cm. Or add as much flare as you want to!!