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It’s rare when I see a brand new pattern I have to get RIGHT AWAY. Even more rare that I have to pattern hack it immediately. But that’s the case with the Dana Point Top!
I first learned about the Dana Point Top (yes, named after the city in Orange County, California) from watching Katrina on Lifting Pins and Needles. I love her Youtube channel, she has a soothing and melodic voice. Katrina showed her beautiful version of the Dana Point Top and described how the lining was made by favoring the inside. If you don’t know what that is, watch her video! She does a great job explaining it.
Almost immediately after watching the video I bought the pattern on sale (all ITS patterns are discounted in the week they are released). It’s an easy pattern with only TWO pieces! And the cup sizes are built right in, so no futzing with an FBA!
Truthfully, the Dana Point Top has the exact kind of feminine details I like in blouses and tops so it was destined to be mine. The shoulders and waist sport 3 pleats each on each side that create soft gathers, while the back also has waist pleats, perfectly hugging the figure in the most flattering way.
I’ve reviewed the Itch to Stitch PDFs before, and this was is just as excellent. The pattern is only 2 pieces, a front and a back, and you create the lining out of each. Easy peasy!
Well, so I thought.
I used this crappy remnant as muslin fabric and didn’t take the time to stiffen its shifty way.
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I didn’t plan a lining because it was only a test piece and frankly didn’t have enough fabric. But after sewing the EIGHTEEN pleats (or tucks?), I knew there was no way I was going to do that TWICE. See, the lining requires all the same precise pleating. Didn’t matter that I had a nice stable seersucker and not a shifty rayon to make it in next time, I simply don’t have that kind of patience!
Don’t get me wrong, the pleats create an absolutely beautiful vintage silhouette. El Husbando especially appreciates the bust enhancing effects. And the perceived cinching at the waist results in yet another figure enhancement. It’s gorgeous! Exactly what I needed. But I knew I could cut a corner or two and still have a nice blouse.
And so, we hack!
One of the two ways I hacked was to create a front and neck facing, and finish the armholes with bias binding. Now that I can actually sew on facings without distorting them, I actually like this finishing technique! If you want to do the same, here’s how!
*Note this tutorial is for a confident beginner to intermediate sewist.
How to Hack the Dana Point Top: Adding a Front and Neck Facing
Materials (in addition to what the pattern calls for)
- Dana Point Top pattern
- Tracing paper
- Double fold bias binding (store bought is fine!)
- To start, you will need to print out and tape together the front and back in your size. ITS patterns include cup sizes, so there’s no need for the dreaded full bust adjustment! However, if you have any other adjustments to make (such as shortening or lengthening), do them first.
- The seam allowance along the center front and neckline is 1/2″ (Ed. note: it’s actually 5/8″ but it works just fine with 1/2″!). To ensure the buttons are centered along the facing, measure in 2.25″ along the entirety of center front and around the entire neckline. This allows 1/2″ seam allowance on both sides of the band and 1″ for the centered buttons (plus a little extra for a finished edge).
- At this point you should have a front Y-shaped facing drawn out, and a back semi-circle facing. Trace these markings onto a new piece of paper (I used tracing paper) and make sure to include the button marks. Also ensure you follow the original grainlines!
- Using your two new pattern pieces, cut out 2 mirror images of the Y-shape front and 1 of the back on the fold (only 1 front piece show below).
Stay stitch the interior curves of each one (to be safe, I stay stitched both sides after I interfaced).
- Interface each piece and then stitch together at the shoulders and press the seam open. Finish the edges in your preferred manner (I used pinking shears). Your finished product should mimic the center front and neckline of your original top.
- I like to serge finish the exterior/non-attached side of the facing so it doesn’t unravel. I then fold it over once for a completely clean finish inside. (This is also why I added an extra quarter-inch to the facing originally, so the inside facing still appears to have the buttons directly down the middle. I like symmetry!)
- Optional step: if you add labels to your clothes, now is a good time to sew it on to the back neck facing, before you attach it to the bodice.
- Create your Dana Point Top per the instructions, ignoring all the steps for a the lining. Staystich the curves, and stitch the pin tucks, shoulders, and side seams, finishing the seams in your desired manner.
- Attach your facing right sides together to the center front and along the neckline, matching the shoulder seams. Sew at 1/2″ seam allowance.
Understitch the seams to the facing, grade the seams, snip the corners to get a clean corner, and press to the inside so the facing rolls away from the seam. This will keep it from peeking out.
- Tack the facing down at the shoulder seams. Sew your button holes and hem as instructed.
- To finish the armholes, steam the bias binding into the circular shape.
Attach right sides together and stitch along the fold line.
Press up and away from the seam, then fold to the inside. Topstitch around armhole starting and ending at the side seam to hide the back tack.
- Give everything a final press and wear your hacked top!
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Now you might ask if this actually saved me any time. The truth is, between all the calculations, probably not! But I really liked the shifty fabric I was using and wanted to make it a wearable muslin. So, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention and I invented myself a facing so I could wear what I made.
A pattern hack into a wearable muslin? Yes please!
Still looking to win a copy of this or ANY Itch to Stitch Pattern? Kennis has graciously offered to giveaway a pattern of YOUR choice! That’s ANYTHING. Like the Dana Point top from above or ANYTHING ELSE. Don’t forget to also grab the Lindy Petal skirt, which is free!
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The value of each prize is as follows:
- $15 digital store credit to Wardrobe by Me pattern store (expires Oct 31, 2018) = $15 USD
- 1 digital PDF copy of the True Bias Lander shorts & pants pattern = $14 USD
- 1 digital PDF copy of the The Wearable Studio Franki top pattern = $14 AUD
- 1 digital PDF copy of any Itch to Stitch pattern = $0-15 USD
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