Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

This is a quick little self-drafted T-shirt.img_8336

I have made a number of these in different fabric over the years but this is a 3/4 version especially for this time of the year. I don’t seem to have much by way of transitional spring tops. I think there will be another couple of variations on this theme on the way.

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This second hand stretch has cool diamond shapes with green tips. It was a remnant I found at the local op-shop. This place has yielded much good fabric over the last few months. Well worth regular visits. In fact, here’s the latest haul. And can I just give myself a high-five? No prints! Unprecedented.

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The fabric for this top was the selvedge of a of an approximately 1.5 metre long piece that had clearly had something cut out of it. So I could just squeak this T-shirt out of it. I was going to make the bat-wing pattern I made up with red stripes (also from the same op-shop) but no dice.

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I added a little detail in the back, and have enjoyed more quality time with my stretch needle, choosing a green thread for the top-stitching to bring out the diamond tips (you can’t really see it super well in the photos).

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My only question is the darts. I feel like these are where darts are *supposed* to sit – shaping in towards the boobs-eye. C.f http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/44569/qa-where-to-place-bust-dart-points

But it feels weird to me. Suggestions? (Clearly not going to stop me wearing it!)

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33 thoughts on “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.

  1. Fab Spring top, I really need some of these in wardrobe, the fabric looks great, I keep going to op-shops but never have any luck finding fabric although I brought a massive full length skirt that I will cut up in to a dress (hopefully) I wonder if the dart thing is that they are just too long? But I’m no expert.

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    1. Thanks! It was a good score. I just seem to strike it lucky with this particular one. Maybe darts too long is the answer. I usually make them too short, perhaps I overcompensated.

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  2. I love thus top, Naomi! The diamonds and the little pleat in back bring it up a notch. I wish we had second-hand shops that sell fabric…unless I am simply not in the know. For the darts I could also see those wonderful diagonal ones that come up from lower down the garment, that appear in vintage dresses now and again. That said, I am no expert!

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  3. I love the back detail – great idea.
    Good luck with the darts quest – it’s an interesting way to change the look of a garment but I find it quite hard. Look forward to seeing your experiments

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  4. Hi! You did a good job of matching the pattern at the armhole and bodice. Dart length is tricky. My patternmaking book (Perfect Fit Patternmaking by FFA) has the dart legs proceed all the way to the apex. This is for drafting purposes. Once the basic is finished the instructions state to shorten the dart legs up to one inch above the apex point. How much shortening is to be done will depend on your own bust height (distance from neck to apex) and shape. I find 1/2 to 3/4″ before the apex a good place to end a dart.

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    1. Correction–The dart should stop about 1″ before the apex point.

      The position of the dart is another thing that requires some experimentation. My basic horizontal bust dart ends up right near the underarm seam. Not flattering at all. So I lower the start of the dart 3/4″ below the armhole but keep the dart legs angled up in the direction of the apex point. No matter where you position the start of the dart the end should be about 1/2″ or so before the apex point.

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      1. Thanks Em! Some good tips for next time. I do want to experiment with starting the opening of the dart lower – like right down near the waist and moving up. I’ve seen this detail a few places and I think it’s a lovely detail. I think if I shortened these darts by about 1″ that should help. Might be tempted to do some unpicking.

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      2. Ooo-la-la, you’re thinking of a French dart. They are very flattering and also keep the print looking good. I made a bodice with a French dart when I started sewing again. I put up tutorials on how to sew and finish. You can search by looking for the tags about darts, French darts and dirndl dress.

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  5. Beautiful pleat. Great reveal too, I like how you saved the back-view picture for last, so it was like normal shirt, normal shirt, surprise! Back detail!
    About the darts, they may be a little long, but it looks to me like the main thing is that they end too abruptly and that is creating a little bubble at the end of each dart. Ending the darts verrrrry gradually, instead of in a point, would help with this. Some fabrics are much harder to dart smoothly though, so could be your fabric is fighting you.
    I’d be tempted to extend the darts into a seam all the way across, so it looks like a style line and avoids the bubbling issue, but on the other hand that might look crazy.
    Speaking of fabric, I love that this is a second hand fabric! It’s very satisfying to see a thrift shop fabric get a second, glorious chance.

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    1. Thanks for the tips. Yeah, I feel like the fabric is really not wanting to be darted, hopefully after a wash and another press they might settle down a bit.
      A question: with regards ending the darts more gradually – how does this work with a dart that is larger at the opening? This dart starts with about a 3″ opening. Should I just keep sewing for a little bit longer after I am at the edge of the fabric? Or should I angle in earlier?
      Glad you liked my pleat reveal. I do like clothes that have interest at the back too. I think it comes from years of sitting at pianos.

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      1. Little of both. Angle in earlier, and then run your last few stitches right along the edge like the tiniest pin tuck. The darts may end up longer, but it’ll be ok, you have a little leeway assuming you marked it an inch shy of the bust point.

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  6. Dart placement is my nemesis, so i should rather not venture any suggestions… Except that a sewing friend taught me, while I was making The Dress and getting horrible pointy darts, to taper the darts straight off at the point and keep sewing for another mm or three, basically sewing the dart point on in half a thread of the fabric before ending without backstitching and then knotting the thread. The difference was miraculous!

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    1. I have unpicked the darts and made them shorter which seems to have really helped!! I’d also heard never to back stitch so I’ve always knotted mine too, and now I am trying the sewing along the point too – as yourself and a few others have suggested. I used to just sew right off the edge then knot. A work in progress!

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