Sewing shirts the wrong way.

I originally called this post “No Bare Breasts Please”. I don’t know why, maybe because I need to wear shirts to work? Or maybe I just need a cup of tea and a lie down.

Anyway… On the back of my skirt success, I thought I’d try and find myself the top equivalent. I’ve got three patterns I’m eyeing off, and I’ve already made all of them at least once. The first is Vogue 8650, and I blogged about it here, including a simple hack.


That version I made in a voile, and to be honest, I haven’t worn it much. It’s too short, and even if I wear a cami underneath, the muffin top is still visible the second I move my arms. I might make another in some floral rayon knit that I have in the stash, and see if I can create something more wearable.

The second contender is another Vogue pattern, 8629. It’s actually a dress pattern, and I made one to rock over the summer holidays (and am actually wearing now!). I love it, and I think I’ll have a go at shortening it to a tuck-in-able length, because it’s pretty flattering and comfortable, a win/win situation.


My last choice is Simplicity 1377, which is a bundle pattern, with pull on skirt, pants and shorts and two shirt options. It was the tops that I bought the pattern for, but I’ve since made the skirt too, which I’ll post about another day.


I made View D, which has drop shoulders and a feature facing on the right side. I hate feature facings, because in every pattern I’ve ever read, you attach the facing to the neckline first, then turn your seam allowance under and top stitch. My problem is that I can never turn my SA under evenly around the curve, especially with wriggly fabric. I tried something different this time though, which I hope you find useful.

Inspired by this tutorial for appliqueing quilts, I fiddled around with the process for the shirt, and ended up with something I’m super happy with. I took lots of photos to show you what on earth I’m talking about, but they are incredibly badly lit – sorry!

So, my first step was to cut my fabric facing and light fusible interfacing, and to sew the side seams of each (for interfacing, sew fusible sides together. I did it the other way, wish I hadn’t, but it wasn’t a major issue). I ironed the seams on the fabric, but NOT the interfacing, for obvious reasons!


Once sewn, lay the fusible side of the interfacing onto the right side of the fabric facing, and stitch around the outside. You can see that I’ve marked my seam lines for the neck slash on my facing. I know this is counter intuitive, but would I lie to you?

Once you’ve sewn around the outside, you can either use pinking shears or snips to notch the curve, and diagonally cut across the corners at the base of the front facing.


Once you’ve finished notching, turn your lining out, so you have the right side of the fabric and the fusible side of the interfacing facing out. At this point you’ll have an incredibly strong urge to iron your edges sharp, but DON’T! Step away from the iron, lady! Finger press as best you can, and use a turning tool to make sure your facing is fully turned out. Then, take your top, and turn it wrong side out. Pin the RIGHT side of your facing to the WRONG side of your top, and stitch around your neckline, including the slash.


Pink or notch the curves and corners, then flip the facing onto the right side of the top, so the fusible interfacing should be touching the top’s right side. Use your turning tool again to make sure your curves and corners are sharp, pin the facing down, and IRON baby! Iron that facing hard! Now your facing is attached to your top, and the raw edges are enclosed – winning!


Top stitch in whatever way floats your boat, and you’re done!


I used a lightweight interfacing, and I don’t think anything heavier would have as good a result. If I were using a darker fabric, I’d either cut my interfacing 2-3mm smaller than my fabric facing, or use black interfacing, otherwise I’d worry you’d see a sliver of interfacing around the edges. Other than that, I’m certain that this will be a trick I’ll be using time and time again.


What do you think? A sneaky tip you’ll get some mileage out of?


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