Monday, November 7, 2011

Colour Block Bikini Tutorial - the halter top

Today we are going to complete the halter top.

Related posts

Put 2 strap pieces, wrong sides together, and stitch together.  Repeat for the other strap.  You can see that on one of the straps I have used a zig-zag stitch on a sewing machine.  For the other, I used an overlocker.

Turn the straps, right sides out.

Place a strap in the centre of the upper edge of the right side of the halter.

Place the halter lining on top, right sides facing in, sandwiching the strap in between. 

Stitch across the top edge.  Repeat for the other strap on the second halter piece.  Again, I used used a sewing machine for one and an overlocker for the other.

Turn right sides out.

Refer to the elastic chart in this post to determine the length of elastic that you need for the neckline edge and the armhole edge.

There are 2 ways that you can go about this next bit.  Either cut the elastic to length OR cut it longer and mark the length on the elastic with a pen.  If you cut it longer, you will have bits to hang onto when you stitch the elastic in place.

If you have an overlocker, serge the elastic onto the halter, through both the halter and lining layers.  You will need to stretch the elastic just a little to get it to fit.  I usually overlock with the elastic sitting on top, so I can see not to cut the edges off, but I know that other people feed the elastic underneath.  Practice both ways and see what works best for you.  I usually lengthen the overlock stitch.

If you are using a sewing machine, use a 3-step zig-zag if you have one, to attach the elastic through halter and lining.  If you don't have a 3-step zig-zag, use a normal zig-zag.  Zig-zag in the middle of the elastic, using the widest stitch that fits on the elastic.

Turn the elasticated edges to the inside and stitch in place.  If you have a coverstitch machine, you could use this.  Otherwise, use a medium zig-zag on a sewing machine.  You want to position your stitch so that it is on the inside edge of the elastic NOT in the middle of the elastic.  This stops the elastic from rolling inwards when you are wearing the swimmers.  In my picture below, you can see that I have only stitched the upper piece of the halter.  This is because I wanted to change thread colour for the lower stripes, but I wanted to complete the next step before changing threads.

Use a satin stitch (dense, wide zig-zag)to secure the ends of the elastic in place.

The fully top-stitched halters are shown here.

You may wish to baste the lining to the halter pieces on the bottom edge using a zig-zag stitch.

(Since I wrote this tutorial, I have learnt a better way to do this, taking into account turn-of-cloth of the lining.  I will show this in a later tutorial, but you could read Sherry's tutorial if the bit of lining poking out annoys you!)

Fold up the casing (1.5 cm). 

Stitch the casing in place using a narrow zig-zag.  You may need to stretch the halter a little to fit the bottom edge.  this makes the seam a little bubbly, but you won't see this once the drawstring has been threaded through.

Repeat for the other halter cup.

Make the drawstring tie, using the 4 cm strip you cut from across the width of the main fabric and a length of 1 cm wide elastic cut to the same length as the fabric strip.  I have not shown tutorial steps to make the drawstring, as I have written a whole tutorial previously on making swimwear straps

Feed the drawstring through the casing of one halter cup and then the other, making sure that the neckline edges are at the centre front.  You can tie the drawsting either at the back, or between the cups at the front.  Adjust gathering along casing to fit.

Next up, applying elastic to the bikini bottoms.

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