Spring is in the air. For Myer Fashion on the Front Lawn, we wanted to create a dreamy, pastel spring outfit. What better way to achieve this than a pale blue silk organza Atlas Top and tulle. Lots and lots of tulle.
Hiding in our fabric stash was a pale blue silk organza remnant purchased from Tessuti fabrics. Despite its beauty, the piece was only 1 metre limiting what we could make.
Enter the Altas Top by Stitch Witch patterns. When it was released, the pattern testing team consistently commented on how great the pattern was for using up larger scraps of fabric as it only required one metre of fabric.
Constructing the Skirt
Initially, for the skirt, we were going to cut strips of tulle and gather them onto the circle skirt. After adding the first two ruffles onto the skirt, our planned changed. Seeing the tiers on the skirt, we decided it was going to be too busy for the smoothness of the top (and take a VERY LONG TIME). Instead, we decided to layer multiple tulle circular skirts together.
The skirt is lined with white cotton broadcloth. Tulle layers start with tulle net and transition to soft bridal tulle on the top layers.
Constructing the Atlas Top
The Atlas Top is quick and easy to sew together. It only takes one metre of fabric, and has great design elements of the T-dart at the front and cross over straps at the back. We thought we share a few tips and tricks that we found useful when putting together the Atlas Top.
One of the reasons we loved this pattern was the T-dart feature. The risk of any centre front bust feature is the one that you (and most likely other people) will see it the most. In Step 2, it states “…mak[e] sure that darts are aligned”.
We made a cotton check version the week before this one, pinned down the seam but just decided to sew from the neck to the waist all in one go. Needless to say, despite our pinning, the seam was not lined up, and the quick unpick came out.
For us making it in a silk and organza fabric this time, we were very conscious we wanted to avoid unpicking. This is because the fabric is delicate and would not survive being frequently unpicked!
Our tip: Line up, pin and stitch the T dart starting and stopping only a few centimetres each side (see the photo, which shows you from the right side of the fabric). If it is lined up, then you are free to stitch the whole seam. If it isn’t quite perfect, you have a MUCH smaller seam to unpick.
As the silk organza is light and slightly translucent, we used the pale blue silk dupion behind the organza which acted as a lining. We also used the silk for the facing pieces. As the facing and lining piece would be solid blue and not match the external print really wanted to make sure that the lining stay tucked underneath, and didn’t show when it was worn.
In step 3 of the Atlas Top instructions, we interpreted to have a few additional steps. A key step of this is understitching. Where you are sewing in cotton fabric, these steps may be less needed as a strong iron would greater assist in making the straps still flat. However, we thought we would show you how we did it with additional fabric and silk.
- Sew the short curved side of the strap first, with right side together. Cutting back the lining to reduce bulk.
2. Under stitch the seam. Do this before stitching the long side of the strap, it is easier to access the seam (without it getting all tucked up) if you understitch one side first.
The benefit of understitching is that it keeps the lining in place, and not rolling out.
3. We found that once it was pressed flat, the lining piece was sticking out from the top fabric. Having the lining piece long or wider than the top fabric may also cause issues, as it could bubble out and not sit flat. To avoid these issues, we trimmed back the lining to match the top fabric.
4. With right sides together, we then stitched the long side of the strap. Now looking at this photo, you may be thinking… “if you cut back the lining to match the top fabric, why have you not lined them up perfectly along the raw edge?” It is actually the same reason as to why we cut back the lining – the lining should be a little bit smaller than the top fabric. Only a little bit by 2-3mm, but it makes such a difference!
5. Final steps are to trim back the average of the lining along the seam of the long side of the strap. Then understitch the long side of the strap (from the right side of the fabric). It can be a bit tricky depending on the size of your sewing machine bed, as you are stitching down the ‘tube’ of the strap, but it is worth it for the result! Take it slowly, and make sure you have no additional fabric tuck into the seam.
Step 5 of the instructions is all about the front facing! For the front facing we opted to use (the optional) woven fusible interfacing. To finish off the edges, instead of just overlocking we decided to finish it off with bias.
We love using bias to finish off seams. Even though this facing has a lovely curved shape to the edge, the bias can sweep around the corners and sit perfectly flat against the curve. For this one, we even went a little bit special and made our own bias!
Floaty, dreaming outfit with a BIG skirt. It is what spring outfit dreams are made of!
For Myer Fashion on your Front Lawn. Erin is wearing a Lauren J Ritchie Millinery headpiece.
Both pieces are great additions to our collection. The white tulle skirt is screaming at us with new outfit ideas – pair with other tops and jackets in lace, plain colours, pattern fabrics the possibilities are endless.
Would you like to see our past Spring Carnival creations (from when we could be trackside)? Here are our last years Spring Carnival creations from Melbourne Cup and Derby Day.
Photographer: Ben Chrisite Media
Modelled by: Erin Ritchie
Top Pattern: Stitch Witch Atlas Top
Top Fabric: Tessuti Fabrics
Hat: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery