Pattern Hack - Creating a Jasmine Top

Posted by Angie Chia on

Jasmine Top Pattern Hack (Part 1 of 2)
Hi there, this is Angie from @pocketful_of_rainbows88. Today, I am here to talk about a cute hack for the Jasmine Dress Pattern.
One of the key things about living in Singapore is how HOT and HUMID it can get. While I have only heart eyes for the sweet Jasmine dress pattern, I was also quite keen to try a pattern hack for a Jasmine Top version for our warm weather wardrobe. 
For this 2-part blog, I’d like to share with you some tips on how to modify your Jasmine Dress into a top. I made 2 versions; a cropped top version (green) and a high hip blouse version (ivory). For the purpose of this blog, I am using the blouse length. The cropped top measurements will be shared as part of the notes. 
You will need the following items:
  • A ruler
  • 1/4” elastic (Length using waist measurements)
  • 1/2” wide bias tape (store bought or DIY); 1 yard to 1.5 yards depending on the size made
  • Lightweight fusible woven interfacing
  • 6 to 8 buttons / snaps - depending on the size made
  • Paper to draft your new pattern pieces
Part 1 - Prepare your Pattern Pieces
Step 1 - Extending your bodice pattern
Measure your child from under her underarms (i.e. armpits to her high hip). In my case, her high hip was 7” from her underarms.
To create a blouse length (ivory top), I added 5” to the measurements i.e. the new side seam from the underarms to hem should be 12” for my new top.  * Cropped length (green version), I added 3” to arrive at 10".
Print out the Jasmine bodice, both front and back in the size corresponding to your child’s body measurement. Tape / trace the bodice onto some drafting paper. Now draw a perpendicular line down from the beginning of the original side seam. ** Pay particular attention that the corner of your ruler is butted against the bottom of the armscye. 
Now that you have determined your new blouse length, let’s draw a line perpendicular to the new side seams for your hems. 
We want the top to have a bit of puff when we insert the elastic, so let’s add some swing to the hem. At the hem line, mark 1” out from the side seams and also mark 1/2” above the hem line (Point A).  
Now let’s redraw our side seams to the Point A.  Also, we need to redraw the hem with a slight curve to Point B. I use a hip curve ruler but you could draw a slight curve freehand as well. 
Do the same adjustments for the back bodice. Cut out the new bodices. Tip: As a precaution, I usually compare the front and back bodice at the side seams and ensure that they are aligned. This saves a lot of tears before you cut into your fabric.
Step 2 - Create a facing pattern piece(optional)
If you are doing a fully lined version, skip this step.
I prefer a facing for warm weather wardrobe. So I drafted a short facing for our version for the tropics. Use the new bodice pieces and measure 3” down from the underarms and mark a line. * Tip: I usually draw a line and fold it up when I cut my fabric. However, you could also trace the bodice for the facing too.
Step 3 - Create and prepare the button plackets (only for unlined version)
For the lined version, skip to Step 4.
Measure the length of the bodice pieces where the buttons should attach (i.e. the centre back edge). 
Cut 2 strips at 3” wide x  the length of your top.
Optional preparation: You may wish to stabilise the button placket with a strip of lightweight fusible interfacing. I cut 2 strips at 1” wide x length of the top.  Place the interfacing 1/2” from the edge and top and bottom of the bodice.
Press both of the long raw edge of the button placket 1/2” wrong sides together to create a sharp memory crease. Repeat for the remaining button placket. Set aside.
To be continued on Part 2.
Jasmine Top Pattern Hack (Part 1 of 2)
Part 2 - Construction of the Jasmine Top
Step 4 - Preparing the straps and optional bodice ruffles
Sew the straps and optional bodice ruffles according to page 16 to 19 of the Jasmine tutorial.
Step 5 - Constructing the Bodice
(Only applicable for unlined version) For the facing, finish the raw edges of the hem with a serger/overlocker or zig zag stitch. 
ALL VERSIONS. Sew the Jasmine bodice together following the steps on pages 20 through to page 28 of the Jasmine tutorial.
Step 6 - Constructing and attaching the short sleeves
Prepare the short sleeves according to page 29 to 31 of the Jasmine tutorial.   As we desire the top with long flutter sleeves, omit the step on inserting the elastic.
Attach the sleeves to the bodice following the pages 41 to 43 of the Jasmine tutorial.
Step 7 - Attaching the button placket (only applicable for unlined version)
Skip to step 8 for the fully lined version.
Align the memory crease of one of the button plackets to 1” from one side of the centre back bodice, with the right side of the button placket touching the wrong side of the garment. The top and bottom of the button placket will overhang by approximately 1/2” at each end of the bodice. Pin in place.
Fold the button placket back on itself, right sides together, aligning the folded edge of the memory crease created earlier, to the seam. You may want to temporarily pin the placket in place to keep it in position.

Sew the short top and bottom ends of the placket straight across, exactly where it meets the hem and neckline. It is very important that this line of stitching meets those points exactly. Trim the seam to 1/4” and clip the corners to allow them to sit nicely when turned right side out.
Turn the button placket right side out. Push the corners out to a sharp point. Press the placket carefully, ensuring the folded edge aligns to the seam. Pin in place.
Topstitch the button placket closed, continuing around the entire placket using a 1/8” seam allowance. Repeat for the remaining side.
Step 8 - Hem the top
ALL VERSIONS: Hem the hem by folding the bottom raw edge 1/4” (6mm) wrong sides together. Press. Fold it a further 1/4” and press. Edgestitch the hem in place.
Tip 1: To keep the facing in place, you may wish to tack the facing to the side seams by sewing in the ditch to the main fabric. 
Tip 2: You may wish to trim your lining shorter by 1/4”. When folding the hem of the main fabric, ensure that the lining raw edge is tucked into the folded hem for a neater finish. 
Step 9 - Create and attach the elastic casing
I used a 1/2” wide bias tape for my casing. First you need to measure and mark 3” from the hem all around the hem. 
ALL VERSIONS. Pin the bias tape with the right side touching the wrong side of the bodice (unlined version. For lined versions, this will be touching the lining), aligning the first crease of the bias tape to the 3” mark. Ensure that you have approximately 1/2” overhang on both of the shorter edges of the bias tape.
Fold the raw edge 1/4” wrong sides together. Press. Fold it a further 1/4”. 
Sew the bias tape to the bodice on the wrong side (unlined), along the crease of the fold line. Sew accurately during this step to ensure enough room will be left when the casing for the elastic is formed.  
Flip the bias tape and press towards the neckline. Pin in place. As this is such a small seam allowance, it is very important to check this before stitching!! Edgestitch the bias tape at 1/8” to secure.
Cut a length of 1/4” wide elastic corresponding to your child’s waist measurements. Give your elastic a good stretch and recheck the length again. If the elastic has stretched without recovering to the original size, trim it to the correct length.
Insert a safety pin through the end of the elastic (or use a bodkin) and thread the elastic through the casing.
Once the tail end of the elastic reaches the opening it was first threaded through, secure the elastic neatly and level with opening, using a 1/4” seam allowance. Tip: You may wish to use a triple stitch or sew another parallel line 1/4” from the first line.
Pull the elastic through the other opening and use another safety pin to hold the unsewn end of the elastic temporarily. Tip: This is a good time to ask your model to try the top on and adjust your elastic for fit. 
Once the length of the elastic is finalised, secure the elastic neatly and level with the opening, using a 1/4” seam allowance. Trim off any excess elastic overhang.
Step 10 - Attaching the buttons / snaps
Create buttonholes and attach snaps according to page 44 of the Jasmine Tutorial. 
Mark 1 3/4” from the hem as the last button and 1/4” from the neckline at the centre back for the first button / snap position. The rest of the button placements should be distributed evenly between these 2 button / snap placements. 
Tip: Try to ensure that one of the snaps / buttons is just slightly above / below the elastic casing so that there is no gaping at the elastic casing.
Your Jasmine Top is done! Share your work in our Facebook Sewing Group or on social media using the hashtags #jasminedresshack #peonypatterns #peonypatternsjasminehack

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