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    Better Than Bought - Lace Back Halter Top

    Welcome to the inaugural Surge Fabric Shop sewing blog post! Let me start by introducing myself. I am Erin Bradley and I have a blog, Sew You Think You Can Sew, where I post about pattern mashing and random other sewing related musings. I started sewing a little more than a year ago and quickly became obsessed with it. My favorite thing to do is to combine and alter patterns to replicate things I find on Pinterest or in stores, which is why when Kayla asked me to help with the new inspired bundles I got very excited.

    If this is your first time hearing about the bundles let me explain, we all have those pins that we love but aren't sure how to replicate them. The idea behind the Better Than Bought Bundles is to pair a pattern mashing/hack tutorial with all the fabric and notions you need to create that image. The bundles for this post are available here (This link will be live 7 pm CST July 12th). There are two different fabric types for the fabric bundles as well as multiple color options, a heavier weight rayon spandex and a brushed poly. The mint version I made is the brushed poly and the black is rayon spandex. The bundles also come with the lace, all elastic needed, power mesh and bra inserts.


    Well should we get started?! For the inaugural voyage we are tackling this gorgeous lace back halter top from Venus. The upper bodice of the top reminded me of Pattern for Pirate's newest release the Take the Plunge swimsuit, so I decided to use that as my base pattern. The best part of using a swimsuit pattern as our starting point is that you can have a built in bra!

    What you will need:

    Pattern: Take the Plunge Swimsuit from Pattern for Pirates *note, links are affiliate links*

    Fabric: 1 to 2 yards of fabric depending on size, lace, power mesh

    Additional Notions: Elastic (1/2", 3/8", 1/4"), bra cups

    Preparing the pattern:

    This hack is very simple to do, the bodice of the top is exactly the same as the Take the Plunge bodice. The only change is that instead of halter straps we will connect the two straps with a single strap across the back. From the Take the Plunge pattern cut the following:

    • 2 Gathered Front Pieces (mirror image/main fabric)
    • 2 Front Lining Pieces (mirror image/main fabric)
    • 2 Bodice Lining Pieces (mirror image/power mesh) **note, only needed if you are doing the optional built in bra**
    • 2 Halter Back Pieces
    • 4 Front Strap Pieces (main fabric)
    • 2 Halter Extended Strap Pieces (these will get cut shorter a bit later on)

    For the bottom of the top I used the Essential Tank as my guide. You can use this pattern or a different one if you own something else with a similar fit to the Essential Tank. I used the Back Bodice for both the front and back of my bottom. Start by locating the waist on your pattern piece, this will be the narrowest part. Mark a line straight across, this will be our cut line. Simply fold the pattern piece at that straight line and you have the pattern piece for the bottom of the shirt! 

    • 2 back pieces cut at the line we folded


    Follow the instructions from the Take the Plunge for bodice assembly, skipping the step where the halter straps are attached, we will attach the connecting strap at the end. Once your bodice is assembled follow the steps below.

    • With right sides facing attach the front and back "skirt" portions together. 
    • Then run two lines of gathering stitches around the top of the front and back of the skirt. 
    • Gather until the skirt is the same width as the bodice.
    • With bodice right side out and skirt inside out pin or clip together. Sew or serge.

    Now that the bodice and skirt are attached we will measure how long the back connecting strap should be. Try the shirt on and pull the straps until they lay flat, have someone measure the distance between the straps around the back of your neck. For me this measurement was 6.5 inches. Take your measurement and add half an inch to determine how long the back strap needs to be. 

    6.5 + .5 = 7 inches

    Take the two halter straps you have and cut them down to what ever your measurement was (7 inches for me). Then angle in half an inch and cut so that you end up with a trapezoid as shown in the top picture below. The shorter side will be the top of the neckband and the longer side will be the bottom.

    • With right sides facing sew or serge the shorter side together.
    • Open and mark the center point of the longer side and the center point of your lace piece (Lace piece should be ~13", you will cut it shorter once you attach the neckband).
    •  Pin the lace to one edge of the neckband as shown. Then burrito roll the lace and pin the other long edge as well. 
    • Being careful to catch just the edge of the lace sew or serge the long edge of the neckband.
    • Turn the neckband right side out.

    • With right sides facing, pin or clip the back neckband to the front straps, matching the short edge of the back strap with the top of the front strap and the longer edge with the bottom. Sew the straps together.

    Now that the neckband is attached try the shirt on to determine how long the lace needs to be. Have someone help you pull it tight and mark where the lace overlaps the top of the back. Cut the lace 1/2" longer than your marker.

    • Mark the center of the lace and center of the back, then pin and sew.
    • Hem the bottom of the skirt and you are done!

    I can't wait to see what you make with your Pinspiration bundles, and to inspire you even further we will be doing a giveaway! When you post your finished Better Than Bought Bundle on Facebook or Instagram use hashtag #surgebtb and one lucky random person will win the next bundle!

    Happy sewing!

    1 comment
    Jenn July 12, 2017

    What an awesome idea! I can’t wait to try this out! Count me in!

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