Making a Runway Top!

Making a Runway Top!

Hey there fellow sewists! My name is Caroline and I am thrilled to be on the blog today, to show you how I turned the Runway Dress ( into a top. As you may know the Runway Dress is the featured pattern of the month for August. It’s only $6.75 this month (just two more days - eek)! In celebration of the fabulous price on this fabulous pattern, I’ve got a super simple (and hopefully super awesome) sewing hack to share with you today.

The Runway Dress strikes me as so elegant. I look at it and envision a goddess emerging from the forest or like Mary Crawley making a grand entrance down the stairs of Downton or something. The drape of that dress feels so decadent and classy and the effect is just stunning. But, alas, I have no balls to attend. While I love the pattern, I have just been looking at it longingly and not sewing it. And that’s no good! This pattern deserves to be sewn! So, I decided to hack it into a shirt, modeled after a ready-to-wear top I once owned and loved.

Patterns used:

Runway Dress (obviously – haha!)
I freehanded the bodice extension, but it may be helpful to use a semi-fitted top as a guide for the bottom half of the bodice. Any of the following G + G patterns would fit the bill: Posh top, Bonaroo tank, Edgy top, Rebel choker tee, Groove tank, or the Anniversary top.

Supplies needed:

All supplies listed in the pattern
You’ll need about 2 – 2.5 yards of fabric for this hack, with the caveat that I am not excellent at judging fabric required. J Worth noting that I made a size 1X. Make sure that at least the lining of your bodice piece is a fabric with good stretch and structure like heavy weight cotton lycra, ponte, etc. I used supplex and it worked well.
Some extra paper – regular old printer paper will work, so will Swedish tracing paper, medical paper, whatever you like to use J

Let’s hack it!

For this pattern hack, all you are doing is extending the waistband pieces to shirt length. There may be a fancier way to do this, but to determine the amount of length I needed to add, I simply held the front waistband piece up to myself, placing it at/just below bust level, where it would sit if I were sewing the full pattern. I wanted the hem of the shirt to hit around my high hip, so I opted to add 8” to the front and back waistband pieces.

I taped the bottom of my front bodice piece to another sheet of paper. Following the straight edge of the pattern and my quilting ruler, I drew a straight line down 8” from the center base (the part on the fold) of the front waistband piece. Then, again using the quilting ruler, I drew the hem line. Next, I sketched a line down to extend the side seam by following the curve started at the side seam of the front bodice, and making sure to add some space for my hips…and let’s be honest, my waist.

To extend the back waistband piece, I laid it on top of the front waistband piece, lining them up at the side seam as they would be when sewn. I taped another sheet of paper to the bottom of my back waistband piece and traced the lines I had drawn to extend the front waistband into a full bodice piece.

And that’s it! That’s the hack. How simple is that?! Hardly had to break a sweat. J

Cut your fabric and sew together as noted in the pattern instructions. The waistband/bodice pieces are longer than they are in the original pattern, but assembly is exactly the same. To finish the top, I serged my lining and main pieces together at the hemline, and then turned under 1” and sewed the hem as usual. You could also turn the main and lining pieces under separately and enclose the hem. You could even add a band. However you opt to hem, make sure you use a stretch stitch.

Voila! A simple hack for a super top. I definitely feel runway ready. I hope you do too!

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