This is a print requiring thought and planning as to where certain images would be placed. However, feelings of laziness set in, probably because I was not feeling too excited about the fabric at the time, and I was going to cut it on the double. Luckily, I had gotten together with a dear sewing friend who urged me to cut it single layer so I could plan where the images would go. It took less than 5 minutes to copy the pattern so that I had both the left and right sides in one pattern piece for the front. I am so glad she intervened!
Below is a closeup of the fabric:
You can see buildings, cobblestone streets, people walking along a sidewalk, rain falling. Could you imagine if I had the images of people walking across my sizable chest or a red blotch? Not good! Crisis averted.
Before working on this top, I had seen a blog post by Anne Whalley about a beautiful dress she had made where she finished the neckline edge with fold over elastic. I loved it. I also had seen what a great job Kyle from Vacuuming the Lawn had done with a lace tank and skirt set she made where she used fold over elastic to finish the tank's neckline and make the straps. I decided to give it a try.
Since this was my first time using fold over elastic, I relied heavily on my old stand by: hand basting. Below are the steps I followed. I am sure there are those of you out there who can apply this with no or very little basting (practice makes perfect) but this is what worked for me for now.
As you can see from the photo below, the fold over elastic has an indentation along the middle where you fold it. Once you fold it, one side is actually slightly larger than the other side. This is so you can place the larger side underneath the fashion fabric and the smaller side on top, so that when you topstitch it on top, the stitching catches the larger side underneath.
1. I placed the raw edge of the fabric on top of the larger side of the elastic with the raw edge meeting the indentation.
2. I then hand basted it in place. I pulled the elastic just a bit as I was basting -- this is important so that the elastic will lay flat against your body. As I basted, I also made sure to feel and check with my fingers that the bottom side of the elastic did not shift and remained larger than the top. Below you can see the ripples caused by stretching the elastic which will not show when you put on the garment (as long as you didn't stretch too much).
3. I then folded the remaining elastic over to the right side and basted again.
4. I then topstitched it close to the edge on the right side and removed all of the basting. You can see below how the stitching caught the elastic at the bottom.
I am very pleased with this new-to-me neckline finish. It was the first time I used it but it won't be my last!