This is a patternless tutorial for a Suntop with spaghetti straps and ties at the back.
1m lightweight cotton fabric
2 x 22cm pieces of ½” wide elastic
4 x 75cm pieces of bias binding
Step 1: Measure - measure your bust in inches, add 6” for ease and seam allowances, divide this measurement in half to get the width of your suntop. (ie.38” bust, add 6”=44”/2 = 22”)
Step 2: Cut - Press your fabric. Fold your meter of fabric in half with the selvedges/finished edges on each side, so you can use the full width of fabric if required, by 50cm length. Mark out the width of your top (ie.22”) and cut, then cut along the fold of your fabric to get 2 large rectangles of fabric. Leave the 2 rectangles of fabric on top of each other and fold in half widthways.
Using tailors chalk draw an armhole on the selvedge edge approx 2” in from the top edge by 6” deep, curve the bottom edge of the armhole. Cut the armholes out, because the fabric is folded together you can cut all 4 layers at once.
Step 3: Elastic - On both pieces of fabric with the inside of the fabric towards you fold down a 1.5cm hem on the top edge and press, fold down another 2cm pin and press again. Sew across close to the fold to make a channel for the elastic.
Attach a large safety pin to the end of one of the elastic pieces and pull the safety pin/elastic through the stitched channel, pin to the top at the other end so it doesn’t pull through! Stitch both ends in place making sure to backstitch well to secure the elastic.
Step 4: Side seams - Iron in half 2 of the 75cm pieces of bias binding and stitch along them to make the back ties (you could also use ribbon for this.) Pin the ties approx 6” from the bottom of the top at the back on both sides on the right side of the fabric, the ends of the ties will get sandwiched into the side seams.
French seam the side seams. A French seam is a double stitched seam, start with the wrong sides of the fabric together and stitch a half centimetre seam, then turn the fabric to have the right sides together and stitch a second line with a 1 centimetre seam to conceal the raw edges.
Step 5: Straps - Find the middle of one of the remaining pieces of bias binding, pin this to the underarm seam on the inside. Open up the fold on the binding and stitch to anchor it to the armhole edge of the top on the inside, repeat this on the other side of the top. Then starting at one end fold over the binding and stitch all the way along, concealing the edges of the armhole when you get to it. Repeat this on the other side of the top, knot the ends of the binding and tie to create straps.
Step 6: Hem - Double turn, pin and stitch a 1.5cm hem at the bottom of your top - you can embellish your top in lots of ways using trims or adding extra details. The top would also work as a childs/adults dress or longer line tunic top, if doing this you may need to make the rectangles of fabric wider at the bottom edge to fit over your hips.
Anna Vickery 2013 Ó