The holidays call for fancy fabrics and sequins. Don't you agree? There's just something fun about wearing sparkle during the festive month of December, isn't there? Add soft velvet and, I'm in! If sewing velvet scares you, read this post. I share my sewing machine and tips for tackling tricky fabric.
These Gardner tops fulfilled my fancy holiday fabric needs. The fabric was originally for vintage-style turbans. I've wanted to make velvet ones for quite some time. I only had 1 yard of each and was lucky that the one yard worked out. Whew! I changed direction at some point and decided to make Gardner tops instead. The matching sequin fabric went with the red one, and the sheer floral went with the green one.
As usual, I don't go into depth with Gertie's Patreon patterns because I value her as a creator. However, I like to share tips and photos that show you my process along the way. If you're interested in this pattern, join her Patreon membership. She shares new patterns each month and so much more!
I made one Gardner top following the exact directions and another collar hacked version. This post is full of photos. Let's go!
Red Gardner Top (Original Version)
Start your top by tracing the darts onto the front. I prefer old-school wax paper and a tracing wheel system for this part.
Staystitch the front and back necklines. Sewing from the shoulder towards the center prevents the neckline from stretching out. Never skip this step.
After you sew up the darts, cut them open. If sewing your top with velvet, don't press the seam open.
The sheer fabric is full of glitter, sequins, and all the sparkles. Perfect for holiday festivities.
If you go slow while sewing and make sure your seams are clipped, you shouldn't get any puckers in the V-shaped front. If you do get puckers, unpick that section and re-sew.
Sew up the back sheer keyhole area. Use thread that blends in with your fabric or skin tone.
Attaching the back sheer piece onto the back bodice went smoothly. It felt easier to sew than the front. But, follow the same process.
Wah-la! I love how the sequin fabric looks with this red velvet. So festive and fun. Don't you agree?
Make sure you top stitch to keep all the layers flattened on the front and back.
The collar was easy to sew, but it was tricky with velvet. I used sew in interfacing that worked nicely. It went in smoothly, but I had a hiccup when I made the green top. You'll see below how I went in another direction with it.
The sleeves and hem were easy to finish. I love this pattern and see many more Gardner Tops in my future.
All that's left is to sew on the hook and eye at the keyhole.
I love the fit. I could have gone down a size, but I didn't want it to be too tight. This was a wearable muslin, and you never know until you make it. I love it despite the semi-itchy sequin fabric. Haha
Green Velvet Top (Collar Hack Version)
I didn't intend this Gardner top to be different, but I tried to fuse interfacing strips on the collar, and it didn't work in the end. So, after ripping out the collar, I ended up with a collar band and button. I wanted to show up in case you had a collar issue or just wanted to do a collar band instead.
I traced both tops with my favorite chalk pen by Clover.
Cut both tops with my rotary cutter and mat. This keeps the velvet from stretching out.
I only had 1/2 yard of the sheer fabric, so I had to change the direction of the print to fit this top. The front has the vines running horizontally while the back is going vertically. Nobody will notice unless I point it out. I wanted to show you just in case you run into this issue, too. ;)
Collar Band Hack
I shared on Instagram my collar flub but didn't take any photos with my camera. So, instead, you're only seeing the band option.
I measured around the collar opening and cut a strip that same length plus 1" by 3" wide.
I folded the raw short edge under, pinned the long raw edge to the sheer fabric, and sewed with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Fold the other long edge over and under, then pin and stitch on top. Stitch from one end to the next, making sure to close up the folded side. I stuck a small hair elastic in one end, for the button loop.
Hem the sleeves and bottom hem using a zigzag stitch after turning up once.
I picked the sparkliest button I had in my big button jar. I wish it was gold but, it works well enough.
What do you think? Do you like the original collar version or the hacked band version better?
I can't decide if I love the sparkles and red velvet or the florals and green velvet better. They're both so beautiful and fun!
Don't you just love this top? My favorite part is how the sheer sits on the shoulder. It's flawless and so feminine. It's also fancy and comfy to wear. I love how quickly the band came together where as the collar took a little more time. But, I do love both versions.
Thanks for hanging with me today. Go join her Pattern and get this beautiful pattern along with tons of others.
Happy sewing and happier pattern hacking,
Hi there, I'm Annette and I love eating and sewing. I usually have a cup of coffee or tea with me, but not next to my machine because I'd probably spill it. I am the reason we can't have nice things.
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