If you want to make a quick, versatile and flattering top extra quick, the fastest way to do it is with an easy pattern. If you don't have one handy, you can trace the outline of a top you already have. But which one? Button-up blouses are too intricate and copies T-shirts can make your final project end up looking like scrubs. That got me thinking: what is the one article of clothing that is practically universally owned by every person nowadays?
The zip-up hoodie.
By using the zipper as a line for a seam and a gauge for a neckline, you can make a top out of virtually any material without looking like you're wearing nurse's scrubs (not that there's anything wrong with those, they do look pretty comfy). The really cool thing about this clothing construction is that you can use the pattern in so many different ways.
In addition to the variety of fabrics, you can adjust the neckline length, go sleeveless or not, insert darts or a princess seam for a more fitted look or leave it long and loose as a tunic.
All you need are:
1. Enough fabric to fit your body size. A good way to measure this is to look at a pattern for a top you already have and see how much yardage is needed for that. I am a size 14 lady, and used 2 yards of fabric for the back piece and two front pieces, and 1 yard of fabric for the sleeves. Of course, it's better to have slightly more fabric than to have slightly less and end up with something uncomfortable and tight. You also need to allot enough material for hemming.
4. Fabric Marker
5. A sewing machine.
6. A tracing board, or just anything big enough to lay your hoodie flat across. A board is really helpful though because it has inches printed right on it.
7. (optional) additional embellishments, i.e. beads, sequins, lace, embroider, yoke, etc
Some basic sewing knowledge is needed, like how to attach a sleeve, clipping notches for a hemline and sewing raw edges to prevent fraying.
Step 1: Lay Hoodie Down Flat
Here is where that board comes in handy. Lay you hoodie back down and flat across. Pin it down so that there are no wrinkles or folds in your fabric.
Take the fabric for the body of your top and lay across the hoodie. Imagine the zipper as a divider for where to make a cut, because the front of your top will be made of two separate pieces.
Also, you can use the zipper as a gauge for the neckline. However long you want it, move the zipper to that length.
Using a fabric marker, trace around the half of the front of the hoodie.
Depending on how tight or loose your hoodie is, you may need to add an inch or more to the border of your tracing for the hem.
Once your hoodie is traced, all you have to do is double you fabric and cut your tracing, so you have two identical front pieces.