I own quite a few basic cap sleeve tops from Shade Clothing and Modbe Clothing. What I really wish is that they’d make the basic cap sleeve shirt but with a higher back. The back neckline is just as scooped as the front. I don’t like folks seeing my swimsuit strap tan lines. Plus freckles galore. So a few years ago I decided to trace one of their tops to make my own out of printed fabric. I’ve made a striped one and here’s another one I made this week.
Just trace your favorite cap sleeve top and add 1/2” seam allowances all the way around.
Make sure you are using something with lots of lycra if your original shirt is also super duper stretchy. I used this awesome green knit I bought a long while ago on fabric.com I have no idea what ITY means but I love this fabric. Just a yard is needed and at $5 or less what a deal huh?
It will take you about 30 minutes to sew the top. Here’s how I do it.
Iron scraps of interfacing to one side of your top—doesn’t matter if it’s your front or back piece. This is to stabilize the shoulder seams. (You could use clear elastic—hold your horses—more on that in a second pardner.) In fact, look at the shoulder seams of your store-bought t-shirts and you’ll see they are stabilized with one of these two methods. Nobody wants stretched out shoulders.
After you iron on the interfacing, you will then sew the front to back at the shoulder seams with a stretchy stitch like a zig-zag or use your serger, every sewer’s best friend.
Then sew the side seams of your shirt.
Now for the neck, you’re going to need some clear elastic. It’s $1-2 bucks. This stuff is mostly used on swimsuits. (You might even see some poking out on the ‘leg holes’ of your swimsuit.) You could bind the neckline. You could make self-ribbing out of the leftover fabric as well, but this is the fast and dirty way. And it looks great.
For the neckline you are simply going to turn under the neckline your 1/2” seam allowance and “sandwich” in some clear elastic as you zig-zag all the way around the neckline. (I find it ironic that I have access to 1,000 stitches on my Bernina 830 and yet I’m sewing this with a basic zig-zag on my Bernina 131.) I love the vintage look of a basic zig-zag. Don’t stretch your fabric and don’t stretch your elastic.
Do the same for the ‘sleeve’ and the bottom hem of the shirt—only you don’t need no stinkin’ elastic here.
Not bad for 30 minutes huh ladies? Can’t wait to wear this with my navy blue blazer in the fall.