Author: Elsie Larson,Budget: $,Crafts,D.I.Y. Fashion,D.I.Y. Project,One Day Project,Sewing,Style,

Cotton Top 1Cotton Top 2Cotton is a great fabric to start sewing with! It's one of the easiest fabrics to sew and care for. It's also easy to find in beautiful colors and patterns! I picked up this plaid fabric last summer at a garage sale. You'll need a yard to 1.5 yards of fabric to start with. 

Cotton Top 3Cotton Top 4How to measure and cut: Width- Take half of your hip measurement (measure around the fullest part of your hips and then divide by two) then add 5-8 inches. Length- Measure from the top of the shoulder to the desired hem length (choose if you want it to be a cropped top, a long top or a dress) and add 1.5 inches. Use these measurements to cut two pieces. 

Straps- Cut 2 rectangles 45x2.5in. Fold right sides together (lengthwise) and stitch a tube closed on one end only. Then, flip the tube, press flat and tuck the open end in. Press and stitch tube closed.

To make: 1. With right sides together, stitch both side seams starting 7-11 inches down from the top. This creates the side seam and the armhole opening at the same time. Once finished, press the seam open and topstitch the seam allowance of the armhole (see photo below). To do this, start from the top of the left panel, stitch down to where the closed seam begins, lift the foot and turn the corner to make a right angle. Stitch across to the right panel and once you have reached an equal distance from the center of the seam, lift the foot and turn the corner again to stitch up the front panel. Repeat on other side.

Cotton Top 52. Choose and stitch which hemline you prefer. We chose a double folded 3/8" seam.

3. To create the casing at the neckline, stitch or press 1/4" seam down so the raw edges are finished once turned again. Once this fold is made, fold over again leaving enough room for your straps to be pulled through (we did a 1/2" seam). Stitch down on both front and back panels creating two casings.

Feed your straps through the neckline casing and tie on sides! ♥

Cotton Top 6This is a great practice piece! This pattern can easily become a dress too. Try this pattern with different fabrics, you might even want to add pockets and hand stitched details! 

-Choose a light weight to medium weight cotton, don't start too heavy because heavy fabric is harder for the machine to handle.
-Start with solid colors, patterns can be tricky to match and seam together. 
-Learn to straighten the grain of your fabric. (resource)
-Always pre-wash cotton because it will shrink. 
-Start with patterns like tent dresses, tote bags and skirts! 
-Work up to patterns with sleeves and collars. 
-Cotton is great for beginner sewers, so have fun! 
Cotton Top 8Have fun sewing your first top or dress! xo. Elsie 

This sewing basics series was created in collaboration with Missy Creed of Momentum Fashion. Missy is a talented seamstress who sews for Red Velvet!


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