Okay, I guess I assume we all sew like crazy midnight tea drinkers, footloose & fancy-free. If you're fast paced & can't follow directions, just refer to the drawing & it might take you an hour. If you're methodical & like patterns, here you go. Pattern making made me NUTS, but I did take it twice so I could get good enough to have some ease for myself. Here's some more clarity on how to do this, & I'll put together a cotton variation when my sewing machine comes back from it's tune up.
1. Go ahead & cut of the sleeves. Turn one inside out. There is a seam on the bottom. Carefully cut along each side of the seam. This will create a "rope," also called i-cord. Do this to the other sleeve, to. Each rope will be a shoulder strap, once you cut it to the length you like your camisoles to hang from. Don't cut that length now, though! Wait until the rest of the top is done.
2. Look at that poor sleeve, all open & vulnerable. Lay it on your work surface right-side down, with the cuff ribbing pointing North. See that triangle? That's going to create the "A" in your A-line. Take the other sleeve & do the same, placing them about 2 feet apart. Now you just need a front & a back!
3. Look at your shell. You'll have a front with buttons, a crew-neck & ribbing on the bottom, attached at the sides & shoulders with seams. Cut off the side seams carefully, so you can use them as more i-cord if you need it. Do the same at the shoulders & cut off the crew neck.
4. You should have 2 panels now. The front button-down panel will now be the back. Lay it on your surface, between the "A" panels. It needs to be right-side down with the ribbing pointed North. On the far right place the plain panel in the same way. It should look like, "A" - Button Panel - "A" - Plain Panel.
5. Notice the cuff ribbing is shorter than the hem ribbing, so when you line up the bottoms of the ribbing, the tops create a step affect. The front & back panels are a little higher, while the side "A's" are lower. This is the "natural armhole" I was referring to. Now that you've noticed that, go ahead & stitch it all together.
TRICK: Use clothespins, clicking hair clips or bulldog clips instead of pins. It's faster, easier & safer with little kiddies around.
6. Starting from the left, attach the right sides of the "A" & the Button Panel with clips. Use a straight seam & sew top to bottom.
7. Attach the other "A" to the other side of the Button Panel. Sew & Stitch. Attach the Plain panel to that "A," then close the tube by attaching it to the other "A." Look at your shirt!! Cute!!
8. Clip an i-cord the each side of the back Button Panel, leaving a 1 1/2" tail. Put it on. Decide where you want it to hang & clip the i-cord to the front Plain Panel. Notice the hem & anything crooked or wonky. Take the top off.
9. Okay- this is where it gets a bit more creative. Adjust your hem how you want it. If you cut into the side seams, then you'll need to reenforce them. I usually just leave them funky & trim at the front & back. The sweater will roll a bit & so it's pretty forgiving.
10. You can hand stitch the straps on, folding the cut edges of the ribbing over the i-cord. OR, if you like looking handmade, or, like me, feel like it's important to look handmade, so people know it's OKAY TO MAKE YOUR OWN CLOTHES (!!) than you can also machine-stitch over it in a non-challant, messed-up kinda way. Very Billabong / Free People. I'm sorry, I'm really still a teenager sometimes.
11. If there are moth holes in your shirt, then hand-stitch a loose basting stitch around the hole & draw it closed. Give it a few tight, secure tacks. Leave the thread & needle on. Take one or two i-cord scraps, tie them into a knot & trim to look how you want. Attach at the back of the know over the hole. Make a matching "bow" nearby.
TRICK: If it feels a bit loose, cut a length of 1/4" elastic to exactly the measurement above your bust. Hand stitch this to the inside of the ribbing, 1/2 down. Overlap the ends 1/2" or more. If you're nursing, then your top will get stretched out, so I recommend this.
What's was hard but is now empowering in your life?