Sabalito Top Tutorial

I was struck thinking it’s half-way into AUGUST (where did the time go?), and it’s time to start looking at fall clothes. SEW….I was perusing different independent pattern companies for ideas. I got an Itch to Stitch the Sabalito top.

The Sabalito is such a cute little “topper” that’s perfect for layering. With the three-fourth’s kimono sleeves and the knotted tie at the bellybutton, it was exactly what I was looking for.

SEW Here We GO!

I used a cotton double gauze that is so soft and comfy to wear. It was perfect for this project. One important tool that helps sewing this type of fabric is a WALKING FOOT. This keeps the fabric moving in unison. If you don’t have a walking foot, use a piece of tissue paper under the fabric when you feed it through the feeddogs of your machine.

I cut out a size 10B and should have gone down to a size 8B, but I will next time. I made TWO major adjustments to this pattern so please READ THIS: This pattern calls for a single lower front and lower back piece with a traditional hem. I changed that up and decided to cut out TWO fronts and TWO backs and sandwiched them as you would a facing. This did two things…1). the hem line is like a facing and 2) it gives the bottom blouse more heft and form. More to come on how that’s done as we get into the process, but if you want to do what I did, you will need to cut out 2 front bottoms and 2 back bottom pieces which are listed as pieces 5 and 6. The next change I made was doing away with the center back seam. I did this by cutting the back piece on the fold but you need to account for the seam allowance first. All seams are 1/2 inch seam allowances, therefore, you must place the back piece over the fold by 1/2 inch. See Below:

Fuse interfacing to pieces 2 and 4. I used a super soft and flowy interfacing that is made for super lightweight knit fabric because I wanted to keep the double gauze as soft and supple as possible. Make sure you have dotted all your dots, and marked your notches and triangles.

Fusible Interfacing
Fuse interfacing to pieces 2 and 4.

Using 1/2″ seam allowance, sew the top shoulder/sleeve seams. Finish the seam. I used an overlock stitch.

Next sew the neck facing together and finish the outer edge with an overlock stitch.

Pin facing to blouse. Sew from center back of neck down to tip of the tie, pivot and sew up to the first dot, piviot and sew over to the second dot, piviot and sew down to edge of the seam allowance. I gave some extra stitches in this area for security. Take your scissors and cut from the edge into the corners by the dots without cutting through the stitches.

Turn the ties out to the right side once you have trimmed the corners and seam allowance. Understitch what you can of the facing so it stays down on the inside of the garment. Give it a press.

Sew side seams and finish them with an overlock stitch.

Hem the sleeve in your desired way. I did a 3/4″ hem on mine.

Now let’s talk about the lower portion of the blouse. There is a front and a back. I sewed two sets of front/back pieces and sewed each set at the side seams. I then sandwiched them with right sides together and sewed the LOWER HEM (without all the dots and notches) with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Then understitched to keep the hem seam from rolling out.

Turn right side out and press.

Finish the raw edge of the upper blouse and lower blouse with an overlock stitch. Pin the upper and lower blouse with right sides together matching all notches, triangles and seams. Sew in place starting at one triangle, around and end at the second triangle. BASTE STITCH in between the triangles.

Press seam open and edge stitch both sides of the basting stitch. Cut basting stitches out and now you have a nice neat hole to pull one of your ties through. Tie your tie into a cute little knot. Use some hand stitching to hold it in place if you desire. You can also sew the neckline tack if you like to, but I left mine not tacked. Just my taste and preference.

WAAAAH LAAAAH! Cute little topper for fall.

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