Hello all! Today I’ve got to share with you a new top of mine for this months Minerva make. A good Stripe Fabric is very hard to come by so when I saw this one I pounced. I wanted an off the shoulder crop top to add to my wardrobe so that is what I made!
The fabric is beautifully soft to wear. I’ve recently been wearing a lot of itchy wool but this cotton is really soothing against the skin in comparison. It’s pretty stable to work with, and doesn’t do a lot of wriggling around which is good when it comes down to matching the stripes. 
Patternwise I used my self drafted stretch leotard block as a base, which I had converted to raglan sleeves. I chopped a couple of inches off the neckline to make it off the shoulder, cropped it at the sleeves and waist and hey presto I’m all set to cut out. Cutting out with stripes requires a little more time and attention to detail to make all the matching up easy when it comes down to the sewing. I cut out the front piece first (no cutting on the fold by the way) making sure the stripes were placed where I wanted them and then used this as a reference for the back and sleeve pieces. I made sure that the underarm and hem stripes were the same by laying down the already cut front piece on the fabric, essentially camouflaging it in the stripes and coordinating the underarms and hem stripes with the back pattern piece.  
I sewed everything together with lots of pins matching up around every other stripe and it worked out really well! I tried it on once all the pieces were sewn together and the neckline was much higher than I had anticipated, but I kinda liked the square-ish neckline so I kept it. To finish off the neckline I stitched the elastic along the edge (of the wrong side of the top) stretching slightly as I sewed. Then I turned the edge so the elastic was concealed and topstitched. This was all zigzagged to allow the fabric to stretch. The sleeve and body hems were turned up and then topstitched. 
And then my top was finished! All in all it only took an hour or two, and most of that time was in the cutting out, making sure that the stripes would match. I tried it on and it really was quite tight. So tight in fact, that I heard the stitches pop when I pulled it off over my head. The thing is, I don’t think it’s too tight. There aren’t any drag lines or anything, I just think it’s quite close fitting. I’m especially pleased with the fit of the underarms, which I’ve been trying to perfect for some time. I’m less happy about the creases of the sleeves when my arms are relaxed, but it looks fine when my arms are stretched out so I figure I need that extra fabric for movement? Or maybe it’s too tight, although I don’t know where I’d add the extra room. Let’s fast forward to the time of writing this. I’m sitting by a pool having breakfast in Singapore wearing this top and I am quite content. 

Thanks for reading and to Minerva Crafts for providing the supplies for this project!

Lauren xx