Ruched Jersey V Neck Top
Project by Lets Get Sewing
One of my favourite things about making your own clothes is the ability to transfer different design features onto any kind of garment. This can be anything from an exposed zip to gathers, all of which help the final outcome feel a bit more interesting. The idea of a ruched neckline is a detail that I've wanted to try for a while. I've enjoyed making several ruched tops before but with the gathering going the entire way down the top and, having noticed this done several different ways on ready to wear clothes, I chose to reuse the same technique but to achieve a different look.
Ruching the fabric was actually fairly easy to do. I used a piece of 1/4" wide elastic which I held stretched out on the wrong side of the fabric and sewed down the middle of. When you let go, the elastic goes back to its original length creating this gathering effect. It's quite fun to do and surprisingly simple to achieve. Because the elastic that I used was narrow I can't really feel it either which is good.
Whilst achieving the gathers was fairly easy, planning the shape of the neckline was less so. Before adding the elastic I cut the neckline of my top into a v shape. I then hemmed the neckline to create a neat finish which would be tricky to do once the elastic had been added. The main thing I struggled with was knowing how long to make the elastic. It's meant to be a neckline detail so I didn't want it coming down too low, but at the same time it stretches a surprising amount so doesn't need to be cut very long. In the end I think I actually cut it a little bit too short and an extra inch of gathers might have looked better, but it's a small mistake.
My only other regret with this top is that the neckline has ended up feeling a little narrow. Once again, in order to avoid it coming down too low or being too wide I actually went in the opposite direction and made it too high and narrow. It's hard to judge what will happen to the size of the neckline once the elastic has been added, so bare in mind that the shape will change due to the gathers.
I used a cotton jersey from Craft Cotton Co to make this top, which is a fabric I'd definitely recommend for adding details like ruching. Cotton jersey isn't too heavy weight so it gathers nicely, but is also stable to sew with so inserting the elastic remained nice and simple. I think this would work really well on a cotton fabric too and would probably be even easier to sew as the fabric would be more stable. I think adding in the gathered neckline gives a nice balance between adding detail to an otherwise basic t-shirt shape but also leaving plenty of room for a printed fabric like this one.
To see more from Anna, visit her on Instagram @letsgetsewing1
Made by Lets Get Sewing for The Craft Cotton Company 2021