Juliet Top Written Directions

Materials

- Juliet Top PDF Pattern

- 3/4 yard swimwear fabric

- 1/4" swimwear elastic

- Underwires*

*This top is drafted using the Round Underwires from Tailor Made Shop. Select underwires in your bra size

- 3/8" Underwire channeling

- Cup pads (optional)

- Cutting tool like scissors or rotary cutter

- Acrylic ruler (for cutting straps)

- Pins or clips

- Seam ripper

- Sewing machine (capable of straight stitch)

- Overlock machine OR zig-zag stitch on a regular sewing machine


Printing & Assembling the Pattern

Choose either US Letter, A4, or A0 format, all of which are included inside your download links. Open up your desired file and read through the initial instruction pages for more information on how to print and assemble this pattern. Note that if you're using the A0 verison you will need to pull up either the US Letter or A4 formats in order to access the direction pages.

This pattern is layered, so see the instruction pages for information on how to use the layer feature so that you can print out only the size you need.

Print and assemble your pattern according to the provided instructions inside the pattern, then you're ready to begin!


Video Tutorial

This pattern comes with a video tutorial, and we strongly encourage you to use this resource. Some of the techniques in this pattern are better shown versus illustrated, so you may have an easier time by using both the video and written directions. You can find the video at the following link:


Cutting

You should have 2 pattern pieces for each cup (an inner cup and and outer cup), and one pattern piece for the bridge.

Not included in the pattern are 4 straps you must cut- 2 long shoulder straps and 2 "tabs" that will be attached to the cup and used as strap channels. Consult the direction pages inside your pattern to see the exact measurements required for these straps.

For each pattern piece, cut 1 in your fabric. Seam allowance is included in this pattern. To make this piece look cute, we chose to use a printed fabric for the inner cup/lining pieces.

At the end of cutting, you should have a left inner cup, left outer cup, right inner cup, right outer cup, bridge, 2 shoulder straps, and 2 strap tabs.


Step 1

Now we have all our pieces, and we’re first going to finish off the inner cups. You may have noticed there is a gap in the inner cup- this is meant so you can insert removable padding. We will first want to give this gap a professional finish. This step is optional, as swimwear fabric will not fray. However, it does yield the best look if the raw edge is treated in some way.

If you have an overlock machine, switch to a narrow overlock stitch of your choice (either 3 or 4 thread) and serge along the gap, stretching as you go in order to sew in a straight line without cutting into the fabric. If you don't have an overlock machine, you can use a zig zag stitch or faux overlock on a regular machine.


Step 2

Now we're going to be doing a few different basting stitches. A basting stitch is a long straight stitch that is meant to be temporary. It is a "practice" stitch in some ways, allowing you to tack the fabric together before sewing your final stitch. This will yield better results when you go to sew your final stitch!

To set your machine to a basting stitch, select a straight stitch and then increase the stitch length as long as your machine will let you. Do not back stitch unless directed.

Straps & Tabs

Take your 2 strap pieces and tab pieces and fold them in half lengthwise with right sides together. Using a basting stitch, stitch along the length of each strap to attach it together. There is 1/4" seam allowance for these, so sew your basting stitch inside of that, like at 1/8".

Take your 2 tab pieces and repeat the same process. There is also 1/4" seam allowance for these.

This basting stitch is meant to be temporary, in the next step we will sew our final stitch for these pieces.


Step 3

Outer Cups

While we are basting, take your 2 outer cup pieces. Starting at the top of the cup, sew 2 basting stitches side by side along both the sides of each cup piece. There is 3/8" of seam allowance along the wire line, so sew your basting stitches inside of this. At the beginning you will want to back stitch, but once you finish off the end you will NOT backstitch. In the Step 5 we will use these loose threads to gather the cup and create that gorgeous pleated look.

Using 2 basting stitches side by side instead of just 1 is going to help you have more control over the gathering so that it can stay where it's supposed to.


Step 4

Inner Cups

There is a gap in the inner cup right now, but when it is sewn it will be met together. To make Step 4 easier, we're going to tack together the two sides of the gap. You will want them to just meet, but not overlap. If a basting stitch isn't doing this well then you can use a zig zag.


Step 5

Both Inner & Outer Cups

Now that we've prepped both inner and outer cups, the final basting stitch we'll do at this step will attach the inner to the outer cup- but just at the top line. At this point we haven't gathered the outer cup, you can ignore the basting stitches we did earlier. The top of the cups includes 1/4" seam allowance, so sew your basting stitch inside of this.


Step 6

Now we are going to sew our "final stitch" for the pieces we basted.

Straps & Tabs

Using a 3 or 4-thread overlock stitch, or a zig zag stitch on a regular machine, sew the length of the straps and the tabs, keeping in mind the allowance is 1/4". Elastic is optional here, but recommended to help the straps keep their elasticity over time. The tabs do not need elastic. If applying elastic, you do not want to stretch at all. Your elastic length should be the same as your strap length.

At this step you will also sew closed one end of the straps.

For more information on how to sew elastic, click here. There's much more information than can be encompassed in one tutorial!


Step 7

Cups

We will now sew the final stitch at the top line of the cup, and attach elastic to this seam. You will want to attach the elastic to the outer cup side (but keep in mind, the cup is still inside out so you’re applying the elastic to the wrong side of the outer cup). Again we will use a 3 or 4-thread overlock stitch or a zig zag stitch and there is 1/4" allowance here. For the elastic here you will want to slightly stretch it. Just enough so it ripples, but not so much that the fabric scrunches. We still haven't gathered the outer cup, so you can ignore the basting stitches there still.


Step 8

This step is the trickiest, so take your time and be very careful- the end result will be so worth it!

First, flip each of the cups so right sides are out.

We now are going to use the basting stitches we made to gather the outer cups. Remember that we backstitched at the beginning of the basting stitch, so this part should stay put. Grabbing the loose ends of the threads at the bottom of the cup, you’ll find that by grabbing the top thread you’re able to pull the stitching and gather the cup.

Our goal here is to match the outer cup to fit the inner cup. In the previous step we tacked the gap in the inner cup together, so the bottom line will be our wire line. Scrunch and gather the outer cup so the wire line is equal to the wire line of the inner cup.

Tip: This style looks best when the gathering is focused to the center of the cup. Having gathering too low causes the fabric to sit under the bust, eliminating much of the gathered look. So really focus your scrunching/gathering at the center of the cup to get the best look. However, feel free to go for whatever look you like best!

Once you like the way your gathering looks, use a straight stitch and sew it down, attaching the outer cup to the inner cup. This will complete the cups.


Step 9

Now we will sew the bridge piece. First, match it with right sides together with the shorter sides matched together. Then, sew an overlock stitch or zig zag stitch along the top line.

Flip it to the right side. Then, cut a small section of underwire casing to the fit into the bottom of the bridge. This is going to prevent this piece from stretching.

Using a straight stitch, sew down each side of the bridge, sewing down the casing at the same time. There is 3/8" seam allowance here, so sew inside of that.


Step 10

Next, get your 2 strap tab pieces together and take them to the right side. Fold them each in half, then sew along the raw edges across all 4 layers of fabric to create a loop. Use a straight stitch for this, and again there is 3/8" of seam allowance.


Step 11

We've prepped all our pieces and now we can begin assembling the top together. Get out one of your cup pieces, the bridge, and one tab piece. Match the bridge onto the center front of the cup piece, right sides together (on the gathered/outer cup).

Match the tab piece to the outer side of the cup, right sides together. The tab functions best when it sits fairly close to the top edge of the cup, 1/2"-1-1/2" away from the top.

Sew each of these down with a straight stitch, again staying inside the 3/8" seam allowance.

Once you've finished this with one cup, repeat with the other. At this point your cups, tabs, and bridge should be fully attached.


Step 12

Before we attach in the shoulder straps, we are first going to apply the underwire casing. This will be split into two steps.

First, place your casing along the wire line of the gathered cup with the plush side facing up, 3/8" inward from the raw edge. You will need to tuck up the bridge and the tab.

Sew down this casing on with a straight stitch, sewing over every part including the bridge and tabs. Remember we need to sew the other side of the casing and still be able to insert a wire, so keep your stitching to the edge of the casing.

Tip: As you sew, try to stretch out the gathering horizontally and upward to the top of the cup so it doesn't get pushed downward as you sew.

Once you've attached one side of the casing, go in with some scissors and trim off the excess seam allowance.


Step 13

Now to sew the other side of the casing, which will finish it up. Flip the casing toward the lining side, then use a straight stitch and sew it down onto the cup.

Tip: Again, try to stretch out the gathering so it doesn't get caught and create any funky pleats.

Once finished, trim any excess length of casing you don't need.


Step 14

Next we will insert the straps into the cups. This will require us to go inside the cup through the padding gap and seam rip a hole in the top of the cup, approximately 1.5" wide. We recommend you place this hole as close to the outer edge as you can without disrupting where the casing is sewn.

Take your straps and bring them to the right side.

Once you've seam ripped, place the strap inside and sew it down while still inside out. First you can use a basting stitch, and then go over it with another overlock stitch or zig zag stitch. Trim any excess threads afterwards.


Step 15

Insert your underwires into the casing. Remember the casing is a TUBE so you should be inserting it in between the casing and not in between the casing and the lining.

Once inserted, use a straight stitch or bar tack to sew each end of the casing closed so the underwire does not come loose. Trim excess threads.


Step 16

Finally, thread your straps through the strap tabs criss crossed. You can also thread the straps so they're straight, but if you do this you'll want to bring them back to the other side and criss cross them so they don't slide off the shoulders.


That completes the Juliet Top!