Mathilde Hack: Ballerina Top

I am a huge fan of ballerina tops for some strange reason. I have never actually attended a ballet class or anything, yet I am completely enamored with they style. So when one of my pattern testers for the Mathilde Wrap dress suggested that I hack it into a ballet top for myself, I couldn't contain my excitement! It's like this particular pattern was meant to be a ballerina wrap top!

 

I am honestly not sure why this particular style is referred to as a ballerina wrap top, so if anyone knows the history behind this design, I'd be incredibly interested in learning more!

 

The great thing about this hack is that you don't actually need to do much to the Mathilde Wrap Dress pattern in order to achieve the intended look! You can start out by cutting your front + back bodice pieces as well as your sleeve, front + back waistbands, and waist tie.

The only changes to the pattern you will need to make are in omitting the skirt/ peplum pieces and cutting 2 additional Front Waistband pieces and one additional Back Waistband piece. Once you have all your pieces cut out, we can get started on the actual sewing, which is ALSO super simple!

Let's get started!

Alright, when I said this was a super simple hack, I wasn't exaggerating. Basically, you can sew your Mathilde up in the same exact way as you would if you were sewing the dress or peplum version. Work on putting your Mathilde together and meet me back here once you have reached the point in your instructions after you have attached your waist ties to your waist band!

 

*NOTE: When you get to the part where you are putting together your waistband pieces, skip the step where you sew a little rectangle around the waist tie opening. We will come back to this at a later point.

 

Isn't this a fun little hack so far? Not much has changed between sewing a dress and sewing a top!

By now you should have your bodice pretty much put together and one set of your waistband completed with the waist ties attached at either end, like so.

Now, there are two possible ways of completing this garment that I will share with you all! One is slightly more clean looking on the inside while the other is slightly easier to put together. It is up to you and your personal preferences as to which of the two options you might choose when finishing your wrap top.

OPTION #1 (Slightly Easier + Quicker)

Set your completed pieces aside and grab your second batch of waistbands. You will put these together in the same exact way as you had done for your original waistband pieces.

Once you have your second waistband all sewn up and ready to go, grab your primary waistband (with the waist ties) and pin the two of them together with right sides facing. You will want to pin all along the bottom edge of your waistband and along the two short edges. Make sure that your waist ties are set towards the inside of your waistband.

Also be sure that your two waist tie openings are aligned with one another!

Using a 1/2" (1,3 cm) seam allowance and a zig zag stitch, sew around the three edges of your waistband that you have pinned.

Trim your corner seams.

Turn your waistband right side out and press your entire waistband.

If your waistband is especially thick because of the material you are using, you might find it helpful to press  your seam open before turning it to the right side fully and pressing it.

Pin the upper portion of your waistband (the edge that is raw) and baste together using a long, straight stitch.

Before we attach our waistband to our top and call it a day -- yay!! -- we need to finish off the waist tie opening. Line up your openings and stitch a small box around them to secure them to one another.

Awesome! Now it is time for one final stitch and press and then you are on your way to enjoying your brand new Mathilde Ballerina Top!

With right sides together, pin your waistband's raw edge to the bottom edge of your bodice top. If you used the same fabric for your inner waistband as you did for your outer waistband and now don't know which is which (like me!) you can determine which side is the correct side by where the waist tie opening is. It should be on the right side of the garment when you are wearing it.

But seriously, if you get it mixed up, it's not that big of a deal! Who cares which side your waist tie is threaded through? Your top is still going to be gorgeous!

Using a zig zag stitch and a 1/2" (1,3 cm) seam allowance, sew your waistband and bodice pieces together.

Finally, press your seam allowance down and tack any bits that you think might try to poke out when you are wearing your garment (Just as you would when sewing the original Mathilde).

Et, Voila! You did it! You are now the proud owner / maker/ creator of a Mathilde Ballerina Top - how cool is that? I hope you enjoyed this mini tutorial and pattern hack! I would love to see your very own tops, so please feel free to tag me on IG at @untitledthoughts or #UTMathildeWrap #UTMathildeHack .

 

OPTION #2 (Slightly Cleaner Finish)

Set your completed pieces aside and grab your second batch of waistbands. You will put these together in the same exact way as you had done for your original waistband pieces.

Press the top edge of your waistband (the edge with 3 notches) towards the wrong side by 3/8" (1 cm).

Once you have your second waistband all pressed and ready to go, grab your primary waistband (with the waist ties) and pin the two of them together with right sides facing. You will want to pin all along the bottom edge of your waistband and along the two short edges. Make sure that your waist ties are set towards the inside of your waistband.

Also be sure that your two waist tie openings are aligned with one another!

Using a 1/2" (0,6 cm) seam allowance and a zig zag stitch, sew around the three edges of your waistband that you have pinned.

Trim your corner seams.

Turn your waistband right side out and press your entire waistband.

If your waistband is especially thick because of the material you are using, you might find it helpful to press  your seam open before turning it to the right side fully and pressing it.

 Awesome! Now it is time for a few final stitches and a press and then you are on your way to enjoying your brand new Mathilde Ballerina Top!

With right sides together, pin your waistband's raw, un-pressed edge to the bottom edge of your bodice top.

Using the lightning bolt, stretch stitch and a 1/2" (1,3 cm) seam allowance, sew your waistband and bodice pieces together.

Turn your bodice so that the inside is facing you. Press your seam allowance down towards the inside of your waistband. 

Pin the ironed edge of your inner waistband just over your stitch line. Make sure you are catching every little bit of seam allowance inside your waistband so that none is peeking out. You may need to trim some bits and pieces to get everything to fit cleanly inside your waistband.

Now, from the right side, stitch in the ditch using a medium length straight stitch (or if you are brave, another round of the stretch stitch!). Be sure to pause and remove your pins as you get to them with your sewing machine.

This is what stitching in the ditch will look like from the wrong side of your garment. I failed to get a good picture of it from the right side, but I used a straight stitch because I am not confident enough in my hand staying steady to attempt the lightning bolt stitch just yet!

Before we call it a day -- yay!! -- we need to finish off the waist tie opening. Line up your openings and stitch a small box around them to secure them to one another.

Et, Voila! You did it! You are now the proud owner / maker/ creator of a Mathilde Ballerina Top - how cool is that? I hope you enjoyed this mini tutorial and pattern hack! I would love to see your very own tops, so please feel free to tag me on IG at @untitledthoughts or #UTMathildeWrap #UTMathildeHack .

 

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