Draping on the stand 0.15 – doing the twist

The next project we have been working on is the twisted top.

I don’t think I have ever made or bought one of these but I do find them rather attractive. Basically the fabric is twisted during the draping process. One of my SWAP blouses, from the 1950s, is similar to the first, light orange, top. But generally the twisted look is a fairly modern design and is often executed in T shirt jersey. In these incarnations it might be seen as a sexy top – clingy, revealing, askew.

There are many nice examples available. The main issue with draping these type of tops is to decide where you want the twist.

I did something fairly simple, using a piece of reddish viscose jersey that had been given to me by PigeonWishes for Christmas. Apart from being a great colour it had just the right amount of drape. Camilla is a little wider in the chest and smaller in the bust than me – the fit is actually pretty good on but so unsuitable for our freezing weather at the moment.

Draping a twisted top
How to make a twisted top

Here is how to make one, if you are interested.

  • I made this top without a shoulder seam. It is joined at the CF (to create the twist) and the side seams
  • Start by cutting into your fabric along the centre line, leaving a section joined. This is where your twist will be. I aimed to created it at bust level
  • As a result the back and front will be roughly the same size
  • Now with the fabric on a flat surface, make the twist, The fabric is twisted twice so that the front of the fabric appears on both left and right of the top.
  • Arrange over the stand so that the twist falls at the CF, bust level.
  • Secure the twist with pins
  • Fold a facing in from the fabric from the top of the twist the place where you want the back neck to conclude
  • Secure the facings down by folding over the jersey and machine stitching
  • Put the top back on the stand and create a bust dart at the side seam.
  • Take the top to the machine and create gathers across the bust dart. Pull up the bust gathers to a pleasing amount and tie the threads
  • Put the top on the stand again, and using pins, determine the CF, CB and side seams. I wanted a fitted look
  • Now mark the seams using a washable felt tip and feeling through the cloth for the CF, CB and side seams on one side of your stand
  • Take the top off the mannequin, fold it along the cut/fold line (CF)
  • True the marking with a curved ruler so the shaping looks appropriate. Draw in the hem at the right length.
  • Cut through the cloth so you have a mirror image and both sides are the same size and shape
  • Sew up the CF seam from the end of the twist, and the CB seam from where the back V occurs, catching in the faced edges
  • Baste or pin the side seams and check fit
  • Stitch the side seams
  • Hem with a narrow hem which you can top stitch if you wish.

I know this sounds complicated and lengthy, but it is quite quick and easy actually. You can also experiment with putting the twist in different places.

9 Responses

  1. Mem

    This is really interesting . I have often wondered about this . I would love to make one with the twist higher up so it is wearable in winter . In that situation do you sew the darts in the usual manner?

  2. Annieloveslinen

    Very clever and it will fit in well with your swap. I have a jersey top which is exactly the same except that the back is a conventional round neck it is surprisingly flattering and not too clingy as it is a linen knit. It’ll go well with your leather skirt too.

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