The weather is warming up here in Australia which has definitely served as inspiration for some of my recent DIYs. This DIY Tie-Front Bandeau Top is no exception!
While you will need a sewing machine for this project, it’s quite a simple one with no pattern required. Read on for some tips on fabric & to see the whole tutorial.
A few tips on Fabric & Elastic:
Fabric Choice: I originally used a linen cotton for this project (the white bandeau). While the fabric is lovely, because is has zero stretch, it does not sit quite as comfortably when worn.
The mustard cheesecloth fabric does suit this project better in terms of functionality. The cheesecloth has a slight stretch to it which makes it more comfortable to wear and more stable on the body (less risk of slipping down!).
Because of the texture of the cheesecloth, it also gathers nicely across the bust too. I definitely want to make another white version with the cheesecloth. As a bonus, this fabric is quite inexpensive at about $10-12 a metre!
Elastic Choice: All projects contain some trial and error especially when making something from scratch. On the first bandeau I made, I used a wide strip (10cm) of waistband elastic in the back. Because it was so firm, it was a little on the hard side to work with and didn’t sit as nicely on the back when worn.
On the mustard version I opted for four strips of 5mm width elastic in the back instead. This was easier to work with and had better results in terms of doing what it was meant to do – keeping the bandeau comfortably in place!
You Will Need:
1m fabric (cotton linen or cheesecloth works nicely)
scissors, sewing machine & thread
To start, measure around your back from underarm to underarm. Cut a length of fabric + seam allowance in this size by about 24cm wide.
Fold the fabric lengthways and hem across the top. Flip it right-side-in. This will be the back section of your top and is now ready to add elastic.
Take your elastic and position it inside the back piece, between the two layers. Pin one end, stretch out the elastic and pin to the fabric while the elastic is fully stretched.
Depending on what width of elastic you’re using, you may need multiple lengths. I used four pieces on the mustard bandeau but you could try two (top and bottom) or one wider piece like the white bandeau.
When you let go, the fabric will shrink in with the elastic. Time to sew it in place!
Sew a row of stitching along each piece of elastic to hold it in place, making sure you stretch out the elastic as you sew. This will enable the fabric to stretch with the elastic, without breaking the thread.
Sewing the elastic in can be a little time consuming to get right. This is the trickiest part of this project but also important to ensure your bandeau top fits nicely and won’t slide down.
Measure across the front of your chest, from underarm to underarm. Times this by 1.5 to get the length of each of the two front sections. The extra length will allow for tying the top and having the fabric drape down at the front.
To get the width of the front of the bust pieces, measure how wide you’d like your top to be and then times this by 1.5 – 2. The extra width will allow for extra coverage where needed and also create a nice scrunched look across the front. My bandeau ended up being around 30cm wide.
Cut 4 rectangles in this size. The top is double lined, so there will be two rectangles for each side. Place two rectangles together and sew around the edges, and then sew a triangle tapering off about 30cm from one end. This will be the end of the tie-front, and make the bow more natural looking. Cut off the excess fabric from the end. Do this again to complete the other side of the top.
Once turned the right-side-out, the final step is sewing the two front sections onto the back piece. Fold the raw edges of the back piece inwards to create a hem. Gathering the end of one of the front sections, pin the section onto the back. It may look a little messy when pinned but once stitched, the gathers will look natural.
Sew across the ends to attach the front sections to the back. Your tie-front bandeau top is complete!