Fair & Square Dress and Top | Featured Patterns | TDD Pattern Add Ons | Tutorials

Make a Tiered, Twirly Fair and Square Top – Tutorial Tuesday

Today we have a quick and simple tutorial for you!  There’s still a little more time to squeeze in another cute warm weather top, although this one still looks great layered with long sleeves or a cardigan.  Plus, it has twirl factor!

We used the Fair and Square Top/Dress which features a lovely square neckline, includes a hem band or ruffle hem options, and instructions for a sweet little flower.  There’s also a no buttonhole option too if you want to sew this one up even quicker!   It’s available in a variety of sizes, including baby (0-24 months), girls (2T – 8), and even the 18″ doll size.

We’re including two different looks with this modification.  You can add two tiers for a very fun cropped look…

Or add a third tier for a twirly longer tunic/top.

Both are absolutely adorable, especially in these lighter weight cottons.  The apples are a light weight quilting cotton, and the white on black floral print cotton lawn is from Cali Fabrics (psst, read to the end for a special discount from Cali!).  A thicker or heavier cotton fabric might be too poofy with the measurements we’re providing here, but if you want that look, then go for it!

To get our Fair and Square top look, you’ll need to cut these pieces from your fabric:

  • Fair and Square yoke front and back pieces (main and lining) for your chest size.
  • Fabric strips using the appropriate size charts below.  For the cropped top version cut 5 strips, or for the longer tunic/top version, cut 9 strips.

If you need to add length to your top, just select the length according to height size, and the width according to your chest size.  I am making a size 4 chest with a size 5 length, so I cut my strips 6 5/8″ x 21″.

Once you have all of your fabric pieces cut out and ready, you’re all set to sew!  For now, set aside the fabric strips for tiers 2 and 3.  We will come back to those at the end.

First, we’ll begin by sewing step 1 on page 4 of our Fair and Square pattern and continue through to the end of step 5, skipping step 6, and finishing up with step 7 on the bottom of page 10.  We’ll be treating our first tier strips of fabric (there should be 2 strips) like the “skirts” portion in the pattern’s instructions.  When you’re done, you should have an assembled upper top (front/back).

Now grab those tier strips of fabric we put aside earlier.  Taking only the tier 2 strips (3 strip pieces), sew them right sides together at the short ends using a 1/2″ seam allowance, pressing the seams open and finishing them.  You should have a loop after all side seams are sewn together.

Repeat this with your tier 3 strips of fabric if choosing this tunic/top option (you should have 4 strips left) to create another loop.  Once you have your loop(s) done, mark your side seams, and your center front and center back.

Now here is my longer tunic/top version that I’ve assembled out of order so you can see the different parts to get a better idea of what I mean by tiers and loops.  I love visuals!  Makes it so much easier for me!

Now sew some gathering stitches using your preferred method along the top raw edge of your loop(s).  If you want to take a look at the variety of gathering methods you can choose from, take a look at our Great Ruffle-Off! Which Gathering Method is Best? blog post.

Now with your tier 2 loop wrong side out and the top portion right side out, align your gathering stitch raw edge to the bottom raw edge of your tier 1 fabric (the “skirts” tier attached to the yoke).  You will want to match up the center and side points, then begin gathering your fabric until your tier 2 loop fits evenly over your tier 1 loop, and the gathers are evenly distributed.  Sew around this edge with a 1/2″ seam allowance and finish seam.

Press the finished seam up and top stitch close to the edge on the upper loop.

Repeat with your tier 3 loop if necessary, attaching it to your top and topstitching in the same manner.  To finish, turn your bottom hem under 1/4″, press, then turn under another 1/4″, press and sew.

Isn’t this so cute?!  All she needs is a cardigan and she’s ready for fall weather.

I love the way the tiers look in this cotton lawn though, so delicate and light.  It’ll be very easy to layer this under a cute cropped cardigan, wink wink.

One thing I love about sewing with cotton lawn is that although it is a lighter weight fabric than quilting cotton, it is still pretty easy to sew with.  I used a microtex needle and black fusible interfacing for the snaps, and that was pretty much it.  I love the drape it gives to this tiered Fair and Square.  As you can see, it has significantly less “poof” than the lightweight quilting cotton cropped version, although to be fair, it also has the weight of that third tier.

If you’d like to pick up some of this pretty cotton lawn, or one of the other gorgeous lawns, from Cali Fabrics, you can take $5 off off your first purchase over $25 using our unique referral code: http://califabrics.com/?redeem=58f5bd92a18db30013d2c109. You save $5 and we get $5 too for our fabric stash account!

You can find the Fair and Square Dress/Top pattern and more in Tie Dye Diva’s Pattern Shop.  As always, we love hearing your ideas too.  Do you have a Tie Dye Diva pattern hack or tutorial you would like to see, leave a comment and we just might do it!

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