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Ardenne Knit Top and Crop Tutorial

Blog

 

 

Ardenne Knit Top and Crop Tutorial

Laci Wornick

Ardenne-Blog-Main.jpg

   

A detailed tutorial on how to use the Ardenne pattern to create a simple knit top or crop top. 

Hi everyone, it’s Laci here! I’m one of the members of the Little Lizard King admin team. I’ve got an Ardenne hack for you today that you are going to find yourself making over and over again during these warmer months ahead. If you picked up Ardenne during the In Bloom sale, then you already know how dreamy it is to begin with. The ruffled neckline is so trendy. The Ardenne knit top and crop will still give you all that style, but with the added comfort knit provides. Bonus: it’s a super quick and simple sew! 

If you don’t have Ardenne yet, what are you waiting for?! You can purchase it here.

So let’s get started!


Recommended Fabric

Any medium weight knit with good recovery


Sewing With Knit

  • Prewash all knits prior to sewing, as knit tends to shrink significantly
  • Use a ball point or stretch needle when working with knit.
  • Use a stretch stitch or zig zag stitch when assembling the bodice
  • When pressing/hemming, iron the knit on low heat & use spray starch or a tear-away stabilizer to prevent curling. I love using Best Press spray starch. I’ve also found hem tape works especially well for hemming curves.
  •  When using a fabric that curls it is best to cut and sew immediately rather than letting the fabric sit. 
  • Knit does not fray or unravel, so it is ok to leave the edges raw. However, you can always finish the edges with a zig zag stitch or serger for a professional finish.
  • When sewing or serging knit, do not pull the fabric through the machine, as it can stretch the fabric. Simply guide the fabric, and allow the feed dogs to pull the fabric through the machine.
  • When sewing with knit, using wooly nylon in the bobbin will provide elasticity.

Sizing

When choosing a size, follow the measurement chart listed in the Ardenne pattern. Select a size, and print the bodice pieces. As always, make sure you have measured your 1” test square for accuracy.


Crop or Top?

Decide whether you want to make a crop or top. If you are making a crop, then you will leave the pattern pieces as they are. 

If you are making a regular top, measure your child from under their arm, down to where you would like the top to end. Then add .5” to that measurement (to account for the hem). 

Next you are going to measure your bodice pieces from the armpit down. By subtracting the pattern measurements from your child’s, you will now know how much longer your modified pattern pieces need to be. 

For example, Emery Kate is 9.5” from under her arm to just past her hip bones (which is where I want her top to end). 9.5” + .5”  (to account for hem) = 10” 

The bodice pieces each measure 4.75” from the armpit down (on the 12 month size).

10” - 4.75” = 5.25”

5.25” is the length that needs to be added to my bodice pieces to make Ardenne in a custom length top. 

**If you don’t have a child present to measure, you can also quickly measure a RTW top to get an idea of how long your finished shirt should be. 


Extending the Bodice

Once you know how much longer your bodice should be, you are ready to extend the pattern. I like to start off by taping the bottom edge of one of the bodice pieces to the top part of a sheet of printer paper. I am using blue paper so that you can easily distinguish between the two. You may have to use more than one sheet of paper, depending on the size you are extending. 

pattern extend

Measure down the length that you are wanting to extend it to, and draw a straight horizontal line. 

horizontal

Extend the vertical lines on each side, taking care to line them up as straight as possible.

At this point, cut the new pattern out. Repeat these steps for the other bodice piece. 

cut it out

Cutting the Bodice Fabric and Ruffle

Cut the front bodice on the fold, as instructed in the original pattern. However, you will only be cutting 1 instead of 2. Take special care not to stretch the knit while cutting. 

front on fold

Next, cut the back bodice piece on the fold as well. Line up the long edge of the pattern with the fabric fold, and cut only 1. Take special care not to stretch the knit while cutting.

Cut the neckline ruffle per the cutting chart provided in the Ardenne pattern. Take note that for sizes 8-12, 2 ruffle pieces will be cut. 

ruffle

Measuring and Cutting the Binding

It is important to measure correctly or generously so that the binding doesn't come up short when it’s time to sew it on. Some may prefer to use a string along the curves, and then measure the string.

To cut the binding, first measure the neckline of each bodice piece, and add it together. The neckline binding will be the combined length of your neckline measurements x 1” wide.

neckline binding

Next, measure along one of the arm curves on each bodice piece, and add it together. Your armscye binding will be the combined length of your arm curve measurements x 1.25” wide. Cut 2.

armscye binding

Constructing the Ardenne Top or Crop


Constructing and Hemming the Ruffle

Serge the bottom of the ruffle for a professional finish, or leave it raw. Press the bottom up 1/2”, wrong sides together, to create a memory fold. If working with knit that doesn’t press well, using a spray starch such as Best Press will help create a crisp fold. 

press ruffle hem

For sizes 12m - 7: Place the short ends of the ruffle right sides together, lining up the raw edges, and unfolding your memory fold. Using a stretch or zig zag stitch, sew at a 1/2” seam allowance. Trim off half of the seam allowance and zig zag stitch, or serge for a professional finish. 

For sizes 8-12: Place the 2 ruffle pieces, right sides together. Using a stretch or zig zag stitch, sew each short end at a 1/2” seam allowance. Trim off half of the seam allowance and zig zag stitch, or serge for a professional finish. 

sew ruffle

For all sizes, refold the memory crease. Hem in place using a stretch stitch, or use a double needle or coversitch for a professional finish. 

Create Memory Fold for the Hem

Serge the bottom edge of bodice pieces for a professional finish, or leave them raw. Press the each bottom edge up 1/2”, wrong sides together. This will create a memory fold, and make it easier to hem your garment in the end. If working with knit that doesn’t press well, using a spray starch such as Best Press will help create a crisp fold. 

press bodice hem

Sewing the Shoulder Seams

Right sides together, sew the shoulder seams at a 1/2” seam allowance per the original Ardenne pattern. Use a stretch or zig zag stitch. Trim off half of the seam allowance and zig zag stitch, or serge for a professional finish. 

sew shoulder seams

Gathering and Attaching the Ruffle

Locate the ruffle. Using a long straight stitch, sew 2 rows of gathering stitches, 1/8” and 3/8” from the top of the raw ruffle edge. Leave the tails at the beginning and ends long. Do not gather at this point. 

**This photo is just an example of what gathers should look like when the top threads of each gathering stitch are pulled. Threads will be pulled at the same time**

gathering photo

BEFORE GATHERING: 

For sizes 12m - 7: pin the ruffle seam to the center of the back bodice. The wrong side of the ruffle will be touching the right side of the bodice. Take note that the back bodice has a higher rise than the front. 

For sizes 8-12: pin each ruffle seam to each shoulder seam. The wrong side of the ruffle will be touching the right side of the bodice.

For all sizes: Once pinned, grab the top threads of each gathering stitch, and begin gathering the ruffle by pulling evenly on each thread at the same time. This will create pretty gathers, as well as a place to stitch right between the gathering stitches. When the ruffle is gathered to the same size as the neck opening, tie off the strings. Begin to evenly adjust the gathers, and pin along the neckline with raw edges matching up. 

gather and pin

Using a 1/8" seam allowance, baste the ruffle in place along the top of the bodice. Sew right on top of the first row of gathering stitches. Take special care not to stretch the fabric while sewing. 

baste ruffle

Attaching the Neckline Binding

Locate the neckline binding piece. Remember, the neckline binding should be 1” wide. With the wrong side of the binding facing up, fold one of the short ends over 1/4”, wrong sides touching. 

fold neck binding

For sizes 12m -7: Start at the center of the back bodice, where the ruffle seam is. 

For sizes 8-12: Start at one of the ruffle seams located along a shoulder seam.

Line the folded edge of the neckline binding up against the ruffle seam, and pin in place. The right side of the binding should be touching the right side of the ruffle, and the raw edges should be lined up. 

start pinning neck binding

 

 

Continue to pin the binding around the neckline. The binding should not be loose, however take care to not stretch the binding while pinning. Keep the raw edges lined up. 

pin neck binding

Once at the pinned folded end of the neckline binding, overlap it. It’s ok to have excess binding. Trim the binding right at the point where the fold ends, so that the overlap is 1/4”. Pin in place. 

overlap neck binding

Using a stretch or zig zag stitch and a 1/4” seam allowance, sew the binding to the ruffle and bodice. Take special care to not pull or stretch the fabric while sewing. 

sew neckline

Next, trim the seam allowance close to the stitch line, being careful not to clip past any of the stitches. This will reduce bulk. Use a seam ripper to remove the 2nd row of gathering stitches present below the seam. 

Understitching the Seam

Secure the remaining seam allowance down into the bodice. Roll the seam to the wrong side of the bodice. With the bodice right sides out, lift the ruffle up, exposing underneath. Using an edgestitching foot or a 1/8” seam allowance, understitch along the neck seam, just catching the remaining seam allowance and attaching it to the bodice. Take special care not to get any of the ruffle or binding caught up in the stitches. Only sew the existing seam allowance to the bodice to keep it folded down

understitch

Securing the Neck Binding

With the right side of the bodice facing out, flip the binding up. The right side of the binding will now be facing out. Starting where the neck binding overlaps, fold the raw edge in 3/8”, wrong sides together. The raw edge of the binding should meet up with the seam line. 

fold in neck binding

Fold again 3/8”, down into the bodice, and concealing all raw edges. Pin in place. The binding will not be visible from the outside of the garment. Notice that the binding overlap now has a neat and clean fold. 

fold neck binding 2

Continue to fold the binding in this manner, and pin around the neck opening. Take care not to stretch the binding or bodice while pinning. 

pin neck binding

Starting at the back center seam (or one of the side seams for sizes 8-12), use a long straight stitch and topstitch with a 1/4” seam allowance along the right side of the neck opening. Go slowly and adjust the ruffles as you sew. This will secure the neckline binding inside the bodice.

topstitch neckline

Sewing the Side Seams

Line up the raw edges of the side seams, right sides together, and pin in place. Using a stretch or zig zag stitch, sew the side seams with a 1/2” seam allowance. Trim off half of the seam allowance and zig zag stitch, or serge for a professional finish.

sew side seams

Attaching the Armscye Binding

Turn the garment right side out. Locate the armscye binding. Remember, this binding will be 1.25” wide. It will be attached in the same way that the neckline binding was attached, however a 1/2” seam allowance will be used. 

With the wrong side of the binding facing up, fold one of the short ends over 1/4”, wrong sides touching. 

fold armscye binding

Line up the folded edge of the binding with the underarm seam, and pin in place. The right side of the binding should be touching the right side of the bodice, and the raw edges should be lined up. 

pin armscye binding

Continue to pin the binding around the armscye. The binding should not be loose, however take care to not stretch the binding while pinning. Keep the raw edges lined up. 

pin armscye binding

Once at the pinned folded end of the neckline binding, overlap it. It’s ok to have excess binding. Trim the binding right at the point where the fold ends, so that the overlap is 1/4”. Pin in place. 

armscye overlap

Using a stretch or zig zag stitch and a 1/2” seam allowance, sew the binding to the armscye. Take special care to not pull or stretch the fabric while sewing 

sew armscye

Next, trim the seam allowance close to the stitch line, being careful not to clip past any of the stitches. This will reduce bulk. 

Securing the Arm Binding

With the right side of the bodice facing out, flip the binding up. The right side of the binding will now be facing out. Starting at the underarm seam, fold the raw edge of the binding in, wrong sides together, 3/8”. The raw edge of the binding should meet up with the seam line. Fold again 3/8”, down into the bodice, and concealing all raw edges. Pin in place. The binding will not be visible from the outside of the garment. You will also notice that the binding overlap now has a neat and clean fold.  Continue to fold the binding in this manner, and pin around the armsyce.  Take care not to stretch the binding or bodice while pinning. 

pin armscye

Starting at the underarm seam, use a long straight stitch and topstitch with a 1/4” seam allowance along the right side of the armscye. This will secure the binding inside the bodice.

topstitch armscye

Hemming the Top or Crop

Refold the hem along the memory fold created in an earlier step. It should be folded up 1/2”, wrong sides together. Depending on knit, pressing may be required once more, but a fold line should still be present. Hem in place using a stretch stitch, or use a double needle or coversitch for a professional finish. 

hem top

You are all finished with the Ardenne knit top or crop! As always, we would love to see your creations in the Little Lizard King Sewing Cafe! Happy sewing!!!