Tag Archives: scuba knit

Quick Stripe top with Leather Tabs

Finished Top

This is a simple top. The stripe and leather tabs make it exciting.

I started with a basic long sleeved, tunic length, T-shirt pattern with no darts. I cut it with a slightly scooped neck and elongated sleeves. Instead of a neckband, I cut a simple rectangular cowl collar. I used the serger for everything except piecing the leather wrist straps, hemming the bottom and sleeves, and the buttonhole that the neck tab buttons through. I ruched the sleeves by hand, more on that later.  For the top hem and sleeve hems, I used a decorative stitch on my Babylock Symphony.

The fabric is a polyester knit of some sort, similar to a scuba or thin double knit. It came from my Fabric Resource Storage Area, and lacked a tag.

The leather scrap that became the tabs

I cut the leather tabs from a small piece of leather leftover from costuming. The scrap had some top stitching, and the holes from the top stitching are still visible. I cut the scrap into four strips. I used the nicest strip for the neck tab. I cut the worst strip in half, and sewed each half onto the last two strips, so they are long enough to go around my wrists.

Leather tab on cowl neck

One big potential problem – laundry!! Leather and polyester double knit have very different care requirements. I solved the problem by making the leather tabs removable. The neck tab buttons onto itself through a buttonhole in the top near the neck. The straps button onto glass buttons sewed to the sleeves. Leather doesn’t ravel, and these buttons are purely decorative, so the buttonholes are simple slits in the leather strap.


Finally, I ruched the elongated sleeves between the leather strap and the hem. This is where following a pattern can be helpful! I had no pattern, just an idea in my head. In retrospect, I should have run gathering stitches up the sleeve before sewing the sleeve seam. But, I didn’t. Instead, I sewed the sleeve seam and hem, then did the ruching by hand.

ruched sleeves with leather strap

When I wore this top outside on a bright sunny day, I was shocked to realize the stripes are not black but a super dark almost-black navy blue. The blue is noticeable only in super bright light, where the leather tabs are. Or maybe the dark leather simply makes the stripes near it appear blue in bright light? Either way, I still like this top and will continue to think of the stripes as black.


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Designer Inspired

Fabric: White scuba techno-knit from Fabric Mart, blue and white striped jersey scraps from the stash

Pattern: Basic 3 piece tunic; front, back, long sleeves

Inspiration dress from Milly

Inspiration dress from Milly

I liked the fresh, almost nautical look of this Milly dress. I see a lot of chat about the new techno-knit and scuba knit fabrics and wanted to try some. Fabric Mart had a sale on scuba knits, I had the blue and white jersey knit in my stash leftover from another project.

My Tunic Version

My Tunic Version

The scuba knit has a firm, almost rubbery texture, and a bit of weight to it. The jersey is light, thin cotton. I decided the jersey by itself did not have enough body to mix well with the scuba knit. So I made the entire garment out of the white scuba knit and laid wide bands of the jersey over the scuba knit.

I used my basic tunic pattern with a jewel neck and long sleeves. I didn’t have a lot of the blue stripe, so my center band is narrower, starting below the bustline instead of just above it. The bands on the sleeves are narrower to match the body.

I cut the tunic out of white scuba knit. I sliced the pieces (front, back, sleeve) horizontally where I wanted the blue bands to start and end. I cut the bands from the blue stripe and pressed along one stripe. I layered the bands over the cut band sections  of scuba knit and based them in place. Then  I reassembled each piece and finally sewed all the pieces together.

Then I left it sit unfinished for several weeks, because I could not decide how to finish the neckline.  I finally decided the day I wanted to wear i, and settled on a slim, rolled edge because I didn’t think I had time to make a band.

The scuba knit is a little on the warm side. It was surprisingly slippery, and very stretchy. I’m not sure I like it and not sure I’ll use a scuba knit again.  I do like my finished top,.

Just for comparison, the Milly dress is available 5/15 at Neiman Marcus for $355. My top cost less than $15. I think of the jersey as “free”, because I bought and used it for another project, but if you insist on including it in the cost, my copy still cost less than $20.


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