Sewing Indie–Pattern Hacking a Running Top For the Volume-Lover

Getting in just under the wire, here’s my go at a pattern hack from our beloved indie pattern makers: A running top with the wonderful Y-back from Fehr Trade’s XYT top, but with the drapiness and volume that I prefer. As a woman of prodigious hips and glutes, I find running tops with negative ease have the tendency to shimmy up my torso, revealing my little pot belly to the neighborhood. Not my favorite look!

However, I loved Melissa’s design and instructions for the XYT top, so I’ve known ever since the first (very failed) muslin that I wanted to mix it up with a more capacious body design.

Enter the Dixie DIY Summer Concert T, from Perfect Pattern Parcel #1. I sewed this up a couple of weeks ago, and while I’m not quite sure how to style it (it feels a bit young for my grown up life), I DO find it incredibly comfortable, and keep wearing it around the house.

Me Made May featured the Summer Concert Tee a few times!
Me Made May featured the Summer Concert Tee a few times!

Well, life has definitely been a little busy lately, with the early arrival of my new nephew last Friday, and a quick flight down to Los Angeles for the weekend. So I am basically posting my muslin for this mashup tonight, to make it in under the deadline, and looking forward to tweaking a bit and making more version of this in more fun fabrics.

The first thing I did to create this mashup top was to bring together the back pattern piece from the Summer Concert T (which I just love–the swing, the length!) and the front pattern piece of the XYT:

XYT on top of the Summer Concert Tee
XYT on top of the Summer Concert Tee

Traced the Summer Concert T up to the armpit and the XYT, uh, strap and boob area.

Tracing the two pieces
Tracing the two pieces

I didn’t initially connect the two pieces, but put my knit sloper down for comparison to determine where to draw the . . . um, side-boob. Seriously, there have to be words for this stuff, right? It’s not the armscye, but just below it.

Lined up the top of the strap with the shoulder of my knit sloper for comparison
Lined up the top of the strap with the shoulder of my knit sloper for comparison

I picked a point between the two armscye ends (yeah, that’s what I’ll call them!) and drew a line down to the Summer Concert Tee side seam from there. Smoothed out the armscye a bit.

Then it was time to create the back pattern piece. Well, that was simple*, as the basis for the back of the XYT top is pretty much a cut-off version of the front pattern piece. I traced and then drew a line across. (*As you’ll see, I need to revisit this pattern piece, as it came out voluminous in a way I’m not sure I like.)

Drawing the line across for the back pattern piece
Drawing the line across for the back pattern piece

I had gotten a really cheap and really large technical T for the very purpose of muslining running gear, and I cut that into its various parts. Placing the pattern piece over it, I realized I had to lose a little of that side-swing. Knowing the Summer Concert Tee is REALLY voluminous, I reckoned that wouldn’t hurt.

Folded out a little width on the side seam to fit on the fabric I had available.
Folded out a little width on the side seam to fit on the fabric I had available.

I was even able to cut the Y from the same shirt! In the future I look forward to using non-technical (but awesome) scraps for this piece.

Y-section of the top
Y-section of the top

I constructed the top pretty much per Melissa’s instructions, though since I wasn’t including a self-bra I chose to use a softer, simpler edge finishing. I simply turned and coverstitched the edges.

Pinning the edges of the neckline
Pinning the edges of the neckline

I coverstiched right over my coverstitching to secure the Y-piece to the shirt back.

Pinning the Y-piece for coverstitching on
Pinning the Y-piece for coverstitching on

When all the edges were hemmed, I tried the thing on. And it’s SO comfy! However, I am not really sure whether I got it right. I have a very relaxed shirt at this moment, but I’m not sure whether I’d prefer it if the back were snug to my body. What do you think?

Sorry for the grainy photo--this is the unamended back view
Sorry for the grainy photo–this is the unamended back view
This is the view of what the top would look like with the side seams taken in (they are pinned).
This is the view of what the top would look like with the side seams taken in (they are pinned).

I will try running in this top and then see how it feels. I kind of like the very loose back, but I may try with some color- (or pattern-) blocking elements in the Y piece and a snug band at the upper back, with the main back piece gathered in. I think this is going to be great fun!

Let's have fun with this!
Let’s have fun with this!