One of the easiest pattern modifications or designs using pattern blocks or slopers is the kimono or cross top. And it's satisfying - so many cute ideas out there right now, and the cross top is a classic design that compliments beautiful fabric.
It also allows for some fun with contrasting colours :)
For the top I've made here I used jersey knit fabric but the theory works just as well with patterns designed for woven (non stretch) fabrics.
To get going, pull out your slopers or an unadorned commercial pattern that fits your child well. Normally before modifying a pattern I'd suggest removing the seam allowances but for this one it is not necessary. Some tissue, wax, or tracing paper, a pencil, and tape is also needed. If you happen to have a french curve square, it would also be handy, but not necessary.
So, here we are. Slopers:
The front bodice piece is the only piece to be modified for the cross top (sleeves and shoulder seams are not altered and should be sewn as per usual).
Trace out your front bodice twice. Place the two bodices side by side so they form a complete bodice front. Overlap just the top of the bodice pieces about 3/8" (still keep the bottom flush).
The overlap is so there is a slight pull across the chest and the crossed top does not gap open.
Tape the crossed bodices together.
Draw a sloped line from the the neckline, a bit off center, down across to about 1" under the sleeve. If you have a french curve, this is your moment to use it to make the slope as lovely as possible. If not, aim for a gentle curve and it'll be good too.
This little curve is the same as I've done in the photo at the top of this post. I aim for modesty with the girl, though if I was making it for myself I may do a bit of plunging with the curve. I would suggest you play with the paper for a bit and your adult model to find the best line to compliment the bosom ;)
All that is left to do is the cut away the smaller shoulder bit above the curve and your pattern modification is complete.(Or don't add seam allowances if you already have them.)
When sewing your cross top you can secure the two pieces together in the side seam, as I did (I also shortened the under piece of the cross to reduce the bulk). Or, add ties to the sides to keep it closed (nice with the woven material, and with younger children and babies where not having to pull a shirt on over the head is desirable. Or you can add a longer ties on both sides and make it into a wrap tee. Have fun!
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