Alternative Construction Order for the Tropo Camisole

The Tropo Camisole instructions are written so that you can sew them on a basic sewing machine without any extra fancy attachments. But what if you want to use a coverstitch machine and/or a binding attacher? No problem! You just have to change the order of construction a bit and we’ll talk you through how to do that. Why didn’t we include this method in the instructions? It has a number of drawbacks that you should note: this construction order is not compatible with the built-in bralette. This method also uses more fold-over elastic (FOE) than the normal method. You also can’t baste on your straps to make sure they’re the right length before sewing them on so you’ll have to rely on the suggested lengths in the pattern or sew a test camisole (using the same FOE as FOE stretchiness can vary) first.

We’re not going to talk through all the details of setting up your binding attacher because I can only tell you about mine and yours may be different. But I will say that, although it’s completely not necessary, it is a fun accessory to have if you like sewing gadgets and want to splurge a bit. I have a Babylock Ovation and found a binding attacher on Amazon that works great and is half the price as if I had bought it through the dealer (which I actually tried to do but after two phone calls with nobody being able to tell me what they had in stock, I gave up and went online since I live on an island and “popping in” to a store isn’t an option).

Before sewing your FOE onto your garment you’ll want to test application on sample fabric (just like you should when sewing a new fabric and elastic combo on a normal sewing machine). I found that it took some practice to get the tension right (in part because I hadn’t ever used my binding attacher with a knit before). Thread the FOE into your binder and start sewing just the elastic.

After your elastic is threading nicely on its own, feed in the front and back of your camisole to attach the FOE to the neckline. In this example I used a chain stitch on my coverstitch machine but you can also use a standard cover stitch.

After sewing the neckline we sew the armholes and straps. Again, starting with a tail on the FOE, feed in your Front at the side underarm and continue along to the front. Keep sewing so that you are sewing just FOE. Measure the FOE from the strap point so that it is the length you want (see below) and then insert the back (make sure that if you started with the Front Right you continue with the Back Right and so forth) at the strap point and continue to the Back underarm. Your strap length should be about 6” for sizes 0-6, 7” for sizes 8-10, 7.5” for size 12, 8” for sizes 14-16, 8.5” for sizes 18-20, and 9” for sizes 22-24.

All your FOE insertion is done now.

Sew the side seam using a stretch stitch. You can do this with a chain stitch on your coverstitch (pictured), overlock on your serger, or zig-zag on your standard machine.

At the top of the side seam, at the underarm, tack the seam allowance to the side so that it doesn’t rub against your skin.

Hem your camisole. You can do this on your coverstitch with a chain stitch (pictured) or a cover stitch or using a zig-zag on your standard machine.

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