Sometimes it’s nice to have some extra hand-holding through a tricky sewing step, isn’t it? This blog post will walk you through how to to sew all of the versions of the straps on the Tropo Camisole with an emphasis on the V-strap version since it can be a little intimidating. My favorite version is the V-strap on both front and back since it’s super fun and a little bit sexy and, hopefully, if you were worried about it being too hard, this post will convince you that you can do it!. (And if it’s not you’re thing, that’s cool too. Read along for the other strap configurations too!).
If you’re using a bralette, make sure that it’s done and basted to the camisole all along the top – neckline and underarm both.
Finish the neckline of both the front and back of the Tropo Camisole with fold-over elastic. (Read all about sewing FOE here). The instructions have suggested FOE lengths. You can see that the fabric is neither stretched out nor gathered along the neckline meaning the FOE is the right length.
For the V-strap version, cut 2 lengths of FOE for each V. In this example I put a V on both front and back so I cut 4 lengths FOE. The suggested lengths are in the instructions. It’s better to make them too long than too short since you will cut them to length later.
Sew the V-straps you just cut to the tip of the underarm side of each Front/Back on the opposite side of where you want the V. In this example I put a V on each side, but if you just want a V in the Front then the straps should attach to the tip of the Back. The strap should overlap the underarm edge of the top of the V by 0.5″ – 1″. You’ll get the best results by sewing this FOE in 2 steps just like you do elsewhere. Step 1 is only through the 0.5″-1″ that extends into the underarm and Step 2 is through the whole length of the elastic.
For all strap types, cut 2 FOE straps to the length suggested in the instructions. Note: If you’re worried about the straps not being the right length because you’re using a non-standard width FOE or because of your unique body shape, cut one strap at this point and baste the strap to the camisole for the next couple of steps instead of sewing it in place. Then try on the camisole, make adjustments to the length as necessary, and go back and cut 2 new straps.)
Sew each strap to itself on the short end and then measure from the seam out the length suggested in the instructions and make a mark. I put a pin in as my mark so it is easy to see in this tutorial but you can also chalk it.
Align the seam in the elastic with the underarm seam (Note: if this is too bulky at the underarm for you to handle in future steps, you can sew the camisole using an alternative construction method though you can’t use a bralette with that method). Pin the elastic in place with the marks you made aligned to the tip of the camisole underarm. Notice that if you are sewing the V straps the underarm elastic overlaps the V strap anchor. You can try on the camisole at this point to make sure that the straps are the right length or you can baste in the next step and try on then so you don’t have to worry about pins poking you in your armpit.
Sew the strap to the underarm for the first step in FOE attachment.
To make the underarm attachment as clean looking as possible, you can cut off the square edges of the FOE elastic in the seam allowance. Notice also that my bralette and main fabric edges don’t align perfectly. That’s totally fine. They’re well within the FOE width.
Sew the second step of FOE attachment along the underarm and across the whole length of the FOE to make the strap. For all views other than the V strap, you’re now done with strap attachment.
For V straps, bring the straps across your body and pin them in place so you can mark the actual length you need. You want them to be long enough that you aren’t pulling up the center front or back but not so long that they bulge out with excess length.
After you’ve marked the length on each strap, average the two marked lengths (unless you know that your body has a noticeable asymmetry, then celebrate your two different strap lengths because you can make clothes to perfectly fit your unique body!).
Place and pin the straps on either side of the center line. Don’t cut the length yet – you’ll do that after you sew them in place.
Topstitch along the existing stitch line to hold the V straps in place.
This is what it will look like when you’re done attaching the V straps.
Now trim off the excess strap length.
And you’re done!