How to Make Summer Camisole

Summer Breeze Camisole. It was very easy to make, but not so easy to convey. It happens all the time to me, things make perfect sense in my head, but once it’s time to explain it in any sort of cohesive way, that’s when things go south.

So, instead, I decided to make a new cami. I don’t care if I look like I am wearing a top made with a re-used vintage bedsheet, this thing is fresh, and that’s all I care for the summer. You’ll find here the instructions to make your own.

Summer camisole

The first step is to take your own measurements. You can find a great guide for this at Sew Mama, Sew. You’ll need to measure bust, high bust, hips, and, not shown in the guide, the distance between your breasts (measured at the nipples wearing the undergarment you intend to wear with this) and distance between high bust to the desired length.

And now with pictures (click on any of the pictures to see a larger version):

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

The width used is half of whichever measurement is bigger between your bust and your hips, plus one extra inch for sewing allowance, plus enough extra inches to make the cami as loose as you want. Mine is fairly loose and I added two more inches for this.

To the length add 2.5 inches for a double-fold hem and sewing allowance.

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

Cut the underarm curve for all four corners using the guide above (each square is 1 inch by 1 inch). At this point the front and back pieces are identical.

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

Now working on the front only, deepen the underarm curve by ¾ inch, and cut 1.5 inch from the top (see marked lines)

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

Now you can see the front and back together, aligned at the bottom edge.

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

Mark the center. Then from the center mark the measurements you took for the distance between your nipples (does this have another name, I am not really a seamstress, and neither do I play one on TV). This is where you’ll take in to make the top of the cami smaller than the bottom.

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

Sew pleats to mark depth.

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

Do as the photo says.

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

Then fix the pleats (I sewed a sample with white thread because it showed better in the photo, after the photo I re-did it with the correct thread).

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

Again, an invisible zipper works best. I can slip in with the zipper up, so I really don’t need a zipper, but I included the step because I am not sure how this will work with other sizes. If you want to try it, hand-baste the zipper side and see if you can slip in without a zipper.

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

If you do not have an overcast machine, do what you normally do with edges (pinking shears, whatever).

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

You’ll need four pieces of double-fold bias tape. Two for the top edges, and two that go around the underarm curve and form the straps. This is the time to get yourself into your cami, and measure where you want it to sit and determine the length of the straps. Then measure around the underarm curve and add two extra inches for folding the ends.

To make a half-inch bias tape you need to cut a two inch-wide strip. I did not cut on the bias, though, just along the grain. This is how you make bias tape. I have several handy thingamagiggies for making bias tapes of different sizes, but you can get by without one.

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

Important: Try your cami after you hand-baste the straps.

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

I forgot to take a picture, but I added a bra snap to close the gap at the end of the zipper. Notice how the bias tape has been stitched.

Finish with a 0.5-inch double-fold hem.

Garden breeze camisole - you'll find here the instructions to make your own.

And this is the finished camisole. And now some important notes:

I am not sure how this will fit you, as in “I am an expert on me”. So make sure you try on the cami at the suggested steps and make the relevant adjustments. Second, this is supposed to be worn with a strapless bra, or no bra (if you can pull it off). The straps sit a bit outside the normal bra straps, just so you know it. If you can do it, adjust the depth of the arm curve to get the straps closer together, I just like the look of the cami as I made it.

I used a yard of fabric for this. I think you can fit up to a size 14 in one yard of fabric, but this is my guesstimation. I had some scraps leftover, with which I made the flower for the Summer Breeze Camisole. Don’t use some expensive fabric the first time you make this, as I am not sure if I really explained everything clearly enough.

Please ask me if you have any doubts, I’ll be glad to help you. And if you make this cami, make a gal happy and send me a picture.

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