Thursday, August 17, 2017

Tie-front Santa Fe Top Tutorial

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My favorite kind of clothing is something simple, with a fun twist. Today I mean that quite literally, as I'm sharing my tutorial for a tie-front top using the Santa Fe pattern from Hey June!

I've seen these tie-front tops all over Pinterest, and actually Hey June already has a pattern for a version in a woven fabric. But I wanted one in a knit, and didn't feel like purchasing another pattern for this feature. I figured it would be easy enough to do with any pattern that has a center front seam. I chose the Santa Fe because in addition to the seam I needed, it has extra ease due to the swing hemline. The ease is needed so you can tie the top without it being too tight.

My previous Santa Fe, you can see the swing hem

To start, lay out your pattern piece with extra paper on top or below (I used Swedish tracing paper from Amazon). Line up the straight edge of the center front seam and the edge of the paper. I like to do this on top of my cutting mat so I can use the lines.

I made a complete guesstimate as to how long of a tie I needed. I marked 5" down from the end of the original pattern piece. Spoiler alert: this amount was perfect.

Using a curved ruler (mine are from a great little kit I ordered on Amazon...can you tell I have Prime?) I sketched out a tie shape that ended at my 5" mark.

You can see the size, roughly, of my tie using the grid beneath. Each square is 1". Using a second ruler I blended the curve up to the original hemline.

Here is my completed pattern piece.

The last step is to mark a point on the front of the pattern piece where you will stop stitching the center front seam. Again, I guesstimated at 5" up from the hemline.

Mark this place on your fabric. You MUST sew this center front seam with a straight stitch on your sewing machine to ensure the split for the tie works correctly.

Complete the top as instructed, except that you end your center front stitching at the mark mentioned above, and you DO NOT HEM. If you can find a person who has hemmed a Santa Fe I'll give you a dollar...even the designer for Hey June has admitted that her samples are not hemmed! I have washed this shirt (made from a rayon knit from Raspberry Creek) a few times and not run into any issues with distortion. Just be sure to secure your stitches in the center front with some good backstitching.

I've just about exhausted my drapey knits in my stash, otherwise I would have made a few more of these! Proceed at your own risk with something more stable like jersey or cotton/lycra. They'll probably turn out fine but the look will be slightly different.

Have you jumped onto the tie front trend?


  1. Ahaha - I hem ALL my Santa Fe's! Maybe I should start skipping it, if I'm the only one! :P I think it's probably because I'm short, so hemmed is the perfect length for me. I love your tie front version, and I'll definitely be hacking it! Did you finish the vertical edge of the tie section, or just leave it raw too?

    1. Hahaha I owe you $1! Yes I did leave the vertical edge raw too. I should add, you do need to use a straight stitch on a sewing machine for the center front seam, rather than a serger. That will give you two separate seam allowance "flaps" which are just caught up within the knot.


  2. Hello!! I'am glad to read the whole content of this blog and am very excited.Thank you.

  3. Great tutorial! I have to ask, what are your pattern weights?

    1. They are metal paperweights that were given out at my husband's company! I wish I had more, they're so perfect for patternweights!


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