Delightful Delaney- Free Tutorial to Close an Open Back Top

If you're in the fantastic Facebook Group PDF Pattern Sales and Promotions, you've probably already seen a whole slew of adorable Delaney Tops that have been posted by members. The Delaney Top pattern is a sweet open back summer top by Astrid Novak of {SIG}nature Creations.

You can purchase it in her Etsy Shop HERE.
You can also enter to win a copy at the bottom of this post!
Also, don't forget to watch her awesome bow tying video; it's just above the giveaway!

And now, what you all came here for--the fabulous tutorial by Jerrinne Haas!

Hi, my name is Jerrinne. I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember. About 5 years ago, I started sewing children’s clothing for my 2 little girls and 2 little nieces (and all their little girl friends).
I could probably design my own clothing (I’ve done it a few times and was fairly successful), but, I’d MUCH rather pay a nice lady (or guy) to design, size, and test the patterns for me!!! I typically don’t like making modifications to patterns, but, when I saw the sneak peak of Delany dress, I had to have it! I loved that adorable little pocket and the bow tie back. However, here in Seattle, with all our rain and grey skies, an open back top didn't seem time/cost effective for me…so, my brain started trying to figure out how to close the back. I bought the pattern the day it was released and had completed 2 closed back Delany dresses by the next morning. My girls LOVED them.

Late one night, after my girls had gone to bed, I was enjoying a glass of wine (or two) and I was spending way too much time on Facebook. I saw that there was lots of interest in a closed back Delany dress. I have no affiliation to SIGnature Creations, but, the pattern was well written and I love supporting small business/work at home moms, so, I posted a quick picture of my dresses...hoping to inspire and encourage others to buy and make their own dress. The pictures were a hit! I was asked by Robin Hill (with the blessing of Astrid Novak of SIGnature Creations) to write a tutorial on how to close the back of the Delany Top/Dress.

My first version worked fine. These were the very first ones I made and the picture that I posted on the Facebook group. 

I've actually made several since then (and even gifted a couple). Up until last night, I was ready to write a tutorial on how to close the back and add a placket (like pictured above). I even wrote out a rough draft and took all the pictures…but, they just weren't going together as smooth as I would like.

So, I changed gears a bit… 

This way seems so much “cleaner” looking and was so easy!!! I love that the size and the shape of the opening, is totally in your control!!! I absolutely love it and hope you will too!!!
NOTE: I think this method will probably only work up to size 5T. Because the larger size skirts are cut from “selvage to selvage,” there may not be enough wiggle room in the larger sizes to close up the back. The skirt portion will probably be too narrow. To close up the back size 6 and up, you might need to cut another piece of fabric to make a front and a back and attach at the sides, but, that would require a whole other tutorial.

To get started, cut the pieces out according to the pattern PLUS a 3” X 5” rectangle from the skirt material.

Sew the bodice and pocket as instructed in the pattern (pages 1-14):

Here is my bodice, skirt, and extra piece
Sew the skirt together (do not hem the skirt or add the pocket yet):

1) Fold short ends, right side, together. (I serged my ends first. 
  You can serge, zigzag stitch, or leave raw…whatever you are used to doing when sewing seams.)

2) Line up short sides.

3) Pin and sew.

4) Press seam open.

Make the lining/placket piece:

1) Mark at 1” and 2” on the top of the extra piece of skirt fabric.
 You can definitely make the distance between the two dots wider.
  (I would say, there needs to be at least 1” between the two marks, in order to tie the bow.)

2) Mark in the middle, 2” to 4” down (depending on how long of an opening you want.) 
  ***Note: I did 4” for an 18 month dress, but, I think this is kind of long and will probably use 2” next time. 4” may be more suitable for size 5T.***

3) You will have 3 marks. Two at the top and one toward the center bottom.

4) Connect the dots, making a curve toward the bottom.

 5) Trim the fabric, leaving about a 1” border.

6) Serge/Zigzag stitch around the edge

Make the Sew on the “placket” and making the slit:

1) Place the placket on top of the skirt piece, right-sides together, 
at the top of the skirt, centered over the seam.

2) Pin in place

3) Sew along the line you made in the last step

4) Clip down the middle of the placket piece(and down the seam of the skirt) that you just sewed. 
  Make a few extra clips at the curve. Be careful NOT to clip through your stitches.

5) Flip and turn your cut piece towards the inside of the skirt

6) Press smooth

7) Turn over and top stitch around your slit to hold the placket piece back.

Add your pocket, hem, gather and attach to the bodice 
(instructions are in the pattern)…and you are DONE!!!! 

My adorable niece wearing SIGnature Creations, Delany Dress, Size 18 month with the opening length of 4”