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MN2007 River / Sewalongs

River Hack: Drawstring Cinched Hem

River cinched hem hack titled card

Hello there! I’m so happy to be back to share with you a quick River hack, a drawstring cinched hem! The River knit top is already a super quick sew and even with the drawstring cinched hem hack, you can have this sewn up in an afternoon (or in my case if my son takes a nice long nap)!

River knit top with tie cinched waist from behind

I’m sewing my version using a stable slub terry knit. But I think this would also be cute using a woven too! The awesome thing about the River pattern is that it’s reversible! So you may choose to wear it with the V neck or round neck at the front. I’m loving the V detail on the back and chose to make my drawstring on the round neck side, but of course, you may choose to make this however you please!

You can have lots of fun with the drawstring too! You may use twill tape, cord, ribbon, knit fabric cut into a strip, or any kind of laces.

You can have lots of fun with the drawstring too! You may use twill tape, cord, ribbon, knit fabric cut into a strip, or any kind of laces. You can also play around with adding knots or beads to the ends too!

Close up on River knit top with tie hem

So let’s get started!

Cut out the river pattern top pieces from your fabric

First, you’ll cut out the river pattern top pieces from your fabric. You may want to consider also sizing up a bit for a more cinched and gathered look. I also decided to take about 2.25” (5.7cm) off of the hem of my top. I’m 5’4” tall and wanted more of a cropped fit.

Next, you’ll sew up the top, following the pattern directions.

Next, you’ll sew up the top, following the pattern directions. Just don’t hem the bottom. Instead finish the bottom raw edge using a serger, zig-zag stitch, or you may fold the raw edge under 1/4” (6mm).

Turn up your hem 1.25” (3.1cm) and press.

Turn up your hem 1.25” (3.1cm) and press. We are creating a memory hem here to use later.

Unfold your memory hem. Find the centre front of your shirt.

Unfold your memory hem. Find the centre front of your shirt (decide whether you’d like the V neck or round neck in the front). Mark the centre front with a pin. Measure out 1” (2.5cm) from either side of the centre front and mark. We are now going to mark for 1/2” (1.25cm) buttonholes. You’ll want them about 3/8”(1cm) above the memory crease and another 3/8” (1cm) below the top edge of the casing that we will sew in a later step. You’ll see the buttonholes marked in the photo above.

Apply two pieces of fusible interfacing to the wrong side of where your buttonholes will be sewn.

Apply two pieces of fusible interfacing to the wrong side of where your buttonholes will be sewn. Especially when working with knits, buttonholes really need this stabilizer in order to turn out nicely.

Sew your buttonholes. Open them by placing a pin at one end of the buttonhole and open with a seam ripper.

Sew your buttonholes. Open them by placing a pin at one end of the buttonhole and open with a seam ripper.

Now we will re-fold the memory hem and topstitch close to the edge to create a casing.

Now we will re-fold the memory hem and topstitch close to the edge to create a casing. Note: I used a lengthened straight stitch since my knit is stable, but if working with stretchier knits you may decide to use a cover-stitch or another stretch stitch.

Thread your drawstring through your buttonholes and you’re done!

Thread your drawstring through your buttonholes and you’re done! Note: My drawstring has aglets at the end that threaded through easily, but you may choose to use a safety pin to thread unfinished ends through.

Finished River top with tie cinched hem!

River knit top with scoop neck, with a cinched tie hem

Now you can rock your new fun cinched River raglan knit top! If you have any questions or comments, please let me know below!

Nastasia

// LOOKING FOR MORE RIVER POSTS? //

Here’s the full list of River posts and tutorials:

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Don’t own the River top & dress pattern yet?! Order River in sizes 0-20 or Curve 14-30. We absolutely love seeing what you make, so don’t forget to tag your creations with #MNriver tag on Instagram.

About Author

Nastasia is a mom of four who loves to sew for herself and her family! She enjoys putting her spin on patterns and exploring her creativity. Nastasia has a degree in broadcast journalism and is a dance teacher and dance mom. She loves her alone time in her sewing space, but also enjoys involving her children in the process too!

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