As promised, here is a very tiny tute on how to make the knotty cut-out on this top.
My apologies in advance if anything isn't clear - this is my first tute-writing attempt, though I sure do read a lot of them! If you have questions, leave me a comment and I'll try to answer you.
Right then, here goes.
Step 1: Pin cut-out template onto shirt front
Cut out the shape and pin it to the front of your shirt. I chose to atttach the neck facing and sew up the shoulder seams of my shirt before doing the cut-out. This is useful because, 1. you don't have to fiddle with the facing in a very small sewing space later; and 2. you'll have two layers of fabric to strengthen the cut-out with.
Step 2: Mark cut-out on shirt front
Step 3: Cut out centre and snip until edges.
Cut out the shape you've drawn.
Take some sharp pointy scissors or shears and make small snips, about 1cm apart, all around the edges of your cut circle. Make sure you cut right up to the template line (I have that marked in blue). This is where you can be as hardworking as you like. More snips = more work, but also = a nicer, curvier circle. Too few snips, and your circle will end up looking like a polygon. But too many snips, and you'll go crazy in the next step!
Step 4: Turn in the snipped bits
Turn in a couple of bits at a time, and crease against the marked (blue) line with your thumbnail as you go. If it helps, pin down the folded edges. And if you're using a fabric that doesn't hold a crease well, er...my best wishes!
Done with the fashion fabric layer? Now do the same with the facing layer, turning those bits up into the inside of the shirt. If you want to be precise, try turning the bits on this layer slightly deeper than those on the top (fashion) layer, so you won't have ugly facing bit poking out into your top.
Step 5: Cut out some interfacing
Put your old paper template (the one that you drew around on the shirt front) on some interfacing, mark and cut out the circle. Since you don't want this to peek out on the front of the shirt, it's a good idea to cut the circle a very little bit bigger (say 2-3mm) than the marking.
Leave a good amount of interfacing around the cut circle, say 3-5cm all around. The less you leave, the fiddlier the interfacing piece will be, and the more your circle will warp. Don't worry about excess, you can trim it off later.
Cut out another piece for the facing.
Step 6: Iron interfacing onto fabric
Tuck in the snippy bits under the facing.
When you're ready, PRESS. And voila! The snippy bits are all nice and neat, and you have a piece of fabric with a cut-out in it. YAY!
Do the same for the interfacing on the facing.
Step 7: Flip fabric right side out and finish cut-out.
Press a little.
There's the cut-out. Isn't it gorgeous? Aren't you proud of yourself?
There are a couple of ways you can finish the cutout. The easiest would be to topstitch, in a matching or contrasting thread. If you want a subtle, invisible finish, you could pin and slipstitch the edges closed. Me? I chose to line and close it with a contrasting trim. Which was a BAD idea, because the trim ruckled enormously despite it being cut on the bias. A good press made it look slightly better (the ruckle took on the appearance of a quasi-gather), though not perfect. Bummer! I'm not about to do this again.
Step 8: Cut out fabric for knot tie
Also remember to cut out a small strip for the middle part of the bow. A 5 x 2cm (2 x 3/4in) bit will do.
Step 9: Stitch knot tie fabric
Step 10: Turn inside out.
Clip corners and turn inside out. I've shown the underside of my knot tie for contrast.
Step 11: Topstitch knot tie piece
Step 12: Twist knot piece and tack on.
In general, you don't have to be too neat about this as long as you keep the basting within the area that will be covered up by the middle bit. But to be safe, I'd recommend using matching thread, and just putting in 3 or 4 firm, well-placed stitches.
Sew up a tube with the little 5 x 2cm scrap, and wrap it over the middle of the knot. Stitch in place, and you're done!