There's just something so amazing about being able to make your own tops. You can make them using your favourite fabrics, to your exact measurements. I promise you, once you've whipped up one on the sewing machine, you'll be hooked! And as soon as you've mastered the basics, it only takes an afternoon to turn around one perfectly formed top. You'll be making a closet full of these beauties in no time!
1. Make Your Pattern
You'll need to start by taking two measurements. First, measure around your bust and divide that number by two. Add 3cm (1 and 2/8in.) to this measurement. Note this measurement down.
Next, measure from your shoulder to your waist. Add 3cm (1 and 2/8in.) to this measurement. Note this measurement down.
To make your pattern, sketch out a fat rectangle shape. Sketch this on to a large piece of paper (use the back of wrapping paper, brown packing paper, kraft paper, or sheets of newspaper stuck together).
Use the bust measurement to mark out the horizontal bottom and top edge of your rectangle.
Use the shoulder to waist measurement to mark out the vertical sides of your rectangle.
To add the little drop sleeves, Measure 23.5cm (9in.) down from the top line of the rectangle you just drew.
Extend the top line by 5.5cm (2in.)
Connect the extended top line to the mark you made at 23.5cm (9in) with a diagonal line.
Cut out the shape you've just drawn. This is now the customised pattern for your top. Nice work.
2. Cut the Fabric Pieces
Lay your pattern out over the right side of your fabric. Pin it in place so that it doesn't slip. Cut around your pattern. You now have a back piece.
Repeat this process again for your front piece.
You should now have two identical pieces of fabric.
To shape the neckline, measure across the top edge of your fabric. Divide that number in half and mark the centre point with tailor's chalk or a washable fabric pen.
From this centre point, measure 10cm or 4in. towards the left shoulder. Mark this point. Draw a 10cm or 4in. line from this point towards the bottom.
Repeat for the right side. Join these two lines across the bottom and create a square neckline.
Cut out the neckline.
3. Sew Your Top
Place the two pieces right sides together. Match the raw edges together as much as possible. Pin in place.
Sew the shoulder seams together using a 1.5cm or 5/8in. seam allowance.
Sew the sides together using a 1.5cm or 5/8 in. seam allowance.
Press the seams open.
4. Hem Your Top
Turn the top inside out. Fold the neckline over by 0.3 cm (1/8in). Press.
Fold over again by 0.3cm (1/8in) so that the raw top edge can no longer be seen. Press.
Sew along the bottom edge of the fold you made, being sure to sew as straight as possible. Sew all the way around the neckline. Press.
Cut small notches at the corners of the neckline so that the fabric folds without creasing.
Fold the arm hole edges over by 0.3cm (1/8 in). Press. Sew all the way around.
Fold the bottom edge of the top under by 0.3cm (1/8 in). Press.
Fold over again by 0.3cm (1/8 in) so that the raw top edge can no longer be seen. Press.
Sew along the bottom edge of the fold you made, being sure to sew as straight as possible. Sew all the way around the bottom hem. Press.
4. Add the Pocket
Cut a square of fabric 10cm by 12cm (4in. by 5in.).
Fold each edge in by 0.6cm (1/4 in.). Press.
Fold one of the short edges over by another 2.5cm (1in.). Press again.
Place the top right side facing out in front of you. Pin the pocket 10cm (4in.) from the right edge and 15cm (6in.) from the top edge.
Sew along the edge of the pocket using the 0.5cm (1/4 in.) guide lines as a guide. Be sure to only sew through one thickness - you don't want to stitch your front and back together!
Wear Your Top!
You've now made your very own top with a pocket. Well done!
Once you've learned how to make one top like this, you might be tempted to make a load more. I made this sweet little number using some vintage French fabric. You can mix it up by changing the fabric, putting in a different neckline, or making it longer. So many choices, right?
Do you think you'll be joining in and making your own top? And if you do, what kind of top do you think you'll be making?