I’ve had this brown linen left over from my wattlebird top for almost a year now and have struggled with what to do with it. I was very happy when I found an old pattern someone had donated to an op shop. I love a good boxy top that just hangs away from the body in summer, so this was a perfect option for me.

This is a vintage pattern from 1989 is part of a Butterick Esprit collection. The notes on the pattern say that in September 1989 the previous owner made a red and white spotted blazer. It was kind of nice to think about how almost exactly 30 years earlier someone had been using this pattern. Hopefully her blazer was worn and loved as much as my top has been.

This was a very quick sew and took me only an afternoon to make. I didn’t make any alternations to the pattern however when I measured myself for this pattern I sat at a size 12. The pattern I have is only a 6-10 but as this is a very wide boxy style  I chose to just cut the 10 and hope for the best. It still sits very wide and boxy on me so I’d say this pattern runs a little large. I’d even be temped to cut an extra size down if I made it again just to reduce some of the width of the body.

The fabric I used had a lovely selvage that I used to the hem of my wattlebird top. As I usually tuck my shirts in I chose to use this selvage for the sleeve hems this time. I think it adds such a lovely detail to the top (and as a bonus saved me from hemming which is my least favourite sewing task:)).

I’ve worn this a few times with my trusty denim skirt as pictured here but have also found it’s nice with high waisted jeans when it’s a little cooler. As it’s so versatile I imagine I’ll be making a few more of these this summer.

Pattern – Butterick 3453

Fabric – Crinkle Linen from The Fabric Store 

This jersey has been sitting in my fabric stash for a long, long time. My first instinct with any jersey is to make a turtleneck or mock neck top, because during winter thats what I wear 5/7 days of the week when it’s cold. However, I’ve really been trying to diversify my wardrobe and wanted to make some sort of ‘elevated basic’ with this top, something that will work with lots of pants/skirts but with a little more design than my usual turtleneck.

I really loved the twist of the Joni dress (Tilly and the Buttons – Stretch!) below so used this as a base to make my top.

As this is a dress pattern I did make a few modifications. I chose to cut a 3/4 sleeve which I hemmed with a zigzag. I also chose to modify the neckline. The initial pattern has a higher neck but I changed it to a  deeper V neck by modifying the knot pattern pieces. I also lengthen them on the bottom so that the horizontal seam sits further down. When I tuck it and wear high waisted pants this then can’t be seen. It does have a little bit of a tendency to ride up so am considering altering this into a body suit at some stage in the future. This also keeps the knot from bagging around the chest area and keeps it tight. I added the neck binding and hand stitched it to the underside of the garment, instead of following Tilly’s recommended method. This resulted in a little bit of pulling so some careful ironing had to be done, however I do like this now as there is no visible stitch line at the neck. As I’ve been sewing for a while now I do tend to not read instructions as carefully as I once did, often to my own detriment. This happened when I was making the knot and caused a few problems. The instructions are really clear and it was fine once I read them properly but it did take me three tries to get it looking as I wanted.

For most of this shirt I used my overlocker. I did attempt to use my overlocker to do the seams near the knot but found it difficult to get the precision I need. Using a sewing machine and then overlocking the seams where needed is a much better way to do this. Basically, if I read the instructions better, it would have been easy!

Overall I really love how this top worked out. The fabric has such a lovely texture so it’s so soft and comfortable to wear.

Pattern- Joni by Tilly and the Buttons from the book Stretch

Fabric- jersey from The Fabric Store