This loose-fitting top pattern works well in virtually any fabric, but when stitched in the elegant triple crepe used by Amanda Walker, it makes for a great party piece. It is simply cut, so it's perfect for beginners and any stitcher looking for a quick-sew project. You could also easily lengthen it to create a shift dress, tapering the skirt slightly to suit your body shape.
- Fabric, 1.5m
- Note: begin by taking your hip measurement
- Front/back: cut four (quarter of hip plus 24cm) x 72cm rectangles
- Neckband: cut one 5cm x 74cm strip on the bias
- Cuff: cut two 10cm x 45cm strips
- Belt: cut one 14cm x 152cm strip
- Belt loops: cut two 3cm x 10cm strips
- 1.5cm seam allowance used unless otherwise stated.
1 Cut out all pieces according to the cutting guide. Pair up two front/back pieces right sides together, then transfer the markings from the diagram above for the front neckline. Repeat with the second pair and the back neckline. Snip the front and back pieces, then neaten the centre and shoulder seams.
2 Pin the back pieces right sides together, then stitch down the centre seam and press it open. Lay one front piece on top, right sides together, then pin and stitch the shoulder. Press the seam allowance open. Repeat with the second front piece.
3 Fold the neckband in half lengthways and press. Match the raw edges to that of the neckline and pin in place, beginning at the centre-front seam and working around the back to meet in the centre again. Stitch with a 1cm seam allowance, then neaten the raw edges. Press the seam downwards, then trim any excess neckband from the centrefront seams.
4 Pin the front pieces right sides together and stitch the centrefront seam, being careful to match the neckband into a neat ‘V’ shape. Lay the front and back pieces with right sides together, then pin and stitch the side seams. Trim the seam allowance to 7.5mm to reduce bulk and neaten or clip along the curve of the underarm.
5 Fold a cuff piece in half widthways, right sides together. Stitch along the short edge to form a ring, then fold this in half lengthways, wrong sides together. Press, then place this around the ends of a sleeve, matching the raw edges and lining up the seams. Pin in place, stitch with a 1cm allowance, then neaten the raw edges. Repeat this process with the other sleeve.
6 Neaten the bottom edge, then press up a 4cm hem and stitch in place. Fold the belt strip in half lengthways, right sides together, then snip each end at an angle. Stitch around, leaving a gap in the centre. Turn right sides out through the gap. Press, then slip stitch the gap closed.
7 Neaten one long edge of a belt loop, fold each long edge in by 1cm and press. Lay the neat edge on top of the raw one, then stitch. Fold each end in by 1cm, pin onto the top beside a side seam, 15cm up from the base. Stitch across each end to secure.