This pretty cropped top by Amanda Walker is perfect all year round and would look great sewn in a lightweight chambray or cotton. Available in sizes 8-20, the design involves making keyhole openings in the front and back centre seams, plus sewing two-piece sleeves with ties, and binding the neckline for a neat finish.
- Fabric, 1.5m (146cm wide)
- One 1.8cm button
- Bias binding maker, 18mm
- Front: cut one pair
- Back: cut one pair
- Front sleeve: cut one pair
- Back sleeve: cut one pair
- Neck binding: cut one 3.6cm x 68cm strip on the bias
- 1.5cm seam allowance used throughout.
1 Download and print the pattern at sewmag.co.uk/templates. Cut out the pieces according to the cutting guide and transfer any markings. Neaten the centre-front edges of the front and back pieces, then pair up each set right sides together. Match the seams and stitch – for the front pieces, sew 1.5cm down from the neckline, leaving an 11.5cm gap, then continue stitching down to the next notch marked. For the back pieces, stitch from notch to notch, leaving the top unstitched. Press the seams open.
2 Neaten the front and back at the shoulder seams, pin right sides together, stitch at the shoulders and press the seam open. Fold and press 1cm on either side of the neck binding strip or using a bias binding maker, fold in half, then press again. Open one side of the binding strip, then position it around the neckline, leaving excess binding at each end. Pin, then stitch along the strip’s fold line. Fold the strip over to the wrong side of the neckline, sandwiching the raw edge of the neckline inside, pin, then slip stitch in place.
3 Stitch along the excess binding on the left-hand side, then fold this piece back on itself to form a button loop. Neaten the edges of the front and back side seams, stitch right sides together, then press the seams open.
4 Neaten around the base of the top and press up a 7cm hem. Fold the hems back to the right side and match the unstitched parts of the centre front and back seams together. Stitch each of these, matching the seam allowances with the centre ones. Trim the corners, then turn the hems back inside the garment. Press the splits flat.
5 Pin the hem to secure, then topstitch 1cm from the seam line. At the point where the bottom split starts, pivot on the needle, then stitch along the top of the neatened hem edge. When you reach the centre-back seam, pivot again and stitch up to the back neckline. Repeat on the other side.
6 Pair up a front and back sleeve piece, then neaten the centre edges out into the tie parts. Fold each base along the lines indicated, matching the dots. Stitch each tie part together around the ends and the small curved areas in the centre of the sleeves. Trim the bulk and clip the curves. Turn the ties right sides out, then press flat.
7 Pin a front and back sleeve right sides together. Stitch as far as the notch, then press the seams open. Neaten the underarm seam, stitch, then press open. Pin the folded hem back up into the sleeve, then topstitch for the bodice from the head of the sleeve and around the cuff, 4.5cm from the edge. Make the second sleeve in the same way.
8 Sew a row of gathering stitches around the heads of the sleeves from the front to the back notches. Pull the threads up to fit the sleeves into the armholes. Match the seams together, pin, then stitch. Neaten around the armholes. Fold and sew the excess binding on the right-hand side of the back neck to the inside and stitch a button adjacent to the neck binding loop. Knot the sleeve ties to complete.