At first I was going to separate these patterns into beginner/ intermediate/ advanced, but I think most of these tops could be made by a beginner seamstress/sewer. The big box patterns do usually have more abbreviated instructions, so just be aware that you may need to take your time and get more help if you are indeed a true beginner.
Also, if you haven't discovered Pattern Review, then head on over! I always go there first before sewing up a Simplicity, McCall, Butterick, etc. pattern. There are usually lots of helpful tips on how to adjust your pattern before you even begin!
There is the ever popular Simplicity 3835. This is a Built by Wendy pattern that has been around for awhile and is super popular. There is a reason! This top is forgiving and simple. I think it has recently gone out of print, but I know you can still order it from the Simplicity website or find someone who is willing to swap with you!
The Amelia Shirt by Froglegs and Ponytails is another super simple top. It is very similar to a pillowcase dress, but pick a fun floral print and you have the perfect summer top! A beginner sewer wrote a review of it for Sew Mama Sew and has confirmed that it is a good choice for a beginner.
Colette Patterns has come out with two new beginner sewing patterns including the Violet Blouse. She promises lots of helpful hints for beginners. It looks like a great basic button down top and perfect for
those looking for something vintage-y.
Portfolio Dress/ Tunic pattern is definitely on the top of my to do list. These new patterns seem to be getting great reviews. Check out the Flickr group for more inspiration! Gwen of Gwenny Penny is currently hosting a sew-a-long for the Portfolio Dress. Perfect timing!
Ruffles are in! If you want to join in on the craze, Simplicity 2599 might be the pattern for you! This pattern is one of Pattern Review's Best Patterns of 2010, and you can find tons of happy reviews.
Have you tried a Sis Boom pattern yet? Carla's instructions are the best out there! She walks you step by step, and I have always had great success with her patterns. I love the look of the Dana Top, especially the sleeveless version! Plus, these are PDF patterns, so just buy, print, and start sewing!
Shirred Pillowcase Top
Tie Top Tank
Women's Corsage Shirt
Wrap Yourself Top
And don't forget Rae's Spring Ruffle Top!!
Please let me know if you have any questions! If you have a pattern that you just love, have written a pattern review, or written a top tutorial- please feel free to leave a comment so we can check it out! Happy sewing!!