Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shirts, Tops, Tunics and More!

So you are ready to make a top for Rae's Spring Top Sewalong, but you are not sure of what pattern to use?  I have compiled a few patterns that I have either tried myself or have received a number of good reviews, so that you can sew and enjoy!  There is nothing I dislike more than cutting into a cute pattern only to rip my hair out trying to figure out why it isn't working out like it should!

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.

The Schoolhouse Tunic by Sew Liberated is a fun simple tunic.  I have made this tunic myself and can confirm that this is an excellent pattern.  Check out this tutorial by Happy Find to add some ruffles if you want to add some pop to your tunic! Also, Ana at Don't Fear the Ripper has a very detailed sew-a-long for this tunic for someone who would like more help!

Liesel (the creator of the awesome Oliver + S patterns) has come out with a new line of patterns for women for Simplicity, and her 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.

The Shearwater Kaftan by Make It Perfect is a simple, long sleeved top.  It is a simple,easy construction.  Perfect to wear to the beach!  You can check out my review of this top here, and check out this cute one!

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!

Don't want to spend money on a pattern?  Check out some of these fun top tutorials!

Shirred Pillowcase Top
Tie Top Tank
Ruffle Shirt
Women's Corsage Shirt
Wrap Yourself Top
Undaunted 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!!


  1. This is a great round-up of inspiration! I've been so happy with the Portfolio dress, and am planning a tunic to enter. :)

  2. Oh I've been dithering about making a Spring Top and saw that Simplicity pattern this morning in the charity shop and was so excited, saw that it was in the smaller size range but thought I could maybe work with it, I had a peek in the envelope and saw to my disappointment that it had been cut to a size 6! Aghhhh! I didn't buy it but do you have any suggestions on whether it would be safe to draw the pieces slightly bigger? I'm sure it will still be there tomorrow!

  3. Meg, thanks so much for mentioning the sew along that Chris and I are hosting :) Great list of patterns... I love the Schoolhouse Tunic!

  4. I have the Simplicity pattern and am keen to give it a go! Love your blog....

  5. I love all the great top ideas... I don't usually sew clothing but those look so fun and inspiring!

  6. Hello! Thank you, Meg for the mention on the schoolhouse tunic tutorial! :) I soooo love this pattern, I have two tunics and I plan to make more for sure!

  7. Wow...this is great, Meg!! Thanks...might just have to join in on this sew-a-long. The schoolhouse tunic has been sitting on my table now for a few months...!

  8. Beautiful!
    Kisses from Brazil,

  9. just found your blog & love it! This is a great roundup, and just what I needed. I made my first LBB pieced tunic last night (not blogged yet) and, like you ...will be making more!


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