Sunday, July 15, 2012

A take on a top

After (mostly) liberating myself from commercial sewing patterns, I've started looking at clothing completely differently.  On more than one occasion (and particularly when the item carries a hefty price tag!), I've tried on a top or a dress, or saw something online and thought, "I could make this!"  I've started a Pinterest board to collect these ideas, and this top from Boden was one of my first entries:
(Photos from
I've never seen this top in person, but the shape and construction seemed simple enough.  It's a linen shell top, with neckline darts and facing, and an embellished collar that's attached with topstitching. So, using a similar shell top, I roughly sketched the pattern.  Knowing Boden items as I do (it's my favorite clothing retailer), the top would have probably been fairly unfitted through the waist (and not flattering on me).  So, I designed in some french darts in the front and back darts to shape the top a bit.  It took several iterations of paper pattern, a true muslin version (not wearable at all!), and further alterations to get a reasonable fitted shell (and I'm still not happy with the back...).  Made me wonder if all that time spent was worth the price of the top (it's on sale right now...).  However, in the end, I was pretty pleased:

My neckline is considerably more "boat-y"than the original (not entirely intentionally, I'm afraid, though I do like boat-necks), but I like the more fitted silhouette.  

For the neckline embellishments, I used 1/4" grosgrain ribbon and tiny buttons--no necklace needed with this top!
Too bad I'm on summer break because all I need to do is put on a cardigan and I'm ready for lecture! 


  1. I prefer your top to the original! Love that colour and the buttons rather than circles.

    I have the same type of pintrest board, with ideas for clothes styles. Very useful!

    1. Thank you! I am very much drawn to this turquoise color--so much of my wardrobe is in this shade.

      After this top, though, I'm feeling more intimidated by my idea board!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I haven't done much with embellishments in the past, but I like the addition!