Last weekend I finished my first summer top of the year. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to sew more clothes for myself, but I haven’t gotten to it until now. This top is one of those pillowcase tops that practically everyone on the Internet has raved about the past few years because of how simple it is to make. If you’re wondering about its odd name, it’s because you can actually make one by taking a pillowcase, cutting off the sewn edge and making a casing to run a strap or ribbon through to tie around your neck.
I’ve been wanting to make this type of top for a while now, but just hadn’t found the right pattern. I know it seems ridiculous to have to find a pattern to make a simple top like this, but a lot of the photos of pillowcase tops I’ve seen on Flickr and online look like baggy or shapeless potato sacks because they’re too simple and don’t have any shaping or tailoring to them. They really do look like tops made from pillowcases.
I thought I had found the perfect pillowcase top pattern by Froglegs and Ponytails, but it was still a little too shapeless for me. It’s a really great pattern and very well-written, don’t get me wrong. But the sides are pretty straight and not curved to follow the curves of your body. I purchased the pattern and was all ready to make this top, fully intending to make alterations to the pattern to fit my body. But then I found a similar top at JCPenney, in a fabric I didn’t like. It fit me pretty well and had some shaping to it. So I traced it and made a pattern from it. The sides are curved to fit my curves and I lowered the armholes a little to fit my underarm area better. I’m pleased with how it turned out, but would still prefer a little more tailoring because it still looks kind of shapeless. I want to learn how to add darts to a pattern so that I can add them to this pattern and have a better fit around the bust area the next time I make this top again.
I probably wouldn’t use the same fabric again. I used a thick, slippery synthetic for this top (polyester, I think) and so I had to use a low temperature when pressing the fabric because I didn’t want it to melt. So you can imagine how difficult it was to press every time I had to press folds or seams down. I’d really like to make one out of voile like this one by Amy. I just love working with voile. It’s so buttery soft and silky, and so easy to work with. I also like how Amy’s doesn’t have a bow. I might make my next one without a bow if I can figure out how to do that.
Are there any summer tops you’re dying to make? I’m always looking for new ideas.