Sunday, September 10, 2006

Knocking Off Sunshine

This is my finished "muslin." I've been wanting to make a top like this after seeing similar tees in the stores, on the street, and patterns such as the Hot Patterns Sunshine Top, and Kwik Sew 3418 (not sleeveless on me though!). Then Gigi starting hers really motivated me to start mine. Thanks Gigi! :-) I'm looking forward to seeing how yours turns out.

I wasn't sure how all the gathering would look on my full bust, but since this tee is more fitted at the waist than a flowy peasant blouse or tunic-y tee, I think it's actually OK and doesn't invoke the is-she-or-isn't-she maternity question.

Because I have a great base pattern using my pattern software (Pattern Master Boutique), I knew it would be easier (and lots cheaper!) to start there and morph this style than to start with a purchased pattern and alter. So, that's what I did. I used the editing module of PMB which makes the editing fast and easy. If you have a similar TNT (tried and true) pattern, you can make this top too by copying the steps below with a pencil, scissors, a curve, and a ruler.

I started with my darted tee pattern (1). I reshaped the neckline to a low scoop and then added a 1.75" band (2).

Next, I cut the band from the bodice (3) and extended the dart to the bust point (4) in order to rotate the dart (below).

I rotated the side bust dart to the neckline (5) and then spread/slash the neckline an additional 3 inches to create more gathering (6).

The final step for the front was to true the neckline where I had spread it. (7).

Now onto the back. I aligned the shoulders of the front and back pieces (8). I used my original front pattern from (2) above so I could transfer the neckband shape/size onto the back.

Since I have a very narrow back shoulder dart, I just eliminated it when I drew the back neckband (9). I cut the neckband from the back pattern (10).

After reshaping the hems to a slight curve, the final step was to add seam allowances to all pattern pieces, as shown below.

Edited to Add: A (blurry) photo of me wearing the top.

Wearing the top


  1. The top looks great! And thanks for the photos on how you rotated the dart...that always confuses me but it makes sense after seeing it laid out logically.

  2. WOW! How sweet to share this with us! Your top looks great Debbie.

  3. Your expertise is incredible! Thanks for the valuable lesson! Now to see if I can apply it in real life....

    You really should think about writing a sewing book some day!

  4. I second the notion that you should be illustrating a sewing book! You have lots of spare time....right? :) You really do have a knack for clear explanations and that is to be applauded!

    BTW, top looks great and one can never have too many white tees!

  5. I just made that top this weekend and I liked it but I thought that the top was too low cut. I love how yours came out!

  6. I love your top - it looks great on you. Thanks for the to get me that software!

  7. Very nice work. It's so satisfying when we can create designs from 'scratch'.

  8. Debbie -

    I just became aware of your concerns with Pattern Review, and was delighted to find your blog and the expanded instructions on your site. I agree with you totally. That is why I am very careful about anything that I say on PR. (Actually I removed all my postings, cancelled my membership and now lurk under a new name as non-paying particpant.) I have been an admirer of your information for quite a while and appreciate your willingness to share info on your site.

  9. Hi Debbie this is Vibeke from Oslo. I looove your tutorial. Thank you so much. You have a great gift for writing clear instructions and should write a book when you get around to it. Quite right of you not to give away your material.


Thank you for each and every comment. I appreciate them all, but I have to be honest and let you know that I'm usually bad about answering questions. I hope you understand that there just isn't enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

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