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Monday, 23 May 2016

Sewing a Top Following the Pattern Instructions

I can not recall how many years have passed since the last time I even looked at the instructions on a pattern, but I can remember how useful these were when I just started sewing. For today's blog, I purposefully forced myself to follow the instructions on the pattern so that I could show you how to make sense of those instructions. Hereafter you should be able to cope well with those papers all by yourself. Happy sewing!
Understanding the pattern
Laying out and cutting out the fabric
Sewing a top following the pattern directions

I started this journey a couple of blogs ago when I showed you how to make sense of the paper part of a pattern. I used this pattern of McCall's for the purpose. I followed that blog up with one where I showed you how to lay out the pattern on the fabric and we then proceeded to cut it out as well. We pick this blog up where we left off with that one.

We start at these steps on the instruction sheet.

A staystitch is sewing about 10 mm away from the edge. It firms the fabric a little, making it easier to work with.

I then overlock the hem, fold it over and pin it in place. Then I sew as close as possible to the edge as the curve of the pattern does not allow for large hems.

I then return to the instructions.

The second peplum is treated exactly as the first. First I staystitch the top edge.

Then I overlock, fold, pin and sew the hem. I am not going to repeat this for every step, but know that for every step of this pattern, I started off by overlocking/zigzagging the edges of the fabric.


I pin the top peplum to the bottom peplum as instructed.

To baste simply means that you sew pieces together that will later be attached to another piece. It makes it easier to attach the first pieces to the other later. I sew along the edges of the upper peplum, approximately 10 mm from the edge.


I pin the peplums to the bottom/waist of the back panel, laying them down right sides facing.

I then sew this seam with the three layers of fabric at 1,5 cm seam allowance.


I ignore step 6 as something that is largely unnecessary and move on to step 7. I pin the shoulders together and sew them with 1,5 cm seam allowance. The right sides of the fabric should be facing each other to end with the seam on the wrong side/inside of the top.

Time to attach the neck band.

Fold it over and sew at 1,5 cm.

Fold it in half to look like a sweat band that escaped from the 80's.

Pin the neck band to the neck opening of the top. It should face the right side of the top to have the seam on the inside of the top. Sew at 1,5 cm.

Your neck should look like this when you are done.


I pin the back and front panels at the sides with the right sides facing.

I then sew from under the arms to the hem of the bottom peplum. This is done on both sides.

Time to attach the sleeve.

I staystitch the top of the sleeve.

The sleeve is folded in half with the right side on the inside. Sew at 1,5 cm.

Pin the sleeve to the arm opening. Make sure that the back of the sleeve is attached to the back of the top. Line up the underarm seams and then pin the notches. Right sides should be facing.

Sew the sleeve onto the top at 1,5 cm. Sew the other sleeve as well.

Measure the length of the hem on yourself and pin it. Sew at the required depth.


I fold the hem for the front panel and pin it in place.

Sew the front hem. I don't bother with step 22 which I consider unnecessary.

My top from the front.

The top from the back.

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy her books here: You can purchase Designs By Miekie 1 here.
Jy kan Kom Ons Teken en Verf Tuinstories hier koop.
Jy kan Kom Ons Kleur Tuinstories In hier koop.
Jy kan Tuinstories hier koop.
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