The Muresk tops

This pattern has been dubbed the “Muresk top” because it’s based on a copy of a top that I got free on the last day of the garage sale at the Fibres West retreat held at Muresk, and I used fabric that I eco-dyed during my sojourn there. The original top is by a well-known Sydney designer and it fits me perfectly, but is a bit tired. It will become fodder for my eco-dyeing machine so you may see it at some point, but in the meantime here are its clones.

I took the original to my patternmaking class at Workspace-FADS and Sarah and I copied it using my basic body block. We then took the two cotton tube dresses that I dyed during the retreat and made up the tops. The back of this one highlights some of the plants I wrapped in the fabric, and every time we pressed the top we were transported to the bush – the smell was amazing.


I thought it was easier to see the detail of this top if I laid it flat. The top has an asymmetrical hem and a pocket inserted into a seam at the front. We copied all the construction details which are quite clever and I really enjoyed the make.


The front has an interesting brown stripe on one sleeve and the pocket detail is subtly visible on the upper left side of the top. The dark bit at the bottom right is where I wrapped the hand grenade in the fabric, and the yellow blobs are wattle flowers that I sprinkled on.

I have to show the back too as I find new details every time I look at this top. The slightly pink parts are caused by sprigs of native flowers, and random pieces of foliage make up the rest. I have to say that I adore this top.


This is the one made from the Coreopsis flowers and stems which I liberated from a neighbour’s verge. The difference in the quality of the imprint is caused by the fact that only one side of the dress had the flowers laid on it and the other side received a secondary printing – if you get my drift!


The neckline finish on both tops is just a strip of fabric which has been stretched along the length of the neck and then encouraged to curl. The fabric is plain in the base colour and it really gives each of the tops quite a polished look. Β I haven’t done one of these before and have to thank Sarah for the suggestion because there weren’t enough scraps left over to do anything more traditional with the neck edges.

I liked the top so much that I decided to make a long sleeved wool version which I could wear immediately. The marled fabric is Missoni left over from this dress and the mustard is some Merino knit which I bought from The Fabric Store in LA when I was taken there by Pam.


I used the same neckline finish because I liked it so much on my first two tops, but don’t think I stretched the fabric out hard enough and this one seems to have a wider neckline.

I really like the way the fabric wraps around my shoulder.


When we drafted this pattern we actually made it a bit shorter to fit onto the dyed fabric, Β and I forgot to make it longer for the winter version, so I’ve now remedied this and will make another winter version in a tunic length.




30 thoughts on “The Muresk tops

  1. These are fantastic! Your dyed fabric is so gorgeous with all the layers and little surprises–just beautiful. I’ve been following your wonderful blog for awhile and I very much enjoy it–every time you write that you made a pattern in your pattern class, I become envious! This pattern is lovely.

    1. I love those little surprises too! My patternmaking class is epic and I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to spend a whole day with a wonderful teacher whenever we can fit it in.

  2. i like it how your interesting fabric is paired with this modern pattern! It is surprising how different the patern is looking in your long sleeved version.

  3. What a cool neck finish! I am going to remember that.

    The eco-printed one reminds me of a fabulous top that I saw in a very ritzy boutique in Santa Fe, done on silk.

    1. It’s a great neck finish if you don’t have enough fabric to do a proper binding. I really want to eco-dye on silk as the results will be better, but I need to keep practicing before I sacrifice anything expensive πŸ™‚

  4. Oh wow, that print turned out gorgeous! The colors are perfect and the copied pattern was a great choice for this special fabric! It goes so well together! I like the other version too. It emphasizes the style lines of the top so nicely.

  5. I always enjoying your posts. Love both tops, especially the asymmetrical hem and you did a great work on natural dyeing . Can not wait to see the dress version ❀

  6. I love the shape of that top – and the dying is fabulous. I’m still reeling from reading that you used a hand grenade in the process πŸƒπŸ˜±.

  7. I love a top pattern that has many options. The pieces in this are just perfect for that. I’ve got a favourite pattern too that I can colour block – great for my scraps and remanants. Your experience with dyeing was very successful. I love the uniqueness of this.

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