Drawstring top

In anticipation of spring the clothes shops seem to be full of drawstrings and big sleeves and I thought I would make a top based on one I saw in Country Road, which had a diagonal drawstring through the body giving an asymmetrical hem. The CR top had an extra style line at the front, the diagonal line went from one side of the body to past the centre line on the other side, and a wide bound neck, but I thought I’d keep mine simple and did a diagonal stripe that finished just short of the centre line on the same side of the body. I think I should have made the ribbon strip more diagonal – next time!

I used my old favourite pattern, the Deer and Doe Plantain and just added a strip of fabric on the inside through which I threaded two lengths of black grosgrain, anchored in the shoulder seam.


I wasn’t certain how much to pull on the drawstring and feel as though I went slightly overboard for the first wearing. I loosened the drawstring for the second wearing with a charcoal ponte skirt and I think it’s marginally better.DSC09588

I used a piece of white cotton sweatshirt fabric and black grosgrain ribbon, both of which I had in my stash. The cotton didn’t have much stretch, which I thought wouldn’t matter too much, but it did! The top is a tad tight, but wearable.


I am wearing it with my black Hudsons, which I really enjoy wearing. The fabric is stretch cotton brocade from Knitwit, which works surprisingly well with this pattern. The scarf was a birthday present from Bridgette and Tom and goes so well with this outfit and somehow makes me feel really well put together.


I didn’t use any sort of binding on the neckline, I simply turned it under and coverstitched it, which worked well. DSC09560

The black and white shoes are by Fiona McGuiness, which I bought in Devonport, New Zealand about eight years ago and which I find really difficult to coordinate with any of my outfits so I was rather thrilled that they go with this combination.


This won’t be the last version of this top, I already have a naturally dyed one planned.


28 thoughts on “Drawstring top

  1. Such a creative idea. I love the bold black bow on the top and the drawstring effect creates some lovely ripples of texture. All round fab especially with your black and white brogues!

  2. Interesting detail! And looks like it was easy enough to add. Might have to try that one – thanks, Sue. Looking so lovely and coordinated,

    1. Thank you. It is so easy to do, have a go! Try taking the diagonal strip to the other side of the centre line too. That’s my next plan for this one.

  3. What a cool and interesting way to add interest to a plain top. Love it. I rarely look in RTW shops, but it is a good way to get inspired!

  4. Such a simple idea for a maximal visual effect. I love the graphic factor of black and white. Thanks for sharing, Sue! xx

  5. A simple addition that makes a plain top very smart, and any coloured bow would work as well. Love the shoes and so glad you have managed to give them an outing with this outfit.

  6. I just saw this on IG and rushed to the blog to read more about it. It looks great! So satisfying to make garments inspired by RTW that look as good as, or even better! That Plaintain really is the pattern that keeps on giving!

  7. that looks really cool! 🙂 I love looking in higher end rtw for inspiration.. Cue is always well worth a look in too. Have long been a Country Road aficionado, in fact it was one of my saddest things to stop shopping there when I took my lifelong pledge!

    1. Oh yes, Cue is on my list of window shopping places, as is half of Claremont really. I love taking the essence of something and making it mine.

  8. Nice detail! I have a pair of cotton crinkle crepe summer palazzo pants that do something similar–it draws up from the hem and ties at about the knee. They’re a little foofy for everyday, but they’re nice social pants.

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