It’s all about tops

I’ve made the odd top since I’ve been home from holidays and thought I might highlight them here. First of all I have to show you my Pattern Union Molly Tee. This is a very fitted (read negative ease) boat necked tee with forward shoulder seams. It is perfect as a layering piece and is long enough to behave like a body suit without the annoying bathroom bits. I’ve made the long sleeve with cuffs option for the winter.


You first saw this one in my last post worn with the Pattern Union Phoebe Flares. I changed this one a little by swinging the cuffs round so that the thumb holes lined up with my thumbs rather than the side seams. This reduces the twisting and I think it works a bit better. I took photos but realised that I had the top on back to front, which didn’t show the desired effect. This is a hazard with this top, it really needs a label! This top is definitely a base layer. It is red merino knit from The Fabric Store in Sydney and it feels so lovely underneath another top. I have been snug and warm all winter since I made it.

Next up is a striped version with the fabric from Knitwit. I feel very much like Dennis the Menace in this. Or perhaps Molly the Menace, Dennis’ secret admirer??


I’m not sure what this pose is. I may have thought it would show the shape better. A couple of weeks after taking the photo, who knows?DSC02503

I am pleased to report that this pattern qualifies for the Sewover50  So50visible challenge as the model is older (sorry Sarah!)

In terms of reviewing this pattern, and these are my own opinions as I was not a tester, I found that it went together really well taking less than an hour to make. As mentioned previously, I think the cuff could be rotated slightly, but that is my only thought on the pattern. The neckband fits absolutely perfectly, and I love the fact that the PDF pages are really easy to put together. I don’t even bother cutting the pages now, I just line the semi-circles up through the paper as I buy cheaper and thinner paper and then trace off the pattern. The pattern is layered, which saves a lot of ink and makes tracing really easy. It has a good range of sizes from 6 to 26 with three nested cup sizes, which is fabulous for fitting. It’s worth reading the printing instructions before starting as Sarah goes through which pages to print for which view, potentially saving ink and paper.

My next top was from this jumper donated to my stash by my friend Suzanne. There was basically nothing wrong with the jumper but I felt it was too masculine for me to wear so I set about cutting it up.


I used the Seamwork magazine Astoria pattern which is an excellent base pattern for this type of refashion. I took the neckband off, and cut the whole thing apart.


Due to the deep v-neck my jumper finished up quite short, but it’s good for when I need a cropped look. I cut out the pattern pieces and sewed them back together which took about 20 minutes and then I had to do something with the neck!

I unpicked the front v-neck and thought about turning the neckband around, but the back was clearly shaped for the back, so I sewed it back on, seaming it at the side so that it fitted to my shoulders. I had no choice with the front but to have a centre front seam. I also had to make the neckband straight like a collar so that I could get my head through it. This makes it flop over a bit but I have decided I quite like it.


The jumper is a very dark green with red and pale blue neckband. I would never put these colours together so I was pleased to save the neckband. It is very difficult to photograph due to the colour but here is the necessary back view showing that the jumper bottom hits around my hips, which is quite good.


My fourth top is a recycled tablecloth which had belonged to my late Mother-in-law. This one is big blue and white checks with a striped border and I did a Charles Rennie Macintosh style embellishment on the side to add a bit more visual interest. I probably need to embroider into this or perhaps do a bit more as the front and back are interchangeable.


The top is from the Couturier Sewing Class book 1, which is a Japanese sewing book that hasn’t been translated into English yet.


It wasn’t too tricky, once I worked out that the seam allowances were included, but I did my own thing with the elastic around the bottom as I couldn’t quite follow along with the instructions.

In the interests of transparency I have to own up to the fact that Mark absolutely hates this top. He thinks that it still looks like a tablecloth  and I think he is having some sort of reaction to the fact that this was always on the table during his childhood! I, however, quite like it and will wear it in the summer, but perhaps only camping!


I made this top as part of the Jazz up July for Make a Garment a Month, and the Sew Japanese in July challenges on Instagram. I rather like the elasticised sides and flat front and back and the slightly exaggerated sleeves so will give it another try. I made a size L, but will definitely go down to an M for the next one as it’s quite big, even for an oversized top.

When I took the photos for this top we had Mark’s granddaughter visiting us, and she joined in the photoshoot. I couldn’t resist this photo.



20 thoughts on “It’s all about tops

  1. The Pattern Union Molly Tee looks a great basic layering top. But the feature I am most excited about is the nested cup sizes, which are rarely (as in I’ve never seen them) available for knits in smaller sizes.

    1. Thank you Karey. I love the cup sizes as I have to usually go large at the top and grade in the bottom. With the cup sizes I just print out one size.

      1. I’ve downloaded pattern to try. I’m in a 10/12 F/G cup in this, and normally have to do an FBA, even in knits, as grading between sizes only accounts for width difference, but I am 2″ more in the vertical length over my bust than in my side seam length. I’ll be interested to see how this goes, as dartless FBAs I’ve tried haven’t worked for me, as they don’t have length reduction where I need it.

  2. What a great bunch of tops but I particularly like you in the Denis the Menace one as it looks fun as well as being useful.

  3. A great collection of tops! I don’t know how you come across tablecloths that are so usable. Ours are always stained beyond use. I like the blue checks.

    1. Thank you Katherine. Try scouring your tablecloths in soda ash and simmer. You will be shocked at the colour of the water! It does get rid of the majority of stains. Good for tea towels, shirts with stains, sheets, everything really!

  4. I’ve seen all of these on Instagram but it’s worth saying that they all look really good – and very useful. Enjoy them all 😀

  5. Well it looks like you’re back on track again. This are four top makes but my favourite is stripe one. The Molly Top has an interesting shoulder line: must remember this style feature.

  6. Of all these beautiful tops (with all due respect to Mark’s opinion on your tablecloth blouse) my favorite is your Denis la menace top. These thin stripes are making me want to revisit this pattern for the next cold season. I’d love to make it exactly like yours in red and black. Copy catting at its best!

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