Samstag, 17. August 2019

Box Pleat Top

I have been meaning to learn to sew for quite a while now. A few months ago, I started in earnest - usually with old fabric that was already available in my home - e.g. old bed linen.
I'm learning quite a bit while doing it, so I think it might be a nice idea to share my learning process when trying to make new clothes without bought sewing patterns. Especially, if I share my mistakes, too :)
My goal now is to sew a top (blouse, shirt etc.) that looks professional enough to wear it at work. I sewed this top twice - the second time with a quite neat facing. I'm not yet there, but I'm getting closer ...

Please note: This is NOT a complete tutorial, but a rough description of the idea.

Creative Commons License
This work by Knitting and so on is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

  • about 1 meter of woven fabric - I used old bed linen
  • thread in a matching color
  • scissors (or a rotary cutter)
  • pins
  • a sewing machine
  • a pressing iron
  • a top that fits you well, in order to take the pattern from it
  • paper to draw your pattern on


1) create your pattern
Fold you top in half and place it on paper. Draw a line about it, adding at least 1cm for seam allowance (except on the fold).

2) cut the front and back
Place your pattern pieces on your fabric and cut them out. Since the top was made of stretchy fabric - and I planned to use (woven) non-stretchy fabric for my top, I added a about three centimeters on the side for front and back. (When in doubt, always cut a bit more - it's easier to take clothes in than out.)
As the original top didn't have a box pleat - I had to add about 5 cm on the fold for the front piece (on the right in the picture below). On the front piece mark the place (at the neckline) for the box pleat.

3) sew the box pleat seam
Fold the front piece in half (right sides together) and sew a seam thats about 7 cm long from the neckline straight down - parallel to the fold (see black dotted line on the picture above).
Now open the piece, distribute the pleat equally on both sides around the seam.
Press the pleat down with your iron and fix the pleat with pins. You can see the result, in the picture below.

4) cut the facings (front and back)
Now fold both pieces in half insides together and place each of them on a piece of fabric. Cut out the same shape than the upper part of the piece. I tried to match the stripe pattern, but since the facing pieces will be on the inside, this is not especially important.
Here, by the way, I made a mistake, as I cut the facing pieces too long - about 15 cm below the armhole. Had I sewn this down the side, the top would have been too tight. So I ended up cropping them shorter.

5) sew facings to outer pieces
Place the facing of the front to the front piece (right sides) together and sew the armholes and the neckline. Do the same with the back piece and its facing.

Cut into the curves, but make sure not to cut your sewing.

Turn both pieces right sides out and give them a good press.

6) sew shoulder seams
Mark one side of both pieces (e.g. the left-hand side) with pins or clips.
Now turn the back piece insides out and draw the shoulder straps of the front piece (right sides out) up throug the back pieces shoulder straps so that the upper edges meet. Make sure that the facing pieces face each other as well as the main pieces. Sew the shoulder seams closed (see dotted lines on the picture below.
Turn the piece back right sides out the press it.

As you can see on the picture above I had now cropped the facing pieces to a curve - in a way that I would only sew a few centimeters into the side seams.

7) sew side seams
Now lay both front and back right sides together and sew the side seams from under the arm to the bottom hem.

8) sew the bottom hem
Fold the lower edge over, fix it with pins and sew it.

Turn your top back right sides out, give it a final press with your iron ...
... and voilà, it's finished.

1 Kommentar:

  1. It looks a great top! I like the fabric you used on both tops.
    Well done!
    Barbara x