Rae’s Spring Top: Liberty Tunic with ties

Every year for the Spring Top Sewalong I sew along too. I don’t enter my tops obviously but I get to show them off on the blog and add them to the pool. Here’s my first top:

UPDATE: This top was a prototype for the Bianca Pattern

It’s made with a basic white poplin which is very smooth and a bit of Liberty of London peacock feather print which I bought at Haberman Fabrics. I love teal and peacocks, so I will admit to you that I probably would have made an entire top out of the feather print were it not for the crazy price tag. And actually I am a little glad I didn’t because once I got this home I realized that the rows of feathers slope downward across the grain slightly (they’re not straight; you can tell in the pictures that they droop to the left). And it’s not diagonal enough to look purposeful, so I’m not sure what’s up with that. You’d think for $44/yard they could make sure the design ran straight across the fabric?!? I guess not.


My main goal this year for myself was to keep it simple. Last year I had such ambitious plans for my spring tops I just about killed myself trying to execute them and the results were not exactly great (the clown top springs most readily to mind). So this year I decided to make a pattern that didn’t require sleeves, a trend which seems to be pretty popular right now. In other words, the top is comprised of two main pieces (front and back), along with a few other embellishments (in this case there’s a placket and some ties).  And I’ll mention it plainly since I always get this question: this is my own, hand-drawn, not-available pattern.

I find I really like empire waisted tops, but wanted this one to be slimming in front (read: not maternity-esque). The ties begin at the side of the placket which creates a flat portion in the center of the top which I think looks nice, rather than being gathered or baggy. It also (unfortunately) creates that little crease at the bottom of the placket but I don’t mind that too much.

sometimes windblown is sexy. most of the time it’s just funny.

The only thing that I would like to add to this top yet is pockets. I love pockets!

Don’t forget to VOTE every day this week for your favorite tops! You can access the current vote from the left sidebar of my blog! And have you seen our awesome prizes here and here? Fun!

36 thoughts on “Rae’s Spring Top: Liberty Tunic with ties

  1. ummm, rae, this is totally amazing! i love all the details and the fabrics are super amazing. I hope you make this one into a pattern, I love it! I'm trying to make a sleeveless top for my girls, just attempted making my own pattern. eek, I'm nervous to sew it up!

  2. That's a great top! I almost choked when you wrote the price–I had no idea Liberty prints were so much!! And that little crease you don't mind couldn't be placed any more perfectly; it doesn't stand out at all (even after you pointed it out). very nice.

  3. I love this–the Liberty print is a great touch, and I think using just a little makes it even more special. They styling with the necklace is perfect.

  4. Rae, I love this! So pretty and simple, and perfect to showcase the Liberty fabric…I have always looked at their fabric online and never pulled the trigger on actually purchasing it. I am going to try out a top like this, if it turns out OK I will put some pics up 🙂

  5. Oh, simplicity was the way to go – this turned out really well! I love the placket with side ties – it really is slimming and makes for a lovely silhouette.

  6. I love this, it is so pretty and flattering. I hope you don't mind if I make a version? Only, mine will have to be maternity-esque. 🙂 Wish I could vote for it!

  7. I read carefully through the whole of this post looking for where you might link to the pattern, and could have cried when you said it was one you'd made up! You should totally sell this pattern.
    Just saying.

  8. Hello lovely lady! don't you look gorgeous!!! Love the top, like love it!!!! I want one too! and I'm with ya on the pockets…I can't get enough of them!

  9. This top is great. You should think of selling it. I'm sure it would sell like hotcakes. I'd buy it!

  10. Oh this top fits you perfectly! Great sewing! Love how the focus is on the beautiful print. Great way to show off a fabric, especially if you don't have much of it. And Rae, you should always include your face in your photos because you're just so darn cute!

  11. I love that it's not completely Liberty. I think it showcases the fabric better. Gorgeous!

  12. My reaction was same as Rachel T's… was so disappointed I couldn't just buy the pattern. I really want to make one of these for myself, being rather voluptuous that style is very slimming on me. Please, please make the pattern! 🙂

  13. Miss Rae – this turned out so lovely! There are so many things I love about this top – the print, the no sleeves, and I too loooove empire waist tops, but totally hate that I often get mistaken for having a bun in the oven – this one is so flattering!

  14. You look beautiful. I have been looking for a peacock feather print, I am so glad you shared your top with us!

  15. So gorgeous! I love it all, the simple lines while still showing of the Liberty fabric…I second everyone's emotions, please sell this pattern! It's such a great fit.

  16. I love how you used a smallish piece of a rather expensive fabric! That's a great, thrifty idea! Beautiful!

  17. I agree that the peacock fabric is to die for (price-wise also, but I mean it's gorgeous!)
    Love that necklace too! Where did you get that?

  18. love, love, LOVE this Rae! That liberty fabric is perfect- and just the right amount, too! You are amazing girl!

  19. The top is *beautiful*! But what I really want to know about is your necklace – I covet it!

  20. I really like that tunic and it's perfect just having that touch of color/pattern to it. It looks fantastic on you and the necklace really adds to it as well!

  21. Ooooo … I love the peacock fabric and the way you have it displayed in the shirt. So, so nice!

  22. That is a fabulous top! Very flattering and super chic. I think that's a great idea for using a small piece of such an expensive fabric. I was just looking at some Liberty of London fabric at Fabric.com last night. I was ogling all the beautiful patterns until I saw the price tag…Fabric.com has some prints for almost half price at $23/yd. It's still too much for me to spend on enough for a whole shirt. But a little detail on a shirt or a skirt? An excellent idea.

  23. I love it, especially the genius touch of using just a little smidge of the uber-expensive liberty print; I've coveted that very print for ages but could never bite the bullet to buy a whole yard (if I did I would be too afraid to ever cut into it!). But how utterly infuriating that the print isn't straight vis-a-vis the grain! I agree with you, for that price, it really, really should be.

  24. Hey thanks for all the nice comments!!

    As soon as I can figure out how to clone myself I'll have that pattern out to you guys…kidding, sortof. But truly, I will keep it in mind that this is a favorite. 🙂

    For those asking about the necklace: it's a JCrew necklace, but it was purchased about 4 years ago unfortunately, so I don't think it's available anymore.

  25. Love this! And I agree with the others, I would totally buy this pattern. This is exactly the kind of thing I would consider making for myself (instead of sewing for my kids all the time).

  26. I'm late commenting, but just gotta say, I love this top! That's really strange that the Liberty fabric print is crooked. But you made it work anyway! I'm a Royal Oaker, BTW. I always ogle the Liberty fabrics (and many more) at Haberman's but am too cheap to splurge. Maybe I need to on just a tiny bit, eh.

  27. The Tunic design is simplistic and truly elegant. This tunic is great for casual day time summer tunic as well as a unique evening tunic top. Kudos!

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