Let’s have a Spring Top Sewalong, shall we?

Oh, yeeeeaaaaaah! It’s that time again, y’all. It’s time to sew for YOU, and it’s the perfect time, because the sun is starting to reappear and with it enough daylight to see that the sad sweater you’ve been wearing every day for the past four months is not going to cut it anymore. The birds have decided that this side of the planet is actually habitable! The air smells like worms!! It’s time for a Spring Top Sewalong!!! And let’s not drag our feet here, people. Because you know that any day now there will be another KCW(C)*, and then it will be all “let’s sew for the KIDS!” again, so there’s no time like the present to sneak in that selfish sewing. CHOP CHOP, LADIES! LET ME HEAR THOSE MACHINES HUMMING.

This year’s Spring Top Sewalong will run from now until Friday, April 19. I’m going on vacation next week (can you say family train trip to San Francisco? That’s right, you heard me), though, so I probably won’t do anything top-related for at least a week yet. It will be pared down a bit from the sewalongs of yore in the sense that it will JUST be a sewalong, in the simplest sense, without the additional contest. When I think about the essence of this event, it’s this: a challenge to sew something for yourself, for a change, for heaven’s sake. I don’t think anyone will really mind if we skip all the craziness behind the scenes, the contest entry forms, the rotating panels of judges scoring each and every top, numerous spreadsheets and totals, setting up multiple rounds of reader voting…will they? And if you do mind, you’d better not say so, because you don’t want to be THAT person who is only in it for the prizes, because that would look pretty selfish, now, wouldn’t it? Do you see how deftly I just got myself out of a shit-ton of work while at the same time making it look like you’d be a jerk to complain? What a freaking genius I am.

Here how this year’s Spring Top Sewalong will work:

Sew a top (or more) for yourself!

Spring tops in this sewalong should be made by you, for you.ย For these purposes, a “top” is something that covers the majority of your top half, but not the majority of your bottom half. You can see where that would put leggings and negligees, can’t you? (NOT TOPS.) We can have the Unmentionables Sewalong in June. JUST KIDDING. The term “spring” indicates that it should be sewn in spring, THIS spring, to be precise, as opposed to last year. But, generous soul that I am, let’s define “spring tops” as tops completed after March 1, despite the wintry weather of this past month. There is no limit on the number of tops you may sew for yourself this year, since I don’t have to score them all, so knock yourself out. Need inspiration? You can find all of the tops from years past on my Spring Tops page.

Share it with us!

The Spring Top Sewalong 2013 Photo Pool will again function as the primary means to share your photos, either of tops in progress, finished tops, or piles of fabric you wish were a top. Please share those photos! Do try to remember that text-heavy and multi-photo images don’t play very well in feature mosaics.ย Be sure to include a link to your blog if you post about your top.

If you post your Spring Top Wewalong photos on Instagram or Twitter, add the #springtopsewalong hashtag to your description so we can find it. Don’t forget send them to Flickr while you’re Instagramming them, and then add them to the pool that way, as well (does everyone know how to do that?).


This year I think it would be fun to see more photos of tops in progress, more people discussing fabrics and patterns, and helping each other out if necessary. I felt like the format we had before (where you could only post one finished photo of your top) was a bit limiting that way. It meant that the pool was more of a final show and tell, instead of helping us all sew along with each other. So let’s SEW ALONG!

Top Tops
I’ll feature my favorite tops from the pool here on the blog throughout the sewalong, as part of the fun. Maybe I’ll even hand out crowns again! It’s going to be great!!

Take a button

Feel free to use a button on your blog or website to help me spread the word. The html/widget code for the button can be found at the bottom of this page (scroll allllll the way down). Adjust the width by entering the width of your choice in the width=”x” area of the code. Anything up to 200 pixels wide should look OK.

Let the sewalong begin! What are you going to sew this year?

*I have it on good authority that KCW will run this spring from April 22-29, so that’s perfect timing, right? First get yourself all prettified during STS, and then you can refocus on getting the little blighters looking spiffed up and presentable during KWC.ย Am immensely pleased with self at clever planning.

33 thoughts on “Let’s have a Spring Top Sewalong, shall we?

  1. Well this seems like a fun and friendly way to do things! Family train trip to San Francisco sounds AMAZING, and I’ve just seen your exciting news over on the Cloud 9 blog too! Triple yay!

  2. Yaaaaayyyyy!!! I did Kermit arms in your honor when I saw this ๐Ÿ™‚ This is my favorite sewing event, it’s what inspired me to start sewing for myself 3 years ago! I think the contest aspect of it has always been secondary to the fun of everyone sewing awesome tops for themselves ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Woot! I was wondering if we were going to do the top sewalong this year. Been meaning to try out some maternity tops and now I have motivation ๐Ÿ™‚ btw train trip to San Fran… Either going to be super cool or super crazy! Can’t wait to hear how it turns out ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I am in too.
    And I live in the bay area.
    Do you need any advice for fabric shopping here?
    and you have to take your kids to the new mission dolores park playground
    hope the weather will be better next week.
    Please don’t forget to order tickets to Alcatraz in advance if you plan to go there, often they are sold out days ahead – do not just walk to the pier and expect that you can hop on a boat ๐Ÿ™‚

    • This made me smile.

      Scene 1 – “Come on Mr. Rae, Come on E & C, let’s go on down to the pier and Hop on a Boat to Alcatraz! It’s Gonna Be Great.”
      Scene 2 – After “drop-off” Rae high-tailing it away in a speedboat-for some just-Mom time! :0)

      Have a wonderful time making family memories, Rae!

  5. In! Last night I was just thinking about how silly it is to make all these nice things that my daughter will wear for a year or so max and rarely anything for myself. Glad to have an excuse to start a new project for myself.

  6. Yesss!! I’ve never sewn for myself, time to figure it out, since the kids have way too many clothes as it is. (Although that didn’t stop me from making a sweet little Geranium dress for my 5 year old that had me feeling very grateful toward you last night, thank you!)

    Family train trip….wow. I had to read that bit twice. Enjoy!

  7. I had been waiting for this announcement to share my photos. I already started earlier this month and am happy to share those endeveavors and plan on sewing more in the next few weeks as well. I love that we are sharing works in progress as well so we can get help or ideas on finishing. Thanks so much.

    ***And I look forward to a snippet of info regarding your little collaboration with cloud9.

  8. Ooh that’s great news! I’ve been plotting a top for myself and this will help motivate me to actually do it.

    Planning a Pinterest board for ideas at all?

  9. ooh, I had been working on a top for myself and then got tripped up on the muslin. This is just the push I need! Thanks! Have fun on your train trip! Sounds like a cool adventure. : )

  10. I’m in! Yay! I began sewing last year and have yet to make myself something to wear. Time to get on that.

  11. ok this may actually get me sewing again. And bravo to you Rae. Fabric?!? Can’t wait. Aaand, a future in politics? Very nice spin on the no contest this year. Actually I’m excited to see some of the WIP’s. I love going back to the roots of Spring Top Week.

  12. Yay! I’ve been following this sewalong the past few years but never managed to join in, but this year I’m in the middle of some Spring / Summer sewing so timing is perfect!

  13. Oh, I love this plan for the Spring Top Sewalong! I will definitely be joining in. I need to make a top or two for our crazy three-week cross-country road trip from Florida to Oregon and back in May. (We’re turning the trip to Quilt Market into our grandest homeschool fieldtrip yet!) No, I don’t think a train trip to San Francisco sounds crazy at all! It sounds like fun!

    You can send pictures directly from Instagram to Flickr? I had no idea. I’ll have to go see if I can figure that out!

    • Well that was easy. The Flickr button is right there on the Instagram share page! I don’t know why I’d never noticed that before.

  14. This is just the kick in the pants I need to sew some clothing for myself! And I just got the Washi pattern for my birthday so I think a tunic version is in order ๐Ÿ™‚ can’t wait to sew along!

  15. YEAH!!!!! You worked it out! So excited to participate, I’ve got ideas – lots of them. Let’s see what can be accomplished. And hey Mrs. Bigshot, congrats on the Cloud9 line too! v. excited 4 u!!!!!

  16. Yay, I’m going to give it a go – never sewn a top for me before so it’ll be something new!
    So an Autumn top sewalong it is for me (since it’s Autumn heading to Winter here)!

    Have a lovely holiday!

  17. I’m super excited to join in ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a new pattern for a shirt that’s supposed to arrive in the mail ANY DAY and I went fabric shopping just the other day for fabric I love for it ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. There are times of the year that I can’t even think about sewing clothing for me, but I always want a spring top. Thanks, this was the bump I needed to do one, and congrats on the fabric designing news!

  19. so i’m half way done a dress, this could be the push i need to finish it this week. ( ya not exactly a top but hey the rules are nice and loose this year ) i have a pillow case top in mind too so… heres to hoping i get both done. thanks Rae for the little push

  20. you are a genius! and the new approach is perfectly old-school.

    can’t wait to see that flickr pool grow and grow – the inspiration lasts all year long. thanks!

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