Spring Top Wrapup

Well, folks, Spring Top Sewalong 2014 has come to an end. Didn’t we have fun, though? Let’s take one more little dip into the Flickr Spring Top Sewalong 2014 Pool:

Sarah blogged about her self-drafted top here.


Ashleigh’s adorable hoodie has probably been a go-to during this cool spring.


Bubalo Jo’s modified Tova.


Meg’s Lisette Attache looks like the ideal white blouse to me!


I love Nicole’s Summer Concert Tee.


Jessie’s Riding Peplum is perfect and springy with skinny jeans. And those boots!


Emily’s modified Sorbetto tank.


You can still learn about Spring Top Sewalong here; and check out the last month’s worth of your photos in the Flickr Pool and on Instagram with the tag #springtopsewalong.

Thanks for participating! I hope you’ve had as much fun as I have!

More of your spring tops!

posted by jess

Only four days left of the Spring Top Sewalong! Thought I’d give you a sampling of some of my favorites from the Flickr Pool.

Here’s Jo’s Hi-Lo Top in such a pretty rosy print:


Michelle of Handmade Martini upcycled an old shirt for this self-drafted this tank and blogged about it here.


Jessi made a bunch of Lane Raglan tops; I’m diggin’ this sweatshirt one!


Natalie blogged about her peplum top here,


Spring Top Sewalong 2014 is underway! Read more here; add your photos to Instagram with the tag #springtopsewalong and/or add your photos to the Flickr Pool to play along!

Final Week of Spring Top Sewalong

This is the last and final week of the Spring Top Sewalong! Do you have plans to make something for the sewalong but just haven’t gotten to it yet? Or have you been a machine this year (I know some of you have been — and I’m super impressed!)? As an Expert Procrastinator myself, I know there are some of you out there who intended to sew along this year but thought, “eh! I’ve got plenty of time!!” Well, if that’s you, it’s time to light a fire under yer arse, because this is the last week! As an added bonus, you can sport your new spring tops for Me Made May 2014, which is a great way to show off your handmade creations. If you need some inspiration, check out these lovely creations from the Spring Top Sewalong photo pool (or the #springtopsewalong tag on Instagram):

Personally I am going to be happy if I get just ONE top sewn by the end of this sewalong — I had one failed attempt last week but maybe I’ll get back on the spring-top-sewing horse this week if Hugo takes a long nap *crosses fingers and toes*!

Happy Sewing! And PS..this week I’ll be giving away one of each of my women’s sewing patterns, so don’t miss it — stay tuned!!

Spring Top Sewalong 2014 is underway! Read more here; add your photos to Instagram with the tag #springtopsewalong and/or add your photos to the Flickr Pool to play along!

Your spring tops!

Here are a few of my favorites from the Spring Top Sewalong to inspire you today…


Love the mushroom knit from monaluna that Sibyl used for this Nutmeg top! (blogged here)


This gorgeous jersey knit Wiksten has a beautiful yoke detail (blogged here)


this adorable Scout Tee variation from stitch&cappuccino


Hungie Gungie’s gorgeous Ruby Top (blogged here); I love the simple colors she chose!


Brooke’s beautiful Sugar Pop Top (blogged here), perfect for spring!

Also: Loving Larissa’s self-drafted pattern, from a Japanese children’s pattern: blogged here, and Teri’s awesome swingy Plantain Top, blogged here. This is the second top she’s made with that cool anchor knit, and check out Teri’s blog for even more amazing tops!

Spring Top Sewalong 2014 is underway! Read more here; add your photos to Instagram with the tag #springtopsewalong and/or add your photos to the Flickr Pool to play along!

Ruby Sparkles

posted by jess

Well, Summer arrived the other day. And my hair said, “We’re thinking big.” I should have prepared myself, because when I posted this photo on IG, my hairdresser later texted me, “Wow Nice texture! I’m sure that will be a lot of fun throughout the humid season.” I’m strategically not letting you see the right-hand side of my head in these photos, because it has a different hairdo.

Whoops, I didn’t hijack Rae’s blog to talk about my hair though; I actually wanted to do some show and tell from my own Spring Top Sewing. I just finished my favorite Ruby to date, and I thought I’d share the mods I made.

I cut out the fabric for the top and didn’t change the length at all. You can hardly tell, but I put an elastic in the hem. I sewed the hem exactly as indicated in the pattern, but left a 1″ opening to thread a 1/4″ elastic through the entire hem. I held it in place with a safety pin to try it on, then sewed the elastic ends together before finishing off the hem. I have a couple of store-bought tops that have the really loose elastic in the hem, and I like how it gives the top a little bit more shape on me.

j ruby 2

Instead of sewing gathers in the back, I made a box pleat.

ruby back

I followed Rae’s yoke lining video tutorials, and used bias binding for the exposed portion of the armholes.

Instead of turning the bias binding to the outside of the garment like Rae did here, I sewed the bias tape to the outside of the armhole, then folded it all the way in before topstitching (Rae did that on this version).

j ruby 1

Finally, a word about the fabric. For the yoke, I used Kaffe Fasset Shot Cottons (colorway lipstick for the outer, and apricot for the lining). The main fabric for the top is a score from the covered Bazaar in Istanbul. There is some really gaudy stuff there, let me tell you. This print is less visually stimulating than a lot of what I saw there, believe it or not. It’s a simple black background with fuchsia, peach, and pink fireworks, upon which gold and pink roses have been superimposed. Then they glued on some sequin-like sparkles for good measure. Honestly, I don’t usually wear much in the way of shiny/sparkly, but I think the solid yoke contrast helps calm things down a bit, and this top is crazy comfy. I think I’ll be wearing this a lot!

Spring Top Sewalong 2014 is underway! Read more here; and add your photos to the Flickr Pool!

Let the Spring Top Roundups Begin!

It is **about time** we showed off some of the awesome tops you’re all making. Holy smokes, is the Spring Top Sewalong Flickr Pool ever full of good stuff, people! Thanks for taking the time to put your photos in there. It’s fun to see what patterns are trending, what fabrics everyone is loving, and how each sewist adds her own flair to different designs.

Here’s just a little slice of what we’re loving these days. Where applicable, the links below the photos will take you directly to each person’s blog post. From there, you’ll get more info about the pattern and in a lot of cases you’ll get to see more photos too!
STS14 mosaic 1
Above, Left to Right: Teri’s Josephine/Washi XP Mashup; Jess’s reverse appliqueBree’s JosephineTina’s wrap top.

STS14 mosaic 4
Above, Left to Right: Lecsmiscellany’s LaurelSusanna’s Easy Cap Sleeve TeeCindy’s striped knit topEirenep’s Scout.

Melanie’s hand-embroidered Portrait Blouse gets a close-up here. Isn’t it lovely??

STS14 mosaic 2
Above, Left to Right: Jessica’s Ava; Heidi’s Zippy Top; Brooke’s Weekend Getaway; Polkadotelefant’s Kimono Top.

STS14 mosaic 3
Above, Left to Right: Tammy’s Staple BlouseEricka’s Boxy Tee; Maria’s Flower Petal Top; Kuka & Bubu’s Sheer Yoke Shirt.

Spring Top Sewalong 2014 is underway! Read more here; and add your photos to the Flickr Pool!

Announcing Spring Top Sewalong 2014

Hey everyone! Jess here, your official cheerleader/substitute teacher while Rae snuggles her new baby boy!

It’s spring, right? Spring is acting like a bit of a tease this year, but I think it’s time to haul out the light, bright and breezy fabrics and get a jump on our warm-weather wardrobes. So let’s rev our sewing machine engines! Let’s wind our bobbins! Let’s have a Spring Top Sewalong!

The Spring Top Sewalong is a personal sewing challenge to sew at least one top for yourself this spring and share it to inspire others to do the same! Rae started the sewalong (then called “Spring Top Week”) back in 2009 as a contest along with posting a top she made each day, and has been doing it every year since. Over the past couple of years we’ve scaled it back a bit (because ahem, contests take a TON of work, and AHEM posting a top a day for a week is a bit cray-cray), but the basic concept has remained the same: a fun opportunity to inspire each other to sew something for ourselves for spring!

This year’s Spring Top Sewalong will start next week and run until mid-May (we’ll wrap it up May 11), so you’ll have plenty of time to sew. But don’t wait too long! We want to feature as many of your spring tops here on the blog as possible, so the sooner you post something, the better. We’re pretty flexible, so if you’ve already completed a top for yourself this spring, feel free to include it.

We’ll kick off the sewalong next week Monday with some great sewing pattern giveaways. A few independent designers have offered up copies of some our favorite top patterns to get us jazzed for spring tops, and we’ll give away some of Rae’s patterns too. Come back on Monday for the first giveaway. Woohoo!!

It’s easy to join the sewalong! There are really just two basic things you need to do:

1 : SEW a top for yourself. And don’t feel like you need to stop at ONE TOP. Repeat with as many tops as you want!! The more tops you make, the bigger your spring wardrobe, right?

2 : SHARE a photo of your top(s), on YOU, in any or all of these ways:

  • on Flickr, join the Spring Top Sewalong Flickr Pool and add your photos. Remember that square photos without text or big watermarks are easiest for us to feature here on the blog.
  • on Instagram or Twitter, use the #springtopsewalong hashtag to post photos of your tops and check out what others have made. We’ll post photos from IG here on the blog in addition to the Flickr photos. Did you know that Instagram also has a feature to send photos to Flickr? Feel free to use it!

Feel free to post in-progress shots of tops in addition to finished garments, and of course, be sure to tell us all about it so we can be inspired!

A few other things:

  • You know Rae has been a *leeetle* bit busy with the wee Hugo Marvin, but I think she’ll pop in and say hello once in awhile over the next few weeks. And I have a top or two coming to life in my sewing lair that I’m excited to show you.
  • Need inspiration? You can find all of the tops from years past on the Spring Tops page.
  • If you blog about your top, be sure to include a link if you blogged about it so we can read all about it, and link to the pattern you followed, if applicable.
  • Help us spread the word by reposting any of the images in this post on IG or your blog if you’re going to play along!

Grab a Button:

Spring Top Button 2014 - 600 x 600 px

Let’s start sewing!

Yellow Stripe Tops

Today, a pair of spring tops, one for me…

spring top 2013 - 14

Yeah, pouty face.

spring top 2013 - 16

and one for Clementine.

spring top 2013 - 27 Please do not pin or use this picture of Clementine without permission. Thanks!


My top was made with the Staple Dress pattern by my friend April. If you haven’t heard of it yet you are crazy, because it is blowing up the Internets!!! I shortened it from a dress to a top by cutting it off about 11-12″ below the shirring line on the pattern (I think). I love how easy this pattern is: it literally comes together in five minutes, and then you spend another bit of time binding the arms and neck and shirring it — and then it’s done. Super fast and fun sew!!

Clementine’s top is a mini-Staple top that I drew up freehand. Other than being a bit big around the neck, it’s pretty cute. Love the mini-version, and Clementine clearly does, too; she’s worn it almost every day since I made it. Both tops were made with a really lightweight knit that I think I got from the Fabric Fairy. It is pretty sheer, and I love the fluorescent yellow stripes.

spring top 2013 - 24

I did not heed April’s (sound) advice in the pattern instructions to try it on before shirring and cinch the waist to figure out where the shirring should really go; as a result I ended up putting in two lines and then taking one out later. I still want to try the dress with a hi/lo hem, and I have a few yards of navy rayon waiting to become a Staple Dress. Can’t wait!!!

Camp Stitchalot May 2013

I also had to show you this picture of Melody and April and Katy all wearing their Staple Dresses at Camp Stitchalot (you can read my post about it here). April made Melody’s dress for Quilt Market to feature Melody’s new fabric line, Ruby Star Polka Dot. The combination of the dress and the arrows is AMAZEBALLS. Both April and Katy’s dresses were made with Anna Maria Horner’s Field Study fabrics. This is the first dress Katy ever made…so proud of that girl!! They all look amazing, don’t you think?

One last behind-the-scenes picture of me combing Clementine’s hair (which she HATES) while she was holding the camera remote and firing away.

spring top 2013 - 23

Spring Top Sewalong

Hi, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and, if you’re in the States, a wonderful holiday, as well! Our family had a lovely vacation week last week in North Carolina with my parents and seesters and brothers-in-law. Elliot and Clementine are the only two grandchildren, and they certainly love having the attention of that many grownups. We had a nice week on the beach, had great weather, and I got to relax and unwind after a busy weekend at Quilt Market in Portland the weekend before. I can’t wait to show you some pictures from Quilt Market!

I’m wrapping up the Spring Top Sewalong this week, so today I wanted to show you a bunch of lovely tops from the sewalong photo group that caught my eye. Aren’t these great?? There are even more fantastic tops in the pool.

STS 2013 Roundup 2

TOP Left, Middle, Right; BOTTOM Left, Right

Nicole blogged about that cool striped tee (Bottom Right) here.

STS 2013 Roundup 4

Left, Right Top (way to self-draft your pattern, Becca!), Right Bottom

STS 2013 Roundup 1

TOP Left, Right; BOTTOM Left, Right.

STS 2013 Roundup 3

TOP Left, Middle (Teresa blogged about it here), Right; BOTTOM Left, Right

(That’s Kristin modeling her free pattern found here).

You’ll see even more fantastic tops in the Spring Top Sewalong 2013 Flickr Pool!

I have one more of my own tops to blog yet too…so I’ll post that soon!