I found a winner! By now you might be tired of hearing about me raving on and on about my sewing projects with knit fabrics, but with fitting so damn difficult without any help, knits always give me the best results. And in Butterick B5495 I have found my first go-to repeatable pattern I think.
This pattern is described as “Loose fitting tops with front drape gathered into loop, dropped shoulders, seam details and stitched hems.” Although described as loose-fitting, in the illustration I think it looks rather more fitted, and it was when I made it up with very nice shaping to match the body. I always image loose-fitting to describe more of a straight up and down tunic, and this one is so much better.
I only had 1 yard of my intended fabric and couldn't afford to mess up, so I broke with tradition and made up a test garment first. I bought the fabric from Fabric Mart and along with the main fabric, I got a free bundle which included this lime green knit. It's certainly not a color I would usually wear so I thought it would be great to test the fit on this top.
This fitted really nicely right away without me having to make any alterations. Which is extremely unusual! In this solid color you can see the drape of the fabric well, and the seams. It has a pleat at the shoulder, curved hems going from the center drape to the side seams and a lot of gathering in the center which I really liked.
It's a bit wrinkled across the back, but I don't mind that. In fact I liked it so much once it was on, including the lime green, that I decided it should not be a test, I was going to wear this for sure! So I decided to press it, and of course that is when disaster struck.
Ooops. I think the iron may have been too hot. Damn it. Just when I found a great top and loved the color, I went and ruined it with a great big burnt hole in the front.
Anyway, now I knew I loved this top and didn't need to make any alterations I went ahead and ran it up – and it's so quick and easy to make! The ‘sleeves' are built on, the back is all one piece and even the front is easy to sew, and then just gathered up with a loop of fabric. This second one was done in no time.
(Excuse these less than happy looking photos. My resident photographer/husband was in a hurry and really couldn't be bothered today. You can tell by the look on my ‘not impressed' face.)
This knit fabric came from Fabric Mart and was described as onion skin knit. It's certainly unusual and quite fine and light, perfect for the hot weather here in the Caribbean. Sadly its now sold out but they always carry a wide range of interesting knit fabrics and although I order everything online unseen, I've always been delighted with what they send, including the free fabric bundles from time to time.
So I'll be certainly making up this pattern again. I think it looks great in a solid or a print, it's quick and easy to sew, nice to wear and I recommend it if you are new to knit projects.
If you are new, you might also want to sign up for the Sewing with Knits course which is on special for So Sew Easy readers.
And if you are reading this on or before 14th August, you can also sign up to win the course for free.
Authored by: Deby at So Sew Easy
I love your blog and this top looks so flattering I will get the pattern and give it a go. I think it would be flattering and camouflage my tummy area well. Thanks for the inspiration!
I hope it works out well for you Jane. I used to wear this one a lot when I worked in the office, but now you have reminded me about it, I think I’ll bring it out into my casual wardrobe too because I’m sure it would work with jeans or shorts.
i love this pattern. does anyone have ideas of how to make it using non-stretch? i’d like to try it in a sheer.
You would have to consider how to get it on and off if it doesn’t stretch. Maybe a row of cute buttons in the back?
i found an article about resizing knit patterns. i guess i’ll just measure all the pieces carefully first. or add a side zip. we’ll see! i have a bunch of cheap sheer fabric to use as a test 🙂
It’s so nice (or should I say “sew nice”) to see a blogger on these linky parties that sews with patterns! I’ve wanted to try this one but have hesitated becasue I have a potbelly and I’m worried it wouild look like a maternity top on me. It looks fabulous on you – very flattering. My problem with knits is not beable to machine sew the hems without getting bumps. 🙁 Great job on yours!
You might find you need a knit stay tape on the knits. I always use one on my hems. It holds the fabric firm as it goes through the machine and stops it getting all stretched out by the pressure and the stitching so when it comes out the other end, its all still nice and flat and neat. This is one of the many tips and tricks I learned in the Sewing with Knits course – and now I want to use stretch fabrics all the time! This top was nice and flattering on me with my little tummy but it does hug in tighter under the bust so even with the gathers falls quite close to the body in front. Thanks for leaving a comment Jill.
That is a great pattern – such a flattering style. It looks great !
Wow, this is great pattern…it looks good on everyone! You’re a beautiful seamstress! Thanks for sharing at the Project Stash
Burning a hole in it just after you’ve finished it… sounds like something I would do. I love the print on the 2nd shirt though. Great job! Stop by my Friday’s Five Features and link up this post.
I am so jealous. I wish I could sew clothes. I tried a pair of pajama pants once and it was a disaster. I am thinking of giving it another go though. I would love to be able to sew my own clothes. I’m sorry you burned your first top but your second one is also beautiful and looks great on you. 🙂
Hi Karla, I would recommend if you want to learn to sew that you start with the Sew A Skirt series I just recently finished off. It really does start from the very basics and goes through every single step in detail. Follow them all and at the end you can get a really nicely fitting and nicely finished lined skirt. It’s not too difficult when you break down everything into the smaller steps you need. One step at a time and I think you would love the skirt.
Hey good for you! Just found you on the blog link at SewManyWays.
Looks like you have been having fun! Satisfying isn’t it!
Guess I will have to link up!
Love this top. I also have this pattern but I made it too narrow on the waist and it didn’t fit right. This post has inspired me to give it another whirl. I love reading your posts!
Hi Deby! Your top turned out so cute! I have that same pattern – bought it a while ago and have yet to make it. I did cut out all the pieces I just have not cut the fabric and sewed it yet. Both of yours turned out great! I am inspired to dig out my pattern and make mine now.
It’s well worth making, and not hard to do at all. I’m trying to think now if I made any alterations to this as I was making it, for fit or any other reason, and I think I might have just changed the length of the gathering piece a little. I guess it depends on bust size as well as preference, but I think I just sewed and wore it – easy.
These tops look wonderful! Great fabric choices!
Ha ha – you would say that! Honestly though, although I had some reservations about ordering fabric online without seeing it, I’ve always been delighted with the quality of what I have received from Fabric Mart. I only wish I could join the monthly swatch club – that’s a great idea.
I am new to knits, though I did take a different knits class from craftsy. Would you recommend this pattern or your drape top as a first project?
Hi Kim, thanks for commenting. I would say my drape top is even less fussy to make. This pattern requires some knit interfacing, edge finishing for sleeves and hemline, and a v-neckline. The summer drape top is simpler with straight lines to sew and a few gathers. If you are new to knits, that one will probably be more familiar to you and finishing the bottom edge is optional. But once you have your knit sewing techniques mastered, you should find this gathered top a breeze too.
I love, love the printed one. The detail in between is totally cute too. Great look on you!
Hi Becky, Although the solid color shows the design more, I love the printed one too! I’m certainly going to be making more of these. You can make it tunic length as well, and I wonder what it might look like extended as a dress? Hmmm.
I am new to your blog and loving it! I learned how to sew as a child, did so for most of my life, and somehow got away from it. For the last 3 years, I have been revisiting sewing and there seems to be so much to learn. Things have changed a lot in the last few decades. I now have a new combo sewing/embroidery machine and a great serger. Sewing knits has never been my forte’, but I am determined to learn. On the other hand, now that I am inspired to sew again, I am hugely disappointed by the fabric selections in my local sewing stores. Thanks so much for mentioning “Fabric Mart” in your blog. They have a wonderful selection, especially knit fabrics.
Those tops came out great, Deby! I’ll likely buy the pattern based on your awesome results. I love learning sewing tips through your trials and errors. Keep teaching us!
I agree! Thanks Deby!
I really love that style of top, I have bought many, I have to say knits scare the life out of me but I would try this.
Deby, this is a really cute pattern. I’m glad you salvaged the lime green one, and I like the black and white one too.
I forgot to say “NO, I don’t think anyone is tired of hearing about you sewing with knits”.
Deby, hi from Huntsville TX, where it’s HOT and HUMID also! Like Wanda said, that lime green top was worth fixing. It looks great, but I really love the black/white one. I may have to try this pattern. I saw your post about making the duct tape dummy a while back and never put it together that it was you! I just looked again and it IS you, with longer hair. I LOVE getting your emails and am anxious to see what you’ve come up with next. I just finshed the Craftsy Sewing with Knits course. I have the supplies. I just need to get up the nerve to go make something. You are always so encouraging. Thank you!
You really can’t go wrong with this one Robin. I’ll be certainly making more. But if you’ve not sewn with knits before, then do try some of the techniques you learn in the course first. I never have a problem these days, now I know what I’m doing! (Fingers crossed)
Interesting I’m form Conroe,Tx right down the road form you. How funny. In all the www who would think we meet on here.
Yep, it sure is a small world (as they say)!!! (I wonder how you communicate outside of this blog.)
By email and phone. drop me a line sometime. firstname.lastname@example.org
First let me say. I love getting your emails. They are always so good.
Next fix that Lime green shirt just make a tuck and sew it closed no one will ever notice since there are gathers there anyway. Next thing love your choice of colors Lime. It is one of my favorite. Being in hot climate makes lime see so cool.Love orange, and yellow for summer too. See I live outside Houston and it get hot and humid here 101 with 80% humidity right now.
Next make yourself a dummy.It is so much easier to fit then you don’t have to do the try on and off all the time. Just make it fit dummy. You can go to youtube and see how many different kinds are made cheaply.My mom and I made me one in a afternoon with brown movers tape tape. Once harden(used kind you wet so it would be mover plyable around curves) it works great.I hung in on a old dummy form I found at a garage sale .You can make one (stand) look at youtube shows how to make a stand too. Makes life and sewing so much better. Keep you the excellent tutorials.
Hi Wanda, I fixed that Lime Green top just like you said – and you are right, with all the gathers there, I just sewed it closed with a vertical seam, and it doesn’t even really notice. Perfect – I thought it was ruined, and now it is saved.
I did have a try at making a duct tape dummy, and it started out OK until I used too much expanding foam and made a monster! You can read about it here. I should have taken some pictures of the ‘deformed’ result but never really planned to blog about it. I’ve mentioned it to my hubby about helping me with another, but he always seems too busy….I agree it would make fitting so much easier.
Thanks for taking the time to write, I appreciate your advice and your kind comments.
I didn’t put foam in mine. I used the brown paper tape you wet. Then left it one for a while till it dried some. I put fan on me to speed it along. Then cut down the back and re-taped it.It was very hard and didn’t have to foam. Just a thought.Is still hard after 15 years but doesn’t fit anymore.Need a new one (160lb weight loss).But worked like a charm for me when it was used.