Free Sewing Pattern – Summer Drape Top

The latest release in my range of free sewing patterns and tutorials – the Summer Drape Top.

Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern

Designed for softly draping knit fabrics, this blouse is easy to make, flattering, cool and strappy, with tummy covering draping and a rounded hemline in the front.  And I've made it with wide enough straps that you should be able to wear a bra with only minimal straps peaking through at the back.  Or don't wear a bra and let it all hang out this summer!

The Summer Drape Top comes in a one-size fits most design.  The pattern is free to download and can be made from less than one yard of fabric.  Great for a beach cover up too, over a bikini top.

This is a long post including lots of photos, all about how to print and piece your digital pattern, cut your fabric and a full step by step photo tutorial on how to stitch your top.

Where to get your free sewing pattern for the Summer Drape Top

Opt In Image
Download the Summer Drape Top Pattern

You can download the pattern and instructions for the Summer Drape Top from my design account at Payhip.  If you don’t already have an account, you will need to sign up to download, but don’t worry.  It’s free, quick and easy.  Add the pattern to your cart, and then checkout – no payment is needed, no address details etc.  Then you can download the pattern in a PDF made of 12 separate sheets of paper.

Trouble downloading or printing?  Check out this article - How to Download and Print Sewing Patterns

Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern

Constructing your PDF pattern.

(Note – these instructions are written assuming you are fairly new to sewing and give plenty of detail.  If you have used digital patterns before, or have sewn similar garments, do skip on through and sorry its so long!  If you are new to sewing, take your time, and do leave a comment if you have any questions.)

First time you've used a digital pattern?  Don't worry, I'll show you what to do.  Load your printer with regular printer paper, open the PDF file and print. Do not select any of the fancy printing options such as center, scale, fit to page etc.  You just want to print it out straight as it is.

If you are worried about printing out at the right size, then just print page 3 first, because this one includes a test box to measure.  The box is drawn at 5cm square, so print this one page, measure the box and if it's 5cm you are good to go.  If not, then you might need to check your print settings to see what settings might need to be changed before printing again.

Once you have all 12 pieces, keep them in order.  Then set them out from left to right, 4 pieces across in a row and then another 4 underneath and the last 4 on the bottom row.  This is how the pieces will be assembled.  Each piece comes with a border which overlaps the next piece of paper, so you should cut off or fold over the top and the right hand side on each piece lining up your cut or fold with the guideline on the printout.

Then note where the letters of the alphabet fall on each sheet.  Letter A matches with letter A, letter B matches with B and so on.  Overlap your pieces, matching up the letters and matching up the pattern lines and stick in place with tape. It should look very much like this–>

Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern

Once you have your jigsaw completed you can read and note any instructions and directions, and then cut out your pattern pieces.  You will have two large pieces and 3 smaller pieces.

Where there are ‘notches'  cut around the black triangles (it doesn't have to be super accurate) so that they point out from the pattern pieces.  This will help you match up your pieces correctly later on. Now your pattern is ready, let's cut some fabric.

Cutting your fabric

  • The front and the back of the top are cut ‘on the fold'.  This means the pattern piece is only for half of the design.  You fold your fabric along the grain, just folding over enough to accommodate the size of your pattern piece.  Then place the edge of the pattern piece on the fold of the fabric and hold it in place there.  You can use proper pattern weights, pins, or even tins of tuna like mine.Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern
  • Before you cut ANYTHING, make sure that you have enough fabric for all of the pattern pieces.  So fold in the other side of the fabric and place the other large piece on the fold.  The 3 strap pieces all need to be cut twice, so while you have the fabric folded place these too and make sure you have enough fabric to cut all the pieces you need.Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern
  • There will probably be enough fabric space left over that you have enough to re-cut the 3 strap pieces if you make a mistake.
  • Once everything is laid out, cut out your five pattern pieces.  Where you get to the black triangle ‘notches', cut a little triangle of fabric sticking out, so you can match the correct pieces later on.  No need to be super accurate with the notches.

Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern

Fabric Recommendations from

I am using heavy intreated canvas. Here are some recommendations of similar materials you can source from

Making up the Summer Drape Top

  • To get the best results with knit fabrics, use a stretch needle.  This has a ball end and will slide through the fabric without piercing it, to give the best finish on knit and stretch fabrics.
  • The seam allowances on this pattern are small, and allow for a serger to be used or an overcasting foot on a regular sewing machine.  The overcasting foot will sew the seam and finish the edges at the same time and give a professional looking finish to your inside seams.
  • If you are using a regular sewing machine and a regular sewing foot, use a small zig-zag stitch for knit fabrics and use a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
  • Take the two main pieces and place one on top of the other with the right sides of your fabric facing each other.  Line up one side seam on the front with the corresponding side seam on the back, keeping the raw edges and the tops and bottom edges even and then pin them into place.Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern
  • Stitch the side seam being careful to keep edges matched, and make sure the hem and arm curve are matched.Summer Drape Top - Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern
  • Repeat for the other side seam to make a tube of fabric.  Note that the front piece is much wider than the back because of the extra gathering.
  • Now turn a small amount of fabric (suggest about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch) to the inside along the entire length of the armhole curve.  Pin and stitch.Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern
  • If you want to, you can do the same with the entire bottom hemline, but most knit fabrics don't fray and often look better and have a better drape if left unfinished.  This is up to you.
  • The front and the back neckline edges need to be gathered.  So set your machine to its longest stitch length, leave good long thread tails and sew a running stitch close to the edge of the fabric.  Do each side of the V separately, front and back.Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern
  • You can draw up the gathers by pulling on the underneath (bobbin) thread and moving the gathers along as you go.  We will do this accurately later.  Set these main pieces aside for now.
  • Time to construct the neckline.  Lay out your fabric pieces and note the notches.  Each strap is made up of three pieces, the front neckline, shoulder strap and back neckline and the notches will help you match up the correct ends.Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern
  • Pin together, right sides facing, and stitch with a narrow hem.  When you get to the point of the V, lift your presser foot and pivot your fabric so you can carry on sewing in a straight line.  Make the point of the V sharp rather than rounded.
  • Repeat until you have two identical straps each made of 3 pieces.Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern
  • Fold each strap in half length-ways, right sides together.  The center section is the only section to be sewn.  Use a narrow hem and stitch the raw edges of the middle section together, with right sides facing, to make a tube.  Then turn each tube the right side out.Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern
  • Now match the center back and center front seams, right sides together.  Stitch the two parts together, pivoting at the V, to make a complete circle.
  • Turn the strap the right way, wrong sides together and press with an iron, carefully matching raw edges.Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern
  • Now it's time to attach the neckline to the body.  Let's start with the back because it has less gathering   Find the center back point of the neckline and the center V of the back main piece and pin them together, right sides facing.  Now match the edge of the main piece with the point where the neckline turns, and the edges are unfinished.Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern
  • The gathers need to be pulled and adjusted to match the length of the neckline piece.  Be careful not to stretch the fabric.  When the gathered side matches the length of the neckline, pin in place keeping all 3 raw edges even, and repeat on the opposite side.Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern
  • When pinned, it will look something like this.Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern
  • Stitch by serging, overcasting or using a wide zig-zag stitch to hold all the layers in place.  Stitch with the gathered side face up so that you can adjust the gathers as you go and make sure they are lying flatly as they go under the presser foot.
  • Repeat this procedure for the front neckline.  You will need to gather up the fabric more at the front than you did for the back.
  • Check your seams, trim any loose threads and you are finished.
  • If you find the top a little loose, you can always take in the side seams, either the whole length or just the top third, by sewing a wider seam and then cutting off the excess.

Summer Drape Top-free sewing pattern

I really hope you enjoy this summer drape top  free sewing pattern for the Summer Drape Top.  If free patterns are your thing, to check out the free patterns page above, and join us on the Pinterest Group Board where we all share our favorite free sewing patterns.  And do check out my other tutorials too.

If you make a top from this pattern, I'd love to see it and hear how you got on.  Do leave a comment or drop me an email.  Especially if you would like your top featured on the site..

If You'd Like To Support Our Site

If you want to help us continue to bring you a wide selection of free sewing patterns and projects, please consider buying us a coffee.  We'd really, really appreciate it.

Opt In Image
Want more free sewing patterns?
Join the So Sew Easy weekly newsletter

If you love to sew, or are learning to sew, and love free patterns, then you'll love being on the mailing list at So Sew Easy. Join me and never miss another fab free pattern or tutorial!  No spam promise.

Bookmark the permalink.

110 Responses to Free Sewing Pattern – Summer Drape Top

  1. Mary says:

    I like the pattern. It is for an average 36″ bust. I have a 45″ bust and after measuring the pattern, I find it too small. Could you please make a bigger one.

  2. senorena peepers says:

    If the pattern is sized to to fit a woman’s bodice from 10- 14, then as the bodice top band is clearly fitted to her body, how can it be correct, i.e., bust circumference ranging from 32 – 38? Bthe way, where is Deb? She seems to no longer be instructing or posting? I miss you Deb. I learned to se a cowl with your instructions.

    • Mayra Cecilia says:

      Deb sold the blog to me in late 2015. The bust has darts that accommodate the above mentioned sizes.

  3. Sharen Gibbons says:

    oh this is so much fun I have to make when it turns summer here.

  4. Cee says:

    I’m still not able to access the patter for the Waterfall Top, which I really like. There are two places in the post for it which say to click to download the pattern, but all I get from either is a 5-page download of HOW to make the top, no pattern pieces. I’ve asked before, but received no response, where can I download the PATTERN file? Could you send it as an attachment to an email to me, please? I would very much appreciate your help with this.
    Yours truly,

    • Mayra Cecilia says:

      Hi Cee, Not all patterns need to be a sketch, with easy to follow instructions you can create your own to fit your body. Do try…

  5. Roberta Williams says:

    I like your patterns you send out.

  6. Deb J. says:

    This top looks lovely on you, but it would be helpful if we could see how it might fit on a couple women of different sizes. I’d like to make this for my pre-teen, but worry that it might hang like a shower curtain on her young shape. How do you prefit something with so much drape and gathering? Last but not least…how much fabric should we purchase for this pattern? I’ve read the instructions completely, but did not find any guidance on how much fabric is needed.

    • Mayra Cecilia says:

      Hi Deb this is for a woman who is size 10-14 more or less. No it will not fit such a young child.

  7. Pingback: Twist Front Top - FREE T-shirt Pattern - So Sew Easy

  8. Shandi Snell says:

    I am having trouble figuring out how to get started on the straps. wish there was a video or more pics of the steps.

  9. Sarah Richards says:

    I tried this shirt yesterday with some leftover knit I had around, just to see what it was like. I haven’t really sewn many knits, so I was interested to see how it worked out. It was VERY quick to cut & put together, but I’m 5’8″, and I realized too late that the pattern wasn’t long enough in the back for me. I also could have used an extra inch or two width-wise in the back. I plan to adjust the pattern and try again.

    All that said, the top came out very cute. This morning, I tried it on again just to see, and (happy accident!) I put it on backwards by mistake – I can totally wear it this way & it’s got the length I need in the back. The neckline works in reverse for me, and it’s still very flattering…such a relief that my trial piece can still be worn! 🙂

    • So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Sarah, thanks for the comment and glad your project came out so cute!

    • Royce says:

      Thanks, Sarah! I was going to pass on this one, even though it’s so cute. I just can’t wear gathers across the front. But your comment has inspired me to use the back for front & back. Thank you!

  10. Jean Pearse says:

    Apparently, you need to hold one thread while you pull the other, to create the gathers. So, after the gather threads completely pulled out, I re-basted them, made lovely gathers and sewed it with a really secure zig-zag plus straight edge setting. Unfortunately, I VERY securely sewed the back neckline to an armhole! After careful application of the seam ripper, my top turned out super cute: Thank you for your tutorials and patterns – I have had months of fun learning from you.

  11. Teresa says:

    Hi I am trying to print the pattern but I get a test square is 3 1/4 inches. Adobe will not allow me to change it.
    The pieces that printed out are huge, For the back at GG It measures 9.5 inches. Does this sound right?
    Thank you Teresa

  12. Wendy says:

    I was wondering how you cut out your pattern pieces? I have tried the rolling cutter thingie and it’s okay, but I seem to have to go over and over the cut to get through more than one layer (and yes, I have a new blade). But I didn’t think that instrument would work on this pattern due to the curves and also the notches. So then I went out and bought a brand new pair of good scissors to cut out the Summer Drape top but the cuts are very raggedy, which is unfortunate since so many of the seams are visible inside. Also, despite pinning, the pattern really moves around on the slippery fabric, so I was wondering how you manage to do it with tuna cans?? How do you manage to cut out such nice shapes with perfect edges, as shown in the pics in the pattern? Thank you so much!

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Wendi, this is a tricky one, the first think that I will suggest is that you need the biggest and best cutting board you can afford and normally every brand has its own and keep the blades sharpen. For the notches though Scissors are best. The tuna can plus pins are better for slippery fabrics. One last thing, cut one piece at a time and take your time, press hard and go slow with time you will get there. Cheers!

    • Royce says:

      Hi, Wendy! Are you talking about cutting the paper pattern pieces apart? If so, you should use paper scissors for that. If you use your fabric scissors or rotary cutter to cut paper, they won’t cut fabric again. In the old days, using a preprinted pattern that we would buy in an envelope @ Joann, etc., that paper was so thin it would not damage your fabric cutting tools. Cutting copy paper with fabric shears or rotary cutters, however, will damage the blades, requiring professional sharpening, or buying new equipment.

  13. jules says:

    Hi, I would love to have a go at this pattern but pretty new to sewing so this will be my first piece of clothing. I’m a tall lass and wondered if there was a way of making the body length longer? many thanks in advance for any help with this

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Hi Jules, yes there is, Cut the pattern front and back across one inch above the natural waist, tape the top part of the pattern to drafting or pattern paper and where the other piece used to be draw a line, from this line add the required length that you need and draw another line, tape the rest of the pattern to this second line. now measure where the hem is on both sides minus the seam allowance, write this number down, then measure where the hem of the top will fall on your body and see if you have to make it any wider if you do lets say 1″ divided by 4 and this to the sides of the pattern so 1/4″ on every seam allowance or side. let me know how you did, I am 5’1″, how tall are you?

  14. Brenda Melahn says:

    Question — do you have any other tops with this style yoke but more coverage and possibly short sleeves? Or do you have any advice on how to change that? I have a large hernia and feel this gathered yoke above the breasts would help hide my hernia. Thanks!

  15. Lina says:

    I’ve cut out my pattern pieces and am ready to sew the side seams together but the length doesn’t match up, in fact it’s way off. I can’t see where I went wrong in building the pattern. I was going to attach a photo but I’m not sure I can attach to this message.

  16. Rosaria says:

    hi! excuse me for my bad english, I’m writing from Italy. Your patterns are fantastic and so simple to make. I’d like to know if I can use the pattern of the drape top for make a long dress. bye.

  17. cucicucicoo says:

    This is really great! I particularly love the blue version you sewed! I published a tutorial on fabric drape on my blog today and will be linking to this pattern on my newsletter on Wednesday. Can’t wait for summer so I can make one of these! 🙂 Thanks for the pattern! Lisa

  18. Jo B. says:

    On the top of the page there are tabs. the first tab is home. Go the the third tab that says free patterns. This will take you to all the free patterns. Then click the photo of the Summer Drape Top.

  19. Catherine says:

    I downloaded this pattern and I know it says “one size fits most.” Well I’m on the larger size so I attempted to alter the pattern to make it larger. I wanted to make it a full 10″ bigger. For those that like to do the same here is what I did.
    1. Cut the pattern out.
    2. Cut the front piece into three smaller pieces (lengthwise) to get the curve correctly at the bottom and placed 1 1/4″ between each slice. The back I cut around the middle (lengthwise again) putting the full 2.5″ in the middle. (I’d avoid the arm hole area which I initially made the mistake of extending it in three places one being the arm hole making the hole rather large and needing to be fixed). This increased each body piece by 2.5″ giving me 10″ added.
    3. Lay the cut pieces over tissue paper. I buy the stuff that you use in gift bags from the Dollarstore. Then trace your bigger pattern onto the tissue paper.

    You can increase the chest/shoulder/back straps the same way. Unfortunately my knit is very stretchy and I think next time I will either put interfacing in between or use another material all together for the neck pieces. Will be doing it again….now that I made all my mistakes the next one will be easier 🙂 Thank you for the pattern.

  20. Patti says:

    Hello! I know you said one size fits most but I’m wondering if it would fit a 1X or a size 16-18. I’m thinking it wouldn’t fit me. Any idea on a size range? I haven’t sewed any top since high school. lol Thanks!

    • You wouldn’t get a good fit for a XL without some alteration to the pattern. I’d suggest starting with the neckline front and back. Cut out a mock up in some cheap fabric and see how much you might need to increase the width. The length of the shoulder straps will probably stay the same. If you are busty but smaller framed, you may not need to increase the width too much. If you have a larger frame, with a wider body, then you should add some extra width there for sure.
      For the main pieces, you’ll want to add extra gathers for your bust size. When I was wearing this one, my bust was about 36, so compare this to yours and add some extra width spread out across the pieces front and back to allow some extra volume. This can be gathered up into the cross neck pieces.

  21. Barbara says:

    I was able to dowload the pattern but when I try to open it I get a message “Application Not Found” Any suggestions that will work to open the pattern.?

  22. Candace Frazier says:

    Thank you so much for this easy, comfortable pattern. I have looked at all of your patterns and I must tell you that you have the best taste. Thee pattern really accentuate a woman shape. Good for you! I will be trying some of these for my daughter. Thanks gain.

  23. judy dowker says:

    cant get it to download everytime i click in download i get a cellphone comercial

    • Deby Coles says:

      I think you must be clicking in the wrong place somehow Judy. Just above the picture with the 4 different views, you’ll find this “Where to get your free sewing pattern for the Summer Drape Top. The pattern is available to download for free from my design account with Craftsy – download here. ” Click on the light blue text where it says download here and that will take you to the pattern page.

  24. nudejude says:

    Hi Deby

    I just wanted to let you know that I finally got around to making this top up, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! I’d never worked with stretch fabric before, and was VERY nervous, but it came out really well, and I feel sure it’s going to get a lot of use, plus I’ll probably make up another one as I forgot how much fabric you specified and so bought a metre and a half, giving me loads to spare.

    Thanks so much for the inspiration, and for anyone else thinking of taking the plunge, the tutorial is incredibly straight forward to follow.

    Judi in the UK

    • Deby Coles says:

      That’s great news Judi. I’d love to see it. If you upload what you made to Craftsy and link it to the pattern download then we can all take a look. Would you mind? It helps other potential sewers get an idea of what it might look like for them. So glad you were brave enough to give it a try.

  25. Victoria says:

    Adore the blue striped material you chose! So excited to try some of your patterns especially this one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *