I've just taken up Yoga and wanted to sew some simple exercise wear, and in so doing not only did I create a great fitted top for wearing to the gym, but also a great top to wear every day. Make it a size smaller for a fitted finish for exercise wear, as the red version above, or make the next size up for a looser fit for wearing to work – see the print version below. Looks great under a jacket.
Please enjoy this free gathered front top pattern.
Easy to sew sleeveless top with princess seams front and back and a gathered front bodice on one side. Front panel is reversible so you can choose to have the gathers on either side, or make one of each! Sewn using an easy turn and sew method, suitable for beginners. For stretch knit fabrics only.
- Princess seams front and back
- Range of sizes
- Shaped to be flattering and look slimming
- gathering on one side
- make it fitted for exercise wear or a little looser for everyday wear – depending on how you like it!
Beginner. The instructions for this top assume that you already have basic experience in sewing with stretch fabrics and making basic fitting adjustments necessary in any pattern to achieve a good personal fit.
If you want to learn more about tips and techniques for sewing with Knit Fabrics, please read this article we published on sewing with stretchy knits.
Useful tutorials. You can find a range of useful sewing tutorials and videos at So Sew Easy – tutorials page.
Where can you get the gathered front top pattern ?
Can I see some more pics before I decide?
Of course you can. Here are some other views. This plain version tends to show off the shaping and gathers better than the print version.
Choosing your fabrics
Only suitable for stretch knit fabrics. Not really suitable for stripes, but plain colors, large or small prints all look great. Pick a light weight fabric with a soft drape for the best results. Heavy weight fabrics won't gather as well.
What Size Do I Need?
Please use this table as a guide only as although our body measurements may be similar, different body shapes may require fitting differently. Fabrics with different thickness, drape and stretch will also effect the finished result and fit on this top.
- Size 1 – 34 inches
- Size 2 – 36 inches
- Size 3 – 38 inches
- Size 4 – 40 inches
- Size 5 – 42 inches
You can measure the paper pattern pieces to determine fit – want it closer fitting, pick a pattern size closest to your bust measurement. For a looser fit, pick the pattern size including a little more ease.
The pattern is fairly simple, so you should be able to upgrade to a larger size if you need to. Always test the fit using the paper pattern pieces, or an inexpensive test fabric before cutting your expensive fabric for this top. If in doubt test the larger size and adjust for fitting at the side and princess seams during construction.
Gathered Front Top Sewing Instructions
Seam allowances – 5/8th of an inch (1.5cm) throughout unless mentioned.
Abbreviations used: RST – right sides together.
This sewing tutorial is also available in video format.
You can watch at YouTube –click this video picture to be taken to the tutorial. Once the video starts, you can get a clearer picture by clicking on the little ‘gear’ icon to select a higher video quality.
Subscribe to the YouTube channel:
Let’s start to sew ! (Full step by step instructions included in the pattern download)
- Print and assemble your pattern. Check the size of the test square. Cut out your pattern pieces.
- Pre-wash and iron your fabric according to fabric care instructions.
- Use your pattern pieces to cut your fabric. Remember to cut the center back piece on the fold.
- Transfer marking for the gathering area to your front fabric piece and run a long set of basting/gathering stitches between the marks, ¼ inch from the edge.
- Pin front side panel to gathering side, pinning from top to gathering stitches and from the bottom to the gathering stitches.
- Pull up gathering stitches until this area matches the length of the front side panel. Pin gathers in place. Stitch entire seam.
- Pin and stitch in other front side panel.
- With RST, pin then stitch the two back side panels to the center back.
- With RST, pin then stitch ONE shoulder seam. (Optional- If you are using a very stretchy knit, you may wish to stabilize shoulders seams with some clear elastic or a stay tape.) If you are a confident sewist, you may stitch the other shoulder and side seams and finish the neck and armholes in the round, then finish the bottom hemline.
- For the neck and armhole edge, turn in 5/8th inch or 1.5cm to the wrong side and stitch neatly and evenly from the folded edge.
- Pin then stitch the other shoulder seam.
- Turn in and stitch the remaining armhole edge.
- RST, pin and stitch side seams.
- Try on and check for fit. Make any fitting adjustments necessary.
- Trim, neaten and finish all of your seams. Press.
- Check the length. Mark where you want your hemline to come, turn up, pin and stitch. You may use a twin needle finish on the bottom hemline, or sew with a ½ inch (1.5cm) turn up and a narrow zig-zag stitch. Neaten the seam, trim off any excess fabric and press.
- Wear your finished top, love it and make another!