‘Give me a shrug’ Top pattern – POTM

Did you notice the black top I was wearing when I modeled the Flirty Skirty pattern a while back?  It had my pattern testing team calling out for me to make a pattern just like it.  Their wish is my command!

So here is the Pattern of the Month for September – the Give Me A Shrug Top.


  • Made with knit fabric
  • Wrap around collar that pleats under the arms and forms a back yoke
  • 3 sleeve lengths
  • 7 sizes from 31-46 inch bust
  • Lined over the bust
  • Wear the collar turned up or laid flat
  • Flattering square cut neckline
  • Includes a short video just to help with the pleating, the rest is easy

Pattern rating – Intermediate

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Buy the 'Give Me A Shrug' Pattern

You can buy and download the pattern and instructions for the Give Me A Shrug Top  from my design account at Craftsy.  It's a PDF file containing both instructions and pattern pieces all in the same file.  Enjoy!

My own versions

I made several versions during my development of this pattern using various different fabrics and sizing.  I think after seeing all the tester versions, I was far too boring in my choices – love the prints and stripes and the mix and match fabrics.  I need to make some more versions of this one. Here are a couple of my examples.

This darker version was made with a very stretchy and lightweight ITY knit.  I'm between sizes on this pattern so for this version I made the larger size.  It's really interesting to see the way that going up a size and using this very lightweight loose fabric made a very fluid top that came out quite loose around the middle.  The collar also fitted a little looser and really did look like it might be separate to the front piece.

My next version, I went down a size, so I'm now cutting a size slightly smaller than my measurement, plus I used a cotton jersey that didn't have much stretch.  It's actually not very thick, as you can see, it's quite sheer, but the fit on this version was much closer to the original, closer fitting in the middle.  It's a combination of the smaller sizing and the less stretchy fabric.

I like both versions and it was an interesting exercise to see how using fabrics with different weights and stretch can affect the sizing on a garment and how it wears. This top can use any fabrics with a moderate stretch, 40% or more suggested, with at least 5% lyrca.

I've got another on my cutting table right now.  I'm planning to try one out with contrasting fabrics, using a different fabric for the front panel to the collar and arms, to make it look really more like a separate shrug over the top.  Could be a fun look I think.

Pattern testing versions

EmmaEverything is marked clearly and joined together without problem. It took some concentration to make sure I cut the correct amount of pieces and on the correct grain/stretch. Everything is marked clearly and joined together without problem. It took some concentration to make sure I cut the correct amount of pieces and on the correct grain/stretch, and to piece together as it was a shape/style that wasn't obvious to me from the pieces!  Once I'd got it straight in my mind it went together like a dream, it  wasn't tricky and the finished top looks lovely. I made the sleeves full length and they sit perfectly on my wrist bones.  I made it in plain black but will try a print for my next one – perhaps even using a contrast for the collar piece.

Theresa – Pattern pieces are nicely digitized. All lined up perfectly. Tutorial is well organized. The top fit well. Good width across the chest and back. Nice length. Armhole depth is perfect and good sleeve length.

Robin at The Pattern Tester – I like the design of the shrug top. It's something that won't go out of style, and it's comfortable. I also like that you can wear it to dress up a pair of jeans, or wear it in the office with a skirt, or slacks.  I am a size 42″ around the bust, so I chose to make size F for a 43″ size bust. The stretch crepe knit fabric that I used had 100% stretch. The fit was a little too big, so next time I would try size E or, if I use a cotton lycra with less stretch, I might try grading between the size E & F. 

Jane – I was a bit intimidated at first when I saw the zig-zag collar piece, but the photos soon eliminated my fears.  I loved that you included your favorite supplier for jersey. This is really helpful for those who like to or need to order fabric online.  This is a great pattern, especially for those who are a bit intimidated by sewing with knit fabric. It's very do-able. It stitched up quickly and was a lot of fun. Once you get the hang of this pattern you'll want to stitch up a bunch of them. You get the comfort of a t-shirt, yet the shrug collar gives it a little pizzazz. 

Stephanie – LOVE LOVE LOVE! I loved that it was a cute top that kept me covered. I'm a fan of 3/4 sleeves, and those are difficult to come by. I can't wait to wear mine with skinny jeans or with a skirt for a fancier look.

Mariana of Maryall MadeI was determined to use these two fabrics even though I didn't have enough of either so I made several modification to the pattern.  I shortened the length, omitted the front facing and tacked it to the collar, added a contrast band to the sleeves, and cut the collar at 90 degrees.  I've had lots of compliments on my top already, and it is perfect for the weather we're having now – warm at noon but cold in the morning and evening. And, by using this fabric, it feels so comfortable!

Louise – I love the style of pattern but not sure if being busty is preventing the shrug area from laying correctly. It rolls backwards to my arms a little. I may tack the shrug part to keep it where I like it. Even though I am busty the area above my bust is small so I had extra fabric that I had to move into the armholes just like you said to do in the instructions for the pleat area which I also did. Once I watched the video on how to do the pleats, that was a duh moment and made complete sense.

Thank you ladies – I couldn't do it without you and your eagle eyes over the pattern and instructions checking out for mistakes.

Currently under testing, the Cuddle Me Cardy pattern, ready for the cooler months.  Wrap yourself up in the Cuddle Me Cardy and be warm and stylish at the same time.  Coming in October…

Opt In Image
Buy the 'Give Me A Shrug' Pattern

You can buy and download the pattern and instructions for the Give Me A Shrug Top  from my design account at Craftsy.  It's a PDF file containing both instructions and pattern pieces all in the same file.  Enjoy!


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13 Responses to ‘Give me a shrug’ Top pattern – POTM

  1. Karen says:

    I love this pattern. I can see my daughter-in-law showing it off beautifully! One more sewing project for Christmas 🙂 I would like “just” a shrug pattern — they are hard to find it seems. Thank you again for another beautiful pattern.

  2. Donna says:

    Is there any other way to buy the shrug pattern? I can’t pay via PayPal and I’m not being offered any alternatives.

  3. Robin says:

    Does this pattern only work with knit fabrics? It would be perfect for one of my cosplays but I’ll be using a thicker fabric.

  4. Bernardette says:

    Just picked up the pattern, can’t wait to sew it up and show you the results.

  5. Debbie says:


    I am interested in making this pattern. I wondered if there was a way to alter the pattern so that my bra straps don’t show.

    • Deby Coles says:

      I find it depends on what bra I wear I have some where the cups are more triangular and the straps come up from more towards the enter, and these do show, but if I wear a bra where the straps are more wider set on the outsides of the cups then they don’t show. You could also just tack the shrug part in place at the front with a couple of stitches to stop it moving about.

  6. Great design with the collar come shrug, Deby.

  7. katiasafia says:

    beautiful modèle thanks for all

  8. Ruth L says:

    Hi Deby,
    Thanks for another great pattern… a nice versatile piece that could span multiple seasons here in Florida! I look forward to giving it a try.
    Ruth L

  9. Meghan says:

    This is awesome! It’s such a creative pattern I had to share with my Facebook fans! Good job Deby! 🙂

What do you think?