I couldn’t resist making this cute little summer top from my FREE summer top pattern.
As you know April is my Gingham makes month this year, so I just had to sew my Camellia top using this gorgeous pink check, cotton gingham fabric. The pattern is still available for you to download completely free so that you can enjoy creating this simple style for yourself and your friends and family. It is available in size options from US 4/ UK 8 up to US 20/ UK 24. You’ll find it on my pattern store page.
The Camellia Top is such a versatile and basic pattern that is is ideal for the beginner sewer yet also useful for the more experienced seamstress who can have fun playing around with the shape and fit of a garment.
I am going to be making a few more of these for the summer from different colours and different fabric weights. When I made this one I made a slight alteration to the pattern by lowering the front neckline about an inch to open it up a little bit more. I also added an inch to lengthen at the hem. I am 5’7″ and always add an inch/s at just above the waist mark, to all patterns as my standard pattern alteration.
I know you will love this PDF download, so Happy Sewing for now and let me know in the comments how you get on. What pattern alterations do you always make as standard?
I am so excited about posting this blog because I have been planning and thinking about my gingham month for weeks now and it’s finally here. I’m overlapping my shirt sewing with the gingham sewing too, to make things extra special in this blog!
I thought long and hard about using cotton Gingham as a fashion fabric.
We are used to seeing it in children’s wear and in vintage clothing, Julie Andrews in the wizard of Oz, but is it really a sophisticated fashion forward look? Then I noticed that quite a few of the big name designers like Diane von Furstenberg, Alexander Mcqueen, and Chloe had created beautiful dresses from the little chequered fabric.
If it’s good enough for them, then it’s good enough for me!
I have used a commercial paper pattern for this sewing make. It is New Look number 6232 which I have modified a bit to give a looser feel to the shirt. It is a very useful pattern which I can recommend as I have had it a few years now and it has been tried and tested in a few different sizes by me for myself and other family members. I made it in a size US 8/ UK 12.
I have left out the darts in the back to create a bit more fullness so it is less tight across the back of the body. This is a casual look for me, not a smart office or interview type of shirt. I changed the way that the yoke is constructed too, by cutting out and using only one yoke piece instead of two and sewing it together in more of a dressmaker fashion rather than tailoring the shirt for a man, more of a relaxed blouse. I tend to stay away from pocket placement on the front of my tops as they tend to sag, even when not used, and this is definitely not a flattering look for anyone!
As I am sure you can see from the photos, I have changed the cuffs as in the Easter shirt, by cutting the sleeve about six inches shorter and adding a simple cuff band instead of the conventional cuff with buttons. I think this is much more flattering. I have previously made this same shirt with a little cap sleeve too and that would have worked well in this fabric.
I chose the bright pink buttons for the front of the shirt to set off the pink in the check more. One little tip I have when you are positioning the buttons on the front of a shirt or blouse you are making, is to put it on when you mark the position of the buttons and buttonholes so that you get them in the correct place for you rather than the recommendation on the pattern diagram. I rarely wear my shirts buttoned up to the top, so think about how you will wear the shirt, and then decide how open you want the neck to be as well. If you place the fastening too high, you might feel choked, or too low, you could feel too exposed, you won’t wear the shirt because you won’t feel comfortable in it.