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?
Do you Know those days when all you want is to feel comfortable in your clothes? When you want to feel loose and free from any restrictions?
On my bedside table at the moment is a biography of the fashion designer Coco Chanel. An independent woman with drive and the determination to succeed. What interested me, when I read it the other day . was the that fact we have her to thank for the introduction of jersey fabric into women’s fashion. It is a fabric we take very much for granted now to give us the comfort and ease of movement we demand in our casual and leisure wear. I don’t know what we would do without it. So thank you very much Coco, along with the little black dress, shorter skirts and the perfect Chanel suit of course.
The Lillia T-Shirt is possibly the most comfortable top you will ever wear.
You will reach for it over and over again. It can be made from any colour or print of stretch jersey fabric, from light to medium weight as long as it has a two way stretch, so it stretches in both horizontal and vertical directions on the cloth. I included how to do the stretch test in the Red Body con dress blog.
The fabric I am using today is a medium weight jersey lace with a good quality stretch to it. I thought that it would add a touch of femininity to the look, as well as function. So I am making the Lillia T-Shirt top in the longer sleeve version and also the longer length but without the side vent detailing. I’m making the neckband from the same fabric too, however you could choose to use a contrasting fabric for the neckband to add a bit of interest if you wanted. In the picture above I am wearing the cap sleeve option in navy blue light weight jersey, with the side vent openings.
How to make a T-Shirt
When you have downloaded and printed off your pattern, tape it together and cut out your chosen size and style. You can have the cap or long sleeve options with either the shorter or longer lengths, the choice is up to you.
I wear a US size 8 (UK 12) and I am a little taller than average, therefore I have chosen to make the longer style today.
When you are sewing with stretch fabric use a small zigzag or stretch stitch setting on your sewing machine. A ball point needle can also be a useful tool.
When you have cut out your fabric pieces, the first step is to stitch the shoulder seams together. This is the same method for both the long and short sleeved style options.
To make the neckband you first join the two ends together.
Then fold the neckband in half with the right side facing out. Baste along the open edge to hold it closed.
Pin the band to the neckline at the centre back, centre front and at the shoulders. Space it evenly. When you stitch the band in place, stretch it a little as you sew to make it fit.
With the right side of the Lillia T-Shirt facing upwards, top stitch around the neck edge, about ¼ inch/ 0.6 cm under the seamline. Work slowly and carefully around the neckline to create a good finish.
Turn the garment so that the right sides are together again and stitch the side seams. Snip into the seam allowance at the underarm to allow for a neat curve.
Hem the sleeves and finally hem the bottom edge to your required length.
Once you have practiced and mastered putting on the neckband you will be making this Lillia T-Shirt in all your favorite fabrics. You could play around with the design, for example, by adding an exposed zip at the back, making contrasting neck and arm bands or lengthening it into a tunic. Last summer I made this top from two completely different fabrics, using a silk on the front and a jersey for the back. If you try this, make sure you can still get it off over your head.
There are infinite ways to make and style this top. You can make it for all age groups and for every season.
Please enjoy making your very own Lillia, I love all mine.