Jennifer’s Fabric Focus ~ Free Summer Top Pattern

on June 30 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 62 Comments

Jennifer Casa from JCasa *handmade shares Undaunted, a free summer top pattern you can adjust to you! Each month Jennifer has a new project featuring one of our favorite collections from the shop. Today’s top shows off the lovely (and perfect for summer) Nest collection by Valori Wells. You might remember Jennifer’s earlier projects… Patchwork Notebooks, the beautiful Quilted Snack Set or last month’s fun “Leisurely” Dress Pattern.

Visit JCasa *handmade for more of Jennifer’s free sewing and knitting tutorials, and be sure to visit her shop too.

Hello, Summer!

Keeping in theme with Make It, Wear It! month, the girls at Sew,Mama,Sew! and I talked about making a pattern based on an existing garment. And for me, it all started with a little thrifted top I had recently picked up for my girls.

Even though I could not exactly fit into their cute little number, I thought that the general concept would work on a woman-– On many women, in fact. I’ve broken it down so that it is super-simple to make, and can be adjusted to flatter pretty much every figure in any season.

Upon closer inspection, I determined that my girls’ top was basically a tank top with elasticized thread at the waist, neck and arms. I knew it would definitely work on the waistline for women of all shapes and sizes, but I wanted to find a more flattering neckline. Enter the wide boat-neck-– I absolutely love the way it naturally falls off your shoulder, a little bit alluring and still totally presentable.

For my grown-up twist on that cute little top, I have chosen the lovely Berries Rose from the Nest collection by Valori Wells for FreeSpirit Fabrics. The birds, the sweet prints… Each fabric in the Nest collection sings a song of Summertime. The weight of the fabric is pure perfection for this summer top and it feels wonderful against your skin.

Treat yourself to some pretty fabric and whip up this great little summer top. Make a slightly longer version to throw on over your bathing suit. And in cooler weather, layer one made in wool jersey over a long-sleeved top. Go on— Shorten it, lengthen it, narrow it, widen it— Have at it! After all, this is your top.

I hope you enjoy Undaunted and have fun customizing it to fit and flatter your figure. Download the Undaunted Top Pattern PDF and start sewing! And if you make anything with Nest or using any of our free PDF patterns and tutorials, please show off your creations in the Sew,Mama,Sew! Flickr pool. Enjoy and happy making! xoxo

We’re giving away fabulous prizes this month from SINGER, Ottobre Design and Sew,Mama,Sew!

Don’t forget to enter the Make It, Wear It! Challenge… Today! Today’s your last day to enter!

Submit a photo of clothing you make this June in our Make It, Wear It! Challenge photo pool or in this thread in the Forum. You might win a SINGER sewing machine or a subscription to Ottobre.

See this post for details about the prizes!

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62 Responses to Jennifer’s Fabric Focus ~ Free Summer Top Pattern

  1. Melanie says:

    Love the versatility of this pattern! Thanks so much for posting this. I can’t wait to get to work on this!

  2. Chandra says:

    super cute top. I can’t wait to make it, but when I click on the the link to get the pdf pattern it doesn’t show up. Could you send it to me? Thanks

  3. nimisha says:

    I am a beginner sewer and started this top since it seemed relatively easy. I am having difficulty creating boat neck – step 5, when I overlap neckline edges 4รขโ‚ฌย and stitch the boat-neck, the back side of the top doesn’t scoop much and kind of rides up to my neck from behind, am I doing anything wrong? Could you please post pictures of the top from inside showing the boat neck? BTW I also curved in the side seams and it looks so cute already… except for the boat neck ๐Ÿ™

  4. Frankie says:

    Looks good and easy, can`t wait to get started.

  5. Heather C says:

    Has anyone had trouble opening the pdf? I received a pop-up message that there was an error with the document and to contact the creator. It opened, but the first and third pages were blank except for the footer (and the title on the first page). It’s such a cute top though, just the style I’ve been looking for.

  6. Jennifer says:

    This top is adorable! I cannot wait to get started.

  7. jennifer says:

    oh karina, i’m thrilled to hear that! and i love the idea of scooping the neckline. i’ll have to try that on my next one.

  8. Karina says:

    This was great! I made TWO of these since yesterday during my baby’s naps. SO easy! I had linen fabric in my stash so I now have a pale blue one and a natural one. I used the measurements given and it fit well for me and I’m a size 13/14. It’s a forgiving fit considering I still have a post baby belly. It does sit a little sack-like though, so I curved in the side seams about 2 inches on each side and it has a nicer, slimmer fit that way, making it look like I have more of a waist. On my second shirt, I made the front piece 13 inches at the top and the back piece 11 inches…this gives a little more scoop to the front. Over all, great pattern and really fun to play with.

  9. Trish B. says:

    That’s a great pattern… so adjustable

  10. wendy says:

    love, love, love it!!! can’t wait to find some fabric to make me a few new tops.

  11. Amanda Veneman says:

    Wow, I realized I didn’t even look at the 3rd page of the tutorial, which is why I had no idea what to do with the sleeves. I’m so silly! I made another top using knit fabric and I love it!!

  12. April says:

    great top! i love a boatneck. cant wait to try it!

  13. J. Figueroa says:

    Awesome top, however, I’m a size 18, what would be the measurements to make the top?

  14. bimbi says:

    wow – I love it, thank you so much for sharing Jennifer ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. Corinnea says:

    So cute! I think I’m going to try and fit this in this weekend!

  16. Deece says:

    How cute!

  17. Jennifer says:

    hi everyone + thanks for your kind response to the top.

    lorchick: great idea! i bet it would make a terrific maternity top. at this length, it comes over my caboose just slightly. i would suggest you add a few more inches in length to accommodate the tummy. then next summer, you can wear it as a great minidress with leggings!

    Amanda Veneman: so sorry you had a mishap. try try again! and as to the sleeves – it says to turn them under 1/4″, press, then turn them under another 1/4″ and press. (just like you did in the neckline and hemline). i hope this helps!

    julie m: great question, thanks for giving me a chance to clarify. you use elastic thread in the bobbin ONLY for the waistline. everywhere else you use regular thread in the bobbin. happy making!

    thanks for the questions + comments, everyone!

  18. Jennifer says:

    This is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!

  19. Kelly says:

    Ooh, beautiful, and I love your freckles! Thank you.

  20. Christine says:

    cute cute tops!

  21. Danna says:

    Adorable & it’s looks like something I could (and want to) make!

  22. amber says:

    so cute! i love how she models it too. she really makes me want to sew one for myself so i can gaze off in a lovely garden feeling the breeze while wearing my cute top and looking so chic. i am going to get on that right away.

  23. julie m says:

    do you use the elastic thread just on the waistband or for the entire garment? thanks! soooo cute!!

  24. DebbieB says:

    Very pretty, and I love the fabric too!

  25. Rochelle says:

    What a creative shoulder design! I love this (& the little girls’ top too).

  26. Stephanie says:

    L-O-V-E thanks for creating and sharing this pattern. I can’t wait to make one. <3

  27. katevet says:

    I’ll be making one soon!

  28. AmyP says:

    This is great – thanks for sharing! I’ve been looking for an uncomplicated top to make.

  29. Millie says:

    oh, this is lovely; i can’t wait to try this. Your echinacea are pretty, too.

  30. Amanda Veneman says:

    I attempted this shirt today and made it way too small! Bad idea to take a few inches off the measurements. I’m small so I figured that would help it fit better, too bad I ended up with a child sized shirt!
    Also, am I crazy or did I miss the directions for making a nice hem for the “sleeves?” I ended up just turning it under once 1/4″ as with the side seam allowance, but there was a raw edge on the inside :-/
    Jcasa, though I had a mix up today with the shirt, I still love your patterns. I’m working on the bias blanket right now for a friend’s newborn. You’re too clever!

  31. Sonya M says:

    this looks so nice, and so easy! I bet I could whip one of those up tonight! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  32. Wanett says:

    LOVE IT!! I love a little off the shoulder action ;o)

  33. Ingrid says:

    This is going to be my first attempt at a top! Thanks so much for sharing this pattern.

  34. alisha says:

    Very cute!

  35. susan hwang says:

    thanks so much for the free pattern!

  36. Joanna says:

    that fabric is pretty, and the top looks very comfortable.

  37. kathyh says:

    Very flattering. Good fabric choice.

  38. Nicole says:

    Love this!! Thanks for sharing it with us. Just might have to make one of these now!!!

  39. I love this top! I love the gathered look using the elastic but always thought making it was too hard. With your straightforward instructions, I know I can do it!

  40. Erin says:

    I love this! I just bought a lovely bright yellow vintage sheet that I wanted to make a piece of clothing out of and I can’t wait to try this out on it!

  41. Sara says:

    absolutely adorable on you!! You did a wonderful job on this top. Love the little shoulder peek—sexy all the way!! (Not trying to hit on you just sayin’!!)

  42. Christina says:

    Super cute!

  43. Sarah says:

    Looks really comfy ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. Krystina says:

    Fantastic. I LOVE this.

  45. Doris says:

    Thanks for the free pattern, this is so awesome!

  46. Pam says:

    Ooh… will have to dip into my stash to make a couple of these!

  47. Ack, this is so adorable, and I’m pretty sure if I make it long enough I can pull it off as a maternity top, too. But not too big, I think I’ll want to put it away partways through and use it again next summer…!

  48. Leandre says:

    Love this! Cannot wait to try it. Thank you!

  49. Erin says:

    So cute! I’m definitely making this on my next day off.

  50. Rebecca says:

    Can’t wait to try this. Instructions seem so clear even I don’t think I can screw this up. ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. Sara says:

    totally inspired now! Thank you!

  52. sy says:

    this looks perfect for summer *_* thanks for sharing.

  53. I love it! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to make one!

  54. qsogirl says:

    thank you for the pattern!!

  55. love the plaid print!

  56. Beth says:

    Ooh! This is summer dressing perfection–light, airy and comfortable while also being stylish!

  57. Julia in WDM says:

    really cute. may make the dive into elastic thread because of this!

  58. Ellen says:

    This is so cute!

  59. DebbieKL says:

    Great fabric and cute top – great job!

  60. Unity says:

    Downloaded the pattern and looking for the right fabric in my stash to make it! Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  61. ewebewe says:

    I was up til late looking for a summer top to whip up today. I’m glad I waited because here it is. I can’t wait to give this a try. THANKS

  62. Tong says:

    Very cute! Love the fabric too!

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