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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Monday, August 11, 2008

Finding a good top pattern

If you have Swapped or even if you haven't, you know that sewing tops is an excellent way to extend your wardrobe. The issue is of course finding top patterns that are a) versatile enough to be worn on their own and with other garments b) are easy enough to sew that they can achieve favourite -TNT status. Something that you can whip up when a new top would be a definite pick-me-up as they say, but you really don't have the time or the heart to fit and perfect a new and complicated pattern.

Not so easy to find such patterns.

My revelation was the discovery that some of the best patterns in the books are not in the Blouses-Tops section but hidden away as the third or fourth minor garment in the Separates section. I have found some really great top patterns while looking for something else. The secret I figure is that these top patterns were actually designed to go with other garments, so guess what they do.

This one is one of my favourites, an OPP Anne Klein knit wrap top. Four pattern pieces and really basic construction, but for me the best part is that the wrap is high enough not to unwrap. Nothing ruins the look I have discovered like a strategically place safety pin dimple. I love this pattern, but should point out that the secret to the unwrappiness is that it has two complete fronts, one layered over the other, so if you are making it in a wool jersey like the one shown here, you'd be best to save it for colder weather, which here in Nova Scotia is not a problem for about eight months of the year ..

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