Quick work top

I recently bought some really pretty printed jerseys from Gorgeous Fabrics for work tops. Since I’m up and out before dawn I like easy tops that look professional (obviously, in a casual way) and nice with the knee-length shorts I’m currently wearing. God, I love knee-length shorts! They are great for corporate casual and cool enough for hot Florida summers. I only have a handful of appropriate tops to wear so I really needed to crank out a few things.

Today (yeah, supposed to be Sunday but you know how that goes) I pulled out my TNT Jalie 2449 – which I love – and quickly cut out a top with a cap sleeve. I can make this top start to finish in under an hour and it’s so cute! I chose this Islands in the Stream jersey because I need a few tops to go with my off-white shorts.


I wanted to use the border for the neckbands but wasn’t really sure how long to cut them since they were printed on the lengthwise grain and have very little stretch. Then I had an idea: I put on one of my previously made tops and measured the length of the band while on the body and added my seam allowances – in this case 20.5″ total. That would have been very clever of me – had it worked. The band was too long and didn’t lay flat against my chest. So I went to Plan B: I serged the band on stretching it slightly (if you stretch too much the cut edges will curl). Success! I ended up with a finished length of 18.5″ – 2″ less than what I’d started with.

Since I had this pretty border to work with I wanted to incorporate it into some other part of the top. At first I thought of a tie belt but decided on a sleeve binding instead. ETA: After all was said and done I added a faux side tie as well and I’m glad I did – it finishes the top off nicely.

I wanted a 1/2″ finished binding so I cut my strips three times that (1.5″) plus 3/8″ allowance for securing the binding. I sewed the binding right sides together to the sleeve stretching the sleeve very slightly to ease the binding in a little because I did not want the edge to be tight.


Next, press the binding away from the body of the sleeve.


Then wrap the binding around the seam to the back (I serge-finished the raw edge first) and secure by stitching in the ditch or topstitching. Remember to “stretch and sew” to build some give into your topstitching and prevent popped stitches later.



Finishing up took mere minutes!



Filed under Fabric, Jalie Patterns

22 responses to “Quick work top

  1. Fantastic top, I really like the two prints.

  2. Lindsay T

    Good info here and great-looking top. I have been thinking about ways to take basic top patterns to a more RTW level, like you’ve done here. So this is helpful stuff.

  3. I love the way you used the fabric border on the neck and sleeve bands! Very cool! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I love that top! You find the best fabric combinations.

  5. Laura

    Fabulous! Love your coordinating ideas.

  6. Summerset

    Clever and I love it!

  7. Another work of art! I love your new top. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. You’re just so clever! Love the top!

  9. Of course the top looks great…it’s made by Gigi! ๐Ÿ™‚ But that sleeve binding technique is my new friend…I have used it alot with wovens, just you describe it a whole lot better than I ever could!

  10. Janene

    I love the way you do knits!

  11. GORGEOUS! I love the print!

  12. Wonderful top. It’s so nice to have you back in your sewing studio and on your blog again. I hope your new life is treating you well.

  13. Beautiful top. I love the way you envision garments and put them together.

  14. Great looking tops.

  15. Cherie

    Very nice top, and you did bring it to the next level. I love contrasting bindings, and this using the border print was brilliant!

  16. Fun use of fabric. I bet it looks great on you.

  17. Really cute top. Did you have to do a fba with this pattern?

  18. Thanks for all your nice comments! Keely, I did not have to do an FBA on this top.

  19. Fabulous as usual. You are again becomming an fabric enabler and I need to go on a fabric diet for a long time….darn!!! ;o)

  20. wow, look at those nice straight seams, i’m impressed. I recently looked into my mothers pattern drawers ( she has many and never throws anything away) and couldn’t beleive how many she has from the 50’s and 60’s. I didn’t realize how much they were in demand….