Home » Featured » Butterfly Sleeve Tunic (a top for women and girls)

Butterfly Sleeve Tunic (a top for women and girls)

First of all…….let me tell you a story.  I grew up in AZ.  I guess that will stick with me forever because I still really stink at driving on the snow/ice.  Here’s what happened to my poor victim of a car this morning.  Sad day.  I dropped Elli off at school and on my way home on our neighborhood streets, I was turning a corner (driving maybe 10-15 mph) and the icy road totally forced me into the curb.  Forced me, I tell you. ;) 


image from my instagram account


Poor car.  Within seconds, it was flat as a pancake.  Eek!  We have coverage on our tires…….but they said hitting curbs doesn’t count.  Ha!  I felt a little dumb (and like I was 16) telling them over the phone that I’m a “curb hitter”.  Don’t they know it was the snow’s fault?!?! ;)  It sure made for an interesting morning though.  Connor now keeps repeating over and over, “mommy, you bonked that tire HARD. and broke it. did you hear that sound?  now what are we going to do?!?!” Don’t worry little dude, that’s why we have a little bonus insurance thing called “roadside assistance”! :)

. . . . .


Onto other things, how about that poll you guys have been voting on?  Have you seen the results for the next project idea??  Fabric Dolls, Travel Highchair, and Maxi Dress were all so close the whole time.  In fact, Travel Highchair was winning by about 20 votes on Monday…..and I thought that would be the winner.  However, FABRIC DOLLS pulled ahead.  And won.  Which, I’m totally excited to do first.  But seriously, the fabric high chair will follow soon after.  And the Maxi Dress too.  And you know me, I’m completely addicted to the idea of doing most of the others too.  (give me some time……but I’ll totally mix them in with the other projects I’m working on.)  But I’m also really excited for the Kid Sewing Series.  I’ve been doing a few things with my little Elli and she’s loving it!  So, it’s time to share!!! :)  Anyway, give me until next week or so, and then I’ll have a tutorial for some fabric dolls, made in my own little way.  -Ashley

. . . . .




Okay, whew…..onto the real post of the day. 


And this is something that’s for girls of all ages.  It’s made the same for young and older…..I’m just showing you on my little Elli.  Plus, many of you were saying that you’d like to see more woman’s clothing (when you were offering ideas for the next project) and I knew that this tunic top was in the works.  So, I secretly grinned……hoping this would help those wanting to make more tops for yourself.





This knit fabric top, has a very slight elastic empire line (which is optional), that cinches in… the top more shape. 




It’s doesn’t have a lot of complicated pieces or need crazy sewing techniques.  My favorite kind of project!




And the style of it is simple, cozy, and forgiving.  It’s especially nice for those of us trying to maybe hide a little something (me!)





With arms out, you can see……just two pieces.  A front and back.  But because there are two side seams, the shirt keeps some shape once the arms go down.  And creates a nice and flowy sleeve.





Believe it or not, Elli actually asked me to make this for her.  Normally, I tell her about an idea I have and she generally likes it.  But I have a few shirts like this and Chloe has one too.  She kept asking if she could have a flowy shirt like Chloe and I, with the big sleeves.  DONE!




If I still haven’t convinced you of its simplicity, take a look at it laying flat.  See?  A front and back piece.  And simple lines.  No sleeves, no gathering, no collar, buttons, zipper, pleats, etc. 




And I’ll have to go and admit…….I’m bummed I used this fabric on Elli.  Because I love how it turned out and want one in the same fabric in my size.  But of course, I don’t have enough fabric now. :)



Ready to make your own?


 Let’s get started…

(and keep in mind, I made this top out of knit fabric.  If you use something without stretch, you’ll have to make the neck hole big enough to slide over your head. Otherwise, you’ll need to add some sort of neck opening/closure in the back.  Need help finding knit? Check your local fabric stores….but check on the discount racks. Also, try or  They both carry cute knits at times.)


Grab a top of yours (or your daughter/niece/neighbor) that is semi-loose fitting.  Not snug at all but not oversized tshirt huge either.  Also, using a long-sleeve shirt will help you see where a normal sleeve would angle out to and will help you determine how long to make each butterfly sleeve.  Also, try the shirt on and see if it’s as long as you want your tunic to be……or if you’ll need to add/subtract length.


Okay… lay your shirt down on some paper. (Mine is taped together to make it long enough……and yeah, it’s all jagged where I ripped it. Ignore that!)  Then, start tracing along the neckline of the shirt BACK (meaning, your shirt if facing down and you’re tracing along the back neck line) and then extend out where the sleeve goes.  But angle it out higher……almost straight out but not quite.  Then determine how long you want your butterfly sleeve to be.  I think elbow length is cute……so, by looking at the original shirt, I determined the “elbow location” and that’s about where I decided to start drawing my line downward.  As you draw downward, angle it in a bit towards the bottom of the shirt.  But don’t angle it in too much because you want some width for the butterfly effect.  When you reach the bottom (or down to the length you want your shirt), round the corner and then keep the bottom of the shirt rounded slightly……not straight across. You can stop here, with only half the shirt outlined.


Then, right at the center of the neckline, make a mark.


Then cut out this one half of the shirt…..


Then, right where that mark was at the neckline, fold the pattern over to create the other half……mirrored perfectly.  (If you want to mark the center bottom of your original shirt that you patterned after, make a mark at the bottom too, to help with folding.  Otherwise, just eyeball it.)  Then trace around this other half and cut the rest of the shirt pattern out.


If you want to be sure that your pattern size will be the right size, hold it up.  To you or your subject.  Fold the sides around to their sides, to be there will be plenty of overlapped fabric.  Be sure you like the length, etc.


Then, you can use the entire pattern to cut out your shirt BACK piece…..or you can fold it back in half and place the fold along the fold of your fabric.  FYI, cutting out your fabric while it’s folded is MUCH easier and faster.


As you cut around your paper pattern, add an extra 1/2 inch (for seam allowance) around the curve and shoulders of the shirt (shown in red).  You don’t need any extra around the neck…..and then, of course, you don’t cut on the folded side.


Now, you need a shirt front piece.  The only difference is the scoop of the neckline.  Use your original shirt as a guide and draw a line for the front neckline.  You can cut out a new pattern piece for the shirt front piece or you can sort of eyeball it.  I just eyeballed it and didn’t cut my pattern up, so that I can use my pattern again in the future. 


Cut out your shirt FRONT piece from your fabric, the same way as the BACK piece.  Now you have your two main pieces for your butterfly sleeve shirt.


For the neckline, you’ll need 2 strips of fabric that are 1 inch wide, a few inches longer than the length of each neckline, and are cut on the bias. (What’s the fabric bias??)


Fold each strip in half lengthwise (right side of the fabric facing outward) and iron flat, making each strip 1/2 inch wide.  Then, grab one of your strips and line up the two raw edges of the folded strip along the raw edge of the neckline of your shirt (front or back….doesn’t matter).  Make sure you’re pinning the strip to the RIGHT side of the neckline.  See?  The bias cut helps this strip curve around the neckline… puckering.  (TIP: If it IS puckering, pull the strip a little more taut as you pin.  But don’t pull the neckline.)


Then, sew it in place, a 1/4 inch from the edge, removing pins as you go.  Then, make little clips along the curve to help the neckline lay flat……..but don’t cut through the threads of your seam. (Why clips the curves??)


Then, flip the strip upward and iron flat (the raw edges should lay AWAY from neckline).  Here’s a view from the WRONG side.  See how clipping the curve released some of the tension on the fabric and allowed it to spread a bit and lay flat?


From the front, sew a seam along the neckline, right next to the neckline strip.  But sew it on the shirt and not the strip…..and try and include the raw edges that are ironed out flat on the back side.  (TIP: If your fabric is bunching and pulling a bit as you’re sewing, increase your stitch length a bit so that you’re hopping over more of the fabric and it’s not pulling as much.)  Now, press and steam to get the neckline to lay nice and flat.  Believe me, DON’T leave out this step.  My neckline did NOT look this flat and pretty, until I steamed it flat.


Do the same to the other neckline.  Then place the shirt FRONT and BACK piece together with RIGHT sides together (making sure your necklines are lined up evenly).  Sew right along the two shoulders, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  And that’s it. 


Next, is the hem all the way around the shirt.  This is a helpful trick to hem around curved edge.  Make a basting stitch (a really long stitch length) around the entire outer edge of the shirt, a 1/2 inch from the edge.


Now, you can use this as your hemming guide. 



Fold the edge right along that seam (towards the wrong side of the shirt) and iron/stem flat.  Having that seam there is especially useful while sewing with knits because it also keeps the fabric from stretching while you’re folding/ironing/sewing your hem.



Trust me, this technique really, REALLY helps with this project.  It takes a bit more time…..but will save you some grief.


Then, sew the hem in place, using a double needle to create a beautiful and even hem line…….OR, just sew a seam, then evenly space another seam next to the first, to give it a nice polished look.  (You can also zig-zag if you’re worried about needing some extra stretch.  But you don’t necessarily have to because this shirt is large enough to not need any stretching.  But if you happen to make the shirt too snug around your waist to actually need some stretch, swap out your regular needle straight stitch for a zig-zag stitch.  But using the double needle allows for stretch……so you wouldn’t have to replace the double needle stitch.)



Then, to add even more polished detail……….steam/iron the shoulder seam flat open and then sew a seam right along the shoulder seam (similar to the neckline), including the raw edges from behind. 



Next, try the top on you (or your subject) and place pins right along both sides, pinning the shirt front and back together.  You don’t want the pins too close to the body…..leave some room, it should be loose.  Also, make sure that the two top pins on each side start at the same point.



Then, carefully remove the shirt from your subject and lay the shirt flat.  Adjust your pins to make sure both sides are even and also that the bottom and side edges are lined up evenly with the back.  (If you don’t have enough room at the waist while the shirt is on, it’s okay to angle these pin lines outwards a bit.)



Then, you can draw a chalk line or just use the pins as a guide as you sew a seam in place of both sets of pins.  Here’s one of my seams below.



Now, you can skip the empire line of elastic or add it in.  If you want to add it in, measure around you (or your subject) right below your bust (or a little girl’s “pretend” bust. ;)  Right where an empire waist line would go.  (Don’t know what an empire waist is??)  Then, whatever that measurement, add another 1.5 inches to that number.  Then divide that by 2 and cut two pieces that length. 


So, FOR EXAMPLE, let’s say Elli’s empire waist measurement is 20 inches.  Add 1.5 to that, which is 21.5.  Then divide by 2, which is 10.75.  SO, I cut 2 pieces of narrow (1/8 inch) elastic at 10.75 inches each.  Make sense?  (The reason for adding 1.5 inches is so that once the elastic is in place, it’s not snug on the skin……but still pulls in the fabric, giving it a cinched in look.  Little kiddos don’t generally like the feel of tight elastic under their “chest” line, so that’s why I did that.  However, if I were to make this for myself, I would want it more snug to curve around my bust and give me some shape……so I wouldn’t add 1.5 to my measurement, I would probably subtract 1-2 inches.)


Now, determine where you want this empire line to go on you (or your subject).  Try it on……it helps.  Mark the line with chalk or pins.  Since my fabric is striped, I just knew which grey line to sew within.  Turn the shirt inside out and then mark where each elastic end will be attached on the front of the shirt first.  Now…….slide the shirt onto the sewing machine and be sure you’re only sewing through one layer of the fabric as you tack each end to the shirt.   You’ll be sewing right next to the side seams, not through them, as you sew each end down.  If you do, it’ll bunch up and won’t look right from the right side. To sew each end down, sew a straight stitch and backstitch/forward stitch a few times to secure it. 


Now, keep your elastic evenly pulled and sew a zig-zag stitch (that’s wider than your elastic) right along the outside of your elastic, back-stitching at both ends.   And be sure to stay along that empire waist line that your drew (if you drew it on the right side of the fabric, stick pins through to show where it is and re-draw it on the wrong side.)  Also, as long as you’d don’t sew through the elastic, you can adjust the elastic after you’re done and kind of even out the pull of it.


See how the zig-zag encases the elastic and that it’s tacked with several straight stitches at each end?


Now, do the exact same thing to the BACK of the shirt.  So that it cinches all the way around the shirt.



Finally, turn it right side out, make sure everything is nicely steamed flat……and that’s it.


A great little Butterfly Sleeve Tunic:



Now, make one for yourself.  Or several more for your little comfort-loving-girl.



Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Pingback: Make a LION Circus Costume | Make It and Love It
  2. Lily Berger says:

    thank you! what a beautiful shirt! about how much fabric do you need for a women’s small?? I really want to make one! thank you for all your tutorials!

  3. lindsey s says:

    making one right now! but i am not going to hem it as it is knit it won’t fray anyway and my daughter wants to wear it after school (so in about 1/2 an hour so i better get back to it….haha thanks for another great tutorial xx

  4. Sally K. says:

    That’s so cute and comfy looking! Thank you this wonderful idea!

  5. MedSprite says:

    You (and your subject) are both sweet. This is an awesome tutorial and great site! Coming back for more. :)

  6. Jenny says:

    When it’s time to sew the 2 pieces together, it says, “sew WRONG” sides together- I believe we should sew right sides together, right? Love this tute! Very cute shirt!

    1. Ashley says:

      Aaack! Yes, you are right. Thank you, I got it changed. ;)

  7. ingrid says:

    Thanks for this excellent tutorial, I’m gonna make several for me. Kisses from Venezuela!

  8. Kdb says:

    Any tips on making this longer for a dress?

  9. Kdb says:

    Any tips on lengthening this to make it a tunic dress?

  10. KureCityMom says:

    Thank you for this pattern and the clear instructions. I remember a butterfly tunic that my grandmother made for me one summer when I was a teen back in the 60s. She drew the pattern out on butcher paper just like you show. Then, on a recent trip to Japan, I saw that these are quite popular, especially in stripes. I wanted to make one and not spend $10 for a pattern. This is just what I was looking for!

  11. Maria says:

    Wow! You had a lot of work preparing this post. Amazing post and tunic! I will try it for my 3 years old. Thank you so much!

  12. T says:


  13. Charlene says:

    This is sooo cool! Just what my daughter has been asking for. thanks!!!

  14. Ivy Little says:

    I LOVE your site! So jealous……
    For me, shirring the empire waist would be easier,faster, and cheaper. All one has to do is get some THIN elastic thread, hand wound the bobbin with it (keep the top thread your normal thread), and sew along the area you mentioned.

    You are SOOOO talented!

  15. Karin says:

    Love this! Thank you for all the wonderful tutorials you have posted! They are so clear!
    I have three girls and could see them in this cute shirt! I’m also very new to sewing, and am a little scared of knit! I am clueless as to how much fabric i should buy! Should i make the patterns and bring them with me to the store? My girls are 9, 4.5 and 2.5! Please help!

  16. milene micoton says:

    Thanks ! I’ll try this for me as soon as I can :)

  17. Beckie says:

    Thanks for this tutorial Ashley! You just made it so nice. I would like to try one myself for my little girl. :-)

  18. tanya says:

    could you make this in cotton??, im new to sewing and loving yr blog x

  19. tanya says:

    I was wondering do u have to use knit fabric could this be made with cotton???, loving yr blog xx

  20. miss Scotty says:


    A follow your blog since years and I like it very much.
    Last time I send you an e-mail about the virus on your site (maybe you remember). So, I am a professional designer and maker and I just noticed something on your tutorial what is not the best way to make. It is about the neck curve. When you hem the neck curve you don’t have to make little clips along the curve. The neckline will lay flat as well without it.
    Have a nice day and weekend!


  21. Ruth says:

    I love this top! thank you sooo much for posting this. I’ve not done much sewing with knits but I think I can tackle this with all your helpful hints and tips. thanks again!

  22. Katrine says:

    I love this! I will be making this for myself. Thank you!

  23. Claire says:

    Going to go make 6 now, you’re the best.

  24. Tasha says:

    Thanks for this tutorial. I have a few of them bookmarked and am itching to have a go. I am using sewing to bribe myself to finish my house declutter so it might be another week before I get to sit down in front of the sewing machine. I have the fabric to make my son a pair of shorts and my daughter a dress from some of your older tutorials. I am definitely adding this to the list. Not sure whether I or my daughter will get the first one :) I hate sewing from patterns and tend to make things up as I go so I absolutely love your tutorials, they totally suit my way of learning and doing.

  25. Jen says:

    Where do you buy your knits? The fabric stores around me never carry it. Or if they do, I have no clue where it is in the store. :(

  26. Sarah says:

    Thanks so much for this lovely tutorial….I need a few new cute maternity tops and I think this would be perfect!
    Also, this week I hit a curb and ended up blowing TWO tires AND bending some major piece of metal under the car….it was pretty bad. (Can I blame being pregnant??!!) So, don’t feel bad, it could have been worse!

  27. Ellie says:

    I know my 10 year old would love one of these, but I am currently boycotting Joann’s and the Hancock’s by me just closed and the store I like is 30 minutes away and I don’t have a double needle. Is it worth ending my boycott? Or maybe it’s a good excuse to make the trek to the store I really love.

    Also, when you say ” It’s especially nice for those of us trying to maybe hide a little something (me!)” it sounds like you might be making an announcement. I’m not asking, because that would be tacky, but I’m just saying that’s what it sounds like. :-)

    1. Ashley says:

      Ha……I didn’t even think of that. But nope, no baby, just a little left over from the last baby. Haha! :)

    2. Ellie says:

      I have some of that, too. And maybe some left over from Christmas, and Halloween, and our birthday season, and . . .

      By the way, I made your microwave caramels and I only did a half-batch because I was using sweetened condensed milk left over from something else and that’s how much there was. So since it was a half-batch and also because my microwave cooks really hot, I ended up cooking it just a tad too long so when it cooled it got a little hard. It ended up tasting just like See’s butterscotch suckers and it was SO tasty! One of these days I want to try it without overcooking it, but I”m trying to get rid of what’s left over from the last baby and Christmas and Halloween first!

  28. Lovaine says:

    I have made something similar with a chiffon fabric and kept it a rectangular shape and zig zagged the edges, so easy. Can’t wait to try this, if only I had some fabric!!! Thank you once again for a great tutorial:)

  29. Kristin says:

    In case you didn’t know, you write THE BEST tutorials out there in blogland, no joke! This shirt is too cute!

  30. Karen says:

    Yuck on the tire!
    Sad about the dolls winning… I shouldn’t be because my little girl would love one… but I was more interested in the travel “high chair” can I persuade you to make a tutorial anyway??
    Great shirt. I have not tried knits…. not sure if your tutorial is enough to make me try yet… but I am closer to trying! :)

    1. Ashley says:

      I totally will. I really liked that one too and will definitely be completing more than just the dolls. :)

    2. Karen says:

      YAY!! Thanks! Can’t wait. :) Truth be told, I am excited about the dolls too!

  31. Shifrah says:

    As always, beautiful, wearable, make-able!! Love it, going on my list of things to make for my daughter. Thank you!!

  32. Alicia says:

    Thanks so much for this tutorial! I have learned so much about sewing knits from your blog. In fact, I just made a dress for my daughter and kinda ruined it by doing the neckline wrong. I am glad to know now how to do it without stretching! Next time will be awesome!

  33. Daina says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. I am very excited to make one for my Granddaughter. FYI: I grew up in Colorado, my sons are growing up in Colorado, and the ice still manages to grab one us every year. It’s usually black ice, and no matter how slowly you are driving, the stuff throws you around!

  34. Lisa @ Wine & Glue says:

    This tutorial is awesome! I have LOTS of things a tunic could hide! Lol. Pinning

  35. nespres says:


  36. Lindsay says:

    Thanks for a great tutorial! I am not letting my daughter see it, because I want to make one for myself! :) One question… do you use a walking foot to do the neckline? I have a terrible relationship with knit, so I am nervous about trying it again.

    1. Ashley says:

      Haha! And no, I didn’t use a walking foot….bit if you have one and it helps you get that fabric moving under the needle, go for it! Another tip is to lift the presser foot up and down and readjust often as you sew. And increase your stitch length so that it hops over more fabric. Good luck! -Ashley

  37. Robin from Israel says:

    I LOVE this – my only problem is deciding whether to make one for myself or my daughter first :).

    One question – you mentioned cutting two strips of elastic, but I didn’t see where the second one goes – is it in the back or is there just the one in the front? (yes, I’m a real novice, can you tell?)


    1. Ashley says:

      Oh wow, you’re right. I need to go fix that. Yes, you do the exact same thing to the back of the shirt. Whew!

    2. Robin from Israel says:


      Now to check my stash…

  38. Helena says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. I’ve been wanting to try a bigger project then usual, and I was thinking a top, so..thanks!

  39. Ellie says:

    Thanks Ashley, love it! You remind me of my mom. She always made up her own patterns too. All we would have to do is look in the catalogue (opps! that gives my age away) and she would design the very same dress. I did’t quite inherit that talent! For sure going to make this for my little granddaughter.

  40. rebekah says:

    I just must know where you shop for knit fabric! I can’t ever seem to find any cute knits! We have Joann, Hobby Lobby, and Hancock here. Thanks for a great tutorial!

    1. Ashley says:

      I’m pretty sure I bought the striped fabric in GA… Joann’s or Hancock?? I just can’t remember but if I find any there, it’s always in the clearance section from those two stores. But I also find really cute knits sometimes at and Good luck!

    2. rebekah says:

      Okay, another ? then, if you don’t mind? What is the type of knit? I’m looking on chezami, and there are so many different types of knit!

    3. Tiffany says:

      I’m always finding too much knit fabric I love at They have an amazing selection and really decent prices.

    4. rebekah says:

      Great sites, thanks!

      Wait! I have one more little question! :) How much fabric should I order for a ladies’ size shirt? Say a medium?

  41. fitri says:

    eekss… that must be upsetting, flat tire, and talking to insurance people :O thanks GOD, you are doing just fine, nothing major happened. Thank you for tutorial, Im sure will make one for my daughter too :)

  42. Melissa says:

    Flat tires suck. I got stranded on the highway for 4.5 hours last time and it was NOT fun. Anyway, GREAT tutorial!! :-)

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh no!!! Okay, that’s terrible! At least I was only a few blocks from my home and so I just drove it home. (I know….such a no-no, but the rim was fine. Whew!)

  43. Janel says:

    Wow I love this, I’m going to make this this weekend!

  44. RaeLyn says:

    Super cute, thank you! Where did you get that cute stripey fabric <3 it! Sorry about the tire…ugh. At least you picked yourself up and wrote a blog post. I think I would have had a pity party for the rest of the day.

    1. Ashley says:

      I’m pretty sure I bought it in GA… Joann’s or Hancock?? I just can’t remember but I always bought my knits in the clearance section from those two store. But I want more now!!

  45. Melissa says:

    AMAZING! I just bought a two shirts like this from Kohls, but now I’m going to have to make more! My new favorite shirt! (and flattering to a curvy gal like myself!)

  46. Jenn says:

    OMG…your timing could not POSSIBLY be more perfect for this top!! I literally just tried on a top like this TODAY at the store. I loved how it looked, but it was obviously not sized for anyone with any type of chest, because when I lifted my arms, the elastic went up over my boobs, and then when I brought my arms back down, the elastic just stayed up there, leaving my artfully-patterned, stretch-marked post-baby belly on display for the world to see. I DON’T THINK SO.

    Well, then I found a dress in the same style, and it didn’t come up over my boobs when I lifted my arms, but I think the elastic waist is too low…I have too much fabric draping on the top, and I’m pretty sure that’s not what it’s supposed to look like (in the front it just kind of looks like a cowl neck, which is okay, but I have a huge bulge of fabric in the back right above the cinching that I need to know what to do with.

    So anyway, I am hoping I’ll be able to adapt your pattern here to alter my dress, and also make myself an adorable top that actually stays where it belongs and doesn’t show my, erm…lady lumps….to every passerby when I have to lift up a child.

    HOORAY!! Ooh, and if you ever get a chance, can you show how to make one of these in 3/4 sleeve length with slits in the sleeves? I just LOVE that look…the dress I bought is made that way so that the sleeves just drape and your arms peek out! The slits go all the way from just below to the shoulder to just below the elbow. They’re fantastic and fluttery, and oh, so girly!!

    Anyway, thanks again… you’re the BEST!!!!

    Smiles, Jenn

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh my word, this is PERFECT then! So great! Also, the image of you raising your arms and fighting the elastic in the dressing room totally made me laugh. I’ve SO done that……and walked out frustrated! Ugggh! Anyway, glad you found this useful. And I’ll have to think about those sleeves with slits. :)

      Good luck!

  47. Tara says:

    Okay… you have convinced me. I will have to try this top – the essence of “simplicity” – and see exactly how simple it turns out for me. I’m only just learning how to do this fantastically seamstressy things, so this tutorial came at the right time! I don’t know how to use a double-needle, though I’m pretty sure that my machine can do it. Fingers crossed!

  48. Amy K. says:

    I LOVE this style of top for *me*…. thanks for doing all the figuring so I can just make one!

  49. Mei says:

    Lovely top. Thanks for sharing this tutorial. I will try this out for myself :)

  50. Nicole says:

    I hit a curb and popped my tire about 6 months ago (no snow to blame makes me even more embarrassing!) My 3 year old immediately shrieks from the backseat and asks if we hit a deer – how does she know what that would sound like or feel like, idk. Lesson learned to take wider turns… And stay out of that parking lot!

    Super fun shirt!

    1. Ashley says:

      Hahaha…….those little ones are kind of know-it-alls, aren’t they?!?! That made me laugh though! :)

  51. Geri says:

    Got to try this one next time I can snag a granddaughter for the day. Love all your tutorials.

  52. Mary says:

    I love it, and I have some cute knit fabric with butterflies all over it, so how perfect is that for my little gal? Now I need to get a double needle. Question though: I’ve seen that technique used before where you zig zag on either side of the narrow elastic. I’ve also sewn a similar shirt (in quilting cotton though) where the instructions called for simply stretching the elastic (1/4 inch) and sewing a zig zag right on top, for basically the same effect. It worked fine, so I’m curious what made you decide to use your method over the other one.

    1. Ashley says:

      Good question. When you sew right through the elastic, it works really well to keep the elastic right in place. However, when you sew through it, it also tends to stretch out the elastic just a bit. So, then my measurements are off a bit. It’s totally just preference and I could have done it that way……..but depending on your elastic type, it may not pull back in as much as you want. Does that make any sense without a picture? The way I did it, the elastic will pull right back in, and the zig-zag just acts as a casing.

      Hope that helps!

  53. Natalie says:

    I love this and the fabric!!!! Do you know where you gt it? Joanns? I’d love to find it! Thanks for another great tutorial! You are amazing!

  54. monica says:

    This tutorial was so great, I forgot about how it began until I just saw someone’s comment. So, yes, sorry about the car! But what a wonderful tutorial, thanks! I love the basting stitch tip, that is SUCH a good one.

    1. Ashley says:

      Haha…..that made me laugh! No worries, the car is fine now! Go make a shirt! :)


  55. Shara @Palmettos and Pigtails says:

    Beautiful….got any hints on how to make it maternity?

    1. MtnHarmony says:

      My thoughts are- make sure it is long enough and make the front a little wider on the bottom than the back. Line up sides as normal (which leaves a roomier front tummy area). Try on and pin and do the rest like above. I am betting you could wear a long sleeve tee under this now, and use it as a short sleeve later.

      But if you just made the sides wide enough (esp. near the bottom/tummy ) you may not need to make the front wider at all. Just sew the sides at an angle or not so snug to the body. It just depends upon your tummy size, how baggy/tight you want it, etc. It seems pretty easy. Another option would be add some elastic to the sides for rouching.

    2. Ashley says:

      Yes, I agree, make it a little wider so that you can cinch in it even more with the elastic. Also, I’m thinking for the two side seams, instead of making them straight up and down, angle them outward so that it offers you more room for your belly. And yes, for sure add some length to the front piece. Make the sides the same but then when you get to the center front, just angle it down just a bit more when you’re cutting your fabric. Then try it on and see how it looks before hemming. Trim more if needed, then hem. This would be darling as a maternity top though. Good luck!


  56. cahyapurpink says:

    it is simple but sooo lovely….

  57. Kayla says:

    Sorry about the car! But I absolutely love them and cannot wait to make one for myself!! Thank you!!

  58. Shelly says:

    Oh, I can totally relate to that driving scenario… Only I was going downhill and didn’t flatten my tire immediately. But the rim was destroyed and slowly stabbed my tire until it leaked. And, yep, I’m from Arizona too. We spent that one winter in Maine and then moved to Texas where I didn’t have to practice my snow driving anymore. Now we’re back to a snowy place and hubby drives most of the time! (And we bought snow tires.) Good luck for the rest of winter!

    1. Ashley says:

      Agggh, you understand my pain then! Good luck to you too! ;)

  59. Marisa says:

    This is perfect!!! The tunic, not your car, sorry about that! I’ve never drove with snow but I suppose it should be very tricky!
    I wanted to make something like this but with a light scarf and I was about to create my own. Probably I would have ruin the scarf… This is so great! I’ll skip the elastic because it’s a really light scarf.
    I’m totally pinning this! I’ll try to do it next week!

    Thank you!!!

    1. Lovaine says:

      I just made a very similar thing with chiffon fabric and all I did was zig zag the edges and neck and kept it a rectangle shape, it looks great for a throw over maybe over a costume or at the beach.

  60. Debbie C says:

    This is so cute on your little girl, makes me want to make one for mine! Question…I recently tried sewing with a double needle on a knit fabric. It worked great at first, but then started skipping a stitch here and there…any ideas why this may happen?

    1. Andrea says:

      I also have been giving the double needle a try on knits and it was skipping stitches. Any tips?

    2. Ashley says:

      Hmmmm, you may want to fiddle with your tension a bit. I imagine each machine sews with the double needle a little differently. But since it was working at first, we know it will work on your machine. Also, fabric type changes things up a bit. Grab some scrap fabric and play around with it, change settings, and see what happens. (Otherwise, just make two straight lines with your regular needle.)

      Good luck!

    3. Marieke says:

      I’d suggest getting a ball point twin needle! I have this problem too with my universal needle in knits, but not other fabrics, and my single ball point needles do just fine, no skipped stitches at all. I actually cleaned out the whole machine because I thought that was the reason, but no change. I’m hoping to find a twin ball point soon… Didn’t see one at Joann’s close to my place…

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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