I promise not to go about maternity pattern adaptations too much more (I’ll be onto feeding tops soon enough!), but I wanted to share another quick pattern hack of the Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top that makes it into either a long t-shirt with rouched gathered sides, or a tunic that looks great with leggings - and it's perfect for the new gorgeous Liberty Dufour Viscose Jersey that we now have available!
I’ve noticed quite a lot of maternity tops that you can buy have this style and its pretty easy to copy them but having a base pattern to work from makes things easier if you’re not confident about making a pattern from existing clothes.
The Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top is a nice and simple one to work from and as I’ve mentioned before, I love the little rouch detail that you can add at the neck or at the sleeves, but any basic t-shirt top pattern would work like the Sewaholic Renfrew or the Grainline Lark Tee.
I used this gorgeous Liberty Chesham lightweight dufour jersey. We’ve got a few gorgeous new jerseys just in with very limited stock so scroll to the bottom to check them out or browse the full collection in the Just Arrived section!
Here are the few simple steps I made to adjust the pattern and add in the side seam ties – I think it gives a great effect!
Step One – Lengthen the Pattern
I lengthened mine by 9 inches but you might want to do it for longer if you are planning on wearing the top as a tunic sometimes and have lovely long legs.
Just measure down from the centre front fold line and make a mark, then draw a line at 90 degrees to the fold line.
Step Two – Re-draw the side seam edge adding in more width to the front bodice
Going on from my maternity adaption I did last week where I made my bodice piece straighter rather than the sort of bell shape at the hips that the original pattern has, I made mine a bit straighter on this version too.
In the picture below you can see the original pattern outline in purple and my newly drawn in alteration in green.
I made wanted to make the front bodice wider than the back to help accommodate the bump (on the original pattern they front and back bodices are the same – apart from the neckline and arm sync). So at the hem line the front bodice was 10 inches wide and at the back it was 8 3/4 inches wide (I used a size 4 as my base). I worked this out by judging the proportions rather than an exact science of measuring. I knew it needed to come out a bit at the hips, but that I didn’t want it come out as much as the original pattern.
The other thing to remember here is that instead of the 1.5cm seam allowance included in the pattern, for the side seam below the notch, you will be taking a 2cm seam allowance to create the casing for the ties.
Step Three – Cut out and make up the top and skip to hemming the bottom of the top
Using your new pattern pieces, follow the instructions, sewing the shoulder seams, attaching the neckband adding the rouching and inserting the sleeves (I used the originial pattern piece and jsut cut them shorter).
So that the hem looks neat where the side ties are, you need to hem the front and back bodices separately before sewing the side seams. I used a double needle for mine.
Step Four – Sew the side seams and create the casing for the ties
Using your regular sewing machine sew the side seams with the normal 1.5cm and then merge out slightly when you get to the side seam notch so that you take a 2cm seam allowance.
Then press the seams open.
At the bottom hem it should look nice and neat where the hemmed front and back bodice comes together. To create the casing for the ties, stitch the seam allowance to the respective front and back bodice 1.5cm away from the seam line. I just used a regular straight stitch for this rather than a zigzag as it shouldn’t be getting stretched that much anyway. Stop when you reach the side seam notch.
Step Five – Make the ties
Cut out 4 strips of fabric 4cm wide by 70cm long (if you made the top longer than I did make the strips longer).
Fold each one in half long ways and sew with a 1cm seam allowance using a zigzag stitch (or you could use the over locker) to create a tube.
Using a loop turner, turn the tube inside out. Repeat until you have 4 ties.
Step six – Insert the ties and fix in place
Attach a safety pin to one end of the tie and feed it through your channel at the side seam. Repeat for the other channel.
Keep both the safety pins attached (its really easy for the ties to slip back down) and sew across the top of them to secure in place. Then remove the safety pins and trim as needed. Tie a knot at the other end of the tie that is sticking out the bottom.
Then you’re finished!! Pair it with jeans and rouch it up....
Or layer over a pair of cosy leggings!
If you fancy getting your hand on some of the gorgeous new Liberty Defour Viscose Jersey that we have had in then here is a quick summary of all the lovely prints!
From left to right;
Image credit to Victoria Beddoes Photography of the shots with me
Hear all about my fun time filming a sewing machine feature for this TV show!