Striped Sailor Top

I admire Marilla Walkers patterns for their originality and clever drafting, but they’re not my usual style. The Sailor top won me over because of it’s intriguing simplicity. It’s a free, one-size pattern that is drafted without any curves. The sleeves and bodice are just squares and rectangles. Just check out that flat lay, so cool! Shape (and room to move) are given by the triangle shoulder insets and the underarm gusset. A striped fabric is the perfect companion to this top, as it highlights the geometric shapes beautifully.

I had been waiting to use this fabric for a while. It’s a soft, yarn dyed Japanese cotton knit, nice and thick. Unfortunately I had not checked the width when ordering and discovered too late that it was only 90 cm wide. Argh! I only had 1.25 m in length, so it just sat in my stash for a year. Until I thought of the Sailor top. It was perfect for a pattern that is just rectangles, so with a bit of Tetris I made it work. The pattern comes with short sleeves but I made them as long as my fabric allowed, which turned out to be a perfect 3/4 length. The cuffs are unintentional but I like them.

Maxilla Walker Sailor Top by Paprika Patterns
Maxilla Walker Sailor Top by Paprika Patterns

Check that gusset! I had never sewn one before. Even though it is a very straightforward pattern, the gussets make it an interesting sew. The neckline is finished with bias tape on the inside to keep it from stretching. Next time I will try adding width to the shoulder gussets on the front though. I have a forward neck and the front neckline is too high. I think I’ve also lengthened the bodice a bit and maybe tapered the sleeves, but I can’t remember. Blame the baby brain!

Maxilla Walker Sailor Top by Paprika Patterns

I normally don’t wear tops this boxy, but I love this one. In fact, it feels totally ‘me’. Interesting shapes, stripes, perfect length, simple pattern but still some new things to learn. At first I was hesitant about trying a new shape with a precious fabric, but I just really thought it would work. Plus it was the first thing I made for myself after my pregnancy, so the hormones might have made me a bit reckless, hehe. Anyway, it was a good call and I’m sure it’ll get a lot of wear.

7 Comments

  1. francesca

    : Reply to francesca

    Cute! And a good save of precious fabric:). I hear you about her patterns – not me at all either – but this works, probably because it’s cropped. And the stripes really help to show off that cool construction.

  2. Sally -- Charity Shop Chic

    : Reply to Sally

    Oh – that reminds me that I have this pattern cut out already somewhere… I must dig it out and finish it!
    Yours is lovely – I don’t think I’ve seen a version anywhere that wasn’t stripy! :)

    • Lisa Kievits

      :

      Yes, it’s such a quick sew! And great with spring coming.

  3. Kathryn

    : Reply to Kathryn

    This looks great! The shoulder gussets are so striking in stripes. I love this pattern and made one last year, though I didn’t use the underarm gusset piece. I’d like to try it again with the underarm gusset.

    • Lisa Kievits

      :

      Thank you! It gives a better range of movement I think. Plus it looks fun with stripes!

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