Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Sewing Circle: Super cool racerback top

Getting very trendy on this week's Sewing Circle! I do hope some of you have some ideas on this top.  I did my best but I couldn't find a very close pattern!  Got this question from Amy...

Q: So, I adore the designs of Isabel Marant, but it will be a while before I can afford any of her clothes. Lately I've been fixated on this blouse, especially the shape of the neckline, and I think it would be really nice as a dress, too. I'm not even sure what terms to use to describe it so it's been difficult to look for a pattern. Any suggestions?


A: Hello Amy,

That is a super cool top! It would be great to recreate it. I’ve never seen a super similar pattern but I’d recommend you combine a couple patterns, and add your own bias tape binding.

I would suggest using a racerback pattern like the grey/black top in McCall’s M6359 for the yoke. The front you may have to draft using the back piece, even, which wouldn’t be much of a problem since the fullness for the bust is below. 

You almost don’t need a pattern for the body of the top, really, but if you want one I would recommend using and modifying something like one of these:

And, to finish the edges, wide bias strips and do a neat binding. Could be very cool!  And you know, if you maybe cut a mini-version out of paper first, you almost don’t need much of a pattern.  If you're brave!

Readers, please tell me you've seen a more similar pattern or have a great idea on how to make something like this!


  1. Oooh, clever!

    The quilted element of the top would be such a fun thing to do! I'd deffo go for the first McCalls pattern that you suggested and then go crazy for the quilting.

    Isn't it fabulous that when you really find a piece of clothing that you love... by learning to make you own clothes... you can make it YOURSELF!

    I love this game!

    Bundana X

    P.S. Love the blog, a wealth of information!

    1. Ooh, you're right, the quilting would really make it look cool!

      It is SOOO great when you can make your own! Thanks, glad you found my blog!

  2. The yoke shape reminds me of this free dress pattern on Burda. You would just need to make the racer back skinnier and draft the more blousy bottom. http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns/sonja-dress

    1. Good link! If you used that pattern for the top yoke part and just cut a loose rectangle (shaped to the yoke) and gathered it in for the rest, it'd be great!

  3. Love this top and your right Amy it would look super cute as a dress. For the pleated part under the yoke this dress pattern might help on Burda http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/kathrine?image=6408 Looks similar but you just need to add more pleats and the yoke obviously :-)


    1. It would be a cute dress! I think it would be harder to add a yoke than to reshape the dress, though...

  4. The lines of this racer back are unusual, with the straps close to the neck at the front and a high neck at the back. To reproduce this, you could start by wearing a close fitting tee, then drawing on the lines you wanted for the neck, armholes and yoke, cut it up and use it for your pattern. If you are binding the edges, you will not need to add extra for seam allowances to your drawn lines.

    1. Yeah, excellent point. The body is so loose and gathered, no worries about fit, so really you just need to draft the racerback and front yoke parts!

  5. After losing about 30% of my body weight, clothing has become an issue. I was able to alter many pieces, but my problem now is with patterns. I currently wear a size 2 or 3. Can I use patterns that are size 6 (and there are very few) and cut them out on the "sewing" line to get closer to my current size?


    1. You should have no problem using sewing patterns to make clothes that fit. A pattern size 6 or 8 is NOT the same as a modern storebought clothing size 6 or 8! You can scale patterns down, but it's hard to do perfectly, so I'd say make a muslin first. But make sure you're checking the measurements on each size, not the clothing size number. For example, I wear a 2 in stores but the patterns tell me to cut out a 12! Now, I also consider the wearing ease (I like mine to fit tighter than the pattern companies do) and seam allowances (I use 1/2" instead of 5/8").

      For more info, make sure you check out these posts! About picking the right pattern size... http://www.adventuresindressmaking.com/2010/08/sewing-circle-how-to-cut-out-right.html

      And about how modern patterns fit and how to make them work for you! http://www.adventuresindressmaking.com/2012/01/clothing-sizes-are-weird-but-so-are.html



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