I just started yoga and wanted to sew some simple exercise clothes. In doing so, I not only created a perfectly fitted top to wear to the gym, but also a great top to wear every day. Take a size smaller for a fitted finish for sportswear, like the red version above, or size up for a looser fit for wearing to work – see the printed version below. Looks great under a jacket.
Please enjoy free ruched front top pattern.
Easy-to-sew sleeveless top with front and back princess seams and ruched bodice on one side. The front panel is reversible, so you can choose to have the gathers on either side, or do one on each! Sewn using a simple turn and sew method, suitable for beginners. For stretch knitted fabrics only.
- Princess seams front and back
- Size range
- Designed to be flattering and slimming
- Gathering on one side
- Tighten it up for exercise or a little looser for everyday wear – whatever you like!
Beginner. The instructions for this top assume that you already have basic experience sewing with stretch fabrics and making basic adjustments needed in any pattern to achieve a good personal fit.
If you want to know more tips and trickssewing techniques with knitted fabrics, please read this article we published on sewing with stretch knits.
Useful tutorials. You can find a range of useful sewing tutorials and videos on the So Sew Easy – tutorials page.
How to download
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Can I see more photos before I decide?
Of course you can. Here are some other views. This plain version tends to highlight the shape and gather better than the printed version.
Choose your fabrics
Only suitable for stretchy knitted fabrics. Not really suitable for stripes, but solid colors, large or small prints all look great. Choose a lightweight fabric with a soft drape for best results. Heavy fabrics won't wrinkle either.
What size do I need?
Please use this chart as a guide only, as although our measurements may be similar, different body shapes may require a different fit. Fabrics of different thicknesses, drape and stretch will also affect the final result and fit this top.
- Size 1 – 34 inches
- Size 2 – 36 inches
- Size 3 – 38 inches
- Size 4 to 40 inches
- Size 5 – 42 inches
You can measure the paper pattern pieces to determine fit – if you want it to be more fitted, choose a pattern size closest to your bust measurement. For a looser fit, choose the pattern size that includes a little more ease.
The pattern is pretty simple, so you should be able to upgrade to a larger size if you need to. Always test the fit using the paper pattern pieces or inexpensive test fabric before cutting your expensive fabric for that top. When in doubt, test size larger and adjust for side fit and princess seams during construction.
Ruched Front Sewing Instructions
Seam allowances – 5/8th of an inch (1.5 cm) throughout unless otherwise noted.
Abbreviations used: RST – right sides against right sides.
This sewing tutorial is also available in video format.
You can watch on YouTube – click on this video image to access the tutorial. Once the video starts, you can get a clearer image by clicking the small “gear” icon to select a higher video quality.
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Let's start sewing! (Full step-by-step instructions included in pattern download)
- Print and assemble your pattern. Check the size of the test square. Cut out your pattern pieces.
- Pre-wash and iron your fabric according to the fabric care instructions.
- Use your pattern pieces to cut your fabric. Remember to cut the center back piece at the fold.
- Transfer the gathering area marking to your front piece of fabric and run a long series of basting/gathering stitches between the marks, ¼ inch from the edge.
- Pin the front side panel to the gather side, pinning from the top to the gather points and the bottom to the gather points.
- Pull up the gathering points until this area matches the length of the front side panel. The pin comes together in place. Sew the entire seam.
- Pin and sew into the other front side panel.
- Using RST, pin and then sew the two back side panels to the center back.
- Using RST, pin then sew ONE shoulder seam. (Optional – If you are using a very stretchy knit, you may want to stabilize the shoulder seams with clear elastic or a stay on tape.) If you are a good seamstress, you can sew the other shoulder and side seams and finish the collar and armholes in the round, then finish the bottom hem.
- For the edge of the neckline and armholes, turn in 5/8th inch or 1.5 cm from the wrong side and sew carefully and evenly from the folded edge.
- Pin then sew the other shoulder seam.
- Turn over and sew the remaining edge of the armhole.
- RST, pin and sew the side seams.
- Try on and check the fit. Make any necessary adjustments.
- Cut, clean and finish all your seams. Press.
- Check the length. Mark where you want your hem to come, turn up, pin and sew. You can use a twin needle finish on the bottom hem, or sew with a ½ inch (1.5 cm) backhand and narrow zigzag stitch. Clean the seam, cut off any excess fabric and iron.
- Wear your finished top, love it and make another!
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