Sleeveless Shell Top – Fashion with Fabric (Sewing Bee)


I’m on a roll, totally back in the sewing groove and thanks to Nadine, I’m much improved as my efforts on my latest project prove!  I started cutting out the pattern for this last week and then put it away as the weekend was a wee bit manic.  I was also really nervous about starting to sew, but last night the children were playing, the husband was out and I just went for it.

Although the top is rated for a beginner, there are a lot of skills I’ve not used yet, attaching facing, neatening raw edges with a zig zag, bust darts etc… However, so far so good I’m over the moon with how it’s looking.


The bust darts were a dream.  I was initially worried about the weird sticky out bit on the side of the front of the top and thought I’d cut it out wrong but duh that’s the bit that’s folded to make the dart.  I found the easiest way to mark them on my fabric was by tracing the dart on to a piece of paper and then onto the fabric (as I had been lazy and not marked them out originally).  They make such a difference to the shaping and were not as daunting as I expected.  I think next time I will do a FBA (full bust adjustment) as although I’ve cut a bigger size I still think it will be on tight side but I didn’t want to over complicate this attempt.

The facing was a mystery to me, I kept re-reading the pattern and not being able to follow what was happening and couldn’t visualise how it would work when pulled through.  I decided just to go for it and low and behold it not only worked, it looks so neat and well finished!  I’m soooooo happy and it’s something I will definitely use again!


The ziz zag neatening of the facing was not such an outstanding success though as my machine wouldn’t allow me to sew along the edge without getting caught up.  I decided just to do it a bit further in and will trim back, but the effect is the same it won’t fray.  Oh for an over-locker but this will do for now.  It’s hard to see in these hastily taken photos but will do better ones when I post the finished top.

All in all I’m giddy it’s gone so well!  To celebrate I’ve ordered a load more fabric for the next projects!

Please feel free to comment, are you working on something which demands new skills?  Do you have tips on the zig zag bit or anything else?

Thank you for reading

Claire xxx


2 thoughts on “Sleeveless Shell Top – Fashion with Fabric (Sewing Bee)

  1. Well done Claire, it looks fab!
    You did right with the ziggag as long as it is not touching the sewn line it will work fine.
    As far as an overlocker, I couldn’t live without mine, maybe it should be on your Christmas list.
    Keep up the good work, I’m enjoying your blog!
    Nem xxx


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