Cap Sleeve Top – Free Pattern & Tutorial

I got this Cape May Sea Life Delight fabric from Joann’s 2 years ago and it’s still one of my favorites. It’s lightweight and cool, plus the cute sea creature prints just shout summer vacation and beach!

I’ve already made a cinched waist dress out of this fabric, tutorial here and video here, so I knew I wanted to make a loose top that could be worn casually with jeans or styled with a skirt for a meeting. 
Let’s make it!

Things You Will Need:

  • 3/4 yards of lightweight knit fabric
  • Ball Point Needle
  • Twin Stretch Needles (Optional)
  • Stay Tape or DIY Stay Tape (See picture below)
  • Serger (Optional)
  • Print pattern – This pattern is FREE to all my newsletter subscribers. Check both your inbox and junk folder for the confirmation email. Be sure to have your pop up blocker disabled. Print from a laptop or computer.

*This pattern is sized 2 (XS) and INCLUDES SEAM ALLOWANCES. 

Make Your Own Stay Tape! I use a yard of knit interfacing and cut strips diagonally using a self healing cutting board and a rotary cutter. I make the strips 1/8″ larger than my seam allowance.

1. PRINT & ASSEMBLE THE PATTERN – This pattern is free to subscribers. Download and print from a laptop or computer.

2. BINDING – Cut the binding for the neckline 1” x 28” CROSSGRAIN.

3. ADD STAY TAPE – After the fabric pieces are all cut out, it is best to add stay tape to anywhere that will need some strength and stability such as the shoulders and neckline. I’ve worked with this fabric before and the binding does a good job of holding the neckline in shape so I added stay tape to the shoulders only.

4. SEWING THE SHOULDERS – Place front and back bodice pieces right sides together, and sew with a 3/8” seam allowance. Use your serger or a double zig zag stitch; a smaller zig zag stitch and then a wider zig zag stitch next to it. Then, I clipped off the excess seam allowance.

5. NECK BINDING – Right sides together, sew the binding, with a 1/4” seam allowance, into a loop and press the seam allowance open. Divide the binding loop and neckline into quarters. Pin the RIGHT side of the binding, matching the quarter markings, to the WRONG side of the neckline. TIP: Since this neckline is pretty wide and doesn’t need to stretch at all to fit my head, I used a straight stitch to sew the binding to the  neckline. Press the binding up. Fold the binding 1/4” twice over onto the right side of the garment, encasing the raw edge of the neckline, and then edge stitch.

6. HEMMING THE SLEEVES – Fold the hem allowance 1/2” towards the wrong side of the garment and either use TWIN STRETCH NEEDLES, a small zig zag or a stretch stitch to sew it down.

7. CLOSING THE SIDE SEAMS – Right sides togethers, sew the side seams with 3/8” using a double stitch; small zig zag first and then a larger zig zag stitch. Trim off the excess seam allowance.

8. HEMMING – The last step is the hemming. After folding up the hem allowance 5/8” up, use a small zig zag or long straight stitch to finish the hem. If you are using twin stretch needles, DON’T BACKSTITCH! Just leave a long tail of thread and use a hand sewing needle to bring the 4 threads on the right side of the hem to the wrong side. Tie all 6 threads together into knots a few times and clip. I do an extra step which is to use a tiny bit of fabric glue on the cut ends.

And that’s it! I’d love to see your finished cap sleeve top, so be sure to tag me on Instagram @sew_zune or post it on Zune’s Sewing Therapy Facebook.

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  1. Please could I have some assistance? Every time I try to click on the link to the pattern above, it redirects me to a signup to newsletter page – I am already signed up… However I tried yet again & put in all my details, hoping a download button would appear, yet nothing happened? (No download button & no email sent to me with attachment… nothing!?)
    I cannot figure out how to access the actual pattern 🙁 so some help would be really appreciated.

    1. Hi Shanleigh,

      Did you receive a confirmation email after you signed up? Please check both your inbox and junk folder.

      1. Yes I did receive such an email, thank you, & also clicked on the “subscription confirmation buttons” originally, but have also done so again…
        However the pattern link in the article still takes me to the subscription page instead of the actual pattern?

        1. Hi Shanleigh,

          Are you printing from a computer or laptop? If you are, then it may be something with Mailchimp. Let me know how it goes, and I will check with Mailchimp.

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