Nothing says sunshine, flowers and all things summer like a cute little peasant top! I love that it’s so cute and girly yet comfy enough to hop, skip, run and climb in. I drafted this pattern thinking of summer play clothes for Madeline that is also easy on my fingers to change her as I’ve been taking a break from Humira for several weeks now because Valtrex wasn’t working well while I was on it. Ugh. Don’t get me started on that *in my Jeannie Darcy voice*
Popsicles, milkshakes, watermelons – drips and stains – yes, plenty of affordable play clothes needed Miss Madeline. I always go through the fabric section at Walmart and that was when I chanced upon this solid knit fabric which was shockingly $1 a yard. It’s quite thin as in able to see the characters on the diaper thin but I think as something to wear around the house or out in the yard it would be okay. As you can see in the pictures in this tutorial, I didn’t serge or zig zag any of the edges and I just threw it in the washer without a laundry bag. Pretty impressive for $1 fabric! It sews pretty well and held nicely in the wash. I think it would also be great for layering under laces. I was able to cut out two sets (2 peasant tops and 2 shorts) so that made it 50 cents a set. Love!
I made the shorts using my toddler bloomers pattern with a slight adjustment on the waist to create a casing for the elastic. But for now, let’s get to the peasant top!
Things You Will Need:
Fabric of choice (I used a lightweight knit fabric)
¼” knit elastic
Twin stretch needle (recommended if sewing with knits)
Hand sewing needle (if using twin stretch needle)
Ribbon (I used a ¼” ribbon to easily differentiate the front from back)
Print pattern *here*
Watch the tutorial on Youtube *here*
Firstly, print out the pattern and make sure that the printer is set to “Do Not Scale”. I recommend printing out page 1 first which has the test square and check to see if it measures correctly. Cut out the front and back pieces and put them right sides together. Sew with a 3/8” seam allowance and then serge or zig zag the edges.
The flutter sleeves…
Cut out 2 rectangles that are 4 ½” x 10 ¼”. Fold under ¼” twice and sew close to the edge. I suggest using lots of pins to keep the folds in place and remove the pins as you sew.
If your hem looks all curly like mine, just pass a warm iron over it. Be sure to set the iron to the lowest setting and test on a scrap piece of the same fabric you are using.
Attaching sleeves to the top…
With right sides together, pin the sleeves on each side of the front of the top and sew with a 3/8” seam.
Then pin the sleeves to the back of the top, right sides together, and sew with a 3/8” seam.
You can serge or zig zag the edges but I got a little lazy here and skipped it. Fold under 3/8”all around the armhole and sew ¼” from the front neckline, around the armhole and to the back neckline.
Making the casing…
Fold the neckline under ¼” and sew to keep in place.
Then fold ½”, pin it in place and sew close to the edge to make the casing.
Leave about 2” open to feed the elastic through.
Once you have determined the size of the neck hole by adjusting the length of the elastic, overlap the elastic by about ½”, cut and sew with a wide zig zag stitch or sew a rectangular shape.
Close the casing by sewing close to the edge while being careful not to sew on the elastic.
I really enjoy using the twin stretch needles for doing hemming on stretchy fabrics. The stitches stretch with the fabric while wearing. If you don’t have a twin needle, just use a small zig zag stitch. Back to the top, fold under ¾” and pin it in place. If you’re using a twin needle for this step, stitch on the right side of the fabric.
Do not back stitch in the beginning or at the end! Simply start with a long tail of thread and end with a long tail of thread and use your hand sewing needle to bring the threads on the right side of the fabric to the wrong of the fabric and tie them in a knot.
To trim off the excess edge, fold everything up leaving on the raw edge exposed and cut closely to the fold being careful not to cut the actual top.
And that’s it. How quick was that!
I’ve made these peasant tops for Madeline in cotton as well with different sleeve variations. For cotton fabrics, I sew it a bit differently – I use bias tape for the armhole and fold twice on the hem. If you make this cutie for your little one, share your pictures here and let me know what you think.