Fancy Tiger Sailor Top

Yikes. It’s been a long while since I’ve written a blog post. I won’t bore anyone with tawdry details, but it’s been a rough year. I feel like I’ve been bleeding money, and that gets depressing. Seems like sometimes you can’t get ahead no matter how hard you try. Am I right? Anyone else feel that way?  (OK, but if you do want the tawdry details, basically, hours cut at work, car expensively vandalized, expensive eye surgery, aging dogs who need more and more special everything all the time, more major car problems including at least one tow, and Jesus how much does gas cost now?). All that is to say, I haven’t felt like sewing much. Or doing anything much. In fact I have a purse that I cut out a year ago that I haven’t even looked at. How is that even possible?

I’ve slowly been getting back into things, and every so often I get a burst of inspiration, or desire, to make something. Or finish something! I started a dress that I planned to wear for my husband’s birthday in May, and then it sat for 3 months just needing a zipper and a hem. But I digress. I ‘ve been trying to make a few small things here and there so that I don’t get overwhelmed. Also making something with a deadline has helped. A family friend wanted to buy a bag, and I needed to make it, so that was a good kick in the rear to get moving on things.

I have a  few larger projects on the go as well, but I’m waiting on some fabric to finish them, so I thought I would make something quick instead. Instant gratification, and I didn’t want to let my burst of energy get away. I also haven’t made a garment for myself in awhile (since my Lemon Lime Washi?), so I decided to make myself a top. A Sailor Top from Fancy Tiger Crafts to be specific. You know when you make something and you think this is great! It fits pretty well and it’s cute; I’m going to make a bunch of these! That happened to me in 2015 when I first made a Sailor Top. I made two in what I would call wearable muslin fabric, and I always planned to make more. Yet here we are three years later….

My wearable muslin Sailor Tops, made with fox and anchor fabric from JoAnn. I absolutely love them, and I get compliments every time I wear them, but I always wanted to make one using a better quality fabric.

Anyway, I had leftover fabric from a dress I cut out (the May to August dress), and I knew it would be a perfect Sailor Top. And it seemed like I would have just enough fabric. Weeeeeeeeell, I sort of did. I had to cut my sleeve facings going the opposite direction, and I had to piece my front and back neck facings, but you can’t tell at all. Somehow things lined up just right! Sadly I had planned on lengthening the top a bit, but that wasn’t going to happen. Next time.

This is a pretty quick top to put together (as quick as a garment with gathering can be), and I find it to be comfortable and flattering on most body types. It’s a fun to make using a bold fabric, or a solid, more classy fabric. I used this lawn print from Cotton and Steel’s Lucky Strikes line, which I’d been saving for years. I love the colors (black, mint, and a bluish purple), I love the geometric design, I love that the collection is all about bowling, and I love that it reminds me a little bit of snake skin. It’s also a perfectly lightweight fabric for a summer top.

The light sort of washes out the black color, but it really is black!

Now that I’ve had more practice with this pattern, I really do promise to myself that I will make more. There are some fiddly bits including the ironing of tiny hems, the gathering (ugh, gathering), and stitching in the ditch, but if you’re in the right mood and willing to push through the tedium, you’ll get a great result. As I mentioned, I planned to lengthen the top, so next time I’ll add a few inches. I did sew the side seams on this one at 1/2″ instead of 5/8″ to give myself a little more room, and it did make a difference. Much roomier! I’d also recommend double checking your measurements and sizing up if need be. The first top I made was way too tight, even though I made the medium because that’s what my measurements dictated. I gave it to a friend though, so hopefully it was appreciated!


Have you made a Sailor Top? Or do you have a favorite pattern that you make over and over? Making this quick top definitely helped me get some of my love of sewing back, but I’m still not ready to finish that purse.

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