the Evelyn top-a tutorial

 I made this top the other day for Sadie…and it ended up fitting Charlotte! lol. Most of the time it’s the other way around. (I tend to make things bigger than they need to be, I am constantly and irrationally scared that things will be too small when making stuff for C)

I named it after my newest baby niece, Evelyn. She is adorable, and a sweetie pie…and I know this even though I haven’t met her yet because, how could she not be? Babies are the best.  (yes I’m a bit baby hungry lately as you saw on Friday’s post!)

Anyways, it ended up fitting Charlotte almost perfectly! The neckline is a bit wide on her, but it’s not too bad. Kind of an 80’s look? huh huh…hmm. maybe not. eh. I’m over it.

The fabric is High Society by Anthology – Zinnia in Mustard.

I love the kangaroo pocket on the front, and so did Charlotte. They’re great for stashing Pez in. Yes, we’ve created another Pez-loving monster. Sigh. and then brush brush brush those teeth.

My favorite, and signature, button closure in the back. Cute button huh?

Bonus: those curls. I die….love them.

So here’s how I made it!

Click below for the full tutorial!

You’ll need:
1-2 yard cotton woven fabric (depending on the size)
coordinating fabric to make into bias tape, or pre made bias tape
shirt to make the pattern with
3/8″ elastic

First off, I folded my top in half and traced around the tee, but made it wider in the sides. (note: I used a 3T top thinking it would fit Sadie, it did but was a bit short. So keep in mind to lengthen the bodice more if you want it to be more of a tunic length.)

Where I wanted the elastic waist to hit, I folded up the shirt and drew a line. Then I drew the bottom portion, the side at a bit of an A-line. Make sure to add 5/8″ seam allowance to the two pieces where they match up and an extra inch or so on the bottom for hemming.

This is to show where the pattern extended. I didn’t add enough seam allowance though on this pattern. Do as I say….not as I do?

Then I used my ruler to straighten my lines and cut out the pattern.

tada! Like I said, add seam allowance to the pieces!

Then I used the armhole on the bodice to trace a sleeve pattern. (the top is the fold of course)

This is how I make my sleeve patterns-this one will have some gathering. Hope this pic helps!

Then trace the kangaroo flap again, and draw a swoopy bit like this (very scientific name) for the pocket.

Then I cut out 2 bodice pieces on the fold, one with the back neckline and one with the front. Then cut out 2 sleeves on the fold, and 2 kangaroo pieces on the fold, then 1 more with the pocket cut out.

Then I created a button closure (directions here), sewed the shoulder seams together, and gathered the front of the neckline a little since it was cut wider than I normally would.

Then I made my bias tape, and finished the neckline.

I also sewed some bias tape around the raw edge of the sleeve bottom.

Then gather the top of the sleeve to fit the armhole.

Pin it in…

and sew! Always finish your seams with a serger or zig zag stitch.

Then on the pocket piece, pin and sew bias tape to the pocket edge.

Then I basted the pocket piece to one of the other pieces along the sides.

Next I pinned and sewed the sides of the bodice and sleeves together, then finished the seams.

Then I sewed and finished the seams for the sides of the pocket pieces.

It’s easier to hem it right now, also!

Then pin the pieces right sides together, they should fit just right, if not, wiggle it around til it’s close enough-it’ll be gathered so will hide small lumps & bumps.

Oh, and make sure to sew the front pocket and front bodice pieces together, and the back ones as well. It would stink to sew the pockets on to the back! lol

Then sew the top and pocket piece together with a 5/8″ seam.

Then sew a casing along the top of the seam you just sewed, folding out the bottom so that the top is laying flat. I hope this makes sense! Leave a space open for your elastic.

Cut your elastic to fit the kiddos waist (mine was 20″ so it would fit loosely), then thread through the casing and sew the ends together, then sew the casing shut. Sew on the button for the closure, and a bow on the front if desired. 
Bask in the cuteness.


  1. Oh how I wish I had your tallent, you have the beautifullest girls!
    Katie x

  2. Adorable! This is definitely going on my ‘To Make’ list!
    I am glad to see you are doing more clothing tutorials!

  3. beautiful! I love it even more cause my name is Jess and my daughter’s name is Evelyn.

  4. I love how it turned out! Super cute!! I need to practice making clothes…..not my best projects!

  5. You’ve done it again!! I’ve love all the little details on this – the bow & pockets are just too cute. My little girl has had a major growth spurt so I have a legitimate excuse to make new clothes for her, yay! And what she needs the most is tops, so I definitely think we’ll head to the fabric store tomorrow.

  6. So pretty! I really love the top. You are always making great things 😉

  7. This is so cute, Jess! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Love it. I always love your fabric choices/color combinations.

  9. Soooo cute! Evelyn is honored to have that cuteness named after her! I love it! And charlotte is getting sooo big and too stinkin cute!!!! Miss you guys!

  10. Of course I must make this top, my daughter’s name is Evelien, almost the same name 😉 Tnx again for another great tutorial.

  11. I never comment but I always look here, love your designs and your sense of humor. Love your ‘signature’ closure too. Keep thinking I’m going to use it as my signature hehe Best wishes to you!

  12. Ohhh! How I love this!

    And that fabric – I have a scrap and so thought it was vintage …. oops! Love it!

  13. Oh I love the pocket! I know my girls will love it even more! I seriously need to get back into the basement to sew! Thanks so much for sharing yet another fantastic tutorial!

  14. Love the top! Would the same method for making sleeves work for an adult pattern?

  15. SO cute, Jess! I am adding this one to my list. Love it! My girls go crazy for pockets on shirts.

  16. You created a very cute top for a very cute little girl! Your kangaroo pocket is a smart and stylish addition. Children – and even adults – love pockets. Great job – going to print out the picture of your sweet thing and make some for my granddaughters!

  17. A great tutorial! Lots of pictures for visual learners like me and thanks for more explanation on sleeves. I’m not very good at trace-a-shirt patterns, but I might actually try this.

  18. Como dicen mis hijas su camisa es “ALTO CARIÑO” ,cuando algo utilitario,se mezcla con la dulzura.

  19. Awwe!! I am on the search for some pretty dresses I can make for my baby cousin! Thanks for sharing!!

    Feel free to submit this to my link party, would love to share it with more people!

  20. Another winner! Incredibly cute.
    By the way on your ‘neckline to wide’ comment: I use fold over elastic for the necklines on shirts for my daughters. Works a treat!

  21. This is so darling! Going towards the top of my list of things to make…

  22. Jeanette Schnell says

    Can this be made out of knit fabric?

  23. This elastic waistband effect is really saving the day! We are making peasant dresses for girls in Uganda, but need to adjust them to fit better for older girls. This will do the trick, I believe! I just made a doll prototype and it looks great! Thanks!!

  24. Charlotte says

    I made this today. Took me 6 hours. Had to do a little bit of un-stitching because it was too tight around the arms and couldn’t get it off without a screaming 2 year old. I feel like this was the biggest project I have ever done, but I feel sooo accomplished now. I also learnt soo many things about sewing and just using my machine, in general, which I have had for 2 years hahaha. Thankyou for an amazing tutorial! I would never have thought up something so creative and detailed. It was a lot of fun (: I am going to attempt it again in a different pattern next time, and make it a little bit wider and a bit longer (:

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