the Elinor top tutorial

 Since we read Sense and Sensibility this month for book club, I decided to name this simple little top after one of the characters.

The curved ruffle makes a really interesting shape, which I love.

Here’s how I made it!
See  below for the tutorial!

You’ll need: 
a tee to trace
fabric (I used a yard for size 3T)
matching thread
hook and eye closure

 First I traced a tee shirt folded in half, and angled out the sides in a slight A-line like so. Make sure to draw the front and back neckline.

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.

Then I cut out a front and back piece, both on the fold, and 2 sleeve pieces on the fold, plus one piece of fabric 4×6 for the front facing/closure.

 I also cut some strips of bias tape 1.75″ wide, and one 2″ wide that was about 30″ long, though if you want a rufflier ruffle you can make it longer or wider!

Then I serged around 3 edges of the rectangle and placed it in the middle of the front neckline (fold both pieces in half to find the middle), and sew the button closure like it shows in this tute, only leave out the elastic.

 Turn right side out and press.

Next I serged the two long sides of the 2″ wide bias piece and ironed it in half lengthwise. Then I sewed a gathering stitch down the crease and gathered it to fit around the closure like so…it does dip lower than the actual closure, FYI. Then I sewed it on and unpicked the gathering stitch.

Then I sewed the bodice front and back right sides together at the shoulder seams and finished them with my serger.

I then made some bias tape with those strips I cut…enough for around the neckline and to finish the bottom of the sleeves.

Then I used this tutorial to sew some bias tape onto the neckline.

Then I cut two pieces of bias tape to loosely fit around Sadie’s arm-plus seam allowance. (about 7.5″) Then I gathered the bottom of the sleeve slightly to fit the bias tape and then sandwiched the pieces around the raw edge, then sewed it on making sure to catch the back of the bias tape at the same time.

Next I gathered the top of the sleeve (also slightly) to fit the armhole, then pinned it in and sewed them together.

Then pin and sew and serge the side seams, hem the bottom, and you’re done! oops, almost. I sewed a little hook and eye closure near the top of the neckline to keep it closed, but you could always layer it over a tank also.


  1. Thank you for the tutorial, already on my to-do list. Such a great tutorial as usual!!!

  2. thank for the tutorial, it just for my little girl

  3. That is so cute!

  4. Cute! I may have to try it just because it has my baby’s name!

  5. Adorable.

  6. this is darling and I’d love to make it but I don’t have a serger. How could I improvise so I can make this?
    Thanks for the tutorial!

  7. Thanks for sharing, I will be following your brillant ideas

  8. Amei o seu site!!!!!!!!!Já estou te seguindo!!!

  9. So lovely,,, my baby will love it

  10. I am excited to try this one – I love the curved ruffle! Thanks for the tutorial.

  11. Super cute, Jess. I need to figure out how to make this for my older daughter!

  12. a very sweet little top. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Hi Jessica!

    Love your blog, read every one. Just wanted to say that I wish I had two adorable little girls like yours and would be sewing and dressing them up every single day too!

    Continued success!
    Julie (former Gilroy resident)

  14. SO CUTE.

  15. Darling! Love the fun ruffle and the shape of it.

  16. You always make it look so easy..the top is simply gorgeous!

  17. Super cute top! Is there an easy way to scale this to an adult size? I work on a construction site, so tops like this are perfect for work.

  18. This is beautiful. My little girl has asked me to make her as pretty as your little girl 🙂

  19. Anonymous says

    Great tutorial! I made two matching ones for cousins. No serger so I cut the ruffle 5 inches wide and doubled it over and topstiched the edges – worked fine but maybe only because the fabric is fairly light. Thank you for you always wonderful tutorials and sharing your great ideas! Love that ruffle on a little girl. Melissa

  20. The little girl and the top both are perfect.
    Again, I share this on

  21. Anonymous says

    This is a little late but… could use a wide grosgrain ribbon.

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