the Olivia top

Tutorial time! 

See the tutorial below!

You’ll need:
3/4-1 yard of fabric
1/4″ elastic

First I created a simple bodice pattern by tracing a tee folded in half.

Then I drew a line across right above the bottom of the armhole.

Make sure to add notes to add seam allowance to the top of the shirt panel and the bottom of the bodice. Add 2″ to the fold of the panel.

Cut the pieces apart and draw out a sleeve pattern like so.

Cut out one back bodice piece on the fold, and one of the front bodice pieces on the fold, then cut in half on the fold. Cut out two sleeves on the fold, and 2 shirt panels on the fold, make sure to add seam allowances.

Then I cut and made a piece of bias tape for the neckline, and two pieces of fabric 2.5″x the width of the front bodice. I ironed in the edges of those pieces 1/4″, then in half (just like in this tutorial)

Then I sewed on the button tabs to the edges of the front bodice piece.

Then I laid out my buttons and made buttonholes on one button tab.

Then baste the bottom together, overlapping the tabs.

Then sew on the bias tape around the collar using this tutorial.

Then gather the tops of the shirt panels and sew them to the bottom of the bodice pieces.

Top stitch across the front of the bodice seam you just made on the right side.

Then trim around the armholes if needed.

Next for the sleeves, I folded the bottom up about n inch and ironed it. Repeat for other sleeve.

Gather the top of the sleeve to fit the armhole.

Pin it in right sides together, sew, and finish the seams.

Then I decided  my shirt wasn’t long enough, and cut two pieces of fabric on the bias, 2 inches wide, and the length of the bottom of the shirt panel, plus a little for seam allowance.

I sewed the short ends right sides together, then pressed the seam open, and press the edges in 1/4″ like so, then in half again.

Then sew one side of the shirt right sides together like so.

Next sandwich the raw edge of the bottom of the shirt in the bias tape and pin like so, lining up the seams.

Pin all the way around the bottom…then top stitch around the hem.

Next sew the other side of the shirt together.

Fold down where we pressed the bottom of the sleeve earlier like so.

Then I sewed around the edge, creating a casing, inset about 1/4″ to create a little ruffly effect. Sew all the way around the outside all the way, but the inside stitches, leave a opening for the elastic.

Insert elastic into the casing, and sew the ends together, then sew the casing shut. Oh, and don’t forget to sew on the buttons!


  1. Thanks! I have to make one for my daugther 🙂

  2. i seriously can’t wait to make this for my 3 year old. she will go nuts!! 🙂

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  4. Lovely! Everything looks so easy when you are documenting it!

    Maybe I´ll try this out.

    Enim Sou.

  5. How sweet. I love it.

  6. Jess, I seriously love this. I think a certain little Olivia I know may need one of her own. 🙂

  7. Love, love, love. I can’t wait to make this for J. Once I’m done with all the other projects on my to-do list, of course! xo

  8. I can’t wait to try this pattern!

  9. Oh I love this shirt! I have the same material and was hoarding it for so I know what to make!

  10. Did you make the sleeve pattern from tracing the t-shirt, or from somewhere else?

  11. My daughter has the same style shirt which she is growing out of. Last night I was looking at it, thinking ‘hm… Maybe I can recreate this’. Of course, now that you have read my mind and did most of the thinking work for me, it would be a sin not to make it. Thank you for this wonderful and very helpful tutorial!

  12. You are a pattern making rockstar. That is all 🙂

  13. Yay! I loved this top the first time I saw it. Thanks for the tutorial.

  14. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I’m excited to make this for my little girl.

  15. I think this is my favorite shirt you have made so far, in part, because of the way you cut the fabric. I love it and hope to make one like it! Thanks!

  16. Adorable-seriously making this tonight!

  17. I love, love, LOVE this shirt! And the blue striped seersucker . . . what’s not to love?! Thanks for taking the time to post this tutorial!

  18. So cute! But, so is everything you do.

    I’m thinking making it a little longer and turning it into a summer nightgown!

    Thanks for the tute!!

  19. Jess this is such a sweet top. Thank you for the tutorial. I made one of my own and my daughter loves it.


  20. Coucou je viens de l’ile de la reunion et j’aime trop tous ce que vous faites continuez LOT OF LOVE

  21. Sooo cute. I hope your tutorial will help me sew somthing like this top.
    Thahk you! Hello from Russia

  22. Alicia Key says

    This top is DARLING! but I don’t have a t-shirt to work from . Have you marketed a pattern? I’d like a size 3 for my grand daughter! Pretty please?

  23. Alicia Key says

    AWEsome! LOVE love love the bias trims!

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